New job for Lariviere at Chicago’s Field Museum

Update: ODE story here.

4/13/2012: Rumor down at the faculty club is that he’s up for a job “in Chicago.” Update from Bill Graves: It’s president of the Field Museum of Natural History. Previous president was paid $509K.

And from an anonymous correspondent, this great article in the Trib:

The former president of the University of Oregon, Richard Lariviere, is expected to be appointed the next chief executive of The Field Museum, pending a board vote next week, according to a memo from museum chairman John Rowe.

Lariviere’s contract at the university was terminated at an emergency meeting of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education in November after a political dispute among Lariviere, the board and the governor. … 

That would be OUS Chair Matt Donegan, board member Jill Eiland, Chancellor George Pernsteiner, and Governor John Kitzhaber, just for the permanent record.

By all media accounts, the Sanskrit scholar, who previously was provost at the University of Kansas, was popular with those who worked for him.

No shit. Except of course for the UO admins who stabbed him in the back, hoping for a shot at his job.

The Oregon education board received a 6,300-signature petition asking that he be retained, and newspaper photographs capture supporters crying at the emergency meeting. According to The New York Times, the school’s most prominent booster, Nike CEO Phil Knight, called the ouster “astonishingly bad,” amounting to “an application of Oregon’s assisted-suicide law.”


“In the face of strong political differences in Oregon’s complex university system, we believe Richard’s work at the University of Oregon demonstrated courage, commitment and passion,” Rowe wrote in a letter to the executive committee of the museum’s board of trustees. “These are characteristics we highly value at The Field, and are exactly what’s needed to build upon the superb legacy of John McCarter, and take the Musuem into the future.”

Oregon’s loss, Chicago’s gain, and Dr. Pernsteiner’s shame.

Student court calls do-over on election

4/12/2012: The “We are Oregon” ASUO presidential slate tried to pull a Bush and get themselves declared winners, but the student court slapped them down. Rebecca X of the Commentator has the commentary. Branden Alexander of the ODE gets a good quote on the “Katie and Alex” phishing scandal that led to the redo:

Journalism professor Kyu Youm — who specializes in communication law — believes that the case could involve more than just computer crimes.

“To me, it seems like this case could have to do with identity theft,” Youm said. “When dealing with emails, it’s a personal account with personal information. That could be seen as identity theft to people.”

Youm related it to the 2008 case of David Kernell, who hacked the email account of Sarah Palin, who at the time was the vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party. The jury was unable to come up with a decision on Kernell’s possible identity theft. Kernell was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison with three years of probation.

So, can UO’s new police department bust the students who did this? Apparently they haven’t been been granted that authority just yet. Jamie Moffitt and Doug Tripp will get it any day though – what an exciting, brave new world!


Blogspot approval has been a little messed up for a few days, sorry if I missed a few. Let me ask people again to consider using a screen name to help keep the threads organized. You just click the drop down box, go to name/url and type in whatever you want. For some reason people usually pick animals.

PSU faculty retirement incentives

4/10/2012: From Bill Graves in the Oregonian:

The university is offering a $10,000-to-$40,000 cash incentive to faculty and staff who are at least 55 as of June 30 or have at least 30 years of retirement credit with an Oregon Public Employee Retirement System employer. …  The retirement incentive was revealed this weekend after a month of negotiations between PSU administrators and members of the PSU chapter of the American Association of University Professors. 

Let them major in football

4/10/2012: From Joe Nocera in the NYT:

Instead, universities do the opposite. With their phony majors and low expectations, they send the unmistakable message to the athletes that they don’t care what happens after their eligibility expires. It’s a disgrace.

Instead, why not allow football players to major in, well, football? This is a solution put forth by John Kilbourne, a professor of movement science at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Kilbourne, a former dance major, points out that college dancers can focus almost exclusively on the thing they are passionate about — even though the vast majority will not ultimately be professional dancers. Why is it so terrible to think of a football player doing likewise? Surely they could get more from a course in, say, “racism and football” than in most of what they are now forced to take.

How about “The economics of exploitation and the NCAA hiring cartel”. Any other course suggestions for this new major?

Tuition hikes and student strikes

4/10/2012: A report from our Quebecois correspondent:

Tuition hikes and student strikes

What do Oregon and Quebec have in common? Six letters, beginning with a round thing, and an e in third place. But perhaps not much more. Take the student protest movement that has kept many students away from classes at ULaval (including most of the Quebecois enrolled in the course I was guest-lecturing in last Friday) and led to huge protests in Montreal. The contrast between the students’ political movements here and at the UO are very different.

The Quebec provincial gov’t has proposed raising tuition (frais de scolarité) by less than $400 in each of the next five years, a total of $1625, bringing tuition up to around $4000/year. Back at the UO, tuition has increased by about 9% each of the last several years, and is now about $8000/yr for instate students. There was no talk of a student strike at the UO, and no picket lines. The state legislature posed no real opposition to the administration’s plans for tuition hikes.

Talking with faculty at ULaval and at McGill, they were both sympathetic with the students, and unwilling to cross picket lines to teach their classes, but they also supported the tuition hikes. They said that Quebec universities charge less than those in Ontario and western Canada, and that a longstanding tuition freeze means that costs are actually lower now than they were in 1968.

I also learned that very few students at McGill are staying away from classes or forming picket lines. Most likely because McGill has many non-Quebecois and non-Canadian students, and they already pay higher tuition. I just checked and saw that McGill charges about $3800 for tuition and fees to Quebec residents, and $7500 for other Canadians. Laurier told me that there is no such thing as “out of province” tuition, but the Laval website shows that he was incorrect. Laval charges about $2800 to Quebecois and $6500 to other Canadians. So McGill is only about $1000 more.

Union organizers jump the shark

4/10/2012: From the United Academics Facebook page:

April 4, 2012, forty-four years to the day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated while advocating for the right of public sector workers to organize, the UO administration and its legal counsel – and Frohnmayer’s private legal firm – essentially declared that we faculty do not have the right to organize. This is tragic.

The assassination of Martin Luther King was tragic, but unconnected to the unionization of UO faculty and to Dave Frohnmayer until the writing of these unfortunate two sentences.

A Dull Sword of Anachronism

4/9/2012: From a lawsuit filed in federal court, asking for $10,000 in damages from UO after DPS stopped 2 people riding bikes without lights. (PSO is “public safety officer”):

I have a great deal of respect for UO’s public safety officers, who regularly deal with bad actors like this with a lot more grace than I could. However I have never heard of a single UO campus incident where a Glock .45 on the belt would have necessarily helped matters, and it’s easy to picture many, many situations where armed police are likely to make things worse – e.g. some distraught student trying”suicide by cop”.

Update: A commenter notes

Students up to dirty tricks

4/10/2012 Update: Emily Schiola reports still more election craziness in the ODE.

4/9/2012: Two “slates” made it through the ASUO student primaries, voting in the final election runs all week. The “We Are Oregon” slate is made up of frat kids and looks like a front for the athletic department – its name and campaign video are ripped off from Rob Mullen’s $500,000 Pac-12 championship ad. The “Katie and Alex” slate opposes a posh new EMU, wants to use athletic profits for student scholarships, and supports OSPIRG. It’s hard to keep up with the dirty tricks – I’m guessing both sides must have aced Prof. Myagkov’s course on voting fraud in Russia. Commentator story here, ODE here.

The students did vote overwhelmingly to have the athletic department start contributing towards academic scholarships – currently they *take* from regular student tuition:

They also narrowly rejected Robin Holmes’s $100 a term EMU expansion fee, for the second time, and voted more than 3 to 1 to keep UO police unarmed. Full barely legible results here.

A commenter comments:

Very biased post. You failed to mention that the “Katie and Alex” ticket may have broken the law