Senate and committee election news

The 20126 election results are here:

There are two runoff elections, due to ties.  Vote by Friday. Login to Duckweb at

University Senate: Only CAS Natural Sciences faculty will vote between

Elliot Berkman, Psychology:

When considering poverty, our national conversation tends to overlook systemic causes. Instead, we often blame the poor for their poverty. Commentators echo the claim that people are poor because they have bad self-control and therefore make nearsighted choices. But psychology research says the opposite might be the case: poverty makes it hard for people to care about the future and forces them to live in the present.

As a researcher who studies goals and motivation, I wanted to know how self-control works and if science can help us get better at it. Poverty seemed like a good place to start, because greater self-control could be especially helpful there. In fact, the federal Administration for Children and Families is adding character-skills training to its programs in efforts to improve self-control among children.

N. Christopher Phillips, Math:

Current interest: Examples of “quasilegitimate” spammers (real organizations or selling otherwise legitimate products) who ought to be blocked.

Links (to be expanded in the future):

Common errors in undergraduate mathematics (especially in calculus courses), and Errors made by calculators and computers (alternate link).

Research by academic economists at UCLA shows how Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” socialist policies turned a recession into a Great Depression:

UCLA press release.

Wall Street Journal article.

Scholarly article: New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis, by Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian, Journal of Political Economy, 2004, vol. 112, no. 4, pages 779–816. (Subscription may be required, but the link works from UO computers.)

Preprint of the paper (pdf; freely available).

From the press release: “New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago [1933] thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.” One of the biggest villains: “specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933”. In short, the Great Depression was a failure of socialism, not of capitalism.

Underpublicized political evil:

The Duke Lacrosse hoax/attempted frame. In particular, read here and here how 88 Duke faculty racists, from programs like Cultural Anthropology, History, Sociology, African and African-American Studies, and Women’s Studies, many of them academic frauds, formed a media lynch mob (example) against three white lacrosse players accused of a rape that never even happened. Read here about the egregious bias of many major media outlets, with the New York Times in a leading role. See Durham-in-Wonderland for much more information about many aspects of the case.

Partners in Hate: Chomsky and the Holocaust Deniers, Noam Chomsky’s politics exposed by Werner Cohn, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of British Columbia.

Chomsky Lies (about the Pol Pot genocide in Cambodia). Further documentation is in Chapter 3 of an undergraduate honors thesis in political science by Cambodian refugeeSophal Ear. Contrast what Noam Chomsky wrote with first person accounts of what really happened in Cambodia. …

Graduate Council: All faculty will vote between

Reza Rejaie, Computer & Information Science:

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Hailin Wang, Physics

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Senate VP / President Elect: 

At the May 25th Senate meeting Senators will vote for the Senate VP for the coming year, who will then be President the year after. There are two candidates so far:

Chris Sinclair, Math

The University Senate fulfills two important governance roles: passage of academic legislation and University policy, and as a forum where individuals can bring important issues to the attention of the University community. In the arena of academic matters, I would like to see the Administration more involved in the guidance of academic legislation considered by the Senate. I’d like the Administration to view the Senate as a partner in academic affairs, and I want to provide a mechanism by which they could help guide legislative priorities. For instance, towards the end of the academic year, the Senate could ask the Administration for a list of their academic priorities for the upcoming academic year. Senate and Administrative leadership could then spend the summer hashing out a mutually agreed upon slate of legislative priorities with benchmarks and parameters for passage in the upcoming year. Academic matters which I see as primary include reconsideration of our current general education requirements, on-line course policies, and the establishment of qualitative criteria which describe undergraduate letter grades. …

Rich Margerum, PPPM:

… I am running for several reasons. First, I believe it is important for the Senate to have choices and a healthy legislative body benefits from competition. Second, I care deeply about this university and its future and believe a strong Senate is critical in advancing the University of Oregon. Third, I would like to see increased participation, communication and collaboration between the Senate, its committees, its constituencies and the Administration. To this end, I would like to see broader participation in university committees, and believe it is important to determine how to reward this work and engage more people. Fourth, I believe the Senate has done a good job these past several years of taking a leadership role on some key substantive issues, and this leadership has made it more valuable to the university community. There are several other key policy areas I think the Senate needs to address, such as academic planning, equity and inclusion, and graduate enrollment. However, I hope we can engage the Senate itself in identifying and prioritizing a policy agenda. …

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