2-factor activation via DUO comes to UO

My initial reaction was “oh shit, this is going to be like Concur or the Faculty Tracking Software scheme, or Craig Ashford’s plan to save millions by centralizing all UO purchasing (say, anyone know what happened to that?).”

But I’ve been using it for about 2 months and it’s seamless. Log on as usual and if I haven’t used that service in a week my phone beeps, I hit the green button, and I’m in. Strangely you don’t need it for Duckweb, so anyone who has the 6 number password I’ve used for the past 10 years can still change my students’ grades and direct deposit my paycheck to their bank, but I assume that will be part of Duo eventually:

Dear UO faculty, staff, and GEs,
With spring term nearly complete, we wanted to express our deep appreciation for everything you’ve done to teach, work, and persist through the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
As part of our work to secure the university’s systems and data, especially during this unusual time, we will be expanding UO’s two-step login service in two important ways in the coming weeks. Action is required.
Key Points
Protect Yourself, Protect the Flock
Enrolling your Duck ID account in two-step login protects not just you but also your students, colleagues, and the university as a whole.
Enroll in Duo now by following these brief instructions. While enrollment is voluntary at this time, the deadline for taking action is rapidly approaching.

Continue reading

President Michael Schill has been very, very good to his upper admins. Faculty & staff, not so much.

Relative to other “Very High Research” public universities. I think this is what is commonly called “administrative bloat” – though these are salaries, not numbers. 2018 means the 2018-19 FY.

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, here. (You may need to create a free login with your UO id). The data comes from federally required IPEDS data submissions. UO is in orange, the 4-year VHR public university average in teal:

Admin: Upper management salaries:

Admin: Comm/Legal/Media salaries:

Faculty: (Full profs.)

Faculty: (Asst Profs):

Librarians:

Regular OA’s:

Paul Weinhold’s Secretive UO Foundation delays IRS reporting yet again

The usual deadline for these reports is 5.5 months after the end of the fiscal year, which for the Foundation would be Nov 15, 2019. But no, the Foundation has already made 2 requests for 3 month extensions, which would have made the report due today. And now they are using the coronavirus as an excuse to drag this out another 3 months. Which means we will not have public access to even the most basic information on the UO Foundation’s income, expenditures, and assets for the fiscal year that ended on June 30th, 2019 until July 15, 2020 – more than a year later:

Kelly Bosch (University of Oregon Foundation)

May 15, 2020, 11:26:33 AM PDT

Good morning,

Thank you for your inquiry. The IRS extended the filing deadline for 990 returns until July 15th due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Thus, we will be filing our returns on July 15th. The public disclosure copies will be available at that time.

Thank you,

Kelly Bosch
This information, and any attachment, is PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL property of the University of Oregon Foundation. Any unauthorized reproduction, dissemination or disclosure is prohibited.

We do know from the most recently available IRS 990, covering the 2017-18 FY, that it’s a pretty lucrative operation, for some:

In his spare time, after devoting 44 hours a week to the Foundation, Weinhold serves as Chairman of the Board of Summit Bank. I don’t know how much they pay him, or how many hours he spends at that:

Trustees to meet May 26, 29th, & June 5 on budget, bargaining, and COVID-19

That would be the OSU Board of Trustees. The UO Board will meet June 4th. No agenda has been distributed yet.

Public Meetings Notice

May 15, 2020

The Oregon State University Board of Trustees will meet on Friday, May 29, to consider the university’s operating budget for the coming fiscal year and the consolidated request for operating funds for the next biennium being made by Oregon’s seven public universities to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

The board also will receive a report on the university’s COVID-19 response; hear a legislative update; consider practices related to collateralizing public funds; receive updates on a number of capital projects; and discuss a policy regarding the use and management of the university-provided president’s residence. The board also will hear an update on the Corvallis campus vision, a community-based engaged effort launched by the university to guide how the campus will evolve over the next 10 years.

Given current COVID-19 guidance from the Governor’s Office, as well as university and county health officials, the meeting will be hosted through a remote conferencing service. The meeting is open to the public and will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Options for joining the meeting and instructions for providing comment during the board meeting’s general comment period and in a testimony period held before the board votes on each action item are located under “Meeting Details” at this webpage.

The board will hold an executive session as part of its agenda, pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(d) to conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to carry on labor negotiations.

Board committees also will meet via remote conferencing services. These meetings are open to the public:

  • The Finance and Administration Committee will meet from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, to consider the university’s operating budget for the coming fiscal year and Oregon’s public universities’ operating funding request for the next biennium to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. The committee also will consider practices related to collateralizing public funds, and hear an update on the Finley Hall capital project budget and capital project requests related to the PacWave energy research project and a university gymnastics practice facility. The committee will receive a written report on research space needs and a risk management report.
  • The Executive and Audit Committee will meet from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. on Friday, May 29, to consider the Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance’s progress report and a policy on the use and management of the university-provided president’s residence. The committee also will discuss all hazards planning.
  • The Academic Strategies Committee will meet from 8 to 11 a.m. on Friday, June 5, to consider a proposed new academic program in marine studies. The committee will hear briefings on student life and conduct, educational programs, enrollment and financial aid and athletics. The committee also will discuss the university’s efforts related to sexual harassment and violence education, prevention and response.

Agendas and meeting materials for board and committee meetings will be posted as they are available athttp://oregonstate.edu/leadership/trustees/meetings. If special accommodation is required, please contact (541) 737-3449 or lauren.skousen@oregonstate.edu at least 48 hours in advance.

Lauren Skousen | Executive Assistant, Board of Trustees
Oregon State University | Kerr Administration Building, 638 | Corvallis, Oregon 97331
Phone: 541-737-3449 | Fax: 541-737-3033

_______________________________________________
Board-updates mailing list
Board-updates@lists.oregonstate.edu
https://lists.oregonstate.edu/mailman/listinfo/board-updates

To unsubscribe, send a message to:
Board-updates-request@lists.oregonstate.edu
with the word “unsubscribe” in the body.

New task force on long-term response to COVID-19

Dear University of Oregon community,

We all recognize the profound impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on both the University of Oregon and the national higher education landscape. The simple truth is that the coronavirus is an invisible disruptor that suddenly and harshly threatened what has been the UO’s foundation for nearly 150 years—the ability to fulfill our mission of excellent teaching, research, and service as a residential campus.

We know there will likely be drops in enrollment and state budget cuts that will create real financial challenges for the UO. It is too soon to know whether it will be a sharp but short-term hurdle that we must find a way to overcome or a systemic recalibration of the way the UO operates. Ultimately, the scope and duration of the financial and operational challenges posed by COVID-19 will be revealed in the coming weeks, months, and years.
To help the UO address the challenges, we are announcing the creation of the Joint UO Senate/Administration Task Force on Long-term Responses to COVID-19. This joint task force, which is advisory to the president, will review data on university operations and revenue projections, engage campus stakeholders, seek input and feedback, and use this information to analyze proposals, develop and consider strategies, and provide advice for long-term planning.

The 16-member task force is broadly representative of units across campus, including faculty, deans, classified staff, officers of administration, and a student. The group will begin meeting in June and be co-chaired by Elliot Berkman, Associate Professor of Psychology and Senate President-elect, and Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Dean of the School of Music and Dance. The full charge and membership of the task force are posted on the president’s website.

What we cannot do is sit idly by and wait for budget cuts or other impacts to happen to us. Ensuring the UO is poised to meet these challenges means we must do all we can now to look around corners, anticipate problems, develop scenario-based solutions, and proactively seek innovation. One thing we all agree on is that the challenges posed by COVID-19 to the University of Oregon are not going to be solved by any one person or group of persons. We must leverage the collective wisdom, creativity, and intellectual horsepower of our entire campus. Our intention is that this joint task force is a step toward doing that.

Thank you.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law
Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President
Elizabeth Skowron
Professor of Psychology and UO Senate President
Elliot Berkman
Associate Professor of Psychology and UO Senate President-elect

Membership

Elliot Berkman (co-chair), College of Arts and Sciences, Associate Professor of Psychology; University Senate President-Elect
Sabrina Madison-Cannon (co-chair), School of Music and Dance, Phyllis and Andrew Berwick Dean and Professor of Dance

Bruce Blonigen, College of Arts and Sciences, Dean and Professor of Economics
Liska Chan, College of Design, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture; Clark Honors College, Associate Dean for Faculty
Robin Clement, Lundquist College of Business, Director, Master of Accounting Program; Academic Director, Sports Product Management; Robert and Lois Braddock Distinguished Senior Instructor
Nicole Dahmen, School of Journalism and Communication, Associate Professor, Honors Program Coordinator
Judith Eisen, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Biology
Larissa Ennis, University Advancement, Government and Community Relations, Associate Director of Sponsorships and Community Relations
Kent McIntosh, College of Education, Philip H. Knight Chair and Professor of Special Education and Clinical Sciences
Terry McQuilkin, School of Music and Dance, Instructor of Composition; University Libraries, Music Services Department, Access Services Specialist
Michael Price, College of Arts and Sciences, Senior Instructor of Mathematics, Assistant Department Head
Gerardo Sandoval, College of Design, Planning, Public Policy and Management, Associate Professor
Doneka Scott, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success
Melissa (Lisa) Redford, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Linguistics, Department Head
Jennifer (Jen) Reynolds, School of Law, Associate Professor; Faculty Director, Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Center

A student will also be part of the task force but has yet to be chosen. More information will be available for students, undergraduate or graduate, interested in serving on the task force.

Chief Resilience Officer’s email on Lane County re-opening

Dear University of Oregon community,

As many of you are no doubt aware, Gov. Kate Brown this morning approved Lane County’s plan to allow some local businesses to start operating as early as tomorrow through a controlled and phased reopening strategy. The county moving into a Phase 1 reopening stance is certainly good news, because it means that Lane County has not seen a significant growth in COVID-19 cases and that the local testing and contact-tracing infrastructure is beginning to take shape.

While a Phase 1 opening in Lane County will allow restaurants, some retailers, and certain service providers to reopen, it does not change the University of Oregon’s operational status. There are two reasons for this:

  1. Oregon’s universities are subject to an executive order from Gov. Kate Brown that suspends in-person instructional activities and limits campus operations through June 13. We cannot make changes until it is lifted.
  2. We are awaiting guidance specific to higher education from the Oregon Health Authority. That guidance, which we expect to be delivered in the next few weeks, will be the foundation for helping us develop plans for a safe and responsible reopening at the UO.

In the meantime, the university is taking proactive steps to prepare for a methodical and phased return to in-person work over the course of the summer and into the beginning of fall term. We have teams across campus that are currently developing mitigation strategies that will be needed for reopening, such as physical distancing protocols, a robust campus testing and contact-tracing program, recommendations for the use of face coverings, and more. We have already started and will continue to engage subject-matter experts from across campus. And we will seek input on these and other potential mitigation strategies from employee groups and various campus stakeholders through direct conversations, online surveys, and other feedback opportunities.

Next week, we’ll add a detailed reopening section to UO’s COVID-19 website, and we will continue to update FAQs with specifics about reopening plans and guidance as they become available. We will also continue to communicate the latest news and information about next steps and campus impacts as quickly and transparently as possible. Your input is always welcome. Diverse perspectives are vital when tackling complicated issues. If you have questions, ideas, or potential solutions related to our resumption plans, we want to hear from you. Please use the COVID-19 web form to submit your thoughts using the “Resumption Planning” category.

Finally, let’s remember that, even though it won’t be easy, we’re all in this together. Each new phase will require all of us to learn new habits and attempt different ways of doing things, which I appreciate can be unsettling and uncomfortable. I have great faith in the thoughtfulness and ingenuity of the UO community. In the last few months we’ve seen many examples of creative problem solving, and that flexibility, compassion, and can-do attitude are what will carry us through the upcoming phases of this collective challenge.

Thank you.

André Le Duc
Chief Resilience Officer and Associate Vice President
Safety and Risk Services

Senate to hear from Pres, Prov, etc on Zoom, Wed May 13, 3-5PM

SENATE MEETING AGENDA – MAY 13, 2020, 3:00 – 5:00 P.M.

Updates here. Location: Zoom (Please see link to meeting below the agenda. )

The results of the recent elections are here. Turnout was very high.

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

New Joint Senate/Administration Task Force on Long-Term Responses to Covid-19 Crisis 


Meetings will be confidential. No call for volunteers was made.

Co-Chairs :

Elliot Berkman, Associate Professor of Psychology, Senate President-Elect

Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Dean of the School of Music and Dance

Members:

Bruce Blonigen, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Liska Chan, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture

Robin Clement, Director, Master of Accounting Program, Lundquist College of Business

Nicole Dahmen, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communications

Judith Eisen, Professor of Biology

Larissa Ennis, Assistant Director, Sponsorships and Community Relations, UO Advancement

Kent McIntosh, Knight Chair, Special Education, College of Education

Terry McQuilkin, Music Services Department, University Libraries and Instructor of Composition, SOMD

Michael Price, Senior Instructor, Department of Math

Lisa Redford, Department Head, Department of Linguistics

Jen Reynolds, Professor, Law School

3:05 P.M.  Approval of the Minutes

3:10 P.M.   State of the University

  • President Michael Schill
  • Provost Patrick Phillips

3:30 P.M.   Open Discussion (senators may submit questions in advance to senatecoordinator@uoregon.edu and senatepres@uoregon.edu, or at meeting)

  • Academic Continuity Guidelines (April revisions/additions) & Remote Education, Spring & Summer; 2020 – Slides
    • Academic Council, Chair (Frances White) & Members
    • Janet Woodruff-Borden, Executive Vice Provost
    • Ron Bramhall, Assoc Vice Prov Academic Exec
    • Kate Mondloch, Interim Dean Grad School
    • Doneka Scott, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success
    • Mark Watson, UO Libraries

4:00 P.M.    New Business

  • Updates: Open Access; David Condon, Mark Watson, et al. White paper here.

4:15 P.M.   Reports

  • Core Ed Council; Chris Sinclair/Emily Simnitt
  • SOAGIE; SJ Wilhelm

4:25 P.M. Notice(s) of Motion

  • US19/20-16: Resolution to adopt an Open Access Scholarship Policy; David Condon (Psychology), Margaret Sereno (Psychology), Mark Watson (UO Libraries)
  • US19.20-17: Creation of a School of Languages and Global Studies; Zhuo Jig-Schmidt (East Asian Languages & Literature).

This is legislation to require this proposal (which I’m unable to find on the web) to go through Senate approval. Letter from 28 faculty here, raising a series of questions about the proposal and the lack of faculty participation in preparing it:

etc.

4:25 P.M. Other Business

4:30 P.M. EXECUTIVE SESSION – AWARDS
5:00 P.M.   Adjourn


Topic: University Senate – May Mtg
Time: May 13, 2020 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/164017529?pwd=eTdyRHk3OXkvcFhCekdrQjRvdk1vQT09

Meeting ID: 164 017 529
Password: 235037
One tap mobile
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An easy fix for Oregon’s state budget crisis – a PERS funding holiday

The most recent comprehensive report on Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement Plans is “PERS by the numbers“. The numbers are a bit out of date, but the basics are clear.

1) PERS is no longer the gravy train it once was for state employees. Current retirees with 30 years service retire with 51% of their final pay:

2) As of March 2020, PERS had a reserve of about $75B invested in private equity, stocks, bonds, real estate etc. A lucrative business for Wall Street.

3) PERS is paying out about $4.6B in benefits a year to retirees:

4) In 2018, state agencies, municipalities, school districts, universities and community colleges, fire districts, etc paid $2.4B into PERS. The average rate currently is about 30% of payroll – a huge expense. (About 2/3 of employer contributions go to building up the PERS reserve. PERS investments paid for the rest of retiree benefits. From PERS by the numbers.)

5) The state’s revenue forecast will not be out until May 20th, but it’s not going to be good, and Governor Brown is expected to call for about $3B in spending cuts for the 2 -year biennium budget that began July 1 2019. According to OPB, these cuts might include such things as:

Agency proposals available Tuesday morning include shuttering most Oregon prisons, steeply narrowed state police activity, elimination of financial aid to thousands of Oregon students, and drastic reductions to some of the state’s safety net programs.

… The Oregon Department of Education is mulling cuts of nearly $730 million to its $8.6 billion general fund budget, including a $636 million reduction in funding to school districts around the state.

6) Instead, Oregon could simply declare a holiday on state payments into the PERS reserve fund. PERS payments to current retirees would come out of the reserve fund, which is among the largest in the country in comparison to the actuarial liabilities.

A 50% holiday would almost be enough to eliminate the need for cuts – but why think small? Let’s just stop paying in for a while. $75B is a hell of a rainy-day reserve, and it’s really coming down out there.

7) But won’t future future taxpayers have to foot the bill – or future state employees, in the form of lower wages? Yes, so long as PERS insists on getting to a 100% fully funded plan, instead of running on a pay-as-you go basis like, say, Social Security and most other states are doing on a de-facto basis.

But even if they do have to pay to get the Wall Street reserve back up to 100%, those future people will be a lot better off if the state still has functioning schools, universities, and, I suppose, prisons. And Oregon’s economy will be better off with state employees who are working, and spending their paychecks at local businesses.

Wall Street doesn’t need this money like Oregon does.

9th Circuit to hear oral arguments in Freyd case May 12, on Zoom

May 12, 2020 update:

UO’s payments to Barran-Liebman (not just this for this case) are running about $280K a year:

 

12/21/15 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               690
2/9/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            1,230
2/9/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            1,230
2/15/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            4,272
2/15/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            4,272
2/29/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            2,070
2/29/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            2,070
6/1/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               240
6/2/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          13,890
6/13/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               570
6/15/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          43,932
6/20/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          29,423
6/30/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               510
6/30/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $        109,382
10/10/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               175
10/10/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               175
10/12/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               650
10/12/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               700
10/12/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               700
10/12/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               650
12/22/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            7,808
12/22/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          11,035
12/22/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            7,808
12/22/16 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          11,035
2/10/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          19,000
2/13/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          19,000
3/31/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               390
3/31/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               390
4/13/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          14,592
4/13/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            1,910
4/13/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          14,592
4/13/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            1,910
6/29/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            6,641
6/29/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            6,379
6/29/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               930
7/11/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          11,011
7/14/17 Barran 1/5/17 – Claim 1704-02  $            5,000
7/14/17 Barran 1/5/17 – Claim 1704-02  $          14,000
11/20/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          49,517
12/4/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               250
12/4/17 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          64,724
2/13/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          44,431
2/19/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          23,393
4/11/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          52,962
4/11/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          44,077
4/11/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               120
4/11/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            2,550
4/11/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            1,650
5/23/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            2,610
6/20/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $        117,413
7/10/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $        133,860
7/11/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            6,216
7/12/18 Barran Clm 1706-06  $          24,075
7/12/18 Barran Clm 1706-06  $        (24,075)
11/12/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          10,658
11/26/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            1,770
12/10/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            1,680
12/31/18 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            1,580
1/22/19 Barran Invoices July – Oct 2018  $            3,060
2/4/19 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $               490
2/19/19 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            8,950
3/22/19 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $          15,949
4/15/19 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            4,330
4/29/19 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            2,910
5/29/19 Barran Liebman Attorneys  $            2,114
Total  $        967,522

May 10, 2020 update:

(Note: All my posts on this case are here, including the most recent take down threat from UO’s Lawyer Paula Barran, here. Haven’t heard a peep from her since.)

The link is at https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/live_oral_arguments.php and I assume on Tuesday they’ll have a link to live-streaming at the Pioneer Courthouse (Portland). Court opens at 9AM and this is the third case, so it will probably start sometime after 9:40, although for the circuit court arguments Judge McShane inexplicably kept a full courtroom waiting for 20 minutes, so who knows.)

Cases are heard by a randomly drawn subset of three appeals court judges, and this panel includes recent Trump appointee Lawrence VanDyke. Wikipedia reports on his nomination process:

The nomination was to the seat being vacated by Judge Jay Bybee, who previously announced his intention to take senior status on December 31, 2019.[13] Six retired justices of the Montana Supreme Court publicly opposed VanDyke’s nomination.[14]

VanDyke received a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. ABA evaluators conducted 60 anonymous interviews with lawyers, judges, and others who had worked with VanDyke. The ABA published a scathing critique of VanDyke in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee; that letter asserted that interviewees described VanDyke as “‘arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice'” of law.[15] The ABA added that “‘There was a theme that the nominee lacks humility, has an ‘entitlement’ temperament, does not have an open mind, and does not always have a commitment to being candid and truthful'”.[16]

The Senate confirmed him 51-44.

The second member is Kathleen Cardone, a G.W. Bush appointee whose most cited opinion regards labor law and progressive discipline. She found for the employer.

The third member of the panel is the Honorable Jay Bybee, of whom wikipedia notes:

While serving in the Bush administration as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal CounselUnited States Department of Justice, he signed the controversial “Torture Memos” in August 2002. These authorized “enhanced interrogation techniques” that were used in the systematic torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay detention camp beginning in 2002 and at the Abu Ghraib facility following the United States’ invasion of Iraq in 2003.

He was confirmed by the Senate before his role in the torture memos was revealed.

Dec 3, 2019: Updates on Prof Jennifer Freyd’s pay discrimination lawsuit

1: The UO administration could have followed the Psychology department head’s advice and given her a $15K raise 4 years ago. But instead the lawyers that run UO wanted a lawsuit. Her department colleagues are now circulating a letter of support, here:

2: A month later, and UO’s lawyer Paula Barran still hasn’t followed through on her threat to send my ISP a DMCA take-down notice over my posting a clip of her bio sketch:

The Article includes a screenshot of Ms. Barran’s profile on the Barran Liebman LLP website. Barran Liebman LLP has copyrighted the material on its site and does not grant UO Matters the right to use its copyrighted material. If Barran Liebman LLP’s copyrighted material has not been removed from the UO Matters site within five (5) days, my clients will file a DMCA Takedown Notice.

Presumably her lawyer explained to his “Top Point Getter” client that the fair-use copyright exemption includes parody:

3: Speaking of parody, Barran, Zaerpoor Le, and Bonner have finally filed UO’s response to Freyd’s appeal in the Ninth Circuit, here. Barran has, sensibly, dropped her Kubrickesque rants about “bodily fluids”. Now they are “biological samples”:

4: Meanwhile, Barran convinced the Honorable Judge McShane to make Prof Freyd pay President Schill $3,537.15 in court costs, and the University of Oregon and Hal Sadofsky $7,145.12. Ruling here. Last time GC Kevin Reed did this, in the Bowl of Dick’s case, he paid HLGR’s Bill Gary about $50K to get UO’s costs reduced by about $12K. I’m not sure how many billable hours Barran collected from UO for this, but these things aren’t about the money, they’re about using institutional power to intimidate potential plaintiffs from filing discrimination lawsuits.

5: Barran also seems to have dropped her claim that one of the comparator faculty Freyd identified was better than Freyd because “he just secured – while this case was pending – a $3 million grant from the Gates Foundation for his work.”

That wasn’t true. The Gates Foundation is admirably transparent:

The truth, corroborated by an email from Prof. Allen, is this:

He was a co-investigator on a grant from the Gates Foundation, but the grant was obtained by colleagues at Berkeley. He had a small subcontract. He also noted that the grant had very little to do with the digital sensing work.

I’m sure I’m going to get a grateful letter from Barran, or her attorneys, thanking me for pointing out these problems with her prior arguments.

6: The real problem with Barran’s brief is that it reiterates the UO administration and President Schill’s argument, which McShane’s opinion accepted whole-hog, that professors’ jobs are not just different from each other, but so impossible to compare that no female professor will ever be able to identify comparator male professors, and therefore will never be able to win a gender discrimination lawsuit. I’m guessing this is not what the Congress had in mind when they wrote the law against gender discrimination.

Faculty union members vote 633 to 14 to ratify wage freeze / contract extension

(Now updated with a long response from the administration, below)

Thus ends a busy three weeks that began with President Schill’s Weakly Progressive Pay Reduction ultimatum on April 16, and finished with an overwhelming demonstration of faculty trust in union President Chris Sinclair and Exec Director Dave Cecil, and the union’s low-budget / high-information outreach efforts. Message here:

Dear Colleague,

We are pleased to inform you that the membership has ratified the agreement to end bargaining by a vote of 633 to 14. The leadership of UA appreciates how active and engaged you all have been the last few weeks.

We are also very aware that important work remains to be done, first and foremost pushing the administration to renew the 12-month career faculty at their current FTE or restoring their FTE as soon as possible. Our 12-month colleagues have contracts that renew on July 1 and there is no way the university can function without their full labor.

We will keep you informed of our next steps to prepare for negotiations over a fair wage cut package for campus. We anticipate having a town hall to share and solicit thoughts later this month.

Again, thank you for your participation and activism. We will need to continue to stand and work together in the coming months.

With that over, expect some updates to our popular “budget buckets” posts on wasteful administration spending and bloat soon.

5/8/2020 update from the Administration:

Dear Faculty,

We are pleased to announce that the University of Oregon and United Academics have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides for a one-year extension of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement and a one-year extension of the career faculty contracts that are up for renewal this May. We thank our faculty and the union for voting to support this agreement and for their partnership throughout this process.

Before talking about the details of the parties’ agreement, I want to acknowledge that the uncertainty created by the impacts of COVID-19 and the parties’ negotiations has likely caused you anxiety and stress during a time when you are facing new challenges in the classroom and may be wearing multiple hats at home – employee, partner, parent, and possibly teacher to your own children or dependents. I am sorry that the uncertainties and difficult conversations caused by COVID-19 may have further impacted you at a time when you are juggling so much. I also want to make it very clear that we value and appreciate the work that you are doing and your dedication to our students. The University of Oregon, like all institutions across the nation, faces unprecedented financial issues and enrollment uncertainties that will continue to present tough decisions.  While I cannot promise that all of the difficult decisions are behind us, I can tell you that we are committed to being transparent and collaborative as we continue to work through these issues in the future.   

Memorandum of Understanding:

Like many of the university’s functions, bargaining between the university and UA has been impacted by COVID-19 and the related stay-at-home-orders. Not only did COVID-19 impact our bargaining process, it impacted the university’s ability to predict and understand its state appropriations and enrollment position next year. State appropriations and tuition are the university’s two biggest sources of revenue. Decreases to those two sources significantly impact the university’s financial position.

Given those uncertainties, the parties have been working over the last month on possible solutions, including discussions regarding a progressive pay reduction plan and an extension of the collective bargaining agreement. Those negotiations have resulted in an MOU to extend the current collective bargaining agreement by one year to June 30, 2021 and a one-year extension of career contracts up for renewal this month. The parties will meet over the summer to discuss additional MOUs – including a possible pay reduction plan, changes to the Tenure Reduction Program, expectation of continued employment plan, and the process for increasing career faculty FTE. The parties will restart the formal bargaining process for a new collective bargaining agreement over winter term AY 20-21.

Due to the financial and enrollment uncertainties we are facing, the university is initially offering conservative FTE on career contracts up for renewal this month. Available career faculty FTE will be provided over the summer as we better understand our fall term enrollment and the university’s state appropriations. The university will provide faculty with their final fall term FTE at least two weeks before the start of fall term. Available FTE will be provided to career faculty based on pedagogical and curricular need and performance criteria as evidenced by rank and other objective measures. It is important to note that this MOU does not apply to or impact FTE for funding-contingent faculty.

Information and resources for career faculty regarding contracts are available on the HR website. The resources include a copy of the agreement, answers to frequently asked questions, and other helpful links.

Details of the agreement:

An overview of the MOU is provided below with complete terms available on the HR website:

    • Salary – Salary minimums and increases in the current CBA will remain in force. This means promotion and post tenure increases, for example, will proceed in accordance with the terms of the current CBA. There will be no annual increases for represented faculty in academic year 20-21.
    • Negotiations on additional MOUs – No later than July 15, 2020, the university and the union will begin discussions on other common interests including expectation of continued employment for career faculty, tenure reduction program, and a progressive pay reduction plan.
    • Career Faculty Contracts – The university is providing a one-year contract extension for non-funding contingent career nine-month and twelve-month faculty with contracts that require notice of renewal or non-renewal by May 8, 2020 and who would have otherwise been renewed prior to the public health crisis caused by COVID-19.
      • All career faculty contracts extended under this section will have appointments ending on June 15, 2021.
      • The 0.55 and 0.11 FTE in renewal offers are initially provided based on actual annualized AY 19-20 FTE.
      • Within 45 days of the signed MOU and in consultation with the union, the university will establish and notify career faculty of additional criteria it will use to determine available FTE increases.
      • No later than two weeks before the start of fall term of AY 20-21, the university will assign any increased fall term FTE to career faculty with extended contracts.
      • This MOU does not apply to or impact FTE for funding-contingent faculty.

Again, thank you for your service to this institution. We truly appreciate your work during this difficult time.

Please visit the HR website for more information about the MOU and negotiations with United Academics. Questions can be directed to Employee and Labor Relations by emailing uoelr@uoregon.edu.

Best regards,

Missy Matella
Senior Director, Employee and Labor Relations
University Human Resources