VPGC Finalist #3: Kevin Reed, UCLA

Info on initial failed search here. New official search website here. Job ad here. Search committee consists of

  • Michael Moffitt (chair), Dean-School of Law
  • Missy Matella, Assistant General Counsel
  • David Schuman, Professor of Practice-Law School
  • Priscilla Southwell, Professor and Department Head-Political Science
  • Brad Shelton, Interim Vice President for Research
  • Angela Wilhelms, Secretary of the University.

Finalist #3 for GCVP: Kevin S. Reed, UCLA. Schedule for Aug 5 visit here, resume and cover letter here:

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This dude certainly seems to have the qualifications, and want the job. And you’ve gotta love this, from his letter:

“The legal issues that have brought unwanted attention to UO in the past several years are issues I have handled with success at UCLA, along with many other potentially mission-interrupting matters.”

More:

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As it happens, I’ve had occasion to deal with the UCLA Public Records office which Reed supervises. Back in May Diane Dietz compared UCLA’s unredacted, speedy, and free responses with UO’s fees, redactions, and geological delays, in the RG here:

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Sacbee reports UCLA paid Reed $276K last year, the UO job is $225K-$325K.

Finalist #2 for GCVP: Doug Park, UO. 

Park was also a finalist for the earlier cancelled search. That resume and cover letter are here. His Aug 4 schedule is here, new letter and CV here.

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An excerpt from his new letter, which is as interesting for what it omits as for what it includes:

As seen in my curriculum vitae, I have the following UO experiences: law student from 1990- 1993; adjunct law professor from 2003-2008; trial counsel for UO while at the Department of Justice; service on the UO’s JSMA leadership council as Board Development Chair and Executive Committee member; service on multiple UO committees; and service as in-house counsel for approximately eight years, including the last year as Interim General Counsel. My spouse [Beth Stormshak] is also a UO professor who has served UO in many capacities including teaching, researching, institute director, and associate vice president for research. These experiences enable me to see UO through the eyes of a student, adjunct faculty, tenure track faculty, administrator and lawyer, all of which provide me with a broad understanding of UO’s values, operations and aspirations.

Doug Park’s history with UO public records is legion, going back to the requests that led to the Mike Bellotti scandal and Richard Lariviere’s firing of his boss Melinda Grier, and the Oregon DOJ’s report of “deficient legal representation”:

Finalist #1 for GCVP: Kenya Mann Faulkner, U of Cincinnati. 

Aug 3 visit. Letter and CV here.

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UC paid her $295K last year, the UO job is $225K-$325K.

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Has President Schill found a replacement for Doug Park?

I don’t know.  Word is that there will be multiple finalists, visiting campus soon, application materials posted by the end of next week. Sounds good.

The job is no longer listed on the active administrative listing here, and the ad itself is now watermarked as an archive. But there’s been no announcement of finalists or public dissemination of application letters. The rudimentary General Counsel’s page still lists Doug Park as Interim GG.

Meanwhile there is an opening for an assistant for Public Records Officer Lisa Thornton, here. UO Employees only – definitely wouldn’t want to take a chance on getting someone with new ideas into that office. Speaking of which, they’ve got a pretty extensive backlog of unfilled requests.

Request Date Title Requester Status
07/23/2015 Student Fees Kimbrell, Jacob Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/22/2015 Contract Ahlen, John Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/20/2015 Athletic Contracts Rhoden, Jaleesa Records Provided
07/16/2015 Software Anderson, Angelina Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/16/2015 UOPD Boone, Mario No Responsive Records
07/16/2015 Compliance Correspondence Mattioli, Kami Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/15/2015 Directory Howe, Kevin Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/14/2015 Donations Jacoby, Kenny Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/14/2015 Contract Harbaugh, William Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/13/2015 Solar Energy Projects Wilker, Steven Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/13/2015 Reviews Paulson, Lauren Awaiting Payment
07/09/2015 Brand Contracts Axon, Rachel Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/07/2015 President Records Harbaugh, William Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/07/2015 University Expenditures Hill, Toni Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/07/2015 Correspondence Martin, Nick Records Exempt From Disclosure
07/06/2015 Coach Contract Baumbach, Jim Records Provided
07/02/2015 NCAA Violations Greif, Andrew Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/02/2015 Purchase Contract Willis, Amy Requesting/Reviewing Records
07/02/2015 UO Foundation Harbaugh, William No Responsive Records
07/01/2015 Coach Contracts Hawthorne, Jonathan Records Provided
07/01/2015 Coach Contracts Shifflett, Shane Records Provided
07/01/2015 Student Directory Asari, David Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/30/2015 Coach Contracts Goldstick, Robert Records Provided
06/30/2015 BANNER Statements Harbaugh, Bill No Responsive Records
06/30/2015 Earthquake Certifications McGraw, Noah No Responsive Records
06/29/2015 RFP Tritsch, Geoffrey Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/25/2015 Football Contracts Berkowitz, Steve Records Provided
06/23/2015 UOPD Correspondence Harbaugh, Bill Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/22/2015 Mirror Epstein Johnson, Mark Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/19/2015 Compliance Emails Epstein, David Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/19/2015 BANNER Reports Harbaugh, Bill Records Provided
06/18/2015 Animals In Research Agundez, Juan Awaiting Payment
06/18/2015 Parking Revenue and Citation Totals Campuzano, Eder Records Provided
06/15/2015 Sightlines Study Dietz, Diane Requesting/Reviewing Records
06/15/2015 Employment Contracts & Salary Cohen, Kevin Records Provided
06/15/2015 2021 IAAF World Championship Wihtol, Christian Awaiting Payment
06/10/2015 Economics Dept. Salaries Costello, Brandon Records Provided
06/10/2015 RFP Responses – Course Scheduler Conner, Brett No Responsive Records
06/10/2015 Softball Coach Contract Greif, Andrew Records Provided
06/10/2015 Softball Coach Contract Hawthorne, Jonathan Records Provided

6/1/2015 update: New Pres Mike Schill takes UO’s General Counsel bull by the horns

Explanation for new VPGC position here, ad here, review begins June 26.

General Statement of Duties

The Vice President and General Counsel to the University (VPGC) is the chief legal officer for the University of Oregon, a senior advisor to the President of the University (President), and an officer of the university. The VPGC will be responsible for managing the university’s legal affairs, overseeing the office’s provision of legal services to the university (including the provision of any outside legal services retained on behalf of the university), and supervising the Office of the General Counsel, which includes other attorneys and support staff. In addition, the VPGC will oversee the University’s Office of Public Records and the University’s Records Management Services, including supervision of employees in those two functions. As a member of the president’s senior leadership team, the VPGC will work closely with the president and other executive officers on a wide array of matters of legal import to the institution. In addition, the VPGC will work closely with university units, programs (e.g. student government), and employees. …

While Lariviere had taken responsibility for public records away from Melinda Grier and Doug Park in the GC’s office because of conflict of interest concerns coming out of the Bellotti fiasco, in practice that independence was a sham. So perhaps it’s best to acknowledge that the conflict exists and set up procedures to deal with it.

5/27/2015 update:

Schill is going to totally reorganize the General Counsel’s office and restart the search for a “VP for Legal Affairs” to take charge of UO’s troubled legal matters. This is the best UO news I’ve heard in long time, and we all hope it will be the first in a series of efforts to reform Johnson Hall. It’s certainly a great start to an improved relationship with the faculty.

Meanwhile UO’s website seems to think Randy Geller is still in charge. (Link finally removed today, 11 months after Geller was resigned.)

5/218/2015: General Counsel search committee soliciting anonymous comments

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Six UO employees, including vice president, under investigation for alleged misconduct concerning rape case

That’s today’s news from Rich Read in the Oregonian:

Six University of Oregon employees, including a vice president and the school’sinterim top lawyer, are under investigation for alleged misconduct in the handling of therapy records of a student who says she was gang-raped by three Ducks basketball players.

The Oregon State Bar is investigating complaints against interim general counsel Douglas Park and associate general counsel Samantha Hill. The Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners is investigating complaints against four people, including Robin Holmes, the university’s vice president for student life, who is a licensed psychologist.

Jennifer Morlok, a senior staff therapist identified in legal correspondence as the clinician who counseled the woman, filed all the complaints. The state Bar can, among other possible penalties for misconduct, permanently disbar a lawyer for gross violations of professional-conduct rules. The psychologist’s board can, in extreme cases of wrongdoing, revoke practitioners’ licenses. Each organization can also dismiss cases or issue mild rebukes.

…  The Board of Psychologist Examiners received initial investigation results during a confidential meeting March 20, and voted to investigate further, according to documents obtained by The Oregonian/Oregonlive. The board is sending written questions to the four psychologists that must be answered within 30 days.

Robert Steringer, a lawyer hired by the university to represent the psychologists, said they did nothing that would violate the American Psychological Association’s ethical principles and code of conduct, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Oregon laws.

…. On Thursday, UO senior communications director Julie Brown released a statement on behalf of the university, which said in part: “We are confident that the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners and the Oregon State Bar will clear the individuals of what we believe are false claims and accusations.

“The individuals involved are fully cooperating with the entities leading the inquiries,” Brown wrote, “and continue to carry out their job responsibilities with honesty and professionalism for our students.”

So all these people are now lawyered up. Robert Steringer of HLGR represents the psychologists, he’s paid for by UO. Arden Jolson also of HLGR represents Doug Park, and Bradley Tellam of Stoel Rives represents Doug Park’s Associate GC Samantha (Sam) Hill.

Interesting that Park and Hill have separate lawyers, from separate firms. Some sort of conflict in their stories about what happened?

AG Rosenblum avoids direct reference to Shelly Kerr and Doug Park, in endorsing bill to keep counseling records private

4/4/2015 update: Shelly Kerr is the UO Counseling Center Director who handed over Jane Doe’s counseling records, at the request of Interim UO GC Doug Park. New legislation would make that illegal. Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum on the RG Op-Ed page:

We like to think of college as a wonderful time of growth and learning. The reality in Oregon, however, is that college can be a very dangerous period for too many young women.

Recent events have given our students a good reason to worry that when they have been sexually assaulted and want to have the benefit of victims’ support and counseling services, they cannot trust their college to protect their privacy. That is because Oregon is one of only 10 states without confidentiality protections for victims seeking services from domestic violence or sexual assault advocates.

It is time for Oregon to step forward and ensure the privacy of victims’ communications and records. We know that many students who have been sexually assaulted are choosing not to seek critically needed help. Studies indicate that the primary reason victims of sexual assault do not come forward is that they fear disclosure of extremely private and potentially embarrassing information — without their consent. All too often, this fear is justified. …

4/3/2015 update: Students rally in support of Karen Stokes and transparency

Ally Brayton has the story in the Emerald here, and Diane Dietz has more in the RG here:

Dozens of University of Oregon students rallied at noon Friday in support of a counseling center employee who says she was fired because she was a whistleblower.

Karen Stokes, who was executive assistant to the director of the counseling center, announced she had been terminated in a March 26 e-mail sent to counseling center staff.

The reason, she said in the e-mail, was her public criticism of the university’s “unethical” collection of a student’s therapy records in preparation for litigation.

A UO spokesman said a week ago that Stokes wasn’t fired but merely “transitioning.”

On Friday, spokeswoman Julie Brown said Stokes is still in the university’s employ, but Brown couldn’t say in what position or capacity or whether her job was permanent or temporary. …

3/26/2015 update: It’s looking more and more like the story goes like this: UCTC Director Shelly Kerr told Karen Stokes she was fired. Stokes wrote the email in the RG story and sent it to the UCTC staff and the RG. Klinger was out of the loop, perhaps because he just was, perhaps because the admins don’t trust his judgement after his disastrous press release on the archivists. Someone in JH read the post on my blog or the RG website. They quickly told Kerr to back off, told Stokes they’d find her a job somewhere else at UO if she’d stop talking to reporters, and told Klinger to feed this to the press, pronto.

Update: The RG story has now been updated with a challenge from Duck Advocate and Presidential Spokesperson Tobin Klinger of Ms Stokes’s description of events. Purely coincidental, Klinger seems to think. Of course Klinger also thought UO wasn’t filing a counterclaim against the survivor of the alleged basketball gang rape – or at least that’s what he told reporters.

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Why did Doug Park go wacko over the Presidential Archives release?

4/20/2015 update: Please see the retractions posted at https://uomatters.com/2015/04/archivists-resign-coltrane-got-sharon-rudnick-to-write-report-on-presidential-archives-release.html

Update: Meanwhile Gov. Kate Brown has sent an email to all state workers, praising the DAS employees who refused to delete the emails between Kitzhaber and his attorney – and then leaked them to Willamette Week. WWeek report here. Quite a difference from how Park and Coltrane handled the “unlawful release” of UO Presidential Archives.

3/24/2015: Because it could have cost the HLGR law firm, and Park’s former boss and friend Randy Geller, a lucrative contract?

Geller was fired by Mike Gottfredson in April 2014, apparently over his handling of the alleged basketball gang rape. Geller then went to work for the Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick law firm.

On Jan 4th 2015, I posted Geller’s “attorney-client confidential and privileged” advice on how to dissolve the UO Senate, which I got from UO’s Presidential Archives:

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Pretty bad stuff. After I made this public, the UO administration quickly repudiated Geller’s plan. Dave Hubin even offered to share the admin’s emails rejecting this plan. It’s funny-sad how Hubin is so puppy-dog eager to provide public records that might make his bosses look good, while at the same time he’s using fees and delays to hide public records that might make them look bad.

After Geller got hired at HLGR, he brought in a contract to provide legal advice to the new Boards of Trustees for Oregon’s “Regional and Technical Universities”: Eastern Oregon, Southern Oregon, Western Oregon, and the Oregon Institute of Technology. In response to a PR request, OUS quickly provided the basic billing information:

The OUS Chancellor’s Office has paid $20,260.32 to the Harrang Long firm for work Randy Geller has done under this contract. This piece of your records request is being provided at no charge. If you would still like a copy of the contract and billing invoices, kindly remit the estimated charge and I will start work on that as other pending work and time allow.

Thank you.

Ginger Shaw, Executive Assistant
OUS Chancellor’s Office

If you were a new TRU board member, would you want your legal advice about your board and shared governance to come from Randy Geller, knowing he wrote this? If you were an administrator who wanted the faculty to believe you had a commitment to shared governance, would you hire he guy who tried to dissolve UO’s, if this document was out in public?

And if you were Randy Geller, or a partner at HLGR, would you be worried about what other damaging documents from Geller might be in the Presidential Archives?

So did HLGR’s concerns about Geller drive Interim President Scott Coltrane’s over-the-top reaction to the release of the Presidential Archives, including his prejudicial email calling this an “unlawful release” of documents? I don’t know, and I’m guessing UO will never release the public records that might show what really happened.

University tried to silence faculty blogger with sex harassment allegations

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has the story, here:

CHICAGO, March 20, 2015—A former high-level administrator at Chicago State University alleged in a statement filed yesterday in federal court that Chicago State President Wayne Watson pressured her to file a false sexual harassment complaint against Professor Philip Beverly, an outspoken faculty critic of Watson’s administration.

According to the declaration of former Chicago State Vice President for Enrollment Management LaShondra Peebles, Watson was determined to silence Beverly by shutting down the blog, CSU Faculty Voice, which Beverly had founded. Contributors routinely posted documents that supported their allegations of mismanagement by the administration.

The Chicago Tribune report is here:

The president of Chicago State University tried to pressure a high-level administrator to file false claims of sexual harassment against an outspoken professor to help the college try to silence him, according to court documents filed Thursday as part of an ongoing lawsuit. In a sworn statement, LaShondra Peebles, the college’s former interim vice president of enrollment and student affairs, said before she was fired that President Wayne Watson pushed her to accuse Phillip Beverly of sexual harassment, though Peebles said she was never harassed.

Beverly contributes to the blog CSU Faculty Voice, which has been critical of Watson and his policies. Beverly and professor Robert Bionaz have sued the university in federal court for allegedly attempting to shut down their blog.

From Ms Peebles’s statement to the court:

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This sort of thing would never happen at UO, right? Right?

Speaking of UO Interim GC Doug Park, there’s still no news on the search to replace him with a competent general counsel.

Applications were due Feb 5 for full consideration, campus interviews were supposed to take place in March, and a permanent replacement for Park is supposed to be in the job in April. We hope.

Park’s fingerprints are all over UO’s redoubled efforts to hide public records, and the decisions to sue the survivor of the alleged basketball gang rape, and persuade Counseling Center Director Shelly Kerr to give her confidential counseling records to the GC, so they could scan them into the office’s digital archives. (Interim Provost Frances Bronet made Park give the originals back, it’s not clear what happened to the digital copies.)

I had to make a public records request and threaten a petition to the DA, just to find out who was on the search committee for a new GC. Eventually Coltrane posted this:

The committee includes:

Priscilla Southwell, Department head and Professor of Political Science
Meg Reeves, General Counsel at Oregon State University
Brad Shelton, Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation
David Schuman, Professor of Law
Angela Wilhelms, Secretary of the University

I’m guessing the real hiring committee “includes” a few more names, but whatever. What’s taking so long?

Coltrane and Bronet make two wrongs right

First it was Interim President Scott Coltrane’s decision to tell Interim UO General Counsel Doug Park to drop the counterclaim by UO and Coach Dana Altman against the survivor of the alleged basketball gang rape.

Now Interim Provost Frances Bronet has told the GC’s office to return the student’s confidential counseling records, which University Counseling and Testing Director Shelly Kerr had turned over on Doug Park’s request. Bronet has also issued a strong guarantee that the confidentiality of UO student counseling records will not be broken again.

Josephine Woolington has more on the national implications of Kerr’s decision to turn over the records to Park, and Bronet’s reversal of it, in the RG here.

MEMORANDUM

March 20, 2015

TO: Campus Community

FROM: Provost Frances Bronet

RE: UO’s Commitment to Confidentiality of Student Counseling Records

Last December, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) obtained copies of therapy records maintained by the University Counseling and Testing Center (UCTC) in response to a litigation hold sent by a student’s attorney. OGC then scanned the records electronically to preserve and secure them. No one at the OGC has reviewed the records. Subsequently, national debate has centered on how access to these records could impact students seeking counseling on university campuses. In response to these concerns, I am affirming that University of Oregon students will have the same level of strong confidentiality that they have in private, off-campus therapy.

In order to emphasize the university’s commitment to the confidentiality of students’ records I am announcing the following actions:

  1. OGC has returned all records at issue so that they may be preserved and secured by the UCTC.
  2. I am instructing all UO employees that they must rigorously respect the confidentiality obligations of therapists in UO clinics and counseling centers.
  3. The university promises each student who comes to UO clinics and counseling centers that, consistent with law and ethics codes, in the future no records will be accessed by anyone not involved in their care, unless:
    • the student signs a written release,
    • a court orders release,
    • the therapist needs to coordinate treatment with others,
    • the therapist needs to prevent harm to the student or others,
    • the therapist needs to provide anonymous, aggregate information to the Director of Affirmative Action to compile statistics regarding sexual assaults.

I will form a committee made up of licensed therapists, faculty, General Counsel, and staff to propose new or clarified policies on how the confidentiality of medical and psychological records for any university departments that handle protected health information will be maintained and protected, and when records may be released. The committee will share a draft of these policies with the UO community in April 2015.

I am grateful for the advice and energy many members of our community have brought and continue to bring to this vital issue, and to our many members of the UCTC for their hard work, dedication, and care for our students.

I urge UO students to use our counseling and mental health services without fear that their counseling records will be disclosed to other parties or UO departments. In addition to the UCTC, I want students to know that other confidential support services are available in the following offices:

Students can call a 24-hour hotline at 541 346-SAFE to speak with a confidential counselor who can explain options and connect students with resources. They can also access such confidential services at the following website: safe.uoregon.edu.

I will resend this message to all students at the start of spring term.

Sincerely,

Frances Bronet

Acting Senior Vice President and Provost

US Senator Wyden joins UO Senate in questioning Doug Park’s counseling records grab

3/12/2015 update: Rich Read has the story in the Oregonian, here:

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and the Faculty Senate of the University of Oregon both announced efforts this week to address an apparent loophole in federal law that allows sexual assault victims’ medical and therapy records to be released by colleges and universities. …

Interim General Counsel Park is trying to turn his $209K Interim gig into the permanent position as UO General Counsel. I’m guessing that when a U.S. Senator starts writing a law with the sole purpose of making it clear that what you just did was not just sleazy, but also unambiguously illegal, you’re probably not going to get a promotion.

Maybe Wyden will call it “Doug’s Law”, as a consolation prize.

Next up, a law protecting library circulation records from Doug Park.

3/9/2015: Doug Park admits mistakes were made getting Jane Doe’s counseling records for lawsuit

Josephine Woolington has the story in the RG, here, on Interim UO General Counsel Doug Park’s decision to get Jane Doe’s confidential counseling records and have his staff scan them to pdf, instead of sequestering them.

[Rumor has it that VP Doug Blandy has threatened discipline if Park doesn’t hand over the Zip Drive within 48 hours and remove all copies of the pdfs from the General Counsel’s servers.]

Park’s stupidity manages to get UO some exposure on NPR as well. From the Woolington story:

… The university had previously asserted that it legally accessed, but did not actually review, the student’s records — stored at the UO Counseling and Testing Center — after she told the university in September that she planned to sue.

He also said he should have received a written waiver from the student, allowing the UO to collect her records.

The 18-year-old student said she was raped by three UO basketball players last year. She filed a lawsuit in January against the university and head basketball coach Dana Altman for allegedly violating her federal civil rights by recruiting one of the involved players after he had previously been accused of rape at a different college, among other accusations. …

Word is that Park got the records via VPSA Robin Holmes, whose performance will soon be reviewed by the UO administration. Given that the Executive Leadership Team won’t even trust her to write her own Op-Ed, I’m guessing it’s not going to be a pretty review:

Coltrane’s “Campus Conversation” on sexual violence prevention fails

3/2/2015: Campus Conversation” on rape response, 4PM today, Alumni Center.

I couldn’t make this, but the word from others is that this was a massive fail, with Coltrane getting called out repeatedly by the students for his lack of progress and efforts to pass off the blame.

2/27/2015: How much is the athletic budget contributing towards Miller Nash’s legal fees for defending basketball coach Dana Altman? Anything? I don’t know. Let’s find out:

On Friday Feb 27, 2015

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for documents showing how much UO is paying the Miller Nash attorneys who are defending UO and Dana Altman against the lawsuit from the survivor of the alleged basketball gang rape.

Specifically, I am requesting documents showing how much has been spent so far, and how much of that has been paid for by general academic funds, athletic department funds, and other sources such as insurance, UO Foundation money, etc.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

2/26/2015, 4:20PM: UO drops counter-claim, but still blames survivor for “damage to a good man’s reputation”, and claims *she* is discouraging rape reporting.

This is a first for Johnson Hall: admitting a mistake. It took “Sven Praoc” and 2100 petition signers to get them to do the right thing.

No news on when Coltrane will apologize for his prejudicial allegation of an “unlawful release” of UO Presidential Archives. Baby steps.

Josephine Woolington has the story in the RG, here. It appears Coltrane got some lousy legal advice, either from UO attorneys Doug Park and Sam Hill, or UO’s hired Miller Nash attorneys, Michelle Smigel http://www.millernash.com/michelle-smigel/ and Michael Porter http://www.millernash.com/michael-porter/:

Coltrane, however, criticized the online petition that characterized the UO as having filed a lawsuit against the victim, as opposed to responding to a lawsuit. He said he was advised by attorneys that it’s routine to counter a suit.

“Their suit would have us pay legal fees, and I was told it’s typical when you respond” to also file a counterclaim, he said.

…  The UO’s updated response, however, still contends that Jane Doe’s attorneys “filed a lawsuit with unfounded allegations that damage a good man’s (Altman’s) reputation in an attempt to curry favor and gain traction in the media and create pressure for a public university to pay a hefty sum to (Jane Doe) even though it has done nothing wrong.”

The university argues that Jane Doe’s allegations threaten not only the UO and Altman, “but all sexual assault survivors in Oregon’s campus community.

“The publication of false allegations about Oregon’s handling of a report of an alleged sexual assault creates a very real risk that other survivors will wrongly be discouraged from reporting sexual assault and sexual harassment to Oregon,” which conflicts with the goal of a federal civil rights law, known as Title IX, the response said.

Say what? UO’s revised and sanitized response to the lawsuit is less intimidating to victims who might consider exercising their civil rights than was the previous version, though no less offensive:

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Full docket w/ old and new language here, thanks to recapthelaw.org

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The UO administration’s secret plan to abolish the UO Senate

1/4/2015: The UO administration’s secret plan to abolish the UO Senate

UO Matters operatives have obtained a “confidential” memo from former UO General Counsel Randy Geller to former Interim President Bob Berdahl, recommending that Berdahl abolish the University Senate and prohibit most faculty members from being members of the Faculty Personnel Committee, Faculty Advisory Counsel, Student Conduct committee, the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, etc.

Geller made this recommendation three weeks after the administration  admitted defeat over the faculty union. The full memo is here. As you can see it advises:

1) abolition of the current UO Senate and all its committees;

2) creation of a new faculty-only Senate, limited to making recommendations to the administration;

3) membership on key committees to be restricted to non-bargaining unit faculty; and

4) other committees replaced by “administrative advisory groups” serving at the president’s pleasure.

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Geller’s proposal seems insane, but key parts of it have already been implemented, and it seems the likely source for the statements Interim President Coltrane made at the December emergency Senate Exec meeting about the need for changes in faculty governance “given our new unionized environment”. Coltrane has kept the administrative advisory groups that Bob Berdahl and Mike Gottfredson set up to replace Senate committees, such as the President’s Advisory Group on Intercollegiate Athletics, the Budget Advisory Group, and the Public Records Administrative Advisory Group.

Coltrane has also been working with new UO AVP Chuck Triplett (the former OUS apparatchik who helped Pernsteiner fire Richard Lariviere) and new University Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms to set up a President-appointed Policy Advisory Committee, and revoke the faculty authority that has existed since the founding of the University of Oregon and which is a normal part of faculty governance at other universities.

In addition, last year BOT Chair Chuck Lillis went along with Geller and Berdahl’s plan to cut the Senate out of the Delegation of Authority debate, and tried to do the same again last month with Triplett and Coltrane’s plan to drop the Senate from the policy development and approval process.

You might ask why our university’s top lawyer would attempt to hide his legal opinions about faculty governance from the faculty – and why people like Dave Hubin would help him keep the secret. You might also ask why the our VPs for Academic Affairs, Doug Blandy and Barbara Altman, would try to hide their advice about grading in the event of a GTF strike from the faculty who assign grades. Maybe Scott Coltrane will have some answers at the next Senate meeting, Wednesday, Jan 14th.

1/13/2015 update:  UO won’t share shared governance advice

We’ve had a series of attacks on shared governance over the last few years, led by Bob Berdahl and Mike Gottfredson, but unfortunately continuing under Scott Coltrane with the attempt to subvert the Policy on Policies and the UO Constitution.

So what sort of legal advice have our Johnson Hall colleagues been getting? They don’t want to tell us. I’ll go out on a limb and say Doug Park wrote this response to my public records request below. Not exactly trust inspiring.

The only way the faculty is going to learn about these attacks is from leaks of “confidential” documents to UO Matters. So keep them coming!

From: “Thornton, Lisa” <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Date: January 13, 2015 at 5:02:57 PM PST
Subject: Public Records Request 2015-PRR-151

01/13/2015

Dear Mr. Harbaugh:

Given the broad scope of your request, we anticipate it would be necessary to sort through hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of documents to pull documents that are responsive to your request. In addition, you requested documents that you know are confidential because you specifically requested “legal advice.” Accordingly, your request is denied.

Thank you for contacting the University with your request.

Sincerely,

Lisa Thornton

Office of Public Records
University of Oregon
Office of the President

1/8/2015 update: Johnson Hall admins won’t talk about Geller / Berdahl memo

Camilla Mortenson has the story in the Eugene Weekly, here. It seems Coltrane, Park, and Hubin won’t talk about the memo or about the extent to which it continues to guide the thinking of Johnson Hall and the new Board of Trustees. Assistant UO PR Flack Julie Brown is the highest ranking person who will talk on the record – and even she won’t disavow this plan? Yikes. I’ll post additional docs as I get them.

1/7/2015 update:

In the Senate Exec meeting today Dave Hubin attempted to argue that the administration had rejected Geller’s proposals. When I left for a bathroom break Dave followed me out, asking what other documents I had about this proposal. I told him I wouldn’t tell him because it might reveal my source. Let’s just say the well isn’t dry. Hubin also suggested that I make a public records request if I wanted to learn more, so I have:

Subject: Documents from the UO GC’s office on legal advice regarding shared governance
Date: January 7, 2015 at 9:34:40 PM PST
Cc: David Hubin <hubin@uoregon.edu>, doug park <dougpark@uoregon.edu>, Scott Coltrane <coltrane@uoregon.edu> To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for any documents from the UO General Counsel’s office (or outside attorneys) providing advice to the UO President dated from 1/1/2010 to the present, on topics involving:

1) The UO Senate and shared governance in general;

2) the Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and the President’s Advisory Group on Intercollegiate Athletics;

3) the Senate Transparency Committee and the Public Records Administrative Advisory Group;

4) open meetings for the UO Senate, Senate committees, and Administrative Advisory Groups.

I am ccing current interim General Counsel Doug Park, as he should have access to the GC’s records and should be easily able to provide these documents, and Interim President Scott Coltrane for the same reason.

I’ve also cced presidential assistant Dave Hubin, as he suggested that I make this public records request at the Senate Executive Committee meeting today and recently told the STC that future PRAAG meetings would be closed, and may have copies of the advice on these matters.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

 

Dumb, dumber, and Doug Park

Oregon has a law on government transparency: SB 2500, passed in 2009. State agencies are required to post a bunch of info, including expenditures, on the state transparency webpage here. For example, Oregon State University spent a fair amount on Legal Services:

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What about UO? Well, UO has stopped reporting Legal Services expenditures to the state legislature. We won’t even admit that we’ve stopped reporting – the spreadsheet now just goes from Laundry to Library, as if there’s nothing missing. Orwell would have loved it:

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Why would UO try and hide hide these expenditures from the legislature? I could make a public records request and pay Dave Hubin $x to get a redacted copy of our Interim General Counsel’s explanation for this, or I could just wait for Scott Coltrane to fire Doug Park’s sorry ass and replace him with someone with a clue. For the moment, I’ll go with plan B.

UO General Counsel stops pleading the Fifth on Dearinger resume

12/6/2014 update: Page down for the long history of UO’s attempts to hide the names and resumes of the people working in its General Counsel’s office. The GC’s website has been “pleading the Fifth” on who works there, and their qualifications, ever since Randy Geller appointed Melinda Grier as General Counsel Emerita:

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I’ve now managed to obtain a current listing of General Counsel attorneys:

Douglas Park: Acting General Counsel, dougpark@uoregon.edu
Park was appointed Interim GC after President Gottfredson’s mysterious firing of Randy Geller, in the midst of the basketball rape allegations cover-up. After many requests and a petition to the District Attorney, Park finally posted his resume, here.

Samantha Hill: Associate General Counsel, samhill@uoregon.edu
The General Counsel’s office refuses to release Ms Hill’s resume, arguing that it is exempt from disclosure by claiming she is a faculty member. She has never taught a class at UO. Doug Park went so far as to accuse me of sexual harassment and stalking, because I made a public records request for her resume.

Melissa Matella: Assistant General Counsel, mmatella@uoregon.edu
The General Counsel’s office refuses to release Ms Hill’s resume, also arguing that it is exempt from disclosure because she is faculty. She has also never taught a class at UO.

Bryan Dearinger: Assistant General Counsel, bdearing@uoregon.edu
He is the newest hire. The GC’s office released Mr. Dearinger’s resume, here, 3 days after I requested it. It’s an impressive one.

Salaries:

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6/17/2014 update: Doug Park tells UOM to file petition with DA to see attorney resumes. So I did.

Randy Geller’s retirement is effective 6/30. Presumably one of UO’s associate or assistant GC’s will take his place as Interim UO GC, and as Interim GC for the UO Trustees. Awesome responsibility. I’d sort of like to know the qualifications of these people. So I asked to see the resumes and the cover letters they’d sent in when applying to work at UO. Associate GC Doug Park rejected my public records request, telling me to appeal it to the DA if I wanted too. I wrote back that a simpler solution would be for him to post some basic info on the GC’s website. He wouldn’t. So, I took his advice, and here’s the appeal:

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How much has UO spent on lawyers to fight our grad students?

12/6/2014 update: New reports on legal and consulting expenses, here. Some to HLGR for GTFF bargaining, some for the UOPD union, some for things JH really doesn’t want to attach an accounting code to:

Legal:

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Consulting:

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11/6/2014 update: I don’t know, I’m crowd-sourcing this one:

In response to questions about the total cost of the hiring HLGR for the GTFF bargaining, here are links to some public records on legal (and consulting) expenses. File dates are approximate and a mix of xls and the badly scanned pdfs Dave Hubin’s public records office sends out to make life harder, but I think I’ve got complete coverage from 2011 to the end of October. If someone wants to put together a spreadsheet for just the GTFF costs please email me a copy and I’ll post it.

2011-2013 legal billing

2013 – June 2014 legal

1/1/2013-9/15/2014 consulting and 6/1/2014-9/18/2014 legal

Sept and October 2014 legal and consulting.

(new) October 2014 legal and consulting.

(link fixed)
Here’s a sample of a detailed HLGR invoice from the faculty union bargaining, after redactions by our General Counsel’s office:

I’ve made a PR request for the September 2014 invoices, which should show more about what Rudnick, Matthews, and Grado are doing to justify the astonishingly expensive GTFF bargaining:

Subject: Re: Public Records Request 2015-PRR-092
Date: November 5, 2014 at 4:48:17 PM PST
Cc: doug park
To: Lisa Thornton

Dear Ms Thornton –

Thanks for these accounting reports.

This is a public records request for the six detailed HLGR invoices with transactions dates of 24-Sep-14.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest. Because of the timeliness of issues around HLGR’s work for UO on GTFF bargaining and other issues, I would appreciate it you could expedite this request.

I’m ccing Doug Park on this request as his office has these documents and can easily make them available.

Thanks,

Bill Harbaugh
UO Prof of Economics
http://harbaugh.org

11/5/2014: Coltrane still letting Frohnmayer’s HLGR firm rake in the billable hours

It took another petition to the Lane County DA, but at least Doug Park didn’t accuse me of harassment this time. here are the latest HLGR billing numbers. Presumably UO was sitting on these because they didn’t want the grad students to know how much Coltrane was willing to pay noted tobacco company lawyer Sharon Rudnick and Jeff Matthews to bargain against them:

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Of course some of those invoices are probably for other things, like negotiating Gottfredson’s buyout, or perhaps for dealing with the rape allegation cover-up. And here are the consulting payments – looks like Huron is back:

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9/26/2014: Has Coltrane fired Sharon Rudnick and Frohnmayer’s HLGR law firm?

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