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Architecture profs sue Dean Christoph Linder for age discrimination

Daily Emerald reporters Michael Tobin and Zach Price have the scoop here, read it all. Some snippets:

Three University of Oregon professors associated with the university’s Portland architecture program are suing UO and College of Design Dean Christoph Lindner for just under $4.3 million, alleging that Lindner and the university engaged in age discrimination and retaliation as well as breach of contract, according to court documents.

Professors Warren Gerald GastHans Joachim Neis and Donald Genasci, born in 1944, 1947 and 1938, respectively, all worked as architecture professors at the UO architecture program in Portland. According to the individual complaints filed by the professors, they “were the oldest three faculty members in the Portland Architecture program in 2017 and 2018.” [UOM: Click names for pdfs of the complaints, which are worth reading.]

The complaints say that the three professors received notices in May 2017 from Lindner notifying them that they would be relocated from Portland to the UO’s Eugene campus. The two other Portland architecture faculty members, who were under 60-years-old, were not asked to leave, according to the complaints.

… The complaints say that Lindner wanted the reassignment because the Portland program “needed ‘new energy’” and was “stale.” According to the complaints, Lindner “was motivated by his desire for ‘new blood’” and that the “‘reassignment’ had ‘nothing to do with budget.’”

The university disagrees with the claims made in the lawsuits, according to an email statement from UO spokeswoman Molly Blancett.

“As noted in their complaints, they filed similar claims with the Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI), and those claims were dismissed,” Blancett wrote on Friday. “In light of the pending litigation, we are unable to provide additional information at this time but will address the allegations in the court proceedings.” …

“Unable to provide additional information”? Come on. The university administration has regularly provided additional information about litigation, when they think it will help them.


  1. Julian Carlton 02/09/2019

    “New blood” is a technical term of art that dates back to the Roman’s use of Ox blood in mixing the concrete for the dome of the Pantheon. I’m sure the judge will recognize that Dean Lindner’s use of this phrase has nothing to do with age discrimination or a desire to replace tenured faculty with underpaid adjuncts to save money for his other projects.

  2. honest Uncle Bernie 02/10/2019

    Oh boy. Did he really use the term “new blood”? What a dope! Was he deliberately trying to give evidence against himself for an age discrimination suit?

    Don’t we pay the Equity and Inclusion bureaucrats enough to train the other highly paid bureaucrats not to make public blunders like this?

    At least, nobody in the UO admin has a blackface incident lurking in their past, or sexual assault accusations. Right?

  3. honest Uncle Bernie 02/10/2019

    Another thing: the innocent reader should be aware that neither Julian nor Henry is playing with a full deck. Henry’s pretty wife Evelyn found that out the hard way. Or ask Frank.

    I bring this up not to name drop, but because I got to know all these people pretty well, and know what they are capable of. All except Evelyn, who was a victim, and probably innocent at that. (Her picture says a lot.)

    This stuff is at a level far above what is ever likely to bedevil UO Architecture.

  4. Mary 02/10/2019

    This is stupid. As a student I want to listen to professors. Not Dinosaurs!

    • uomatters Post author | 02/10/2019

      If you’re a current UO student I’m a professor of paleontology.

      • Anonymous 02/10/2019

        and he has 35 mm slides to prove it …

  5. oldtimer 02/11/2019

    Evidence on new versus old blood in the classroom from a randomized experiment? Teaching experience is negatively related to student evaluations but positively related to academic performance in follow on courses. Google does professor quality matter? For the study and explanation.

    • uomatters Post author | 02/11/2019

      Thanks, oldtimer.

      Quoting from this paper,

      Results show that there are statistically significant and sizable differences in student achievement across introductory course professors in both contemporaneous and follow‐on course achievement. However, our results indicate that professors who excel at promoting contemporaneous student achievement, on average, harm the subsequent performance of their students in more advanced classes. Academic rank, teaching experience, and terminal degree status of professors are negatively correlated with contemporaneous value‐added but positively correlated with follow‐on course value‐added. Hence, students of less experienced instructors who do not possess a doctorate perform significantly better in the contemporaneous course but perform worse in the follow‐on related curriculum.

      Student evaluations are positively correlated with contemporaneous professor value‐added and negatively correlated with follow‐on student achievement. That is, students appear to reward higher grades in the introductory course but punish professors who increase deep learning (introductory course professor value‐added in follow‐on courses). Since many U.S. colleges and universities use student evaluations as a measurement of teaching quality for academic promotion and tenure decisions, this latter finding draws into question the value and accuracy of this practice.

      You may need to be on campus to get the full paper:

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