Hiring freeze won’t stop Prov. Phillips from creating new “Director of Entrepreneurship and Economic Transformation” job

8/2/2020 update: According to an often reliable informant, a donor (presumably one with an optimistic view of the effectiveness of transformational change facilitators) has contributed the funds for the first few years of this new position. After that it is meant to be self-funded by money raised by this office. We’ll see.

7/31/2020: My theory is that there are so many buzzwords floating around Johnson Hall that every now and then they have to let a bunch of them spew out, in a semi-controlled release. I wonder how many faculty pay cuts will be soaked up by our newest transformational and entrepreneurial central administrator facilitator of change?


Position Summary
The Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Economic Transformation is a facilitator of change and investment on campus. Their primary initial responsibility is to partner with other University leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation to build a sophisticated network that connects the university’s academic, research, and economic development missions of the university to help the university make rapid progress in these areas. They build relationships internally, partnering with the leadership of UO’s academic units and their brilliant faculty, staff, and students; forging infrastructure for innovation; and advancing UO’s values of equity, diversity and inclusion. The Director also connects the UO externally, sharing the stories of innovation at UO with stakeholders, fostering investment relationships with entrepreneurs and industry leaders, building a pipeline for venture creation and commercialization, and soliciting philanthropic gifts for the future of the university’s work as an economic driver for the state and region. This includes garnering the financial resources needed to ensure long term success of the unit. They also play an important role in communicating the UO’s role in the economic development of state, as well as collaborating to convene statewide conversations in this space so as to position the UO as positive contributor and change-agent in ensuring the economic viability and prosperity of the state as whole.

Reporting jointly to the Provost and Senior Vice President and the Vice President for University Advancement, the Director plays an important role in positioning the University of Oregon as a leader in higher education and innovation, in serving as an economic engine for the local community, state and region. This position supervises a team of three. The University of Oregon is committed to creating a more inclusive and diverse institution and seeks candidates with demonstrated potential to contribute positively to its diverse community.

Professional Competencies
• Entrepreneurial leadership: Ability to lead the building of entrepreneurial infrastructure.
• Partnerships: Ability to act as a core advisor and partner to the Senior Vice President and Provost, the Provost’s Innovation Council, other academic leadership, faculty and graduate students to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, navigate venture creation, and build an understanding of industry. Ability to inspire increased faculty participation and partnership with external partners. Ability to partner with other University leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation to build a sophisticated network that connects the university’s academic, research, and economic development missions of the university. Ability to maintain strong partnerships with on- and off-campus partners to create and sell new programs and initiatives.
• Higher education and industry knowledge: High level of programmatic and institutional knowledge, including an understanding of the needs and opportunities of businesses including but not limited to the life sciences, manufacturing, science and/or technology industry, and engineering.
• Strategic planning: Ability to provide leadership in supporting institution wide effort to build a network of entrepreneurship and economic impact that connects academic programs, and research to external opportunities. Ability to collaboratively articulate and execute strategic plan while clearly understanding and positioning the institution in comparison to aspirant peers.
• Working with donors, stakeholders, and prospects: Sophistication in prospective donor and entrepreneurship partner identification, cultivation, and solicitation with a demonstrated ability to serve as a core anchor relationship between individuals and the campus.


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23 Responses to Hiring freeze won’t stop Prov. Phillips from creating new “Director of Entrepreneurship and Economic Transformation” job

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey there is another position that the fleeing TTF can apply for

  2. uomatters says:

    I’m no Romance Languages professor, but I checked google translate and “Entrepreneur” does not mean “Five years of management experience including supervision of a team (including but not limited to performance management, professional development growth, and development of performance metrics). Ten years of experience in major gift fundraising. Master’s degree in a STEM field or an MBA with a focus in entrepreneurship.”
    However those latter qualifications do describe the partner of at least one current JH administrator.

    • ODA says:

      Doesn’t that also describe the current job duties of a President? Or at least the Director of Development?

  3. Oregon tax payer says:

    This isn’t just one position…this is going to be an entire office…think at least four more people: budget & office people, associate directors, assistant directors, people who will do the work this person makes up, then CAS will need another dean…then this office will need another VP to be in charge of the director…Are we up to $1 million in salaries yet?

  4. Purnell says:

    I read it pretty simply as: Will you help us monetize the hell out of this place!? You can have the power and funds to build another layer of bureaucracy if you show a profit. We’ll even put you on search committees for fields you know nothing about so you can feel your power over the faculty. You’ll also be allowed to make up cool curricula and–especially–think up new names for what we already do and make people learn how to do them all over again under the new names. You can even hire your friends to teach them! Just bring home the bread.

  5. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    This is one of the perks of being a full price provost. Instead of raising grant money to nurse your pet idea, you have this $500 million pot to play with. Ditto with diversity edifice, police force, whatever. Wheeh!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Georgia Tech paid Robert Guldberg $$317,961 and Tina Guldberg $$94,238 (2017). UO is paying Robert Guldberg $562,650 and Tina Guldberg $153,000. Apparently that is not enough.

    • Townie says:

      It costs money to attract good people.

      Maybe we need quality and not quantity.

      Pay for quality and automate the rest.

  7. ODA says:

    How or was it ever the case, back in the old days, that a Provost, a Registrar, a President, a few directors, and a bunch of deans could run such a complex business? The UO today is still smaller (by a lot) than many Universities and systems were back in the 60’s and 70’s, but the administration growth these days seems to have no limit or end sucking up ever increasing tuition.


    I have a theory, or would like to believe: that in the old days the administration did not think of themselves as “THE University” and allowed shared responsibility and governance to manage most of the daily running of the place; that administration thought it was their job to build infrastructure to support an academic mission; that sports was something fun to bring the students, faculty and community together on fall and winter weekends; that a faculty union is unthinkable, because all faculty did their job with integrity and administrator got the FOOTW; and much more — please add comments to what is different now? Why do we need Enrolment Management as well as Admissions? And who did the job of “Entrepreneurship and Economic Transformation” in the past… And who did it at UT Austin back in 1970 when they were twice the size of the Current UO?

  8. Old Man says:

    This Ancient Retiree could not be happier at being the hell out of there.

  9. Old Gray Mare says:

    Remind me to apply for that job instead of that of “learning specialist.”

  10. Inquiring Minds. says:

    Is this part of the Knight Campus projects? Or is it another new bright shiny thing?
    How about we invest in infrastructure projects and other identified campus needs? To support the mission and faculty. IT. Labs. Research equipment for students and faculty . Bigger bang for the innovation buck I’d say.

    • Dog says:

      basically glorified tech transfer for the Knight Campus, because accelerate scientific impact means making gadgets …

  11. charlie says:

    Somebody’s gonna have to “transform” the flagship after all the financial land mines detonate.

    Actually, they’ve already begun. Yesterday, the Feds gave a huge FU to tens of millions of Americans as UI benes of $600/week expired without replacement. Rent/mortgage moratoriums were extended, but without the promised economic recovery, it’ll be an impossibility to pay back rent and debt service. What makes anyone believe flagship undergrads and potential admits are exempt from economic reality? They’re not going to show up if their families have been impoverished. What kind of adequate planning can possibly done on a business model predicated on continued debt? Or, is this new functionary and their attendant satraps actual job managing the sale of university assets to cronies and insiders?

    • ODA says:

      Playbook from past economic crisis: look for a small increase in Federal grants and a huge increase in student loans availability.

  12. Lisa says:

    So is this search replacing the VPRI search? Will the VPRI office be bled of resources as a consequence?

  13. Old Man says:

    ODA raises questions about the Old Days. Once upon a time, the Faculty really did govern this University, and the President effected their policies. The lesser administrators were usually selected from among the Faculty and often returned there. I suppose many factors contributed to the crippling of this healthy situation. The history outlined below describes the state of things at the time I jumped ship. At that time, I had retained the slim hope that reversibility was possible. Others may know whether there is any possibility remaining.

    On the Future of UO Governance

    To know where we are going it might help to know how we got here: The UO Constitution of December, 2011, set the stage for restoration of the Faculty’s role in university governance that was granted to it by the State Charter. In this essay we review both the history that informed that constitution and subsequent efforts to implement this newly formulated shared governance. En route, we identify an impediment to these efforts, and we suggest how the impediment can (in 2016, at least) be overcome.

    The Historic Assembly: The State Charter of 1876 conferred upon the Faculty (Professors and President) the responsibility of governing the University. Governance decisions were made by an Assembly of the Faculty, chaired by the President. When I arrived here (1959), the Assembly was advised by an elected Senate. The views of Professors (and, later, some students) were debated and voted upon in open Assembly meetings, in which those administrators that held faculty positions took part. By action of the State Board, the President could veto Assembly actions, but rarely, if ever, did. With the President and the Faculty having it out in public, governance was transparent and participatory. Such equitable sharing of governance was unusual among major universities and served as a positive factor in faculty retention here. This town-hall-meeting form of governance was fated to be replaced by a representative one.

    The Senate: Until 1986, the only official role of the Senate (as far as I know) was to review motions submitted to the Assembly and to report its advice to that Assembly. (The lack of on-line Senate Minutes prior to 1985 leaves us in the dark as to the full range of its activities.) As attendance at Assembly meetings diminished (due to the University’s failure to retain the traditional prohibition on Wednesday afternoon classes), the Assembly transferred much of its decision-making power to an enlarged Senate.
    This legislation required the Senate to be open and participatory, established automatic appeal to the Assembly when Senate votes were close, and permitted appeal of any Senate action by a mere 15 Assembly members. (It looks OK on paper, but the participatory nature of the Senate was put in question by an occasion when a Research-Park skeptic rose to oppose a motion and was informed by the Senate President that he would not be allowed to speak.)

    In 1996, with David Frohnmayer’s encouragement, the Assembly approved a “Senate Charter” which transferred essentially all Assembly authority to a newly defined Senate, which was to be open and participatory. It retained the Assembly for certain formalities and as an appeal body that was difficult to convene. The President soon ignored the requirement for the formal Assembly meetings and simply refused to recognize an Assembly Meeting on the one occasion that it convened by petition in full compliance with the Senate Charter and Oregon Law.
    Clearly, the Senate Charter failed — it lacked the structure required for cooperative, transparent resolution of President/Faculty differences. When the President disapproved of a Senate action, he rejected it out of hand or just ignored it. As a result, few took this Senate seriously.

    The Committees: In the period of the Senate Charter, Senate-created committees were operationally recognized as the primary sites for the exercise of shared governance. In effect, however, these committees seemed to serve only as advisors to the Administration. The fruits, when there were any, of their investigations and discussions were largely unknown to the community and, one suspects, to the Committees themselves. Required annual reports to the Senate were generally accepted, filed and forgotten.
    The circa 2015 opening of committee meetings and the publication of agenda and minutes was a step in raising the visibility of committee activities, but, by itself, did little to increase the effectiveness of those activities. Actions planned by some energetic Senate Officers sought to remedy this shortcoming. Unfortunately, these, and other, important improvements in the University’s shared governance structure, did nothing to solve the problems associated with one Standing Committee, the Faculty Advisory Council.

    The Faculty Advisory Council (FAC): The FAC was created in the early 20th century to serve the faculty by alerting a tone-deaf President to unattended faculty concerns. As needed, a pair of elected Faculty members would visit the President to notify him of particular faculty concerns. Over the decades the FAC was repeatedly re-created, sometimes, apparently, by its own action, becoming, eventually, an illegitimate organ of governance, the activities of which are, by oath, completely confidential.
    By the Senate action of December 2015, the FAC’s body of advisors became composed of elected faculty members, the Provost and Assistant Provost, the ASUO President and a couple of elected Officers of Administration as well as the President and VP of the Senate. Its charge, officially, was the same — advising the President. The issues, however, now included not only Faculty concerns but also ones brought by the President. At the December 2015 Senate meeting, which created this FAC, the President supported a closed FAC as a forum at which he can, in confidence, reveal his thoughts to elected Faculty members in order to gather their reactions. The Senate, in an act of self-mortification, and against the advice of the AAUP, granted the President his desired secrecy.
    Although the Senate could reverse itself on the issue of confidentiality, I doubt if it has done so. However, there is a simple change that the Senate can make that will have the effect of ameliorating the following two serious problems:
    1.The composition of the FAC, its schedule of weekly meetings, and its confidentiality give the FAC all the trappings of a closed branch of governance. Consequently, despite the FAC’s renewed and restated charge as advisory to the President, it is likely to continue to operate as a secret, decision-making body, as it did from 1996 onward. How often will that happen? Who knows? Its strict confidentiality makes it impossible to know. However, we may get a hint from the fact that on about 2016, a President referred to the FAC as an “element… of our shared governance system”, ignoring the Constitution, which states: “7.1 The University Senate shall recognize the responsibilities and limitations of the authority bestowed on it by the Statutory Faculty as described in SECTION 1. The governance authority conferred upon the University Senate may not be delegated in whole or in part to any officer or committee of the University Senate or to any other body.”

    2. As members of the FAC, the Senate President and Vice President are Legislatively Mandated Presidential Advisors (Official Presidential Confidants, if you will). At the same time, the Senate Officers have been elected, by the Senate, to serve the Senate in fulfilling its role as the channel by which the Faculty can make its wishes known and acted upon. Do you think that being in service to both the President and the Senate creates the potential for conflict of interest? You can bet your old Nike AJs it does!

    Evidence of such Conflict: Discussion with an early, post 1996, Senate President revealed that some University Presidents seek to manipulate Senate activities by way of pressure upon the Senate President. More recent events support the generality of that testimony.
    In 2002 a President pressured the Senate President (according to public statements by that Senate President) to forgo debate and voting on a certain resolution.
    A subsequent Senate President happily accepted the Presidents claim of Absolute Presidential Primacy. He repeatedly admonished the Senate that it had no governance rights, but could, if they wished, address requests to the President.
    Soon thereafter, the Senate suffered with a Senate President whose preference for comity over clarity led him to reject a legitimate Senate action that was contrary to the desires of the University President.
    More recently, a motion was debated in the Senate that would solve the painful conflict of interest engendered by joint membership in the Senate and the FAC. Simply put, the motion called for separation of the memberships of those two bodies. The Senate VP opposed the motion by asserting that there were too few people interested in UO governance to support such a motion. With evident embarrassment, he then acknowledged that there were no elected FAC members who were also Senators. The VP also argued that the insider knowledge, gained in strict confidence at the FAC, was useful to him personally. Publicly articulated reasons for opposing a motion have never before been so transparently feeble. However, following an ardent cry of “We trust our leaders,” the Senate voted in accord with the wishes of the VP, who was, apparently, channeling the President, like Senate Officers before him.

    So, what kind of governance have we? Our Constitution (2011) created a cooperative, transparent, shared governance structure which has been crippled by Senate legislation that not only put the Senate Officers in a position fraught with conflict of interest, but which also handed the President an invisible choke-chain on the Senate.
    This September, an argument was made (to the Board of Trustees) by an outgoing Senate President that it is fully appropriate for the University President to influence the Senate. Well, of course it is. That’s why the Constitution made the President a member (non-voting) of the Senate. In that capacity, he can make his views clear and can expect to be met, sometimes, with outspoken opposition. The ensuing debate, open to all, would rebuild the intellectual foundation for the healthy shared governance and sense of community that once characterized this University.

    What can be done to regain an open, shared governance? To gain the governance offered by the Constitution, the possibility of presidential use of the FAC to control the Senate must end. Although some Senate Officers may be able to resist overtures from the President at weekly, closeted rendezvous in the President’s Johnson Hall Conference Room, it is clear that many (even those of outstanding critical faculties) cannot. It is also painfully clear that, whereas some Senators can oppose positions taken by Senate Officers, all too many are disinclined to do so. As indicated above, The problem can be removed by separating the memberships of the FAC and the Senate. A President committed to our Constitutional promise of transparent governance could make it happen with a nod to the Senate. If the President fails to see the importance of an independent Senate, the Senate will have to stand up in order for UO shared governance to regain its full potential.

    All of this may now be moot. Events of which I am unaware may have rendered the UO Constitution powerless.

  14. AirMax says:

    Is Prov. Phillips still hiring for this position? Are ALL hiring frozen at the moment?

    How has tech transfer been at OU?

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