Gubernatorial candidates on higher ed:

5/30/2010: from David Sarahsohn of the Oregonian

… An ad for Democratic front-runner John Kitzhaber promises “two years of college for all Oregon students who have earned it,” even if the film shows adorable pre-schoolers. A spot for Republican Chris Dudley talks about “transforming universities for innovation and job creation” and even shows a picture of one. …  According to Dudley’s website, “As Governor, Chris Dudley will unshackle Oregon’s colleges and universities from outdated regulations that cost too much money and limit innovation and accountability of individual institutions; will reverse the decades-long retreat from higher education investment.” Those last words could sound almost musical to Oregon universities. …

On the theme of giving universities more autonomy, something stressed by every university president in the state, Dudley points out, “We’re supplying 8 percent of the budget, and they’ve got 6300 line-items,” specific instructions from the Legislature to the campuses….

“It’s good to see it,” says Oregon State President Ed Ray, citing comments by Kitzhaber and Dudley. “There’s a lot of white papers floating out there, and maybe that’s drawn some attention.”… University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere says he thinks the campaign mention is encouraging, and he hasn’t even been here long enough to know how unusual it is.

regarding Rich Linton:

update from Anonymous:

It is a sad day at the University of Oregon when an administrator with the integrity and character of Rich Linton decides it’s time to leave.   As Roast Duck says, he is a classy guy.  

While significantly elevating the profile of research, Rich always worked toward the best interests of the entire institution.  His collaborative and thoughtful style of leadership and advocacy are going to be missed and another institution likely will become the richer for our loss.  Rich deserves our appreciation and thanks for an often thankless job, and I believe we all wish him the very best in whatever path he follows.

5/28/2010: posted by “Roast Duck” in the comments, regarding Rich Linton:

I don’t know if Linton was forced out or just wants to move on after many years here. I had heard rumors several years ago that he was about to leave.

He has been a classy guy, and has done a lot of good things e.g. to move faculty hiring along in the sciences by coming up with research startup packages from a tight budget.

On the other hand, he came from a background in the applied end of science, where UO has been known, to the extent it is known, in more basic areas of science. He has followed the path, it must be said in response to initiatives from certain quarters among the faculty, of pursuing “earmarks” from the federal and state government for supposedly futuristic research in over-hyped areas like nanotechnology, interdisciplinary brain science, and the like. Look at the new “integrative science” building and its planned follow-up. Look at where the Lokey money has gone.

Meanwhile, as others have noted, the graduate enrollments have lagged, rankings of UO research/Ph.D. programs have dropped. It certainly isn’t primarily Rich Linton’s fault, he probably isn’t rsponsible much at all, but he hasn’t been able to stop it and he has not resisted the tide of over-hyped dubious research initiatives.

Lariviere, unlike a certain previous administrator, is aware enough to know what’s been going on, especially with the rankings of the UO programs. So, it’s entirely possible that he decided it was time for a change.

It’s also possible, as I say, that Rich Linton simply decided it was time to move on.

So, Rich, I hope you find something better, you probably deserve it, you did about as well as anyone probably could have under the circumstances at UO the past decade or so. All the best to you!

VP for Research Rich Linton gets a terminal contract:

Update: Linton’s own public statement is here:

It is satisfying for me to leave knowing that the UO has seen increasing research accomplishments by its faculty, including sustained growth in sponsored research funding, interdisciplinary research initiatives and innovations supporting technology transfer and development. I am deeply grateful for our faculty, staff, students and my administrative colleagues who are directly responsible for these advances. 

Other than the ICC issue – which was the result of decisions made by Frances Dyke, Linda Brady, and Dave Frohnmayer, not Rich Linton – we don’t know the real story on this. So Linton gets the last word, and it’s classy.

5/26/2010: I don’t know the back story on this “confidential” decision to replace VP for Research Rich Linton. Without dissing Rich, I have to say I find it remarkable how Provost Bean can say “UO’s growth rate in research expenditures per faculty member over the last five years was 50% … ” instead of “The growth in the research awards earned per UO faculty member ….”. I do like that new paneling in Johnson Hall though, nice to see that Frances Dyke pissed away our ICC research money on first class work.

From: [] On Behalf Of Susan Peter
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 3:13 PM
Subject: deans-dirs: Rich Linton Announcement
Sensitivity: Confidential

The following message is sent on behalf of Senior Vice President and Provost Jim Bean –

Colleagues –

Rich Linton, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, has announced plans to step down from his position no later than June 30, 2011.  Rich has had a dramatic impact on the UO’s research enterprise and interdisciplinary initiatives during the past decade. For example, UO’s growth rate in research expenditures per faculty member over the last five years was 50%, ranking third best within the AAU (FY03-08, NSF’s latest available data). Rich has been instrumental in providing critical support of faculty recruitment and retention, graduate education, interdisciplinary centers and initiatives, research infrastructure, multi-institutional partnerships, and technology transfer.   Rich has served the institution with great skill, energy, good will and dedication.

A national search will begin presently and a search firm will be hired in the near future.  Rich and I will especially appreciate your support and assistance in this time of transition.  I wish Rich all the best as he looks toward new leadership opportunities and challenges.

Regards, Jim

Those damn economists:

5/25/2010: Across the board cuts. From Harry Esteve in the Oregonian:

The sheer size of the drop stunned lawmakers, who listened in stony silence as state economist Tom Potiowsky and senior economist Josh Harwood went through the numbers. .. House Minority Leader Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg, said the shortfall “is a product of the Democrats’ massive overspending and the $1.8 billion in new taxes and fees they’ve passed since 2009.” Hunt responded by noting that nearly every budget passed in 2009 did so with large bipartisan majorities. 

David Steves in the RG:

SALEM — Gov. Ted Kulongoski today said he would deal with a projected half-billion-dollar budget shortfall by ordering 10 percent cuts to all programs — education, human services and public safety — starting in July. The governor’s edict came just minutes after state economists reported that income-tax revenues were not coming in at expected levels…. The governor said he is extending a pay freeze for managers and other non-unionized state employees. … Kulongoski said he hoped the university system could absorb its share of the cutback by tapping reserves it has built up in recent years.

So, they are going to punish UO for planning ahead. In case you were on the fence regarding the need for Lariviere’s UO restructuring plan.

Bellotti asked UO for as much as $7 million.

5/24/2010: From Rachel Bachman in the Oregonian:

Lariviere recounted when Bellotti told him — amid his first year as athletic director after stepping down as football coach — that ESPN was seeking to hire him.

“That’s when he told me that we owed him a great deal of money as a result of his employment relationship,” Lariviere testified. “A very great deal of money. A surprising amount of money.

“I, of course, immediately asked the general counsel what his contract called for. That’s when I discovered there was no contract.”

Things will get more interesting when the people donating the money to pay Bellotti the $3 million he did get from UO realize their donations are not tax deductible, because they are for the benefit of a specific individual.

Meanwhile, because the athletic department has raised the minimum required donations for tickets in order to pay for the Arena and various other extravagances, regular UO donors are cutting back on gifts to pay for the new Alumni Center. So UO is asking people who typically give to academic causes to give to the Alumni Center instead. And they are. But, of course, all this is hidden in the black hole of the UO Foundation – which is not subject to Oregon’s public records law.

To put Bellotti’s $7 million request in perspective, the first year of Lariviere’s effort to move UO faculty salaries towards comparator levels will cost $9.6 million.

Should the undocumented children of illegal immigrants pay in-state tuition?

5/23/2010: UO Journalism student Briselda Molina has a very thought provoking op-ed in the RG asking if public universities should charge the children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition. I know UO students like the one she writes about – brought to Oregon by their parents as infants or young children, successes in HS, Americans in every sense of the word except the legal one. As the accompanying editorial notes, these children not only are considered out-of-state, they do not have any practical way to get legal status from the feds either. I have no idea what the right thing here is. But these two pieces made me think pretty hard about what these rules mean for people’s lives.

Denied: The full Bellotti

5/22/2010: Normally when you make a request to the Oregon DOJ for public records, you get a reply from DOJ Attorney Michael Kron, the DOJ’s Government Transparency Czar.  So when I asked for the full report on the Bellotti investigation, I was a little surprised to get a denial from the DOJ’s political spokesperson instead. Tony Green simply says:

We have determined that the records you requested are privileged as part of a legal review done for the Attorney General. Because there remains a risk of litigation around the underlying issues, the Attorney General does not intend to waive that privilege.

Tony Green
Director of Communications & Policy
Oregon Department of Justice

Interestingly, when we asked UO Assistant General Counsel Doug Park, he sent us a copy of the public records requests for the Bellotti contract (one is below, here’s the other one). These are the ignored PR requests for written contracts which led to the firing of Melinda Grier – so far as the public knows.

Why did UO’s lawyer Doug Park release these documents – even though they also show that he was not doing his job as UO’s Public Records Officer? Because UO President Richard Lariviere made him release them.

Why won’t the DOJ release their stash of similar documents? Because Melinda Grier is the wife of Solicitor General Jerry Lidz? Because they believe the documents will embarrass former AG Dave Frohnmayer? Because they are afraid it will set a precedent, and then they will have to release the details regarding the firing of former DOJ environmental counsel Brent Foster? Because they are afraid someone will take the details to the Oregon Bar and open a whole new can of worms?

In any case, UO is now more transparent than the Oregon DOJ – at least with regard to the Bellotti payoff and Melinda Grier’s role in it.

The Oregon House Committee on Education is having a hearing on this Monday at 8AM. See We will learn a little more then, maybe. The committee chair is Sara Gelser,, if you want to email her and ask her to encourage release of the full Bellotti report.

Arena and Bellotti state audits and hearings

5/22/2010: Rachel Bachmann in the Oregonian reports on two legislative hearings regarding UO: Democratic State Senator Rick Metsger will investigate allegations from union groups that money from the $200 million state bond sale for arena construction has been spent illegally, and

…, the House Education Committee will hold a separate hearing at 8 a.m. Monday to address issues of Bellotti’s buyout. Most hearings can be viewed online at At the 1 p.m. arena hearing, Williams and a university representative are expected to testify, and representatives from the secretary of state’s office will report on the progress of an arena-project audit they launched last month.

correct link for feed is here:

Lariviere’s investiture ceremony

5/21/2010: Emma Kallaway gave a very good speech. His PhD advisor showed up, so this must be a big deal. So did an amazingly large faculty contingent. Good vibes, and not just from the tuba and drums. It was damn good speech. He explained his passionate commitment to public higher education, and he made clear he has the brains and energy to deliver on it. Yeah, I know I’m being a total suckup.

Martinez resigns as UO’s Vice President for Diversity …

5/21/2010: … any day now. Because when you have been a VP for 5 years and you are still wasting your colleagues’ time with desperate emails about how “transformative change has been seeded”, it’s just a matter of when, not if:

May 20, 2010

To: Deans and Directors

From: Charles Martinez, vice president, Institutional Equity and Diversity

Subject: 2010 Diversity Profile statistics show areas of growth

Since the adoption of the University of Oregon Diversity Plan in 2006, transformative change has been seeded and advanced by the efforts across our colleges, schools and administrative units. … 

Tenure problems, double dipping, no affirmative action for your VP job, no affirmative action for your Associate Professor job, years of wasted time, $220,000 a year to waste millions of dollars in state money and nothing to show for it after 5 years but 1,187 pages of plans. Go back to OSLC or the College of Education. This is an important job, stop wasting our time. Resign and let UO have an open affirmative action compliant search and find someone who can do things, not just push paper in circles.

Socialist Worker’s Party attacks Lariviere plan, Oregonian supports it.

5/20/2010: The official organ of the Socialist Worker’s Party opposes Lariviere’s restructuring plan. I’d been waiting for them to weigh in. The Oregonian, on the other hand, is much more positive (this is from 5/15, not sure how I missed it – thanks, anonymous UO administration person.)

… But what isn’t acceptable is to fall back on the status quo. There is no reason, none, to believe that Oregon’s system of higher education as it is now structured is going to get the infusion of support that it needs to survive and flourish. Higher ed in Oregon has been waiting decades for its ship to come in. It’s not coming. … Oregon’s faculty salaries and financial aid for students are far below comparable universities. … Maybe there are other, better ways to strengthen Oregon’s public university system. But as Richard Lariviere responds to everyone who challenges his proposal, “Do you have a better idea?”

You know how editorials work, right? Lariviere goes up to Portland, meets with the editorial staff, and makes his pitch. They ask questions, they decide what their opinion is and they write it up. Their opinion is now that UO faculty are underpaid. Oh yeah, on the way back to Eugene Lariviere stops at some middle school in Woodburn and meets with the low SES kids to talk up college. I don’t even know where the hell Woodburn is. But now UO has a bunch of friends there too. So, the official UO Matters opinion on Lariviere? This guy is earning his paycheck.

Interview w/ Lariviere in Willamette Week

5/19/2010: An entertaining and educational exchange on education and entertainment:

What’s the proper role of athletics in public education?
Athletics is…. You’re buying into the—that’s the Lady Gaga syndrome.
How so?
It’s entertainment, and I’m very grateful that we have that vehicle to get our name and our mission out. But it’s entertainment. It’s not education. It’s not research. It’s not pedagogy. It’s entertainment. Now we get 500 kids educated every year as a result of that. And one could have all kinds of conversations about whether that’s an equitable compensation, but it is not why we’re here.

More on Dr. Martinez’s highly unusual tenure case

5/18/2010: Is tenure at UO for faculty or for administrators? The Academic Affairs website says:

Only faculty members with regular appointments at half-time or more (.50 full-time equivalent or FTE) at the ranks of instructor, senior instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor can be considered for tenure. 

We’ve now learned from official UO public records that Diversity Vice President Dr. Charles Martinez was given tenure in spring 2009, effective fall. He has held an 0.75 FTE officer of administration (OA) appointment since 2005. Going by the official records he did not have *any* appointment on the UO personnel list as instructor, senior instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor at the time he was given tenure. Not even an “on leave” appointment. For that matter, given his 0.75 OA FTE, he could not have had the required 0.5 faculty FTE, even ignoring his 0.65 FTE off campus OSLC job. From what we can tell he last taught in 2005.

Look at the top of Dr. Martinez’s OA contract below, signed in 2009: It says Non-Tenure-Related and No Rank (emphasis added). Look at his other contracts, going back to 2005. Same. From what we can tell, Martinez’s last faculty appointment was in 2005, and it is not even clear if that appointment was tenure-track.

Academic Affairs VP Russ Tomlin and Provost Jim Bean have some more explaining to do. We have heard, however, that they have ditched their plan to promote him to full professor this spring, but only after some pressure.

Update: Diversity VP Charles Martinez – another verbal agreement.

5/18/2010 update: After a 2 year delay Dr. Martinez has now written up a description of his job duties, and he’s even posted it online. Now we just need to get President Lariviere to post it on the UO jobs site, and UO can have an open Affirmative Action compliant search for the position of Vice President for Diversity. Thanks Charles!

5/5/2010: UO does have a document showing how much we pay Diversity VP Charles Martinez, but there is no written contract spelling out what job duties he must perform in return for his pay (and his very unusual $23,306 annual stipend – which he takes as extra income.)

I asked Melinda Grier / Doug Park for his job description back in September. See below. I’ve now been told that UO is finally writing one. After the Bellotti scandal, a lot of things need to get cleaned up. Or maybe swept under the rug. Apparently his new written contract will ignore his double dipping off campus at OSLC, and will not require an open affirmative action compliant search for his position.

That’s right, at UO you can be the 0.75 time Vice President for Diversity also while holding a second 0.625 time job off campus, and without ever going through a public AA compliant open search. No affirmative action search for the Diversity Vice President. Before this, Martinez was the Diversity Vice Provost. No AA search then either. Before that, Martinez was the Interim Diversity Vice Provost. No AA search then either. Never.

And they will not even write out the job description, list the requirements for the position, or spell out the job duties. How about criteria for performance evaluations? You joker you. Looks like Martinez’s take is about $220,000 a year. Where do I sign up for these deals? Oh, wait, they’re verbal! I get it, bummer.

President Lariviere said about the Bellotti scandal: “This institution did not follow acceptable business practices in the past. That will not be repeated under my administration.” It seemed like he was serious. Any guesses on what will happen with Martinez?
No UO job description:

From: “General Counsel”
Date: Sep 28, 2009 2:49:22 PDT
To: X
Subject: RE: public records request, Martinez exemption letter

Dear Professor X:

The only public records we have been able to locate that are responsive to your request for documents “describing OIED VP Charles Martinez’s current job responsibilities” may be found at  The University is waiving the costs associated with responding to this public records request.


University of Oregon
Office of the General Counsel

UO $ appointment:

Second OSLC Job: