Professor sues UO for making him read DEI tweets

Wait, I got that wrong – he’s suing because they *blocked him* from reading DEI tweets. Which is weird, because he seems like just the sort of guy that DEI would want to reach out to. Betsy Hammond has the report in the Oregonian here:

Portland State University political science professor Bruce Gilley, with backing from a national free speech group, has sued the person who ran the Twitter account of the University of Oregon’s Division of Equity and Inclusion to unblock him from seeing or responding to the account’s posts.

The public university cannot, under the First Amendment, create a public online forum and prevent him from having equal access to it based on his point of view, the suit says.

Gilley, who champions race blindness and is highly critical of typical university diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, found himself blocked from @UOEquity in June after he retweeted one of its Tweets about racism with his comment “all men are created equal.” …

The complaint is here. Thanks to an anonymous reader from OSU for the alert. Sorry I cannot verify the rumor Oregon State will be suing Professor Gilley for disparagingly referring to UO as Oregon’s flagship university:

Pres Schill moves on to regional college in NW Illinois

Dear University of Oregon community members,

It is with mixed emotions of pride and sadness that I announce that President Michael H. Schill will be leaving the University of Oregon to become president of Northwestern University. During his seven-year tenure at the UO, President Schill has significantly propelled the university forward, and so it is no surprise that he would be recruited by one of the most prestigious academic research institutions in the world.

As president, Michael Schill transformed our academic enterprise by increasing the size of the faculty, growing externally funded research to $172 million, and launching groundbreaking academic endeavors including the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, and partnerships such as Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance. During his tenure, the UO completed a $3.2 billion fundraising campaign and grew the endowment to $1.3 billion. Under President Schill’s Oregon Commitment initiative to improve student success, the university improved the four-year graduation rate by more than ten percentage points, increased total student financial aid to $43 million, and opened Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall dedicated to academic and career advising and the Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center. The incoming undergraduate classes consistently increased in size, academic quality, and diversity, with the most recent class of 2025 breaking numerous university records.

I and the other members of the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon are immensely grateful for President Schill’s service and leadership to this university, and its faculty, staff, and students. We are also extremely excited and optimistic about the future of the university. From this place of strength and success, with exceptional leadership, outstanding faculty, world-class students, and the impactful work of our schools, colleges, Knight Campus, Ballmer Institute, academic initiatives, and more—the University of Oregon heads into the future with great optimism and momentum. We are prepared for a new era of excellence, impact, and service to our students, community, and world as one of the country’s leading public research universities.

The board will move expeditiously to appoint an interim president. The interim president is expected to begin their service prior to the start of the academic year. At the board’s regular board meeting on September 15-16, trustees will discuss the launch of and process for an international search for the university’s permanent president.President Schill leaves a lasting legacy of excellence at the University of Oregon. The board thanks him for his transformational leadership and looks forward to all he will accomplish at Northwestern.

Sincerely,Ginevra Ralph
Chair, Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon

Ethics questionnaire

I need some ethics advice. An overnight visitor leaves a iphone charger in the guest bedroom. I should:

A: Fed-Ex it them immediately

B: Email them that I found it and offer to mail it back

C: Pretend you didn’t see it and leave it for the next visitor

D: Put it in the kitchen drawer with the iphone chargers from past decades

E: ?

University Presidents and public statements

From Eric Kelderman in the Chronicle:

According to the survey, presidents most often expect criticism from lawmakers. When asked “which group of people is most likely to respond negatively if you were to publicly take a position,” presidents pointed to elected officials for all but one of eight possible topics — state and national politics, but also Covid-19 policy; diversity, equity, and inclusion; free speech; gender and sexual identity; and racial justice. Only academic freedom was deemed relatively safe.

Alex Jones’s attorneys pull a Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick

Back in 2015, in the midst of a lawsuit by the RG to force the Eugene School District to release public records about a potentially illegal firing decision, the District’s law firm Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick mistakenly emailed the entire file of documents to the RG. This ended the case, but not in the way the Harrang et al were being paid to end it. Original post here:

4/29/2015: Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick way too transparent with potentially incriminating public records

Bill Gary, Sharon Rudnick, and Randy Geller of UO’s HLGR law firm must be shitting their pants. I’m no lawyer, but sending a dump of emails that potentially incriminate your clients to the local newspaper, by mistake, seems unlikely to bring in the billable hours.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.50.17 AM

Pres Schill finally finds reason to be proud of UO

… I appreciate you beyond words and am so proud of the University of Oregon you showed the world. Thank you again. And, Go Ducks!

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Full yada yada here.

Meanwhile for those interested in numbers instead of mindless sports boosterism, here’s the ECONorthwest economic impact doc. It looks like the reality may have been a bit shy of the numbers that were ginned up to justify the state subsidies:

Oregon 2022 was a bust

The NYT on the failure to expand the aging fan base:

… “The fans gave me almost chills.” The problem is, there have not been many of them compared to other championships. Hayward Field has a capacity of about 30,000. Once sponsors and delegations from every country were taken care of, it sold about 12,000 seats per session. It still sold 90 percent of available tickets, with some but not all night sessions selling out.

If you want to put on the best track meet in the United States, Eugene is an obvious choice. If you want to expand the reach of the sport in the United States, it is not the best choice. Only locals or fans willing to make a long pilgrimage could have attended. Both of those groups are composed of people track and field already has. …

“We knew there was a risk,” Coe said. “I do politely make the point there weren’t a lot of options available. There should have been, and we should have engaged earlier.” Coe wished more cities had engaged with USATF, but only Eugene pushed to host after World Athletics made clear it wanted to bring the event to the United States.

The Eugene Weekly on the shitty local economic impact:

… My Soul Hot Chicken’s business model is focused on locals, Wiley says, and doesn’t rely on tourists or students. But after hearing that Oregon22 would be good for restaurants, he says, he ordered a lot more chicken and bread than he normally would for a week. 

But business during Oregon22 has been so slow, he adds, that for this week he only ordered some cabbage. “I am 25 percent of what I projected to do,” he says. 

So far, Wiley estimates he’s lost thousands of dollars — a big number for a new business. “I was paying payroll and had barely enough to cover it,” he says. “It’s been shitty.” 

Losing so much money in a 10-day event that the state of Oregon poured $40 million into has been frustrating, he says. “You think they’d want to make sure local businesses would do well,” he says. “Everyone I’ve talked to has done poorly.”

When the actual data is out it will be interesting to revisit EcoNorthWest’s 2015 Economic Impact study, which was used as justification for the state subsidies.

Last day photo from https://twitter.com/dilanesper

Phil Knight consigliere Howard Slusher, a.k.a “Agent Orange” dies

In the Oregonian:

… While representing clients, mostly in professional football and basketball, he was fond of the “holdout,” a tactic where the represented player would sit out for an extended period of time during the season to put on pressure during contract negotiations. In a 1985 profile on Slusher, People magazine described his execution of the gambit as an “art form.” …

UW crushing UO on performative wokeness metrics

From FIRE:

SEATTLE, July 13, 2022 — When Professor Stuart Reges challenged the University of Washington’s position on land acknowledgements, administrators punished him, undermining his academic freedom. Today, backed by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, Reges sued the university to vindicate his First Amendment right to express his opinion — even if it differs from the party line.

Colleges increasingly promote land acknowledgment statements that recognize indigenous ties to the land on which a college sits. On a list of syllabus “best practices,” UW’s computer science department encourages professors to include such a statement and suggests using language developed by the university’s diversity office “to acknowledge that our campus sits on occupied land.” The fact that the statement could be adapted seemed clear — until Reges wrote one that administrators did not like.

“University administrators turned me into a pariah on campus because I included a land acknowledgment that wasn’t sufficiently progressive for them,” said Reges. “Land acknowledgments are performative acts of conformity that should be resisted, even if it lands you in court. I am pleased that FIRE joined with me to fight back against University of Washington’s illegal viewpoint discrimination.”

Incongruous Phildo flyby for F-15’s, Blackhawk helicopters

Is it normal for host countries to use international track meets to show off their military hardware? From the World Athletics press release:

On opening night on Friday, July 15, a flyover will take place when the session kicks off at 5 p.m.

On Saturday night, there will be an F-15 jet flyover right before the introduction of the athletes in the men’s 100m final.

On Monday, July 18, the night belongs to women, beginning with a Women in the Spotlight presentation followed by a Black Hawk helicopter flyover at 5 p.m. The helicopter will be flown by a female pilot.

UO’s data analytics boot camp makes the WSJ, but not in a good way

Thanks to an alert alumnus for the link. As the story notes UO is not the only university involved in this deceptive scam:

… Christina Denkinger wanted something new after 14 years as an elementary-school teacher in Portland, Ore. After shopping around for a course in data analytics last fall, she requested information through a University of Oregon website portal for an online training program, called a boot camp, offered by the university’s continuing-education division.

She received a “uoregon.edu” email from someone identifying herself as admissions adviser for the boot camp. It had the university logo, and there was no mention in the email of 2U. Ms. Denkinger paid $11,995 to enroll last December.

“The only reason I signed up for this boot camp was because of the reputation of the university,” she said.

One month into the course, she was disappointed with the quality of instruction and began asking questions. That was when she realized that instructors and course materials were all provided by a unit of 2U, Trilogy Education Services.

When she went back and looked on the boot camp website, Ms. Denkinger saw “powered by Trilogy” at the bottom of the landing page.

“I thought it was technical services,” said Ms. Denkinger, who left the course early and has just received a refund. “I do, honestly, feel like I was misled.”

A spokeswoman for the University of Oregon said that it provides administrative oversight and that the partnership with 2U is noted in several places on the website and in its enrollment agreement. After The Wall Street Journal asked about disclosures in April, a line was added to the top of the boot camp landing page saying “in partnership with Trilogy Education Services, a 2U, Inc. brand.”

2U, which isn’t accredited as a university, kept 80% of the tuition from the University of Oregon program, according to its contract with the university, which the Journal reviewed. The university said its 20% share was about $600,000 in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021.

I’m no econometrician but I figure it’s never too late to learn this data analytics stuff, so I signed up for further info. No mention of 2U in the response – it’s all UO.

Interestingly, our for-profit collaborators at 2U seem far more concerned about the health of their students, faculty, and staff than our administration is: