OA Council message on coronavirus efforts and planning

An announcement from the OA Council. In case you’re new, the OAs are the people who keep the University from collapsing into chaos:

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of [email protected]
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:27 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: oanews: OA Council COVID-19 updates & outreach

Good afternoon,

The members of the Officer of Administration Council are reaching out to share resources with you during this unprecedented disruption to University of Oregon operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, we truly are all in this together—whether you are essential staff still at work on an eerily quiet campus, working from home while juggling child care and other family obligations, or simply struggling with the ways our work lives have shifted so dramatically, the OA Council is here to listen to your concerns and share them with leadership. If you have questions or thoughts that you want to share with us, please reach out to us at [email protected].

OA Council leadership met last Friday with President Schill, Provost Phillips, VPFA Jamie Moffitt, CHRO Mark Schmelz, and Senior Director of ELR Missy Matella. We asked them how the COVID-19 pandemic and its financial impact to the university will affect OAs, shared with them concerns about supervision of remote workers, and asked how the OA Council can help with response and recovery efforts.

Because of the fast-moving changes to operations as we define and adjust to a new normal, some of our questions did not yet have answers; since the university does not yet know what relief will be coming from the federal or state governments, they do not know whether or how OAs will be affected. But one message was clear: all efforts, including the hiring freeze enacted Thursday March 19, have been and will be aimed at keeping current University of Oregon workers employed.

We have to be realistic about the financial and operational picture:
This will be difficult. This pandemic is changing not only how our university operates now, but how all universities will fare in the future. Changes will be felt not just in higher education, but in all sectors—technology, healthcare, K-12 education, food and beverage, transportation, and on and on. We say this not to be pessimistic, but to encourage OAs to do what we’re best at—thinking creatively in response to challenges, keeping the UO running in the face of uncertainty, and being in community when the chips are down.

To that end, we are planning a virtual OA Council Open Session in spring term. The topic is TBD depending on how things evolve, and we’ll announce the date once we’ve decided which virtual platform can host a gathering of our size.

Additionally, we have compiled some OA-specific resources to help you through these unusual circumstances below.

Supervisor resources from UO Human Resources:
Supervisor FAQ:
https://hr.uoregon.edu/programs-services/covid-19-resources/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions#supervisor

Flexible Work Guidance:
https://hr.uoregon.edu/employee-labor-relations/policies-guidance-reporting/flexible-arrangements-work-life-guidance
Flexible Work Procedure:
https://hr.uoregon.edu/employee-labor-relations/employment-policies/flexible-work-policy/flexible-work-procedure.pdf
Flexible Work Agreement Forms:
https://hr.uoregon.edu/employee-labor-relations/policies-guidance-reporting/flexible-arrangements-work-life-guidance-0
Employee Leave Options (scroll down to see links for each employee
group):
https://hr.uoregon.edu/programs-services/covid-19-resources/covid-19-employee-leave-options

Leave options:
Officers of Administration Leave Options:
https://hr.uoregon.edu/programs-services/covid-19-resources/employee-leave-options/covid-19-officers-administration-leave

https://hr.uoregon.edu/benefits/employee-leaves/temporary-fmlaofla-expansion-due-school-closure

Professional development resources:
MyTrack Learning Module Resources:
https://hr.uoregon.edu/learning-development/mytrack-learning-module
Learning and Development Online Resources:
https://hr.uoregon.edu/learning-development/learning-development-online-opportunities

Students can choose optional post-hoc pass-fail grading

Dear University of Oregon faculty,

I wanted to update you with the very latest information about some changes to the grading options for undergraduate courses for spring term 2020, given that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted our university to a system of remote learning.
These are unprecedented times for our faculty, given the myriad issues caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus). As many of you know, our students are experiencing a level of social and economic instability because the university has shifted to remote learning. This modality is also new for many faculty members.

Based on the principle that the change in course modality due to exogenous challenges should not harm students’ progress toward an undergraduate degree, the Academic Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to make the following modifications to grading options for undergraduate courses for spring 2020:

The deadline to change grade-optional courses from graded to P/NP (pass/no pass) will be extended 30 days after the date that spring 2020 final grades are posted. That means all students will have until July 16, 2020, to decide whether to change to P/NP once they see their final grades. (REMINDER FOR WINTER TERM 2020 GRADES: We are extending the deadline to change courses from graded to P/NP until April 24, 2020.)

The option to change from graded to P/NP will also be available for all courses that are currently designated as graded only.

Courses that are designated as P/NP only will remain as they are. There will be no additional options for these courses.

Any spring 2020 course grade of P will be counted as a P* grade for the purposes of the policy that states: “Students must earn 168 transfer or University of Oregon credits with grades of A, B, C, D, or P*.” This means that spring 2020 classes taken as P/NP can count toward graduation requirements. Credits earned in courses offered only as P/NP will use the P* designation.

Instructors of record shall maintain letter grades throughout the term and record final course grades for students in all spring 2020 courses (and only assign P/NP grades for courses that are designated as P/NP only).

If a student chooses P/NP by the new deadline of July 16, 2020, a P grade will be recorded for a C- or above, and an NP grade will be recorded for a D+ or below.

Departments are asked to waive any requirements that (a) limit how P/NP courses count toward the major; that (b) require specific grades for courses that count toward the major; or that (c) serve as prerequisites for other courses. This is especially important for cases where the lack of such a waiver will require students to enroll in an additional term or delay graduation for students.

This is a difficult time for all of us, but our students’ continued education remains an extremely high priority for the University of Oregon community. I appreciate all the work faculty members are doing to help us move forward as the spring term starts next week. Please don’t hesitate to send me an email at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns about the grading policy change.

Take care.
Sincerely,

Janet Woodruff-Borden
Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Provost responds to union, will grant 1-year tenure clock extensions

3/25/2020 update:

Dear Colleagues,

In recognition of the extraordinary disruption in both professional and personal lives caused by COVID-19, all currently untenured faculty may request a one-year extension by simply communicating their preference to add an additional year to their tenure clocks. All requests will be honored.

Faculty should forward requests to their dean’s office so that the new date will be recorded in Banner. Faculty scheduled for tenure reviews in 2020-21 must do so by May 1, 2020. All others must do so by January 1, 2021. These extensions will be documented by Human Resources. Faculty who elect to keep their existing tenure decision date may also do so.

We hope that the ability to request an extension alleviates some of the stress associated with remote instruction for our tenure-track faculty this term and recognize United Academics partnership in these efforts. If you have any concerns, please send me an email at [email protected].

Best wishes,
Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

3/21/2020: Faculty Union calls for 1-year tenure clock extension

At https://mailchi.mp/uauoregon/tenure-clock-extension?e=b103ce406c Harvard and many other universities have already done this.

Tenure Clock Extension

On at least four occasions last week, President Sinclair and Executive Director Cecil encouraged the Provost’s Office to allow non-tenured faculty in the tenure-track to extend their tenure clock for one year at their discretion. These requests were the result of several emails and conversations from faculty requesting this extension. On each occasion, the Provost’s Office responded positively to this request and indicated that the opportunity for extension would be given soon. Unfortunately, the week ended with no such extension granted.

We are seeing that clock extensions are widespread in the academy as a response to the uncertainties all faculty face regarding their research projects right now. With travel suspended and libraries closed, conducting research is impossible for many. Of course, we’re all rising to the challenge of retooling our classes to remotely provide the quality instruction our students deserve. And many of our faculty are dealing with the sudden challenge of caring for and educating their children at home for an indefinite period.

The leadership of United Academics will continue to call for the opportunity to extend the tenure clock every chance we get until the request is granted.

Career Faculty Face Layoff or Non-Renewal

It’s early days, and some may see this report from the faculty union as alarmist.

On the other hand it’s important faculty understand what the administration is thinking, and you can’t count on VP for Strategic Communications Kyle Henley to communicate the administration’s strategic thinking on Around the O.

Full post below or see the union website at https://mailchi.mp/uauoregon/career-faculty-face-layoff-or-non-renewal?e=b103ce406c

Executive Summary: Officers of United Academics met with senior administrators to discuss current and future efforts to respond to COVID-19. We pushed admin to make a commitment to the Career faculty who could lose their jobs in the near future. The administration did not make any commitments.

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UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold pledges full faith & credit of $1B endowment to maintaining UO’s academic mission:

Just kidding, I haven’t heard a peep from Weinhold lately, he’s busy running a bank on the side. In any case he already promised the endowment to the IAAF to get the Track & Field Championships. The academic side can sink or swim.

Here’s Weinhold telling IAAF President Lamine Diack that if they give Lananna’s Track Town group the championships, the UO Foundation will make good any losses:

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.33.15 PM

UO goes all-remote for all spring.

Obviously this and next fall will be devastating to UO. And obviously there will be huge amounts of cash flowing from the feds to the states, and UO will get a share of it. How big a share? Well that will depend on lobbying – and the Trustees ridiculous decision to take $12M from some clueless donor for a bigly new Autzen video screen is not going to make it easier to show how needy we are.

From Pres Schill:

Dear University of Oregon community,

I want to share the latest information about the University of Oregon’s response to the coronavirus outbreak that is accelerating in Oregon and nationally. It is important for me to emphasize that every decision we make as an institution is grounded in the following principles:

    • We must prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, faculty, and the broader community.
    • We must do everything humanly and institutionally possible to further the education of our students and make it possible for them to graduate from the UO in a timely fashion.

Together, we can help slow the spread of COVID-19, maintain our students’ path to on-time graduation, and support the UO’s vital mission of teaching, research, and service.

With that in mind, the UO will provide remote education for the entire spring term, which begins March 30. Previously, we had announced that we would operate remotely for the first three weeks of the term. An executive order from Oregon’s governor yesterday mandated remote educational delivery at public universities through at least April 28. The UO is electing—like many public universities in Oregon and our national peer institutions—to deliver the entire term remotely. We will return to normal campus operations and face-to-face instruction as quickly as is feasible, but making the decision now to deliver the spring term remotely is designed to provide certainty to our campus as faculty structure their courses for the term, and enable our students to more effectively manage their lives and plan during uncertain times.

I know many students will likely choose to take classes from home, which is good and entirely appropriate. UO residence halls and residential dining will remain open during spring term. Campus currently remains open for students, faculty, and staff and those with official business, though it is closed to the general public. For the upcoming term, it will not be possible to maintain all of our normal operations given the restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 response, but we will prioritize services and operations that support students, faculty, and our core educational mission. We know things may be a bit bumpy as we start out the term. Stick with us though; I promise we will work through any challenges and we will get through this together.

We have received many questions about tuition rates as we move to a remote instructional model. We cannot discount tuition. We will not, however, charge students for housing and dining if they are not living in the residence halls. Students will be able to cancel their UO residence hall contract without penalty, and University Housing will be reaching out to residents via email with more information. We are also examining the feasibility of reducing administratively-controlled fees for services that we are unable to provide during this time. Also to help students with financial challenges, we will not assess interest or billing fees in April, May, or June on overdue student billing accounts.

Provost Patrick Phillips and I are dedicated to ensuring an excellent, quality education at the UO during this crisis and for the long term, and that means managing the UO’s finances responsibly so that we remain a viable institution and have the resources we need when we’re able to return to normal operations. The costs of providing remote education to students are just as high—if not higher—than traditional, in-person classes. We will continue to employ faculty, graduate students, advisors, and other staff on the payroll to teach and support our students. And we need to provide additional technology and support for them to be effective. But even more important, we remain committed to delivering the same education without missing a beat, which is incredibly important to keep students on track for timely graduation.

As I and others have said many times, due to the constantly evolving facts and conditions surrounding COVID-19, I regret that we cannot answer every one of your questions today. I do make you this promise: As soon as decisions are made we will communicate them honestly and transparently. For the latest information—including a list of adjusted or suspended operations on campus—please visit uoregon.edu/coronavirus and read our FAQs. Questions, concerns, or suggestions should continue to be directed to this web form or to a new coronavirus information line at 541-346-7007 (the line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays).

Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and understanding during this challenging time. The UO community is resilient, especially when we need to face challenges. We will get through this together and come out on the other side even stronger.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Chief Resilience Officer: UO closes to “general public”

Dear students, faculty, staff and community members,

The coronavirus outbreak has created unprecedented challenges for the University of Oregon, our state, and the nation. As we work to respond to this quickly-changing situation, our first priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. As part of this focus on the UO community, the university will be shifting to a modified operational status.

Campuses in Eugene, Portland, and Charleston are open only for students, faculty, staff, and those with official business on campus. Effective immediately, the university’s buildings and facilities are closed to the general public. All members of the UO community who remain on campus are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control. Plans are being developed to address access for those with official business, including deliveries and vendors. At a minimum, signage will be placed on doors with the phone number to contact UOPD for assistance with access.

Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and understanding during this challenging time. Please know this is a fluid situation, and our operational status could change with little notice. For the latest information – including a list of adjusted or suspended operations on campus – please visit https://uoregon.edu/coronavirus. Questions, concerns or suggestions should continue to be directed to this web form or to a new coronavirus information line at 541-346-7007 (the line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays).

Thank You,
André Le Duc
Chief Resilience Officer
Safety and Risk Services

Video from UO profs in Italy on coronavirus

3/15/2020: Interviewed by Andrew Theen for the Oregonian on 3/13:

3/13/2020: 

The March 10th email to UO from Prof’s Graboyes, Burlando, and Redaelli (below the break) was prescient, and they’ve been quoted in the WSJ etc. Here is their update from Belluno in northern Italy. They note:

In the Italian town of Vo, which was an early hotspot for coronavirus 95% of the city’s residents were tested. Among the 3% who were positive for the disease, the vast majority had no symptoms. Had those people continued going around town, attending to their normal work and personal life activities, each positive person would have caused between 2-3 new people to become infected.

Hence the social distancing – the government has even postponed the Giro D’Italia. Click here for video from 1940 of Coppi v. Bartali. Fausto wins! UO’s coronavirus resource page is here.

New Letter:

March 12, 2020

We are three University of Oregon professors currently based in Northern Italy where the COVID-19 outbreak is raging. We are writing to alert residents of our home state to the public health emergency that is unfolding here in Italy and to raise the alarm about the limited window of time Oregonians have to prepare. We have 4 suggestions for how Oregonians should be preparing and responding–primarily through practicing rigorous social distancing and widespread closures of schools and activities–and call on all citizens to demand more widespread testing of suspected coronavirus cases.

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Student Senator Brian Sun concerned students may drop UO’s ersatz remote classes, take real on-line classes at other univs.

Posted with permission:

Dear Senate President Skowron, Provost Philips and the Academic Council,
     My name is Brian Sun. I am a student senator on the University Senate. I hope everyone is staying healthy at this crazy time.
     We had lots of meaningful conversation regarding the continuity of this university in the next term during yesterday’s senate meeting. I am glad to hear that everyone is trying to put students at the center of this conversation.
     However, we are seeing many senators raising concerns about the ability of faculty to teach their course remotely. It is a totally valid point that the new remote teaching will create obstacles for instructors to teach.
     But by saying it is “acceptable” to teach in a lower quality is not something we as students want. We need to keep in mind that students pay a tremendous amount of tuition to go to this university to get a quality education. Even it is remote teaching, there are still expectation from students for the quality of classes.
     If our courses are all moved to remote teaching during the entire spring term, why would students take a low quality “online” class here, instead to take online classes at a professional online education institution at a lower cost?
     I appreciate the hard work of everyone in the academic council and Office of the Provost and all faculties who is working hard to provided students with quality education here. Please take into consideration of student expectations in the changing operation.
Sincerely,
Brian Sun
ASUO Senate Seat 18

Pres Schill on coronavirus response: no sports spectating, meetings restricted, no in-person finals, first 3-weeks next term all online

Provost Phillips is talking about this to the Senate now. Very knowledgeable and sensible. Answering many many questions, earning every penny of his full-priced provost pay. Emphasizes UO is not closing, but practicing “social distancing”. I expect UO’s response plan below will reassure a lot of people who have already been taking similar steps themselves.

I shudder to think how Scott Coltrane, who couldn’t even deal with a GTFF strike, would have handled something of this magnitude. Gottfredson on the other hand was a natural at social distancing from day one.

Also, we’re not supposed to say we’re “teaching online”. We’re “teaching remotely”. Online is apparently now a bad word. Does anyone know why?

5:00 In the Senate, Pedro Garcia-Caro has proposed extending the session and suspending the rules to introduce an emergency resolution:

Resolution on the academic response to the pandemic Coronavirus impacting classes in spring 2020

Sponsors: Kristen Yarris (Global Health and International Studies) Pedro García-Caro (Spanish and Latin American Studies), Eileen Otis (Sociology)

WHEREAS campuses across the region and around the US, classes are being moved from physical, in person classes to online format classes to provide necessary social distancing to avoid contagion

WHEREAS the UO administration has announced that spring classes will be offered as online classes throughout the beginning and perhaps the whole of the spring term

WHEREAS academic continuity is guaranteed by the current provisions of our legislation but the extent of this crisis impacts the quality of academic instruction for an extended and indefinite period of time

The SENATE has agreed on the following RESOLUTION

    1. INSTRUCTORS OF RECORD will be allowed to use two weeks at the start of spring term with no instruction as preparation time to move their classes online
    2. We acknowledge that online education is never the same quality or value as what we do in classroom/in person teaching. Not setting an expectation that we will be great or even good at teaching online in the spring, with so little transition time (doing just ok as a form of resistance)
    3. online content produced for these classes will remain faculty intellectual property, and we ask the administration and departments not to assume otherwise
    4. We recommend having week-long inservice, online meetings and trainings to prepare to teach online before actually doing so,
    5. We acknowledge the impact that all this will have not just on professional-class workers, but on the service workers around us, who clean and maintain and otherwise keep our universities running,
    6. We will expect institutional financial support for the technology and infrastructure needed to do online teaching (e.g. site licenses for Zoom and other online platforms),
    7. During this time of temporary modification to our teaching practice, we recognize and seek to mitigate the impact of the virus not just on our universities and students, but on the public health systems that surround us.

UAUO Pres Sinclair: Believes motion covers matters related to working conditions, which the faculty union can negotiate with the Admin, by law. This motion is unnecessary.

Prov Phillips: We will continue to consider something along these lines.

More debate ensues. Senate barely has a quorum, including online senators. Sorry, I mean remote senators.

Me, online: We already have a process for what this motion covers, through the Academic Council and the Faculty Union. Why would we do this as special legislation?
 It’s called a Resolution, but it reads as binding legislation.

Someone moves to amend to replace “online” w/ “remote”. Seriously. Passes.

I argue remotely against the motion, on the grounds we have a policy that gives part of this authority to the AC, a CBA that gives some to the Union, and that both reserve the rest for the faculty to make their own decisions under academic freedom.

Frances White makes the same argument in RL, and with more emphatic language.

Garcia-Caro praises the Pres and Provost for their response so far, still supports the motion.

Koopman: The admin has said that all instructors can already do what’s in A: use two weeks at the start of spring term with no instruction as preparation time to move their classes online. Where is it written?

Skowron: Clarification will come.

5:30 PM: Vote called, motion fails.

Brief video recap of discussion here.

Message from Pres Schill to campus:

Dear University of Oregon community,

For some time now, the UO has been monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and preparing contingency plans as the virus spreads across the state of Oregon, our nation and the world. At this time, there are still no known cases of COVID-19 in Lane County, but with spring break quickly approaching, we believe it is time to enact active measures to increase social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus and protect students, faculty, staff and the broader community. The UO will take the following steps:

    • Effective Sunday, March 15, the UO will cancel nonessential events and gatherings of more than 50 people. For information and guidance about events or to seek a waiver, please use this web form. In addition, attendance at all UO home athletic events will be restricted primarily to participating student-athletes, essential personnel and credentialed media. The UO Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will communicate directly with ticket-holders about refunds.
    • No finals exams will be offered in-person for winter term. Provost Patrick Phillips will send guidance shortly to all UO instructors, who will be asked to quickly provide clear direction to students about how they intend to complete courses and assign final grades. Students will receive additional information in the coming days.
    • For the first three weeks of the spring term – which starts March 30 – the UO will deliver all classes remotely. We will continue to assess and monitor the situation, and provide further guidance about plans for the rest of the term no later than April 10.
    • Effective Sunday, March 15, all nonessential university travel, both domestic and international, is suspended indefinitely. For more information and guidance on UO travel or to seek a travel waiver, email [email protected].
    • We strongly encourage students, faculty, and staff to consider not traveling during spring break. We know that may not be possible, but everyone should be aware of travel warnings, quarantine restrictions and other guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help inform personal travel choices.
    • The UO campus remains open and operating under a normal schedule, including business functions, offices hours and other support operations. Classified employees and officers of administration should continue to perform their normal functions. Employees should review the frequently asked questions and work with their supervisors to learn more about social distancing techniques and flex work options.
    • Residence halls will stay open over spring break and beyond, and limited dining will be available during spring break.

We are continuing to work in close coordination with the Oregon Health Authority. Many of the steps we are taking will be disruptive to our institution and to many of you individually. We do not take these actions lightly, and even though the UO campus will remain open, we recognize and appreciate that many of these measures will have a significant impact on our operations. We also do not have answers to all the questions that will come from these decisions. This continues to be a very fluid situation, and we have an incredible team that is working tirelessly to implement these policies and to protect the safety and wellbeing of campus. Please be patient and know we are moving as fast as we can under some extraordinary and unprecedented challenges.

Students, faculty and staff will receive additional instructions in the coming days about the specific impact of these changes on their activities. We will communicate as quickly as we can with updated information, so pay close attention to your university email and frequently monitor the UO’s coronavirus website, which includes a list of frequently asked questions and extensive links to outside health agencies. We will continue to utilize the website as the best place to get the latest information about the UO’s response to COVID-19.

Questions, concerns or suggestions should continue to be directed to this web form or to a new coronavirus information line at 541-346-7007 (the line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays). The UO’s Incident Management Team (IMT) – which has grown to more than 150 people working – is monitoring and responding to queries submitted online and by phone. Depending on the volume of questions, they may or may not be able to directly respond to every submission, but the information will be used to inform changes to campus operations, update FAQs or to draft additional communications to campus audiences to address emerging issues.

If you are not feeling well, stay home and follow the health support instructions listed on the UO’s coronavirus website. We know one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is through good hygiene, so please follow the CDC’s guidance for hand washing and other prevention recommendations.This is a tough time, to be sure, and I wish the steps we are taking were not necessary. Some of these disruptions to our schedules and routines may create stress or anxiety. Take care of yourself and demonstrate grace to each other in the face of these challenges. Now is the time for the UO community to band together to ensure that, even in the face of adversity, we are dedicated to supporting students and committed to delivering on our mission of teaching, research, and service.Thank you for all that you are doing on behalf of the UO.

Sincerely, Michael H. Schill, President and Professor of Law

Oregon Supreme Court, wary of UO Law profs and students, cancels annual visit to Law School

A generally reliable source passes on this snippet from an email apparently sent to all UO Law students:

I regret to inform you that Oregon Law, in consultation with the Oregon Supreme Court, has changed its plan for tomorrow’s scheduled oral arguments.

In light of the large number of attendees and the planned participation of individuals in high-risk populations, we have made the difficult decision to modify certain aspects of the event.  The Court will hear arguments in Salem, while students will watch live via webcast (http://oregoncourts.mediasite.com/mediasite/Catalog/catalogs/default) or later via recording.  Following each argument, the justices will answer questions submitted in advance by Oregon Law students.  In addition, out of an abundance of caution, the Lane County Bar Association luncheon that was to follow oral arguments has been cancelled.

We look forward to hosting the Supreme Court and the local bar on campus again next year.

Duck branding contract lets IMG cut payments if we cancel games

Pretty prescient, from the 2016 contract. IMG pays the Ducks a fee for the right to sell advertisements at games, license Puddles and the O for apparel, etc.  Note that this language also lets them off the hook for just about anything else imaginable, including, as I read it, a change to the NCAA cartel’s restrictions on player’s ability to sell their name, image, and likeness:

America’s courseware publishers eager to seize corona-opportunity

This is the first one to make it through my spam filters. Please post any you get in the comments.

Dear Professor Harbaugh,

I’m reaching out to you about the on-going COVID-19 outbreak and the ways that McGraw-Hill can help.

Recently, several schools have decided to suspend or are considering suspending face-to-face classes to help mitigate the potential risk for students and faculty. We know this potential change comes at a difficult time, during the middle of the term, and could be extremely disruptive to your class. That’s why McGraw-Hill is here to support you and your students. It is my utmost priority to ensure you and your students have access to the materials you need to be successful, while making sure everyone stays healthy and safe. Whether it be helping you to:

Explore online assignments in replacement for in-class activities
Learn how to assign online textbook readings
Learn how to create virtual lab activities and assessments
Find additional resources or online materials

McGraw-Hill is here to assist. Let me know how I can help you.

Thank you,