Provost Woodruff-Borden wants faculty to dumb down courses now, in prep for possible Grad strike

The Senate’s Academic Council has not even approved an Academic Continuity Plan yet – unless they’ve done so in secret – but Provost Woodruff-Borden is already encouraging faculty to trade academic rigor for administrative expediency. Full email here. A snippet:

Instructors and research groups are strongly encouraged to develop coverage plans for work performed by GEs. Refer to the frequently asked questions for academics and research for guidance.

As noted in the academic continuity FAQ, faculty lecture instructors of record with associated labs and discussions should be prepared in case GEs are absent for a period of time during the winter 2024 term, potentially beginning in Week 1. Potential strategies to prepare for GEs who might be absent from labs or discussions include: 

  • Modify lectures to incorporate material from labs and discussions.  
  • Use existing or create asynchronous Canvas modules that could replace labs and discussion content. 
  • Adjust course grading rubrics to reduce reliance on lab/discussion grades.
  • With any strategy, ensure consistency across lab/discussion sections associated with the same lecture because some discussion or lecture leaders might be present while others are absent.

Deans continue to work with the Office of the Provost to evaluate winter courses with GE IORs to identify coverage needs and strategies to reduce impact. 

President Scholz’s minders won’t let him talk to student reporters

The Daily Emerald has the news here:

“Thank you for the request, but we’d like to hold off on this one for now. Right now there wouldn’t be much more to say than was covered in the interview a few weeks ago,” Director of Issues Management [sic] Angela Seydel said in an email to the Emerald.

From what I can tell that interview was seven weeks ago, and yielded the few brief quotes here.

Back in the day – before JH was overrun by PR flacks – President Frohnmayer gave the Emerald his home phone number and would answer their questions anytime. Why doesn’t Scholz do the same? After all they are our students, and it’s not like there are any other reporters covering UO to worry about.

Economist to bring Trustees up to date on UO’s continued decline relative to AAU

When the UO Board of Trustees took over from the OUS in 2014, UO faculty were on average paid 92.4% of pay at our AAU public university comparators. As of 2021 UO pay had fallen to 84.1%, and it is now declining not only in relative terms, but also in real dollars.

The public portion of the Trustees meeting starts at 9AM with public comments, and it will include a report from UO Economist Keaton Miller on this problem.

Video link here, official board agenda (which does not mention this dismal fact, much less propose a plan to address it) here.

UO Strategic Communicators to piss away more money on brand awareness

From https://apps.ideal-logic.com/files/ver20230925144108/public/4c1250b5f4678c1a_V1C9-239VG/orig/RFQ_for_Brand_Awareness_Study_092523_lkh.pdf

General Information: The University of Oregon, on behalf of University Communications (University), is issuing this RFQ seeking a vendor to conduct a follow up study to measure nationwide brand awareness of the University of Oregon and create an overview guide to train communicators broadly on our campus. The focus of the study will compare brand awareness of University with that of top public research universities. Additionally, the study will gauge overall perception of the University around the strategic communications goals of excellence, experience, access and diversity. Factors such as age, race, ethnicity, sex, geographic location will be taken into account.

This study is needed to justify our VP for Communication’s budget, and like past studies will produce nothing of benefit to the university.

Pres Scholz takes bold action to improve the life of UO’s diverse employees

A day off for whatever reason you might want, to celebrate our individual diversity! Good for Atheists to Zoroastrianists. Take your kid to Wildlife Safari on their birthday or drive up to Willamette Pass and genuflect to Ullr, the god of telemark skiing. Too bad this wasn’t announced in time to celebrate the death of Kissinger, for those so inclined:

President Karl Scholz
Dear colleagues,

As fall term winds down and we look ahead to celebrating the winter holidays, I am filled with pride and appreciation for our UO community and our many successes. During my first five months as president, I’ve met with thousands of members of our faculty, staff, student body, alumni, and community at dozens of gatherings and events, all of which have helped me understand what it means to be a Duck. I’ve enjoyed learning about your rich and diverse experiences, expertise, and deep commitment to our mission.

Today I write to convey my thanks, provide holiday guidance, and give an update on our UO Onward university strategic planning.

Holiday Programs

I’m pleased to announce we are piloting a new floating holiday that will give eligible employees an extra paid day off to observe any day of cultural, personal, or religious significance. In recognition of the many unique experiences and needs of our campus community, this gives employees flexibility to celebrate a day that is meaningful to them over the next 12 months. 

I also encourage all units to observe a “quiet period” between the December 25 and January 1 holidays, as operations allow. We encourage leaders to maintain only essential work. Reducing operations will allow employees who choose to take time off the opportunity to relax and recharge. Those who will be working will have more time to focus or plan for the year ahead with a little lighter workload.

We want to support well-being in our work and personal lives and recognize our employees’ diligent commitment. The pilot holiday and quiet period guidance are small ways we can continue to foster belonging and flourishing at the University of Oregon.

UO Onward – Strategic Planning

[UOM: redacted on the grounds that no one cares.]

… In closing, thank you for the warm welcome to the University of Oregon. I wish you a wonderful end to the fall term, a restful holiday season, and a joyous year in 2024.

With gratitude,

Karl Scholz
President

Rob Mullens and Duck sports bring more international recognition to UO

From the Guardian – thanks to an anonymous reader for the link:

The lawsuit claims the beach volleyball team has to practice in a public park littered with feces and drug paraphernalia.

Thirty-two female athletes filed a lawsuit against the University of Oregon on Friday that alleges the school is violating Title IX.

The plaintiffs, who are all either on the varsity beach volleyball team or the club rowing team, are accusing the school of “depriving women of equal treatment and benefits, equal athletic aid, and equal opportunities to participate in varsity intercollegiate athletics”.

The lawsuit filed in US district court in Eugene, Oregon, seeks correction of the alleged violations and unspecified damages.

The lead counsel for the women is Arthur H Bryant of Bailey Glasser, who is known for legal efforts to enforce Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender inequality by educational institutions receiving federal funds.

.. the team could not practice this week because someone had died at the park. …

What are the chances Mullens will compensate UO’s General Fund for the insurance, legal bills, and GC Kevin Reed’s invaluable time and expertise to make this go away?

Departing Provost was terrific colleague to boss, showed him many kindnesses

Of course she treated those people who couldn’t help her get a new job somewhat differently. In any case this is great news for UO and I’ll take her unexpectedly speedy departure as a sign Scholz may have a better understanding of UO’s campus climate problems than came across in the recent town hall.

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to share the news that Janet Woodruff-Borden, interim provost and executive vice president, will be leaving the University of Oregon to take the position of senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has been a terrific colleague, leading with wisdom and thoughtfulness through transition, while continuing to advance our academic enterprise. I am also grateful for her support and many kindnesses to me as I have taken on my new role. Her expertise will be missed.

Woodruff-Borden has served as interim provost since August of 2022. In this role, and in her previous role as executive vice provost for academic affairs, she led initiatives focused on student success to address equity gaps, interdisciplinary academic efforts, and supported inclusive excellence across the academic portfolio. She helped in the development and implementation of the UO’s Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health. She also promoted and advanced work in curricular development and approval, program review and accreditation, faculty professional development, inclusive teaching, and online and hybrid education.

Woodruff-Borden joined the UO in 2018 as dean of the Graduate School (now Division of Graduate Studies), where she focused on growing the graduate program and improving processes, policies, and graduate recruitment and admissions. Her final day in the office will be December 31.

I have appointed Karen Ford to serve as interim provost effective January 1. Ford currently serves as interim executive vice provost in the Office of the Provost and has served in numerous leadership roles in her 30 years at the university, including as dean for faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, interim dean of the Clark Honors College, and senior divisional dean for humanities in CAS. I thank her for her leadership through this transition time.

As I announced in October, the search for a permanent provost and senior vice president is underway. Following input from the campus community and academic leadership, the search committee has finalized the position description, which is now available on the search webpage.

Please join me in wishing Janet the best in her next chapter.

Sincerely,

Karl Scholz 
President

UAB post, presumably taken from her application letter:

In her role as interim provost and executive vice president at the University of Oregon — and in her previous role at Oregon as executive vice provost for academic affairs — Woodruff-Borden led initiatives on three key fronts: interdisciplinary initiatives focused on the environment, child and adolescent behavioral health, and sport and wellness; student success initiatives to address equity gaps; and inclusive excellence across the academic portfolio. Woodruff-Borden also helped in the development and implementation of UO’s Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, which included a $425 million private gift.

Woodruff-Borden steered the University of Oregon’s work to promote and advance the provost office’s work in curricular development and approval, program review and accreditation, faculty professional development, inclusive teaching, online and hybrid education, and employee and labor relations matters.

As dean and provost of the University of Oregon’s graduate school, Woodruff-Borden fostered interdisciplinary relationships to help the program grow. She improved processes for how her team interfaced with and supported graduate programs within the university’s schools and colleges. She also advanced several initiatives, including development of best practices in graduate recruitment and admissions, professional development, data-informed decision making, and university graduate education policies. …

NYT lauds deposed dictator & one-time UO ally Ali Bongo as a musician & environmentalist

8/31/2023: Any truth to the rumor Dennis Galvan will offer him a visiting professorship in the Global Studies program, or is this the final chapter in one of the UO administration’s stranger affairs? The NYT on the coup and Bongo’s legacy, here:

“As the all-powerful ruler of oil-rich Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba had two passions, music and forests, that forged powerful ties across the world.

An accomplished musician, Mr. Bongo recorded a disco-funk albumand lured James Brown and Michael Jackson to Gabon. As president, he built a music studio at his seaside palace and played improv jazz to foreign diplomats at state dinners.

More recently, Mr. Bongo allied with Western scientists and conservationists, entranced by both the paradisiacal beauty of Gabon, an Arizona-sized country covered in lush rainforest and teeming with wildlife, and by his commitment to protecting it.

But to his own people, Mr. Bongo, 64, embodied a family dynasty, founded by his father, which had dominated Gabon for 56 years — until this week, when it came crashing down. …”

7/17/2018: President Putin steps forth to the rescue of Gabon’s Ali Bongo

Of course. After Lariviere and Galvan failed, where else could he turn?

No word on whether UO fundraiser John Manotti helped set up this meeting too. Meanwhile, former Ambassador Plenipotentiary Eric Benjaminson has moved on from UO to Chicago.

9/3/2016: Lariviere’s deal with Ali Bongo and Eric Benjaminson collapses in violence

The history of this bizarre UO foray into foreign affairs has yet to be written, but so far it involves the US ambassador to Gabon seeing a chance for a retirement gig at UO, the State Department’s sophomoric remix of Kissinger’s real-politic, Richard Lariviere’s desperate effort to get some money for something other than Duck sports, and a lot of oil money stolen from some very poor Africans. Like so many corrupt Oregon deals, some otherwise smart people gave it a pass because it was carefully packaged as “green” and “sustainable”. Oregon and Gabon: Twin Edens.

Here’s UO President Richard Lariviere at the White House with President Bongo and US Ambassador Eric Benjamin – now a UO employee – in happier times in 2010:

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 8.32.38 PM

The Guardian reports on kleptomaniacal President for Life Bongo’s current re-election dispute. Many have died:

… However, Bongo scored lower than his father, who famously won 100% of the national vote in the 1986 election, with a 99.9% turnout, when Gabon was still a one-party state.

[Opposition candidate Jean Ping], a half-Chinese diplomat who was previously one of the Bongo family’s most trusted cronies, rejected the result and demanded a recount in Haut Ogooué.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 8.32.38 PM

And the NYT gives Ping a platform:

On Saturday, Aug. 27, presidential elections were held in my country,Gabon, in West Africa, and I was the candidate who won by a substantial vote margin. Nearly a week later, I would have expected to be addressing the world as Gabon’s president-elect, ready and willing to work with the United States and all our international partners to fight terrorism, build our economies and improve the lives of our citizens through increased development and cooperation.

Sure. That and deliver a share of the spoils to his partners.

1/18/2016: UO Foundation must write off Bongo’s $15M endowment promise

Under the Foundation’s rules they had until the end of 2016 to get the money from Gabon or take it off the books. Maybe I’m missing the nuance in this Le Monde article, but obviously it’s not coming by 2016. The truth is there is no money: Ali Bongo blew it on luxury real estate, fast cars, soccer players, and wives, while leaving his country mired in poverty. The collapsing price of oil made it impossible for his government to continue to keep up the pretense.

And so ends one of Richard Lariviere’s crazier ideas. One of the RG’s several critical editorials on it is here, and other UOM posts are here. Thanks to Bongo’s political opponents for forwarding the link, and best of luck in the elections and after:

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 6.07.24 PM

12/27/2015: Gabon’s kleptomaniacal President for Life Ali Bongo stiffs UO on $15M gift

Rumor down at Dennis Galvan’s Office of International Affairs is that there are a lot of nuances here, and we may get the money “soon”.

Sure. With oil below $40 and an election coming up amidst the ongoing French investigations of corruption, and family infighting over the loot accumulated by Bongo’s father Omar, I’m thinking the UO Foundation is going to have to write off the $15M endowment gift that Bongo promised UO back in 2011 pretty soon.

But apparently former US Ambassador to Gabon Eric Benjaminson, whom we hired to run the “Twin Edens” project shortly after he convinced Bongo to give the money, still has a couple million left from the original $5M, and is funding a variety of research projects.

For more on this story, including the suitcases of cash Bongo has been sending his American wife, and some spectacular real estate purchases, check out the Gabon tab below.

Faculty of Color et al. take Interim Pres & Provost to task for dumping unpaid diversity work on faculty

Dear Interim President Moffitt and Interim Provost Woodruff-Borden,

We, the United Academics Faculty of Color, Working Families, and Pride Caucuses, are writing to address the IDEAL climate survey and the steps taken in response to it. We are concerned with the approach taken to date, particularly with the messaging that the bulk of the work will fall to the faculty themselves, who, as noted in the survey, already feel overburdened. We believe some issues are crucial enough that they can’t wait. 

As you know, on June 4, 2022, faculty received our first communication addressing the results of the survey, which were poor: “…it is clear that while employees report some positive experiences, the overall initial results are humbling and affirm that we have more work to do.” Faculty were told that the administration was committed to “redoubling” its efforts and to “ensur[ing] that the UO climate is the best that it can be.” Additionally, an Analysis Committee and an Action Committee were “already hard at work.”

Five months later, November 16, 2022, we received our second communication and update from then interim president Phillips, assuring us that “the work to improve our campus culture is well underway.” Thus far, this work has resulted in the creation of four more groups to address several identified key areas in need of improvement:

  • Employee engagement and onboarding
  • Equity
  • Response, reporting, and antidiscrimination
  • Faculty service, promotion, and tenure

We were told we would hear from each group in the “coming days and weeks” about their work to identify strategies, resources, tools, and activities to address the climate survey findings. We have yet to hear anything from these groups. Likewise, Phillips was happy to share that the Deans of the Colleges now have the Gallup survey data, and would start doing the work for each college.

The November update was a foreshadowing that the bulk of the work to improve our campus climate would actually fall on faculty the employees themselves. A third update, sent February 22, 2023, reiterated November’s message and provided a Presidential website with even less information about what has been accomplished, yet Phillips informed us that we were now ready to move on to the next phase. But from our vantage point, the first phase amounted to only two brief data presentations and the establishment of the four working groups.

Where we are today is that we should: “…expect to hear from the vice president or dean of your division, school, or college about their plans to share the results and conduct unit-level action planning. …. Everyone will be asked to participate in action planning. … This will be a continual process of work, improvement, assessment, and more work. We are providing support for leaders and their teams to assist with unit-based discussions and action planning.”

Some units have received communications from their deans, and some departments have begun to examine their unit’s climate survey data and develop action plans. But unit-by-unit strategic action plans will require painful and strained discussions, in which those who are marginal in those units will have to endure the very conversations that contributed to the poor results of the climate survey in the first place. Such an approach will work in units where collegial, full participation and strategizing is beneficial to all of its employees, but those units appear to be in the minority. Strategic action plans must be treated with caution; seldom are they truly authentic in actually capturing all of the dynamics and issues within a unit.

Additionally, employees were promised complete confidentiality: “It is also important to reassure employees that the survey is strictly confidential. Survey responses will not be shared with anyone at the university in any way that might identify survey respondents.”  As units receive their unit-level survey data, however, the few employees who have been vocal concerning issues in their department are finding their identities exposed. Some units are so small it is virtually impossible for findings to remain confidential.

As we await the arrival of our new president, it is an opportune moment to address the cultural climate of the University of Oregon in meaningful ways. We have some suggestions for meaningful ways to move forward, beginning with upper administration accountability and transparency. We realize some of these suggestions are not new, but they bear repeating.

  1. We need an established formal office to deal with intersectional inequities and discrimination. The Office of Investigation and Civil Rights Compliance (OICRC) is, in effect, a Title IX office that does not deal with the ubiquitous and multilayered forms of inequities employees face. The former Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity and the  Bias Response Team attempted to support employees and students concerning issues specifically related to minoritized communities, such as investigations of bias and implicit bias, abuse of power, and patterns of hostility and/or cultural incompetence by unit supervisors. It offered a broader capacity for employees to seek institutional support and recourse. 
  1. ADA compliance is unclear: Approval and enactment of accommodations often is lengthy or does not happen in a timely manner for employees seeking accommodations. A position in HR specializing in ADA compliance and accommodation as its core responsibility would do much to create a welcoming and accommodating culture for employees with disabilities, rather than merely applying the “letter of the law.” Supervisors need training on understanding ADA compliance and how to help employees who seek accommodations.
  1. We have recognized the lack of a critical mass of minoritized faculty for decades. Our record demonstrates that we can’t solve this issue by only taking half measures. We need to prioritize hiring through cluster hires and reward programs with strong retention records. We need to establish remediation measures for “problem departments” who cannot retain minoritized faculty. When faculty experience repeated patterns of conflict, they should be allowed to move out of hostile working situations. Expecting the affected faculty member to endure untenable situations while you “work with the department head to address problematic dynamics” is not a viable solution and only leads to their departure. In the past decade, several minority faculty members have written open letters to administrators explaining their painful decision to leave the UO, outlining the incompetence of leadership to address departments with problematic patterns. Giving the Division of Equity and Inclusion the responsibility to work directly with “problem units” to establish “improvement plans” with benchmarks and means of assessment for improvement could help address these areas.
  1. Commit to the retention of faculty. There is a commonly stated, and false, narrative that “faculty of color just don’t want to live in Eugene, Oregon.” While it is true that Eugene and the UO are demographically challenging and the University of Oregon is a predominantly white institution, faculty of color want and need jobs just like everyone else. The UO possesses a fairly collegial faculty body with a practice of cross department collaboration that is an attractive factor to many. Yet some faculty of color with extended family in Oregon have felt compelled to leave, even taking a pay cut, because of work conditions. Too often faculty see their colleagues devalued, disrespected, and disregarded when their department heads and deans make little effort to retain them or to demonstrate their value to the UO. We need committed retention efforts that demonstrate that we value the faculty of color we hire. For full transparency, the administration should provide the number of departures by race and gender and the retention efforts that were offered. Providing leave-without-pay for faculty with protected status who leave for other universities, a minimum of two quarters, with the possibility for a third quarter if the faculty chooses to return is essential. 

For more information on the experiences of Faculty of Color, please see CODAC’s 2022 “Voices of University of Oregon Faculty of Color: External Consultant’s Active Retention Report,” and for additional strategies for active retention, please see the numerous reports provided by the CODAC Active Retention Initiative. Faculty of color exposed and displayed their trauma for the creation of these reports and we have yet to the see the administration acknowledge and implement substantial changes. Retention efforts need to take a holistic approach where efforts to provide better on-boarding and mentorship is fortified by actual changes in structural and cultural climate with accountability by unit leaders, college deans, and upper administrators. 

  1. Establish a transparent, programmatic plan for partner hires that is fair and equitable and does not interfere with other department hiring decisions or plans. Departments should receive permission to hire in particular fields when the partner does not fulfill the department’s needs. Decisions about partner hires should not be made on the basis of a department’s independent funds or ability to raise money in grants so as not to penalize smaller departments without much funding from the university or outside grants.
  1. The administration must challenge heteronormative cultures and structures that impact employee’s experiences within their units in the day-to-day. This can range from homophobic or misgendering microaggressions to problematic assumptions about caregiving responsibilities. Caregiving needs to be seen as essential aspects in the lives of employees and the pandemic has exacerbated existing shortages and availability of affordable quality care. Care systems need to be understood in broader understandings of “family” and kinship. Caregiving challenges and support needs to be included in all surveys and strategies regarding campus climate. 
  1. We need to accept and acknowledge that not all administrators and supervisors should be in the positions they occupy. At times people are pulled into administration with little training or knowledge of their leadership style, which has led to poor climate and mass departures. Do not underestimate the damage and harm a culturally incompetent dean can inflict on the morale of a college’s faculty. The university’s respectful workplace policies are too narrowly applied to faculty concerns about deans who behave in demeaning and dismissive patterns. A fundamental issue with the Gallup Climate Survey of the University Employees was the confusion and blurring of the employees’ individual unit with the larger administration (e.g., deans and provosts). Few questions addressed employees’ relations, experiences, and perspectives with the larger administration. If a dean is inaccessible or culturally incompetent, it impacts the culture and climate of a college or school immediately. A good first step would be an audit of every administrative unit; for example, the CAS dean’s office, for its entirety, has been 100% white leadership.
  1. Most of the diversity efforts celebrated by our administration have been created and generated through the hard work and collaborative efforts of invested BIPOC faculty. Faculty of color engage in mentorship, consultation, and program development through years of experience and research in higher education. Recognizing research-informed service and this often invisible labor through structured incentivization and compensation would do much for campus climate and retention efforts.

As we embark on this “next phase” of the Climate survey, it is the ideal time to rethink any added labor imposed on the employees who often are experiencing a poor institutional climate. We understand 55% of employees completed the survey, despite our efforts to encourage our colleagues to have their voices heard. But many expressed a great deal of skepticism concerning what would come of the results, and to date their skepticism is justified. We have provided suggestions to address the issues that do not place additional burdens on employees who are already exhausted trying to fix deep-seated problems in their departments and colleges. We can’t afford to delay taking action to demonstrate a real commitment to improving the campus climate, especially for those in minoritized groups.

Respectfully,

The United Academics Faculty of Color, Pride, and Working Families Caucuses

Will new public record request uncover more Duck Athletics crap?

No, I’m not talking about my efforts to get info on how much Rob Mullens is earning from the Nike Invitational track meet that has ruined this year’s commencement. General Counsel Kevin Reed has been deliberately delaying releasing that info to the Senate since February. This request is more fundamental:

Requester: Pardovich, Cherise

Organization: Buck’s Sanitary Service

Initial Request Date: 05/01/2023

Status: Requesting/Reviewing Records

This is a formal request for any and all information, documents, communications and contracts. Any and all that is open to the public, related to and submitted by various portable restroom companies ie..(United Site Services, Best Pots) for the previous and current contracts for UO Athletic Department’s Portable Restroom’s bids and or Bid submissions including results. I am also looking for clarification pertaining to the current contractual agreement.

Request ID: 

2023-383

Provost to hang faculty excellence banners from bridge in lieu of decent merit raises

Dear colleagues,

As we approach the end of another academic year, I want to take a moment to celebrate and recognize the outstanding scholarship, instruction, and service taking place on our campus and tell you about several new ways we are highlighting excellence at the University of Oregon. I am continually impressed by the hard work, achievements, and dedication I regularly witness across campus as faculty and staff strive to support our students, our mission, and our public purpose.

To recognize the academic achievements and excellence of the University of Oregon faculty and staff, this spring the university launched a new Awards and Accolades webpage. This new page recognizes the individual achievements of excellence in teaching, research, artistic expression, and the generation and application of knowledge. It celebrates contributions to the UO and their profession such as through grants, honors and fellowships, elections to regional and national boards or committees in professional organizations, and other career awards.

You can find this awards page both on Around the O website and on the Office of the Provost Awards webpage, and in the weekly Workplace newsletter emailed to all employees. Anyone can suggest an accolade by using this simple online form.

The Office of the Provost also sponsors a series of awards programs each year recognizing excellence in teaching, leadership, mentorship, scholarship, and more. This year we have added two new programs: the Distinguished Teaching Professor Program and the Book Publication Award.

We are also piloting another exciting faculty recognition program this spring. Beginning in early June, banners will be hung along the Ferry Street Bridge and streets in and around the university featuring images and quotes from faculty who have earned outstanding teaching and scholarship awards, achieved research excellence, or play leadership roles in university governance. The goal is to instill pride in our community and inspire a culture of excellence. This initiative aligns with our Inclusive Excellence in Action efforts continuing our work toward an inclusively excellent campus culture. We will be sharing more information about this new effort in the coming weeks.

Of course, there are many other university-wide sponsored awards from Research and Innovation, Graduate Studies, Advising, Human Resources, and the Division of Equity and Inclusion, to name a few, that recognize outstanding achievement. I encourage you to visit the Awards and Accolades webpage frequently and join me in congratulating our colleagues on their achievements.

Thank you for all that you do for our university and for the broader academic community.

Sincerely,

Janet Woodruff-Borden
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President       

CHC Dean Finalists are Richard Taylor (Physics) and Carol Stabile (Administration)

Links to application materials and surveys are at https://provost.uoregon.edu/search/clark-honors-college-dean. Details on Provost Woodruff-Borden’s attempt to subvert the Senate and shared governance are here. If you want to share in the pretense that the Provost gives a shit about your opinion, fill out the surveys by 10AM this Friday.

Taylor letter here. A snippet:

I would bring a natural passion to the HC Dean position. I have been passionate about the liberal arts since I was 10. Staring up at the Moon, I marveled at the scientists who had just landed a person on its surface. At the same time, I was in awe of those who could capture its beauty in their creative works. From that time on, I was determined to defeat divides between disciplines. This philosophy has served me well. I receive frequent invitations to talk about strategies to integrate the arts and sciences, including at the White House and for the Nobel Foundation. A student recently wrote to me: “It is not often that you meet someone who is capable of the kindness and generosity that you have shown me, a complete stranger. I must reiterate how much you have served as an inspiration to me, and many of my friends and colleagues who struggle to embrace their dual identity as scient(art)ists in this somewhat rigid scientific world we have chosen to be a part of. It is, as you have shown, possible to have both.” I am very fortunate that my career demonstrates the remarkable value of the liberal arts. My current research serves as an example. My work on bionic eyes emerged from my studies of Jackson Pollock paintings. If I hadn’t delved into the arts, my science wouldn’t be on the verge of potentially restoring vision to over one million people.

Stabile here:

My scholarly background has additionally prepared me for the interdisciplinary work of the CHC. With a PhD in English, I have directed a research center, held tenured positions in professional schools, English departments, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies programs and departments, and served as an associate dean in the social sciences. I co-founded the New Media and Culture Certificate Program at UO and work closely with the Women in Data Science Conference at Stanford on initiatives meant to diversify the rapidly expanding field of data science. I like to think that the professors who taught me at my small liberal arts college would be proud. My commitment to the liberal arts owes much to those professors and the wide-ranging educational experience that established the foundation for my successes.

Interim Provost greatly excited to have cut faculty, heads, and deans out of hiring decisions for yet another year

Dear colleagues,

It is with great excitement that I announce the AY2023 Institutional Hiring Plan (IHP), which details all approved tenure-track faculty searches for the 2023-24 academic search year. We are delighted to be in a period of growth and have approved about two-thirds of the new searches that were proposed. As of today, this year’s plan authorizes eighty-one tenure-track faculty searches (sixty-six new searches and fifteen searches that will continue from this year, if needed).

I want to express gratitude to those who contributed time and effort to creating proposals and providing feedback. The proposals reflected faculty thoughtfulness and creativity as well as dean dedication, engagement, and strategic planning within their schools and colleges. IHP decisions were made in consultation with the Provost’s Deans Hiring Advisory Committee, the seven-member Provost’s Faculty Hiring Advisory Committee, and advisory groups from the Provost’s Strategic Initiative on Environment and the Provost’s Strategic Initiative on Sport & Wellness. I would also like to thank the Active Recruitment Team, which will review search plans and provide workshops and materials to support each search committee throughout the search process.

The IHP is an engaged and collaborative process that allows us to bring our campus together in conversation to strategically address needs and institutional priorities. The proposals we received were thoughtful, innovative, and articulated alignment with our focus on the intellectual growth of the institution and the importance of amplifying a supportive foundation for all faculty to thrive. The final IHP includes positions tied to several areas of institutional strategic focus: three in areas that bolster our work in sport and wellness, ten tied to adding to the UO’s strength in the environment, and an exciting cluster of five hires focusing on areas of Latin scholarship.

We are pleased with how the IHP process went this year and welcome your feedback on how to further refine it for future years. Thank you all for helping us achieve our collective goals in teaching, research, diversity, and interdisciplinary excellence.

With appreciation, 

Janet Woodruff-Borden
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President

Provost’s Faculty Tracking Software to be just like Concur, but for Tenure and Promotion

What could go wrong? You’d think that after disasters like Concur, shared services, centralized purchasing, and Commencement, our Johnson Hall leadership would step back for a moment and think about what they’re trying to do. Nope. As a wise women once sang,

I ain’t no psychiatrist, I ain’t no doctor with degrees
But, it don’t take too much high IQ’s 
To see what you’re doing to me

Interim Provost Janet Woodruff-Borden and Interim VP for Academic Affairs Karen Ford have attempted to deceive the faculty and Senate by telling us that the impetus for the this latest scheme is a desire to better account for service, or make it easier for them to nominate faculty for awards.

They have refused to share the draft RFP to provide for faculty input, but the final version is now posted, and it’s obvious that the administration wants a system that will give our Johnson Hall leadership the ability to prepare real-time reports on what faculty are doing, down to the micro-acheivement.

Faculty, of course, will be tasked with the burden of inputting it all. RFP here. A snippet:

1) Data and System

  1. a)  Describe the solution’s ability to pull baseline information from internal UO data systems includingBanner and the Operational Data Store (ODS) to identify and report:
    i) Promotion and tenure eligibility including years of credit for service ii) Promotion and tenure clock information
    iii) Other review eligibility and timelines
    iv) Leave tracking including sabbatical
    v) Endowed positions
    vi) Administrative appointments
    vii) Joint appointments
    viii) Merit-based information
    ix) Retention-based information
  2. b)  Vendor must be able to provide a 60-day, onsite live trial environment “sandbox” (for configuration and usability) prior to an agreement to purchase.
  3. c)  Describe the solution’s ability to scan/scrape/import CV data for a lookback of 5+ years (preferably up to 30+ years) from various sources and diverse file formats. This includes describing the solution’s ability to reallocate/reorganize/recategorize CV information.
  4. d)  Describe the solution’s ability to allow for review, verification, and modification processes of faculty activity data. This also includes the solution’s ability to lock specific data fields (e.g., tenure timelines should only be editable for certain roles) to prevent modification, the ability to allow for modification annotations to be made within the system and available to administrators, and the ability to have context added separate to the data itself (e.g., a notes field).
  1. e)  Describe the solution’s ability to designate role accounts and access information to various levels of administration, faculty, and staff. This should include information on the types of data viewable in various roles, reports and metadata viewable in various roles, and workflow processes viewable in various roles. Discuss if these roles can be configured according to our UO structure and needs.
  2. f)  Describe the solution’s ability to import data into a standardized CV and produce standardized/customized outputs such as reports. Solution should have the ability to suppress or lock specific fields of data per UO policy and Oregon law. This includes describing the solution’s ability to import/export, display, and draw reports from a variety of data types (qualitative and quantitative) as well as on a variety of data fields/categories. Some are listed below for reference:
    i) Teaching
    ii) Research and creative output
    iii) Grants
    iv) Patents and entrepreneurial work
    v) Honors and awards
    vi) Memberships (professional organizations)
    vii) Editorial work
    viii) Service
    ix) Equity and Inclusion
    x) Endowments
    xi) Joint appointments
  3. g)  Describe how the solution supports peer review materials, currently maintained data systems such as federal grant award information, student evaluation survey data, etc.
  4. h)  Describe the solution’s ability to track and show (meta)data details such as date of entry and modification. This might include reappointment, joint appointment, and administrative appointment information.
  5. i)  Describe the solution’s ability for data to be searchable, filterable, and queried as needed around a variety of categories including faculty types, promotion/tenure dates, awards and honors, rank/administrative role, joint appointments, grant dollars, etc.
  6. j)  Describe the solution’s ability to handle and differentiate between no or missing data, null or zeroed out data, etc. This might also include capturing course release data, promotion-and-tenure clock extensions, etc. that would not present normally within a system.
  7. k)  Describe the solution’s ability to export or integrate its data, including any APIs or ODBC access, and any limitations to data via export/API/ODBC.