Tomlin course, Bean’s accomplishments, Provost search

Say what you will about former VPAA Russ Tomlin, at least he is teaching courses for his 600 hours, instead of taking the easy way out with the usual administrative sinecure for retiring VPs:

It’s going to be an interesting list of guest speakers. Maybe UO’s General Counsel Emerita, Melinda Grier?

Speaking of sinecures, Sam Stites has a piece in the ODE on Bean. Not clear when he’ll actually teach: my guess is he collects his $320K (plus beamer?) for next year doing some minor administrative make-work jobs:

“I’ve been honored to be able to serve in this position, but I want to return to help develop the next opportunities for the University to improve its AAU ratings and applying my experience from my time at Michigan,” Bean said.

But I suppose it’s possible the B-School pushes out Kees and brings him back as Dean. Is it? You can always count on Frohnmayer to find something kind to say about a fellow administrator:

Former UO president and current law professor Dave Frohnmayer expressed his gratitude toward Bean’s tenure as provost. Frohnmayer said that without Bean’s Big Ideas project — a campaign to elicit ideas for academic and research improvement in an open forum style — the UO would have missed major opportunities for programs that may not have surfaced otherwise. 

And in the article Nathan Tublitz announces a follow up to his wonderfully successful Senate motion on a performance review of Bean: a motion for an open, faculty led search. The last open search got us Linda Brady. 2/25/13.

Update: Interim Provost Jim Bean finally resigns. Ray of hope for UO.

2/20/2013: Congratulations to Nathan Tublitz and the Senate: SPQUO. Stupid and futile gesture works!

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that James Bean has requested a return to his faculty position at the Lundquist College of Business at the end of this fiscal year. Jim’s more than four years of outstanding service to the University of Oregon as senior vice president and provost came at a particularly critical time for the institution. His efforts to develop a transparent budget system for the university and to place the campus on a better financial footing have been especially noteworthy. Equally important is his work with faculty and the deans to develop a dynamic academic plan.

There are many additional contributions to the UO that Jim has made as provost and I look forward to the opportunity to celebrate those with you in the coming months. I am also personally very grateful for his guidance, counsel and leadership during my first months here.

I have asked Jim to continue to lend his expertise to certain critical opportunities facing the university following his return to the faculty. I am very appreciative that Jim has agreed to continue to lend substantial support to issues he has played a major role in during his time as provost.

I will work with campus leadership, faculty and our community colleagues as we initiate a national search for Jim’s permanent successor. In addition, I will seek campus and community input as I consider an interim replacement to assume the role of senior vice president and provost on July 1 while we undertake our search.

Please join me in thanking Jim for his service and congratulating him on his many accomplishments during these past four years.

Best regards,

Michael Gottfredson, President

2/14/2013: Nathan Tublitz’s motion for an immediate performance review of Interim UO Provost James C. Bean first came up in the January meeting. The Senate put it off, hoping that President Gottfredson would either convince Bean to step down quietly, or decide that under current rules Bean should be reviewed now anyway. Neither happened, so the motion came back up yesterday. There was a lively discussion. Professor Tublitz made the case for the importance of the job, and hit a few of the highlights of Bean’s various failures. No one disputed the facts.

Pres-Elect Margie Paris and Kassia Dellabough argued for delay until fall, when UO will finally have a formal evaluation policy. I argued to just do it. Senate President Kyr gave President Gottfredson a chance to defend Bean or the proposed delay, he declined. After an amendment on the dates (Gottfredson to start the review now, and report to us at the May meeting) the motion passed on a voice vote, about 25 in favor and 2 opposed.

My take on the Senate’s message to President Gottfredson? We lost confidence in Bean long ago, and the longer you keep him the more we wonder about you. Appoint an interim, and start the search for new provost now, or come back to the Senate within 60 days and tell us why you think we should suffer this fool for another year.

NYT update: Online education at UO

2/19/2013: Good NYT editorial on the limitations of on-line education, with links to research.

10/22/2012: Dash Paulson has a good story in the ODE, with interviews of Cathleen Leue and Garron Hale, who have been working on this for about 10 years now, helping CAS build many successful online versions of regular UO courses. Good discussion of the issues and opportunities:

Leue stressed how important it is to be intentional with developing online software and courses. “Developing a quality online course is not cheap.” Leue said. “Administrators need to be cautioned that this might not be a big cost-saver necessarily. It takes the efforts of a department and everyone involved to deliver quality online classes.”

My department offers a few online classes. If you’re interested in learned more about online classes vs offline classes check out articles at places similar to Upskilled, by the way. The student evaluations consistently report that they are as difficult as our regular courses. Students take their exams in a testing center, while being monitored. There are many Universities that offer online courses though, such as the University of Southern California as just one example.

There is no mention in the story of UO’s new “Global and Online Education initiative”, pushed by a giddy Jim Bean for the past year or so, and run by yet another new $200K administrator. Their very nice website is here. I’ll be dammed if I can figure out what they actually do.

Updated with an old Beangram:

Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
Message for August 17, 2012


In my previous messages, I gave a brief overview of some of the presentations covered at the July 24 Leadership Retreat. The retreat concluded with a discussion of technologically enhanced education.

Professor Yong Zhao, Associate Dean of Technical and Global Education, spoke to us from Beijing on the future of online education and how the UO can leverage global opportunities to expand our outreach and enhance the student educational experience.

Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Doug Blandy followed up with a presentation on what courses the UO is offering online now and student reasons for choosing online education. In a survey on self-support online courses for Winter and Spring 2012, the top reasons students cited for taking online courses were:

Schedule conflict (24%)
Meet UO requirement (19%)
Course only offered online (10%)
Work (9%)
Subject interest (9%)

On Wednesday, Aug. 15, as a follow-up to the retreat presentation and the request by faculty to look further into online education opportunities, we brought in an expert from the University of Michigan to help us explore policies and procedures for developing pilot courses.

While many believe that online education may never replace the face-to-face pedagogy our institution offers, the reality of the world requires us to consider appropriate uses for such an educational model. We will continue to examine how the UO can best use such technology to enhance the student experience.

In my next message, I will discuss the reality of classroom expansion at the UO.


He’s still here:


The Oregon Budget Model determines the college-level budgets of the Schools and Colleges of the University of Oregon. We’ve been running this budget model several years now, and it is appropriate to consider how the various aggregate measurements attached to the model have changed.

This week, I am presenting data regarding undergraduate students and next week I will focus on graduate students.
The UO allocates undergraduate tuition revenue to each school and college in a lump sum. Allocation within a school or college is the responsibility of the dean, in consultation with the faculty. The deans are in the best position to know how to allocate funds within their units according to the university and college mission.
Undergraduate tuition revenue is allocated to schools and colleges based on three activity measurements: student credit hours (SCH), prorated majors and prorated degrees awarded. Prorating assigns a total of one major (or degree) to any one student. Because the model allocates revenue based on prorated majors rather than a full count of majors, it is important that we track both over time.
Three graphs posted to my website show how undergraduate student credit hours, degrees and majors have changed over five years, from academic year 2008-09 to 2012-13. (Numbers for 2012-13 are projections based on fall term enrollments.)
The charts on my website show:
  • The number of regular undergraduate student credit hours for each school and college
  • The number of prorated undergraduate degrees awarded by each school and college
  • The number of undergraduate majors, total and prorated.
Next week, I will present the data regarding graduate students.
I look forward to your comments at [email protected]
James Bean
Senior Vice President and Provost,
University of Oregon
[email protected]

Governor calls for $1.5B 10 year university investment

That would be the Governor of Connecticut, talking about UConn and, mostly, STEM. Not clear but the financing seems to involve bond sales, a la Richard Lariviere:

Increase faculty in science, technology and engineering by 258 at the three campuses, in addition to 290 new faculty the university is in the process of hiring.

If you believe Interim Provost Bean’s latest attempt to count, UO’s tenure track faculty increased by 17.2 this year. And for those convinced that the faculty union will inevitably kill UO, UConn has been unionized since the 1950s. Their union website is here. Full disclosure: my father was one of the founders. 1/31/2013.

Bean corrects beangram

or maybe he’s correcting his December Senate speech. Or his January one? Or maybe his old claim that UO spends 38% of what our peers do on administration. Anyone know? Anyone trust his math? Believe his grammar? Amazed at his confusion between levels and changes?

1-25-13 Provost’s Message
Several weeks ago I provided some statistics on our growth rate of faculty, staff and students. Since then, the Office of Institutional Research has provided some updated numbers that I want to share with you.
The following numbers include the rate of change in different employment classes from 2007 to 2012. The count is based upon the fall census, which is conducted the first week of November each year.
The five-year Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) shows that from 2007 to 2012:
  • Student FTE increased by 3.8 percent
  • Total faculty FTE increased by 3.4 percent
  • Tenure track faculty FTE increased by 2.3 percent
  • Non-tenure track faculty FTE increase by 4.2 percent
  • Librarian FTE increased by 3.5 percent
  • Classified staff FTE increased by 2.5 percent
  • Officers of Administration FTE (not including librarians) increased by 5.1 percent.
In looking at the increase in Officers of Administration, we discovered that within Schools and Colleges, OAs increased by 6.1 percent, and outside of Schools and Colleges, they increased by 4.8 percent.
We then compared the increase in the number of OAs to other public AAU institutions and discovered that the UO has only half (52.2 percent) as many OAs on a per student basis than the AAU average. (sic)
The number of OAs per student is significantly lower than comparative staffing levels for other employee groups. Faculty FTE per student ratios are at 74.5 percent of AAU peers and classified staff FTE per student ratios are at 79.2 percent of AAU peers, based upon fall 2011 data.
For a detailed list of employee FTE from 2007 to 2012, please see the chart on my website at
I look forward to your comments at [email protected]
James Bean
Senior Vice President and Provost,
University of Oregon
[email protected]

Questions for Provost Bean’s performance review – suggestions welcome

1/15/2013 Update: Here’s a news story on how the University of Arizona got rid of their Provost and President. It started with a motion like the one that the UO Senate will vote on Wednesday, regarding Bean. This led to a survey of the faculty, run by the Senate, who had complaints remarkably similar to those many of UO’s faculty have about Bean and Johnson Hall in general. Both the President and Provost were replaced. Interestingly, Gottfredson applied for the UA job, but didn’t get it. The former UA President moved on to replace the Fiesta Bowl’s felonious prior CEO, John Junkers.

Questions for Bean:

1) Please list what you think are the top 5 criteria for UO to maintain its AAU membership, tell us UO’s current rank on these criteria among the AAU, and explain what steps you have taken to maintain or improve UO’s rank on these criteria since you were appointed interim Provost in 2008.

2) In your proposal for last year’s sabbatical you say:

Please explain how your sabbatical has made you a more effective provost.

3) On your return from sabbatical Lorraine Davis gave you these job duties:

Please list any significant accomplishments on these tasks.

4) ?

5) ?

6) ?

AAU, Bean, Espy rumors

The latest rumors, from the faculty club hookah room:

UO is now on an unofficial AAU watch list for underperformance – not enough federal grants or grad students. Johnson Hall is going to try and hang our expulsion on the faculty, or the union, or the weather, but we all know where Frohnmayer and Bean spent our research money – athletics and a pack of stupid pet projects.

The faculty are no longer wondering about Bean’s wisdom in hiring a VP for Research from Nebraska, the most recent university to be dropped by the AAU. Instead people are openly calling this the last mistake Gottfredson should ever let Bean make. After some high profile science departures and botched searches, Bean has a classic Dilbert response: he’s hired an “executive coach” to teach Espy (whom we pay $295,000) how to do her job.

I’d make a public records request for that contract, but what’s the point? Everyone knows the score, we just don’t understand why Gottfredson is leaving these two in the game. Tublitz’s Senate motion on Interim Provost Bean is Jan 16th. Should be a fun debate – and yes Jim, the video will be on youtube. 12/11/12.

And a commenter points us to this RFP that UO put out 2 weeks ago, for a consulting firm to do what Espy and her new hires are supposed to do. In FY 2011 the VPR’s Office Admin budget had $437,430 for admin salaries. For FY 2013, Espy’s got $1,111,007 to spend. Full report here. The consultants are on top of that. As a commenter notes:

Look at Acct code 20000 – Service and Supplies. That’s Espy’s black hole of consulting:
2011 $2,164,191
2012 $4,546,478
2013 $5,154,632

Speaking of administrative bloat, does anyone know what happened with that multi-million dollar Huron consulting contract? Is it worth me getting attacked by Dave Hubin and Jamie Moffitt for making too many public records requests? If so, you know what it takes for me to dull that pain.

Gottfredson on academic probation, Bean flunks out, even dogs lose confidence

Fall grades are due at noon. The modal view is that Gottfredson hasn’t shown enough participation to earn a grade. Otherwise it looks like a D+ average. As a freshman he gets another quarter to try and bring it up to a 2.0.

Bean’s grades look like something we’d expect from one of Lorraine Davis’s special athletic admits. Sorry Jim, but your best option now is a community college. Or maybe one of Yong Zhao’s online courses. 12/11/2012.

Latest Beangram, December 7th, 2012.

It’s the last day of finals week, I’m sitting here proctoring my last exam, and Johnson Hall is still trying to figure out how many faculty UO has. You’ll be shocked to hear that the numbers Interim Provost Bean presented to the Senate on Wed. are wrong:

On FridayDec 7, 2012, at 8:46 AM, James Bean <[email protected]> wrote:
We discovered an error in the numbers I was given due to reclassification of the librarians from OA to NTTF.  We’ll get it sorted out and post them early next week.

Bean’s uniongram

11/30/2012: I was at this bargaining meeting. Bean was not. At the insistence of the union, the bargaining meetings will be open and live-blogging will be allowed. In the spirit of cooperation and professional collaboration, that’s all I have to say just now. The comments are open, of course.

Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
Message for November 30, 2012 


The University of Oregon’s labor contract bargaining team met on Nov. 20 with the bargaining team of the new faculty union, United Academics, to establish ground rules for negotiating a first contract. The parties agreed on several procedural issues and outlined a possible schedule and locations for future bargaining sessions. 

The next bargaining session is likely to be in mid-December. The University is represented by Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Doug Blandy; School of Journalism and Communication Dean Tim Gleason, and chief negotiator Sharon Rudnick of the Eugene law firm Harrang Long Gary Rudnick PC. 

The University has several fundamental goals for the negotiations. Underlying all of them is a commitment to maintaining academic excellence and shaping a contract based on what is best for all UO stakeholders. These are important negotiations and I believe we have begun with a spirit of cooperation and professional collaboration. 

Through my office and other means, we will regularly update everyone on important developments in the negotiations.  


Update: Bean’s diversitygram omits crucial facts

Congratulations to the Ad Hoc Beangram Team for disemboweling yet another message from Interim Provost Bean. I’m glad to see I’m not the only UO prof who enjoys our Interim Provost’s unique mix of pretension, condescension, dissimulation, and ignorant disrespect for data and analysis.

Updates: See bottom, from data located by a helpful commenter. The number of resident UO freshmen reporting as Black has dropped from 66 in 2008 to 49 in 2012. To help out Bean with the math I ran the percentage calculations with Matlab and Mathematica on my NSF funded 16 core Mac Pro, using 64gig of RAM and a 4 Terabyte RAID5 setup:

Black instate freshman enrollment as a percentage of total freshman enrollment has dropped from 1.2% in 2008 to 0.95% in 2012.

11/29/2012: Bean’s data apparently *do not* include non-US residents. A big part of the increase claimed below is clearly from the new multi-racial reporting possibility. This was a major reform, pressed by none other than President Obama. UO started using it for students in 2010, so most of the increase in Bean’s diversity numbers is not an increase at all, it’s a simple change in reporting definitions.

Bean has promised to provide FAFSA data to allow a look at changes in student SES diversity. I’ll post more when this is available.

Meanwhile, note the part of the Beangram that talks about changes in faculty hiring procedures. VP Kimberly Espy just got in major trouble for messing with science hiring decisions – word is that she’s now been told she can no longer even talk to prospective hires. Is Gottfredson going to take a lesson from that and involve the Senate in what is clearly an academic matter? We’ll see.

11/28/2012: Is UO padding its diversity numbers by counting the increasing number of international students as members of under-represented populations, or by not adjusting for the popular new multi-racial reporting category? Bean says he will provide info on the race/ethnicity breakdown soon, but he ignored the part of my question about what the numbers looked like broken down by US/Oregon residency. A great way to start off a “holistic approach” to increasing “gender, class and racial diversity” – release some meaningless window dressing data.

As for the part about increasing faculty diversity? It’s been representative of the available pool of PhD’s for years. You really don’t know anything about UO’s faculty, do you, Jim?

Johnson Hall, on the other hand – now there’s a race problem. From UO’s AA Plan:

Maybe someone should introduce a Senate motion calling for an open, Affirmative Action compliant search for a new Provost – because that sure as hell is not the way we got stuck with Bean. Anyway, here’s the latest, enjoy:

Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
Message for November 28, 2012


I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday. Before everyone dives into their final exam and holiday rush, I want to take a moment to point out some very good news in terms of our commitment to expanding the diversity of our student population. 

This fall, we’ve had the most success we’ve ever seen in working toward a more diverse freshman class: 25.3 percent of freshmen are from traditionally under-represented populations. 

Since Fall 2010, we’ve been on an improved course. Here are the numbers for freshmen from traditionally under-represented populations over the past five years:
Fall 2008: 18.7%
Fall 2009: 17.6%
Fall 2010: 21.9%
Fall 2011: 23.2%
Fall 2012: 25.3%
I am pleased to note that we will continue to improve upon these numbers as we move forward with the next generation of our diversity action plan under the leadership of newly appointed Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, a professor of political science. 

While we are pleased with our improved numbers for freshmen, we recognize we must redouble our efforts to attract a more diverse faculty base. This will involve the commitment of existing faculty who help to create job descriptions and form search committees, as well as the collaboration of human resources personnel and the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity. 

But it’s not just about numbers. We must look at broadening our diversity throughout campus, among departments, schools and colleges. To do this, we will take a broad-based, holistic approach to creating gender, class and racial diversity within each classroom and office and creating the most welcoming environment Oregon has ever seen. 

I look forward to working with Yvette and our entire UO community as we make inroads into these diversification efforts. 

I look forward to your comments at [email protected] 


Updates: A commenter sent us here and there’s 2008 data here for comparison. I’m not exactly a fan of the sordid business of slicing and dicing Americans by race, but since Bean raised the question, a quick glance shows that UO enrolled 66 resident non-Hispanic Black freshmen in 2008, decreasing to 49 in 2012.

If you want to slice more finely, it’s not clear how we treated hispanic ethnicity in 2012, and you gotta adjust for the new multiple race reporting too. Who knows what Bean did. Ask him – he looks forward to your comments! Or dig into the data yourself, OUS has it back to 2005, diced pretty finely:

3 weeks, no new Beangrams

Perhaps he’s busy sending out resumes. At the last Senate meeting President Gottfredson made a big deal about announcing that Bean was going to redo UO’s academic plan, after setting up a blog for faculty input. Look, blogging ain’t exactly rocket science, but it’s Dead Week and our chief academic officer still hasn’t figured out how many faculty there are. End this now, President Gottfredson, before it turns from ridiculous to ugly. 11/27/2012.

Who the hell gives Bean an A?

I see there are two of you. Please put your grading policy in the comments. Today’s Beangram takes green-washing to a new level: Sure, Gabon’s a corrupt one party kleptocracy – but it’s sustainable!

Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
Message for November 9, 2012
We are pleased that a UO delegation went to Gabon last week to formalize an agreement allowing for unprecedented academic research opportunities for UO faculty. The delegation, which included Vice President of Equity and Inclusion Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice Provost for International Affairs Dennis Galvan, Jay Namyet of the UO Foundation and John Manotti of UO Development, signed an agreement that lays out the operational details of a new Gabon-Oregon Transnational Research Center on Environment and Development.
The agreement was approved by the Gabonese National Assembly and will be administered on the Gabonese side by the ministry of higher education. It was signed by Alex-Assensoh and by Gabon’s minister of higher education.
Faculty provided input on the formation of the agreement and included a provision that allows the UO to restructure the terms if material changes occur in the future.
This faculty-driven program will be coordinated through Global Oregon, one of the UO’s Big Ideas, and will focus on sustainable practices in many academic areas. At least 20 faculty from UO and other institutions around the state have already expressed interest in research and outreach projects under the new center. Shortly after the anticipated launch of the center in 2013, all faculty will receive information on how to apply for seed grants and other funds to support research, programming and outreach on sustainable development-related topics.
Projects funded under the center will emphasize partnerships with Gabonese colleagues and will focus on a wide range of environmental, natural resource, conservation, health, socio-economic, cultural and educational areas. The Center will foster research and outreach that touches on the sustainability challenges and opportunities of Gabon, and through comparative analysis, of societies that are facing or have dealt with similar issues.
Congratulations to all who worked hard to forge this agreement that will enhance the UO’s research mission.  Read more about the agreement here.
I welcome questions or comments at [email protected]