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Acting Provost Frances Bronet to leave UO for Illinois Tech

We’ll miss her – one of the few bright lights in the UO administration. A hint to her new colleagues: Bronet ends with a hard t.

From: “President’s Office” <[email protected]> Subject: Acting Provost Bronet leaving the UO
Date: May 5, 2015 at 9:03:18 AM PDT

Campus Community,

It is always bittersweet when a respected colleague accepts a new opportunity, and today we have exactly that, as France Bronet, acting provost and senior vice president, accepts the role of provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Frances has been a great friend to me since I joined the university in 2008. Her counsel has been invaluable, particularly during my time as interim president.

Since accepting the deanship in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts in 2005, Frances has earned the respect of the entire campus community. A tireless advocate for faculty, she has done a fantastic job as provost, leading the charge on our strategic planning efforts, while meeting the day-to-day challenges of the university with passion and professionalism.

The timing of this change will coincide with the arrival of our incoming president, Michael Schill, and my return to the role of provost. I fully anticipate a smooth transition.

Brook Muller, acting dean in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, will remain in his role until a national search is conducted.

The loss that Frances’ departure represents to the University of Oregon cannot be overstated. Her contributions have been many and we will feel her lasting impact for years to come.

Please join me in congratulating Frances Bronet on her new role. We thank her for her dedication and her friendship.

Sincerely, Scott Coltrane

Interim President

What sort of search did IIT run? One dominated by their faculty:

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 11.59.36 AM


  1. Patrick Phillips 05/05/2015

    Although we tended to operate in different spheres, I did occasionally have the chance to work with Frances. I was always inspired by her vision of what a university could be. She was always willing to think outside of the box.

    It is a shame that she never received the resources she needed to actually push her vision forward (quite the opposite actually), although I guess the same could be said for all of us.

    She will be sorely missed.

  2. SaveUofO 05/05/2015

    Get use to good people leaving. The smart ones will leave.

    • Max Powers 05/05/2015

      Yes they will. I have a good friend in executive leadership at another institution of higher ed in Oregon and he said “I don’t know anyone in their right mind who would take an admin job at the U of O.” After reading this blog and what goes on I have to agree. Strikes me that things are toxic right now.

  3. that effing Dog again 05/05/2015

    Congratulations to Frances for finally being able to get the hell out of here. Her frustration was endless and her vision was, indeed, boundless. Her time at the UO served as a great suppressor of that vision – hopefully her new position allows for some resurrection.

  4. Johnsson Haller 05/05/2015

    This is looking too much like rats fleeing a sinking ship…….better hire another VP of PR & BS to provide an image of false hope for the new round of suckers/hires.

    • smart kitty 05/05/2015

      “Talent Acquisition” anyone?

  5. Patrick Phillips 05/06/2015

    While the “sinking ship” narrative is a obvious tact to take, especially on this website and especially since we are losing some of our best (Frances and Barbara Altman), what exactly do people expect. Scott will be moving back to provost here, and Frances is able to take a permanent provost position at a school that is a terrific match to her skills and background. Barbara was able to move from an associate provost (with duties that were fairly joyless) to be provost at a very fine institution. These moves would likely be happening no matter what was going on at the UO.

    Look at our own new president, who is moving from dean at a top 10 school to be president at a top 100 school. Such is the life of upwardly mobile administrators.

    That being said, the faculty penchant to hate all administrators but still somehow want to recruit good administrators is certainly puzzling.

    • that effing Dog again 05/06/2015


      While I agree there is a faculty penchant, for me the issue is simple – we do not have an administration that a) makes the evolving academic mission of the UO its number on priority and b) cares about making investments/appointments to improve our research University competitiveness. So to me, its not an issue of good vs bad admins, its an issue of very skewed priorities.

    • Jack Straw Man 05/07/2015

      It’s pretty rich to blame faculty resentment of administrators entirely on a “penchant to hate,” as if said administrators were simply poor widdle victims of mean, nasty faculty…

      If there is a “penchant” among faculty at UO, it’s to care passionately about the academic mission of this university, and to demand that administrators put it first. This happens all too seldom.

  6. Dumpster fire 05/06/2015

    Just to clarify because you imply otherwise – our last provost search (the one that identified Coltrane) also had a search committee that was dominated by faculty.

    Illinois Tech???

    • that effing Dog again 05/06/2015

      Illinois Tech is a very good school – a mini version of Cal Tech

      • Dumpster Fire 05/07/2015

        A mini cal tech? Are we a mini Berkeley then?

  7. dog 05/07/2015

    we are certainly a mini something …

  8. Skip Heaton 07/29/2015

    Though no CalTech, IIT (Illinois Tech) is a very solid school but has some financial difficulties that it is now working through. It’s maybe like Harvey Mudd/Stevens or more like a smaller Case Western. She is probably attracted to it because she knows the President quite well and it is a well-renowned architecture school. I am an outsider, but U of O could be a wonderful school with the right mindset. The northwest is growing and needs more premier schools.

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