Ken DeBevoise gets career appt in Poli Sci

9/2/2010: The “Keep Ken” coalition webpage is reporting that the UO administration has nixed the efforts of Poli Sci head Lars Skalnes to fire instructor Ken DeBevoise. Instead he will be offered a permanent contract. Priscilla Southwell has taken over has Dept. Head. I think it’s progress for the UO administration to be able to admit they made a mistake and then to fix it. Another move toward acting like adults, and I hope this trend continues. Congratulations to DeBevoise’s loyal students for a persistent campaign and effective use of facebook!

The students single out Russ Tomlin and Larry Singell for praise:

Dear friends, colleagues, and fellow supporters of the University of Oregon

On Friday, August 27th, the University of Oregon’s Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Russ Tomlin came to an agreement with student members of the Keep Ken Coalition to keep professor Ken De Bevoise employed for the foreseeable future.

For back-story on the eight-month campaign to convince the University to keep Ken De Bevoise employed, click here: http://keepkencoalition.org/default.aspx

Tomlin reversed former Political Science Department Head Lars Skalnes’ unjust and unwarranted decision to arbitrarily fire Ken, establishing a contract that the administration vowed will keep Ken teaching for years to come. This is an unequivocal victory for academia at large, for the University and for all current and future University of Oregon students.

Tomlin and his administrative team, including College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Larry Singell and incoming Political Science Department Head Patricia Southwell, hammered out a contract guaranteeing Ken employment in the political science department at a full course-load this coming year and a half-load in 2012. The Coalition accepted this because Tomlin and Singell have vowed to do everything in their power to ensure that Ken is able to continue teaching a full load of courses for many years to come—not only in political science, but throughout the University, in a broad diversity of departments where his talents apply.

Some cynics may say that the Coalition is naive for accepting a deal that is not written into the contractual language. To them we say: you haven’t met Russ Tomlin and you haven’t met Larry Singell. Throughout our negotiations with these men, Coalition members have discovered that they are honorable, true to their word and were absolutely dedicated to a just conclusion of what could have been a great tragedy. We appealed to their decency. And they acted. That’s why we trust them—and you should too—when they say, “we’ll find a way”.

For many members of the now 500-strong Coalition, Ken has been the greatest teacher we encountered in our studies—in Eugene or elsewhere. And we are confident now that the University realizes it has a true treasure in this man, for whom we have been fighting these past eight months. We are still determining what direction the Coalition will take, now that Ken is being kept. But one thing is for certain. We will continue to fight for better undergraduate education at the University. We will continue to stand up for justice. And we will continue, in the years to come, to work with the administration, with departments and with students to help the University keep Ken De Bevoise teaching, for as long as he can, so he can continue to inspire students as he has inspired us.

Thank you Provost Tomlin and thank you Dean Singell. Thank you Ken and thank you each member of the Coalition. And great thanks to all those who supported us in this struggle.

The Keep Ken Coalition
August, 2010

Ken DeBevoise

5/7/2010: Kaitlin Flanigan of the ODE has a story on Ken DeBevoise. FWIW, the rumor we hear is that most people agree it was a mistake to fire him, that the decision will be overturned, and that his students should get credit for a well run campaign. A recent shift in the supply of UO administrative leadership has also had an effect. Of course, Ken DeBevoise is paid $54,000 for a full load, while Dave Frohnmayer gets $245,7000 for co-teaching a course here and there – and is allowed to moonlight at Harrang Long et al and Umpqua Bank too. So leadership is still a rather scarce good.