7/20/2014: In the RG, here. This is silly, the idea has been around forever. OSU does seem to be ahead on implementing it though. But hey, the Beavers can’t beat the Ducks at spending money on sports!
6/28/2014: RG reports on surreal mismanagement of UO research efforts
I’m no humanities professor, but I think surreal is good description. If I was a law professor, maybe I’d use a different word.
Mike Gottfredson has been on the job almost two years, during which his administration has repeatedly dropped the ball on what to do about UO’s research problems. This spring he rushed through the “Clusters of Excellence” or “Cluster Hires” plan. Not a good sign when they can’t even agree on the name. Diane Dietz has the story in Sunday’s RG – with some blunt facts and quotes – on this latest effort.
I guess you can say it’s better than Jim Bean’s Five Big Ideas – although Gottfredson and Coltrane apparently decided to give Bean his big slice of this little pie a bit early. A full sixth of it, by my math.
Will this be enough to keep us in the AAU? In March 2013 Gottfredson and Dave Hubin told UO’s accreditors that the plan was to get UO into the top half of the AAU. Later Gottfredson backdated UO’s 2009 draft “academic plan” to make it look like it had been finalized. That plan is all about our place in the AAU. It wasn’t until November 2013 that UO finally came clean, with the terrifying “Benchmarking report” that we paid Academic Analytics to prepare. Then we suddenly stopped talking about the academic plan. Now Scott Coltrane doesn’t seem to think we can even stay in the AAU – he’s removed any mention of the AAU from UO’s new mission statement. Apparently the Trustees are going to go along with that.
How did we get to this place? Years of mismanagement by Dave Frohnmayer and his cronies, coupled with hostility and indifference from the OUS board. The new UO Trustees are our only hope, but there’s no evidence yet they are up to the job. Meanwhile it’s amazing to see how many of Frohnmayer’s administrators are still on the ever expanding Johnson Hall dole. And how much is Frohnmayer himself billing us? I don’t know, UO redacts that from the HLGR invoices.