Senate repudiates Triplett and Park proposal, directs TAIF to investigate potential retaliation against faculty

12/14/2014: Video of the Senate meeting is now available:

12/10/2014 PM update:

Alexandra Wallachly from the Emerald has posted a report on the meeting, here.

On the Board meeting Thursday: I think it’s important to show up at the Board meeting Thursday at 8AM in the Alumni Center. While the board has backed off on the latest power grab, there’s plenty of potential for surprises, those making public comments deserve some supporters, and it’s important that the Board sees that the faculty take what’s been happening very seriously. And I hear someone will be passing out “Save our Senate” buttons.

On the Senate meeting today: I got there at the very end. I’d love it if someone would send me some notes or post them. People tell me it was standing room only, and filled with dismay and outrage over what’s going on with our administration.

The Senate passed an amended version of the motion below, opposing the Triplett/Park power grab. The fact that they did this even after Coltrane announced the Board would withdraw the motion at his suggestion shows how deep the mistrust of Johnson Hall has become. Coltrane and Bronet need to take charge of that snake-pit, decisively and soon.

The Senate then apparently wrote and approved a second motion, directing the Academic Integrity Task Force to investigate the administration’s “alleged plans to establish groundwork for disciplinary procedures” against Philosophy Dept Chair Bonnie Mann and other faculty who refused to issue “fraudulent” grades. Apparently there is also an accusation that a CAS administrator not only gave out grades for courses, but then raised them after students complained. I don’t know if the TAIF will also investigate that.

I’ll post the video when available, and I expect the motions (passed unanimously?) will be on the Senate website soon, here. Meanwhile check Try Bree Nicolello’s twitter reports on the meeting:

12/10/2014 update: (see below for Coltrane response)

Sorry, I’m at the Board committee meetings, no live-blog.

Emergency Senate meeting, 3PM Today, 115 Lawrence.

From what I can tell this fresh hell originates with new AVP Chuck Triplett and Interim GC Doug Park. Judging from her comments Monday, Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms sure isn’t volunteering to take the fall.

How did these people end up in Johnson Hall? Chuck Triplett was the Secretary of the OUS board under Pernsteiner, and helped fire Lariviere. Mike Gottfredson hired Triplett without a search or even a job posting. Pernsteiner paid Triplett $72K, UO pays him $130K. The UO auditor’s office investigated whether or not his hiring violated UO’s rues and federal regulations, but “has no findings to report.” Doug Park was Randy Geller’s assistant, he got the job after Gottfredson fired Geller. He just got a raise to $209K. Geller was Melinda Grier’s assistant, he got the job after Lariviere fired Grier.

And they’ve now persuaded the new UO Board of Trustees to pick another fight with the faculty over shared governance, with a motion for the Board’s Thursday meeting that would supersede the UO Constitution and the agreement on faculty input into setting academic policies that has been in existence at UO for more than a century and was codified in 2011, and which was used, for example, to enact UO’s Policy on Academic Freedom.

The trustees at other AAU institutions – see Florida – somehow avoid the sort of assisted suicide that this board motion will lead to. But some Johnson Hall admins see a Board meeting as just another chance to poke a stick in the faculty’s last eye.

As followup to Monday’s exec meeting and the unsatisfying explanations of Interim President Coltrane and his team, the Senate has quickly prepared a strong response. Now Senators need to show up Wednesday and pass it, before the Board meets on Thursday and does something stupid.

Page down for the Triplett and Park motion for the Board – way down. The Senate resolution is here, with plenty of documentation. The gist:

2.1 BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the University Senate calls on President Coltrane as the President of the Faculty to advocate to the Board on behalf of the faculty for the full preservation and integrity of the University Constitution and the process of shared governance;

2.2 AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the University Senate urges the Board of Trustees to postpone any vote on “The Policy on University Policies,” and to encourage President Coltrane to initiate a process of consultation with the University Senate and in the fashion legitimated by Section 7 of the University of Oregon Constitution and as outlined in the current Policy on Policies;

2.3 AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the University Senate commits to collaborating with the President and the Board of Trustees to undertake an orderly and efficient review of the new policies related to the academic mission of the University;

2.4 AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the University Senate once again wholeheartedly reaffirms the University Charter, the University of Oregon Constitution, and the Policy on Policies [01.00.01 and 01.00.02], subject to any revision on a collaborative basis to the Policy on Policies that may be needed.

And then there are 12 pages of supporting material, with 17 footnotes, from John Bonine (Law), Michael Dreiling (Sociology), and Jennifer Freyd (Psychology), documenting the consequences of the board’s motion, and it’s inconsistency with the normal practices of the AAU, AAUP, AGB, NWCCU, the UAUO CBA, Oregon Law, and probably also the NCAA, PAC-12, and the Boy Scouts of America, here:

Dec 10 12:10 PM update: Interim President Coltrane has released the message below. The good news? The board has withdrawn the Triplett / Park motion. The bad news? The admin PAC is still in charge, instead of a legitimate Senate committee:


The University of Oregon lived up to its reputation as a place of lively debate and passionate discourse this week in our discussion of a policies proposal before the UO Board of Trustees.

I have heard your concerns and, as President, have carried your voice forward to our Board of Trustees. The board graciously responded by postponing consideration of the policies proposal at the December meeting, but charged us to work expeditiously towards a revised process that allows the university to review policy efficiently and collaboratively. The Board would like to see a new resolution in time for consideration at its March meetings.

As many of you may know, the University Senate leadership expressed concern about a proposal before the UO Board of Trustees to create a more streamlined process for reviewing the 700 plus policies the UO inherited from the state during our governance transition and for policy development going forward. The board has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that all UO policies – existing, inherited and developed in the future – are organized and managed efficiently and effectively. Our current process is not efficient and did not envision the inheritance of many hundreds of additional policies to review, revise or repeal in an abbreviated timeframe. It also doesn’t contemplate the new institutional board, which took effect just this summer.

Provost Bronet, members of the leadership team and I understand the concerns presented. We acknowledge that these proposed changes could have been communicated better and that the Senate’s leadership could have been more involved sooner in the process. Most importantly, we commit to doing better in the future.

We now have a good opportunity to demonstrate to each other and to our board that we can move forward together. I hope we can put the distrust and negative assumptions behind us, and continue to work through this transition in a way that elevates our University and our shared commitment to academic excellence. As a starting point, I offer a few details of my proposed process below and look forward to working with the Senate and others to begin this important work.

The proposed process honors the constitution and our collective commitment to shared governance by:

· Creating a standing position on the Policy Advisory Council for the Senate President;
· Ensuring that “every new or revised University Policy proposal generated by the Administration shall be sent to the Senate President” (University Constitution early in the process creating greater efficiencies;
· Enabling the Senate President as a PAC member to flag all policies that involve “academic matters as commonly understood in higher education” for Senate consideration through Senate-defined processes;
· Requiring the Senate President, during final PAC review, to verify that Senate procedures were followed and Senate approval on such academic matters was achieved before moving forward for action; and
· Providing a forum for the President to receive and consider new or revised “policy proposals approved by the University Senate…within 60 days” as defined in the UO Constitution, Section

In summary, the statutory faculty through the senate will continue to serve as our policy leaders for all academic policies. My sincerest hope is that these changes strengthen our faculty’s voice in policy making by increasing opportunity for faculty to influence policy development – both academic and non-academic – through participation in the PAC, as subject matter experts, and in an open public comment period. A visual depiction of these process changes is available here and I am happy to receive any questions or concerns.


Scott Coltrane
Interim President

12/9/2014 update: RG reports on Board Policy Putsch and faculty discipline. Grad student strike drags on

Diane Dietz has the story in the RG online tonight, in print tomorrow. It’s a brutally honest report on what happens when our colleagues in the central administration:

1) Secretly collude with the hardline faction of the UO Board to eliminate the faculty’s role in UO governance:

“I don’t attribute to the board evil intent. There was a lack of full and transparent communication. I take some responsibility for that,” Coltrane said. “They (trustees) might not have the appreciation for faculty debate and processing that we do. It’s true of almost any board that I know of, so we have a lot of education to do.”

Chuck Lillis, chairman of the board of trustees, was not available for comment today, according to university spokesman Tobin Klinger. The independent board of trustees came into existence this summer, succeeding a Board of Higher Education that oversaw operations at all of Oregon’s public universities.

Senators voted unanimously to convene the full University Senate on Wednesday to formally ask the trustees to postpone its vote on the new policy language until March, or to make sure the language doesn’t strip the Senate of its authority.

[Today’s] three-hour meeting was riddled with expressions of tension and mistrust, which Coltrane acknowledged. “We are in a broken place, a place where things aren’t going very well,” he said. “The board is trying to figure this out. They’re learning as they go…. “I’m happy to convey to the president of the board that there is profound mistrust and suspicion that this is a power grab and that we need to work together,” he said.

2) Issue confidential (and, dare I say it, with all due respect, poorly researched or knowingly false) policies about how the faculty should deal with a GTF strike, and then cynically blaming the ensuing blow-up on the Senate’s “lack of civility”. While simultaneously threatening disciplinary action against faculty, including the philosophy department head, who refuse to play along with the scab plan:

A dozen department heads, including Mann, said they wouldn’t enter grades on that basis. The University Senate earlier this month voted in opposition to such a plan.

One professor dubbed the university’s plan the “Wizard of Oz” strategy, Mann said. “Oh, you want to give the students a diploma without giving them a brain — a grade without an education?”

Mann said she is philosophically opposed to doing what she considers “strike-breaking work.” In a letter to undergraduates explaining her refusal to enter grades, Mann explained that she is one seven children of a Boise Cascade millworker, whose plant unionized in an extremely risky and volatile process when she was 10 years old.

University officials quizzed her repeatedly on her refusal to enter grades, which she eventually discovered was laying the groundwork for the administration to take disciplinary action against her, Mann contends.

“What I imagine is that I’ll be fired from my position as department head,” she said. “In fact, I think that’s very likely.”

Meanwhile, still no good news from the lawyers that Coltrane is (still) paying $300-an-hour to negotiate with our $15K a year graduate students, and Rob Kyr has called an emergency meeting of the full Senate for Wed, Dec 10, 3PM.

12/8/2014 update on Monday evening’s emergency meeting.

Sorry no live blog, but this twitter feed has a lot of it. Maybe 100 people present, including a full cohort of administrators. My take:

1) After a long meeting, with many speakers with questions for Interim President Coltrane about how this happened, and some answers from him, President Kyr has called an emergency meeting of the full Senate for Wed 3PM. The goal is to pass a resolution, currently being drafted by the Exec, to lay out clearly for the Board why their attempt to overrule the UO Constitution and the Senate’s role in policies is inconsistent with best practices for research universities.

2) Ron Bramhall (Business) presented the Academic Integrity Task Force report is here. Unfortunately it’s not binding.

Doug Blandy blames the lack of faculty consultation on the confidential Academic Continuity Plan on faculty heads, whom he had presumed were consulting their faculty. (I think he’s got the timing a little off, but it’s a nice story.) Altmann and Blandy try to explain why the X grade is not acceptable, even if faculty certify attendance. Unfortunately they have little credibility with the faculty anymore, and receive many skeptical questions.

The main argument the admins pull out to argue that the X has financial aid implications for undergrads is this Chronicle article from Nov 17th 2014. But my read of that article is that it’s all about attendance and participation. So long as faculty certify that, there are no problems. And you could also read the article to mean that the university could be creating far more serious financial aid implications by allowing classes to be canceled during the strike.

12/7/2014 update: Senate President Kyr calls emergency Exec meeting over Board’s policy putsch. 5PM Monday Dec 8th

Senators, I write to inform you that the special Senate Executive meeting will be held in ROOM 178 of the School of Music and Dance (New Wing, east side of building) at 5:00 pm today, Dec. 8. Please note that this is an open meeting; all senators are encouraged to attend, as is the general public.

(Note that this means Dave Hubin and Chuck Triplett will probably be there, taking down names, just as Hubin used to do during the faculty union organizing. They come to our meetings, but won’t let faculty come to theirs.)

Check the Senate website for updates.

Meanwhile, here’s the video from the December 7 2011 UO Faculty Assembly, with Professor Susan Gary explaining the importance of the UO Constitution and the Policy on Policies, which the assembly then ratified:

This was the followup to the famous November 30th meeting, where George Pernsteiner tried to defend his firing of Lariviere.

In 2012 Professor Gary (Law) was appointed as the only faculty member of the new UO Board on recommendation of then Senate President Margie Paris (Law). The original plan was for the board to have 2 faculty members. Knight and Lillis wanted none, the legislature compromised at 1.

In a remarkable turnaround from her previous work strengthening shared governance, Gary did not notify the faculty or the Senate about the Board’s previous Delegation of Authority power grab, or this new one. Gary’s term on the Board expires in Spring, and here’s hoping Kitzhaber replaces her with someone with more willingness to tell the faculty what the hell is going on.

To top off the Lariviere nostalgia, who has the Board of Trustees put in charge of their new policy process? You can’t make this up. Chuck Triplett, the former OUS Board Secretary, who helped Pernsteiner set up the secret Lariviere firing and the sham public meeting in Portland:

The UO auditor’s office is investigating the circumstances of Mr. Triplett’s hire, which was done without an affirmative action compliant search or, apparently, even a job posting. Pernsteiner paid him $72K, UO pays him $130K.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 4.47.12 PM

12/6/2014: Chuck Lillis plans to strip Senate of its remaining authority at Thursday’s board meeting

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 10.00.52 PM

First it was the “Delegation of Authority” motion that Lillis got the board to pass, with Gottfredson and Geller’s help. The came his successful efforts to cut the faculty (and even the rest of the board) out of the hiring process for a new UO President, described in InsideHigherEd, here.

Now Lillis plans to remove the faculty’s remaining authority over academic matters. See page 7 from the docket for the Dec 12 board meeting, here. The Board’s motion will replace UO Policy 1.00.02, the “Policy on Policies” which Richard Lariviere signed on 12/15/2011, and which gave the Senate a modicum of authority over “academic matters as commonly understood”:

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 4.44.33 AM

Under Lillis’s new rules the Board will be able to revoke, change, or institute new policies without even consulting the Senate. This includes policies on academic standards, academic freedom, tenure and promotion, sabbaticals, etc. The current list of UO policies is here – it’s literally A-Z. The Senate will be replaced by a “Policy Advisory Council” consisting mostly of admins, which serves “at the pleasure of the President”. The only limit on the Board’s authority will be what is in the UAUO contract (if you’re in the bargaining unit), and the rules of our federal academic accrediting agency.

This is a corporate takeover that, if passed, will eliminate the UO Senate as a meaningful institution. UO governance will become an eternal negotiation between the Board of Trustees and the faculty union, with the administration caught in the middle. This is not what the union wanted – their actions have tried to strengthen the Senate. But presumably Chuck Lillis and Phil Knight have done the math and figured in the cost of the political contributions, and they think they can win that fight and do what they want with their university, or what will remain of it:

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 10.12.13 PM


Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 10.44.13 PM

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 4.18.20 AM

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 4.18.35 AM

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 4.18.53 AM

I’m still trying to verify the rumor that Lillis is offering $940K in UO Foundation money to every Senator who will resign quietly.

Tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to Senate repudiates Triplett and Park proposal, directs TAIF to investigate potential retaliation against faculty

  1. nom says:

    There was a need for unionization. At first blush, many didn’t see ahead; but thankfully it still came about to help preserve anything which will, in the future, actually resemble “University” beyond some corporate enterprise.

    • uomatters says:

      I agree UO needed a faculty union. And if the board approves this – and Lillis always gets his way – UO will need a much stronger one.

      • nom says:

        Definition of “the University” should be of ultimate priority.

        • anon says:

          “This is a corporate takeover that, if passed, will eliminate the UO Senate as a meaningful institution.”

          Who says the Senate is now a “meaningful institution”? Except for a tiny minority, I don’t believe most faculty know or care about what the Senate does, don’t have particular faith in its ability to substantively address issues, don’t run for office or hardly vote, and won’t really miss it.

          There are too many grandstanding yo-yos. Sorry. Flay me now. But someone had to state the obvious. The Senate has no clothes.

          • Jack Straw Man says:

            Good lord, you could say the same thing about the US House and Senate, or the state legislature. So should we replace them with unaccountable boards?

          • nom says:

            There’s no need to flay you because you show your ignorance to all who read your screed.

          • Clueless says:

            You’ll miss it when all decisions are made by the corporate Board.

          • oscelot says:

            Good grief – are you people real? It’s not question of preference anymore. The unaccountable board has buried the senate. It’s a done deal. When did the Senate last make a meaningful difference? This isn’t taking sides – the game is over. The Senate’s dead. All decisions are made by the corporate Board right now. The Union? Well, I don’t know …

          • nom says:

            Good grief, oscelot, are you real?
            No. How do I know?
            It’s spelled: ocelot

          • oscelot says:

            Right, nom, all that ails this university is my misspelling of a cat’s name. The Senate is firmly in charge of the institution’s future.

          • Sam Dotters-Katz says:

            “There are too many grandstanding yo-yos.”

            Love this

  2. uomatters says:

    Thanks to both of you for using screen names. Now please get back to the substance.

  3. oscelot says:

    The only point I was trying to make was that, in my opinion, we’ve got two choices – the Senate or the Union. And we have to make a choice, there’s no compromise. And to me, the Senate is dead. Therefore – the Union. For better or worse.

    • nom says:

      The Union and the Senate are not mutually exclusive. It would be completely foolhardy to just ‘give up’ on the Senate at this point regardless of the looming horizon.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You’re a bit late to the party? Jamie Moffitt has been bragging for weeks now about how she’ll be able to railroad through any new policy changes she wants. Whereas Scott just looks at his feet and mumbles when parroting Chuck’s orders, Jamie has a gleeful exuberance about it.

    • uomatters says:

      Thanks – and next time please clue us in before it gets to the endgame.

  5. wake up says:

    Can we please reconsider the strike option in our next contract?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I agree: the Senate is dead. The Union is our best hope for retaining what little power the faculty have left.

  7. That 70s Show says:

    The U of O has become the perfect expression and culmination of the logic of the neoliberal university. I don’t lament the fact my daughter will go to PSU instead of my alma mater. The spirit of free and open inquiry is still alive and well at UO, but the future is not so bright, because a corporation is the antithesis of a democracy.

  8. charlie says:

    This was a long time in the making. Here at K-12 land, many of us knew that the BOE was a corporate capture, as were any of the local admins. OR has the second worst hs graduation rate, yet, the most important thing that my admins worried about was how to best market construction bonds after voters turned them down. Nothing to do with education actually, but, we can’t have bond underwriters unemployed.

    So why would any of yass think that you were exempt from turning your uni into a cash cow for corporations? You had Kilkenny’s reign, a guy whose had no educational background, but who was a ‘good businessman,’ running your AD, whose ‘acumen’ saddled UOwe with the arena white elephant. If that didn’t tell you of the impending destruction of the faculty’s capacity to maintain control of their own labor, then you were asleep.

  9. Jack London says:

    Time for an emergency vote of no confidence by the Faculty Senate?

  10. josh brahinsky says:

    do not wait for the next contract to get a strike option – call a meeting to discuss a strike right now, make it public, know that this would enrage thousands of faculty who have sat still watching tenure track positions disappar throughout the country – if there ever was a moment for faculty to think about this kind of thing it is right now

    • Clueless says:

      Every single faculty member reading this, that really cares about the future of this University, needs to clear their Thursday sched and come to the Board meeting. 8am, Thurs 12/11, Ford Alumni center.

      Staying away signals we are ready to lay down and let the takeover happen.

      It’s not a strike, but it’s a start.

      • ck says:

        Can someone provide details of the meeting format?

        Is it the case that members of the UO community who attend are able to speak and offer input?

        At what time is it expected that the relevant item (#3.1 on the agenda) will come up for discussion? Perhaps someone who plans to be in attendance from the 8am start could post an update to uomatters (or to a twitter hashtag?) when the meeting gets close (perhaps the last two items under #2 on the agenda)?

        BH– Perhaps you could email a link to your post to the senate listserv? Does everyone know about this? (Probably not everyone who wants to know does.)

        • Vote NO says:

          There is a 20 minute period for open comment. You can sign up here:

          You’ll also find the agenda with times on that site.

          We should overwhelm the meeting and demand to be heard…to the point of disruption if necessary. This is too important to sit quietly.

          The targets are not Lillis – it is the other board members we must persuade to vote no. If enough of them are rattled by our presence, they might just vote no.

          • Grade this says:

            And while you are there, why not take all that unfinished grading and leave it in a pile for the board to sort out.
            (Only kidding – it is the instructors responsibility to assign grades. If only the administration understood that)

  11. noo says:

    SEIU and the UAUO should show some kind of support or solidarity with the GTFF. make a stand, stand up and say we are the university. Strike would be great. Not crossing the lines along with other unions willing to take a stand would be good as well. Burn some of those sick hours. I have heard that the flu is hitting the valley particularly hard this year.
    Too bad you all were too self serving to realize what you were giving away. Good thing for Oregon we still have OSU as our flagship public institution.

    • UO Grad Student says:

      I am not sure what you’re talking about insinuating other unions haven’t been supportive and with the “self-serving” comment. UAUO and SEIU have been extremely supportive from what I can tell. And public employees are not allowed to sympathy strike in Oregon.

      • noo says:

        Allowing the non-strike clause in the bargaining agreement
        Abdicating the role of shared governance,
        Not requiring shared governance in the UAUO CBA.
        Not using shared governance or other tools to stop people, legislation, and rule making earlier before damage was done.
        Not finishing the Faculty senate business EVER.
        Leaving shared governance duties all summer to go off and play for four months, leaving the fox in the hen house.
        Generally being shitty stewards of our University.

        SEIU and GTFF unions are fine that was directed at the faculty, senate and in part at the students, and citizens of Oregon.

        • Jack Straw Man says:

          At least part of noo’s complain is misinformed. Faculty play during the summer months about as much as grad students do, which is to say not at all. That’s the only time faculty have to do their own research, and since the administration makes it clear that research productivity is the only criterion that truly matters when it comes to tenure and promotion, this is work. Unpaid work (since most faculty are only paid for the nine months of the academic year).

          The incentive structures of academic jobs are almost always misaligned. Just like GTFs get caught between “student” and “employee” status, faculty get caught between definitions of themselves as “teachers” and “scholars.”

          But please note that there have been many faculty members, both in person and on this blog, defending GTF arguments that time grads spend on research should be taken into account when evaluating their labor as teachers.

          Your frustration, pain, and anger are quite understandable. But directing them at your allies isn’t going to do anybody any good.

          • noo: not a gtf says:

            Whew, I was worried that the BOT, Admin, and foundation would move massive their agenda while the faculty senate is out of town along with the students. It is good to know that the senate is ever vigil ready to be called in when

            Oh, wait, the BOT, Admin, and foundation must schedule these things on break, because they know the professors will are too busy with their research to bother with walking across agate to partake in shared governance.

            Sometimes duty and responsibility demands more than just punching a 30, 40 or even 70 hour clock. And for those of us who work more than that, maybe we need to put in a few more hours. Perhaps this winter Break if you are in town we go over and support our University and perhaps when our time to bargain comes someone will be there for us. Or perhaps, like global climate change, last summer was actually our time, the battle is already lost, and we should all just go cheer our last spire of excellence, our FOOTBALL HEROES on to a national championship!

            GO DUCK!

      • Tree says:

        However, with all of the behind-the-back shenanigans happening, like the stripping of access to Blackboard, the hostile takeover of grading, the watering down of academic integrity resulting from canceling some classes and reducing other classes to essentially pass/fail – Yes, there is not just a great reason to double-check the CBAs, there is an URGENT reason to double-check the CBAs. UAUO & SEIU should strike regarding the hostile takeover and loss of academic integrity, regardless of sympathy for the GTFs.

    • Other Unions says:

      SEIU and UA are picketing during our breaks and lunches, and rallying after hours. There is seriously no place I’d rather be spending my time than in the cold and rain alongside my GTFF sisters and brothers. We stand together.

  12. even more anon says:

    I’ve said this before on other threads: public employees are not allowed to sympathy strike in Oregon. UAUO also has a no-strike clause in our CBA that says we will not “engage in a strike, slowdown, walkout, refusal to report to work, mass absenteeism, or other interruptions of work during the term of the Agreement or during the negotiations for a successor Agreement.” Essentially we can’t strike until next year, when I assume our own negotiations will have broken down as admin does the same thing to us they’re currently doing to the GTFs.

    • noo says:

      Solidarity: unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.
      “factory workers voiced solidarity with the striking students”
      synonyms: unanimity, unity, like-mindedness, agreement, accord, harmony, consensus, concurrence, cooperation, cohesion, fraternity, mutual support; formalconcord
      “our solidarity is what gives us the credibility and power to make changes”

      Nowhere does it say it is painless. The question is not if one can or if it is legal. The question is Why is that clause in the UAUO contract? Because it was self serving? because it was easy? because the professors got 30 pieces of sliver.

      Classic divide and conquer. It will be really hard with the football team going to the national championships, but it would be a little more impressive if during the new board meeting and visit ALL the SEIU are out there in their purple shirts, all the UAUO are out there along with all the grad students and any undergraduates who are still in town, to say cheap shit like not writing it in a contract, like the promise of shared governance and trust us, shall not stand.

      • different anonymous says:

        There’s a similar clause in the GTFF contract. I’d like to see everyone in the same bargaining unit too.

      • even more anon says:

        That same no-strike clause is in every public employee union CBA I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of them. Maybe we fight harder about that in the next round of bargaining given how badly administration is treating the GTFF. But right now, our hand are tied. We are bound by a contract, and if we want admin to honor it we must as well.

        • Clueless says:

          To be clear, the strike clause for UA only applies when the CBA is in effect. Once it expires, striking is a legal option.

  13. Gina Psaki says:

    “The Senate is dead”: The Senate has been working on life support since its inception. As long as I’ve been familiar with it, though, the threat to Senate relevance has not been the usual grand-standers (of which, yes, I’ve become one) but the careful choreography of its proceedings by various administrations intent on making sure it doesn’t do anything autonomous. Many, many Senate presidents have worked tenaciously against that pressure–some graciously (like Rob), some antagonistically.

    When Chuck Lillis issued to the Senate his scolding of the “contentious” faculty it had the ring of adding insult to long injury. He seems to believe that such contentiousness is unprovoked, a function of individual faculty personalities and collective faculty presumption. However brief the tenure of the BOT, in other words, the tide has been strong and relentless–nationally and locally–to vitiate shared governance. The unbending refusal throughout bargaining 2013 to “enshrine” the Senate in the UA CBA reveals both the past strategy of many administrations regarding shared governance, and the future intentions of the administration then in place.

    And resistance to that drive to migrate decision-making to a central location has been portrayed as counterproductive antagonism, self-important posturing, and delusional nostalgia for a past long gone. (While the drive to unionize the faculty was described by many as giving up the fight, relinquishing the faculty’s historic role as the university’s ruling class and embracing a new, less influential and prestigious role as academic labor.)

    • different anonymous says:

      It’s infuriating that Lillis uses “let’s work together” as a euphemism for “shut up and do as we say.”

  14. Tenurable? says:

    BOT Chair Lillis’s academic credentials consist of a few co-authored papers on retail product placement and such, in marketing journals.

    And he’s the only person on the BOT with *any* higher ed experience, except Susan Gary (Law). Whose silence is increasingly noticeable.

    • anonymous says:

      Actually, Kurt Willcox, although working as classified staff, has quite a lot of higher ed. experience, gained at the University of Oregon.

  15. Thom Aquinas says:

    I think the more urgent question is, what action can the senate, the faculty take, to prevent that Lillis gets this motion passed next Thursday? Is there any opportunity to speak up?

    On a different issue, someone voiced on this thread (or another recent one) that the BOT was unaccountable. Several others implicated Phil the Omnipotent I. pulling the strings. Let me add: The BOT is accountable to the Governor, who appoints its members. So in addition to Phil the Magnanimous, there could well be Governor Ivan the Kitzhaber pulling strings in the background. He might have not forgotten how outspoken the Senate stood behind the Hat. Now that we have the UO BOT, which we wanted so badly, he might well use it against us and our shared governance. That’s what Machiavelli’s Principe would likely do, no?

    • Clueless says:

      Come to the meeting Thursday 8am, Ford Alumni Center.

      Sign up for public comment period at

    • followingmoney says:

      let’s see, the governor gives UO its own board as demanded by Phil, et. al., Phil donates $250,000 to governor, yet you think governor might be pulling strings? The money is all Phil’s – just ask him. The governor has no clothes. Phil owns the wardrobe warehouse.

  16. uO Alumnus says:

    Building on Thom above regarding the desire for the independent board. I am a supportive outsider. I watched the discussion here hailing the BOT as the solution to all problems and all the outrage surrounding the hat not getting his way (and pissing off his boss, the Governor). We have a BOT. No longer a chancellor to blame.
    Hoist by one’s own petard?

  17. Dr. Funkenstein says:

    Just when I thought things couldn’t get much worse.

  18. GTF what the what says:

    Anyone know if this meeting be streamed live?

  19. The fake Uncle Phil says:

    This may seem like another application of Oregon’s assisted suicide law, but I assure you there’s a plan.

    First take the hard-line on the GTFF strike, and then a bitter shared-governance with the faculty. It’s now going to be impossible to find a President with the will to keep UO in the AAU.

    Then we hire a few compliant administrators. Pay them 30% above market, so they’ve got lots to lose if they don’t do as told. Take the money of of undergrad tuition, or what’s left of it after they pay for the Duck sports program.

    Next we bail on the AAU and finish off those troublesome research professors. Replace them with carefully vetted and compliant cluster hires, and turn UO into a sports product powerhouse churning out Nike interns.

    And to think I bought it all for $500K in campaign contributions and a few threats to hold back that $1B philanthropic donation. What fun!

  20. Fishwrapper says:

    Those U of Nike coffee cups aren’t as funny as they once were…

  21. Warning Flag says:

    Read this, and consider the implications given our fledgling board, its presidential search, and its (extremely) high aspirations for the UO:

    Oh, also, by the way, please note the size of the RPI endowment, $617 million (this is a private institution). As of June 30, UO’s endowment reached a record $612 million. How does RPI, with a $617 endowment, afford a $7 million per year president? An abusive, so-called “change agent” with carte blanche to run amok? Beware. It can happen here.

  22. flabbergasted says:

    The Senate is driving off a cliff, at high speed, and you want the Board to give you power? With moves like these, you instead give them more and more reason to ignore the Senate. Can’t happen fast enough, says this faculty member. Get me off!

  23. Jack London says:

    If the admins or board go through with anything that puts our accreditation in jeopardy, the only option is a vote of no confidence.

  24. Leporello says:

    Best comment on Lidi’s tweets, “Meeting adjourned. People chatting. Someone asks “did you catch when Coltrane said that Lillis was the President?” #NIPSLIP #OOPS”

  25. Leviathan says:

    Perhaps Professor Mann could elaborate on the important differences between millwork and faculty work – specifically the health and safety risks, and environmental hazards. Seems to me the external reader got it right on September 18.

    • canard says:

      Leviathan, since you bring up differences, let us also bring in parallels.

      The solution to Financial Aid’s ‘X’ grades problem has already been provided by the administration’s misguided Academic Continuity Plan. The notorious ACP was inappropriate for courses due to egregious accreditation issues and because it runs roughshod over students’ term-long relationships with the course and with their GTFs.

      In the spirit of reuse and recycle, however, the ACP turns out to be hidden gold. The ACP is really a blueprint for a Financial Aid Continuity Plan, or FACP.

      Under the ACP supervisors, department heads and deans were charged with entering any missing grades. This horribly misguided application of an administrative solution to an academic problem is completely appropriate as a solution to an administrative problem.

      Let the Financial Aid supervisors, assistant directors, directors, and the head of Enrollment Services himself reconcile financial aid with ‘X”s. These administrators have the knowledge and expertise, familiarity with the Banner database, and no term-long relationship is required with individual financial aid applicants. Best of all, perhaps, administrators do not need to be paid overtime since they are on salary! This solution is cost effective, which counts in any administrative solution to an administrative problem.

      Go FACP! Quack!

      • Bewildered says:

        …so the parallels to health and safety risks, and environmental hazards in millwork would be what exactly?

        I looked up “external reader” who wrote:

        Under the guise of journalism that protects his first amendment right to publish satirical muckraking, he raises targeted questions to actively promote faculty distrust and to erode intellectual integrity. He has ushered in an era of chronic suspicion that reduces any striving for academic excellence at the University of Oregon into permanent faculty estrangement, with members urged to solely rely on a union to grovel for bread crumbs in order to survive. To adapt Hobbes:

        In such condition, there is no place for academic excellence; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of terminal irrelevance; and the life of faculty, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

        Bill’s solution: Union. If academic life is reduced to nothing more than labor-management negotiations, then we are doomed.

        • uomatters says:

          Hobbes’s solution to the problem you raise seems a bit extreme – though I’m guessing even he never intended it to apply to universities:

          because the purpose of the commonwealth is peace, and the sovereign has the right to do whatever he thinks necessary for the preserving of peace and security and prevention of discord. Therefore, the sovereign may judge what opinions and doctrines are averse, who shall be allowed to speak to multitudes, and who shall examine the doctrines of all books before they are published.

        • canard says:

          The truth is bewildering, isn’t it? Much better to close your eyes to all the redactions and lies, the constitutional breaches, and Just Trust It.

          Democracy requires an educated and inforrmed citizenry, ever vigilant against abuses of power.

          • Buckyballs says:

            I don’t see how we’re any better off because of this blog. I agree with “external reader” that we’re much worse off. Those with a “burn it to the ground” mentality have won I fear.

        • Jack Straw Man says:

          So someone who doesn’t work with their hands doesn’t work? This is yet another piece of blind anti-union, anti-worker blather by a clueless academic.

          “If academic life is reduced to nothing more than labor-management negotiations, then we are doomed.”

          Academics have always been employees. We were always labor, subject to management’s will. What the union does is give us a fighting chance at influencing the terms of our employment. This doesn’t “reduce academic life” in any way, except perhaps in the minds of people whose self-image depended on them being somehow superior to the rabble.

          And blaming the atmosphere of distrust on UOMatters? That’s like blaming Watergate on Woodward and Bernstein.

          • Thrilla from Manilla says:

            Woah…..did you just compare this blog to Woodward and Bernstein? I was thinking more TMZ or National Enquirer.

  26. anon says:

    Whoops Bill, another outright lie. Geller wasn’t fired. Gotta watch those!

    • The Corporate Office says:

      Comment of the week. Please stop by for your complimentary pair of shoes.

    • PR as truth says:

      Oh, right, he “resigned”. Just like Gottfredson.

      Unless you were in the room when Geller “resigned”, you’re assertion that it is an “outright” lie has no more credibility than UO Matters.

      Unless you expect us to believe every press release we read – surely that isn’t your stance.

      • anon says:

        Yes, it surely isn’t my stance that I expect you to believe every press release you read, nor do I expect you to believe everything UO Matters prints. I wasn’t in the room, I didn’t read the press release but I know my source and he didn’t get fired.

        • The Source says:

          If you want to get technical, then sure. But resigning in lieu of termination is a distinction without a difference.

          • anon says:

            That wasn’t the case in this case, but believe what you wish if it makes you feel better.

          • The Source says:

            I don’t understand why you think that way. You know that if he stuck around the plan was to fire him, right? They barely had him doing any work as is, most of it was given to outside law firms because they didn’t trust his competence. Or do you think it’s a coincidence that after he left, we told Harrang Long to wrap up their work and get out?

          • to anon, the defender of Geller says:

            after all your years of experience, you still don’t realize that “resigning to spend more time with family” is such an overused excuse that it’s a pure and simple synonym for FIRED?

            why do you even bother?

            and Gottfredson is “spending more time with family.”

            yeah right.

            and I’m pretty sure Nixon had something similar in mind.

            Geller’s disgraceful exit is no different no matter what kind of indignation you spew out. Get over it.

          • The Source says:

            In defense of anon, getting fired by JH isn’t necessarily disgraceful at all. Some of the more sympathetic ways of looking at it is that he didn’t want to do some sleazy things admins asked him to, and knew that was his time to go. That still means fired though!

  27. anonymous says:

    wonderful! crisis temporarily averted. now it is the job of Rob Kyr and the Senate to do its part and assure that by “senate” and/or “faculty” it means more than the Bonine-Dreiling-Freyd show. because only within a tiny circle of loudmouths looking in the mirror does the Senate have the legitimacy to speak for faculty and academic standards that it claims.

    • uomatters says:

      Please use a consistent screen name

    • PR as truth says:

      The Senate has legitimacy to speak for faculty and for academic standards through the Constitution. If anyone is tired of whoever is in the Senate or the direction of the Senate, they should show up at Senate meetings and speak, and/or run for office.

      Those voices (and the many other voices that spoke – it wasn’t just those 3) get heard because they show up and do the work. And, the crisis is temporarily averted because of those very voices you are complaining about.

      • uomatters says:

        Yes. Senate activists got Jim Bean fired as Provost, got the Academic Freedom policy passed, got some financial transparency, and are now working to get the faculty some real influence over academic policies through the president and the board. We could always use more help, so show up and run for the Senate.

  28. Hen says:

    I, for one, will feel better when the Trustee’s agenda for Thursday has been changed.

    • uomatters says:

      Yeah, if you’re a Senator show up this afternoon. Not a lot of trust, though this is a baby-step forward, infants tend to fall down a lot.

      • even more anon says:

        I’m still planning to show up for the BOT meeting on Thursday, and I invite anyone else who shares my reservations (and Hen’s, apparently) to do likewise.

  29. The Real Price Tag says:

    To “anonymous” who claims the Senate is the same three people speaking: first, they speak on my behalf too. Second, the senator from my department also represents our area’s interests, talk to the senator who is in your area; third, if you are that unhappy with the Senate, get of the sidelines and run for a position. See ya’all at 8AM tomorrow.

  30. Faculty Hold the Vision says:

    Amazing events unfolded here. United Academics and the University Senate held a bright, firm line for shared governance and the role of faculty in holding the moral and professional center for academic integrity at the UO. That is, the faculty, exercising their voice through fully legitimate channels brought the vision of shared governance and proper faculty voice in relation to the academic mission back to the center of what the UO stands for. More work lies ahead, but it is not the Senate or the union, it is both, working for faculty and the university as a whole! Each, UA and the senate, stand above a common denominator: faculty governance in matters effecting their professional and academic commitments.

  31. Old Man for Vision says:

    …and may it ever be so,