1/22/2015 Presidential Archives records release investigation update:
FOR INTERNAL-LIBRARY USE ONLY
Dear Library staff, faculty, administrators,
As you read in President Coltrane’s recent message, we have recently learned that significant numbers of archived records have been released, despite the fact that some of these records contained confidential, private, and sensitive information about faculty, staff, and students.
Because this is a complex situation involving issues of privacy, legality, institutional responsibility and more, I am working with others to review all pertinent information. The University’s assessment of the current situation is underway, with the help of an outside investigator.
If you receive any media inquiries about this situation, please do not try to handle them yourselves, but refer these calls to Tobin Klinger in UO’s Public Affairs group, [email protected], 6-5558.
I will share as much as I can in the coming days. In the meantime, thanks for your continued dedication to the UO Libraries’ mission and work.
Adriene Lim, Ph.D., MLIS
Dean of Libraries
Philip H. Knight Chair
University of Oregon Libraries
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1299
Email: [email protected]
1/22/2015 update: UO administration now snooping through library patrons’ circulation records
Is nothing sacred? The paranoid UO administration is now snooping through library circulation records showing who checks out what when. Rich Read reports the latest in the Oregonian, here:
… Asked whether the material escaped from the President’s Office or University Archives, Klinger said the archives. “It had gone from the President’s Office to the Archives for their processing in the Archives,” Klinger said. …
A patron, it turns out, is someone who makes requests from the library. “We have an ask out to the patrons to return the records,” Klinger said.
Klinger declined to make Coltrane, the interim president, available for an interview Wednesday. “Not today,” Klinger said. “I’d circle back in a few days or a week or so.”
Yup, Assistant Duck PR flack Tobin Klinger is now in charge of deciding if and when Scott Coltrane is available to talk to the press. Wow.
I’m no librarian, but here’s the official ALA policy on library circulation records:
The Council of the American Library Association strongly recommends that the responsible officers of each library, cooperative system, and consortium in the United States:
- Formally adopt a policy that specifically recognizes its circulation records and other records identifying the names of library users to be confidential. (See also ALA Code of Ethics, Article III, “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received, and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted” and Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.)
- Advise all librarians and library employees that such records shall not be made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government except pursuant to such process, order or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power.
- Resist the issuance of enforcement of any such process, order, or subpoena until such time as a proper showing of good cause has been made in a court of competent jurisdiction.
1/21/2015 update: Diane Dietz in the RG: UO employees release piles of presidential documents; administrators want them back
The University of Oregon has given a professor who got a hold of 22,000 pages of uncensored presidential documents until Thursday to give them back, UO spokesman Tobin Klinger said.
Klinger declined to say what would happen to the unidentified professor — who got the documents at some point in the library archiving process — if he declines to return the documents.
Two UO employees who gave the documents to the professor were placed on paid leave, Klinger said. “Paid leave will stand until we have greater clarity on what transpired,” he said.
The spokesman declined to identify the two employees — or the professor in question.
“I’m not going to confirm an identity for that individual that was the recipient. The request is out for cooperation; I don’t want to do anything that’s going to necessarily influence that,” he said.
The trove of records consists of internal and external correspondence to and from the UO president from 2010 through the presidency of former UO chief Michael Gottfredson, which ended last August when Gottfredson abruptly resigned.
“Some of those would technically constitute student records just because they would be identifiable to the student that was involved. Employee records (and) faculty records that would be protected as well were a part of that, to a degree,” Klinger said.
“It does not appear — and we don’t have any reason to believe — that there’s anything in terms of social security numbers or financial data or medical records or anything of that nature,” he said.
But were there embarrassing documents?
“I wouldn’t want to speculate,” Klinger said.
The University of Oregon is notoriously reluctant to release public documents, even though the university is bound by Oregon public records law.
It often takes months for the university to provide requested records. And sometimes the records the university finally supplies are completely redacted. …
And Richard Read in the Oregonian, here:
University of Oregon officials have placed two employees on leave after the “unlawful release” of 22,000 pages of records from the president’s office, including confidential information on faculty, staff and students.
Interim UO President Scott Coltrane sent out an email Tuesday night, addressed to colleagues, saying an investigation was underway. Although no Social Security numbers, financial information or medical records apparently were divulged, Coltrane wrote that, “We are committed to taking steps to mitigate the potential injury associated with this situation.”
… It’s unclear whether the professor who has the information is willing to return it. “We’ve made the initial outreach,” [UO Deputy Chief Strategic Communicator Tobin] Klinger said. “The ball is in the professor’s court.”
Oregon law requires public institutions, such as the University of Oregon and state agencies, to release information upon request.
But the public-records law exempts various types of information from disclosure, safeguarding personal privacy, trade secrets, personnel records, financial data and other sensitive material. Officials can redact confidential information before releasing documents.
Although Coltrane’s email said the records were “unlawfully released,” he did not explain what was unlawful. …
The material includes correspondence between the university’s last four presidents and parents, students and faculty members, Klinger said. “It’s the typical type of correspondence that you would expect to go to and from the President’s Office,” he said.
Klinger described the breach as serious but not catastrophic.
“I don’t want anybody to equate it to a financial institution having their records hacked and spewed all over the planet,” he said.
Date: January 20, 2015 at 7:39:38 PM PST
From: “President’s Office” <[email protected]> Reply-To: [email protected]
Subject: Archive release investigation
We have recently learned that a significant number of archived records from the President’s Office have been unlawfully released. These records contain confidential information about faculty, staff and students, but our current understanding is that no social security numbers, financial information or medical records were shared.
We have launched an investigation of the incident, and we have put staff members on administrative leave, pending that investigation. The information was sent to a university professor, and we have already requested that the professor return the information and refrain from any public release of confidential information. To our knowledge, only one record has been shared externally at this point.
We are committed to taking steps to mitigate the potential injury associated with this situation.
Scott Coltrane, Interim President
Publish all of the records.
That would be illegal
why? The UO asserting that something is confidential does not make its disclosure illegal. Indeed, in general releasing documents is legal for third parties and journalists and is protected speech. Absent a specific citation of a law the presumption is that the release would be legal.
And go to jail?
“We are committed to taking steps to mitigate the potential injury associated with this situation.”
Injury to whom, I wonder?
Who are the “colleagues”? Was this sent to the entire faculty?
I’m just a lowly classified workerbee & I got a copy of that email last night.
Is this related to the leaked Geller memo? And, when spoken in a PR release, mitigating injury is always about the injury to self.
What law was broken?
What law was broken?
And once again you will cause the University to spend money on lawyers. Thanks.
Right, like they wouldn’t have figured out a way to spend that money lining HLGR’s pockets in some other way.
Seriously? You think they sit around trying to figure out how to line lawyer’s pockets? Does it bother you that they use other lawyers besides HLGR? Or do they want to line ALL of the lawyers pockets that they use?
Shouldn’t you be studying for the bar?
That’s your concern? That UO will have to spend money on lawyers? Were you all up on your high horse when Dana Altmann, Mike Gottfredson, Bob Berdahl, Rob Mullens and Geller himself caused the University to have to spend money on lawyers?
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say if there wasn’t so much damn incompetence at this place, the lawyer fees would go way down.
The university’s lawyers should have been preventing whatever they’re now trying to cover up from happening in the first place. It’s not necessary to leak documents when an institution is behaving ethically and transparently.
Utter bullshit. Leaked documents contain private information. Whether someone is ethical or transparent has nothing to do with it. Are you saying that EVERYTHING should be transparent? All records, med info, private correspondence? etc?
“no social security numbers, financial information or medical records were shared”
Just because a correspondence is “private” does not mean it is not a public record. UO employee email is owned by the people of the state of oregon and is a public record. Under ORS 192.420 “Every person has a right to inspect any public record of a public body in this state, except as otherwise expressly provided by ORS 192.501 (Public records conditionally exempt from disclosure) to 192.505 (Exempt and nonexempt public record to be separated).”
Why would the president’s office have documents pertaining to my medical records? Or my “financial records” (other than my pay, which is public information)? Does anyone believe that this is the real concern here, or isn’t it the disclosure of proposal to abolish faculty governance?
They’re full of shit about the social security numbers, etc. Coltrane is just trying to stoke fear and smear as much as possible, because that’s what they do around here.
They said social security records were not involved. [Editor: Unnecessary snark deleted.]
I like what Bob Keefer had to say about this at “Eugene Art Talk”:
“What is amazing about the whole affair is how the UO has managed to spin the story, making it seem as if legitimate confidentiality were being breached by hackers and moles within the ranks.
“This is not a case of Edward Snowden and the NSA. The UO wants you to believe that, though.
“Take, for example, the email sent out Tuesday by interim UO president Scott Coltrane. In its first paragraph, he claims that the records were “unlawfully” released, and goes on to say, “These records contain confidential information about faculty, staff and students, but our current understanding is that no social security numbers, financial information or medical records were shared.”
“That’s kind of like saying that, “Our current understanding is that the two scurrilous leakers are not known to be drug addicts, wife beaters or members of ISIS or the Russian mafia.””
Actually that assessment is inaccurate. There is plenty of confidential information that is not just social security numbers, financial information or medical records. One such example are faculty T&P files, containing confidential evaluation letters. Most of these letters are obtained on the condition of confidentiality, only after the faculty being evaluated legally waives the right to an open evaluation. Now those letters could be splashed all over the media. This could get really ugly. And it’s clearly unlawful.
“Clearly unlawful”? You know that because you’ve seen the files? Otherwise, shut up because you don’t know shit either.
Um…I know the standards on this blog are low, but there are some standards. I fail to see how the last “anonyous” post, responding to Nope, contributes to the dialogue. “Shut the fuck up” is the best you can do?
Euler’s number is a mathematical constant. There’s simply nothing I can do except approve comments such as Cat’s and Nope’s that exceed the constraint, just as I reject those that fall below. I can only use my discretion when the ratio is equal to E, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Did somebody say my name?
Are you Edward’s brother?
“These records contain confidential information about [how we are going to screw] faculty, staff, and students…”
fess up Bill, are you the professor that was sent the records?
So did Tobin Klinger seriously ask Harbaugh to return 22,000 pages of leaked documents? I can see the reply now, “I may have some records responsive to your request. Please submit a check for…” Mostly I’m interested to see what kinds of ridiculous legal threats they are making against tenured faculty for this.
In related news, the UO Foundation just became majority shareholder of the Lagavulin Distillery.
And the Senate just voted to divest from fossil fuels. This news does present a bit of a sticky wicket.
Who said they were given to Bill? Here’s an Orwellian thought, maybe the Admin (The University) “leaked” them to BH just to see whether he’d give them back or not. He’s screwed either way.
Ha! Too paranoid even for my taste. I would, however, like to know exactly what this investigation involves. How did they find out what had been leaked? Who’s doing the investigating? Are they threatening /blackmailing/baiting the pres office staff? What kind of IT and computer forensics are they using to trace what happened?
Ya think a public records request about this would get anywhere, or would it all be “privileged”?
Sorry, I am just reading this now. But, where are the records?
Does someone have links?
This UO matter has a straightforward resolution. The “professor” and the president should meet and agree on a process to determine which information in the records is “confidential.” The balance can be released and the confidential materials returned to the archivist.
A two-step process could be used. The professor and president could sort the records into three piles. The first pile includes those records agreed to be non-confidential; they can be made public promptly. The second pile are those records agreed to be confidential. They can returned.
The third pile are those records whose confidentiality is in dispute. They can be reviewed, in camera, by the Lane Co. district attorney, as provided for under the Oregon Public Records Act.
Admin has come down hard on University Archives for just doing their job. Public records request, how can we help? This isn’t about ID theft or the public’s well being. This is about saving face for the
Admin and, frankly, it’s shocking that they think faculty, students,
and staff should be shielded from how Amin makes decisions. This is
about Openness, NOT personal information. The public has a right to
transparency from the Administration (which is why we archive this
stuff), and the Administration is fighting transparency.
To the “Professor” whom ever you may be
a. get a lawyer. A good lawyer would be preferable but seem to be in short supply around here.
b. you probably didn’t break any laws, but there is a pretty good chance that those records contain evidence of law breaking so destroying them could be a felony under ORS 162.325–this is not legal advice though and nothing in comments on UO matters should be interpreted as legal advice. People who claim to be lawyers are either lying and thus possibly violating ORS 9.166 or they are lawyers and thus possibly violating Oregon bar rule 4.3
c. Oregon has strong whistleblower protections which mean that the UO probably can’t fire you or the staff. In particular ORS 659A.203 makes it illegal to “Prohibit any employee from disclosing, or take or threaten to take disciplinary action against an employee for the disclosure of any information that the employee reasonably believes
is evidence of:… Mismanagement, gross waste of funds or abuse of authority” and I am sure you reasonably believe these documents are evidence of mismanagement.
d. you can protect yourself by giving the documents to a major news organization (like the NYT) who have more lawyers to defend themselves. The Guardian, the New Yorker, and ProPublica allow you to transfer documents by way of SecureDrop via TOR which would make it practically impossible for them to prosecute you for anything (not that providing documents to journalists is a crime) since they would a. not be able to associate the transmission to you and b. you don’t have to testify against your self.
e. If you know any members of congress, entering a document into the congressional record protects all parties from prosecution in almost all cases since the speech and debate clause is an absolute (Gravel vs United States, 408 U.S. 606 (1972)). Within the sate of Oregon we also have a “debate clause” which is another good way to leak documents since 659A.203 makes an unlawful employment practice to discipline an employee for talking with members of the state legislature.
The presidents email is among the most embarrassing things I have ever read coming out of this university and that is saying a lot. The UO has had one incompetent and malevolent lawyer after another. You should not feel threatened by them. You should laugh at their efforts to hide wrong doing and suppress your rights.
“The presidents email is among the most embarrassing things I have ever read coming out of this university and that is saying a lot.”
Rumor down at the faculty club is that Tobin Klinger wrote it.
Youngin’s comment certainly contains potentially helpful advice. I might add that The Oregonian/OregonLive does more than any institution in the state to advance and protect Oregon’s public-records and open-meetings law. Oregon has one of the strongest shield laws in the nation protecting reporters from divulging sources, even in court. I expect The Oregonian would have more interest in these 22,000 pages than would the NYT, ProPublica, The New Yorker and The Guardian combined. The Oregonian Media Group and Advance Publications also have a few lawyers.
Red Herring – something, especially a clue, that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting.
All of the media outlets so far are talking about this being some kind of a security breach, which is what the UO Admin wanted the story to be. However that’s not what any of this is.
The story here is about transparency of the decision making for the UO Board and Administration. They simply do not want to involve the UO Senate and community in the decision making process. This is a kind of corporate takeover of the UO (at least in structure and philosophy if not specific actual corporations).
So, Admin frames this as a security issue, an unlawful release of private information, whatever that means. I hope this blows up in their face- this is not about security. This is about saving face at the cost of transparency. These documents may have been released as a public records request in spite of the fact that Admin gave specific directions not to give these to Harbaugh. The individual that did hand over these records in this case was acting either as a professional archivist or a whistleblower.
It’s the admins incompetence in the first place that allowed unredacted material to be publicly available…. boo-hooo
This is why its helpful for the UO Admin to have their own police force… Will Coltrane make a theft report to UOPD? Followed by UOPD getting a search warrant, etc to go fishing for the missing records in the professor’s office? Home? Car? This could get interesting!
Ohhhh this is rich! Here I thought the U of O had come full circle– remember the “Redact-a-thon” they had during the sexual assault incidents last year– where records were released, with 99.9% black blocks of redaction. One would have thought they might have charged more, because it used so much more toner to print! Here I was thinking instead of the absolute obstructionist way they game with public records request releases (ridiculously high fees, stalling, and or giving little to no information), that new interim president Coltrane had brought about a new policy of transparency! Total reverse of the redaction, they would bring out records requests by the wheelbarrow full, so the staff & public could have a glimpse into how the U of O admin really operates. I would trust that the recipient of those documents, allegedly a staff member, would know what private information would remain confidential, but the antics of the administration could be, at best, entertaining, at worst– an unfiltered glimpse of gross administrative mismanagement. Turnabout is fair play– they give you nothing, they give you everything. Nothing unlawful about it. The documents were requested through proper channels & distributed. No Watergate-like break in with flashlights in the night, kind of thing. All on the up & up. Also this is the information age. Once the cat is out of the bag, it’s out. You can’t undo information disclosed. One cannot unsee, what was seen. The sad result of this, will be the records department will now be like Fort Knox. Maybe they will change the name of the department to “Redactions-R-Us”??
For the record, I checked out that copy of Lady Chatterly’s Lover for a friend who didn’t have a library card. I know it’s overdue, but bringing in private investigators seems heavy-handed.
Darn it! I can’t check out the Kama-sutra anymore, lest the wife finds out.
You can, you know, still read these in the stacks. Peyton Place is at PS 3525.E 77 P4 1999
See you up there.
I heard from a friend that all the bound Playboys have the center pages of each issue razor-bladed out. It’s not really a problem, though, since my friend just reads it for the articles.
Your friend is misinformed, they just blacked out the relevant parts on the images.
I made this comment on another thread, but I will repeat it here because I think it deserves restating. The status of the administration and its relationship with the faculty has become so overwhelmingly negative, that I believe the university has reached a point that the only new administrators that could be hired are not of a high enough quality to fix the situation. In other words, any good candidates for the president and other higher administration positions will be able to realize how horrible things are in Eugene and choose to take other positions that will be available to them. The ones that UO will get will be the hacks that can’t get positions elsewhere.
Yes, this was my thought.
Who would hire on now without first firing Tobin Klinger, all in-house lawyers, and make sure HLGR and all upper level admins are on the shortest possible leash. And what good presidential candidate would want to take on that task?
They’re not looking for an all star president but for a highly brandable show poodle who can be pranced out when someone decides he/she can speak to their points that day.
You are correct. I am qualified and thought about applying for a higher level admin position at the U of O but seeing what a mess the place is and how much folks hate each other I said “No Thanks.” I did not see the way forward there. The faculty hate admin, admin hate the faculty, SEIU hates admin, etc. The rancor on that campus must be palpable just walking around. Before considering a position at the U of O, I spoke with a high level admin who I highly respect at a University near you and he told me he wouldn’t advise anyone with good sense to apply for a job at the “O.”
I am not saying this to suggest you won’t get anyone to come there. What I am saying is that people in the job market are noticing and are aware of what a mess the place is right now. Most candidates are aware that sometimes you go into a job that needs help or that there are relationships to repair, etc., but I have not seen anything like what you all have going on here. I just cannot see too many folks who willingly walk into that.
With each new hire, Coltrane being no exception, faculty have given ample time for change to be initiated. Where there were glimmers of hope, more time was given. Unfortunately, we see more of the same. The next hire will be given the same opportunity. We’re good that way. But if they don’t turn this shit around he or she will be right in the middle of it.
That’s not a bad strategy for bad admins… create a divisive, hostile atmosphere, and then rest easy knowing that if they were to be fired only worse people would be willing to take their place.
je suis patron is a bit over the top, but Michigan Duck and Candidate are correct. Eugene is horrific and the UO climate is irreparably toxic. Sun Tzu’s comment “the University can survive without administrators” begs the question of how fixed this Folie a Deux is among UO faculty. Last Spring, “concerned STEM junior faculty” summarized the problem (a post nominated for comment of the year), as follows:
Wow! we are out of touch. Dog speaks the truth now, as he has in the past, yet we do not listen and we fail to act responsibly. We are first in line to be cut from the AAU and our last best hope for survival recently left for a BIG promotion to a top 15 university on the same list. It seems she cast her ballot of no confidence in us and we deserve it.
UO has lived off its laurels far too long. The world is much more practical and “applied” than it was in the 60’s This blog is nothing more than a peculiar exercise in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, or more accurately,
Get a grip folks, we are an academic anachronism that became an ochlocracy in 2012, whose primary function is to chew up administrators as though they were members of the Nixon administration, in favor of Union thugs. Shame on us.
I don’t know enough to agree or disagree with Michigan Duck’s conclusion, but a few questions come to mind.
We pay a lot for our administrators. Is $500k/year really not enough to attract good candidates for president? Likewise, we pay more than our comparators for other higher administrators. Is the supply of capable people really so small? And if so, is that because it’s really the case that only a special few can be administrators, or because we draw from the oligopoly of other high-paid administrators? This may sound snarky, but I mean it as an honest question.
Say Michigan Duck is right. What’s the way forward? Can the board of trustees prune a bunch of our administration, letting us start fresh? Should departments or other units become more autonomous? As an active faculty member, I’m very interested how all this turns out, and how we can make it turn out well.
…deserve honest answers, snarky or not. Stated differently, its Oligopoly of admins vs. Ochlocracy of UO faculty. Which will prevail with the BOT? They decide. Last fall, “External reader” referenced two UOM comments:
Provost Scott Coltrane would make a fine Interim President. And from what I hear, he would have much more support from the faculty and Deans as UO President than Gottfredson has ever had. 05/07/2014
Interim Provost Bronet will make a fine interim president. 09/09/2014
…to conclude that UOM’s purpose is to “undermine the University of Oregon and lambaste its administrators in order to create a Union, and now, to perpetually strengthen that Union’s position at the bargaining table.”
Continuing “As he hammers the University community with his daily onslaught of selective misinformation, he dresses up his true motive with seemingly laudatory calls for open records, transparency, shared governance, democracy, free speech, academic freedom, ending athletic subsidies, reducing administrative bloat, and endless investigations of countless other conspiracies. 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.”
With 22,000 pages floating around out there, the University of Oregon begins renegotiating the COB, while searching for a new President.
Honest communication involves something more than cut n’ paste as though that explains anything at all. Other than a hopscotch strategy, that is.
“With 22,000 pages floating around out there, the University of Oregon begins renegotiating the COB, …”
Who knows what strategic advantages we might glean from those 22k pages when it comes to the admins negotiation tactics…..
Forget admins, that’s not what’s needed anymore. If anything has been proven by this fiasco is that a university has no need to have massive amounts of resources shunted to nonsense such as this. This goes far beyond just U of Owe, this is a situation which goes from k-12-uni. The corporate model of governance is killing education.
How much worse could U of Owe be if they got rid of half their admins? How the hell did any uni survive when there was faculty did most of the administrative work, as was done in past decades?
Well isn’t that just it? A struggle of models: corporate (board), governmental model vs traditional university, faculty leadership and governance.
When you see the likes of Klinger’s comments regarding when Coltrane can and cannot speak to the press, it’s not hard to see who’s running the show.
Yeah! Let’s just shut ‘er down! No more UO! Might as well just sell it and we can all start over at some other, better place. Lets all just walk out and find new jobs! Who’s with me?
You are perfectly describing Mike Gottfredson.
If not already on its books, the sooner the Senate can adopt the official ALA policy on library circulation records as UO policy, the better. And make it retroactive to cover patron circulation data back to the card catalogue days.
Michigan Duck has it right. Only with a proper housecleaning of JH can things get better. But it will take a true visionary to see what needs to be done. An outsider.
As a courtesy for potential candidates for the UO presidency, here’s a suggested list for the housecleaning:
everyone in the public relations office
everyone in the public records office
and all three of the candidates for graduate dean
Who else should be on this list?
shouldn’t all dogs be on that list …?
Can you also make a list of faculty who should be fired? Or are only administrators incompetent half wits?
It’s not about being competent. It’s about the culture of secrecy that prevails in JH. When the new president takes office, she must be confident that no one in JH has an incentive to cover up the past misdeeds. Hence the need for a thorough housecleaning.
[Snarky comment regarding the level of competence among administrators removed as a result of self-editing.]
“Past misdeeds”. So everyone is convinced that there is some conspiracy in JH to hide all of their Machiavellian machinations to destroy the faculty and avoid any of their input and essentially destroy the University because they actually like football more than academics. I get it now.
No need to uncover a conspiracy when there’s already plenty to go on. But undermining the opposition by using straw men to make others call that reality into question has worked before I guess…
once again, all dogs should be on that list as well
Have to disagree. Most dogs are loyal and quite trainable. Mostly importantly, when they sleep on the couch and or chew on your slippers they don’t participate in a cover up. They accept their punishment and then seek forgiveness.
We would do quite well if JH were full of dogs!
Is JTM still on the JH payroll?
Is JTM still alive?
Judith R. Baskin, specially after all the sh..t she did during the GTF strike.
Since you asked, the law firm Harrang Long Gary Rudnick should go. I don’t care who they hire as president, or how many people are fired, nothing will change if the UO continues to rely on that firm. Am I the only person who wonders why it’s okay for four UO administrations to contract with a firm at an hourly rate that is ‘way above average (or as members of the legal community have said, “exorbitant”) — a firm that supposedly is “managed” by the UO general counsel — only to see the last two general counsels leave the UO to join that very firm, following in the footsteps of President Emeritus Frohnmayer? Because, now they are sharing in the sky high hourly rates that previously they agreed to pay out! Look for the common denominator: most of the UO’s legal advice on everything from public records requests to union negotiations to the handling of rape allegations has been coming from the same poisoned tank for more than 20 years! Generally, the advice has been bad or backfired, serving to generate even more need for legal assistance from HLGR. Sweetheart of an arrangement, if you’re part of HLGR.
Inside baseball, there are so many false statements in your response it is stunning. First, they have hired exactly one general counsel from the UO. Randy Gellar is “of counsel” (look it up) so obviously he doesn’t manage anything at the firm. President Emeritus Frohnmayer is also “of counsel”. One of the partners in that firm used to be Frohnmayer’s deputy AG when he was AG. Why wouldn’t they want to work together again? As for “sky high rates”, some of the lawyers in that firm are in very high demand and can get those kinds of rates. And, finally, they haven’t been doing work for UO for anywhere near 20 years. Do you always just print what you think might be true or do you just make it up?
did you give them back yet?
Here’s the situation:
1) The administration issued a statement saying that the sky is falling but nothing has fallen. Quite the logic.
2) The not-so-hidden subtext of the administration’s email is that they are hellbent on destroying UOMATTERS and its publisher.
3) It doesn’t matter if a couple of archivists get in the way, even if they are excellent at what they do and did nothing wrong.
What to do personally?
1) Actively show your support for UOMATTERS and the right of free speech.
2) Insist, through letters and statements, that the suspended archivists be reinstated.
3) Demand more transparency on this campus at all levels.
What to do collectively?
The faculty must band together and fight the administration on their continued attempts to muzzle the faculty voice and to replace faculty governance with a corporate hierarchy and mindset. A good first start would be to pass 3 resolutions in the Senate:
A) Affirming the right of free speech on a university campus;
B) Requesting the immediate reinstatement of the two suspended staff members, and
C) Asking the President to come to the Senate to explain in public the situation and provide a plausible explanation for his actions.
This is a BIG deal that goes well beyond the fate of UOMATTERS, its publisher and the two innocent archivists. The integrity of UO is hanging by a very thin thread. If we faculty do not insist that due process be followed without damning public statements, that apologies be made to the appropriate parties, that the university reinstate its tradition of free speech and openness, and that there be faculty input on all decisions at this university, then we will continue our rapid decline into a 3rd institution.
It is easy to blame the administration but that would be wrong. We must face up to the fact that the faculty let this university get away from us and it is now time to reclaim our rightful role as the historic guardians and intellectual owners of this once proud academic institution as enshrined in the UO Charter and UO Constitution. The choice is ours.
Fortunately, the threatened personnel now enjoy the protections of a collective bargaining agreement, a union to ensure due process, and the support of United Academics’ affiliated national organizations — the AFT and the AAUP.
“… the faculty let this university get away from us ..”
Since you’ve jacked the name “Sun Tzu”, regale us with some succinct wisdom explaining exactly how the faculty is at fault in your drama.
Snarkiness aside, the answer is simple: in the two decades since DF rose to become President, ~90% of the faculty consistently refused to get involved in the Senate or in other aspects of campus governance. Reasons for non-involvement included “I’m too busy”, “Nothing will change” and “The Senate is useless”.
The faculty’s lack of interest in campus governance opened the door for the administration to dismantle shared governance piece by piece over the past 20 years. Examples include removing faculty input into undergraduate admissions decisions, issuing changes in OARs during the summer or Christmas break without consulting faculty, pitting the FAC against the Senate, keeping the Senate Budget Committee in the dark when making campus budgetary decisions, doing an end run around Senate committees by establishing administrative advisory committees with the same charge, buying off several Senate Presidents with free bowl game trips, repeatedly not following the advice of the FPC, using the FAC as a focus group, and blocking the Senate from altering the charge or membership of its own committees. These are but a few of many examples. In all cases, the faculty, with a few notable exceptions, permitted the administration to make these changes without a fight.
Yes, the administration has repeatedly stepped over the line and taken advantage of the faculty’s laissez-faire attitude. But the faculty, by our unwillingness to fight the administration, must take at least some of the blame for our current predicament. Fortunately it is not too late and the faculty can take back what has been lost if and only if it works together through the Senate and the Union.
Very well said.
Reinstating the archivists would be a strong message and show of support. If it wasn’t for the union, they would have been immediately terminated without any kind of investigation. At this point it’s the BOD applying pressure on the smallest players they can blame.
In one corner, BOD’s lawyers are trying to find a way to fire these colleagues (who both have long histories and excellent reputations, true assets to the UO) and redact documents; in the other corner, is pretty much everyone else in the UO community that believes in transparency and accountability from our overlords.
Another side note: Admin records have not been stored for very long in the special collections and university archives. That department, like many at the UO, is significantly under resourced compared to peer institutions trying to accomplish the same thing.
One way to suppress public records is to file them all away in a big vault where one or two over worked workers have no possible way of carefully going through records to make sure there are no FERPA violations, etc. The FERPA issue and whatever other student records issue mentioned by PR is a red herring, though the best angle BOD lawyers have.
Archivists are simply overwhelmed and under resourced for handling these kinds of public records. The individuals on leave are really being thrown under the bus.
I hope the UO community can come together and demonstrate to JH and the BOD that we want transparency and involvement.
One last bit: the whole idea that we paid a branding agency $5m to tell us that we are unique because Eugene and the UO is a great community is really turning into a farce here, and I blame the BOD and JH, who are basically outsiders to the community we strive to be.
So are they building a database for the proposed library distribution center.
Glasnost. That is all.
It took you 24 hours to get a copy of Adriene Lim’s LIBRARY USE ONLY email? You’re slipping.
I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
I, for one, am very disappointed by how easy it was for Scott to get a peek into our head librarian’s drawers.
Read all about it, the latest on OregonLive.com:
I’m interested in Andy Stahl’s approach. Let’s say the records were “unlawfully” released. That does not mean that, after they are appropriately vetted, they should not still be released.
For instance, the record that supposedly started all this – the Geller memo – does not appear to be protected by the laws being cited by Toby K. So, after all this is over, we should all go through the appropriate channels and request access to the documents.
I’m going to guess they are going to use the red herring of FERPA and faculty records to hide anything that is embarrassing. If that happens, they will have revealed their true intentions.
Sure. The real problem is that the university gets to unilaterally decide what they’re going to release. Given the extensive history of abuses, there should be an impartial party determining what is and is not exempt.
Wouldn’t that party responsible for making sure the state transparency laws are followed be the secretary of state?
The same secretary of state that is seen here introducing a video of the governor saying the the UO will take on unlimited liability for a track meet?
I think Ed Ray would make a fine president of the UO.
Sure OSU has problems as well but this is tiresome and as many here have pointed out the level of incompetency seems to be growing exponentially as our administration swells and bloats well beyond the what we were told this failed privatization scheme was going to require and cost.
The legislature or the governor or whoever has the power should just give the UO to OSU and be done with this.
Ed Ray would make a great president for the UO, but as earlier posters have noted, why would someone of his qualifications be interested in inheriting this mess. (It was a good idea to bring up his name after tOSU rolled the Ducks – he was rooting in red, I’ll bet.)
The administrative shit stain on JH and campus is going to take more than Clorox and hot water to disappear anytime soon.
I hope the “professor” sent DVD/USB Flash Drive copies of the docs to the NYT, R-G, Oregonian and Eugene Weekly for their analysis, backup and safe keeping.
Interestingly, according to today’s R-G, EPUD will release their internal recorded phone conversations on CDs after receiving legal advice from HLGR that a lawsuit to prevent the release would be expensive and likely fail. Obviously, UO admins need to be more aggressively challenged in the future on their slow response to public record requests, excessive redactions, and excessive fees.
Events of the past two decades plus recent revelations underscore the possibility that UO Faculty, like those of many other universities, is losing its role as governor of the institution. There is no doubt that such a loss, if not remediated, would seriously impair both the reputation of the University and the ability of the University to fulfill its mission. As a central step in remediation, the Faculty (Statutory Faculty plus President) adopted the University of Oregon Constitution in 2011. Survival of this Constitution is essential for the survival of the UO as a respected institution of higher learning.
The best way to protect the Constitution is to use it, and to do so proactively. John Bonine’s initiative to help the Senate take the lead in marrying OUS IMD’s and OAR’s to UO Policies is a great example of the kind of faculty involvement in governance that is needed. It is also time-consuming, and not many faculty members are able or willing to invest that time. But investing what you can is what you must do if you want to restore the UO to its former reputation as an unpretentious institution whose performance has often belied the limitations set by its modest resources.
The Senate is the key to implementation of the Constitution. Shared governance can survive only if faculty and members of other constituencies participate in Senate activities by serving as Senators (and attending meetings), by participating in Senate discussions, or by serving on University and Senate Committees. And we must keep in mind that vigorous, thoughtful involvement of the Statutory Faculty in university governance is the best way to attract and hold the kind of President that can best serve the people of Oregon.
By the way, it is my experience that neither JH nor the BOT is monolithically supportive of the authoritarian views expressed by a former General Counsel.
Prior to UO having a BOT, all UO archival public records were handled by the State of Oregon Archives in Salem. Now, as an independent entity, the UO handles these documents. We are now completely free to create a reality of how things are/were and polish the brand.
What? So there was no archive before the independent entity other than the state? Then all state records prior to 2014 must be turned over to the secretary of state immediately as they are still state records and someone should be held accountable for the records not being there in the first place. Surely this cannot be the case. As an Oregon tax payer I thought the UO was just getting freedom to make money so I could pay less in taxes, I did not know they were able to break laws, make laws, hire cops to cover up rape, and totally ignore state law. Didn’t the law that created the BOT say that the UO is still a state entity and all property is owned by the state and the must follow all state laws?
Shouldn’t the Oregonian run a redaction on the editor’s headline of the UO “unlawfully releases 22,000 pages with confidential faculty, staff and student records.” The headline is false and does not reflect the content of the reporter’s story. They were presidential emails and they were not released “unlawfully” but were public records required to be released under the state public records law unless proven exempt under very limited, specified legal circumstances. In most cases under the law the public interest in open government far outweighs any private interest of individual administrators to avoid embarrassment.
The latest from Richard Read names suspended archivists Fox and Homo, in addition to running the warning letter to the unnamed professor: http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2015/01/university_of_oregon_letter_in.html
Having a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner following the story should be helpful.
To Richard Read:
Is it even clear that the archivists even knew what was on the released media (thumb drive, zip drive, or whatever)?
I am not sure how many files, 22,000 pages corresponds to, but I am sure it is scientifically equivalent to a shitload.
If only there was a way to search through multiple computer files, looking for keywords. My KayPro can only do one floppy at a time.
My general impression is that UO is way behind the curve with respect to document management across the board. I don’t even think they have proper litigation hold procedures. I hope they get royally screwed during a lawsuit for failing to produce documents, because they really have it coming.
What about http://seekfast.org/ ?
Is that for DOS or CP/M 2.2?
How large is your Dropbox space? Maybe the “library patron” can start a crowd-sourcing search.
I am sure JH would immediately employ some resources for “guidance”. Then the community could do a “most creative redaction”- contest.
In fact, this sentence in Blandy’s letter:
We will ultimately make the documents that are not exempt from disclosure available to all library patrons as part of the University archives
may be key.
1. Maybe the librarians didn’t think there were or should be any “exempt” files on the released media.
2. Maybe the exempt files that were on the released media were there by mistake and no one knew that (this would not surprise me)
3. Maybe “exempt files” are being identified after the fact now …
Does the UO have a copy of these 22000 pages?
Perhaps the professor should hand a copy over to a judge, or as another person here said legislators, since they claim that is not disclosure.
“Shouldn’t the Oregonian run a redaction…”
Not only that but everyone keeps saying the “UO wants the files back”.
“UO wants to control public information” is more correct. Put the word illegally in there somewhere and I think it would better capture the case. Finally changing control to conceal or hide may be perfect.
Last week Anonymous UO Alum asked about JTM. Saw him on the Ribbon Trail a few days ago, and he voiced intense dismay with recent administrators’ failure to lead.
ah, JTM, “intense dismay”, brings back fond memories …
I’m coming late to this silliness, but feel someone should call it what it is.
At stake are materials in an archive, and all archives everywhere have procedures: forms to fill out; rules for viewing, copying, citing; wait times; restrictions on modes of access. Can I take it home? Can I take a photo? How may I cite it? Must you look over my shoulder while I’m reading it? Must I wait years until the entire collection has been catalogued before I can have the three things I know are in there and need right now? Are you really only open Tuesday afternoons in the third week of winter months? Whether the archives pertain to public or private entities, whether the documents consist of papyrus fragments or pdfs, whether the means of access are convenient to your modes of analysis, whether the staff are helpful or snotty, whether the rules are reasonable or asinine, archives are archives. Some are lovely all round, some are kafkaesque nightmares. Such is life (ask any historian). It’s hard for me to imagine one where they hand you 22,000 unexamined pages on a zip drive. Maybe that’s the new normal in the digital age, and I’m behind the times. But a quick glance at the University Archives website suggests that nothing held there, even the files of the UO president 100 years go, comes without a simple first round of restrictions: file a request, read it here, clear confidential information with an archivist before citing, etc. “Yeah, sure, no problem” may follow from there. But it is not at all unreasonable for there to be a question as to whether proper archival procedures were followed in this case. That the records are “public” has nothing to do with it. It may be that the answer is yes; it may be turn out that the rules need to change, to become looser or tighter; it may be that the “professor” ultimately winds up with the same 22,000 pages on a zip drive that he has already; it may be that they make him sit in the reading room going through them all the old-fashioned way. But there is really no scandal or abnormality here.
And while I’m at it, it’s equally ludicrous to suggest that in determining the “patron” here they are trolling through confidential library records. That the archive is in the library and the archivist are libraries does not mean the archive’s materials are equivalent to library books, checked out by waving a library card. Usually one fills our a form, or signs in, precisely to leave a paper trail for whatever follow up is necessary. It’s Klinger’s mistake to call him a “patron.”
In this particular context, the fact that the records are public has everything to do with it. UO has a long and dishonorable history of delaying and obstructing release of public records, defacing them with excessive redactions, and indiscriminately invoking exemptions to keep records out of reach unless the requester is willing and able to fight hard to see them. The guiding principle seems to be to restrict access whenever possible, rather than to transparently provide it unless genuinely impermissible.
Furthermore, there is absolutely zero evidence that anyone did anything they weren’t supposed to or that there was ever any real danger of a significant privacy violation in the present situation. It is an absolute disgrace that the president and provost chose to sound a very public alarm and pillory “unnamed” individuals, all done purportedly to protect privacy. When the university says they want public records “returned” for “processing,” anyone capable of learning from experience knows that pious respect for privacy is unlikely to be the true motivation.