CONFIDENTIAL: search committee sideswipes 1/2 Price Provost run

Update: The Chronicle’s Zipporah Osei has an interview with me here (gated off campus).

Q. Do you think you would’ve been able to work with the administration, given the reputation you have with your blog?

A. Ironically, I have a very good working relationship with the university’s current president, Michael H. Schill. I think I’m actually one of his strongest faculty supporters. I’ve been serving as Senate president this year, and I was Senate president two years ago. I’ve been able to work with people in the administration to do some really good things for the University of Oregon. The most recent example would be the teaching-evaluations reform.

5/20/2019: I’m not really sure why this would be CONFIDENTIAL. I applied for the job of provost at a public university, and I didn’t get an interview. Surely that’s all public record – isn’t it?

From: University of Oregon Search <>
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL – Thank you for your application
Date: May 20, 2019 at 11:18:48 AM PDT
To: William Harbaugh <>

Dear Bill,

Thank you very much for your application for the position of Provost and Senior Vice President. The search committee gave very careful consideration to your application. We are sorry to inform you that you have not been selected for an interview.

We appreciate your interest in this important position and that you took the time to send us your application. Decisions of this sort are never easy, and we appreciate your desire to serve the University of Oregon.


[signed, search committee co-chairs]

I can only speculate as to why they refused to interview me. I did agree to a criminal background check, but my lawyer said that thing in Pocatello was expunged and not to worry.

Perhaps the committee has decided to take up Raghu’s 45% Provost offer?  Or maybe this student senator’s 25% offer – they clearly have a bright administrative career ahead of them:

“I will offer my bid to be “Quarter Priced Provost” and will do whatever President Schill tells me to do. I think I have a shot!”

In any case, I did get this great letter of recommendation from union president Chris Sinclair, which I’ll keep on file until the job opens up again:

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5 Responses to CONFIDENTIAL: search committee sideswipes 1/2 Price Provost run

  1. Thinking about the outcome .... says:

    You just thought you had a good working relationship ….

  2. Darby says:

    All I can say is: yech.

  3. Hippo says:

    You can’t fight City Hall. Or in the case of Eugene, even build one.

  4. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Bill — remember what they used to say about Reagan and his advisors — “Let Reagan be Reagan!”

    You need to go around the search committee — directly to Mike!

    “Let Schill be Schill!”

  5. Amanda Frost says:

    I am sorry that this did not work out. Many of us had high hopes. The story does not need to end here, with your education and skill sets, you are qualified for the following:

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