Update: Coltrane wants the right sort of people to run for the Senate

Apparently Coltrane sent out emails from his personal account last night, encouraging select faculty to run for the Senate. If you didn’t get the email, I guess your President thinks you’re the wrong sort of person for the Senate. If you want to run anyway, the official link to nominate yourself for the Senate, FAC, and other important committees is here: https://oregon.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_77hfWNdQDtOoONL

Someone sent me a copy of Coltrane’s email fifth hand, which shows where I rank – 5 degrees of separation. I’m no math professor, but my Erdos number is better than that.

From: Scott Coltrane <[email protected]>
Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 9:18 PM
Subject: Senate remarks and election

Dear Colleagues,
   My remarks to the Senate today focused on shared governance and rebuilding trust.
I encourage you to share my comments with colleagues so that we might encourage as many faculty as possible to run for senate offices in the current senate election cycle.  Having a wide range of faculty participating in the UO Senate and serving on important faculty committees is essential to shared governance at UO.


Update: Coltrane must have realized how problematic his selective email last night was. So this afternoon he sent off another one, from his official email account, to the entire UO list:

Date: April 9, 2015 at 1:32:52 PM PDT

From: “President’s Office” <[email protected]>

Subject: Supporting shared governance

Dear Colleagues,

The University of Oregon’s greatest asset is the people who work, teach, research, and learn on our campus. I hope you know that I, Provost Frances Bronet, and other members of administration appreciate your efforts to make this a great university and your commitment during both times of challenge and times of opportunity. Part of our ability to achieve our shared academic goal is to also commit fully to shared governance because a healthy, functioning faculty-administration relationship is paramount to our success.

Yesterday, I addressed the University Senate about how our relationship is not working for our mutual benefit and how Provost Bronet and I want that to change.  

I believe we all bear responsibility for this situation, and we must all work together to be part of the solution. In my address, I laid out how the current situation is counter-productive and threatens to derail our effort to enhance the academic mission of the university. I also offered some solutions to rebuild trust on campus and establish effective and productive shared governance. The full text of my remarks is here.

One way I believe we can strengthen shared governance is to have broader participation and greater representation from our faculty and staff on the University Senate and on administrative committees. The nomination process is underway and I encourage everyone on campus to consider serving the university by seeking election to the senate, serving on a senate committee, or by participating in the many strategic planning public sessions.

Frances Bronet and I pledge to do our part to champion shared governance and to work to rebuild trust on campus—and we hope more of you will join these efforts and help us achieve this goal by engaging in the University Senate during this election cycle.

Thank you for your work and commitment to this university. Please join us in the opportunity before us to work together and move our university forward.


Scott Coltrane
Interim President 

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16 Responses to Update: Coltrane wants the right sort of people to run for the Senate

  1. Erdos 2 says:

    Make a public records request for the email Coltrane sent out, so we can all see which faculty he trusts.

  2. best interest of the public says:

    He was dumb enough to put that in writing?

  3. curious says:

    Was this a faculty union or non-union member?

  4. Outsider says:

    Now this is a new low for the interim president. Trying to stack the senate as a way to avoid serious questions about administrative decisions. And he will return to provost? Pitiful.

    • uomatters says:

      I think you’re being a little harsh. Of course Coltrane wants to have supportive friends on the Senate. I don’t think that’s so bad.

      The part about blaming the Senate for the lack of trust in shared governance is pretty pathetic though.

      As of May we will be on our 6th UO President or Interim in 6 years: Frohnmayer, Lariviere, Berdahl, Gottfredson, Coltrane, and ?. Similar turnover in the rest of JH. Then there’s the GC’s office, the public records problems, the botched rape allegations followup, archivists, countersuing the survivor, HLGR and the hostile approach to union negotiations, etc. The faculty is to blame?

  5. question says:

    Nice old-timey image. Who’s caning whom in your analogy?

    • uomatters says:

      Click the link for the wikipedia entry.

      • question says:

        I know who’s caning whom in the image, but presumed that you intended it to apply to the current situation, somehow.

  6. Pollyanna says:

    Coulda been an honest mistake. But it sure doesn’t make Scott look ready for prime time.

    The content of Scott’s e-mail would be innocuous enough if he had just used the presidential prerogative of sending it to the whole faculty, as he now has. (Well, the version that went out to the whole faculty is longer and more detailed.) It’s the restricted recipient list that makes it yet another pratfall. Scott is inviting selected, presumably friendly, faculty to run for the Senate, after having blasted the Senate yesterday for failing to be open and trusting of the administration’s good intentions. And, for that matter, after admitting that “messaging” around the value of Senate service has long been an active disincentive to faculty to run. Here’s some new “messaging,” all right.

  7. owlish says:

    The Senate “isn’t working for HIS benefit” is what he means to say. He must think people don’t see through all this bs. It’s amusing the way he constantly draws Bronet into his statements as though they are co-parenting the University.

  8. just different says:

    This is one of those times where I start to feel bad for Scott Coltrane. Writing a few people from his personal account was ill-advised in the current climate, but I think it goes a bit far to say he was trying to stack the Senate. More likely he was trying to get his email taken seriously by making it personal instead of spamming the list. But I’d still like to know whom he sent it to.

  9. Cynic says:

    Quite every senate member is elected by the faculty, not the president. I am actually encouraged that a president took the time to encourage folks to stand for the senate, whoever they are. if the point was to get more people to stand for election, a personal email is much more effective than a broadside. In any event, We have much bigger problems than this one. By the way, I certainly did not get a personal email.

  10. Bat Girl says:

    For those of you who can’t stomach reading all 1,789 words in the speech (link here:
    http://president.uoregon.edu/content/senate-address-supporting-shared-governance), here is the cliff notes version:

    “Good afternoon.”

    Coltrane uses 1,527 (85% of the total) words to cover the list of problems with senate

    Summary: Blah, blah, blah, Bill, Bill, blah, blah, Bill, Bill, blah blah

    “I’ve laid out the problems but now let’s focus on solutions.”

    Coltrane provides a detailed explanation of how to solve the problem in 240 (13%) words!

    Summary: Blah, blah, , lack of trust, blah, blah, more people involved in the senate, blah blah

    “We have the opportunity to be a great university―together.”

  11. Thomas Aquinas says:

    Shoot – I got the short (first) version.

    I worry that’s a bad thing. Does that reflect on my character…?

    On a second note (quote from the Senate Address):
    “I am open to engaging faculty … … … ―but I do not appreciate receiving prescriptive legislative directives based on FAULTY INFORMATION ABOUT finances, organization and practices within our athletics department.”
    So what he says is – the senate acted on faulty information, because his minions are stonewalling every effort (among others by Dr. Harbaugh) to obtain comprehensive information about these issues in a timely manner? I hope it means he will make public records more easily available at least to senators, then….

    On a third note. Call me an a$$hole, but in my view we all work at an institution of higher education. To keep it simple it’s a school. Ok, Ok we do research, too. The AD is PART of that, – not a separate entity. I believe there’s even some degree of teaching going on, too, right (e.g. how to catch a ball, how to be respectful with the other gender(s) etc etc)? So in the loosest sense of the word, these are academics, too (LMAO – ooops sorry). At least they seem to see it that way, because the AD is still the AD of the UO, and not a spin-off professional sports enterprise. So with THAT premise ALL academic affairs are under the prerogative of the UO senate and yes it includes AD affairs. I don’t hear the AD saying “excuse us, we suck at academia, so please apply different rules to us than to everyone else (or do they?).
    On the contrary the senate should take control of MORE rather than less issues, because in the end ALL issues at a University are academic ones. AD included.