Live up to your Mission, UO

That’s the title of this Op-Ed in the RG today by Jennifer Gomez, one of Jennifer Freyd’s many excellent students. Read it all, here are some snippets:

… However, when people from across the country hear where I am from, invariably someone will ask, “What is the matter with University of Oregon?”

People reference the ongoing lawsuit of Freyd vs. University of Oregon regarding sex discrimination under The Equal Pay Act, Title VII, Title IX and Oregon’s state sex discrimination statute. Professor Jennifer J. Freyd is being paid tens of thousands of dollars less per year than her male counterparts. UO responded by filing for summary judgment, which Judge Michael McShane granted. In doing so, the judge denied Freyd the opportunity to have a trial and present her case to a jury. McShane’s reasoning is, “The evidence establishes that her four male colleagues perform significantly different work than that done by Professor Freyd.”

This appraisal runs counter to the detailed guidelines for all professors that was put forth by the UO psychology department. The university has additional guidelines for professors as well.

The case is not over as Freyd’s legal team has appealed the summary judgment to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The goal of this appeal is to have the right to go to trial so a jury can make a determination on the case.

Importantly, Freyd has some powerful players on her side: The American Association of University Professors filed an amicus brief in support of Freyd’s case; Equal Rights Advocates and 47 women’s and civil rights organizations filed another amicus brief in support of Freyd’s case; and the American Association of University Women has adopted Freyd’s case as one it will support as it moves through the appellate process.

… Though I can’t prevent UO from its behavior in this case, there are people at UO right now who can. From President Michael Schill to General Counsel Kevin Reed to the board of trustees. It’s not too late. UO could still choose to live up to its mission of equity and inclusion. If for no other reason, UO could remember that its reputation as a top public university is on the line. Gender equality matters at universities like UO.

The world is watching.

Jennifer Gomez, Ph.D., UO Alumna, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development at Wayne State University.



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15 Responses to Live up to your Mission, UO

  1. Dogmatic Ratios says:

    Freyd’s acronym, DARVO, was even explained in this week’s episode of South Park.

  2. UO Community Member says:

    AAU adds three and retains UO.

    UC-Santa Cruz, the University of Utah and Dartmouth College all joined the AAU on Nov 6th.

    It’s seems pretty surprising that Dartmouth was chosen over other universities with more robust graduate programs. Maybe it has something to do high salaries and the Ivy League?

    • Anonymous says:

      I have some insight into Dartmouth – one of their Deans used to be a UO faculty member. Basically, a) Dartmouth looks good on paper when you divide any research metrics by the number of students and b) they lobbied pretty hard to get in on the basis of being a small University with high per capita research productivity making their profile similar to other members like Brown, CWRU, CMU and Rice. They had a good case.

  3. Mr X says:

    “… However, when people from across the country hear where I am from, invariably someone will ask, “What is the matter with University of Oregon?””.

    Hate to say it but this but here is a lot more wrapped up in that than just this case.

    Word is out all over the country frankly that things are not ideal. You have threatened strikes, seemingly constant disagreement between administration and faculty/staff, high turnover in leadership roles, etc.

    I hear it at professional higher education conferences all the time. Not sure why anyone would head to the “O” right now and leave a perfectly good job to do it.

    • Dog says:

      Just tell them that the “UO is the place where incompetence and unaccountability go to flourish”

      of more succintely

      “The UO is an accountable free zone”

      all this borrowed from Willy Mays – “the place where triples go to die”

    • Anon says:

      Banavar left a perfectly good job to lead UO; an then he left that job after JUST 2 years to return to the faculty ranks. of course we cant talk about this in polite society.

      • Dog says:

        Banavar was not having any fun at his job and was made to due
        spreadsheet balances by executive order because of our “budget problem” – he resigned right after he was forced to do this. I suspect this is 75% accurate.

        • XDH says:

          From what I have heard from non-JH administrators, Banavar was incapable of making/not willing to make some necessary tough decisions and therefore was pushed out. I experienced this firsthand wrt protracted decisions on building renovations.

          • Dog says:

            yes I think this is also accurate but I think his view point is that some of the decisions he was “forced” into did not seem sensible to him that they had to be that tough. Building renovations likely should be more under the VPRI, but I am not sure how effective the current VPRI is.

            • XDH says:

              I *wish* it was as clear-cut as that, i.e., VPRI called the shots. Recall that renovation of institute-controlled space is the realm of VPRI, whereas as department-controlled space is overseen by CAS and thus its dependence upon JH cronies. Alas Dog, I am guessing you never experienced this duplicity/annoyance in your own department.

          • Dog says:

            there is always another lens to the Banavar story, which he will never voice, but its important to consider a career

            I have knowledge of Banavar as an administrator at both Penn State and Maryland; by all account he was quite successful in those roles notably increasing diversity and starting new academic programs. Thus, I believe he is competent.

            You say he was shoved out because I can’t make tough decisions; this statement is inconsistent with his record
            elsewhere (why did we hire him in the first place if this was a known outcome?); Perhaps, as alluded to before, he regarded “tough” decisions as being unnecessary, superficial and stupid.

            To that end, I can’t imagine the PR walk happening between Banavar and Schill; hence the emergence of Schillips

            • Anon says:

              Hi Dog
              It reflected very + on UO that Banavar and Conover moved to UO to take on high level Admin jobs; they are both superb scientists ,and seasoned admins with much success at research Univs.
              Knowing both for their science I was amazed . and frankly….surprised when they moved to UO.
              That both have departed after short times [ 2 & 4 yrs] does not speak well of UO. My personal guess is that both soon discovered the limitations of building excellence at UO; This well worn, over used, word (at UO) actually means something at other research schools, and these chaps know that.
              Funny, but like many faculty who have shunned admin roles, I think it great the they both are back [ or soon will be] at producing science.

  4. Another grunt says:

    “… However, when people from across the country hear where I am from, invariably someone will ask, “What is the matter with University of Oregon?””

    Just as another data point, I never get this response. It’s always football, Knight Campus, or track. I guess all Phil Knight things.

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