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Coltrane launches investigation of Klingeresque communications bloat

Last updated on 03/18/2015

I’ll take this seriously when Coltrane starts taking Oregon’s public records law seriously, and makes Rob Mullens co-operate with Mike Andreasen on academic fundraising.

No indication there will be any reconsideration of the real money: the $20M UO Trustee Connie Ballmer is planning to dump on 160over90 branding crap.

Meanwhile, true to form, “AroundTheZero” can’t even figure out if VP Mike Andreasen or PR Flack Tim Clevenger is in charge of the review – but look, they’ve redesigned their logo again!

Here’s the announcement:

Today, UO President Scott Coltrane announced that he has directed Vice President Michael Andreasen to launch an internal review and assessment of campus marketing and communication efforts.

As part of the review to be led by Tim Clevenger, associate vice president for communications, marketing and brand management, information will be collected through conversations to determine levels of resource investment and to identify where those resources are dedicated. The review will also look for opportunities to be better coordinated.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 10.40.21 PM

And here’s the rest of the email trail:

Campus Communicators,
Please see the information shared below from UO President Scott Coltrane to the leadership team about a review of campus marketing and communications efforts to occur during spring term. Many of you will likely hear from Tim Clevenger about next steps. As indicated below, the intent is to determine levels of resource investment and to identify where those resources are dedicated. The review will also look for opportunities to be better coordinated.

The information is also on AroundtheO:


From: Interim President Coltrane
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 3:01 PM
To: Exec Leadership Team
Subject: Review of Campus Marketing and Communications


As part of our overall effort to become more efficient throughout our campus, I have directed Vice President Michael Andreasen to launch an internal review and assessment of our campus marketing and communication efforts. Among his charges are to determine our levels of resource investment and to identify where those resources are dedicated. If there are inefficiencies in our communications and marketing areas, we need to address them and make the necessary changes, never sacrificing the quality of work. In addition, Mike, along with Tim Clevenger, will examine how our campus communication efforts can be better coordinated.

When we returned to the University Advancement model in 2013, a similar review resulted in annual expenditure savings of $1.5 million, which was redirected to support faculty research endeavors.

During this review, which I expect to be completed by the end of the spring term, I have directed Human Resources to suspend and freeze all open and proposed communications and marketing-related job postings and placements. However, with approval from the Provost, select positions can move forward on an as-needed basis.

Thank you for your dedication to our public mission and for your assistance and support with this important effort. If you have thoughts and recommendations on this review process and/or regarding our overall communications efforts, I encourage you to reach out to Mike or Tim.


Scott Coltrane
Interim President


  1. Working GTF 03/18/2015

    “information will be collected through conversations to determine levels of resource investment and to identify where those resources are dedicated. The review will also look for opportunities to be better coordinated.”

    This is…a sublime piece of corporate nonsense. I mean, I’m not even mad; I’m actually impressed.

    • Not Anonymous 03/18/2015

      Sounds like some folks are about to get fired.

  2. concerned PI 03/18/2015

    Ooh, I really like the line about a previous effort resulting in $1.5 M being ‘redirected to support faculty research endeavors.’ Yes, yes, please!!! Faculty research that supports graduate students and undergraduates and enhances UO metrics and keeps us an R1 institution. Please redirect!

  3. anon 03/18/2015

    Man. You UO administrators just suck. You suck at your jobs. Like, really. You suck.

  4. Ugh 03/18/2015

    More information would be great. A little advance warning would have been good too (especially for those actually doing the work). Let’s just hope they don’t send more money out of Oregon and out of the hands of Oregonians.

  5. Pitbull 03/18/2015

    Comes off to me like an academic posing as a hard nosed businessman. Lillis probably directed Coltrane to do more with less, which is a superb idea and very doable. Sack Klingon and a few others and hire freelancers to write remotely. They can surely do better.

    • uomatters Post author | 03/18/2015

      Given that Coltrane is letting Tim Clevenger review his own department, I’m guessing that his $210K job is safe.

      • UO Servant 03/19/2015

        Let’s hope staff making a fifth of that are safe too. Shameful.

  6. anonymous 03/20/2015

    Seen this? There’s always money for new VPs and consultants.

    Team –

    As you may recall, we recently undertook a comprehensive review of our public affairs communication processes, procedures, and organization. There were a number of recommendations that I will review in greater detail at our next team meeting. However, there were some significant recommendations we are going to begin to implement immediately that I wanted to highlight for you.

    – Portfolio Division
    While our team currently contains two major divisions – Public Affairs Communications and Marketing Communications – the complexity of the university and the numbers of issues we are managing demands that each division have a full-time AVP lead. We will be dividing my portfolio and posting for a new Associate Vice President of Public Affairs Communications. This person will be my counterpart, directing high-level strategy for our Public Affairs Communications team. I will then direct all of my attention towards our Marketing Communications and Brand Management efforts.

    – Communications Review
    A key recommendation is that we need far more coordination with all campus communications. The president will soon be announcing plans for a comprehensive review and assessment of all communication efforts on campus, including our centrally-generated efforts. The goal is to determine if we are efficiently delivering our communication efforts and, if so, whether we are effectively coordinating them. I will lead this assessment and hope to have a report complete by the end of June.

    With these changes and additional workload, I have asked Anna Richter Taylor with the Gallatin Group to assist me in managing our Public Affairs Communication strategic efforts. Anna has worked with the UO as our communications consultant for several years. She will be in Eugene on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from approximately 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. I will begin to handoff the management of certain public affairs issues to her, and will keep you posted as this takes place.

    Thank you for all your hard work with our communication endeavors, and for everything you do to make the UO stronger.

    All the best,


    • Disappointed Duck 03/20/2015

      This looks like a response to the UO’s recent string of media missteps. They need somebody who understands journalists. Tim Clevenger is an ad and marketing guy more comfortable with building brands than building rapport with reporters. His boss Andreasen is a fundraiser. A new hire to handle media and community relations might be a good thing for the university. That said, creating yet another AVP position is not a good way to start dealing with administrative bloat.

  7. And more transparency 03/20/2015

    Dear Campus Communicator,

    We are writing to ask for a few minutes of your time. By now you are probably aware that President Coltrane and his leadership team are planning to undertake a review and assessment of campus marketing and communications efforts during spring term 2015. The purpose of this review is to look for opportunities where we might better coordinate marking and communications efforts campus wide.

    We are members of a small working group from this year’s UO Financial Stewardship Institute, and we have been asked to help with the design and implementation of the first phase of this review. To that end, we have designed a short survey about the types and quantities of communications materials produced by your office, and how much staff time is involved in accomplishing that work. We estimate the survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete.

    Please take a few moments to respond to the survey, which you can access from the link below. We encourage you to use the free response fields as needed, as this project is still in its preliminary stages, and this survey tool is just a first step. Your feedback and comments will be helpful in refining the process.

    Please respond by 5 p.m. on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25th. Thank you in advance for your participation.

    The FSI small group team:

    Alison Mildrexler, Julia Heydon, Jamie Sandoval-Scott, Tom Akers, Bryan Dearinger, and David Diez Goicoechea

    Follow this link to the Survey:
    Take the Survey
    Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:

    Does that timing seem odd to anyone else?

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