Why former CAS Dean Andrew Marcus has joined the faculty union

Marcus resigned from the UO Administration as CAS Dean, effective Jan 2019, after disagreements with President Schill on matters of principle. Now he’s joined the Faculty Union:

Dear […]

I want to let you know that I have just joined the ranks of United Academics as a dues paying member. My decision to join the union is driven by the even deeper plunge of UO’s central administration into centralized decision making, all at the expense of rational consultation and input from thoughtful contributors ranging from deans to staff to faculty. It was the dramatic centralization and loss of input from deans and faculty that ultimately led to my resignation as dean. It is dismaying that this trend has proceeded even further without regard for the individuals whose lives are most affected by the decisions. For example, I believe there are many alternative ways to address budget deficits that do not require across the board salary reductions for those who actually do the work of the university. But these alternative approaches would harm our President’s vision for the university, and that is apparently the only vision that counts, no matter whose backs it is built on.

Unfortunately, my membership will be short-lived as I will become department head as of June 16. But I want to provide a tangible, if short–lived, gesture of my support for United Academics in this challenging moment for our university and our faculty.

Feel free to share this note with others.

With respect,

W. Andrew Marcus
Professor of Geography
University of Oregon

You too can join, at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeWlPkhxAzbHOsrAssgK_gAhr5clorn9r5R7_xR1PcVtcc9vg/viewform

Still no news on CAS recombination task force.

10/16/2018: It’s now three months since CAS Dean Andrew Marcus announced his resignation, over policy differences with the President and Provost, and almost 2 months since they announced a task force to study potential CAS reorganization.

On Oct 31 the Senate’s CAS Caucus elected two senators to the CAS recombination task force: Pedro Garcia-Caro (RL) and Karen White (Anthropology).

But there’s still no news from the administration as to who will fill the remaining 19 slots. If you know anything more please post a comment.

9/24/2018: Provost Banavar appoints Bruce Blonigen to lead CAS, and Karen Ford to work on whether or not to split it up

The August 17th post about Dean Marcus’s resignation is here.

Sent on behalf of Provost Jayanth Banavar Continue reading

CAS Dean Andrew Marcus to step down at end of year

August 17, 2018

Dear University of Oregon community members,

I write today to let you know that W. Andrew Marcus, Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences, has notified me that he intends to step down as dean at the end of the calendar year.

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is in many ways the heart and soul of the University of Oregon, serving as the academic home to more than 60 percent of the student body and offering more than 40 fields of study in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Andrew has led this vast and complex college with incredible distinction and honor for more than five years, stepping in as acting dean in 2012 and ultimately being named dean in 2016.

President Schill and I are deeply grateful to Andrew for his exceptional leadership of the university’s largest and most academically diverse college through a period of great transformation and challenge within both CAS and the broader university. Andrew has been a principled and visionary leader, a voice of reason, and a tireless advocate for the faculty and students of CAS. With more than 15 years of experience at the UO as a faculty member, University Senate president, department head, associate dean, and dean, Andrew’s wealth of institutional knowledge will be greatly missed from the academic leadership ranks.

Even as Andrew steps away from his leadership role, his legacy as dean will last far into the future. The most enduring symbol of that legacy is Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall, a new college and careers building that is under construction in the heart of campus and set to open in the fall of 2019. Andrew’s vision is to create a place where students can navigate their academic experience at the UO in a holistic and innovative space that combines academic advising, career guidance, and portfolio-building opportunities in one location. More than just a beautiful building, Tykeson Hall will be a place where generations of UO students will set themselves on a path to a more meaningful future. It couldn’t have happened without Andrew’s leadership, vision, and tenacious fundraising efforts.

During his time as dean, Andrew has deftly realigned the college’s budget with transparency and fairness. He has helped recruit and hire amazing new faculty members as well as retain standout professors and researchers, efforts that have helped the UO solidify and strengthen its academic foundation in a wide range of disciplines. Andrew also launched new degrees and programs to serve the evolving demands and needs of students, including the Center for Environmental Futures and the new Black Studies initiative. In addition, he has made significant contributions to the broader UO community, serving on the president’s Senior Leadership Team, the Academic Leadership Team, the Space Advisory Group, and the Budget Advisory Group.

In the coming weeks, President Schill and I will consult with the college’s leadership team and members of the CAS faculty about how best to move forward when Andrew steps down at the end of the year. Having strong, capable leadership within the College of Arts and Sciences is a top priority, and we will develop and share a search plan in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition in CAS.

In the meantime, please join me in thanking Andrew for his wonderful service as dean to the College of Arts and Sciences and the entire University of Oregon.

Jayanth Banavar
Provost and Senior Vice President

A message from CAS Dean Marcus on vision and faculty hiring

Update: Apparently many readers are too busy trying to improve their metrics to read the details of the Dean’s message below, much less act on them. So here’s a visual with the key words you should throw in when drafting IHP proposals or presenting to the Board of Trustees. Thanks to Academic Analytics for the inspiration:

1/25/2018: Since UOM has a considerably more diverse and engaged readership and a more liberal comment policy than the CAS Dean’s blog (no comments allowed, signed or unsigned), I’m pasting his latest message below starting with our new vision statement:


The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon will be a leader among public research universities in preparing students for lifetime success, by:

• Reinventing advising and undergraduate curricula to dramatically improve both academic and career success;

• Rewarding and recruiting faculty who:

1) are excellent scholars seeking solutions to the major social and scientific needs of our time,

2) advance our curriculum, and

3) model for students the modern collaborative workplace.

Our vision derives from and aligns with the ambitious goals the President and Provost have set for excellence, access and experience at the University of Oregon. The College of Arts and Sciences is particularly well poised to advance these UO-wide goals by building on our long-term and recent accomplishments. Over many decades CAS has established a record of faculty-led interdisciplinary, collaborative endeavors targeted toward serving the public good, a record that already distinguishes us among major public universities. And, in recent years, the college has gained tremendous momentum by:

• Developing plans for dramatic changes in student advising throughout the liberal arts

• Raising $34 million toward a total of $39 million for a donor- and State-funded campus hub for integrated career/academic advising

• Working to revitalize student interest in language study and the humanities • Initiating and completing major science lab improvements across the natural sciences

• Collaborating with university leadership to launch the Knight Campus to accelerate scientific impact, an idea proposed by CAS faculty

• Undertaking the most ambitious faculty hiring program in our history

We are poised to undertake a once-in-a-generation transformation. Over the next few years, the College of Arts and Sciences will usher in the next generation of faculty, dedicate new resources to its existing faculty that spur innovation, and profoundly reimagine curricula and advising in ways that will determine the future of the UO for decades to come.


To achieve its vision, the College will pursue three strategies:

1) Increase the relevance of both advising and curricula to dramatically improve both academic and career success,

2) Target faculty hiring to bring in the next generation of faculty who will create nodes of collaborative faculty excellence that will advance the UO’s reputation as a center of research, addressing the critical social issues of our time, while also mentoring our students ,and bringing fresh ideas to renew our curricula, and

3) Significantly increase incentives for faculty and staff to pursue research breakthroughs, curricular and advising innovations, and diversity initiatives that underscore our national leadership and attract new cohorts of top-performing faculty and students. Strategy 1—Reimagining Student Advising and Curriculum UO students want to do well—and do good. They feel intense pressure to make the best use of family resources, succeed in their studies, graduate on time, and get jobs (do well); at the same time, UO students are also characterized by a passion for effecting positive change in the world (doing good). The faculty and staff in CAS will address—and are already addressing—the needs and desires of the modern student by rethinking how we advise, teach, and engage students. By reimagining both advising and curriculum, we will create pathways that guide students toward meaningful and achievable goals while building foundational skills for a rapidly changing world. Students will be able to envision how the core goals of a liberal arts education—critical reasoning, effective communication, collaborative problem solving, and a rich understanding of our complex world—can help them achieve their aspirations.

Specific measures include:

• Envisioning the future of Tykeson Hall and its advising programs. Tykeson Hall ushers in a new era of advising, guiding students to build portfolios of in-demand skills and develop the agility to adapt to the future.

• Rethinking curriculum requirements and pathways. Today’s students want to pursue solutions to pressing social challenges while also developing skills that prepare them for the workplace. This requires curriculum that emphasizes the multiple perspectives necessary to understand—and succeed in—our increasingly diverse and global world. CAS is already incentivizing faculty and departments to revise curricula and identify degree pathways—and will increase these incentives in the future.

• Revitalizing language learning. CAS faculty are already working to revitalize language studies through innovative pedagogies, curricular revisions, a greater range of study abroad options, online courses, and new partnerships with the schools of business and journalism.

• Expanding venues for learning. The college will continue to expand the range of venues for student learning, ranging from online programs to more extensive internship opportunities to classes and workshops offered at locations other than the Eugene campus.

Strategy 2—Hiring the Next Generation of Faculty Hiring priorities will continue to emphasize recruiting superior scholars who will work collaboratively to solve the pressing social and scientific issues of our time, substantially advance the UO’s national research profile, and provide exceptional mentoring for our students. Targeted hiring of new tenure track faculty also is a powerful mechanism for accelerating a reimagined curriculum; a new wave of faculty will bring in fresh ideas and new approaches. Already well underway, this hiring campaign will result in a turnover of approximately a 40% in faculty positions over just a few years, allowing CAS to pivot in new directions across the entire college. Faculty hiring will emphasize:

• Achieving national prominence: College hiring will focus on building critical mass in fields and subfields that are poised to achieve national and international prominence.

• Maximizing the social and scientific impact of research: CAS will recruit individuals who will work collaboratively to develop solutions that address the major issues of our time.

Strategy 3—Incentivizing Cross Disciplinary Scholarship and Innovation in Student Learning Continually reinvigorating our teaching and research enterprise is essential to achieving national recognition—and attracting the highest-caliber faculty and students. CAS leadership is already offering increased funds—and is actively pursuing further fundraising—to incentivize current faculty and staff to propose high-impact opportunities that advance our leadership in the following areas:

• Curricular innovations

• Advising innovations

• Diversity initiatives

• Research that addresses societal needs

• Creative collaborations that cross disciplinary boundaries to establish novel approaches to research problems

Blog post CAS Dean Andrew Marcus:

Earlier this month, I sent a note to all CAS heads outlining the process for requesting tenure track searches in AY18-19 as part of the Provost-led Institutional Hiring Plan (IHP). To give you further context for hiring priorities, I want to share the evolving CAS vision document that I and others have been developing for the college since last July (download the vision statement).

This vision, which I have discussed previously with department heads, the Senate, campus leadership, and our CAS Advisory Board, establishes a framework for priority-setting for the next several years. Among its many uses, I hope this document helps you think strategically about your requests for tenure track lines for your departments or your clusters.

As you will see, the vision strongly emphasizes the idea that, in addition to individual discipline-based faculty lines, we should work to create nodes of collaborative faculty excellence that address pressing social and scientific needs of our time—and also speak powerfully to student academic and career interests. Successful hiring proposals will be distinguished by their support of one or more of these priorities.

But beyond the IHP, I hope our vision prompts even deeper college-wide conversations about how to improve the student experience and how departments want to direct their research agendas. I am very hopeful that this plan will engage the CAS community, because itrelies on CAS faculty and staff to bring their best ideas forward to help shape the future of our collective success.

In fact, I believe we are on the verge of a once-in-a-generation transformation. In the 1960s and 70s, higher education was reimagined by a new wave of faculty and a profound critique and reinvention of curriculum. It is increasingly clear that we are in the midst of a similar sea change; our vision for CAS is designed to shape the future of the UO for decades to come—relying on the imagination and leadership of our faculty to create the forward-thinking research and teaching initiatives that will define us.

Why a Vision? Why Now?

Why develop and share a vision statement now? It was helpful to have a prompt from my new boss: One of the first things our new provost, Jayanth Banavar, did when he arrived last summer was ask all of the deans to create a vision for their colleges. Recognizing that vision statements are a dime a dozen in higher education (and often go on for 100 pages, aspiring to do everything under the sun), the CAS deans undertook to craft a concise, relevant statement for our college that builds on our strengths and our potential for capitalizing on those strengths.

First and foremost, we recognized that we have many assets to build from:

  • The quality of our existing faculty, their commitment to excellence, and their longtime track record of collaborative endeavor
  • Major initiatives undertaken over the past four years, which have included:
    • The most aggressive tenure track faculty hiring program in the history of CAS
    • A first-ever college-wide Diversity Action Plan
    • The largest development campaign in our history
    • An ongoing rethinking of programs for student advising
    • Launching the design and construction of Tykeson Hall, a building designed for student success, scheduled to open in Fall 2019
    • Major science lab improvements
    • Efforts to revitalize student interest in our languages and humanities
    • And many, many more efforts ranging from individual activities to the college-wide development of personnel and management systems.

Proceeding from this baseline of strength, I originally thought the best approach to producing a vision for the provost would be to ask the divisional deans (Karen Ford, Hal Sadofsky and Phil Scher) to write separate plans for the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, respectively. Each of them delivered a well-considered divisional plan, but we soon realized that we needed a cohesive, simplified vision that unites the entire college. Accordingly, we distilled the many aspirations for our divisions into two main college-wide goals:

The UO College of Arts and Sciences will be a leader among public research universities in preparing students for lifetime success, by:

  • Reinventing both advising and undergraduate curriculum to dramatically improve both academic and career success;
  • Rewarding and recruiting faculty who 1) pursue solutions to social and scientific needs, 2) advance our curriculum, and 3) model for students the modern collaborative workplace.

You will notice these goals foreground student success, which is intentional. We must articulate our vision to many constituents besides ourselves—prospective and current students, parents, alumni, donors, etc.—and framing academics, advising and research in terms of student benefit is designed to help the rest of the world embrace our collective purpose: to help students “do well” as they pursue their passion for “doing good.” (More on this later.)

Student-Centered, Faculty Led

As the vision statement makes clear: we aspire to be student-centered in the context of being faculty-led. Faculty are the engines of both research and educational excellence, and our goals for attaining national leadership must focus on initiatives that engage, support, and build our faculty. As you know, President Schill aims to advance our AAU status by increasing our numbers of research faculty, many of whom will be in CAS. Concurrently, dozens of CAS faculty retirements are taking place, allowing us to realign our hiring priorities to emphasize major social and scientific issues. In 2017, there was a 9% turnover in CAS faculty; we will have a similar turnover in this year, perhaps a total of 40% in a matter of just a few years.

We will call upon—and reward—both current and future faculty to propose bold new research agendas, reinvent the curriculum, and reimagine their deep involvement with our students through their research, their classroom activities, and their role as advisors and mentors. Our success will depend on our faculty joining together in an energized intellectual community that embodies the Oregon spirit and our long-term commitment to the ideals of public education.

Along with our necessary emphasis on faculty, we must also focus on our staff, who play an essential role in realizing our vision. Our staff are leaders in student advising, personnel management, diversity innovations, and the development of management solutions that support all our daily operations.

Do Well, Do Good

Together, all of our activities are in service of guiding future generations to “do well and do good.” One of the abiding characteristics of UO undergraduates is their earnest desire to make a positive difference in the world (do good). At the same time, today’s students also feel intense pressure to graduate on time, succeed academically, and make the best use of family resources (do well). They worry about their future job prospects in a world that is evolving at dizzying speed.

It is our obligation to help students both do well and do good. The vision helps guide our efforts in this regard. Collectively, we will accomplish this through:

  • Modernizing our advising and curricula to directly address the aspirations and needs of the modern student,
  • Rewarding and recruiting faculty who specialize in areas of highest relevance to today’s society and our students,
  • Promoting team approaches to problem-solving, and
  • Demonstrating to students the relevance of skills acquired throughout the liberal arts—not only in their own fields but also in collaboration with colleagues across disciplines (thus learning from their faculty mentors how to navigate the increasingly permeable boundaries of today’s workplace).

This vision and the objectives we will pursue to attain it will, by their very definition, evolve. This is a process vision, not a fixed vision. The goals we set and the measures we follow will be informed by the evolving expertise and opinions of our faculty and staff, the changing issues of our time, and—most critically—the changing needs and skill sets of our students.

I encourage you to join me in helping to bring this vision to life for our students and our entire community. We are at a pivotal moment, with a profound opportunity to transform our curriculum and research profile to serve future generations in imaginative new ways.

In the near-term, you are invited to participate in this vision and crafting our future through the many collaborative efforts already underway, including: the Institutional Hiring Plan process, the college- and university-wide Tykeson working groups, the many planning committees at work in venues ranging from University Senate Committees to the Knight Campus Advisory Board to our department-level diversity committees and curricular planning groups. The decisions made in these settings help launch us on our new trajectory; now is the time to be engaged.

Andrew Marcus
Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences

Around the O publishes insightful piece on Dean Andrew Marcus & CAS troubles

I’m particularly impressed by the quotes from Provost Coltrane, who finally apologizes for how he dug CAS a budget hole while he was dean and then when he became provost and president, ignored Marcus’s attempts to fix things until the inevitable crisis occurred. And, in a first, Around the O actually links to a public record – Marcus’s Jan 2014 letter to Gottfredson, Coltrane, Moffitt, Shelton, and Taylor laying out the problems Coltrane had left for him, here.

There are also some good quotes from VPFA Jamie Moffitt, explaining why CAS is still bailing out Michael Moffitt’s law school, and detailing the $6.1M that will be used this year alone to give free tuition to roughly half the law school students. That’s followed up by some tough talk from Marcus about the ruination that Brad Shelton’s budget model has brought CAS, and asking some pointed questions about why Shelton has been left in charge of writing a new one.

Nah, just kidding, it’s a pointless puff piece. Too bad – Marcus deserves better.

Coltrane gets promoted to UO Provost job, search for CAS Dean to begin.

Coltrane is scheduled for a public meeting about the academic plan at 8:30 AM, Friday 2/14, Gehrlinger.

From: “President Michael Gottfredson” Subject: Senior vice president and provost announcement
Date: February 13, 2014 at 1:27:21 PM PST
Reply-To: [email protected]

Dear Campus Community,

I am pleased to announce that our colleague Scott Coltrane has agreed to serve as the new senior vice president and provost of the University of Oregon.

The provost serves as the chief academic officer of the university, fostering excellence in undergraduate education, graduate education, research, and service to Oregonians. Dr. Coltrane has been serving as interim senior vice president and provost since July 2013. During that time he has proven himself to be a strong leader and an inspiring colleague. I am impressed with the academic-planning and priority-setting efforts he is currently leading on campus, and am excited to work together as we advance our mission of access and excellence at the University of Oregon.

Prior to his current appointment, Professor Coltrane served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon from 2008 to 2013 and as associate dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, from 2004 to 2008.

He earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1988 and was a professor of sociology at the University of California, Riverside, from 1988 to 2008. His research focuses on families, in particular the ways mothers and fathers divide parenting and housework, and has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Spencer Foundation. He is the author of four books and more than 100 articles and chapters. Professor Coltrane received the Distinguished Teaching Award at UC Riverside, is past president of the Pacific Sociological Association, and is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (Scott Coltrane CV)

The University of Oregon undertook the search for a new provost in the spring of 2013. A search firm helped conduct a national recruitment effort that yielded about 200 applicants for review. The 20-member UO search committee, chaired by Alexander Murphy, Professor of Geography and James F. and Shirley K. Rippey Chair in Liberal Arts and Sciences, narrowed the group to 25 candidates for consideration. The committee conducted initial interviews with 11 semifinalists. Finalists were invited to campus to participate in a series of campus interviews, including a public presentation and campus feedback process. I thank Professor Murphy and the entire search committee for their work on this important endeavor.

Professor W. Andrew Marcus will serve as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences while a permanent replacement is sought.

Please join me in congratulating Scott Coltrane and welcoming him to his permanent role as senior vice president and provost.

Michael Gottfredson, President