Federal Reserve offers UO $300M loan, conditional on no pay cuts

From the FRB website press release, here:

At this point the loan rules, which would apply to many public universities, are out for public comment. Eligible universities could borrow up to one quarter of expenses, or about $300M for UO. The proposed rules would discourage Johnson Hall from cutting payroll during the term of the loan:

I don’t see anything in them which would prevent Johnson Hall from using the money to, say, rescind the pay cuts President Schill, Rob Mullens, Mario Cristobal, and Dana Altman have accepted. In fact, the clause above might even be construed, by a creative and properly incentivized General Counsel, to require this.

Pres Schill draws sigh of relief as sensible vandals rid UO of troublesome statues

President Schill’s email this morning:

Dear University of Oregon community,

There is no question we are living in a moment when our nation is painfully coming to grips with the reality of systemic racism that has been woven into the fabric of our society for generations. Racism exists despite the bloody battles of the Civil War, despite protections guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, despite the hard-fought victories of the Civil Rights movement, and despite more recent efforts of individuals and institutions to consciously promote diversity and inclusion. Events of the last few weeks have sadly demonstrated that racists in our country still kill Black people and other people of color. Racism still endures within our nation’s power structure, and racism still keeps Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian people from equal access to health care, education, justice, economic prosperity, and so much more. People are angry, people are hurt, people are enraged.

On Saturday, what some consider to be symbols of racism and oppression on our campus were targeted by an anonymous group of protestors. Both the Pioneer and Pioneer Mother statues were torn from their pedestals and vandalized in dramatic fashion. While I strongly believe in the power of peaceful protest and the right to free expression and dissent, I condemn these acts of destruction. What happened Saturday evening was unacceptable.

Last week I told the University Senate that the institution would move forward with a process of determining whether the Pioneer statues—as well as other historic monuments and artwork on campus that may be viewed as symbols of oppression—should be taken down. I regret that we will no longer have the opportunity for that type of deliberative and inclusive process. Nevertheless, we need to move forward as a community.

One of the long-standing challenges with the Pioneer statues was their lack of contextualization and materials to fully explain their complicated meaning—both good and bad. Therefore, I will ask the Committee on Recognizing Our Diverse History to work with our museums to explore permanent installations or other opportunities to exhibit the statues in a manner that places them in appropriate historical context. In the meantime, the statues have both been put into storage. Neither statue will go back to their previous places of prominence on campus. [emphasis added]

These are incredibly difficult times. Removing or relocating a statue or a piece of art does not change the need for the hard work of confronting racism that is ahead of us as a nation, a state, and a university. I honestly do not know where exactly that will lead us, but I have to believe that something positive will come from all of this pain. As an institution, we will continue to listen, seek understanding, and find meaningful ways to recognize and strengthen communities of color. We will redouble our efforts and explore new ways to support diversity and inclusion among students, faculty, and staff and bolster ally-ship on the University of Oregon campus. We must and we will.

Sincerely, Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Back in Jan 2018 the UO Senate passed resolution 17/18-06, which included this:

… 1.11 WHEREAS the UO campus still prominently displays signs and monuments that glorify white colonization and domination, while failing to do enough to honor the work and sacrifices made for justice and equity; and

… 2.3 BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we request that the University President in consultation with the Senate President and student leaders, convene an ad hoc task force comprised of members from all campus constituencies to discuss, identify and propose campus education about the UO’s history as it relates to diversity and inclusivity, as well as recommend changes, modifications and additions to spaces and monuments which still narrate the campus along the lines of white supremacist mythologies.

Note that this task force was not charged with considering whether or not to *remove* the Pioneer Mother and Father – just with how they might be modified, with such things as interpretive plaques etc. Schill would not appoint a presidential task force if it was allowed to consider removal of the statues, because of virulent opposition from some wealthy alumni. I encouraged the Senate to go along with the weak charge above, seeing no point to a Senate-only committee that would be actively opposed by President Schill. In short, I was a coward.

Even the modest goal of adding interpretive information about the statues was never done, as will surprise no one who has tried to get a committee to do anything, and which I’m sure was not a surprise to Schill – who made no effort to push along his committee’s work. Apparently they never even wrote a report. Now President Schill is – you guessed it – establishing a new committee to spread the blame for whatever happens next. It will be interesting to see who will be willing to join such a committee.

For a pretty clear explanation of the racism behind the statues, or at least the Pioneer Father, read the paper by UO History grad student Marc James Carpenter for the Oregon Historical Society, here. The abstract:

UO Pioneer Father & Mother statues toppled from pedestals, as UO awaits new talking points from Pres Schill’s PR Flacks

Update: These two photos were both taken by Andrew Nelson, a photojournalist for the RG. The first is from Bagdad in 2003, just before a US Marine vehicle pulled down Saddam Hussein’s statue. The second is from Eugene, today, from this RG report.

I’m posting them as a reminder that removing statues is a start, not an end.

Update: From the Daily Emerald here:

… “A university spokesperson could not be reached in time for publication.”

Someone really should alert the “Univ Communications – Storyteller Team” at ADV.Email.comm.storyteller.team.email.group@uoregon.edu

6/13/2020: From Rachael McDonald at KLCC. 20 minutes and I’m still waiting for someone to leak the talking points from President Schill’s PR flacks on this:

(Note: McDonald has since tweeted a correction to the statement this was done by BIOPIC members)

These Deady talking points are *not* for media, Deans told to stifle

Whoops. Thanks to an anonymous source for passing this on, as prepared by one of VP Kyle Henley’s PR flacks, at $115,815 a year. Note the request that Deans etc don’t talk to the press! How Trumpish.

If anyone has a copy of the talking points that were prepared for Pres Schill’s 2017 decision *not* to dename Deady, please forward them.

From: George Evano <gevano@uoregon.edu>
Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2020 9:46 AM
To: Jennifer Winters <jwinters@uoregon.edu>; Univ Communications – Storyteller Team <ADV.Email.comm.storyteller.team.email.group@uoregon.edu>; Monique Danziger <mdanzig2@uoregon.edu>; Jennifer Lindsey <jlindsey@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Jennifer Archer <jdarcher@uoregon.edu>; Jim Engelhardt <jime@uoregon.edu>; Rayna Jackson <raynaj@uoregon.edu>; Anna Sherwood <asherwoo@uoregon.edu>; Zack Barnett <zbarnett@uoregon.edu>; Nancy Novitski <novitski@uoregon.edu>; Kara Rowan <krowan@uoregon.edu>; Colleen Schlonga <colleens@uoregon.edu>; Marlene Blum <marleneb@uoregon.edu>; Jessica T. Brown <jtbrown@uoregon.edu>; Tim Jordan <tjordan@uoregon.edu>; Kate Conley <katec@uoregon.edu>; Charlie Litchfield <clitch@uoregon.edu>; Molly Blancett <blancett@uoregon.edu>; Katy George <george@uoregon.edu>; Laurie Notaro <lnotaro@uoregon.edu>; AnneMarie Knepper <aknepper@uoregon.edu>; Jim Barlow <jebarlow@uoregon.edu>; Dusty Whitaker <dustinw@uoregon.edu>; Jesse Summers <summers5@uoregon.edu>; Kyle Henley <khenley@uoregon.edu>; tova stabin <tstabin@uoregon.edu>; Marlitt Dellabough <marlitt@uoregon.edu>; Heidi Hiaasen <heidih@uoregon.edu>; Tim Christie <timc@uoregon.edu>; Lauren Stanfield <lemiller@uoregon.edu>; Caitlin Howard <choward4@uoregon.edu>; Rachael Nelson <rachaeln@uoregon.edu>; Internal Communications <comminternal@uoregon.edu>; Julianne Davis <juls@uoregon.edu>; Jim Murez <jmurez@uoregon.edu>; Kristin Strommer <kstromme@uoregon.edu>; Andra Brichacek <andra@uoregon.edu>; Kirstin Hierholzer <kirstinh@uoregon.edu>; Laura Bottem <lbottem@uoregon.edu>; Lewis Taylor <lewist@uoregon.edu>; Debbie Williamson <debbiews@uoregon.edu>; Kay Jarvis <kdjarvis@uoregon.edu>; Damian Foley <foley@uoregon.edu>; Saul Hubbard <saulh@uoregon.edu>; Matt Cooper <mattc@uoregon.edu>; Greg Bolt <gbolt@uoregon.edu>; Ed Dorsch <edorsch@uoregon.edu>; Anna Glavash <aglavash@uoregon.edu>; Cheyenne Thorpe <cthorpe@uoregon.edu>; Melody Leslie <mleslie@uoregon.edu>; Emma Oravecz <ejo@uoregon.edu>; Jett Nilprabhassorn <jettn@uoregon.edu>; Chakris Kussalanant <chakris@uoregon.edu>; Michele Ross <mross@uoregon.edu>; Melissa Foley <mfoley@uoregon.edu>; David Austin <dmaustin@uoregon.edu>

Subject: Deady Hall Talk Points

Hi Everyone,

Attached please find a copy of the communications talk points around the president’s Deady Hall recommendation. These talking points have been sent to senior leaders, deans, and development officers to use in formal and informal communications and conversations with internal and external constituencies. These are not for use with the media. If you receive media request for comment, please have them refer them to Kay Jarvis.

You can also see them in the Team for Racial Climate – where they are updated in real time. Let us know if you want to be a member of that group, which has some excellent resources contributed by tova and others.

UO Senate to meet Wed for votes on virtue signaling resolution & Pres Elect

For agenda/motion updates check here. Zoom at https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/303086146

3:00 P.M.  Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Elizabeth Skowron
  • Remarks; Senate Vice President & President-Elect Elliot Berkman

3:10 P.M. Approval of the Minutes

May 13, 2020

3:15 P.M. State of the University

  • President Michael Schill

3:30 P.M. New Business

4:10 P.M. Awards

  • Shared Governance Award: Sierra Dawson, Jennifer Espinola, Chris Esparza; Intro by Elizabeth Skowron & Jessica Cronce
  • Classified Staff Award: Cimmeron Gillespie, Intro by Steve Mital and Robyn Hathcock; and Char Fentress, Intro by Allie Heaman
  • Wayne Westling Award: Kassia Dellabough, College of Design; Intro by Kristin Grieger
  • OA Award: Herlinda (Linda) Leon; Intro by Amalia Gladhart

4:58 P.M. Open Discussion
4:59 P.M. Other Business
5:00 P.M. Adjourn


Save the UO Librarians

You’d think the first thing a university would cut during a budget crisis would be some of its money-losing sports – starting with say baseball.

Not at UO, where the administration is cutting the librarians. A snippet from the well documented website they’ve put together in response, here: https://www.uolibrariansunited.com/

Like many colleges and universities, the University of Oregon is anticipating a potential budgetary shortfall as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to expected cuts to the university’s state funding and a projected drop in enrollment for fall term. Without yet having any reliable data on the status of either funding stream, UO has opted to preemptively cut costs by targeting 211 Career non-tenure-track faculty whose contracts happened to be up for renewal this spring; these faculty have had their FTE for the 2020-21 academic year cut in half, and have received 1-year contracts in lieu of the 2- or 3-year contracts they would normally expect.

Among those 211 faculty who are bearing the brunt of the university’s savings plan are 14 faculty librarians who have received notice that their positions will be reduced from full-time to 0.55 FTE. Another 5 librarians who were up for promotion this year faced the choice between receiving a similar reduction in FTE with their new contracts upon promotion, or pulling their promotion applications to retain their full FTE under their current contracts.

Solar system fears chaos on Wed, w/o physicists to enforce Newton’s laws

Sorry, a stupid joke about a serious subject. Real message from VPRI David Conover below. There is a similar STEM/Academia wide plan for Wed at https://www.shutdownstem.com/.

Dear Campus Research Community,

Wednesday, June 10th, has been designated as a day when many academics across the nation are collectively speaking out to advocate for change in their communities about the injustices impacting the lives of African Americans and other black people. Organized by physicists and astronomers (https://www.particlesforjustice.org/), the strike has grown to include faculty, staff, and students from all disciplines who will pause their normal scholarly activities to support #STRIKE4BLACKLIVES and #SHUTDOWNSTEM, and also to contemplate how we can end racism in America.

In support of our colleagues who plan to participate in the strike, we will reschedule the June 10 Town Hall meetings that were initially planned for discussion of lab reopening to a later date. As urged by the strike organizers, we will repurpose the 10:30 a.m. town hall as an open forum to discuss these issues. We will be joined by Provost Phillips. This will be the first of many such discussions on eliminating systemic racism in research and innovation.

I urge all of us to look at June 10th as one opportunity to show solidarity with black people and to recognize the injustices of systemic racism that exist around the world. Despite our best intentions, research universities are not immune from these systemic challenges. As one example, proportionally few black people choose the sciences as a profession because research communities on college campuses often perpetuate bias and systemic racism, both consciously and unconsciously.

Institutionalized inequalities in educational opportunities, healthcare, and access to services beginning very early and persisting throughout life pose unacceptable barriers to entering our profession. Despite efforts to reverse this trend, few U.S. universities – including the UO – have made adequate progress on important and necessary diversity goals. Why we have failed and what we might do differently to eliminate racism in research communities and welcome greater diversity in our ranks is a good topic to think about, discuss, and act upon with colleagues on Wednesday.

We invite you to join us from 10:30-11:15am via zoom.

Regards, David


Your chance to give input on UO’s re-opening plans

Update: This survey will close at midnight Wed June 10.

The UO administration isn’t going to do this, and few people would trust them to accurately report the results if they did. So this survey comes from UO Professor Melissa Graboyes. with the support of United Academics. Here’s more info and a link to the survey, which has skip logic for faculty, staff, students etc.

Please note that currently it is only for UO community members.

Dear Colleague,

We are writing to encourage you to participate in an anonymous 15-minute survey to gather opinions about the university’s plans to open for in-person, on-campus instruction in fall term. Currently, no one has a good idea of the range of views that exist on campus, and that puts us all in a weaker position in identifying concerns across different groups of people. Collecting this information will allow us to prepare to address the range of opinions and concerns people have and better advocate for safe fall plans. We hope that you will consider joining us in this important effort.

SURVEY: https://oregon.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0dlhPwHH61Ih72R

All of the unions on campus—United Academics, SEIU, and the GTTF—are participating in this effort, and the survey has questions specific to students, staff, and faculty. Everyone participating in this surveying project is committed to getting input from as large and as diverse of a population across the UO as possible. The only way we can do that is by getting participation from people like you. Because this is an effort targeted at the UO, we ask that you don’t share the survey outside of the UO community.

This is an independent surveying effort, outside of the UO central administration, organized by Professor Melissa Graboyes with the support of United Academics. Participation is entirely voluntary and all viewpoints are welcome. Responses are anonymous and no personal information such as email address, name, IP address, or geo-location is being collected. The results will be publicly shared no later than June 15. The project has been reviewed and determined to be Exempt by the UO’s Institutional Review Board. Questions can be directed to: graboyes@uoregon.edu and more information about the survey is available at: https://www.coronaviruschronicles.com/uo-survey

Thank you for your participation,

UA Executive Council

Faculty Union Town Hall, today at Noon

Dear Colleague,

I would like to invite all members of United Academics to a Town Hall on Monday, June 8 from noon to 1:30. The Zoom link is below.

We are soliciting questions from members on a variety of issues we are facing as a community. We will have officers and staff on hand to talk about current events including:

* upcoming negotiations around potential salary cuts/furloughs
* continuing employment and FTE restoration for Career faculty
* faculty input into re-opening campus

Please submit your question(s) here. We will also take questions during the meeting, but advance notice allows us the time to do research if necessary. If you are unable to attend live, a recording of the meeting will be available on our website. We will also post a FAQ page to get you answers to questions we were not able to answer during the Town Hall.

While it is difficult to find much of anything to celebrate right now, I hope the quarter is ending smoothly for instructional faculty, and that research faculty are able to be productive during these unprecedented times. I look forward to talking with you all on Monday.

Thank you for all that you do for the university and our students!

In solidarity, Chris Sinclair

When: Jun 8, 2020 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Please click the link below to join the Zoom webinar:

Black Student Collective issues list of demands to UO, Trustees, Pres Schill

Link to their twitter here.

For some history on past such efforts for reform by UO’s black students, there’s a good 2019 piece on Around the O, here. While it has the mandatory puffery about the vital roles of President Schill and VP Alex-Assensoh (both on the job market) and VP Marbury, author Jim Murez covers that cleverly and tells much, much more. Respect.

The Black Student Collective appears to be a new group, distinct from the UO Black Student Task Force that arose in 2014-15 during widespread protests over the police killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Protests at the University of Missouri led to the quick resignation of president Tim Wolfe, followed by panic among university presidents across the country fearful of the same fate.

The RG has a good story on the motivation of some of the organizers of Eugene’s BLM protests, here.