How a prof used Title IX allegations to screw over competing job applicants

It’s a long story, and doesn’t have a very happy ending:

What would be different if the accused faculty were at UO, instead of ASU? For one thing the case would probably still be dragging on. ASU closed this within a month. UO’s Office of Investigations Civil Rights Compliance usually takes much, much longer.

And they’re now at least 18 months behind on their effort to review their procedures:

Annual Review of Title IX Adjudication Procedures

As part of the UO Title IX Coordinator’s commitment to transparency and stakeholder involvement, a UO advisory group has begun meeting as part of the annual review of how the university adjudicates cases of sexual misconduct and prohibited discrimination and harassment. The role of the advisory group is to make recommendations for how to change the university’s sexual misconduct standard operation procedures in light of both evolving national best practices and  possible federal rule changes.

The US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is in the process of making changes to the regulatory guidance it uses to enforce Title IX, the law related to gender equity in education. The proposed rules could have significant impact on the way in which universities respond to allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. In February, UO President Michael H. Schill joined other Oregon public university presidents to comment on the proposal. Associate Vice Provost for Civil Rights Darci Heroy, who is also the UO’s Title IX coordinator, also joined other university Title IX officials from Oregon in submitting separate comments.

An advisory group will review the adjudication procedures in depth, with the goal of providing concrete recommendations for any changes to the process. The recommendations would be presented to the Dean of Students and the Title IX Coordinator by the end of summer and would then be considered and any resulting changes drafted with an effective date of fall term 2019. The advisory group will seek campus and community input prior to the university making any final procedural changes. Anyone who would like to provide input can get connected with the advisory group by emailing their contact info and request to [email protected].

Advisory Group

Anna Schmidt-MacKenzie, (Co-Facilitator) Director of Residence Life & Educational Initiatives

John Inglish, (Co-Facilitator) Program Director for Conflict & Dispute Resolution

UO late again with Affirmative Action Plan

The most recently available plan is here. The data is from 2016. Under federal regulations UO must prepare these annually. The new plan, explaining how UO is complying with federal AA law and giving the latest slice and dice of UO’s employees by gender and race, was supposed to be signed by President Schill by March 1, 2018. But instead, there’s just this announcement from AAEO:

On an annual basis, as required by federal regulations, UO produces Affirmative Action Plans (AAPs).  As of the 2018-19 AAP Year, UO has engaged Biddle Consulting Group to assist in the preparation of our plans.  Biddle has recommended some process changes to better align our reporting dates and incorporate the most current, complete and accurate set of data (snapshot date) with which to generate the AAPs. The effective date of the plans will remain March 1 with a new snapshot date of February 28, resulting in a later release of plan information on the AAEO website.

UO is spending millions on the VPEI’s office, thousands of hours of faculty time on “Diversity Action Plans”, is requiring search committee members to take questionable Implicit Bias training, is being sued for gender discrimination, and is spending millions more on the Under-represented Minority Recruitment Plan – but we can’t even file a basic federally required breakdown of employee race and gender on time without hiring a consultant.

FWIW here’s the sort of data the plans show:




New AAEO Director Tracey Tsugawa disappears from AAEO website

Update: If anyone knows what’s really going on, please post a comment.

Around the O has the official trust-destroying non-explanation from strategic communicator Tobin Klinger here. It’s all part of “Ensuring the University of Oregon has an inclusive and welcoming campus”:

The University of Oregon is forming a new Office of Civil Rights Compliance with the responsibility of investigating and responding to all forms of discrimination and harassment.

The restructure consolidates efforts previously housed in the Title IX and Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity offices.

President Michael H. Schill, Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt and Vice President for Student Life Kevin Marbury announced the restructure in a memo to academic and administrative leaders.

“Ensuring the University of Oregon has an inclusive and welcoming campus for students, staff, faculty and the community is a top institutional priority,” they state in the memo. …

Ms Tsugawa spent an hour talking to the faculty union’s representative assembly meeting on Tuesday. If she had any knowledge of this reorganization she hid it well. She did make clear her objections to the UO General Counsel Office interpretation of FERPA, her amazement at the lack of written policies and procedures she found when she arrived at UO, her belief that many AAEO practices violated due process rights, her belief that it was a mistake for UO to appoint so many administrators without open searches, and her efforts to address some of these problems.


I must have missed the job posting and open search for her replacement:

9/26/2017: Wow did she take the wrong job

Daily Emerald reporter Logan Marks has the report on new AAEO Director Tracey Tsugawa:

New Affirmative Action Director has social justice in her genes

“[I want to] make sure that we have a campus that is as free as possible from forms of harassment and discrimination, and cultivate a campus that is truly inclusive and welcoming for everyone…” Tsugawa said. “I’m totally excited about coming to Oregon – totally excited about becoming a Duck.”

Tsugawa mentioned two overarching goals for the AAEO office. One is providing prevention education and training for office staff on how to address interpersonal conflict. The other is making processes more transparent so people know what their options are. She also emphasized the importance of protecting people instead of the university.

“Our job is to protect the students, staff and faculty of the campus, not to protect the university…We need to be independent and autonomous to a degree so that we can protect people.”

Which sounds admirable, but is either disingenuous or confused. UO will be not be paying her ~$150K to protect people. Her job is to protect the university. As UO’s Discrimination Complaint and Response Policy warns:

Employees should be aware that AAEO is tasked with ensuring compliance with this policy and state and federal law.  Therefore, while AAEO will work with employees, students and campus community members to ensure that they understand their complaint options, are protected from retaliation and are provided with interim measures as appropriate, AAEO employees are not advocates for individuals participating in the process.

This policy wording was approved by the UO General Counsel’s Office and has been implemented twice by the UO President – once as an emergency policy and once as an interim policy. It is still in effect, except for situations involving sexual harassment or violence against students. Those are now handled by UO’s Title IX Office, under UO’s new student-directed reporting policy.

UO lawyers’ defense against native-american prof’s lawsuit? It’s not discrimination – our Affirmative Action office treats *all* faculty with contempt


Among the years of reports, last summer Daily Emerald reporter Max Thornberry had this about this famously mismanaged office, here. A snippet:

Concerns about the timeliness and effectiveness of the AAEO office [aren’t] new. A 2014 report from the ombuds office found that, “classified staff report high levels of distrust…in the fairness, competence and responsiveness of the University’s AA/EO function.”

And in their motion for a summary dismissal of Chixapkaid Pavel’s lawsuit against SVPAA Doug Blandy and former AAEO Director Penny Daugherty and others, UO’s lawyers have decided to run with that, here:


I’m no law professor, so I have nothing to say about the likely success of this argument by Amanda Walkup and Alexandra Hilsher of Eugene’s Hershner Hunter law firm, except that it seems a bit odd to try and use something like this to persuade the Honorable Ann Aiken to dismiss the case, unless you think there’s a pretty high probability she’ll take it as true despite that weasley footnote.

Another aspect of UO’s motion also seems problematic:

Unfortunately Exhibit H isn’t in the docket, since UO submitted it under a protective order. However, a quick glance through the Bias Response Team documents that UO’s Public Records Office submitted to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, here, will reveal at least one recent informal complaint that was submitted to AAEO and led to a full and expensive AAEO investigation and the potential for serious discipline – although the GCO eventually told AAEO to drop it and exonerated the professor.

5/12/2016: Professor Chixapkaid Pavel files suit against UO, Penny Daugherty, etc

Docket here, full complaint here.

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