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Former Interim Provost James C. Bean leaves for Northeastern job

Finally. This will save UO a lot of money:

From: James Bean
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2015 1:00 PM
To: LCB Faculty; LCB Staff
Subject: New Adventures


I have accepted an offer to become provost of Northeastern University in Boston beginning July 1, 2015. Northeastern presents a great opportunity to work with an excellent private institution that is redefining higher education as a collaboration with Boston, with industry and with the world. It has been on a steep rise over the past decade, improving in US News rankings within national universities from the 90s to #42 in the recent list. As some of you know, my son, a UO music composition graduate, begins a doctoral program in the Boston area this fall so we will have family there.

The LCB community has been a great home base these past 11 years. We are providing a fantastic education and experience to our students at all levels. Our success in tenuring three faculty this year shows that our research programs are developing as well. I thank all of you for your ongoing efforts on behalf of the College. In particular, I thank Dean Kees de Kluyver for providing me opportunities to contribute at UO after I stepped down as provost. Participating in the development of Sports Product Management, Sports Product Design, and the School of Applied Science has been very satisfying. I believe all of these will become major programs within UO in due time.

I wish the best for the College and the UO and look forward to witnessing future successes.

Go Ducks, Go Huskies (NEU not UW)!

Regards, Jim

For those Northeastern faculty and admins googling in, you can learn more about your new Provost by checking the tags below. Good luck.


  1. Fishwrapper 05/11/2015

    Yes, well, that was a good school…

  2. honest Uncle Bernie 05/11/2015

    Jim may be having the last laugh. Northeastern is a school that has risen from something like #162 to the #40’s in the U.S. News rankings. They were in serious trouble before starting their rise.
    Here’s an article about how they did it:

    You might say, kind of cheesy, but hey, Ducks branding is not exactly haute cuisine either. As they used to say in Pa-ree, “Let them Eat Brie and Live and Let Live.”

    I wish Jim Bean well. Though I hardly knew him, he always struck me as a decent guy who didn’t deserve the ample abuse he got, especially from a certain website.

    Maybe he’ll lead Northeastern to a spot in the AAU — if a certain school in the Northwest loses its tenuous grip there and finally falls into the oblivion of being the #2 school in Oregon.

    • anonec 05/12/2015

      Are you implying Jim Bean did all the years an inside job at UO and is now officially joining Norheastern?

      • honest Uncle Bernie 05/12/2015


    • uomatters Post author | 05/12/2015

      Fascinating article, thanks Bernie.

  3. Abaysed 05/11/2015

    We have a School of Applied Science? That must be where applied math and statistics get taught. About fucking time for an AAU flagship university.

    • uomatters Post author | 05/12/2015

      It must have been Jim’s sixth Big Idea.

    • AppliedSciencePerson 05/12/2015

      The development of the School of Applied Science was a ongoing effort that went from being directed to propose something aligned with a $500 million donation, to then being scaled back to $50 million, and finally just being encouraged to submit a cluster hire proposal. Which was rejected.

    • cdsinclair 05/12/2015

      Sadly the math department has no interest in applied math. Indeed, our only applied mathematician was canned during mid-term review for not publishing in distinguished enough math journals (because he was publishing in distinguished applied math journals, though nobody bothered to check on that). There’s still some hope that the provost office will see through the department’s, um bigotry, to all thing applied, but unless this happens don’t expect a lot of applied/stats classes around here.

  4. sigh 05/12/2015

    Northeastern person here (low on the totem pole). Just what are we in for? When you google Jim Bean you get your (UOMatters) blog first….not the kind of Google results I’d hope for in a new provost. Read through some of the posts you’ve tagged him in…can you give me the $1 version of what occurred? Seems like he was ineffectual and faculty threatened a no-confidence vote if he wasn’t returned to the teaching ranks? Is that a good summary?

    What’s his operating style? Anything in particular he did (or didn’t do) that was the final straw or particularly egregious?

    Thanks from Boston.

    • Fishwrapper 05/12/2015

      Don’t worry – he won’t be able to touch hockey. Matthews Arena should be safe…

    • uomatters Post author | 05/12/2015

      An empty suit with lots of buzzwords and plans, but no follow-through. Made some bad hiring decisions. No big scandal I know of, unless you count his sabbatical. He just did a consistently bad job. The faculty got fed up, and the president and the senior administrators wouldn’t defend him. He went back to the business school, supposedly to teach, but the dean kept giving him admin sinecures. Are you sure your search committee did their due diligence?

    • honest Uncle Bernie 05/12/2015

      dear sigh — my take can be found above. I hope Northeastern is not as dysfunctional as the University of Oregon has become. Bean was provost during an extremely nasty time of disarray in the top administration, bad relations with the state of Oregon, and very bad relations between the UO faculty and administration. I don’t blame him for much of that. My advice, for what it’s worth: calm down, give him a chance. Destroying another administrator will not help you.

      • uomatters Post author | 05/12/2015

        Honest Uncle Bernie is often the voice of wisdom on this blog.

        • Dr. Funkenstein 05/12/2015

          Does that mean he’s right about this?

          • Fishwrapper 05/12/2015

            Don’t know if he’s right, but his words are wise…

    • think about it 05/12/2015

      And for all of you out there who have asked ‘What damage does UOM do?” You need only look at this post where and individual at Northeastern finds UOM rags as the first thing to come up on an internet search. This is true of other folks he has targeted as well. This is real damage folks.

      • p-diddy 05/12/2015

        Damage? How about the damage inflicted on others by JH et al.? UO is the only community college left in the AAU and the rats are fleeing for safer places to eat brie and croissants.

      • dog 05/12/2015

        If UOM really had this power, that would be scary, Its a fuckin’ blog, just like thousand of other ##$$@! blogs. Readers need to process and reflect information a lot more, and react to it a lot less.

        Keep up the good work, UOM.

      • Anas Clypeata 05/12/2015

        What damage? They googled him, found the UOM posts, presumably read them with a big grain of salt, checked references, and hired him anyway. Who exactly is damaged in this situation?

        • Sun Tzu 05/13/2015

          Damage? How about our responsibility to our colleagues at NEU and elsewhere? We lived through years of a self-serving mediocre provost who continually misled the faculty about the allocation of university resources, the promise of faculty raises, the hiring of TTF to balance the massive increase in undergrads, administrative hyper-expansion and their associated costs and auxiliary expenses such as athletics and campus police to name but a few. Throughout his tenure Bean tried his best to circumvent faculty governance by following the University Constitution as little as possible and eliminating the faculty voice from university policy making. Most importantly and sadly Bean exhibited neither leadership nor an academic vision. And his willingness to attack and strike back at faculty who publicly voiced disapproval of his decisions was legendary. Yes, UO is much better off without him and we could keep quiet. However we have a greater responsibility to alert our academic colleagues about the problems we had with our former provost in the hope they will not be repeated anywhere else. My advice to NEU faculty: give him time to demonstrate he has an academic vision and is willing to work together with NEU faculty to achieve your institutional academic goals. But don’t give him much time and get rid of him quickly if he begins to repeat the mistakes he made here. On the plus side, he delights in gadgets and loved showing off his new iPad.

          • Fishwrapper 05/13/2015

            Love those iPads.

  5. uomatters Post author | 05/12/2015

    Real damage and/or real information?

    The post they found is

    It’s about the UO Senate’s 25-2 vote to make President Gottfredson finally do a performance review of Bean:

    Bean announced his resignation a week later.

    Presumably Bean disclosed all this to the hiring committee, and in any case isn’t it a good thing for his new colleagues to have some information about his past performance?

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