Board takes 30 min to dename Deady

Live-blog: Really not that hard, was it? I thought the student trustee Katharine Wishnia had the best comments, here. Pres Schill promised some stuff, and maybe called out implicit bias training as the sort of window-dressing we could do without, but I wasn’t really listening, sorry.  If anyone brought up what to do about the Duck’s exploitation of mostly minority football players to pay for coaching, travel, and scholarships for mostly white non-revenue sport athletes I missed it.

Mostly this meeting is online – I mean virtual – but a few of the trustees are in JH:

One of them is wearing what appears to be an American flag mask. I’m no vexillologist who once got chewed out by my Boy Scout Troopmaster for wearing an American flag bandana on a canoe trip, but this is a violation of U.S. Code § 8. Respect for flag:

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(d)The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.

(e)The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

(i)The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. …

(j)No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

Also, the flag should be displayed so that the union (i.e. the stars) are on the observer’s left.

6/24/2020: This is either going to be the shortest board meeting since the one where they bought out Gottfredson, or an opportunity for Pres Schill and our Trustees to give long, heartfelt speeches about their newly acquired but deeply held beliefs about the symbolic importance of de-naming Deady.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for June 24 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time. This meeting will be limited to the topic of Deady Hall. The next regular, quarterly meeting of the Board is scheduled for September 10-11, 2020.

The June 24 meeting will be held remotely due to ongoing social distancing guidance. Members of the public or media may view a livestream feed at: https://youtu.be/diSuPRnX6Ko or listen via audio only by dialing 1-888-337-0215 and entering Access Code: 9504541.

Those wishing to provide public comment to the Board for this meeting may do so in writing via trustees@uoregon.edu.  All comments will be shared with trustees, but only comments received by 8:00 a.m. on June 24 are guaranteed to be shared with trustees prior to the meeting. Thank you for understanding.

6/10/2020: Pres Schill’s response to Trustee Colas ignores exploitation of black student athletes, accepts denaming Deady

Pres Schill’s letter is below – he says he’s changed his mind on denaming Deady and the Board will meet on it soon. He ignores the exploitation issue.

Trustee Andrew Colas, speaking at last weeks Board meeting:

First he pointed out to Duck AD Rob Mullens that it’s the football players – mostly black – whose unpaid labor earns 75% of the AD budget and supports Mullens and the “non-revenue” sports, which are mostly white. So Black Lives should Matter to Mullens, if he wants to keep getting paid. Video of Colas’s response to AD Rob Mullens is here:

Then, in thoughtful and moving remarks, he called for the Board to vote – immediately – to dename Deady Hall, here:

President Schill’s letter:

Continue reading

Board of Trustees to meet on budget crisis, endowment assessment increase, Duck Athletic Fund surcharge for academics, closing law school, consultant freeze, early retirement buyout to replace deadwood tenured faculty with cheaper NTTF/Career, ending baseball and athletic subsidies, health concerns about football players, and what to do about Fall reopening

Just kidding, they’re going to meet, but just about de-naming Deady. Gosh, I wonder what they’ll decide this time.

This Wednesday Thursday at 1 PM, online. Corrected materials here. (The original agenda had the day as Thursday, but it’s really on Wednesday.)

Livestream will presumably be on the UO Channel here.

All other matters will be resolved in secret zoom meetings between Angela Wilhems, Mike Schill, Patrick Phillips, Brad Shelton, and Rob Mullens over the next month or so.

Pres Schill draws sigh of relief as sensible vandals rid UO of troublesome statues

President Schill’s email this morning:

Dear University of Oregon community,

There is no question we are living in a moment when our nation is painfully coming to grips with the reality of systemic racism that has been woven into the fabric of our society for generations. Racism exists despite the bloody battles of the Civil War, despite protections guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, despite the hard-fought victories of the Civil Rights movement, and despite more recent efforts of individuals and institutions to consciously promote diversity and inclusion. Events of the last few weeks have sadly demonstrated that racists in our country still kill Black people and other people of color. Racism still endures within our nation’s power structure, and racism still keeps Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian people from equal access to health care, education, justice, economic prosperity, and so much more. People are angry, people are hurt, people are enraged.

On Saturday, what some consider to be symbols of racism and oppression on our campus were targeted by an anonymous group of protestors. Both the Pioneer and Pioneer Mother statues were torn from their pedestals and vandalized in dramatic fashion. While I strongly believe in the power of peaceful protest and the right to free expression and dissent, I condemn these acts of destruction. What happened Saturday evening was unacceptable.

Last week I told the University Senate that the institution would move forward with a process of determining whether the Pioneer statues—as well as other historic monuments and artwork on campus that may be viewed as symbols of oppression—should be taken down. I regret that we will no longer have the opportunity for that type of deliberative and inclusive process. Nevertheless, we need to move forward as a community.

One of the long-standing challenges with the Pioneer statues was their lack of contextualization and materials to fully explain their complicated meaning—both good and bad. Therefore, I will ask the Committee on Recognizing Our Diverse History to work with our museums to explore permanent installations or other opportunities to exhibit the statues in a manner that places them in appropriate historical context. In the meantime, the statues have both been put into storage. Neither statue will go back to their previous places of prominence on campus. [emphasis added]

These are incredibly difficult times. Removing or relocating a statue or a piece of art does not change the need for the hard work of confronting racism that is ahead of us as a nation, a state, and a university. I honestly do not know where exactly that will lead us, but I have to believe that something positive will come from all of this pain. As an institution, we will continue to listen, seek understanding, and find meaningful ways to recognize and strengthen communities of color. We will redouble our efforts and explore new ways to support diversity and inclusion among students, faculty, and staff and bolster ally-ship on the University of Oregon campus. We must and we will.

Sincerely, Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Back in Jan 2018 the UO Senate passed resolution 17/18-06, which included this:

… 1.11 WHEREAS the UO campus still prominently displays signs and monuments that glorify white colonization and domination, while failing to do enough to honor the work and sacrifices made for justice and equity; and

… 2.3 BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we request that the University President in consultation with the Senate President and student leaders, convene an ad hoc task force comprised of members from all campus constituencies to discuss, identify and propose campus education about the UO’s history as it relates to diversity and inclusivity, as well as recommend changes, modifications and additions to spaces and monuments which still narrate the campus along the lines of white supremacist mythologies.

Note that this task force was not charged with considering whether or not to *remove* the Pioneer Mother and Father – just with how they might be modified, with such things as interpretive plaques etc. Schill would not appoint a presidential task force if it was allowed to consider removal of the statues, because of virulent opposition from some wealthy alumni. I encouraged the Senate to go along with the weak charge above, seeing no point to a Senate-only committee that would be actively opposed by President Schill. In short, I was a coward.

Even the modest goal of adding interpretive information about the statues was never done, as will surprise no one who has tried to get a committee to do anything, and which I’m sure was not a surprise to Schill – who made no effort to push along his committee’s work. Apparently they never even wrote a report. Now President Schill is – you guessed it – establishing a new committee to spread the blame for whatever happens next. It will be interesting to see who will be willing to join such a committee.

For a pretty clear explanation of the racism behind the statues, or at least the Pioneer Father, read the paper by UO History grad student Marc James Carpenter for the Oregon Historical Society, here. The abstract:

UO Pioneer Father & Mother statues toppled from pedestals, as UO awaits new talking points from Pres Schill’s PR Flacks

Update: These two photos were both taken by Andrew Nelson, a photojournalist for the RG. The first is from Bagdad in 2003, just before a US Marine vehicle pulled down Saddam Hussein’s statue. The second is from Eugene, today, from this RG report.

I’m posting them as a reminder that removing statues is a start, not an end.

Update: From the Daily Emerald here:

… “A university spokesperson could not be reached in time for publication.”

Someone really should alert the “Univ Communications – Storyteller Team” at ADV.Email.comm.storyteller.team.email.group@uoregon.edu

6/13/2020: From Rachael McDonald at KLCC. 20 minutes and I’m still waiting for someone to leak the talking points from President Schill’s PR flacks on this:

(Note: McDonald has since tweeted a correction to the statement this was done by BIOPIC members)

These Deady talking points are *not* for media, Deans told to stifle

Whoops. Thanks to an anonymous source for passing this on, as prepared by one of VP Kyle Henley’s PR flacks, at $115,815 a year. Note the request that Deans etc don’t talk to the press! How Trumpish.

If anyone has a copy of the talking points that were prepared for Pres Schill’s 2017 decision *not* to dename Deady, please forward them.

From: George Evano <gevano@uoregon.edu>
Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2020 9:46 AM
To: Jennifer Winters <jwinters@uoregon.edu>; Univ Communications – Storyteller Team <ADV.Email.comm.storyteller.team.email.group@uoregon.edu>; Monique Danziger <mdanzig2@uoregon.edu>; Jennifer Lindsey <jlindsey@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Jennifer Archer <jdarcher@uoregon.edu>; Jim Engelhardt <jime@uoregon.edu>; Rayna Jackson <raynaj@uoregon.edu>; Anna Sherwood <asherwoo@uoregon.edu>; Zack Barnett <zbarnett@uoregon.edu>; Nancy Novitski <novitski@uoregon.edu>; Kara Rowan <krowan@uoregon.edu>; Colleen Schlonga <colleens@uoregon.edu>; Marlene Blum <marleneb@uoregon.edu>; Jessica T. Brown <jtbrown@uoregon.edu>; Tim Jordan <tjordan@uoregon.edu>; Kate Conley <katec@uoregon.edu>; Charlie Litchfield <clitch@uoregon.edu>; Molly Blancett <blancett@uoregon.edu>; Katy George <george@uoregon.edu>; Laurie Notaro <lnotaro@uoregon.edu>; AnneMarie Knepper <aknepper@uoregon.edu>; Jim Barlow <jebarlow@uoregon.edu>; Dusty Whitaker <dustinw@uoregon.edu>; Jesse Summers <summers5@uoregon.edu>; Kyle Henley <khenley@uoregon.edu>; tova stabin <tstabin@uoregon.edu>; Marlitt Dellabough <marlitt@uoregon.edu>; Heidi Hiaasen <heidih@uoregon.edu>; Tim Christie <timc@uoregon.edu>; Lauren Stanfield <lemiller@uoregon.edu>; Caitlin Howard <choward4@uoregon.edu>; Rachael Nelson <rachaeln@uoregon.edu>; Internal Communications <comminternal@uoregon.edu>; Julianne Davis <juls@uoregon.edu>; Jim Murez <jmurez@uoregon.edu>; Kristin Strommer <kstromme@uoregon.edu>; Andra Brichacek <andra@uoregon.edu>; Kirstin Hierholzer <kirstinh@uoregon.edu>; Laura Bottem <lbottem@uoregon.edu>; Lewis Taylor <lewist@uoregon.edu>; Debbie Williamson <debbiews@uoregon.edu>; Kay Jarvis <kdjarvis@uoregon.edu>; Damian Foley <foley@uoregon.edu>; Saul Hubbard <saulh@uoregon.edu>; Matt Cooper <mattc@uoregon.edu>; Greg Bolt <gbolt@uoregon.edu>; Ed Dorsch <edorsch@uoregon.edu>; Anna Glavash <aglavash@uoregon.edu>; Cheyenne Thorpe <cthorpe@uoregon.edu>; Melody Leslie <mleslie@uoregon.edu>; Emma Oravecz <ejo@uoregon.edu>; Jett Nilprabhassorn <jettn@uoregon.edu>; Chakris Kussalanant <chakris@uoregon.edu>; Michele Ross <mross@uoregon.edu>; Melissa Foley <mfoley@uoregon.edu>; David Austin <dmaustin@uoregon.edu>

Subject: Deady Hall Talk Points

Hi Everyone,

Attached please find a copy of the communications talk points around the president’s Deady Hall recommendation. These talking points have been sent to senior leaders, deans, and development officers to use in formal and informal communications and conversations with internal and external constituencies. These are not for use with the media. If you receive media request for comment, please have them refer them to Kay Jarvis.

You can also see them in the Team for Racial Climate – where they are updated in real time. Let us know if you want to be a member of that group, which has some excellent resources contributed by tova and others.

Ad Hoc Committee on Racist Statues reaches quick consensus

From the BBC, in Bristol:

Further empirical research needs to be done to determine if all such statues are so poorly attached to their pedestals.

 

8/21/2018: Video captures UNC students in sensible act of vandalism

InsideHigherEd report here.

… The move came after years of debate. As many other colleges and universities removed Confederate statues and symbols, UNC officials said that they lacked the power to remove the statue, with the campus deferring to the system, and the system board last month saying that any decision needed to come from a state agency, and that the system had no plans to ask that agency to act. …

Video here:

This post is not in any way meant to encourage UO students to drag the Pioneer Mother and Father statues over to the graveyard, nor am I being paid to endorse this Harbor Freight winch with a series-wound motor to endure long pulls, and discrete remote control:

No, for maximum safety we need a committee.