Incoming President Schill begins Johnson Hall reorganization

June 16, 2015

Executive Leadership Team (ELT)
Academic Leadership Team (ALT)
President’s Office Staff
Johnson Hall Staff

Interim President Scott Coltrane
Incoming President Michael Schill

RE: Reporting Lines and Organizational Structure

Colleagues, As you are all aware, this is a truly transformational time for the University of Oregon.

We have completed a very successful — albeit challenging — year and we are a stronger institution for it.

As we prepare for the upcoming transition in the president’s office, we are taking steps to modify the organizational structure in ways that we hope will prove highly beneficial as we move rapidly forward towards meeting our collective goals.

Some of the changes are designed to streamline reporting relationships and make us more nimble, while others will help sharpen our focus. Unless otherwise noted, all changes will be effective on July 1.

First, the vice presidents for enrollment management, equity and inclusion and student life will begin a direct reporting relationship to the president.

The vice president for research and innovation will continue to report to the provost.

Greg Stripp will serve as the chief of staff and senior advisor to the president.

Greg Rikhoff will continue as assistant vice president and will become interim senior assistant to the provost. He will provide leadership on critical issues during the administrative transition and help with the coordination of multiple dean searches.

As we look to better direct resources during this transition period, a number of other changes will take place:

• Nancy Fish will serve as projects manager in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, reporting to Brooke Freed, interim director of operations and chief of staff. Nancy’s administrative experience at the UO will be utilized to help with transition projects related to the academic portfolio, including searches for key academic leadership positions;

• Dave Hubin will transition from the Office of the President into the Office of Academic Affairs where he will be able to focus his expertise and work on accreditation matters, including a new mission fulfillment demonstration project in which we are engaged with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities;

• Michelle Jones, McMorran House coordinator, will begin reporting to Kelley Kline, McMorran House events manager, in the Office of Stewardship and Public Events;

• Chuck Triplett, assistant vice president for university initiatives and collaboration, will have dual reporting to the president and the provost, and will be housed in the Office of Senior Vice President and Provost;

• Betina Lynn, executive coordinator for the university senate and statutory faculty in the Office of the President, will report to Triplett;

• Marilyn Skalberg, will transition from a web and project coordinator position in the president’s office to become initiatives and collaboration manager in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, and will also report to Triplett; and

• The Office of Public Records will transfer from the Office of the President to the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel when the now advertised position is filled. Lisa Thornton, public records officer, will report to the president’s chief of staff in the meantime.

We look forward to working side-by-side with each of you as we usher in a new era of excellence at the University of Oregon.

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18 Responses to Incoming President Schill begins Johnson Hall reorganization

  1. SaveUofO says:

    Hopefully positive change in GC will be made and public records will finally get straightened out. Too bad Governor Brown doesn’t step in and regain control. ot too sure how I feel about UofO having a board now.

  2. Sun Tzu says:

    Most of these changes are minor. One is not: since when did the Senate Executive coordinator report to the administration and not to the Senate leadership? Not when the senate leadership established this position a half dozen years ago. The position was and still is paid for by Senate funds and was established specifically to avoid administrative “spies” on the Senate exec and other committees. Before the Senate took over the responsibility and control of this position, Gwen Steigelman from Academic Affairs was the person in this position for many years and in general she did an excellent job. However she did repeatedly report to Lorraine Davis and John Moseley on private Senate discussions and viewpoints. If the Senate is to maintain its independence, it needs to have complete control over its staff including the Senate executive coordinator. I hope the current Senate President and Senate VP insist that Senate staff positions are controlled by and report to the Senate Leadership.

    • uomatters says:

      Hmm, that is interesting.

    • Dumpster Fire says:

      There are private Senate discussions? What happened to transparency?

      • Sun Tzu says:

        Transparency is alive and well in the Senate, something that cannot be said of the Administration. All Senate committees with a few exceptions (e.g., FPC, ARC and for the moment the FAC) are mandated by the Senate Open meetings motion to be open to the public including administrators who never attend such meetings unless they are ex-officio committee members (and in some cases don’t attend even when ex-officio, e.g., the IAC). In actuality it is very rare for anyone outside committee members to attend Senate committee meetings. This is quite different than having a Senate Executive Coordinator who as part of their job attends committee meetings and reports on those meetings to the Administration. Shared governance cannot function properly when the Senate paid staff are actually working for the administration. It is a simple conflict of interest.

    • Old Man says:

      UO Constitution created the position.
      “1.5.1 The Statutory Faculty shall employ an Executive Coordinator, who shall report to the University President, and whose responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, generating and maintaining public records, including a website, of all activities of the Statutory Faculty. In addition, the Executive Coordinator shall organize elections by the Statutory Faculty. This position is ex-officio and non-voting. Should the University Senate President and Vice President so desire, the Executive Coordinator for the Statutory Faculty may also fill the position of Executive Coordinator for the University Senate, which shall include, but not be limited to, the obligation to report to the University Senate President and Vice President. The position of Executive Coordinator for the University Senate is ex-officio and non-voting.”
      The Governance Committee was unable to get a separate, paid position for the Senate.
      However, it seems to me that the primary concern is whether the Senate Executive Secretary has the time to serve the Senate effectively. In a “transparent system”, such as we yearn for, who the ExecSec talks to is not a problem.

  3. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Hope he pays attention to UO student recruiting. I keep hearing stories that OSU is now far outpacing UO in attracting top Oregon students. Does UO still have top GPA? Top SAT’s? A critical “metric” for staying in the AAU. Yet it is hardly ever discussed, nor are UO recruiting efforts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Regarding in-state students:

      OSU’s average incoming GPA is 3.59:

      UO’s average incoming GPA is 3.58:

      May have to dig a bit deeper regarding the SAT scores as I’m not seeing it readily available on OSU’s website.

      • honest Uncle Bernie says:

        Excellent! Several hundred high achievers from Oregon high schools. Almost twice as many going to OSU as UO. (And most of them NOT going to the usual suspects like Stanford, etc.)

        OSU has tiny bit higher incoming GPA, larger enrollment than UO (including online), much larger Oregon contingent.

        It is hard to keep calling UO the “flagship.”

        If UO gets dumped from AAU, it will be impossible.

      • Oryx says:

        Here you go:

        Oregon State U 2014-15
        25th Percentile 75th Percentile
        SAT Critical Reading 480 610
        SAT Math 500 620
        SAT Writing 460 590

        SAT Critical Reading 490 610
        SAT Math 500 620
        SAT Writing 490 600

        Almost identical! (We’re very slightly ahead.) I very strongly agree with Uncle Bernie that recruiting top students should be a high priority — we really undersell the opportunities here for student research and other such things that should attract bright, hard-working students.

        • honest Uncle Bernie says:

          Interesting figures, thanks. UO used to be modestly but clearly ahead of OSU. Now the advantage is an almost indistinguishable shade.

          And keep in mind that UO is well behind such AAU competitors as Kansas and Iowa and Colorado, even behind the likes of Oklahoma.

          All of this has been well-known for decades, but little remarked and little movement to remedy.

          • uomatters says:

            It’s shocking, but the parents of top undergraduates just don’t seem to want them to send them to a football factory party school. We should be offsetting that bad image with cash scholarships for National Merit Scholars, etc. Boost our US News rank, like the Law School is doing (with $10M in general fund money.) Instead UO is pissing away money on an expensive “What the If” branding campaign. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that this will have zero impact on the enrollment decisions of top scholars.

          • honest Uncle Bernie says:

            uomatters — I might graciously put it as “complement” rather than “counter” the image. But generally I agree.

            example: What would it cost to give 15 of those top Oregon students who are going to OSU a free ride at UO? Approximately 15 x 20K = $300K. Even less, because UO is probably already offering them quite a bit.

            So — $300K/yr to maintain Oregon bragging rights (and Oregon public goodwill too, for what that is worth).

            OK — somewhat simplistic as usual — actually $1.2M for four years of classes, etc etc — but the point is clear.

            A quick effect, a lot cheaper and more effective than putting up billboards all over LA etc advertising the UO lifestyle.

            Why not try to “buy” all of Oregon’s National Merit finalists? It works for por ol Oklahoma why not Oregon? (Oklahoma — the school where the football coach famously said he wanted a U. the team could be proud of) — here’s the dope on their national merit program — kind of corny — but hey, what do you do in the dustbowl? —


            Surely UO does not lack the competitive juices — the software wizardry — the animal spirits?

            Is this marketing science, or even rocket science? It strikes me as no-brainer.

          • uomatters says:

            Unfortunately 160over90’s commission is based on the number of bus advertisements, and not on the number of merit scholars.

        • Daffy duck says:

          Some of the in state rivalry issues relate to 1 OSU has broader set of engineering and applied science majors to attract strong students in those fields. 2 UO has been much more aggressive in making attendance more affordable for pell eligible students than OSU has, and the academic metrics for these students are on average a bit weaker than the norm. 3 UO budget model places zero weight on the academic merit and diversity of incoming students by declared major, so for example, recruiting a national merit scholar to x major is no more lucrative than recruiting a barely admitted student to y major.

          • honest Uncle Bernie says:

            Some of that is largely beyond the control of UO — though I’ll bet a $400 million gift for applied science would make a splash, as it recently did for Harvard, another place not known for its engineering. The rest of what you say has to do with incentives, goals, and aspirations. Very good point about the budget model. That’s why the whole question of academic ability of students needs the attention of the top leadership.

            For at least 15 years, I’ve heard concern about the AAU. One of the places where we are vulnerable there is apparently the standing of our student body — very unimpressive SAT scores, etc. So it is almost literally a no-brainer to pay attention to this, make it a priority. If it has ever been so, I haven’t heard about it; and if it has been, there sure don’t seem to be much in the way of results. UO could have done more than simply ignore the issue or simply throw up its hands. And, more than make an offhand wish that enrollment management somehow come up with an abler student body. It’s probably not too late, especially with some competitive-minded donors who seem to have some interest in the place?

  4. numnum says:

    and what his salary becomes when he steps down….

  5. Anonymous says:

    wake me up when schill replaces coltrane

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