Provost to step down, Faculty Senate to search for replacement

That would be a replacement for Provost Jim Bean of Northeastern. Bean was formerly UO B-school dean, then interim provost under Lariviere. He left UO after Rob Kyr and the UO Senate made it clear we would not accept him as UO President. The students abandoned him after a timely public records leak from Dave Hubin showed that their tuition money was paying for his BMW Z series. So Hubin’s mentor Bob Berdahl got the job, which didn’t work out well for anyone. Bean collected a sinecure from UO for a few years before Northeastern finally hired him.

The NE student newspaper has the usual lovely boilerplate from his President about how sorry he is to see him go, then and adds that he had trouble with the unions:

The provost’s tenure has also been marked by contentious relations with groups of graduate student employees and full-time non-tenure track faculty attempting to unionize.

In an email statement to The News, the Graduate Employees of Northeastern University Organizing Committee said that although they never met with Bean personally, they faced significant opposition from the provost’s office, which oversees graduate education.

“In our interactions with the senior administration, we have been met with nothing but condescension and dismissal of the very real concerns grad students face, such as late payment, lack of dependent healthcare, childcare, and dental coverage,” the statement said.  “While we hope that Provost Bean’s replacement will be more amenable to negotiation, we will nevertheless continue our fight for better working conditions at Northeastern.”

During the 2018 fiscal year, the provost earned $791,648, according to the university’s most recent tax exemption form, found on ProPublica.

“On a personal note, I will miss having Jim as a trusted friend and partner — one who never lost sight of what was best for Northeastern, and led us to our goals with wisdom and optimism,” Aoun said in the email. “He is also a world-class expert when it comes to Oregon pinot noir!”

A faculty senate committee will search for Bean’s successor this fall.

Imagine that – a Senate committee running a search for their provost, instead of a backroom deal. Wouldn’t that be a sight,


Provost Search Committee named

Recent Provosts:

John Moseley
Linda Brady
Jim Bean (Interim)
Lorraine Davis (Interim)
Scott Coltrane
Frances Bronet (Interim)
Scott Coltrane (Interim)

Search Committee announcement:

Provost and Senior Vice President Search

The University of Oregon is embarking on a crucial leadership recruitment effort: the selection of a new Provost and Senior Vice President. As the chief academic officer of the institution, the new provost will lead the academic units, work with deans and department heads to shape our academic programs, and lead our efforts to retain and attract world-class faculty.

On August 19, 2016, President Schill named the following members of the Provost Search Committee:

  • Geraldine Richmond, search committee chair – Presidential Chair in Science and professor of chemistry
  • Yvette Alex–Assensoh – vice president for equity and inclusion
  • Bettina Cornwell – professor of marketing
  • Erica Daley – associate dean of finance and operations, School of Law
  • Andrew Dunn – undergraduate, ASUO external director of staff
  • Karen Guillemin – professor of biology
  • Dean Livelybrooks – senior instructor of physics
  • W. Andrew Marcus – dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Gabriela Martinez – associate professor of journalism and communications
  • Laura Lee McIntyre – professor of school psychology
  • Jamie Moffitt – vice president for finance and administration
  • Aaron Montoya – web communications specialist, College of Education
  • Paul Peppis – professor of English
  • Chris Sinclair – associate professor of mathematics
  • Eleanor Wakefield – graduate teaching fellow, English
  • Frances White – professor of anthropology
  • Keli Yerian – senior lecturer of linguistics

UO paying tenured full professor $327K to teach zero classes

Note: This deal was done before President Schill arrived. The blame should go to Coltrane, or whichever of UO’s many other recent presidents or interims put this in de Kluyver’s contract and gave him raises while UO’s business school slowly sank and then disappeared from the US News rankings.

UO Management Professor Cornelis “Kees” de Kluyver:

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Apparently his performance review as business school dean did not go well:

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A few months later Around the O had the story of his contract non-renewal, here. While Kluyver collects $327K to teach nothing, UO is paying an interim a similar amount to do the dean’s job, while we search for a permanent replacement.

Kluyver wasn’t at UO long enough to earn a sabbatical, which in any case would only have paid 60% of this.  In fall he plans to go on the “Tenure Reduction Plan”, meaning three more years at 50% pay, in exchange for what is typically a 50% teaching load. For a research inactive LCB prof 50% would be 2-3 courses a year.

I wonder what, if anything, he’ll teach then? His predecessor Jim Bean was supposed to teach after he was forced out as Interim Provost, but instead Johnson Hall gave him a series of administrative sinecures, until he eventually found gainful employment back east.

Needless to say regular UO faculty do not get these sorts of deals – the administrators only give them to other administrators.

OSU-Cascades running into trouble with Bend neighbors

Apparently not everyone wants to live near a college campus. Steve Duin has the report in the Oregonian here:

BEND – In Oregon college circles, we all know which valley school trademarked the take-no-prisoners, make-no-apologies, our-way-or-the-highway approach to civic engagement.

But, shazam! Oregon State University is catching on, based on its aggressive approach to the siting of a west-side Bend campus.

UO lost millions on its various Bend efforts, propped up by Jim Bean and John Moseley, until Lariviere finally pulled the plug in 2010.

Does UO have a strategic plan for Portland yet?

5/24/2015 update: I don’t have anything new on this. Does anyone?

7/8/2013: The Lane County DA’s office has finally prodded UO into releasing the 269 page Canoe Group report on Portland. UO sent me a very low quality pdf, I’ve asked for something better and here it is, thanks! Full pdf here.

UO decided to completely redact the 2012 PWG report. If anyone has a copy of that pass it on and I’ll post it.

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Former Interim Provost James C. Bean leaves for Northeastern job

Finally. This will save UO a lot of money:

From: James Bean
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2015 1:00 PM
To: LCB Faculty; LCB Staff
Subject: New Adventures


I have accepted an offer to become provost of Northeastern University in Boston beginning July 1, 2015. Northeastern presents a great opportunity to work with an excellent private institution that is redefining higher education as a collaboration with Boston, with industry and with the world. It has been on a steep rise over the past decade, improving in US News rankings within national universities from the 90s to #42 in the recent list. As some of you know, my son, a UO music composition graduate, begins a doctoral program in the Boston area this fall so we will have family there.

The LCB community has been a great home base these past 11 years. We are providing a fantastic education and experience to our students at all levels. Our success in tenuring three faculty this year shows that our research programs are developing as well. I thank all of you for your ongoing efforts on behalf of the College. In particular, I thank Dean Kees de Kluyver for providing me opportunities to contribute at UO after I stepped down as provost. Participating in the development of Sports Product Management, Sports Product Design, and the School of Applied Science has been very satisfying. I believe all of these will become major programs within UO in due time.

I wish the best for the College and the UO and look forward to witnessing future successes.

Go Ducks, Go Huskies (NEU not UW)!

Regards, Jim

For those Northeastern faculty and admins googling in, you can learn more about your new Provost by checking the tags below. Good luck.

University administrators submit resignation letters as part of transition

Kellie Woodhouse of InsideHigherEd has the story, here:

At most universities, vice presidents and other executives are at-will employees and serve at the behest of the school’s leader.

“You don’t get to keep the job even though you may not be compatible with the desires of the new president,” Sharp said. “No one expects the new president to choose them just because they’ve been working there before. These are very high-level positions. These are not positions that are lifetime jobs.”

The letter, he says, formalizes an already existing practice of new presidents culling their leadership team. Sharp said about 15 vice presidents and advisers have been asked to submit letters.
“It’s easier on the president. It causes a lot less conflict,” he explained. “This makes sure that everyone understands the rules of the game.”

This is at Texas A&M. At UO, presidential staff typically sign one-year contracts, and VP’s and such get 3-year contracts. The timing of the contract renewals is particularly awkward for the transition. New President Michael Schill starts on July 1. But the JH administration contracts expire June 30th, and are typically renewed a few weeks before that. So Schill may well get stuck with JH staff and VPs that he can only fire if he buys out their contract.

The worst example of this I know of was former UO Provost Jim Bean. Interim President Bob Berdahl knew Bean wasn’t up to the job, but gave him a three year renewal just before he left office – apparently as a parting stick-in-the-eye to the faculty. The Senate exploded, and in the face of demands for a performance review and a threatened no-confidence vote new President Mike Gottfredson had to replace him with Scott Coltrane, and then still pay Bean for another two years.

UO announces new $10K-$15K research grant program


From: VPFA Jamie Moffitt
To: UO Researchers
RE: New Research Support Funds

In an effort to boost UO research activity and maintain our AAU status, I would like to announce an innovative new research grant program designed to minimize the time wasted on busywork like reading the literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, and writing papers.

Funds can be spent on pretty much anything as long as it sounds research related, such as “visiting old friends still active in the field.” No annual reports on research progress are required, and your grant will be automatically renewed annually.

Eligibility is restricted to Johnson Hall VPs, and funds will come from UO’s overflowing well of general fund money. Typical grants are $10K per year, but you will get $15K if you complain that you are more important than the other awardees, and should get more money. I attach a typical award letter.

Yours, VPFA Jamie Moffitt.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 10.35.30 AM

That’s the deal for Johnson Hall administrators. Unfortunately the well is a bit drier for the UO faculty, who can submit competitive applications for $1000 – $2500 grants. This email went out today:

Please distribute this announcement to your faculty.

The Vice President for Research & Innovation invites faculty from all academic disciplines to apply for two new award programs:  Faculty Seed Grants and Faculty Research Travel Grants.

The purpose of the Faculty Seed Grant program is to support new programs of research, scholarship and creativity likely to result in published research, intellectual productivity, creative endeavors, and external grant proposals to foundations or agencies.  Faculty Seed Grants are available to scholars from all disciplines.  They are awarded during each academic term of the year beginning in the spring of 2015.  Faculty Seed Grants provided a maximum award of $2,500.  The deadline for receipt of 2015 spring term Faculty Seed Grant applications is 5:00 PM on March 20, 2015.  Deadlines for receipt of applications for upcoming academic terms are posted in the guidelines. 

The Faculty Research Travel Grant program aims to improve the competitiveness of research proposals from UO faculty by facilitating interactions with prospective federal or foundation sponsors.  The program grants travel funds of up to $1,000 for faculty to meet with program officers at federal funding agencies and private foundations.  The program is available to faculty members at all career stages and from all disciplines.  There are no deadlines for applications for Faculty Research Travel Grants; applications will be accepted at any time. 

Guidelines and the application forms for Faculty Seed Grants and Faculty Research Travel Grants are available online on the Research Development Services website.   

Questions about either of these programs should be directed to Research Development Services, [email protected].

Live-blog from Senate: Let’s call this the “Wizard of Oz” meeting

12/4/2014 update: Paid UO PR flack Jennifer Winters has now posted the admin spin for Wednesday’s Senate meeting on “Around the 0”, if you care enough to google it.

Short version: Coltrane got raked over the coals again for his administration’s secretive “Academic Continuity Plan”. He added to the fire by threatening, not very subtlely, to discipline faculty who did not submit grades by Dec 19. The Senate began the process of restoring trust and confidence in UO’s academic integrity by taking responsibility for this away from VP’s Blandy and Altmann.

The Senate approved new courses, and agreed to set up former provost Jim Bean with a $250K sinecure running a new “Sports Product Design” MS degree program, which now goes to the HECC for consideration. We also approved a permanent Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, and worked through and approved the last of the revisions to the Student Conduct code that VP Robin Holmes had neglected for years. All in all a very productive meeting.

12/3/2014 update: Official Senate Agenda for the 3PM Wed meeting is here. Coltrane will speak and get asked questions about the strike, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Senate also took further action on the strike. It will be an interesting and important meeting. I’ll try and live-blog a little:

Senate Meeting Agenda – December 3, 2014: Watch Live | Senate Agenda 

115 Lawrence, 3:00-5:00 p.m. Continue reading

Former UO Provost Linda Brady “retires” after failing to send staff to prison

I spent a lot of time talking to Linda Brady about Charles Martinez’s double dipping, UO’s first 5-year diversity plan, and John Moseley’s UO-Bend scheme. Before I met her I assumed top administrators needed to be reasonably smart, competent people. But she was clueless and easily manipulated, which was presumably why Frohnmayer hired her. That was something of a revelation to me. When she left, Frohnmayer appointed Jim Bean to as interim provost, presumably for the same reasons. That said this is a bit surprising – not least because she let Martinez get away with much worse:

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4/25/2011: Former UO Provost Linda Brady is the subject of a feature article in the Chronicle on UNC-Greensboro (4/25/2011). She left UO to become Chancellor (president) there:

Ms. Brady says that communication, particularly with the faculty, is something she needs to improve. She’s heard that professors think she is distant and unsympathetic. When a news story about the university’s $31-million renovation of the dining hall came out in the local paper, she worried that students and professors wouldn’t understand that the project was covered through auxiliary money, separate from state funds.

Brady was hired by Frohnmayer to run things after John Moseley took his Bend golden parachute. She spent a remarkably ineffective two years at UO – except for helping Frances Dyke spend millions remodeling Johnson Hall. Frohnmayer didn’t trust her, so Melinda Grier ended up running UO. Brady left as soon as she could, to everyone’s relief – I’m guessing not least hers.

Frohnmayer then appointed Business School Dean Jim Bean as interim Provost on a two year contract. When Lariviere arrived he appointed Bean as UO’s permanent provost, without going through the normal search process.

Sac State stalls release of Jim Bean’s second consulting contracts

11/6/2014 update: What a surprise. Jim Bean’s got *two* consulting gigs to top off his UO salary. And the Sacramento State University Counsel, Jill Peterson, is trying to use $2.20 in fees to delay the release of documents on Bean’s contract there. Must be some good stuff in those docs:

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10/26/2014: Jim Bean takes 2 days a week off from teaching for consulting work

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Doug Blandy switches sides on union

9/25/2014 update:The faculty union had lunch today with the new faculty hires. They were in the middle of their orientation, which ends tonight with a BBQ in the Alumni Center. I remember Frohnmayer used to invite the new faculty to McMorran house – not sure when that tradition ended. Anyway, from what I could tell most of the new faculty signed cards, and they reported that the administrators who had talked to them – Barbara Altman, Ken Doxsee, and Doug Blandy – were uniformly positive about the union’s influence on UO. Blandy even sat there at the table as the union reps collected cards from the new hires. Quite the switch from last year:

10/17/2013: Plenty of water in Gottfredson’s well – for Jim Bean

At the faculty union bargaining session on 9/6/2013, the UO administration’s chief negotiator and famed tobacco company lawyer Sharon Rudnick presented President Gottfredson’s final offer on faculty salaries, saying

“The well is dry. Hear me please. The well is dry. This is an incredibly rich offer.”

UO’s VPAA Doug Blandy sat there, nodding his head. Two weeks later the union bargaining team accepted it.

Why was the well so dry? In part because, just a week before, Blandy had signed off on this contract with former interim Provost Jim Bean, guaranteeing Bean about $1M in salary and benefits over the next three years. Dave Hubin’s public records office sat on this request for a month, until after the faculty had ratified the CBA. How’s that for good faith bargaining?

That’s on top of Bean’s odd 2010 sabbatical, and what we paid him after the Senate forced him out in February.

Bean’s new job is Associate Dean for “Experiential Learning” at the LCB. A newly created position. Sounds like a great idea – undergrad internships and so on. You might think there’d have been a job posting and an open, Affirmative Action compliant search for an important, well paid job like this – especially given UO’s troubled history with these administrative golden parachute appointments. I’ve got a public records request in. We’ll see how much Dave Hubin tries to charge for the documents.

Shelton reports that Espy brought in a 13% increase in UO research grants

9/21/2014 update: That may even have been more than the latest increase in the athletics budget. The report from UO’s astonishingly well paid new VP for research Brad Shelton is here. Oregon State has a real-time dashboard showing their data, here. If anyone knows where the full UO report is please put the link in the comments, thanks.

5/20/2013 updated Updated: Beavers crush Ducks in Civil War for research money, with athletic spending number chart, and at the bottom, some salary and consulting payment info from Espy’s office.

Diane Dietz has the story and data on UO here. I got the OSU data from their very complete Research Office data page, here. Both are “Federal Flow Through” totals, which are the easiest to find directly comparable data. They include spending on outreach and instruction, but it’s mostly research money and the trends look similar no matter how you cut it. That’s the table on the left. The table on the right shows athletic department spending, from USAToday. (Official UO and OSU numbers for 2012.)

Genetics proposal aims to build research on the mystery of life

9/1/2014: Diane Dietz has the report in the RG:

The university is floating a proposal to hire a “cluster” of three new professors to rebuild the classical genetics and genomics program at the University of Oregon and to launch a Center for Genome Function. … “You could think of it as re-establishing our eminence in this field,” said Eric Selker, whose work in epigenetics mirrors fundamental genetics research.

Researchers are likely to find out beginning this fall whether donors are ready to help with their cluster proposals.

The UO’s success in genetics in the 1960s and ’70s was built on just such a “cluster hire” as the university now contemplates, [Frank] Stahl said.

8/24/2014: Systems biology cluster hire proposal

Diane Dietz has the report on a real cluster of excellence proposal: Continue reading