President Schill to hold Campus Conversation on UO realignment

April 12, 3PM in the Paul Olum Atrium in Willamette Hall. From Around the O:

UO President Michael Schill is inviting the University of Oregon community to participate in a campus conversation focused on the university’s strategic objectives and priorities. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12, at 3 p.m. in the Paul Olum Atrium in Willamette Hall.

Schill will talk about the priorities and strategies needed to help the UO secure its place among the pre-eminent public research universities in the United States. His presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

“I am very enthusiastic about the positive reaction I have received from faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends about the plans we have announced over the first nine months of my tenure as president,” Schill said. “But I understand that change can be challenging, so I want to provide our campus the opportunity to talk about the important work still ahead.”

Over the past several months, Schill has held question-and-answer sessions on multiple occasions with the University Senate and the faculties and staffs of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, Lundquist College of Business, College of Education, School of Journalism and Communication, School of Law, Clark Honors College and School of Music and Dance. He has done the same with College of Arts and Sciences department chairs in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

The university recently completed its strategic framework process, is in the midst of a budgeting allocation alignment effort, is hiring five academic leaders and is nearing the midpoint of its $2 billion fundraising goal. Schill said he will address those and other initiatives as part of his remarks.

 “We have a historic opportunity to elevate this university in ways that serve students, the state and our nation, as well as benefit the greater good by educating future generations and producing knowledge,” Schill said. “We must change, adapt and align our operations and resources with our goals if we are to achieve our lofty aspiration and continue to meet our mission as a pre-eminent public research university.”

The Office of the President will send Schill’s invitation to everyone on campus at the start of spring term.

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14 Responses to President Schill to hold Campus Conversation on UO realignment

  1. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Wonder what Schill will say about tuition. I think they are close to pricing themselves into a downward spiral. They can’t keep pulling stuff like this every year. A student had a nice piece in the RG a couple weeks back explaining how UO doesn’t really care about controlling tuition. I think the student was mostly correct. I don’t often say this about student complaints.

    Schill is probably right about wanting senior faculty in more of the intro courses. They do this at the likes of Berkeley, Harvard, UCLA in the areas I am familiar with. Maybe he thinks will enable and justify much higher tuition. I would not bet ranch. This place is not UCLA.

    • Dog says:

      the surest way to get some of us still research active senior faculty to bale the UO is to make us teach brain dead intro classes …

      I too have colleagues, in many areas, at Berkeley, Harvard and UCLA –
      except for the innate shownmanship of some of them, most all can’t stand being assigned to an intro class and if they are, they simply off load it to the TAs ….

      • honest Uncle Bernie says:

        I don’t know what field you are in. As I say, I know many people in my field who do this. Research active, some of them very well known. I can look them up on ratemyprofessor and they indeed teach their classes.

        When you say they “off load it to the TAs” do you mean the TAs actually do the lectures? In my field, if they tried that, these professors would get demolished. If your colleagues are really off-loading the intro courses — which bring in most of the money to run the department at probably all public universities and most privates — I’d say they’re not upholding their responsibility, to put it mildly. It could even be said that they’re ripping off the students. Maybe that has something to do with the drop in public support for higher education, at least public higher education.

        At good schools, again in my field, the departments have set things up so that teaching the intro classes isn’t a killer — the structure and apparatus — including NTTF staff — keeps that from happening. It may not be the greatest fun for most people, but my pals pitch in and do it. Some of them even find that they have a good time. Who knows, maybe there are even incentives for them to do a good job.

        Wouldn’t that be something at UO?

        • Dog says:

          no by “off loading” I mean almost all of the grading and interaction with students and sometimes much of the course preparation is
          done by the GTFs or the course is exclusively recycled material. Formally a TTF is the instructor of record in these classes, which seems is all that matters. In any event, in my department, there is not much interest on part of the TTFs to teach large intro classes; note that my department has one of lowest amount of proportionate SCHS taught
          by instructors.

        • Anonymous says:

          Honest Uncle Bernie compares teaching large undergraduate classes at Berkeley, Harvard and UCLA to doing the same at UO. Honestly Uncle Bernie…

          The fact is that this is a change from current practice and it will have a negative effect on faculty retention and recruiting (not teaching those classes is something that my department sells to faculty recruits…oops). How negative will it be? I guess we’ll find out.

          • uomatters says:

            It’s mixed. We’ve hired plenty of TTF’s who enjoy the large lectures and are very good at them.

          • Dog says:

            geez UO matters

            that statement is completely non-quantitative and wreaks of apple pie syndrome.

            In my department, of the last 15 hires, precisely 0 (while maybe1 so le’ts call it 1/2 the way that economists round) “enjoy” large lecture classes.

          • just different says:

            I don’t know what apple pie syndrome is, but I can provide more anecdotal support for Dog’s point of view. Pres Schill recently wondered what was being done to the poor students in a particular course, and I can tell you firsthand: I have heard several faculty members–some of whom now hold administrative positions–express the opinion that teaching the huge lecture classes was an enormous chore and they didn’t really care what happened to those students because they expected a huge fraction of them to fail anyway.

      • Anonymous says:

        For full disclosure, Dog is in charge of teaching schedules in his department, and has not taught a large lecture class in decades. Rather than off loaded to GTF’s, he off loads to adjuncts. This sounds like the 1% complaining about high taxes.

        • Dog says:

          Yes, it is true that I do not teach classes larger than about 100 students. I have, in writing from 1998, an agreement with then dean Joe Stone about this. My reasoning a) I am a terrible teacher in those kinds of classes (still terrible in other classes, just less so) , b) if I can’t know each individual student in a class then
          I am just spewing to anonymous faces. For b) the number seems to be N=90 or so to meet that requirement.

          I have taught plenty of Gen Ed 101 classes, just not the mass lecture variety.

          But really, this is all besides the main point – which is simple and two fold:

          1) The Mass Lecture is a poor vehicle (oodles of data support this) – we just do it for low cost of instruction.

          2) In my experience, this kind of teach assignment does tend to burn out most faculty,

          While I understand why the Mass Lecture exists (which I believe in terms of content can be duplicated ON line) to me, true academic reform would be to eliminate this legacy,

          On large classes, to wit:

          https://www.timeshighereducation.com/teaching-intelligence-it-is-possible-to-avoid-the-negative-mass-effects/422387.article

          Now I do understand the performance art issue related to large classes (I have none of these skills – so naturally suck) and some faculty certainly are showcases in this regard.

  2. Calamity Jane says:

    You weren’t here then, but perhaps the Paul Olum link was intentionally ironic? Olum was president during UO’s 1980’s budget crisis. He slashed administrative costs and overhead to protect the faculty and maintain and even increase academic quality. Mike Schill should read that history.

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