CAS Dean Poulsen adopts Roach Motel plan for faculty retention

OK perhaps I’m being a little unfair, I suppose Stalinist might be a more accurate description.

For as long as I can remember UO has had the same leave without pay policy as many of our comparators: faculty can leave for a year to try out a job at another university without giving up their tenure. (Not all: Some universities don’t allow this, at least one is more generous and says no more than two years without special approval).

So if that new department isn’t as great in reality as they made it out to be when they were recruiting, you know you’ve still got a place at UO.

I have two colleagues who took advantage of this, trying out new jobs and then deciding that, actually, Eugene and UO were the best place for them. They are now happy department members, and whenever someone else thinks of leaving they serve as proof that for all its faults, UO was not a dysfunctional totalitarian dictatorship that needed to build a wall to keep its people from fleeing to freedom.

But that was then. This February new CAS Dean Chris Poulsen decided that rather than boosting faculty retention with better working conditions or higher pay, he’d just take away this LWOP policy. And that’s not all – he also announced that henceforth faculty taking a LWOP could be forced to return to UO for a full year afterwards – even if the LWOP was for say medical reasons.

From what I can tell there was virtually no discussion of these changes with the faculty or the union. Heads seem to have been haphazardly informed, after the decision was made. The union only discovered these changes by chance – someone noticed that the CAS policy page had been updated, and then followed the timeline to see that it had been done at Poulsen’s direction. The UO Senate was never told. The CAS Caucus heard about it a few months after the fact, and only after I asked for it to be added to the agenda.

You can find the old policy here, with the changes. Kudos to the CAS staff for their excellent documentation, which should be a model for the OtP:

02/22/2023 – 9:09am by burridge

Updated policy at the request of Chris Poulsen/Deans. Removed section “LWOP to evaluate a position at another institution”

The faculty union pushed back and was able to rescind the requirement to return for a year, on the grounds that it sounded too much like something out of North Korea – no disrespect to Glorious Leader Kim Jong Un intended.

04/19/2023 – 4:14pm by burridge

Removed text: If LWOP is approved, CAS may require that a faculty member return for at least one year of service upon completion of the leave.

But Poulsen wouldn’t restore the old LWOP policy. So if I understand this right the union will have to try and bargain for it – along with pay increases that might help with retention in a slightly less coercive way – during the next round of contract negotiations.

Facilities Services to cut back on cleaning bathrooms & faculty offices so they can prep for Uncle Phil’s track meets

Hello Campus Community,

I am alerting you to CPFM Facilities Services Custodial Department’s temporary adjustment to services provided to the academic buildings during the upcoming Summer Term. Last year we had the opportunity to partner with U of O Housing during the World Track Championships and provide custodial support to supplement Housing’s custodial staff during their busiest time of the year, which coincides with the least occupancy in the academic buildings. As a result of last year’s successful partnership, Housing is again going to utilize Facilities Services custodial staff during the summer. Because of this transfer of custodians, Facilities Services will be reducing some services in the academic buildings during the summer months.

In addition to supporting this year’s Commencement activities, starting June 21, 2023, all of the Custodial day shift, and part of the swing shift, will be working with Housing staff to prepare dorm rooms for the upcoming academic year and to support summer events. Custodial Services will continue to work with Housing until after the Labor Day holiday (September 4th), when they will resume full campus services to the academic campus and spend the remainder of the summer getting the academic buildings ready for the school year.

For the summer, you can expect the following reduction in custodial services in the academic buildings:

  • Offices will not be cleaned. 
  • Classrooms that are not scheduled for use by the Registrar will not be cleaned.
  • Reduced restroom and common space cleaning in lower use buildings, though all restrooms will still be checked multiple times per week and cleaned if needed.
  • For buildings with regular classroom use, the only reduction that will be experienced is the temporary cessation of office cleaning.  All other services will remain the same as the academic school year.

Thank you in advance for your support in these efforts. Our custodians work very hard to keep the campus looking and feeling clean and safe for the campus community. They are proud of the work that they are doing to support the students, faculty, and staff.  We realize that there may be things that we have not considered with this service reduction.  

Please let us know if there are any challenges or difficulties that we can help address to make things work better for each of you. We will continue to have some custodial staff during the day to support urgent needs that may come up.

UO Admin working in shifts to find cause of bad campus climate

Dear colleagues,

We are writing to provide an update on the University of Oregon’s efforts to create a workplace climate that fosters equity, inclusion, and belonging—with the goal that every individual can achieve and thrive.

As part of this commitment to create a healthy and productive campus culture, the university conducted the IDEAL Climate Survey of UO Employees in April of 2022 with independent consultant Gallup. As previously shared, the results showed we have significant and important work to improve our culture and enhance the employee experience.

University leadership at all levels is committed to this work. We know that we cannot achieve our mission, support our students, and live our values if those who work here do not feel they belong, can contribute, and succeed.

Although the survey was conducted some time ago and reflects a snapshot in time, the responses reflect real experiences and perceptions. The processes of evaluating the survey results with employees and charting a course of action planning takes time. We are using the results to gain a better understanding of our campus climate and identify opportunities for improvement.

Gallup provided the university with the initial results in June 2022, which were shared with campus. Following more analysis, additional university-wide findings were shared in fall 2022 and again in the winter of this year. This spring, vice presidents and deans reviewed the school, college, and unit-level results, and used them to begin conversations with employees on unit-level action planning.

Gallup’s analysis of the findings identified several key areas of focus, including a need to:

  • Improve engagement with employees so they feel connected and committed to their work and our mission,
  • Enhance collegiality to ensure all feel respected, supported, and valued,
  • Ensure employees feel they have equitable access to resources and opportunities; and
  • Prevent and address incidents of harassment and discrimination, ensure incidents are reported, and ensure individuals know about and receive support and resources.

To address these areas of focus, the university formed four university-wide working groups in summer of 2022 and charged them with assessing resources, programs, policies and practices, and recommending improvements or changes.

Each working group is supported by an administrative unit and includes individuals on campus with expertise, responsibility, and/or involvement in the topic area. Climate survey questions were assigned to each workgroup to ensure a comprehensive effort to address all the findings.

The working groups focus are on:

  • Engagement and Onboarding
  • Equity
  • Response, Reporting, and Anti-Discrimination
  • Faculty Promotion and Tenure, and Service

The four university-wide working groups charged with addressing the survey findings have provided updates to senior leaders on their activities and have made initial recommendations.

This message provides a comprehensive review of this work. There is a lot that we would like to share. The key information includes:

The recommendations for any new or updated university-wide policy and program changes listed below, and others in development, will be shared with stakeholder groups for feedback, and reviewed and discussed by senior leadership and the units responsible for work associated with the changes.

This work is ongoing. It takes sustained effort and commitment. Improving our culture is a marathon not a sprint, and we remain resolutely committed to making the University of Oregon a great place to work, teach, research, and serve. We are also committed to continuing to communicate about these efforts and share updates on actions underway.

We want to thank the members of the working groups and all the individuals working to help us analyze, understand, and address these findings.

Again, below you will find additional details about the work group recommendations and the work being done at the unit level.

Sincerely,

Jamie Moffitt
Interim President

Janet Woodruff-Borden
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President

Working Groups Update

The working groups convened over this academic year, and are in various stages of assessment, review, and making recommendations. This spring, each group provided progress updates to members of senior leadership.

Each group completed activities which fall into several categories: cataloguing and assessing existing resources and programs, defining the scope and focus of the work, identifying gaps and recommending improvement in programs and policies, supporting unit-level work, and sharing information.

One very clear theme that emerged from each working group is that there are many resources, programs, tools, and initiatives designed to address workplace culture, equity and belonging across our campus and in our units. However, in many cases, there is a lack of awareness, clarity, coordination, understanding, and/or accountability for this work. Every working group is recommending better coordination, outreach and education regarding currently available resources and programs.

Engagement and Onboarding Working Group

Focus: defining engagement, providing tools and resources to support an engagement culture; recommending strategies for until level action and options for an accountability structure.

Lead unit: Human Resources

Summary of activities:

  • Launched Employee Engagement web resources and worked with HR Partners and leaders across campus to increase awareness of these resources and consult on how they could be utilized to enhance engagement in units.
  • Compiled a Climate Survey Guide to Data Sharing and Action Planning Discussions that was made available to deans and vice presidents and their senior leadership teams in February.
  • Explored and identified options related to a potential accountability structure for supervisors and managers to enhance and sustain employee engagement efforts and focus,
  • Evaluated additional resources that may be needed to support employee engagement work on an on-going basis.
  • Evaluated onboarding resources to enhance what already exists and identify potential opportunities for additional resources.
  • Started collaboration with HR and the Division of Graduate Studies to identify engagement and professional development resources to meet the unique needs of graduate employees

Working group recommendations to senior leadership for discussion and consideration:

  • Implementation of subsequent workplace climate surveys every 3-5 years to sustain employee engagement and workplace culture.
  • Adoption of an accountability statement for use on webpages and other written materials as needed.
  • Addition of employee engagement accountability language to supervisor/manager position descriptions in the “Job Duties” section.
  • Addition of employee engagement accountability language to supervisor/manager performance reviews.
  • Development of metrics to evaluate supervisor / manager leadership around employee engagement initiatives.

Additional information: https://president.uoregon.edu/charges-climate-survey-working-groups#engagement

Equity Working Group

Focus: developing tools and interventions to address gaps in equity among groups based on race, gender, disability, ethnicity, and employee group; embedding equity practices and an equity lens approach; and partnering with human resources to develop equity expectations and tools for supervisors.

Lead unit: Division of Equity and Inclusion

Summary of activities:

  • Identified experts to support facilitation of unit-level climate survey discussions.
  • Developed and is hosting workshops to support faculty and staff including: Facilitating Challenging Group Discussions: Listening and Leading with Care facilitated by Justin Freeman, partner at Juniper Rim Partners; Journaling Experiences: An Equity Resourcefacilitated by Michelle Stimpson
  • Identified existing list of institutional resources related to equity that need to be embedded in accountability processes.

Working group recommendations to senior leadership for discussion and consideration:

  • Regularly communicate to all employees about expectations regarding equity in the workplace and provide reporting pathways to identify and address areas of inequity.
  • Equip managers and supervisors with equity tools and hold leaders accountable for incorporating equity appropriately in all unit-based decision making, policies, and processes.
  • Amplify institutional equity successes and address equity gaps where they exist.
  • Communicate climate survey findings and analyses, as well as a shared definition of equity, to foster a common understanding of the work across campus.
  • Ensure the actions that administrative leadership and units are taking to address equity gaps and barriers to change are being reported on and communicated regularly.
  • Amplify existing professional development and campus resources related to equity for all campus and institutional decision makers.
  • Systematize equitable decision-making across campus with the dissemination of an equitable-focused decision tool for major unit decisions.
  • Embed equity definitions, scenarios, and tools into relevant professional development, supervisor expectations, and onboarding processes in ways that clarify what equity looks like within units/departments at various levels and centers equity as a value. 
  • Present avenues to obtain resources for strategic investment in equity processes.

Additional information: https://president.uoregon.edu/charges-climate-survey-working-groups#equity

Response, Reporting, and Anti-Discrimination Working Group

Focus: preventing bias discrimination and harassment as well as other impacts around inclusion and belonging on campus; improving the system of university reporting and response.

Lead unit: Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance

Summary of activities:

  • Assessed reporting obligations of designated reporters, reporting forms, and employee checklists.
  • Identified and assembled resources for employees to increase clarity and understanding of resources; policies and reporting responsibilities; and resources for training and training requests.

Working group recommendations to senior leadership for discussion and consideration:

  • Increase campus understanding of reporting avenues, investigation process and regulations, and response options.
  • Develop training and resources to increase employee understanding of reporting obligations and available support.
  • Develop training to increase understanding of policy violations versus conduct that fall below investigation threshold and non-investigative resolutions.
  • Develop process to accompany investigation process to further inform and support campus through the investigation process.
  • Create resources, and support and response procedures for incidents not meeting threshold for investigation or formal action.
  • Improve anti-discrimination through education and awareness.

Additional information: https://president.uoregon.edu/charges-climate-survey-working-groups#anti-discrimination

Faculty Promotion and Tenure, and Service Working Group

Focus: identifying gaps in understanding of and knowledge about promotion and review policies, process, and expectations; augmenting the role of mentoring in clarifying expectations around promotion; implementing the University Senate-developed recommendations on equitable and transparent faculty service.

Lead unit: Office of the Provost

Summary of activities:

Working group recommendations to senior leadership for discussion and consideration:

  • Bring additional clarity to expectations for promotion through the current process of unit policy revisions.
  • Develop additional training for unit leaders to foster mentorship around promotion.
  • Create additional training resources and community awareness around equitable and transparent service allocations.

Additional information: https://president.uoregon.edu/charges-climate-survey-working-groups#faculty

Unit-level Data Sharing and Climate Action 

In February, the university held a School, College, and Unit-Level Climate Survey Workshop for all deans, vice presidents, and the senior leaders in their divisions. At this summit, university leadership provided information, expectations, and resources for sharing results specific to each school, college, institute, or division to individual employees.

A Gallup consultant provided training and input on how to engage with employees and embark on unit-level action planning. Gallup, Human Resources, the Division of Equity and Inclusion and the Office of the President created and curated a comprehensive list of resources and tools for unit leaders to utilize to engage in these discussions.

Vice presidents and deans are expected to have shared their unit- or division-level data with employees by the end of this term. Some of this work is complete, some remains underway. This work takes time, especially in very large academic units, but it is important that individuals not only see their unit’s results but have time to review and discuss them with their supervisors, directors, and/or division heads.

All deans and vice presidents are expected to report at the end of this month about these conversations and their next steps for addressing the findings through current or future action planning.

In addition to the scheduled sessions––Facilitating Challenging Group Discussions: Listening and Leading with Care and Journaling Experiences: An Equity Resource––the Division of Equity and Inclusion will also be hosting workshops over summer and fall to provide support and resources for unit-based teams as they develop their action plans.

Additional Information and Resources

Employee Climate Assessment:

Employee Engagement and Support:

Equity:

Response, Reporting and Anti-Discrimination Programs:

Policies and Reporting Responsibilities: 

Training and Training Requests:

CAS Dean tries to increase faculty diversity by moving diverse faculty into administration

Of course this would make complete sense if he’s mostly concerned with looking like he’s doing something. Nah that can’t be it, can it?

From: CAS Dean [email protected]
Subject: CAS Faculty Announcing Nadia Singh as Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Date: May 23, 2023 at 3:37:05 PM PDT
To: “‘[email protected]'” [email protected], “[email protected][email protected]

Dear CAS colleagues,

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Nadia Singh as Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, from July 2023 through June 2026.
Nadia is an Associate Professor in Biological Sciences and a member of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution. She joined the UO faculty in 2016 after spending six years as faculty at North Carolina State University. Her work uses fruit flies as a model system to study the genetics of the evolutionary process. She is the recipient of a prestigious NSF CAREER grant.

Nadia has a substantial record of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) through her research, teaching, and service. Among her many contributions, she chaired the Biology Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for two years and founded and chaired the CAS Natural Sciences Diversity Leadership Committee. She also served as Associate Vice President of Research in OVPRI and in that role helped develop a strategic plan for advancing DEI. She has been strongly committed to creating institutional infrastructure to diversify the research enterprise and has collaborated on several research projects that broaden representation of underrepresented and underserved students and researchers in science. She has also been a national leader in promoting DEI through her professional societies. Nadia brings a wealth of experience, commitment, and leadership in DEI to the dean’s office.

Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Nadia as our new Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Sincerely,

Chris

Chris J. Poulsen
Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Earth Sciences

What did Tim Inman tell President Scholz, and when did he tell it?

Back when I was naive and optimistic I once told Pres Lariviere that I thought people in Johnson Hall were just telling him what they thought he wanted to hear. He looked at me with a blank face and said “Gee Bill, you think?”.

So let’s find out what Tim Inman has told President Scholz:

From: WTH <[email protected]>

Subject: Public Records request, Presidential transition briefing docs

Date: May 22, 2023 at 5:40:28 PM PDT

To: Lisa Thornton <[email protected]>

Cc: Tim Inman <[email protected]>

Dear Ms Thornton – 

This is a public records request for copies of all briefing materials prepared by the OtP or President’s Office and provided to Incoming President Scholz as part of his presidential transition. 

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest. I am ccing Tim Inman, as he should have these documents readily at hand and be able to provide them without your office’s usual fees and deliberate delays. 

Thanks, 

Bill Harbaugh
Econ Prof, U of Oregon

Typically General Counsel Kevin Reed delays responding to these requests for the max 21 days, presumably because I outed him over his fireman bio. We’ll see if Inman plays along with him.

Interim Provost caves on illegal Honor’s College Dean search

After initially arguing that the search policy that the Senate developed and Pres Schill adopted as UO Policy was “just advisory”, Woodruff-Borden has, after the expenditure of much effort and time by the Senate leadership, United Academics (who filed a grievance) and many others, finally been brought to her senses and has accepted that there will have to be a do-over.

Oh wait, not a do-over. I forgot that our Johnson Hall leaders don’t make mistakes. Instead the search has only been “paused”:

From:[email protected] <[email protected]> on behalf of CHC Deans Office <[email protected]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2023 9:22:40 AM
To:[email protected] <[email protected]>
Subject: chcfacstaff CHC Dean Search Update

Sent on behalf of Janet Woodruff-Borden, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President

Dear Honors College colleagues:  

First, thanks to those of you who engaged with the candidates brought forward for the deanship of the Clark Honors College, and for providing input about your experience with each during the process. 

 Upon considering feedback and concerns related to the search process and the limited pool of candidates, we have decided to pause on the search until the 2023-24 academic year. This will allow the opportunity to broaden the search committee and to launch a national search that will bring a larger pool of applicants, which may include both internal and external candidates. 

Again, thank you for your engagement in this process. We will follow back up with the honors college community in the fall. 

Sincerely,  

Janet 

Janet Woodruff-Borden, PhD 

Interim Provost and Executive Vice President

[email protected] 

202 Johnson Hall

1258 University of Oregon | Eugene, OR 97403 

signature_419222801

Woodruff-Borden keeping Scholz in the dark about Commencement failures, will reinstate Dept ceremonies but not Saturday

And I thought I was the only one who had trouble getting info from Johnson Hall:

From: WTH <[email protected]>

Subject: RE: Public Records request, Commencement briefing materials for incoming Pres Scholz

Date: May 1, 2023 at 2:59:58 PM PDT

To: Lisa Thornton <[email protected]>

Cc: Karl Scholz <[email protected]>

Dear Ms Thornton – 

This is a public records request for a copy of any briefing materials sent from the JH leadership and or presidential transition team to incoming President Scholz regarding the timing and manner of commencement. 

I’m ccing President Scholz, as he can provide these public records without your office’s usual fees and deliberate delays. 

Thanks, 

Bill Harbaugh
Econ Prof, U of Oregon

5/22/2023

Dear Mr. Harbaugh,

Our office has searched for but was unable to find any records responsive to your request made on 05/01/2023. The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.


Sincerely,

Office of Public Records

6207 University of Oregon | Eugene, OR 97403-6207

(541) 346-6823 | [email protected]

publicrecords.uoregon.edu

In other news, our interim Provost won’t explain why she is ignoring the Senate and is keeping the Monday option for Commencement:

From: William Harbaugh <[email protected]>

Subject: Re: Commencement advisory work group

Date: May 12, 2023 at 5:49:35 PM PDT

To: Janet Woodruff-Borden <[email protected]>

Yes, I saw that you did that. 

My question is why you are ignoring the part of the Senate Legislation which says 

“2.1 THEREFORE BE IT MOVED that it is the sense of the Senate that graduation should be held on the weekend immediately following finals week”

It’s my understanding that most people do not think that Mondays are part of the weekend.

Thanks, Bill

On May 12, 2023, at 5:09 PM, Janet Woodruff-Borden <[email protected]> wrote:

Bill,

We addressed below and in response to the Senate legislation that we are aligning the dates with those currently published.

Best,

Janet

Janet Woodruff-Borden, PhD 

Interim Provost and Executive Vice President

[email protected] 

202 Johnson Hall
1258 University of Oregon | Eugene, OR 97403 

For scheduling, please contact John Scholl at [email protected] or 541-346-3099

From: William Harbaugh <[email protected]
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2023 12:50 PM
To: Provost <[email protected]>

Subject: Re: Commencement advisory work group

Hi Janet, 

I’m writing as a Senator and member of this former task force, to ask for an explanation as to why you’ve decided to ignore the part of the Senate legislation calling for Commencement to be on Saturday.

Thanks, 


Bill Harbaugh
Econ Prof, U of Oregon

On May 12, 2023, at 11:25 AM, Provost <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear commencement advisory work group members: 

I am writing to let you know of a new development regarding next year’s commencement that impacts the work of this group.

Interim President Moffitt and I have made a determination about the format of June 2024 graduation and the dates that commencement activities will be held for 2024 through 2028. Specifically, we have decided that department ceremonies will be permitted as part of June 2024 commencement and confirmed that, for 2024 through 2028, commencement activities will take place over two consecutive days, rather than one day; and that the specific dates will align with those currently published in the five-year academic calendar on the Registrar’s website in that activities will take place on Sunday and Monday.

As a result, we will be sunsetting the work group.

Thank you for your willingness to participate in the work group and for giving your expertise and time to the process. Your discussions were extremely helpful in allowing us to reach the above determinations.

With appreciation,

Janet

Janet Woodruff-Borden

Interim Provost and Executive Vice President

Confusingly named university goes union

Dear William,

I’m writing with some great news! More than eight hundred faculty members at Miami University in Ohio officially have a union today after an overwhelming majority of faculty cast ballots in favor of forming a new unionized chapter of the AAUP and the American Federation of Teachers. 

As a longtime AAUP union member and an Ohioan myself, I couldn’t be prouder of and more thrilled for the members of our newest chapter, which includes tenured and tenure-track faculty members and longer-term contract faculty including teaching professors, clinical faculty, and lecturers. 

The Faculty Alliance of Miami spent more than a year organizing for the union election, assisted by terrific staff organizers from the AAUP and the AFT. The victory means that faculty voices will be heard as they work to improve working conditions and student learning conditions through collective bargaining. 

The win also highlights the success of the AAUP’s affiliation with the AFT, which took effect last fall. We are stronger together as we fight to protect academic freedom and create a more just university for all.

Read more and share!

In solidarity,

Paul Davis
AAUP Vice President

How the UO Senate helped a new President get rid of a bad interim provost

Thought I’d repost this bit of history, no particular reason:

2/20/2013: Congratulations to Nathan Tublitz and the Senate: SPQUO. Stupid and futile gesture works!

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that James Bean has requested a return to his faculty position at the Lundquist College of Business at the end of this fiscal year. Jim’s more than four years of outstanding service to the University of Oregon as senior vice president and provost came at a particularly critical time for the institution. His efforts to develop a transparent budget system for the university and to place the campus on a better financial footing have been especially noteworthy. Equally important is his work with faculty and the deans to develop a dynamic academic plan.

There are many additional contributions to the UO that Jim has made as provost and I look forward to the opportunity to celebrate those with you in the coming months. I am also personally very grateful for his guidance, counsel and leadership during my first months here.

I have asked Jim to continue to lend his expertise to certain critical opportunities facing the university following his return to the faculty. I am very appreciative that Jim has agreed to continue to lend substantial support to issues he has played a major role in during his time as provost.

I will work with campus leadership, faculty and our community colleagues as we initiate a national search for Jim’s permanent successor. In addition, I will seek campus and community input as I consider an interim replacement to assume the role of senior vice president and provost on July 1 while we undertake our search.

Please join me in thanking Jim for his service and congratulating him on his many accomplishments during these past four years.

Best regards,

Michael Gottfredson, President

2/14/2013: Nathan Tublitz’s motion for an immediate performance review of Interim UO Provost James C. Bean first came up in the January meeting. The Senate put it off, hoping that President Gottfredson would either convince Bean to step down quietly, or decide that under current rules Bean should be reviewed now anyway. Neither happened, so the motion came back up yesterday. There was a lively discussion. Professor Tublitz made the case for the importance of the job, and hit a few of the highlights of Bean’s various failures. No one disputed the facts.

Pres-Elect Margie Paris and Kassia Dellabough argued for delay until fall, when UO will finally have a formal evaluation policy. I argued to just do it. Senate President Kyr gave President Gottfredson a chance to defend Bean or the proposed delay, he declined. After an amendment on the dates (Gottfredson to start the review now, and report to us at the May meeting) the motion passed on a voice vote, about 25 in favor and 2 opposed.

My take on the Senate’s message to President Gottfredson? We lost confidence in Bean long ago, and the longer you keep him the more we wonder about you. Appoint an interim, and start the search for new provost now, or come back to the Senate within 60 days and tell us why you think we should suffer this fool for another year.

Pres Schill cuts deal with ASUO on ending $1.7M student fee payment to Ducks, students meeting at 4 today

2/2/2021: No details on the deal til 4PM today. Maybe some wealthy UO donor finally decided to start paying for the students, like he pays for the coaches raises? While UO’s students pay the Ducks $1.7M a year for “free” tickets, at Maryland the athletic department pays the students to go to the games via a scholarship lottery, if they stay til the 4th quarter.

From the ASUO student government to the UO Senate:

The ASUO has been in discussion with the University of Oregon administration over the athletics agreement through which students pay for their student tickets. This year’s ASUO administration decided that the use of I Fee funds to purchase tickets was unfair due to the price we were paying, and the way tickets are allocated and distributed, therefore, on Saturday, January 30, the ASUO Legislative branch voted to discontinue the current athletics agreement.

University of Oregon administration approached the ASUO yesterday about this decision, and late last night, President Michael Schill and Senate President Claire O’Connor negotiated a new proposal of a restructured system to secure student tickets to athletic events. If you would like to ask questions or hear more details, the ASUO will be having an open public forum from 4-6 pm and all students are welcome to come learn more and voice their opinions before the ASUO Senate votes on the proposal during an open meeting from 6-6:30 pm. Please consider using this opportunity to learn more and voice your opinion.

This is the link to the public forum: https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/8311573647

1/25/2021: ASUO committee votes to end $1.7M payments to Duck Athletic Cartel for “free” tickets

The final decision seems to be up to President Schill, and since he firmly believes and restated in the Senate 2 weeks ago that the Ducks should not be subsidized, ending this particular subsidy should be an easy call for him. Student attendance has been dropping for years – and many leave early to get on with the partying – and those who do care about big-time college sports can of course still buy tickets. Presumably Duck financial director Eric Roedl will heavily discount these or hire ringers, since they’ll need a section of excited looking student-types with painted faces to focus the TV cameras on.

Reporter Leo Baudhuin has the story in the Emerald:

ASUO’s Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee voted against renewing its athletics ticketing agreement at a Jan. 19 budget hearing. This means the student ticket subsidy will not be funded for the 2021-22 academic year, with the money reallocated to a handful of new programs that ACFC believes will more equitably serve the University of Oregon student body. 

The UO athletics department declined to speak with the Daily Emerald for this story.

According to the 2020-21 contract, ACFC and athletics had mutually agreed upon this markdown rate beginning with Fiscal Year 2016-17. For the 2020-21 fiscal year, ACFC was paying over $1.7 million in student fees for the ticketing contract. The agreement stood at 50% of market value prior to the 2016 deal.

This price allowed I-fee paying members to attend any Ducks sporting event with a student ID — with the exception of football and men’s basketball, which were run through a lottery system that students had to register for.

In place of the athletics contract, ACFC is allocating the $1.7 million to seven new programs: menstrual product accessibility in the EMU, a tiered textbook subsidy program for students with financial need, a basic needs coordinator who will help students apply to programs like SNAP, a student advocacy coordinator for ASUO’s peer-to-peer advocacy work, an across-the-board 20% wage increase for students employed at UO, an emergency housing subsidy fund and a redistribution of roughly $400,000 to other finance committees — which will allow ASUO to decrease or maintain the current I-fee for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

“The reality is not everyone gets a football ticket,” ACFC chair Annika Mayne said, “and a football ticket is not going to pay your rent or help you with legal trouble or increase your wage.” …

… From the hearing, ACFC’s budget proposal will go to the ASUO senate, Mayne said. Pending the senate’s approval, it will make its way to ASUO President Isaiah Boyd before going to UO President Michael Schill. Both Boyd and ASUO Senate President Claire O’Connor voiced their support for the plan during the public comment section of the budget hearing.

“There are some populations of students that I’m sure aren’t going to be happy about this,” said Laus. “But by and large, it’s a university, it’s not a sports team.” …

Here’s a past post on this issue:

June 2017: Duck athletic cartel’s Eric Roedl shake down UO students for another 40 large:

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 3.55.34 PM

Kenny Jacoby has the story in the Daily Emerald, here:

This year, athletics requested another 4-percent increase, even though prices for regular season-ticket holders are decreasing.

“Really the reason behind the 4-percent ask is that we’ve been frozen for so long and we’re trying to just catch up a little bit with the [incidental fee],” [the very well paid AAD Eric Roedl] said.

Dunn said each year Roedl and other athletic department officials “come to the table very frustrated that the conversation is the same.” Students want to pay less, but athletic department officials wants them to pay more, so the end result remains unchanged.

“They don’t think about how any sort of change in these fees or tuition will actually impact the students here on our campus,” Dunn said. “Asking students to pay more for their student athletic tickets in a year where tuition is supposed to go up almost 11 percent is a little ridiculous.”

In the end ASUO gave them only $10K, so now Roedl is threatening to take away the students tickets – or go directly to the TFAB, for a new student fee devoted solely to the athletic department.

Law school to raise tuition 7% – and not pay back UO debt or $10M subsidy

Dean Marcilyn Burke will ask the Board of Trustees for a 7% increase – but it’s a shell game. She will keep the money for the law school’s own budget, including more fee remissions. So actual cost will barely change, and after scholarships law students will still pay only ~50% of the listed tuition (on average). In contrast UO only has funding to give undergrads discounts of about 10%. From the Tuition Fee Advisory Board here:

A rough estimate of the current law school subsidy is $10M per year. The latest available data is 2017-18, at https://ir.uoregon.edu/files/Operational_Metrics_LAW_01092018.pdf They spent $13.2M on personnel costs. Figure another 20% for mics, you get about $16M. Add in overhead to JH, IT, Facilities etc, and you’re at at least $20M. They brought in maybe $7M from law student tuition after the discounts, and they taught another 4800 credits to undergrads at about $220 per, averaging in and out-of-state tuition. Let’s call it a total of $8M in tuition revenue versus costs of about $20M. Through in a few offsets from donations and you get $10M in subsidies.

Why are UO’s undergrads paying $10M to subsidize law students and professors? This subsidy helps the law school recruit better students, and is crucial to keeping their US News ranking high. Cutting this subsidy would of course leave the rest of UO with more money – which it could use to improve it’s over all US news ranking. But apparently that’s not important to our administration.

The huge increase in law school scholarships started with this deal cut back in 2014 between then Law School Dean Michael Moffitt, his spouse and VP for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt, and VP Brad Shelton:

UO was late paying 700 GE’s last fall

From Ryan Nguyen in the Emerald:

The University of Oregon’s original estimate of how many of its graduate employees it failed to pay last October has doubled from 350 to 700 since the mistake was first announced, according to an internal university report.

The report reviews the October 2019 incident in which the university failed to pay a significant number of its 1,500 GEs. Though the university originally said that it had not paid only 350 GEs, the report states that the actual figure is double that, at 700.

… The university did not provide comment about the report before publication of this story after four business days, including questions about why the university had originally estimated that only 350 GEs had not been paid, why it missed its deadline by two days and what specific actions it would take in the future. …

Helps you understand why their union insisted on keeping control of their health insurance.

 

MMXX-VI bargaining: Some crap CBA articles no one really cares about

That’s the rumor from the faculty club last night. Today’s Faculty Union proposals will include Release Time, Training, and Union Rights. I have no idea what the Administration will bring to the table, they like to surprise us.

Should be plenty of space to spread your work out. Free UO Matters coffee cup to whoever gets the most grading done between 12-3PM today in 125 Chiles. My continuing series on Budget Buckets is here. No live-blogging today, try the official Union tweets or Facebook, or wait for the Union’s synopsis Monday.

In other news the state is flush with cash, because our economists underestimated income tax collections again, and death tax collections have soared. Not because the olds are dying at an unexpected rate, but because they now have all the money – until suddenly they don’t and the state finally gets its cut of the wealth they have accumulated because they were lucky enough to be born in a country where the government protects property rights and commerce, winks at anti-trust laws, makes it easy to trade campaign donations for special favors, and pays for their medicare with a regressive tax on workers.

Get your tickets to Hamilton here, page down for the data from the latest Oregon State Economist’ revenue report:

 

UO Senate to meet on Expedited Tenure, Test Optional Admits, Admin Hiring

Today, Wednesday 2/12/2020, Location: EMU 145 & 146 (Crater Lake rooms)

Sorry, no live-blogging this time. Expect a lively discussion over the proposal to expand the Expedited Tenure Policy to Assoc Prof hires, (vote) and the Guidelines for Academic Administrator Hiring – which would write down some minimal practices for our Administration to, hopefully, use when hiring provost and dean types. They keep coming up with new rules for faculty hiring, and the new IHP is, from the rumors, still dominated by Brad Shelton – but they don’t want the Senate to even pick a few members for hiring committees for provosts etc.

Provost Phillips will also discuss the possibility of UO going test optional for admissions (no requirement for SAT/ACT). This would be a boon to Lorraine Davis and her special athletics admits, and might help with recruiting minority/first generation students whose parents don’t know the test-prep game, or have the money to hire someone to take the test for their students. The UC Senate recently voted in favor of keeping the test requirement – but of course UC is far more selective than UO, so the argument that the tests help admit smart students with bad HS grades is less relevant to us. InsideHigherEd story here.

Meeting Agenda. To watch live streamed meetings, click: WATCH.

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

3:04 P.M.  Approval of the Minutes

3:05 P.M.   State of the University

  • President Schill

3:15 P.M.   New Business

4:30 P.M.    Open Discussion

  • Guidelines for Academic Administrator Hiring: Senator perspectives

4:50 P.M.   Reports
4:55 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion
4:56 P.M.   Other Business

  • Legislative Updates; Libby Batlan and Hans Bernard

5:00 P.M.   Adjourn