Faculty Union convinces Administration to follow the linear arrow of time

Dear Associate Deans, Heads, and personnel review staff,

The Office of the Provost has clarified and changed the guidance posted during the pandemic about delaying a post-tenure review. [UOM: After lots of persuasion from the faculty union. Why is this not mentioned? Aren’t academics supposed to acknowledge other people’s work?] Formerly, a COVID extension for a 3rd-year PTR review delayed the 3PTR for a year but did not change the following 3PTR or 6PTR timeline, resulting in a subsequent review two years, rather than three years, later.

We are amending this, effective immediately: a 3PTR delay resulting from the COVID extension will also delay the subsequent PTR review by a year. Please make sure the faculty review timelines in Banner reflect this change. The option is still available for faculty to undergo the subsequent PTR on their original timeline, but many of your faculty members may want to extend their subsequent PTR due to the COVID delay.

If you haven’t yet notified faculty about their AY23-24 PTRs, please be sure your notification letters follow this update. If you’ve already sent review notification letters, please let impacted faculty know they may wait to undergo PTR until next year. This change and clarification will be beneficial for faculty.

All the best,
Renee Irvin

Renée A. Irvin, PhD
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1219

The Administration wants you to scab on your grad students

And your department heads are not happy about it:

Sent: Monday, September 11, 2023 1:24 PM
To: Office of the President <[email protected]>; Provost <[email protected]>; CAS Dean <[email protected]>; CAS DD Social Sciences <[email protected]>; Elliot Berkman <[email protected]>; Harry Wonham <[email protected]>

Subject: Dept head/program director letter in regard to academic continuity planning

Dear President Scholz, Provost Woodruff-Borden, and CAS Deans,
We, the undersigned heads of departments and program directors at the University of Oregon, write this letter with grave concern. We urgently wish to express our apprehension regarding the academic continuity planning that the College has asked us to implement in anticipation of a potential strike by the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) during the upcoming Fall Quarter.
While we take no stance on the intricacies of the negotiations between the GTFF and the administration, we want to underscore three primary concerns in regard to strike mitigation planning: process, impact on our department climates, and the unintended consequences these plans may produce. Our collective voice represents the unwavering commitment we hold toward the academic excellence and integrity of our institution. Pressures stemming from a labor dispute are manifold and warrant understanding and reflexivity. Our position as heads and directors situates us uniquely to consider the local impacts not only of a strike, but more importantly of the attempt to blunt its effects.  
As department heads and directors working with staff and deans, we have been tasked to identify courses in our unit that might be heavily impacted by a GE strike. The task has focused on possible vacancies that would result from a strike and then design plans to: replace GE labor with UO faculty, undergraduate graders, or temporary hires; cancel or modify course requirements with less labor-intensive grading; introduce remote or asynchronous course content or discussions; or step in as heads or directors to complete certain course requirements.  We have been asked to consider filling in these gaps for as little as one week to as much as the entire academic term. In essence, this planning involves re-assigning academic labor to as much as half of the fall term schedule. 
But the strategies proposed for academic continuity raise concerns beyond mere practicality. The proposition of replacing Graduate Employee labor with a surplus of pro tem instructors, or even the hiring of undergraduate graders, amid requests for faculty to restructure syllabi to accommodate reduced assessments while being assigned additional responsibilities scheduled to be performed by GEs, is not only unrealistic but challenges the ethical and academic tenets of undergraduate education. Such measures compromise the intellectual rigor that defines our teaching, disrupt the rapport we share with graduate students under our guidance, and fundamentally undermine the long-term vitality of our academic community.
Because we cannot know if and when a strike might occur, the plans are being prepared in the abstract without a sense of the multiplicity of impacts: how will this affect graduate students when they learn that their mentors, advisors, and colleagues are preparing to undercut their tactic of last resort; what happens when plan B fails, or plan C, because faculty refuse to take on overload assignments (which they have the right to do). In some cases, and because of the cascading effects that a strike will have on people’s willingness to cross the picket line, we may be put in a position to assign tasks to faculty or students who lack the training or expertise to conduct such work. Many of our disciplinary associations maintain codes of ethics that explicitly prohibit us from evaluating or teaching in areas outside of our expertise. These professional ethical standards may also prohibit assigning unqualified graders or instructors as stop gap measures.  At no point have we been asked to think about the pedagogical, ethical, or substantive impacts that the proposed modifications will have on the classes, the larger curriculum, or our professional standards.  
A labor dispute by definition will impact our university climate. But how we respond to it will determine what that impact will be and how it will endure. Last spring departments spent a good amount of time listening to our colleagues, staff, and students – graduate and undergraduate alike – about department climate. At present, the impact of implementing a continuity plan on department climate has not been raised in the communications or meetings directed at heads and directors by the provost or deans.  
    Finally, heads, directors, and Academic Support Unit staff are already spread thin as we continue the implementation of a shared services model throughout CAS. Taking on the unrealistic task of trying to ensure academic continuity will erode our ability to perform the everyday work required in our departments this fall, including overseeing searches, promotion cases, and other vital tasks. Calling for some measure of planning is understandable and wise. But we should distinguish between different types of emergencies. Parsing types of “emergencies” is also warranted. Weathering a strike is not the same as natural disasters or a global pandemic. Unlike challenges posed by uncontrollable events such as the COVID-19 pandemic or natural disasters, the forthcoming labor conflict between the administration and the GTFF is within our university’s grasp to resolve and settle. 
We have to confront the reality that the academic integrity of our undergraduate education, the climate within our departments, and the ability of faculty, staff, and administrators to effectively do our jobs will all be severely affected in the case of a GE strike. In short, there will be no “academic continuity.” We strongly urge that a settlement be reached before we reach that point.


[25 dept head names redacted]

Interim Provost Woodruff-Borden announces another pay cut

A 3% pool, while inflation is predicted to be about 4%. So let’s call it a 1% real pay cut, and a reminder of what our Johnson Hall leadership thinks of your merit:

Good afternoon,

I am pleased to share important information about fiscal year 2024 salary increases. The University of Oregon has established a 3 percent merit pool to provide salary increases for bargaining unit and unrepresented faculty members.

The merit pool will be distributed in accordance with Article 26, Section 3, of the United Academics collective bargaining agreement. Unrepresented faculty will also receive merit increases if they meet the eligibility criteria. To be eligible for a merit increase, the faculty member must:

  • have a faculty appointment on or before July 1, 2023;
  • be in a career or tenure-track and tenured classification; and
  • have documented meritorious performance as determined by their unit-level merit review policy based on the work performed by the faculty member since the faculty member’s last merit review or since the faculty member’s start date if the faculty member was hired during the last review period.

All salary increases are effective January 1, 2024.

If you have questions about the FY24 merit process within your unit, please contact your department head. Questions regarding the collective bargaining agreement and the terms for this year’s merit increase can be emailed to [email protected].


Janet Woodruff-Borden
Interim Provost

UO closes new dorm due to crack problem

Strange but I haven’t seen a post about this from interim VP Keith Frazee’s well paid Around the O PR flacks – I suppose it might make their bosses look bad – but UO’s student reporters are on the story. From the Daily Emerald, here:

Kalapuya Ilihi Residence Hall, a newer dormitory at the University of Oregon which opened its doors in 2017, has been temporarily shut down for the 2023-2024 school year. The hall is expected to re-open in the fall of 2024. 

University officials claim the reason for the closure was because of cracks in several of the walls throughout the dormitory. 

The expenses put into initially building Kalapuya Ilihi totaled $45 million, accordingsto NorthWest Engineering, the construction company which completed the project. 

… With the temporary closing of Kalapuya Ilihi, many resident assistants who were assigned to work at the hall have been forced to find new dormitories to work at for the upcoming school year. 

“Out of the blue, we got an email that Kalapuya would be closed for offline repairs, that all the ARC [Academic Residential Community] RA’s would be replaced, and that we would get more information about our new hall assignments at a later date,” Avery Clifford,   an ARC resident assistant who was previously assigned to work at Kalapuya Ilihi, said. …

This is the second UO dorm with crack. From 2015:

The University of Oregon filed a lawsuit against the designers and contractors who worked on the planning and construction of Global Scholars Hall. The suit, filed against two contractors and an architectural firm, claims the damages will exceed $8.5 million.

The hall’s residents were informed by email on March 13 from Vice President for Student Life Robin Holmes.

In the email, embedded below, Holmes said the building was inspected by two different “engineering experts” who determined it is safe.

Holmes also wrote, “We believe that concrete floors are deflecting beyond the normal limits and the deflection is causing substantial stress and/or cracking or a combination of both, of the floors, walls and ceilings.

University to deduct regressive “contributions” for new paid leave program

Don’t worry coaches and administrators – you only have to pay on your first $133K of salary. The faculty union tried to get the university to pay the full cost, but apparently the admins don’t think our real wages have fallen enough yet, so instead they’re going to use regressive taxation contributions:

Paid Family and Medical Leave A new UO state-mandated leave benefit begins in September 2023 
The State of Oregon has mandated a new program called Paid Leave Oregon, which will provide paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, an employee or family member’s serious illness or injury, or for employees experiencing sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, or stalking. The University of Oregon’s Paid Leave Oregon program will be administered by The Standard and will be called Oregon Paid Family and Medical Leave.  

What You Need to Know Now 
Contributions will begin in September of 2023 through payroll deduction.  

Employees will see their first payroll deduction for this program on their September 30 paycheck.  
The contribution rate matches the state plan as a percentage of wages and is set at 1 percent for 2023 up to a maximum. The rate is jointly funded by the employee and the university. The employee pays 60 percent of the tax and the UO pays 40 percent on their behalf. For example, if an employee’s gross pay totals $1,000 dollars, then the tax is 1 percent of the $1,000, which means the employee pays $6, or 60 percent of the tax rate, and the UO pays $4, or 40 percent.  
Benefits become available on September 3, 2023, and The Standard, our contracted provider, will be the first point of contact for claims processing.  
Employees may initiate the claims process beginning August 14 for qualifying absences that will occur September 3 or after. They should contact The Standard directly to initiate a claim. Once eligibility and qualifying claims status are confirmed, The Standard will notify the UO Benefits Office for further processing. Instructions are provided on the HR website.  
As a reminder, The Standard is our disability insurance provider with experience managing similar plans. They are well positioned to provide accurate and timely service and claims processing support for our employees.  Support and ResourcesIf you have questions about leave eligibility or the claims application process, please contact The Standard’s Services Center at 1-800-242-1888 with the University of Oregon policy number 762384-Z for reference.If you have general questions about the program, please Please review the HR website, the program noticefrequently asked questions, or contact a UO leaves representative at [email protected]

Will UO’s new fundraising VP Joe Buck compete with the Ducks?

UO’s big-time college sports enterprise brings in a lot of donations – for the Duck Athletic Department and its coaches. Historically, at UO, those donations have come at the cost of reduced donations to the academic side. From a previous post:

Millions for jocks, not a cent for scholars:

1/18/2012: That’s the word on the $5 million Jock Box gift from John Jaqua’s widow. Greg Bolt explains the basics, here. Duck press release here. And now Rob Mullens has admitted that he is going to use all the proceeds to cover the small part of the maintenance and utilities that the athletic department must pay. Not a cent will go to help the academic side pay for the $1.83 million cost of running the athlete-only tutoring operations. Where was UO’s VP for Development Mike Andreasen while this gift was being negotiated? Not doing his job for the academic side. Where was UO Foundation President Paul Weinhold? Cashing his paycheck. What is the probability that the widowed 91-year-old donor, the generous and rather interesting Robin Jaqua, understood how UO’s athletic department would use her gift? ____%.

Meanwhile, the athletic department is continuing to play hardball with the students over football tickets and costs. Because they are that greedy. Emily Schiola has the story in the ODE.

Here’s the news on UO’s new VP for Development, and here’s hoping he’s willing to fight for us:

Dear University of Oregon colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that Joe Buck will be joining the University of Oregon as our new Vice President for Advancement. In this role, Joe will oversee our fundraising and alumni engagement programs, working closely with faculty leaders and senior administrators to support university priorities through philanthropy, relationship cultivation, and engagement with the UO’s transformational donors, alumni, and friends.

Joe is coming to the UO from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he is currently the vice president for development and alumni relations. During his twenty years of higher education fundraising and engagement leadership at Lehigh University, the University of Chicago, and other top universities, Joe has built incredibly successful teams and developed deep and lasting relationships. He has demonstrated a strong track record of success and at each institution he’s served he has helped to accelerate the achievement of the university’s mission.

Among his many achievements at Lehigh, Joe led a 130-person team, increased fundraising progress by 25 percent, and successfully launched a more than $1 billion campaign, among his many achievements. Previously, he served in several fundraising leadership roles at the University of Chicago for over nine years, including as the associate dean of advancement at the Booth School of Business where he doubled the school’s fundraising progress in just three years. He also worked as a major gifts fundraiser at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and at La Salle University. Joe earned both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Education at Saint Joseph’s University.
I thank Bob Shepard for his interim leadership and the entire advancement team for their dedication to supporting our mission during these interim months. I am also grateful to Tim Inman, university secretary and presidential adviser, for his continued leadership of Government and Community Relations.
Joe will officially join the UO on September 18. I am excited for his arrival and confident he will launch the next great era for fundraising at the University of Oregon.

Please join me in welcoming him to our university community.

Karl Scholz

Seem familiar?

Colleges Spend Like There’s No Tomorrow. ‘These Places Are Just Devouring Money.’ In the WSJ:

Through it all, schools operated in a culture that valued unrelenting growth and prioritized raising revenue over cutting costs. Administrators established ambitious strategic plans and tried to lure wealthy students with luxurious amenities. Influential college rankings rewarded those that spent more.

Many university officials struggled to understand their own budgets and simply increased spending every year. Trustees demanded little accountability and often rubber-stamped what came before them. And schools inconsistently disclose what they spend, making it nearly impossible for the public to review how their tuition and tax dollars are being used. 

“These places are just devouring money,” said Holden Thorp, who was chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2008 to 2013 and is now editor in chief of Science. Offering everything to everyone all at once is unsustainable, he said. “Universities need to focus on what their true priorities are and what they were created to do,” he said.

Does he believe this crap? Does he think anyone does?

Dear University of Oregon community, 

I am pleased to share that the University of Oregon will join the Big 10 Conference in August of 2024. I am thrilled we have the opportunity to join the nation’s preeminent academic-athletic conference. Our student-athletes will participate at the highest level of collegiate athletic competition, and our alumni, friends, and fans will be able to carry the spirit of Oregon across the country. 

The connections we will make with some of the leading public research institutions in the world will lead to new opportunities for our students, staff, faculty, and university stakeholders through the Big Ten Academic Alliance and other venues. We look forward to a long, robust partnership.

We seized this opportunity considering many factors, including the reach and visibility afforded the University of Oregon by joining a nationwide conference that includes more of the country’s leading public research institutions. We also know the Big Ten shares our commitment to prioritizing student-athletes’ well-being and academic demands. 

In coming years, the UO will prioritize the long-held traditions of competition across all sports with Oregon State University.

I want to thank our University of Oregon community and our passionate Duck fans for their unmatched love and devotion to the UO. We are excited for the future ahead.

Sincerely, and Go Ducks!

Karl Scholz

UO not quite at bottom of Big 10/18!

In terms of full professor salaries, that is. Data from the AAUP:

Average Full Prof Salary
Northwestern University235
University of Maryland, College Park191
University of Michigan189
Rutgers University–New Brunswick185
Pennsylvania State University172
Michigan State University171
University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign171
University of Wisconsin–Madison170
Ohio State University165
University of Washington163
Purdue University160
University of Iowa157
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities156
University of Oregon149
University of Indiana – Bloomington147
University of Nebraska–Lincoln142

UO Trustees hold emergency meeting to discuss academic issues

Just kidding, sports is what they care about:


The UO Board of Trustees (BOT) will hold an emergency meeting today, August 4, 2023 at 2:30 pm PT.  This meeting will be held remotely via videoconference with a livestream link available for members of the public and the media. The topic of the meeting is time sensitive athletic conference issues.

Meeting materials will be available at https://trustees.uoregon.edu/upcoming-meetings and the livestream link will be available athttps://trustees.uoregon.edu/meetings.

New Prez Karl Scholz’s first act will be to raise GTFF and faculty pay to national norms!

Just kidding, his first act will be to give a huge raise to the football coach. James Crepea has the story in the Oregonian, here:

Lanning signed a six-year, $29.1 million in December 2022. He earned $4.6 million in salary last season, plus $100,000 for winning nine regular season games and $100,000 for appearing in the Holiday Bowl. His existing contract called for his salary to increase to $4.7 million this year and increase by $100,000 in each subsequent year.

Our Trustees are hiding the terms of the new deal, but they’ll be posted here, maybe even before the meeting on July 27.

Comparisons of UO faculty salaries to our AAU comparators are here. Full Professors are now down to 80% of the AAU public university average. Full Econ salaries are 71% – not that I’m an economist.

Thanks to an administrator at Oregon’s flagship university for alerting me to this meeting. I’m on the Board’s meeting notification listserv, but must have missed the announcement.

Go Ducks!

Ingrate Beach Volleyball players want to take the bread from the mouths of AD Rob Mullens’s wife and kids

I blame UO’s left wing faculty for indoctrinating these Duck student-athletes with the belief that they have the right to any part of the money that AD Mullens and his coaches have earned with their own toil and sweat (and some very successful lobbying by the NCAA hiring cartel, to make sure Mullens doesn’t even have to share with the football players who pay his million dollar salary).

James Crepea has the story in the Oregonian – thanks to several readers for the link:

Oregon Ducks beach volleyball players detail disparate treatment that experts say could violate Title IX

The team practices and plays home games in a city park. The players, who do not receive athletic scholarships, have had to use a public restroom with no doors on the stalls.

At times, they’ve driven hundreds of miles for games and stayed three or four to a room and had to share beds.

This isn’t a ragtag club sport but rather the varsity women’s beach volleyball team for the Oregon Ducks, in an athletic department with more than $153 million in annual revenue and some of the best sports facilities in the country.

The Oregonian/OregonLive interviewed more than a dozen former players and coaches, reviewed thousands of pages of public records and contacted experts in Title IX, the federal law that requires women and men be provided equitable opportunities to participate in sports. According to legal experts, Oregon’s treatment of the team puts it perilously close, if not over the line, into violation of Title IX.

The Oregonian/OregonLive found issues related to at least five of nine areas in which equal treatment is required: athletic scholarship funding; locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities; travel and daily allowances; equipment and supplies; and recruiting.

“If the women’s beach volleyball team is being treated that much worse than all the other athletes, male and female, then, unless there is a proportionate number of male athletes being treated horribly, the school is likely in violation of Title IX. Period,” said Arthur H. Bryant of Bailey & Glasser, LLP, one of the country’s leading attorneys specializing in Title IX. …

That’s one hell of an unless.

UO’s administrators spend millions on PR flacks and Around the O to puff up their careers, and the only journalists left to find out what’s really happening are the students at the Daily Emerald

Once we had regular coverage from the Oregonian and the Register Guard, but those newsrooms have been gutted and GC Kevin Reed uses fees and delays to make it difficult for any reporters left to get the public records that might reveal what’s really going on at Oregon’s flagship university.

Today the NYT discusses what good student reporting has done at other universities:

Two prominent departures at top universities this month have a common link: inquisitive student journalists.

Stanford University’s president, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, announced on Wednesday that he would resign from his position and retract three decades-old research papers, after an independent review of his scientific work was prompted by coverage in the campus newspaper, The Stanford Daily.

Last week, Northwestern University fired its head football coach, Pat Fitzgerald, after its student newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, reported that his players had engaged in hazing rituals.

The back-to-back revelations have highlighted the important role of college newspapers in holding to account the powerful institutions that house them.

Here’s hoping Tim Inman gave Karl Scholz more transition info than this pablum I just paid Kevin Reed $364.54 for


Dear Mr. Harbaugh,

Records responsive to your request for “…all briefing materials prepared by the OtP or President’s Office and provided to Incoming President Scholz as part of his presidential transition.” can be accessed via this link. Please note that access will expire in five business days on 07/19/2023.

Please note that some of the information contained herein is exempt from disclosure under ORS 192.355(2), ORS 192.355 (8), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, and ORS 192.355 (40). 

You may seek review of the public body’s determination pursuant to ORS 192.411, 192.415, 192.418, 192.422, 192.427 and 192.431.

When the office prepared the estimate to review and redact the records, it was unaware that the document contained links to additional records. As such, it did not include the review of these records in your cost estimate. If you are interested in receiving copies of the documents linked in the briefing materials please advise the office at your nearest convenience, so that we may create a cost estimate to provide those records. 

The office will consider these records to be fully responsive to your request and close your matter if we do not hear further from you by Monday, 7/31/2023.

Thank you for contacting the office with your request.


Office of Public Records

6207 University of Oregon | Eugene, OR 97403-6207

(541) 346-6823 | [email protected]