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Admins to present Fac/Staff Covid Town Hall III, today at 1PM

9/16/2020, link here:

5/7/2020: Admins present Coronavirus Town Hall II, Now live and embedded:

For an alternative view, read this blog, published by Melissa Graboyes, a UO professor and expert in public health.


  1. uomatters Post author | 05/07/2020

    I find Le Duc’s presentation surprisingly reassuring.

    • uomatters Post author | 05/07/2020

      On the other hand, why are there no faculty on this panel? Odd to hear an AVP talking about how on-line teaching is going.

    • Worker Bee 05/07/2020

      I’ve worked with Andre Le Duc in my capacity as union leadership. I found him to be refreshing honest and willing to do what was right and ethical, rather than just do the “usual”.

  2. AnotherClassifed 05/07/2020

    Le Duc stated that masks would be required in transit to classrooms and in the classroom but that they didn’t need to be “medical grade.” The institution should be required to provide medical grade masks to us if we are in harms way supporting instruction, giving instruction, or receiving it. His statement beyond alarming.

    • uomatters Post author | 05/07/2020

      Seems like a good University of Nike branding opportunity.

      • ScienceDuck 05/07/2020

        They should print a bunch of masks with a big O where the mouth should be so everyone walks around looking surprised at the world and the situation we are all in.

  3. Bored Otter 05/07/2020

    I didn’t really learn anything from this. Not much in the way of specifics. A lot of feel good platitudes.

    • uomatters Post author | 05/07/2020

      It was aimed at parents, not faculty. I thought it was as specific as possible given the uncertainties. The admin team will be at the Senate on Wed, I hope without the smooth PR veneer and constant repetition of “grace”. Not that I’m an atheist. You can submit questions here:

      • Don't call me a duck 05/07/2020

        I am an atheist. You should try it.

        • Anonymous 05/07/2020

          I’m a UO graduate, atheist, UO employee. “Grace” does nothing but raise red flags for me.

          • Fishwrapper 05/07/2020

            I know, right? Too much courteous goodwill can be a dangerous thing. That kind of shit really gives me the heebee-jeebies!

          • comrade 05/08/2020

            Which bothers you more: its role in maintaining the power of the European aristocracy or its link to the notion of the elect in protestantism?

            • uomatters Post author | 05/08/2020

              Wait – “grace” has a bad history? I may have to rethink my conversion. Which way did the Anabaptists fall on this one?

              • Fishwrapper 05/08/2020

                As we have seen, perhaps more in modern times than ever before, there are them what call themselves “saved” by the grace of God, the free grace of God’s election, but whose behavior doesn’t exactly, shall we say, match the philosophy into which they claim salvation. It is entirely convenient if one’s conduct can be indifferent to the notion of God’s grace. That type I just described are not Anabaptists, who feel, generally speaking, that them what are saved by God’s grace should conduct themselves in a manner described in the Sermon on the Mount. You know, love thine enemy, turn the other cheek, etc.

  4. Essential Worker 05/07/2020

    UO can’t even get messaging out on campus to convey to visitors to follow CDC guidelines now. I work maintaining our wonderful buildings and I am amazed everyday that there is no messaging on campus. More and more people in groups showing up on campus without distancing and without masks. How will thy be able to handle this when the campus population grows exponentially? They won’t.

    Who will enforce the requirements? Will 1st amendment lawsuits put us all in danger?

    • Anonymous 05/07/2020

      I was on campus doing an Essential Thing. Contractor employees I saw were 100% not wearing any masks. I saw UO employees not wearing masks. I saw random people walking not wearing masks. And I saw the folks working standing less than a meter from each other, maskless, chatting.

      • Where'sYourMask? 05/08/2020

        And yet, these mask-less people aren’t getting sick. What gives?

        • Compulsory Pessimist 05/08/2020

          We have a pleasantly low incidence rate in Oregon, partly due to the adherence to sheltering and mask use. It’s great that most folks aren’t running around being asymptomatic carriers but it only takes one superspreader to change all that! Normalizing mask use will help keep that risk low for everyone.

  5. Observer 05/07/2020

    This was such a disappointment. The large Zoom Heads’ meeting last week gave real examples of what kind of strategies they were looking at, how Covid-19 cases among the student body might be handled, how the stages might be determined, how they were looking for 14 days without a Lane County hospitalization as one benchmark, and so on. That was reassuring about the level of detail they were looking at, the strategies they were considering, and the hurdles still to be faced. This had about one-tenth the solid information and was basically just a lot of guff about how fabulous the UO is and how courageous our students are and all that. “We’ve survived two World Wars, we’ve survived a Depression…” What else were we going to do, just lie down and say “Send students elsewhere, we’re helpless!” We don’t need PR platitudes and bucking up, we need some idea of the concrete actions and strategies they’re considering. This wasn’t an informational session, it was an hour-long exercise in bland PR-speak. They acknowledged that people had sent in over 350 questions, which shows how much everyone wants to know. So their response was not to answer any of them.

    • AnotherClassified 05/07/2020

      Roger that. 350 will become FAQs. Right…. Needs to fit their narrative. Our safety vs $ — that’s the narrative. Which one do you think they will choose? With today’s TH the machine is churning splendidly it appears.

    • LowExpectations 05/08/2020

      The question is: why were you expecting anything different? This was, what, the 3rd such Town Hall, and they’ve all been like this. I would not advise watching anything from now on with the name “Town Hall” attached to it. That’s a sure sign that no hard information will be dispensed, only PR and platitudes.

      • dtl 05/08/2020

        “Town Hall”. Eeeesh. What latest/greated Management Consulting firm started pushing that lingo. “Town Hall” for this, for that, for everything. It’s as LowExpectations describes, it’s PR and platitudes (except when listeners are being threatened with draconian measures if they don’t keep being cheerful and slurping up the management koolaid).

  6. solidcitizen 05/07/2020

    Mr. Matters,

    I am kind of surprised that you are reassured that our plan to enforce social distancing is to hope everyone acts with grace, wears a mask, and acts like a Duck. Our plan for dealing with sickness on campus is to hope it doesn’t happen and to ensure that the one student who might get sick will still be able to virtually attend class.

    What happened to you, man?

    • uomatters Post author | 05/07/2020

      It was right in the middle of the Town Hall. I hadn’t heard people say “grace” that many times since I was a kid and the only thing on TV on Sundays was Pat Robertson’s 700 Club revivals.
      All of a sudden I heard the Reverend speaking to me again, personally, with the good news that “Jesus is my Personal Lord and Savior”. I’m a changed man, I’ll swear to it on the Bible. I’m also quitting the union and giving all the dues money to President Trump’s re-election campaign.

      • Fishwrapper 05/07/2020

        How quickly they forget: sarcasm doesn’t work in text, man…

        • uomatters Post author | 05/07/2020

          I’m also giving up sarcasm, because it’s not in the New Testament. I’m not so sure about the Talmud. Can anyone help me out on this?

          • Fishwrapper 05/07/2020

            No, don’t give up – sarcasm will always be there by your side. I’m not a biblical scholar, but back in the day, I was known to sit with the good book for long stretches of time. I have always had a pretty good eye for snark, and there are enough bits and bobs here and there from different disciples to suggest that Jesus was at times one to use sarcastic wit, especially when addressing at the pharisees. Like when Matthew reports Jesus as asking,

            “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye but don’t notice the log that is in yours?” (Matt 7:3)

            Paul, too, seems to find the savior’s edge in his reporting at times, like:

            Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! (1 Cor 4:8-9)

            John, whose prose was stylistically different than Matthew’s and Paul’s tells us that:

            The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me? (John 10:31–32)

            Maybe that’s why I put so much faith in sarcasm…? (Oh, and I’ve long been informed by a Jewish friend that puns, satire, and sarcasm abound in the Talmud – at least, abound in the way his Rabbi explains things. But that’s secondhand knowledge.)

            • uomatters Post author | 05/07/2020

              As it is written: Ask, and you shall receive. Grace to you, and Go Ducks!

              • Anonymous 05/09/2020

                Sorry to chime in so late. I’ve been busy. Yes, the Talmud has jokes, sarcasm, satire, and dirty stories. It just doesn’t have anyone named Grace and don’t call me Shirley.

          • If you give a mouse a cookie... 09/16/2020

            The Talmud has plenty of sarcasm…

  7. ThisMustBeAnon 05/07/2020

    The Administration put together a big effort to bring the students back in Fall. They did a good job. Now, to gain credibility with the UofO employees they should make a few more steps: first, offer to cut their own salary down to a top full professor salary until the emergency is in place. Second, freeze expensive renovations of research labs until the emergency is over. Third, freeze the hiring of new faculty in the Knight Campus, again until the emergency is over. Am I missing something?

  8. AnotherClassified 05/08/2020

    I’m not seeing the 350+ questions and the FAQs responses on the UO Covid19 site we all submitted for the latest TH. Gue$$ they had to “moderate” all that. They’re good at that.

  9. ThinkingAboutFallReopening 05/09/2020

    Thinking about the dorms, I hope the rule that first year undergraduate students need to live in the dorms will not be enforced this Fall. Here is an interesting article on how the virus spreads most efficiently in closed area, with recycled air, and when people spend a fair amount of time in those rooms (for example sleeping):

  10. Frustrated Otter 09/16/2020

    Listening to the Sept 16 town hall…and I wish that I could broadcast the following points to the administration….

    (1) Please don’t waste our time with a lot of platitudes about how we are all working together and these are tough times etc. etc. We all know this. We already spend enough time watching things on screens and listening to things with headphones and we have other stuff to do.

    (2) Having a highly paid PR host just sends the message that you are spending way too much money on this.

    (3) The more scripted these town halls are, the more fake it seems. Just be real. Dump the PR host. Show people in their offices or homes — we can relate to that — and drop the slick yellow and green backdrops (gag). Kudos to Provost Phillips for being in his office and forgetting to unmute himself.

    (4) Just deliver basic information that we want to know. There was very little of this mixed in with the platitudes for the first 40 minutes: kudos to Schill for discussing the budget in the Q&A part, but he should have started with that right off the top. We already know that we are teaching remotely in Fall. Winter is now the big question. Schill mentioned off-handedly that he’s hoping to get back to in-person teaching in January, but it’s absolutely stunning that he said that without including further detail. Other real info that is useful: the fact that campus is open to us (with restrictions), the modifications on campus that involve touchless faucets etc (but tell us how extensive that is…), Phillips discussion of classroom modifications…

    (5) Answering real questions submitted is good…but this didn’t start until 40 minutes in to the program, at that point my blood was boiling and I was queuing up this post…

    • uomatters Post author | 09/16/2020

      I’m guessing “How are you encouraging positive behavior by off campus students”? was not exactly how the question was asked.
      But given what Marbury did to the students who interrupted Pres Schill’s state of the univ speech, I believe him when he says he will crack down hard on them.

      • Party Pooper 09/16/2020

        Living only a few blocks from campus, before the smoke, I could count 3-4 parties on a typical Thursday-Friday night from my front steps. They were smaller than usual (half-a-dozen to a couple dozen people), they were happening more frequently. In lieu of big groups it seems the students in my area are mixing more in small groups.

        It was interesting that they pulled the anonymous question link that was available during the Student and Parents Town Hall.

  11. moss defender 09/16/2020

    During the next Q and A session would someone please ask the geniuses making the decisions at UO if they plan to use leaf blowers to remove ash from campus (very bad idea) or if they will use some other method. Facilities like new Hayward and Autzen are probably full of ash and the UOAD is just ignorant enough to blast it all back up in the air and help create more days of unhealthful misery in Eugene.

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