Federal regulations require UO to prepare and update it’s Affirmative Action plan every year. At UO, AAEO Director Penny Daugherty never does this and President Frohnmayer then backdates the plans to make it look like we are in compliance.
If you are filing an AA complaint, this is fraud. It will look like UO was in compliance when they were not. A recent Emerald story says
“The plan is suppose to be updated annually; it is a 12-month plan,” said Harold Busch, the former OFCCP Director of Program Operations. “That means (the contractor) needs to have a new plan in effect at that date. You can choose the date … but you must be consistent.”
UO’s 2006 AA Plan is dated “effective Jan 1 2006”. Frohnmayer didn’t sign it until after May 23, 2007, and as these letters show he then backdated it to Jan 1 2006. Incredibly, the current AA plan on the AAEO website is dated Jan 1 2008 – so it’s now 4 months out of date. Apparently Frohnmayer backdated this one, actually signing it in October 2008 or so. Doug Park in the GC’s office won’t tell tell us exactly – that’s right, UO will not tell people when they actually implemented their Affirmative Action Plan!
Complaint to the OFCCP is below:
Dear Mr. Rios:
This is a complaint regarding the failure of my employer, the University of Oregon (UO), to file annual Affirmative Action Plan updates, and their efforts to backdate their AA plan when they finally did update it. I believe UO is required to update these plans annually, and I think that backdating a document of this sort is fraud, or something close to it. I am filing this complaint for myself and for several anonymous minorities, a woman, and a Vietnam veteran, all of whom have asked me to pursue this matter.
I originally started asking the UO Affirmative Action Director, Penny Daugherty about AA plans in May 2006. At the time, UO’s most recent AA Plan was dated January, 2004. Ms Daugherty told me that an update was being prepared. I waited a few months, but nothing happened.
Ms Daugherty then stopped responding to my emails. I then asked UO General Counsel Melinda Grier what was going on, and she also refused to answer. I had a meeting with the University’s Provost, Linda Brady, and the Vice Provost for Diversity, Charles Martinez, on Oct 10, 2006. They assured me the plan would soon be updated, and I said would not pursue the matter meanwhile.
Then in April 2007, I checked and found the plan was still not updated. The AAEO website still listed the plan from January, 2004. I asked around again, but again Ms Daugherty just wouldn’t reply. I wrote a letter to the OFCCP Director in Washington. I emailed UO President Frohnmayer on 5/8/2007, asking what was the holdup, and cced a few newspaper reporters on the email. This got his attention, and he responded a few days later. So I know that as of 5/11/2007, UO had not updated its AA plan from the January 2004 version.
A week or so later I checked the AAEO website. They had now posted a new AA plan. The plan, however, was backdated to say “effective January 1 2006.” It even says this on the page where President Frohnmayer signs it, giving “his personal and professional commitment to equal opportunity”!
As I understand the process, the AA report is prepared by Penny Daugherty and UO’s AAEO office. UO General Counsel Melinda Grier (a specialist in labor and discrimination law) supervises the efforts, and VP for Diversity Charles Martinez consults. None of them have responded to my questions about when the plan was actually complete, much less why they would agree to go along with backdating this official document.
However, I have been told that several discrimination complaints and several lawsuits involving accusations of discrimination are underway against UO. I would think it is important that the people making these complaints know that this backdating has occurred, since it’s my understanding that in the absence of a current AA plan, the burden of proof for some matters involving discrimination claims is with the defendant.
In short, I think the actions of the UO and Frohnmayer, Grier, Martinez, and Daugherty may already have led to, or may about to lead to, real harm.
I very much appreciate your efforts to investigate this situation.