December 15th, UO Constitution Day

December 15 is UO Constitution Day. The UO Constitution lays out the division of responsibilities between the UO President and the UO Faculty, and the procedures for resolving disputes. It was adopted by the UO Faculty Assembly on December 7th 2011, and signed by UO President Richard Lariviere on December 15th.

In honor of the event I am posting a history of the Constitution, from the pseudonymous “Old Man”. As prelude, here is the video from the Assembly meeting. The introduction by Senate President Robert Kyr (Music) is followed by Susan Gary (Law), John Bonine (Law) and Peter Keyes (Architecture) giving excellent explanations of what the constitution means:

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I had no involvement in writing the constitution or its adoption. I would appreciate it if those who did would post comments and corrections.

The History of the UO Constitution

(and the Policy on Policies)

as Recalled by the Old Man­­­

Introduction: This document recounts the loss of the University’s century-old tradition of faculty governance, enshrined in its Charter, and events leading to its recovery through the creation and adoption of the Constitution of the University of Oregon.

University of Oregon Charter

“The President and professors constitute the faculty of the University, and, as such, shall have the immediate government and discipline of it and the students therein…”

Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) § 352.010; originally section 14 of Law No. 9, Oregon Laws 1876

The Good Old Days

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Shared governance and the definition of consultation

2. The Board of Trustees, the President, and the Faculty through
the Faculty Senate will begin to implement policies and
procedures that recognize the principles of Shared Governance
on three levels:

a. Determination: The Board of Trustees will recognize
and consider delegating to the Faculty and its
representative body, the Faculty Senate, the authority to
determine certain matters, which will be defined and
agreed upon, relating to academic policy, including
matters of curriculum and tenure and promotion policy;

b. Recommendation: The Board of Trustees will
recognize and consider delegating to the Faculty and its
representative body, the Faculty Senate, the authority to
recommend to the President certain matters and policy
relating to the areas of faculty quality and welfare,
planning, budget and resource allocation, research and
scholarship, and academic facilities and infrastructure.
“To recommend” means to reach a decision jointly, such
decision not to be overturned by the President without
further discussion with the Faculty representatives and an
effort to find a solution satisfactory to all members of the
University of Florida;

c. Consultation: The Board of Trustees will formally
recognize that the Faculty through the Faculty Senate
will have an opportunity to consult with the President (or
designee) on other matters connected with the priorities
and policies of the University and their implementation.
“To consult” is to have input into the decision-making
process, and especially to be informed of the nature and
rationale for decisions before they are made.

From the University of Florida, here.

Senate to move on policy adoptions, deletions. Today, 3PM.

In December the Senate was able to postpone the threat to shared governance from Chuck Triplett and Doug Park’s policy power-grab. That policy will come up again at the Trustees meeting in March.

Meanwhile John Bonine (Law)has set up an independent process for making sense of the existing policies and determining which have academic import, without relying on Triplett’s “trust me” plan. The Senate will take action today on cleaning up a host of important policies.

Senate Meeting Agenda – January 14, 2015

115 Lawrence, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

3:00 pm    1.   Call to Order

1.1        Structure of Senate Meetings

1.2        2015 Senate Agenda: Overview

3:05 pm    2.   Approval of Minutes

2.1        December 3, 2014

3:10 pm    3.   State of the University

3.1        Remarks by Interim President Coltrane with questions:

Sexual Assault Prevention: Will develop “comprehensive plan”, based on 3 reports: Gott Review Panel, SL, Senate Task Force. Lots of overlap. Already implementing: 2 campus climate surveys, admin advisory group on these “includes Senate members”. Cooperate with EPD, new staff, self defense classes, student conduct code.

Shoutout to Bonine for his work on policies and policy on policies. “Collaborative process with Senate and Susan Gary, etc.” “Everybody is volunteering to help with this,” except of course AVP Chuck Triplett who’s pretty well paid. Public meetings, etc, assuming BOT agrees.

Launched search for new GC, will post info on President’s website. Search committee has been appointed… Doug Park has done an incredible job… Coltrane then describes qualifications of the GC’s latest 4 hires – info which Park and Geller have refused to hand over in response to PR requests. Latest hire is Greg Ashford.

Strategic Plan: Check Provost’s site:

Q: If there was another situation such as the March 8-9 basketball rape allegations, would you do anything differently than Gottfredson did? A: Not really.

Q: Will you share new financial information about athletics ESPN revenues with the Senate? A: Maybe.

3:30 pm    4.   New Business

4.1       Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal and Adoption of Faculty Records Rules; Senate Executive Committee

Bonine’s on this. Very thorough. Check out his spreadsheet:

This one’s a keeper, I hope:


(Made inescapable and inviolable policy of the Oregon State Board of Higher
Education, Meeting #40, October 16, 1933, pp. 72-73.)

First. The people of Oregon have dowered the Board with plenary powers in the field of higher
education and the Board must honorably and courageously execute this sacred and important

Second. In the exercise of that trust, the Board has selected a Chancellor who is amenable at all
times to the Board, but who is the Board’s chosen and trusted chief administrative officer. The
Board has the right to ask, and will demand, full and unequivocal loyalty from those who, in
turn, serve under the Chancellor’s direction. This does not involve the loss of cherished
academic freedom; it does not limit or abolish open and fair discussion, but it means the
elimination of subversive tactics.

The educational institutions should have their faculty councils. Moreover and better still, there
should be interinstitutional councils, in which the Chancellor’s presence and participation
should promote understanding and mutual confidence. The scope and content of their
proceedings should be constructive and helpful and should leave no room for the type of
devious undermining and sapping that endangers the successful operation of the sane and
wholesome System created by the will of the people of this state.

Intelligent and fair-minded men will recognize that this does not involve subserviency to the
personality or identity of any specific Chancellor who may hold official tenure, but it does mean
that the Board regards the subtle negation of his efforts, and attempts to weaken, minimize,
and impair his efficiency, as inevitably tending to defeat achievement of the purposes of the
Board that is responsible for him, and to which he is responsible. Unreasoning and
irreconcilable feudists should, accordingly, be relegated to theatres of combat beyond the walls
of the institutions whose permanency and growth is a matter of such vital concern to the

4.2       Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal and Adoption of Student Records Rules; Senate Executive Committee

4.3       Motion (Resolution): UO Foundation Fossil Fuel Divestment; Jane Cramer (Senator, Political Science); John Davidson (Senator, Political Science); Helena Schlegel (Senator; Undergraduate, Spanish)

4.4       Motion (Legislation): Change of Membership for the Graduate Council; Joe Lowndes, Professor (Political Science) & Graduate Council Chair

4.5       Motion (Resolution): Senate Support to Uphold and Implement a Confidential Ombuds Program and Office; Committee on Respectful Workplace (Carla McNelly, Chair), UO Ombuds Search Committee (Carol Silverman, Chair), UO Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support (Carol Stabile and Randy Sullivan, Co-Chairs), Officer of Administration Council (Teri Rowe, President)

4:55 pm    5.   Open Discussion

4:55 pm    6.   Reports

4:55 pm    7.   Notice(s) of Motion

4:55 pm    8.   Other Business

5:00 pm    9.   Adjournment

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” <[email protected]>
Date: January 13, 2015 at 5:02:57 PM PST
Subject: Public Records Request 2015-PRR-151


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.


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 <[email protected]>, doug park <[email protected]>, Scott Coltrane <[email protected]> To: Lisa Thornton <[email protected]>

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.


Senate repudiates Triplett and Park proposal, directs TAIF to investigate potential retaliation against faculty

12/14/2014: Video of the Senate meeting is now available:

12/10/2014 PM update:

Alexandra Wallachly from the Emerald has posted a report on the meeting, here.

On the Board meeting Thursday: I think it’s important to show up at the Board meeting Thursday at 8AM in the Alumni Center. While the board has backed off on the latest power grab, there’s plenty of potential for surprises, those making public comments deserve some supporters, and it’s important that the Board sees that the faculty take what’s been happening very seriously. And I hear someone will be passing out “Save our Senate” buttons.

On the Senate meeting today: I got there at the very end. I’d love it if someone would send me some notes or post them. People tell me it was standing room only, and filled with dismay and outrage over what’s going on with our administration.

The Senate passed an amended version of the motion below, opposing the Triplett/Park power grab. The fact that they did this even after Coltrane announced the Board would withdraw the motion at his suggestion shows how deep the mistrust of Johnson Hall has become. Coltrane and Bronet need to take charge of that snake-pit, decisively and soon.

The Senate then apparently wrote and approved a second motion, directing the Academic Integrity Task Force to investigate the administration’s “alleged plans to establish groundwork for disciplinary procedures” against Philosophy Dept Chair Bonnie Mann and other faculty who refused to issue “fraudulent” grades. Apparently there is also an accusation that a CAS administrator not only gave out grades for courses, but then raised them after students complained. I don’t know if the TAIF will also investigate that.

I’ll post the video when available, and I expect the motions (passed unanimously?) will be on the Senate website soon, here. Meanwhile check Try Bree Nicolello’s twitter reports on the meeting:

12/10/2014 update: (see below for Coltrane response)

Sorry, I’m at the Board committee meetings, no live-blog.

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Show up Th at 8AM! UO Board and committee meeting agendas and links for Wed-Fri

12/10/14 PM update:

I encourage faculty to show up at the full Board meeting, 8 AM Thursday, to support the guest speakers supporting faculty governance. I’ll do my best to live-blog it.

12/10/2014: Some erratic live-blog reports below, in the committee agendas. It’s rough, I’ll try and clean it up later.

Highlights from the 12/10/2014 committee meetings:

– Helena Schlegel has been confirmed by the state Senate as new UO student Board Trustee.

– UO’s financial position is still strong, independent auditor gives “clean audit”.

– ASUO and Lamar Wise get the board to amend tuition and fee setting policy.

– Board abandons the Triplett / Park scheme to supersede the UO Constitution and faculty governance – at least for now.

– Board Chair Chuck Lillis presents draft plan for how the board can take pro-active steps help improve UO’s academic excellence- including improvements in administrative efficiency, fundraising, etc.

– Board moves forward on the Sports Product MS program. As much as it pains me to say it, this program probably makes sense for UO. Of course Jim Bean, our former provost and new $250K Sports Product program head, skipped the meeting. Having heard Bean talk many times, I can say that this was probably also a good idea. Two minutes of Bean would have killed its chances forever.

12/9/2014: Some highlights from the committee meeting agendas for Wednesday, and the Board meetings for Thursday-Friday:

– In the committees, starting 10AM Wednesday: A new Duck sports marketing deal, audited financial statements, Jim Bean’s sports product design sinecure, and Coltrane’s presentation on how he’s replacing Senate committees with his own “Administrative Advisory Groups”.

– In the full Board meeting, starting 8AM Thursday: Public comment on the Lillis motion to replace the UO Constitution and the UO Senate’s role in faculty governance with top-down control by the UO Board and its UO President, followed by a vote by the board. Update: The faculty has now been promised that this motion is off the agenda.

The committee meetings are all in room 403 of the Ford Center, and the full Board meeting is in the first floor ballroom. The list of UO Board Trustees is here. It will be interesting to see if Chuck Triplett uses the support staff tables to form a defensive wall between the university community and the board members, as last time.

The “Agenda” links below go to the docket material. However these dockets are not completely trustworthy. At the last meeting Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms did not post the most interesting parts of the dockets, e.g. Chuck Lillis’s power grab on presidential hiring authority. Even the board members didn’t get that until just before they were forced to vote. This secrecy led to confusion and embarrassment for the UO Board, as noted in this InsideHigherEd report by Ry Rivard.

This time I notice that the audited financial statements and the auditor’s report are not posted. The docket says they’ll be distributed at the meeting as hard copies, so no one has a chance to read them in advance and ask tough questions. I’m no CPA, but an auditor might say that this sort of lack of transparency “raises a potential matter of concern”.

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Board of Trustees, Senate sign deal guaranteeing shared governance

Full agreement posted on the Senate website, here.

Oh wait, that’s one of our AAU comparators, the University of Florida, 11 years ago. The latest here at the University of Oregon is that our brand new Board of Trustees is still planning to strip the UO Senate of its powers at its Dec 11th meeting. The UO Senate has in turn scheduled an emergency meeting for this Wed, 3PM, 115 Lawrence to respond to this threat.

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Fall Academic Leadership Retreat

Last year’s retreat was quite informative. The live-blog is here, highlights:

  • when Provost Coltrane and his VP for Finance Jamie Moffitt reveal that UO’s well is far from dry, so long as you’re talking bond sales or administrative pork rather than faculty raises, and
  • when VP for Development Mike Andreassen makes it quite clear that UO’s athletic boosters have no interest in helping out the academic side, and President Gottfredson has no interest in trying to implement a tax or other mechanism to make them do so.

This year the retreat will be Friday, 9/19:

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UO 2014 Tenure and Promotion list

9/3/2014 update: Apparently the administration tried to keep this year’s list secret too – even from faculty serving the on relevant tenure committees. Bizarre. Keep these “secret” documents coming, I’m happy to post them.

9/2/2014: Curious about who got tenure and promotions this year? Here’s the list. In the past the administration has tried to keep this secret – even from the Faculty Personnel Committee. I promised not to say where I got this year’s list, although it’s obviously a public record.

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10/29/2009: Curious about who got tenure or was promoted to full professor at UO last year? So are the members of the UO’s Faculty Personnel Committee. According to their official report,

That’s right, Provost Bean refuses to say who has been given tenure and promoted. He won’t even tell the faculty who advise him on the cases. I have never heard of this happening at a university before. Never. The report from the 2007-8 FPC (when Brady was Provost) says:

The FPC chair inspected all decision letters sent by the provost. This is a critical step that should always be practiced soon after they are sent.

The UO administration’s contempt for the faculty is just stunning. Lariviere needs to pay some attention to these issues.

UO to hire new Coordinator for Senate President

The ad is here, it does not say who is on the search committee. Chris Prosser was doing a great job at 0.9 FTE and a very modest salary, he left to pursue a PhD. As a commenter notes, top salary for the job listed is $38,000. In comparison the UO President has many assistants, the lowest paid apparently gets $72,000.

In the comments someone raises the possibility of increasing the salary for this job and adding “licensed Oregon attorney” to the required qualifications. I think this is a great idea. The Senate and Assembly need legal representation to deal with the increasingly bizarre attacks and power grabs coming from the OUS/administration’s attorney, Randy Geller.

One unprofessional example, from an email Geller sent to the UO Senate President and IAC Chair on 7/30, a few days before Mike Gottfredson took over from Bob Berdahl:

… Your allegations about the University’s rulemaking processes are offensive and false , as are the comments made publicly by members of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. I ask that you apologize in writing to President Berdahl, Rob Mullens, and me. I also ask that you censure the members of the IAC who have published offensive and defamatory comments.

Randolph Geller  

General Counsel
University of Oregon

I have published posts questioning Randy Geller’s competence. But his own emails probably make the point better than I can. (This post updated 8/10/2012.)

What are the terms of employment for UO faculty?

4/14/2012: This is not a pro or anti-union post, just a request for information if you have any.

For reasons I’d rather not explain in detail I recently thought I should ask interim Provost Lorraine Davis, who is in charge of UO faculty personnel issues, what the terms of employment for UO faculty are and what it would take for UO to fire a tenured professor. She wrote back:

My off-the-top references on this are dated.  I don’t think there is a faculty handbook any more.  The specific components would be related to faculty expectations and faculty discipline more generically. 

Sent from my iPad

 She doesn’t have a clue. So I wrote to VP for Academic Affairs Russ Tomlin, and got this back:

In general, the policies that affect faculty employment and appointments are located in both UO and OUS OARs, in the newly developing UO policy library, and in the Academic Affairs and other UO websites. 

Russ thinks my terms of employment are “newly developing” or maybe they are located “in other UO websites”? Follow those links. He doesn’t have a clue either.

Back when Richard Lariviere fired Mike Bellotti, and then discovered that Melinda Grier had never bothered to get a written contract for him, he famously said

“This institution did not follow acceptable business practices in the past. That will not be repeated by my administration.”

And then he fired her. Now her former assistant Randy Geller is in charge of UO’s legal affairs. Randy won’t answer my requests for a written answer either. And his boss, Interim President Bob Berdahl, is keeping his mouth shut too.

So I’m asking my readers for help. Do any of you know where to find the rules that currently govern UO faculty employment, or is our tenure really just up to the whims of people like these?

UO faculty governance committee call

4/10/2012 Update: The deadline is extended until 4/24. 

There’s a list of current nominations here. Many committees do not have enough names.

4/10/2012 Update: The deadline to complete this form is today.

4/5/2012: This will be an important year for shared governance. The call for faculty/OA/staff participation is out:

To: University Community
From: Committee on Committees
Re: 2012 Appointed and Elected Committee Service Preference Form

Dear University Community,

This is your friendly reminder to please sign up for committee service. To indicate your preferences for 2012-2013 committee service, please complete the “2012 Committee Service Preference Form” located at and on the Senate homepage at by Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at the latest.

In this particularly important year, please help us to address the most crucial issues that we face. We urge you to participate in shared governance by signing up to serve on a university committee. Your time, effort and dedication are greatly valued.

Please be sure to submit your online form by Tuesday, April 10, 2012.

Typically it is difficult to get busy faculty to sign up for these committees. I am thinking that the Lariviere firing, unionization, and the current administration’s efforts to redefine shared governance to diminish the faculty role may motivate more people to get involved this year. The form is a simple survey that takes minutes to complete. Some committees are appointed, some elected. If you want to run for a Senate seat that is an option too. Talk your friends into signing up too, committees are always more fun if you go out for martinis afterwards, or bring a thermos.

Berdahl and Geller claim President controls faculty authority:

Update: Geller’s quotes come from here: Check out the board policies and IMD pdf’s – for example athletics. There are all kinds of things UO and OUS pay no attention to in practice. Except when it’s convenient for them to use them against the faculty.

1/26/2012: This will get the union a bunch more cards. An email from interim President Berdahl today, apparently written with the help of Randy Geller, asserts he has the power to “define the scope of faculty authority” down to what Senate committees can do:

… as summarized below from information provided by the Office the General Counsel, the President is assigned the power to define the scope of faculty authority, including the charges of senate councils and committees.

•           The University of Oregon Constitution must be consistent with Oregon Law and State Board of Higher Education policies and Internal Management Directives.

•           ORS 351.010 provides that the Oregon University System is conducted under the control of the State Board of Higher Education. Under ORS 351.070(4)(b), the Board has the authority to adopt rules and bylaws for the government of each institution under its control.

•           As outlined in ORS 352.004, the president of each state institution of higher education within the Oregon University System is also the president of the faculty and the executive and governing officer of the institution. Subject to the supervision of the State Board of Higher Education, the president of the institution has authority to control and give general directions to the practical affairs of the institution.

•           Board Policy 3.105(F)(7) authorizes each institution to formulate a statement of internal governance expressed as a constitution or in another appropriate format. “All statements of internal governance will be consistent with statutes governing the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the Oregon University System, and any applicable Board rules, policies, or IMD.”

•           Board Policy 3.105(F)(6) states that “the institution president is authorized to convene and preside over the faculty and to veto any decisions of the faculty or its representative bodies. The institution president will define the scope of faculty authority – including its councils, committees, and officers, subject to review by the Chancellor – except as provided in Board rule, policy, or IMD.” …


Bob Berdahl

The faculty union organizers have argued that one reason to support a union is that it would be able to write faculty governance into the contract, establish a clear legal basis for it, and provide experienced lawyers to help the faculty regain the control it once had over university matters.

At the moment, we are utterly at the mercy of Randy Geller’s peculiar interpretations of the law, and the benevolence of our president. No recourse. Geller works for Pernsteiner, and Pernsteiner picks our next president.

The acid test

for leadership at UO for the next few years will have two parts:

a) Did you fight back when OUS fired Lariviere?

b) Can you get over it already, and put in the effort to get UO back on track?

Lots of unpaid committee work coming up for the faculty on this list, starting with the presidential search committee.

Time to put up or shut up

11/4/2011: Last spring the faculty pushed for an honest and thorough review of the performance of our VP for Academic Affairs. Your voice got heard, and the administration is now searching for a replacement:


I am pleased to announce the internal posting to recruit the Senior Vice Provost for the Office of Academic Affairs.  I recently communicated to the campus of Russ Tomlin’s decision to step aside as Senior Vice Provost effective June 30, 2012.

The Senior Vice Provost is a key member of the University’s leadership team, and has a portfolio containing a diverse set of reporting units including the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Academic Extension, Labor Education and Resource Center and the Morse Center for Law and Politics.  Additionally, the Office of Academic Affairs provides service and academic oversight across several central academic areas including faculty personnel issues and curriculum coordination, assessment, and program review.

This opportunity is open to Full Professors who are interested in working at the central administrative level on academic affairs related issues.  Nominations (including self-nominations), inquiries and applications (including a letter of interest, current curriculum vitae, and contact information for three professional references) should be directed electronically no later than December 1, 2011 to Beverlee Stilwell, [email protected].

A more in-depth description of the position and the application requirements can be accessed on the UO Jobs page at: 

I strongly encourage nominations (including self-nominations) and applications for this key leadership position.

Lorraine G. Davis
Acting Senior Vice President and Provost

Lorraine doesn’t mention salary, but presumably the $270,000 that our new CFO Jamie Moffitt bargained for is now the normal starting salary for UO administrators with no experience in the job. Minimum requirements?

Must be a tenured full professor with at least 5 years experience at the University of Oregon. 

Must have held a leadership position (dean, department head, center or institute director, or other similar administrative position) for at least three years.

There are lots of qualified, inspiring faculty who would meet the bill. Are any of them willing to take this job on? Will the administration be willing to appoint someone who will shake things up?

They are not off to a promising start. The search committee was, of course, appointed without consulting faculty leadership. It consists of Chair Jon Erlandson, Brad Foley, Warren Ginsberg, Renee Irvin, Wendy Larson, and Mia Tuan. The responsibilities listed in the ad mostly include implementing the tired agenda left over from Russ Tomlin, which has a heavy emphasis on diversity:

In the AY2012 through the AY2015 period, the emphasis will be on setting strategic priorities for the Office of Academic Affairs; continuing progress on the faculty policy review and codification project; furthering the re-organization and repurposing efforts of Academic Extension; working collaboratively on curriculum process improvements; addressing the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty; and preparing all faculty to work effectively with diverse faculty, staff and students. 

What, nothing on sustainability? Nothing on Gabon? Hey, what about Bean’s 5 big dumb ideas? The mediocre warmed over pet projects our administrators have been pushing are not going to keep us in the AAU. You can’t just tap the reset button, President Lariviere. You need to hold it down firmly until the red indicator light begins to blink rapidly.