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Non affirmative action compliant Triplett hire

Last updated on 05/08/2015

11/4/2014 update: UO Auditor to investigate Affirmative Action waiver for Triplett hire

The UO administration spends millions on promoting student and faculty diversity. But will it follow the law when it comes to hiring Johnson Hall administrators? UO’s new Auditor is going to look into it:

From: Brenda Muirhead <[email protected]>
To: William Harbaugh <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: PR request, AAEO documents
Date: November 4, 2014 at 3:47:51 PM PST


Thank you for the email yesterday. I will review this case and determine if a request to waive a search was appropriately approved for this position. If you have any questions about the fraud and ethics reporting process, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at 541-346-6541.

Brenda Muirhead
UO Office of Internal Audit

11/3/2014: UO violated Title VII in Asst VP of Collaboration hire, according to Public Records Office:

Title VII is the section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act involving hiring, generally known as “affirmative action”. UO’s affirmative action policies require basic good hiring practices such as an open search and public job announcement, or an explanation for the exception. I’m no detective, but I think this evidence that UO violated its policies in hiring its new Assistant VP for University Initiatives and Collaboration is called “the dog that didn’t bark”:

From: “Thornton, Lisa” <[email protected]>
Date: October 16, 2014 at 12:14:09 PM PDT
Subject: Public Records Request 2015-PRR-076


Dear Mr. Harbaugh-

The University does not possess records responsive to your request made 10/06/2014 for “documents related to the job search for the new UO Assistant VP for University Initiatives and Collaborations… [s]pecifically I am requesting any documents showing exemptions or exceptions to the UO job search procedures”. [The full request is below].

The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.


Lisa Thornton
Office of Public Records
University of Oregon
Office of the President

Presumably Ms Thornton and Dave Hubin have already brought this potential non-compliance with state and federal affirmative action law to the attention of Interim General Counsel Doug Park, for swift investigation and appropriate remedial efforts. But just in case, I have cced Park on the notification – at the risk of another set of retaliatory emails from him, accusing me of harassment.

10/16/2014: Administration kicks off diversity plan by hiring new AVP without an affirmative action search

“Around the 0” has the latest window dressing, here:

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 2.43.09 AM

Sounds great. So, did they do an affirmative action compliant search for their latest Assistant VP hire? Doesn’t seem likely:

Subject: Re: PR request, AAEO documents
Date: October 15, 2014 at 11:04:18 AM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <[email protected]> Cc: doug park <[email protected]>

Dear Ms Thornton

It’s been more than a week since I made this PR request. I would appreciate it if you could let me know when you expect to be able to provide the documents.

On MondayOct 6, 2014, at 3:19 PM:

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for documents related to the job search for the new UO Assistant VP for University Initiatives and Collaborations, announced here:

Specifically I am requesting any documents showing exemptions or exceptions to the UO job search procedures explained at and

I believe that this search and hire may have violated UO policies and procedures, and Oregon and Federal affirmative action hiring laws, and therefore I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

10/1/2014: Chuck Triplett, who helped Pernsteiner fire Lariviere, now works in JH

Chuck Triplett was the OUS functionary who helped set up the sham Lariviere firing meeting in Portland. Now he’s an Assistant VP at UO, working for Johnson Hall’s secretive ELT, and also updating all the OUS “Oregon Administrative Rules” to make them work for UO – sort of a “trust me, I’ve done this right” position.

It’s nearly two months since I made the PR request for docs that will show if UO held an Affirmative Action compliant search for the job opening.

No response from PR Officer Lisa Thornton, so I’ve sent a followup, ccing Interim GC Doug Park, who I’m sure will be pleased to be kept in the loop on UO’s continued lack of compliance with Oregon DOJ recommendations for a one week turn-around time:

Subject: PR request for Assistant VP for University Initiatives and Collaborations
Date: October 1, 2014 at 2:09:42 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <[email protected]> Cc: doug park <[email protected]>

Dear Ms Thornton and Interim GC Doug Park:

I made this PR request nearly 2 months ago. I have not received any response. Your website also does not have any information on the status of this request:

As you know the Oregon DOJ suggests that one week is normally sufficient time to provide documents. This seems like a simple request, and I would appreciate it if you would let me know when you expect to provide these public records.

Original request:

Subject: public records request, AVP job search
Date: August 4, 2014 at 10:36:13 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <[email protected]>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for documents related to the job search for the new UO Assistant VP for University Initiatives and Collaborations, announced here:

Specifically I am requesting a copy of the job announcement and the cover letters and resumes for the finalists.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

8/4/2014: Triplett was Matt Donegan’s OUS Board Secretary during the Lariviere firing, and with Pernsteiner helped set up the secret firing and the sham public meeting in Portland:

He currently plays a key role in stonewalling the release of OUS public records, e.g. on Treetops and Gottfredson’s performance review. He’ll be UO’s Assistant VP of Collaboration. You can’t make this stuff up. Coltrane’s Org Chart is getting pretty bloated:

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 4.47.12 PM

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 4.48.25 PM

6/19/2014: UO deploys stealth administrator to work with Trustees

Susan Weeks used to work for OUS as one of Pernsteiner’s vice chancellors. She retired in 2010 with a 106K PERS pension, and then Bob Berdahl hired her at UO, at an 0.5 FTE at $173K or $62.5 per year. Gottfredson recently increased that to 0.75 time at $177K. As Ted Sickinger explains in the Oregonian, PERS has rules to limit this sort of double dipping, but it seems that Lorraine Davis isn’t the only exception to them.

Despite Ms Week’s job title of Special Assistant to the President, she’s not on the org chart, not on the President’s or Trustees’ websites, and a search of shows no recent mentions. The only job description that Ms Weeks or UO public records would share when I asked was from 2012, and mentions working with the Governor and Trustees. Maybe her job is to make sure they don’t have unsupervised conversations with the faculty? I wonder how many other stealth administrators UO has.

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 10.40.43 AM

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 12.22.56 PM


11/5/2014 update: Samantha Matsumoto and Alex Cremer have an excellent report in the Emerald on faculty ethnic and racial diversity. (Skip the weirdly distracting flash at the top).

It even mentions the lawsuit Dave Frohnmayer and John Moseley lost to Joe Wade, over their racially discriminatory hiring practices for UO administrators. That lawsuit – which Frohnmayer tried to hide from the faculty – required the creation of the job that is now held by Yvette Alex-Assensoh, and also the original contentious 5-year diversity plan.

It seems that UO is going to try a new 5 year plan. While the first plan at least paid lip service to socioeconomic, political, and intellectual diversity, the impression from this article is that the new plan will be narrowly focused on racial and ethnic diversity. That’s an unfortunate step backwards.

Meanwhile, as you can see from the info below, it seems Johnson Hall is still engaging in the same sorts of “good old-boy” hiring practices that lead to the Wade lawsuit.


Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 12.25.33 PM


  1. nom 06/19/2014

    Double top secret, stealth (redacted? fingerprints removed?) administrators that do “really important shit” that we the peons can’t know about. Because they are, you know, s-o-o-o-o-o important. (Keurig, anyone?) Of course, this isn’t conspiratorial.

  2. The Truth 06/19/2014

    Someone should suggest to an amenable legislator that a bill be introduced requiring all Oregon public employees’ job descriptions to be public record.

    • nom 06/20/2014

      No legislator will touch that one.

  3. Anon 06/19/2014

    Well we can’t have people knowing who is managing our new Trustees, can we?

  4. nom 08/04/2014

    Well, if there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about cluster coordination, gathering clusters into manageable structures or even initiating “interinstitutional” clust-ups and coordinating for counter-clustering, it has to be someone who worked for the OUS.

    Let the busy work continue!

  5. Anon 08/04/2014

    I don’t remember seeing an ad for this job. Was it an open search?

    • Anon 08/04/2014

      To be followed by George’s lawyer Ryan Hagemann, as new UO General Counsel? We could do worse. Actually, we’ve done worse for years. And he’s on the market:

  6. uomatters Post author | 08/04/2014

    Good question

  7. anonec 08/04/2014

    Why is the appointment contract 0.5 FTE but her salary 75 percent?

  8. anon and anon it goes on 08/05/2014

    And speaking of admin bloat. Melissa Woo hired an assistant, Scott Genung about a year or 2 ago to implement her plans to update the UO’s IT and phone systems. Scott just brought on a new admin manager to help out with his workload. All working to improve the communication flow, workplan procedures, and make sure that UO is WELL represented at numerous conferences such as educause, Meanwhile is lack of funding and personnel for infrastructure equipment the cause of recurring server failures, routers not routing, and wireless service that continues to be under-powered? Anyone watching THAT shop?

  9. anon 08/05/2014

    I attended one of the sessions of Melissa Woo’s listening tour and among others in attendance gave her many, many suggestions for improvement. Haven’t heard a thing about what has been (being) done in IT-land to improve Information Services. Just another example of suggestions going into a black hole on this campus.

  10. factcheck 08/06/2014

    Scott Genung is a replacement for the former director of Network and Telecom. He is not the CIO’s assistant. The recent new hire is a replacement for the former director of NERO, but with expanded duties across the network/telecom portfolio. Neither are new positions.

    • uomatters Post author | 08/06/2014

      Thanks for the helpful factcheck.

      • dog 08/06/2014

        I confirm factcheck

  11. SeriouslyWondering 10/01/2014

    What makes something an “Affirmative Action compliant search”? And why does this matter? I am asking in all seriousness, not in a sarcastic manner.

      • SeriouslyWondering 10/02/2014

        Thanks for the video. However, when I asked why does this matter, I meant in reference to the search. Besides announcing a job opening, are there rules around conducting a search for an open position at the UO? In my experience, people within an organization at UO are moved to fill positions.

  12. SeriouslyWondering 10/02/2014

    Again, thank you. Are the Request for Waiver of Unclassified Search Process packets considered public records, in that they can be requested to determine the basis for the waiver approval?

    • uomatters Post author | 10/02/2014

      I don’t know, good question, depends on the whims of Dave Hubin and Doug Park is my guess.

  13. Fishwrapper 10/16/2014

    Because we all know that “diversity” means posting pictures of a person of color next to a white duck…

  14. Stork 10/16/2014

    Real diversity today does not rest in color, sexual orientation, or ethnic/national origin, but in thinking differently and critically. These clods running the U are in possession of outdated mental maps.

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