Pres Scholz responds to GE’s credible strike threat with offer to match AAU average for minimum starting pay.

Dear colleagues, 

Recognizing the impact that negotiations with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) has on faculty, we want to keep you updated on developments in the bargaining process. The bargaining teams met yesterday in mediation and will meet again on November 20, 2023. Reaching agreement on GE salary is a top priority, and I want to share with you the details of the university’s latest salary offer presented to the GTFF bargaining team yesterday.  

Consistent with our [newly discovered] commitment to position graduate student employees and the university for long term success, our latest salary offer focuses on significantly raising compensation for those GEs at the lowest rates of pay. Our latest offer also brings the GE salaries into better alignment with AAU peers to improve the UO’s competitive position when recruiting future GEs. Latest Salary Offer 

The latest offer to the GTFF proposes setting a single minimum pay rate for graduate employees prorated by FTE. This results in GEs at all three minimum levels receiving a significant increase in year one of the contract. The table below illustrates the annual increases for GEs currently paid at a minimum rate with a 0.49 FTE appointment:  

Current 
Levels
Current 
Academic Year 
Minimum
Proposed 
Academic Year
Minimum
Percentage Increase
in Year 1 
Percentage Increase 
Over 3-Year Contract
 GE I $17,155  $21,487  25.25% 32.75%
 GE II $19,380 $21,487  10.87% 18.37%
 GE III $20,457  $21,487  5.00% 12.50% 

This proposal provides a total minimum compensation package for GEs that includes: 

  • Pay of $28.11 per hour. 
  • Full health benefits for GEs and their families (95% of premiums covered). 
  • Coverage of GE tuition and mandatory fees except for a $61 per term GE contribution.

The proposal also provides an increase in subsequent years of the contract: 

  • Increases minimum salaries by 3.75 percent each year. 
  • Increases across-the-board pay for GEs earning above the minimum salary – 3.5 percent in Year 1 and 2.75 percent in Years 2 and 3. 

Departments will still have the ability to pay above the minimum rate or provide higher increases, which includes differentiation between GE levels.  

Comparison with AAU Peer Institutions 

The latest offer brings the GE salaries into better alignment with AAU peers to better compensate current GEs and improve the UO’s competitive position when recruiting future GEs. Analysis places this latest UO proposal above the average minimum take-home pay rate of the other public AAU institutions, when adjusted for cost-of-living differences between regions. The following data compares the UO proposed minimum salary with those at other AAU public universities. The analysis focuses on take-home pay after GE contributions for mandatory fees and health insurance premiums, with cost-of-living adjustments based on the MIT Living Wage Calculator.  

AAU GE Take-Home Pay Analysis (9 month 0.49 FTE) 


AAU Average 
 UO Proposal
Minimum GE Stipend
(0.49 FTE)  
 $23,572$21,487 
Mandatory Fees
(GE portion of mandatory fees)
 $(481)$(183) 
Insurance Premiums
(GE portion of health insurance premium)
$(919) $(353) 
Take Home Pay 
(Stipend less Mandatory Fees and Insurance Premiums) 
$22,171  $20,951
Cost-of-Living Adjustment 
(
Eugene cost-of-living as % of AAU average using MIT Living Wage Calculator)
 92.5%N/A 
Net Take Home Pay  
(Take-Home Pay after Cost-of-Living Adjustment)
 $20,507$20,951 
Difference ($)  $444 
Difference (% above AAU average)    +2%

Factors considered for the analysis: 

  • MIT Living Wage Calculator used to align with GTFF analysis. 
  • Calculator adjusted for Eugene cost-of-living, which is 92.5% of AAU public peers. 
  • To ensure a consistent comparison of take home pay, we deducted from the stipend the GE’s contributions to mandatory fees and health insurance premiums on an institution-by-institution basis, both of which reduce total take-home compensation. 
  • This analysis does NOT include the additional investment that the UO makes in the UO GE health insurance program, which is over $2,500 more per GE than other public AAU institutions, as explained below.

The contract proposal is focused on providing graduate students with a competitive total compensation package for their part-time employment as they work toward degree completion. 

UO Investment in Health Insurance 

It is important to recognize that the UO health insurance program for GEs is far more generous and expensive than the plans offered by other institutions. University administration was clear at the start of bargaining that there would be no proposals to change GE health insurance introduced by the university’s bargaining team, and that remains the case. We do not seek to reduce the contributions the university makes toward GE health insurance nor change the health insurance program structure, which empowers a GE majority-led trust to make all decisions about plan design and benefit levels. In particular, the UO plan provides 95% premium coverage for all GEs, their partners, and families, which is very unusual for most institutions.  

We will continue to keep you apprised of developments with regular updates about bargaining. We will also share information about continuity planning to minimize disruption and deliver a quality education to the students enrolled at the UO.   

Best regards, 

Janet Woodruff-Borden 
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President 

How many students does UO have this year?

The PR flacks at Around the O aren’t telling. Their story here has VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson boasting about near record freshmen enrollment, but gives no numbers for total enrollment and not much other detail. Meanwhile Jon Boeckenstedt, VP for Enrollment at Oregon’s flagship university OSU is quoted on OPB, reporting a new record and many detailed stats:

Oregon State has 36,636 students enrolled, up 1,397 students, or 4% over last year.

Ecampus, OSU’s online education offering, continues to be the lead contributor to enrollment growth, rising 7% to 11,430 students this fall. Ecampus enrollment has increased more than 40% in the past five years.

Enrollment on the Corvallis campus increased 2.5% to 24,188 students this fall. At OSU-Cascades in Bend, enrollment climbed to 1,313, up 3.3% from last year.

Enrollment of students outside of Oregon jumped 8.3% this fall to 15,561. The top 5 states from which Oregon State enrolls students are California (4,373), Washington (2,634), Texas (744), Colorado (722) and Hawaii (554).

Fall enrollment at Oregon State includes 10,557 students of color, an increase of 547 students and a 5.3% increase over last year. Students of color now make up nearly 30% of OSU’s enrollment.

Oregon State’s fall 2023 enrollment also includes:

5,601 graduate students, an increase of 4% from last year. Of those, 1,900, or 33.9%, are Oregon residents.
7,209 first-generation undergraduates, or 24% of enrollment, an increase of almost 6% from last year.
1,971 students in the Honors College, or 6.6% of all undergraduates – a 18.4% increase in students over 2022.
8,876 transfer students, a decrease of 1.2% from last fall.
2,213 international students, a 5.3% decrease from fall 2022.
1,527 veterans, a decrease of 1.5% from last fall.
At OSU-Cascades, there were increases in the enrollment of Oregon residents (1,012, a 2.3% increase); students of color (282, 5.2% increase) and graduate students (255, 10.4% increase). More details about enrollment at OSU-Cascades can be found here.

First-time students from high school increased at the Corvallis and Bend campuses (2.7% and 10.3%, respectively) and Ecampus (11.4%) from last fall.

The average GPA of new Oregon State students from high school enrolling on the Corvallis and Bend campuses is 3.76, which has increased steadily from 3.64 in 2018. Of OSU’s entering freshmen, four are National Merit award winners and 40 are Presidential Scholars, Oregon State’s most prestigious scholarship award.

Engineering remains the most popular area of study at Oregon State. The College of Engineering has 11,014 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled this fall. The next largest colleges are Liberal Arts, 5,026 students; Business, 4,928; Science, 4,166; Agricultural Sciences, 3,032; and Health, 2,096.

Enrollments in other colleges and programs are College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, 1,297; College of Forestry, 1,292; Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs, 784; University Exploratory Studies, 733; College of Education, 597; Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine, 334; and College of Pharmacy, 294.

The most popular undergraduate majors at Oregon State are computer science, followed by business administration, psychology, general engineering and mechanical engineering. General engineering is a program for entering undergraduates in the College of Engineering who will later select a specific engineering major.

Grad Student union members vote 97% for strike authorization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, November 6, 2023

Contact: Rosa Inocencio Smith, GTFF VP of Communications; (503) 505-1444;

[email protected]

###

UO Graduate Employees Cast Overwhelming Vote for Strike Authorization

EUGENE: With a 97 percent vote in favor of strike authorization, members of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF-AFT Local 3544) have authorized GTFF leadership to call for a strike if agreement is not reached in the union’s ongoing contract negotiations with the University of Oregon. The electronic vote launched on October 27, following the union’s declaration of impasse, and closed on Friday, November 3. Ninety percent of GTFF members—over 1,000 graduate employees—participated. [UOM: there are ~1500 GE’s, so about 25% are not dues-paying union members.]

“This vote sends a very clear message that our members are not willing to tolerate the financial precarity that UO wants to perpetuate for another three-year contract,” said Leslie Selcer, GTFF President. “We can’t live like this. UO must bring us fair wages that reflect the value of GE labor and years of dramatic increases to the local cost of living.”

GTFF has been bargaining with the UO administration since March over the wages and working conditions to be set forth in its next three-year contract. From the beginning, salary has been a major sticking point, as GTFF calls for raises commensurate with the historic rates of inflation workers have faced in the past few years. Additional proposals from the union call for targeted support for international graduate employees and graduate employees who are caregivers. Under UO’s most recent salary offer, the average graduate employee would continue to earn less than $2,000 per month.

After declaring negotiations had reached an impasse in October, GTFF is now in the second week of the 30-day cooling-off period mandated by Oregon’s Employment Relations Board. At the end of this period, the union could strike, or management could impose a contract, although neither side is required to do so.

Ahead of last week’s vote, over 900 graduate employees signed strike pledges, commiing to withhold their labor in the event that a strike is authorized by members and called by leadership. Turnout for the strike authorization vote was even higher, with 986 out of 1019 total voters choosing “yes” for a 97 percent result in favor of authorization. Ma McIntosh, VP of Organizing for GTFF, called the landslide results “a mandate.”

“Our members have shown that they’re ready to win a historic contract, whatever the cost,” he said. “Let’s go.”

Why is President Scholz lowballing our grad students?

This message from the faculty union uses GTFF data to show how miserly the Administration’s final offer is, and goes on to explain what you can legally do to support your grad students / GE’s if it comes to a strike. Read to the end for info on free beer:

Why are our grads thinking about striking?
In the last year graduate students around the country have gone on strike, resulting in significant wage increases, among other wins. These wins, together with an inflationary economy and increasing support for unions from the public, have not only driven graduate unions towards more strident labor actions, but have also reset expectations around compensation and benefits for graduate employees nationwide—check out the GTFF’s masterful analysis of grad wages at peer institutions.



 Examples from other institutions:

At Rutgers, striking graduate workers won raises, bringing their salary up from around $30,000 in the first year to $40,000 in the fourth year of their contract. [new contract highlights at Rutgers]Grads in the University of California system will see 10 percent increases in the first year of the contract, with 6.4 percent increases in each subsequent year, with higher salary floors for graduate students in particularly expensive housing markets. [new contract highlights for the UC system]At the University of Michigan, striking grads won an 8 percent raise in the first year of the contract, a 6 percent raise in the second year and another 6 percent raise in the third year for graduate student instructors and staff assistants at the university’s Ann Arbor campus. [new contract highlights at the University of Michigan]At Temple University, after striking, graduate students won increases to salary floors which are equivalent to a 23.1 percent increase in the first year. By the end, in 2026, grad workers will make about 30 percent more overall, moving them from $19,500 to $27,000. [new contract highlights at Temple University]

The UO administration’s last proposal on salaries during bargaining was for across-the-board raises of 3.5, 2.75, and 2.5 percent over the three years of the contract, with increases to the minimum salaries of 8, 3.75, and 3.5 percent. It’s not clear that across-the-board raises of this size would even cover the inflation of the coming three years of the contract, much less do anything to address the buying power lost over 2+ years of the highest inflation in the U.S. of the last four decades.

The GTFF thinks they may be forced to go on strike to get closer to what their members need/their comparators earn. You can see the status of the GTFF’s current bargaining proposals here.
 

Why should faculty support a GTFF strike?

Prospective graduate students understand the economic situation, and their decisions are influenced by salaries at peer institutions. Quite simply, if we want our graduate programs to be competitive, the university needs to provide competitive salary and benefits.Solidarity is important. Faculty workers are stronger when we stand together with our union cousins across campus. Low wages impact the ability of the institution to meet its mission, and if we want to maintain our status as a world-class research university, the administration needs to find a way to compensate campus workers accordingly.Inflation has impacted real salaries of faculty, too. Economic wins for the GTFF translate to higher salaries for members of our union.In the last year faculty at several institutions, including Rutgers, likewise went on strike and won significant salary increases. Something to think about. If you are interested in helping build momentum around our upcoming negotiations, get involved by becoming a steward for your unit, joining the Contract Action Team, or setting up a listening session for your unit.
 

What can I say if my department is asking me to replace GE labor or create a contingency plan?

As detailed in this previous communication from late August, Article 41 of the CBA states that faculty may be assigned to perform work previously performed by a striking employee, it also affirms that any additional work would be treated and compensated as an overload assignment. Any and all overload assignments (detailed in Section 6 of Article 17 of the CBA) are voluntary and to be taken up only at the discretion and agreement of the faculty member. No bargaining unit member may be disciplined or terminated for refusing an overload assignment.This means you can’t be required to do GE work, but you may be required to “consult”.Some faculty may find that making contingency plans is an unreasonable amount of work that doesn’t fit into their already busy work schedule. Faculty may choose to show their solidarity by creating contingency plans that illustrate the true value of GE labor, with all the effort that would be required to replace the work they do, including training replacement employees and so on. Consider what it would take to replicate the knowledge GEs have of students, course content, etc.

It is of course a deeply held value of faculty that we work to serve our students and to contribute through our research projects; no one wants those to suffer. In the event of a GTFF labor action, we maintain that it is reasonable to see the potential harm to student learning as a choice being made by the administration, not faculty or the GTFF. Serve your students and do your research to the best of your ability within the limits of your FTE and normally assigned duties; let the administration see the value GEs provide to our students and our labs in vivid relief as it becomes clear that their work is not easily replaceable. If this causes you a lot of stress or anger, join us in pushing for the administration to offer the GTFF a better contract before a labor action might come to pass.

We will continue to update our FAQ on a potential GTFF strike, but if you have specific questions please reach out to your department steward or [email protected].

General Membership Meeting

Our first General Membership Meeting of the academic year is tonight, Thursday, October 26, from 5:00-7:00pm at Gratitude Brewing! Business will begin at 5:30pm.This meeting, both social and business, will be an exciting opportunity to share your thoughts and vision for the upcoming round of bargaining with your colleagues on the Bargaining Team. The next round of bargaining will begin in early 2024!Food and beverages will be provided. Although this is a private event for United Academics, partners and kids are welcome to join!

Prez Scholz announces a new vision plan with the same old buzz words

Good news update: After googling around and getting some inside info from a helpful JH administrator, I think UO Onward is a worthwhile sounding effort by Development (no consultants) to engage with alumni and donors about something other than Duck sports, with a thin veneer of faculty participation to make it look legit. There seems little danger that President Scholz will suddenly start asking the faculty for input on questions like “Is my administration’s lowball GTFF ultimatum going to make it harder for you to recruit good grad students?” or “What percentage of the Big-10 media loot should I take from Rob Mullens and spend on the academic side?”

10/25/2023: Your chance to waste hours of your time helping our President burn hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants in pointless “input sessions”. How embarrassing and disappointing:

Dear University of Oregon community members, 

I am pleased to invite you to take part in our institutional priority setting process called UO Onward. As we help forge a path for the future, every member of our UO community is encouraged to take part in this effort. 

About UO Onward 

You are invited to contribute your ideas—goals, strategies, tactics, and indicators of success—toward the development of the university’s strategic action plan. 

Through a series of input sessions and an online survey this fall, university community members are encouraged to share perspectives and ideas around cornerstone priorities in: 

  • Student learning and achievement 
  • Elevating our outstanding scholarship and service 
  • Campus belonging 

Get Involved 

We would like to hear from as many people as possible. Broad participation will result in better ideas and, ideally, lead to greater buy-in for future goals and decision-making. Please take time during the fall term to share your input. 

I encourage you to participate in a stakeholder input session, take the online survey, or both. Please plan your involvement by viewing the available input sessions and survey option. Should you want to attend an input session during work time, please work with your supervisor so that schedules can be managed accordingly.

Process and Timeline 

UO Onward is taking place over the 2023-24 academic year in four phases

  1. Listen (fall term): gather as much input as possible by listening to the UO community in a variety of input sessions and surveys. We seek broad community input to inform the strategic plan. 
  2. Analyze and inform (winter and early spring): compile and analyze work from the sessions and produce the draft plan.
  3. Review (spring): review the draft plan, seek final comment and input, revise working goals, and present a final draft to the president and Board of Trustees for approval. 
  4. Launch (spring/summer): plan becomes a living document and roadmap for action. Teams and individuals are assigned work toward achieving the goals. 

To learn more about the goals, timeline, and input sessions, please visit the UO Onward Strategic Engagement website

Thank you in advance for participating in this process that will shape the University of Oregon’s future.

Sincerely, 

Karl Scholz 
President 

Secretive Academic Council brings Academic Continuity Plan for GTFF strike to Senate

The Academic Council hasn’t posted any meeting information on their Senate website since January 2021, but they’re bringing their full-blown strike plan to the Senate today. They haven’t posted a link to the plan on the Senate agenda either. Your Senators have seen it, but have been told not to share it with you, so as not to spoil the surprise. Spoiler alert: It authorizes the use of emergency grades if there’s a strike. The UO policy authorizing the Academic Council to prepare an Academic Continuity Plan and authorize Emergency Grades is here.

It’s not clear who is on the Academic Council this year. Last year’s membership is here.

Search for Real Provost begins

Step One will be for Parker Executive Search to fire up ChatGPT and create a position description and Vision Statement. Just kidding, that’ll be step two. Step one will be for them to host a listening session for faculty to unload about the current interim provost:

Dear faculty and staff colleagues,

As we prepare to launch the search for our permanent provost and senior vice president, members of the provost search committee want to hear from you on the qualities and attributes you would like to see in the next permanent provost. 

As the chief academic officer, the provost is an important position at the University of Oregon. My fellow search committee members and I would like to gather feedback from the university community as we begin the recruitment process and create the position description. 

We invite all members of the faculty and staff to attend a listening session from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m., on Wednesday, November 1. The session will be held via Zoom to facilitate broad participation from across our campuses. Search firm Parker Executive Search is assisting with the search and will hold the listening session. Additional listening sessions will be held with deans and vice provosts, and the members of the Office of the Provost. 

Individuals who cannot attend a session or who wish to provide written input to the search firm and search committee may do so by submitting this survey form.

In the coming days and weeks, the committee will share additional information with campus, including the position description, when complete. We encourage you to share your nominations and ideas with us. Please nominate those whom you believe would be strong candidates, whether or not you believe they are open to considering a new opportunity by using this nomination form.

More information about the search can be found on the Office of the President’s provost search webpage

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and will provide updates throughout the search process. 

Sincerely, 

Leslie Leve 
Provost Search Committee Chair 
Lorry Lokey Chair and Professor, College of Education

UO Strategic Communications issues RFP for Fragrance Branding Campaign

Request for Proposal (RFP): University of Oregon Fragrance Branding Campaign


Organization: University of Oregon

Issued Date: 10/20/2023

Proposal Due Date: 11/14/2023


1. Introduction & Background

The University of Oregon (UO) boasts a storied history filled with academic achievements, unforgettable campus experiences, and a truly unique culture. In an effort to encapsulate the sometimes quirky and nostalgic memories associated with the UO experience, we are seeking to craft a fragrance inspired by some of the most distinct aromas on our campus: the musk of locker rooms, the earthiness of moldy classrooms, a hint of asbestos, and the familiar aroma of marijuana.

Our aim is to develop a fragrance branding campaign that resonates with nostalgic memories, reminds alumni donors of their transformative years at UO, and intrigues prospective students, thereby driving increased enrollment.


2. Project Scope

The selected agency will be tasked with:

  1. Research & Development: Conducting surveys and focus groups to understand the emotional connection alumni and students associate with these scents.
  2. Fragrance Development: Working with perfumers to craft a balanced, enticing signature UO scent.
  3. Branding & Packaging: Designing a packaging that reflects UO’s rich heritage and vibrancy.
  4. Marketing Strategy: Creating a campaign targeting alumni and potential students, emphasizing nostalgia and connection.
  5. Product Distribution: Ensuring availability at campus stores, alumni events, and online.
  6. Post-launch Analysis: Evaluating the campaign’s success and its impact on enrollment and alumni engagement.

3. Proposal Requirements

Proposals must include:

  1. Agency Overview: History, size, and previous similar projects.
  2. Campaign Strategy: Outline your approach, timeline, and milestones.
  3. Team Structure: Detail the roles and responsibilities of team members.
  4. Budget Breakdown: Provide a detailed estimate for the entire campaign.
  5. Portfolio: Past campaigns, especially those related to fragrance branding.
  6. References: At least three references from past clients.

4. Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on:

  1. Experience: Proven track record in fragrance branding and marketing.
  2. Creativity: Unique approaches to encapsulating UO’s essence.
  3. Cost-effectiveness: Best value for UO’s investment.
  4. Alignment: Understanding and connection to UO’s brand and culture.

Conclusion

The University of Oregon believes that through this campaign, we can tap into a unique branding opportunity that will further solidify our position as an iconic institution. We look forward to partnering with an agency that shares our vision and can bring this unique project to fruition.


Note: The use of marijuana is federally illegal, although it is legal for recreational use in the state of Oregon. It’s important that the campaign adheres to state and federal laws and does not promote illegal activities or usage among students or the community.

Prez Scholz thinks another $350K for VP Alex-Assensoh will improve campus climate?

And exactly what has her already bloated budget bought us? Read the dismal results in the climate survey. Or talk to your minority colleagues – Oh right, you don’t have any because they keep leaving during her watch. The OtP and every dean knows her office does nothing – that’s why they ignore it and work around her, hiring their own DEI admins and setting up their own diversity efforts. Someone is giving our new President some dumb advice, or he’s just kicking the can down the road.

Dear colleagues, 

Since my arrival at the University of Oregon in July, I have spent many hours listening and learning about the culture and campus climate for our faculty, staff, and students. I have also reviewed the results of the IDEAL Climate Survey of UO Employees as well as the working group and unit-level action plans and recommendations. 

Colleagues across campus have done an enormous amount of work, and I am grateful for the time and energy that so many have provided. What has struck me thus far is the love that so many of you have for the UO as well as your desire and commitment to make this university a better place for all. While it is important to acknowledge that there is variability in people’s experiences and data do not tell the whole story, today, I am writing to share my preliminary impressions and some immediate next steps to improve our campus climate.  

The IDEAL Climate Survey highlighted many examples of inclusive excellence, examples we can build from and expand upon. I was pleased to learn that many employees feel that their supervisor or someone at work cares about them as a person, that someone at work encourages their development, and that their colleagues are committed to doing quality work. We should be proud of and celebrate the positive aspects of our campus culture.  

At the same time, there are other ways in which we are falling short. The challenges are not unique to the University of Oregon, but we must continue to try to do better. For example, too few UO employees reported feeling that they are treated with respect, that they know what is expected of them at work, and that they have equitable access to resources and opportunities. These challenges are especially acute among minoritized members of our community, including colleagues with disabilities.  

It is my aspiration that everyone at the UO—regardless of their roles, backgrounds, lived experiences, identities, or abilities—should know that they belong here and can flourish. But this intention or expectation does not just happen by decree or mandate. It requires changes, perhaps change in hearts and minds, but also changes in systems. I am hoping all members of the campus community will join me in pursuing the necessary changes.   

It is a top priority that we embrace individual well-being and belonging, and that each member of the UO community feels they matter. I have been pleased to learn that deans, institute directors, chairs, unit heads, and diversity committee leads are engaged in addressing the issues—discussing results and action planning—identifying areas of focus, attending workshops, and implementing new actions. On October 31, 2023, our deans, vice presidents, vice provosts, and members of their leadership teams will convene to learn from one another, with the goal of sharing their insights with colleagues in their units.  

It is clear we also need university-level action. Four university-wide working groups addressing specific issues have provided their findings and recommendations, which I have also reviewed. Important work has already taken place, and there is more to do.  

Based on what I have learned, we will implement the following recommendations:

  • Improve the complaint reporting process in ways that redress discrimination, foster equity, and build institutional trust; and enhance the institutional response to complaints about experiences that do not violate university policy or break the law, but that impact individuals’ ability to feel they belong and can thrive.
  • Support ongoing development and understanding of employment engagement programs and resources, such as training, consultation, and professional development, that promote a healthy workplace and our employees’ connection to, and enthusiasm about, their contributions to our mission. 
  • Embrace a culture of regular feedback by conducting additional employee climate and culture surveys at regular intervals of every three to five years so that we can measure our progress. I am setting a tentative timeframe of winter 2026 for our next campus-wide survey. 
  • Address the equity challenges in faculty service highlighted by the survey. The Office of the Provost, working with and at the request of the University Senate, has been developing a faculty dashboard for recognizing faculty service and other contributions.   
  • I will host a university-wide forum at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 16, in the McArthur Court building to share my thoughts and hear more from you about the climate survey and our future. We will only make progress by coming together, listening to one another, and working together. 
  • The above work will require additional resources. Augmenting this investment, we will create an IDEAL Campus Climate Matching Grants program with an initial investment of $350,000 in this fiscal year. Under this program, which will be led and administered by the Office of the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, campus units can apply for matching funding to develop innovative and sustainable ways to enhance the climate and culture in their individual units and/or to scale up promising practices at the university level. These could include small-scale pulse surveys to assess the impact of action plans, tool and resource development, innovative programming, etc. Details about the Campus Climate Matching Grants program will be available in the coming weeks.  

These are difficult times across the nation and the world. War, hate, racism, and violence fill our TV screens and smart phones. Universities are not immune or isolated from these events, but historically universities like the UO can be the standard bearers for free speech and civil discourse, for preparation and opportunity, for building equitable communities of care across difference, and for exploration and discovery, especially in difficult times.  

Thank you for all that you have already done, are doing now, and will do in the future, to make the University of Oregon a place where everyone belongs and can flourish, and where we continue to make a positive impact in our community, across the state of Oregon, and the world. 

Sincerely, 

Karl Scholz 
President 

UO hires new chief brander and PR flack from UVA

I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and hope that she’ll start her time at UO by convincing Prez Scholz to rebuild trust and transparency in the UO Administration, by stopping GC Kevin Reed from using excessive fees and deliberate delays for public records requests to stymie the public’s legitimate interest in what happens at their public university. But given what the announcement says I expect she’ll mostly be trying to make her bosses look good and spending money on “branding”:

Dear colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I announce that Carol Keese will join the University of Oregon as our new Vice President for University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer. Carol is an accomplished marketing and communications leader with more than 20 years of experience helping universities and health systems realize their strategic visions, build brand equity, and generate value in support of their missions.

Carol comes to the UO from the University of Virginia where she has served in several leadership roles since 2014 including her current position as associate vice president for marketing and brand strategy. While at UVA, she provided significant communications support for milestones such as UVA’s bicentennial, the introduction of a new president, the launch of a new capital campaign, and the development of UVA’s strategic plan. Carol also led UVA’s market research and advertising strategy, including targeted support for key research priorities, and was responsible for overall brand development and management.

Prior to her time at UVA, Carol was the vice president of marketing for Children’s National Health System, where she led global marketing and reputation management, media, and public affairs. She also previously served in leadership roles at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Virginia Health System. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Virginia, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix, and a Certificate in Leadership and Management from UVA’s Darden School of Business.

I was especially impressed by Carol’s passion for higher education, her track record of team building and collaboration with colleagues, and her experience elevating and strengthening the academic and research reputations of the universities she has served.

I would like to thank the members of the search committee, chaired by Vice President Jane Gordon, for their dedicated service and thoughtful deliberation through this recruitment process. I am also extremely grateful for the leadership and guidance of Keith Frazee who has served in the interim role for the last six months.

Carol will start on December 4. Please join me in welcoming her to the University of Oregon and our Duck family.

Sincerely,

Karl Scholz 
President

UO Admin to deduct 3’55” from faculty paychecks for October’s annular eclipse

The official Johnson Hall announcement from Around the 0:

“You slackers are supposed to put in a full 8-hour day, and there’s no way an eclipse counts as day. No sun, no day. It’s in Genesis. BTW check your pay statement – we also docked you a half-day for September, because the 16th was a Saturday and we don’t know anyone who works on Saturdays – except maybe Jamie at her side gig. Doesn’t matter to us Deans and VPs of course, since we’re all on 12 month contracts.”

VP Jamie Moffitt spreads the blame for failure to pay employees on time

UO has had problems paying people on time for as long as I can remember. This year seems worse than usual. VP for Finance & Administration Jamie Moffitt – who’s attention may have been distracted by her new side gig at Summit Bank (I’m guessing they pay her on time) – wants you to understand that she’s not fully responsible:

Dear UO Colleague – 

We recently learned that you did not receive your expected end-of-September pay.  For this I am deeply sorry.  

We take pay issues very seriously and recognize that this issue may have created financial challenges for you.  It is also not what any of us should expect from the University. Please accept my sincere apology on behalf of the institution for the challenges that we had with your September pay.

At the moment, our main focus is on ensuring that all remaining pay issues are resolved as quickly as possible.  Once this work is done, we will be reviewing our pay processes in depth to better understand where the problems occurred. 

Many units are responsible for steps along the pay process, including departments, schools and colleges, regional business hubs, human resources and business affairs payroll.  We plan to analyze the collective process to identify what factors contributed to the delay in pay this past month in order to correct these issues and avoid problems like this in the future. 

On a personal note, if you encountered any late fees or penalties (e.g., credit card penalties, mortgage penalties) due to the delay in pay, please let us know.  If you send documentation of the penalty or late fee to Kelly Wolf at [email protected], we will reimburse you for these charges.

Again, please accept our apologies for this issue. 

Jamie

Jamie Moffitt

Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration and CFO

University of Oregon 

[email protected]

541-346-3003

Former UO Pres Schill lies about the student part of student-athletes

I’m not sure why presidents even bother with these statements, it just makes them look like fools or dupes – or bought men:

Schill:

In the days after the hazing scandal in Northwestern University’s athletics program broke this summer, school leaders homed in on this message: “Make no mistake, our student-athletes are students first,” President Michael Schill wrote in an open letter to the school community.

Former Wildcat football player Ramon Diaz says that was not his experience. …

He says student-athletes, particularly those of color, are brought to universities to win on the field, with little attention paid to their academic growth or mental health.

“To leave somebody like that is really just kind of tying both their hands behind their back,” said Diaz, who is Mexican-American. “That’s why some of these Black and brown athletes are left in shame and guilt, embarrassed.”

… Diaz got the message that he was supposed to take easy classes so he could maintain a high GPA. If his grades dipped too low, he wouldn’t be allowed to play football. The year he arrived, he remembers taking three music classes.

“There wasn’t a conversation [around] how this is going to contribute to your degree,” said Diaz, who at 6’4” still carries himself like the offensive lineman he once was. “It was the eligibility part. Those were the cymbals in the background … clanging over and over again, ‘Eligibility, eligibility.’ ”

Diaz said his coaches never asked him how classes were going or if he needed help.

Penn had demoted Nobel winner to adjunct, due to poor research metrics

From the NYT:

Dr. Karikó, the 13th woman to win the prize, languished for many long years without funding or a permanent academic position, keeping her research afloat only by latching onto more senior scientists at the University of Pennsylvania who let her work with them. She was forced to retire from the university a decade ago, she said, and remains only an adjunct professor there … Dr. Karikó referred in an interview published by the University of Pennsylvania on Monday to her many years of clinging to the fringes of academia. In the interview, Dr. Karikó said that every October, her mother used to tell her, “I will listen to the radio that maybe you will get the Nobel Prize.” Dr. Karikó said she would answer: “Mum, you know, I never even get a grant.”

Faculty Union convinces Administration to follow the linear arrow of time

Dear Associate Deans, Heads, and personnel review staff,

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

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

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

All the best,
Renee Irvin

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