Random news and rumors: 13th street, Collier House, Tree Tops, Faculty Club

13th Street redesign meeting:

Feb. 7 with an open house to gather community feedback from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the EMU’s Lease Crutcher Lewis Room, with light refreshments provided.

Personally I’d rank this near the bottom of any list of how to best spend money, but whatever, I assume it’s just the start of what the IAAF 2021 championships are going to cost us.

Problematic Collier House and new classroom and office building:

Rumor has it that moving this misplaced ugly money pit is turning out to be more expensive than thought, and that they haven’t yet lined up the donors for the badly needed classroom and office building. So presumably my proposal that we donate Collier House to the ESFD for a fire training exercise is back on the table.

UO finally owns the lovely, historic Tree Tops mansion free and clear. While it would do nicely as the residence and offices of the Senate President, the long-rumored proposal to require all Duck football coaches and assistants to live there while reducing their salaries by $5M or so is the financially prudent one:

The Faculty Club will be open as usual this Wed and Th to facilitate discussion of these and other rumors:

Dear Colleagues,

The Faculty Club is open this week at the usual times (5-8 on Wednesday and Thursday).  On Wednesdays, why not pair a visit to the FC with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art’s weekly extended evening hours?  Enjoy some refreshments and then pop upstairs to see Monet’s painting of a snowy landscape at Giverny.  It’s the perfect scene for this week’s snowy weather, and the painting (a short-term loan from a private collector) is only up for a few more weeks.

Thursday we mark Bob Marley’s birthday; were “Tuff Gong” still with us, he’d be 74.  Our background music will thus be all Marley all the time.

Finally, a few days ago I spoke with a colleague who’s chairing a search committee.  He plans to bring their candidates around to Faculty Club to demonstrate what a convivial and collegial faculty we are.  All search committees should feel free to use us as supernumeraries, harnessing our cheerful vibe to the engine of recruitment!

Yours, James Harper
Chair of the Faculty Club Board


WHO: The UO Faculty Club is open to all UO faculty—tenure-track faculty, non-tenure-track faculty, library faculty, and OAs tenured in an academic department, as well as people retired from positions in these categories.  Eligible people may bring any guests they like.

WHAT: Cash Bar with beer, wine, liquor and non-alcoholic beverages; complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

WHERE: The Faculty Club meets in a designated room on the ground floor of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.  Enter at the museum’s main entrance and turn right; the club room is right off the lobby.

WHEN: Wednesdays & Thursdays 5:00-8:00 pm.  We will meet through the last week of classes in Fall Term (i.e. through November 29); activity will resume in the Winter and Spring terms.

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16 Responses to Random news and rumors: 13th street, Collier House, Tree Tops, Faculty Club

  1. Dog says:

    A lot of Universities have plaza like spaces (Red Square at the UW
    for example)

    UO really has none of significant scale

    Turning 13th into a traffic free tree lines plaza promenade running through the center of campus, to me, has always been
    a non-brainer.

    But then again so has been an above ground Parking Garage.

    However, at the UO we pride ourselves on being “quaint”

  2. ThisManHasNoDuck says:

    I’m starting to wonder if a Collier dropped one of Prof UOM’s ancestors on their head. Christ, compared to PLC, the Collier House is practically the Taj Mahal…

  3. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    I’m not sure UO really needs more classroom and office space, in the long term. With an applicant pool declining in size and perhaps quality — we are already seeing this — a continued gradual decline in enrollment seems likely. Oh, maybe the next recession will give us a reprieve. But in the long run, there may be excess space. Perhaps it can be rented out, to the Riverfront Research Park — remember that? — or the Knight Campus.

    Collier House is one of the few reminders of a more gracious time at UO. (But don’t forget the KKK.)

    I think the Treetops proposal has more going for it. Maybe there could be dorm rooms for the entire coaching staff. One room with beds for each sport. Perhaps they could rent it out nightly for Duck fans. A chance to sleep in the same room (not the same bed!) as Coach. I’m sure the fans and the coaches both would love this idea.

    • Dog says:

      what we need is BETTER classroom space and BETTER office space …

      afterall isn’t the Union supposed to help improve “working conditions” ?

  4. Baron Haussmann and Joseph Schumpeter says:

    The center of campus definitely needs something with more focus and something identifiably connected to and celebrating the role of the liberal arts in higher education.

    The intersection of 13th and University constitutes in my mind something more like an intellectual and emotional black hole. And yet there is now a real opportunity for creating something memorable.

    We agree that some kind of gracious portico that encourages people to stop and to talk, to enjoy a coffee, and to interact would be a blessing for all. Creative destruction may be relevant here.

    • stand-up duck says:

      A row of pillories would be eye-catching. And a good warning to those who might stray from current dogma.

      • Dog says:

        I think you mean pillories that contain members of the administration on a rotating basis …

  5. Hippo says:

    Now that the new unneccesary CAS admin building (yeah, there will be a few classrooms) is nearing completion, has anyone noticed how fugly this centrally located building is shaping out to be? I guess that is appropriate.

    • uomatters says:

      Sure it’s no Jock Box, but it’s a pretty nice building. And given the economics of compensating differentials these new corner offices will mean that UO can save money on pay and benefits for our next VPEI and the Dean of the College for Unwanted Children.

  6. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Hippo — unfortunately, it’s par for the course for architecture at UO, which while it may be the best in Eugene, is still pretty mediocre. As an old saying goes, in Eugene, “make it as expensive as you want, as long as it looks cheap.” (The whole state has always be architecturally challenged.) The main exceptions at UO have been the sports wonders — the Jock Box, the Arena, probably the new track facilities — which for my money (and I don’t have that much), are striking, but kinda weird, and not all that great.

    For a state of supposedly such great beauty, Oregon is shockingly lacking when it comes to aesthetics, with a few exceptions.

    • Hippo says:

      HUB: I agree Eugene is architecturally pretty much the ugliest place I have been, outside of some former Warsaw bloc countries. I also find this perplexing, given the surroundings.

      However, I disagree that Jaqua center etc are in any way inspiring buildings. They look simply Millenial corporate more than anything else. When I walk by, I wonder if I am on the campus of Allstate Insurance Co. rather than a University. Sure, they look expensive, but in this country the wealthy have some of the worst taste. (Look at the guided apartments of the current POTUS if you need examples.)

      • Hippo says:

        *gilded* not guided. Also for the historians, Warsaw Pact not Warsaw Bloc (but Eastern bloc). Friday afternoon beer posting.

        • honest Uncle Bernie says:

          Hippo — hope you enjoyed your beer — and, if you re-read my post, I didn’t exactly say anything about the Jock Box etc being inspiring — maybe chalk that up to the beer too!

          I don’t know much about the taste of President Trump. I wouldn’t expect too much. But — he is not really representative of today’s wealth. So, I would ask, what of note has been built by Bezos — he certainly has done a good job of destroying his marriage — Zuckerberg, Gates, the Google people? Nothing comes to mind, though I haven’t really thought about this until now. I would be surprised if Apple hasn’t done something of note.

          • Hippo says:

            HUB: Yeah, I *did* enjoy that beer. Just do a Google image search “Trump Apartment” for a taste.

            Re: architecture vs natural beauty: I recall Eugene’s terrible motto: “A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors”. Now is this a (great city for the outdoors) AND (a great city for the arts)? Surely not. A trip through a typical Friday Art Walk will quickly inform you of the awful level of art in this city, or try listening to the Eugene Symphony muddling its way through warn out war horses like Op 67 that the bored socialites in attendance demand make up the entire season’s programming. However, it may rank highly among all places given some fixed convex combination: like 85% outdoors and 15% arts.

          • Peter Keyes says:

            Amazon recently completed The Spheres:

            Apple has built the gigantic “Spaceship”:

            Facebook hired Frank Gehry for this new headquarters:

            Google mainly makes do with the old complex they bought from Silicon Graphics:

            Microsoft has a campus in Redmond that is about as distinguished as their software, but they’ve hired SOM to do a big remodel:
            (And Gates’s house is much nicer.)

            So I’d agree that the new buildings at the UO fit in pretty well in this company, although the tech companies do seem more attracted to the wow/weird factor.

            As to why Oregon has the contrast between an astounding landscape and many awful buildings, I think it can explained by:
            1. This is relatively new place, and you’re seeing mainly first-generation buildings.
            2. This has always been a relatively poor and unpopulated place, where much of the wealth that was extracted was shipped out of state.
            3. What good buildings there were, we mainly knocked down (in Eugene).
            4. Oregonians care about trees more than buildings (as Judge Hogan tried to explain to Thom Mayne as he was designing the federal courthouse).