Dana Altman and UO hire MillerNash for basketball rape allegation case

Makes sense, it would be a conflict of interest for UO’s Interim GC Doug Park to let Randy Geller get too close to this one. Seems like a lot of lost billable hours though, I wonder how Geller is making it up for Sharon Rudnick and the other HLGR shareholders? The victim’s complaint, with accusations that UO attorneys illegally obtained her confidential counseling records, is here.

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UO’s lawyers illegally obtained confidential student records?

Josephine Woolington has the report in the RG, here:

… In the UO case, filed Jan. 8, the unnamed student says she was raped by three UO basketball players. She is suing the university and head basketball coach Dana Altman, alleging they violated her federal civil rights because one of the students who raped her had been recruited by the UO, even though he previously had been accused of rape elsewhere. The lawsuit also says that UO administrators and attorneys in December accessed information about the female student’s therapy sessions — in violation of state and federal privacy laws — in order to prepare against any lawsuit. The woman had previously threatened to sue the university.

The UO on Friday said that it did not unlawfully access the student’s counseling records. A UO spokeswoman also said the university will file a response soon in U.S. District Court in Eugene. …

These seem like serious and credible allegations. Presumably the University will immediately demand the return of these documents from its administrators and attorneys, and hire an outside investigator to discover what happened. Maybe they can use the same firm that is examining the Presidential Archives situation?

Coltrane’s actions don’t match his words. They’re better.

One of the many inexcusable aspects of the UO administration’s handling of the March 8th basketball rape allegations was the the refusal to tell UO students what had happened. From what I can tell Mike Gottfredson, Robin Holmes and Dana Altman planned to keep it a secret forever.

Our students found out about it the same way everyone else did – from the sports reporters. Because of UO Professors Jennifer Freyd and Carol Stabile and their allies, that has now changed:

Date: January 21, 2015 at 5:41:57 PM PST
From: “UO Police Department” <[email protected]> Reply-To: [email protected]
Subject: Campus Crime Alert 2015-01-21

What is this notice? Campus Crime Alerts are released by the University of Oregon Police Department when certain crimes are reported on or near campus property, and in compliance with federal law. These timely warnings provide information about campus safety situations, and allow campus community members to take precautions for personal safety. All crimes should be reported as soon as possible to local law enforcement.

Please note this message may contain information that some may find upsetting.

The University of Oregon Police Department has received information that a woman not affiliated with the UO may have been drugged and later sexually assaulted late Saturday, January 17, while at a private social gathering in Watson Hall, a UO residence hall located inside Hamilton Hall on the UO campus. Attempting to cause another person to ingest something without knowledge or consent is aggravated assault, a felony crime.

This incident is unresolved and an investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this or similar incidents should call UOPD Detective Sergeant Kathy Flynn at 541-346-9694. Updates regarding this incident, when and if available, will be posted on the UOPD website at police.uoregon.edu. …

When I asked Scott Coltrane at last week’s Senate meeting what he would do differently if there was a repeat of the basketball incident on his watch, he said probably not much – he thought Gottfredson handled it well. Fortunately, in this case, Coltrane’s actions don’t match his words. They’re better.

Woman involved in UO basketball sex case sues university, Dana Altman

Update: The complaint is here:

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Update: Andrew Greif in the Oregonian. Brandon Austin’s mother calls Dana Altman a liar:

… The players were barred from campus for at least four years, and up to 10, in June, by the university. But before that discipline was handed down, the suit alleges, the university struck a deal before its scheduled hearing. The players waived their right to a hearing in exchange for an “administrative conference,” the suit says, an agreement that gave the university full control over the discipline. In exchange, the suit says the players were not expelled and that their transcripts would omit any reference to “sexual misconduct” — both of which would make transferring to another school more difficult.

“UO delayed taking any action on the sexual assaults for over two months while it prioritized winning basketball games over the health, safety and welfare of its students, including plaintiff,” it says.

… Within days of the police report going public on May 5, Oregon announced it had actually dismissed the players back on May 1. Throughout, Altman and athletic director Rob Mullens said that though they knew Austin had been suspended and under investigation by Providence College before transferring to Oregon in January, they never knew the reason.

“He did not give specifics so my line of questioning probably didn’t go deep enough there in retrospect,” Altman said May 9. “But I did not have a specific reason.”

The suit disputes that.

“Upon information and belief, Altman and other UO personnel were fully aware of the basis for Austin’s season-long suspension,” it says. “In fact, Austin’s mother, when asked about what the UO coaches knew, said, ‘We told them everything. They knew everything.'”

Just the sort of info UO needs to fire Dana Altman for cause, and avoid having to pay him $12M or so in severance.

1/8/2015: That’s the headline of the story by Josephine Woolington in the Register Guard, online now:

The student who says she was raped by three University of Oregon basketball players is suing the university and UO head basketball coach Dana Altman for allegedly violating her federal civil rights for recruiting one of the involved players to attend the university after he had previously been accused of rape elsewhere.

In the lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court in Eugene, the 18-year-old woman, referred to as “Jane Doe,” argues that the UO and Altman prioritized winning basketball games over her claim that she had been raped repeatedly by the now former players, Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin.

So it looks like we may finally get a serious public review of how UO handled this case. The UO Matters timeline is here. Video of Dana Altman’s news conference from May:

And you can watch former UO President Mike Gottfredson, VP for Student Life Robin Holmes, and AD Rob Mullens, doing their best pump and fake here:

Today’s message from Interim President Scott Coltrane to the Campus Community:

Dear Campus Community,

Today, the University of Oregon was notified about a lawsuit filed by a current student related to a reported incident of sexual misconduct. While unfortunate, this filing is not unanticipated.

The university would prefer not to be in litigation with any student. We have been as respectful and supportive as possible of the student, including immediately implementing support services and appropriately honoring her choice of process, once hearing of her experience.

The university disagrees with the allegations against it and believes that it acted in accordance with the law, including Title IX. This litigation in no way undermines the university’s on-going commitment to support the student inside and outside of the classroom.

It has long been UO’s priority to provide support and services to any student in need and make our campus a safe place for all members of our community. We have regularly reassessed our efforts, implemented changes and added resources to address sexual assault. Our current efforts are guided by recommendations from the University Senate, the President’s Review Panel and a university-wide analysis of prevention efforts, which was coordinated by Student Life. We welcome feedback from the campus on our progress.

To be clear, UO’s review of transfer applications for all students includes an evaluation of academic credentials and potential campus fit. Enrollment decisions are made based on the information made available to us by applicants and our colleagues nationally.

The university has posted a timeline of events, which has been publicly available since mid-May. It outlines the aspects of the university’s response we can share while still protecting the privacy and rights of those involved.

As a community, each of us must work hard to provide support and services to any student in need and make our campus a safe place. Thank you for being part of our community.


Scott Coltrane

Interim President

Actually, Athletic Director Rob Mullens and his minions have refused to meet with the Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, which Gottfredson replaced with his own “President’s Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics the day after he got the UOPD’s report on the rape allegations.

One of the unresolved questions this lawsuit may bring to light is the role of Lorraine Davis and the “Special Athletics Admissions Advisory Group” or whatever euphemism she is currently using.

One of the many posts on the redactions of public records showing how UO responded to the allegations by Dave Hubin’s public records office is here. Perhaps the discovery process will show whether Hubin’s redactions were in fact legal under ORS 192:

So, does the alleged victim have a case on her argument that Altman didn’t do enough to prevent his “fine young men” from engaging in this sort of behavior? In the news conference Altman admits that these three recruits didn’t get any training on sexual abuse prevention. The FHS 199 course that included a bit on this was canceled by the Senate Committee on Courses once they discovered it was a sham, the athletic department still hasn’t bothered to fix and resubmit it, and in any case transfers don’t seem to need to take it. Altman says in the news conference that he doesn’t know what other training his players got.

Apparently Assistant AD Tom Hart’s priceless sessions on avoiding Russian prostitutes from Egyptian motorcycle gangs were just for the football team:

Jennifer Winters and Rita Radostitz ghost wrote VP Robin Holmes’ Op-Ed on the basketball rape allegations and how UO handled them

From what I can tell this ghost written Op-Ed is the last official statement from the UO administration on how Johnson Hall handled the basketball rape allegations. There is no sign that there will ever been any kind of investigation, much less one that will be publicly released. Gottfredson’s self-appointed “Presidential Review Panel” pointedly refused to conduct any such investigation. The Senate Task Force decided to focus its efforts on improving UO’s prevention and response efforts.

News of the March 8-9 rape allegations became public on May 5th. On July 15th, VP for Student Life Robin Holmes published an Op-Ed in the Register Guard, defending the UO administration’s handling of the allegations, which had been widely condemned as a cover-up:

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(The full Op-Ed is here.)

How much of this did VP Holmes actually write? It seems like not much. According to the internal memos below, the first draft was written by UO strategic communicator Jennifer Winters, who didn’t even cc Holmes on it:

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Interestingly the “project manager” for this was VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson, not VP for student affairs Robin Holmes. The final draft was apparently submitted to the RG by VP Holmes’s chief strategic communicator Rita Radostitz – who did at least cc Holmes on her efforts:

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Maybe Holmes had some involvement in the writing during intervening few days, or maybe not. None of this is that surprising. UO has a well paid army of PR flacks devoted to puffing up the careers of our central administrators. (And Winters got a 25% raise in July.)

The UO Matters timeline of the rape allegations and the administration’s response is here, with links to some relevant news reports and documents, and a more exhaustive list of all relevant posts is here. If and when we ever learn anything new, I’ll add it. So if you know something that is not yet in the public record but should be, such as these emails above, please send them along.

Gottfredson / Berdahl rape review panel releases nicely formatted report

12/9/2014 update:

In case you’re confused, there are two reports out now. The first is from the UO Senate Task Force, led by Carol Stabile and Randy Sullivan, and including Jennifer Freyd, Cheyney Ryan, and the US Attorney for Oregon Amanda Marshall. Their recommendations were presented to the Senate in October, here. The Senate is doing its best to implement them.

Today the UO administration posted the report of the  “Presidential Review Panel” that former UO President Mike Gottfredson, his athletic director Rob Mullens, and his VP for Student Life Robin Holmes personally selected to review their handling of the March basketball rape allegations, and give advice on reforms. They refused to do the former, but their report on the later is  now posted here.

I’ll be honest, I bailed at the point where Berdahl and the other panelists couldn’t even bring themselves to say Jennifer Freyd’s name, when talking about their euphemistic “campus climate” surveys. OK, I’m being unfair to the people who put in hard work on this panel, including Michigan’s Ted Spencer, who probably didn’t even get to collect his $10K honorarium, after the UM ethics office found out he’d tried to hide it.

Seriously though, it looks like there’s some good stuff in here about UO’s athletic and fraternity problems, and some sanitized but troubling history on the UO administration’s previous desultory efforts to address sexual assaults. I’ll give a redacted University of Nike coffee cup to anyone who can make it all the way through and provide a succinct annotated analysis, with a comparison to the Senate report’s recommendations.

Josephine Woolington is giving it a first crack in the RG, here:

Some professors questioned whether three current UO administrators could select members who would truly be independent of the university. Some also criticized the UO for paying each member $10,000, plus covering travel and lodging costs. UO spokeswoman Jennifer Winters said Wilcox and Shuman did not accept the money. The UO could not immediately say how much the panel has cost the university.

And she’s got a classic weasel word quote from the Gottfredson panel’s chair:

“I think what we found is that there’s a lot of pieces of good work being done throughout the university on both prevention and response, but (employees) are not always talking to each other, and there’s not a coordinated effort that makes the best use of resources,” said the group’s chairwoman, Mary Deits, a former Oregon Court of Appeals judge.

9/16/2014: KATU interview with the Honorable David Schuman confirms that the Gottfredson/Berdahl rape review panel won’t look into how Gottfredson handled the rape allegations.

Continue reading

University Board to hold emergency meeting tomorrow over gang rape allegations

That would the Board of the University of Virginia. The NYT has the story, here:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The University of Virginia heads into an extraordinary meeting of its governing board on Tuesday struggling to find its footing, after a reported frat house gang rape rocked the university’s vaunted reputation and genteel self-image and unleashed complaints that it had mishandled and concealed sexual assaults for years.

The administration has drawn fire for its unsteady response to the issue and the report, published last week by Rolling Stone, most recently for a video of a dean acknowledging weeks before the article that even students who had admitted to sexual assault had invariably escaped expulsion — and that, in fact, no one had been expelled for sexual assault in at least seven years. …

Meanwhile here at the University of Oregon, the report from the $150K “Review Panel” that former President Gottfredson’ and his VPSL Robin Holmes and AD Rob Mullens hand-picked after the press, faculty and students discovered his cover-up of the basketball rape allegations is due soon. But the members of that panel have specifically said they will *not* investigate the university’s response to those allegations. And UO’s Public Records office is still refusing to release public records showing how the administration responded, and what legal advice it received to justify the many redactions it made to the documents it did release.

University in Oregon works cooperatively with police to end sexual violence

11/12/2014 update: No, of course I’m not talking about UO. The UO administration wouldn’t even share the Eugene Police investigation of the basketball rape allegations with it’s own UO Police. I’m talking about Southern Oregon University in Ashland. New York Magazine has the very powerful story by Katie Van Syckle, here:

This April, three days after she spoke with Luke, she walked into the Women’s Resource Center at SOU. It was there that her story began to diverge from the negative experiences of student rape victims across the country.

The resource center immediately referred Niki to Angela Fleischer, who had helped develop a program with the Ashland Police Department called You Have Options. The brainchild of an Ashland Police Detective named Carrie Hull, the program aims to rewrite the script for how law enforcement handles non-stranger sexual assault. Since You Have Options launched officially in 2013, the number of reports in Ashland has increased by 106 percent. A similar program Fleischer created at SOU, called Campus Choice, has also seen the number of sexual assault reports double, and survivors are twice as likely to go to the police.

5/13/2014: UOPD didn’t see the EPD rape investigation report until they read it on the RG website

That’s what I learned this afternoon from UOPD spokesperson Kelly McGiver. He didn’t seem happy. I was so amazed I asked him to repeat it, twice. He did:

“Chief McDermed, myself, and the chief UOPD investigator never saw a copy of the EPD investigation until the story broke in the Register Guard, and we downloaded it from the RG website.”

That would have been on May 6th, from this Josephine Woolington story. The official EPD timeline says:

On April 14, the detective called the UO and told them of the DA’s determination on the case and advised them that they could get report from EPD Records or DA.

I think President Gottfredson intended to hide these allegations from the campus forever. But even from his own police? How does he expect them to do their job? How does hiding this from the UO police help “protect our students”?

Jennifer Freyd’s Op-Ed on survey bias

I’m amazed at her patience, given the intemperance of the UO administration’s response to her efforts to get the sexual violence survey done. She’s quoting Karl Popper, and explaining how science works:

Third — and this is by far the more important consideration — true scientists have an incentive to uncover the truth rather than produce results consistent with what the public wants to hear. That is of great significance when what the public, politicians or even university administrators want to hear is at odds with the underlying reality.

Scientific reputations depend upon the replicability of our research and scholarship, and on evaluations of its quality. It is in a scientist’s self-interest to do careful research that others can replicate and to conduct high-quality research that others will cite and evaluate positively.

Thanks to Freyd’s fast and efficient work UO now has actual data to work with.

I’ll say what Freyd won’t: If we’d left this up to the UO administration, Robin Holmes would still be fretting over how to write a $250,000 RFP that would result in a survey with the main function of making Johnson Hall look good. Just as they have done by manipulating the Clery Act reporting requirements to minimize the extent of UO’s sexual violence problem, and to deceive our students and their parents about the role of athletics and greek life.

Senate meets today to deal with Sex Violence report, student conduct

Agenda below, I’ll try to live-blog a little. And don’t miss the Faculty Union’s General Membership Meeting, 5-7PM tonight at the Alumni Center.

The hand picked “President’s Review Panel” that Coltrane inherited from Gottfredson has scheduled its final meeting for a luxury hotel in Portland, to get away from the pesky students and faculty. Rumor has it that Jane Gordon (Law) is hoping to have her report written for their rubber-stamp sometime in January. Costs are estimated at about $150K so far, including the $10K “honoraria” Gottfredson offered the panelists that he, Rob Mullens, and Robin Holmes hand-picked to not investigate how they had handled the basketball rape allegations. The panel has met 4 or 5 times, and three of the original eight panelists have resigned, so far.

Meanwhile the Senate’s all-volunteer Task Force on Sexual Violence worked through the summer and completed its “20 Students Per Week” report (here). It will be discussed in the Senate today, and legislation on the recommendations will come soon. Interim President Coltrane will then have to decide what to do about the recommendations – act, or wait for Gottfredson’s intentionally crippled “Review Panel” to say something.

The Senate will also vote on a long list of changes to the student conduct code put forward by John Bonine (Law) and Caroline Forell (Law), after years of inaction from VP for Student Life Robin Holmes. Holmes skipped the last Senate meeting on student conduct. Rumor has it Holmes is on the job market again, we’ll see if  she shows up this time.

Senate Meeting Agenda – November 5, 2014, 115 Lawrence, 3:00-5:00 p.m.


3:00 pm     1.   Call to Order

3:00 pm     2.   Approval of Minutes

2.1       October 8, 2014

3:05 pm     3.   State of the University

3.1       Remarks by Interim President Scott Coltrane with questions

Coltrane makes it very clear he’s not going to get pushed into doing anything until he gets the report from Gottfredson’s “Review Panel” which he now expects in early December, then have further discussions with the students in Winter. He is also hostile to the idea of a new office on sexual violence – makes clear this is the job of Student Life. If I understand his comments on “targeting specific groups” he also seems opposed to efforts to limit greek life expansion or focus on athletics.

He gets questions on who will be in charge of his “coordinated effort” given past failures. His answer, “student life”, is not reassuring. Also a question on accusations of bias from UO administrators about Prof. Freyd. (I think he evaded this one.) Also a question from me about why so much of the new Tykeson building was going to new offices for the CAS administration and how this became a UO priority. He totally evaded this one.

3.2       Strategic Planning Update, Frances Bronet, Acting Provost (Cancelled. Bronet is at some sort of campus climate conference, with Holmes and Alex-Assensoh.)

3:25 pm     4.   New Busines

4.1       Presentation of the Final Report of the Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support; Senate Task Force (Carol Stabile and Randy Sullivan, Co-Chairs)

Sorry, I’m listening, not blogging. Stabile goes through the report, documenting changes made in response to input over the past 2 weeks. Very thorough.

4.2       Motion (Legislation): Proposed Revisions to Student Conduct Code Dealing with Sexual Misconduct, Part 3; John Bonine, Professor (Law) and Caroline Forell, Professor (Law)

4.3       Motion (Legislation): Proposed Revisions to Student Conduct Code Dealing with Sexual Misconduct, Part 5; John Bonine, Professor (Law) and Caroline Forell, Professor (Law)

4.4       Motion (Legislation): Proposed Revisions to Student Conduct Code Dealing with Sexual Misconduct, Part 6; John Bonine, Professor (Law) and Caroline Forell, Professor (Law)

4.5       Motion (Legislation): Proposed Revisions to Student Conduct Code Dealing with Sexual Misconduct, Part 7; John Bonine, Professor (Law) and Caroline Forell, Professor (Law)

4.6       Motion (Legislation): Proposed Revisions to Student Conduct Code Dealing with Sexual Misconduct, Part 8; John Bonine, Professor (Law) and Caroline Forell, Professor (Law)

4.7       Motion (Legislation): Proposed Revisions to Student Conduct Code Dealing with Sexual Misconduct, Part 9; John Bonine, Professor (Law) and Caroline Forell, Professor (Law)

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

4:45 pm     5.   Open Discussion

4:45 pm     6.   Reports

4:45 pm     7.   Notice(s) of Motion

4:45 pm      8.  Other Business

8.1       Distinguished Service Award: Executive Session

5:00 pm     9.   Adjournment

Live-blog of UO Senate meeting. Connie Ballmer on search. TF on Sex Assault

News reports on Task Force recommendations:

Alexandra Wallachy in the Daily Emerald:

University Senate was action-packed and attendance-packed at its meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

The Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support co-chair Carol Stabile presented the task force’s recommendations at the meeting held in Lawrence 115.

The recommendation is titled “Twenty Students Per Week,” addressing the statistic that one in five women is assaulted during college according to the Center for Disease Control and the White House.

“The problem of widespread campus sexual violence is not a new one,” Stabile and the report said. “But national attention to the problem, inspired by campus activists, scholars, lawyers, politicians and the leadership provided by the White House has broken the silence and secrecy upon which sexual violence thrives.”

Stabile emphasized the role of athletics and fraternity and sorority life in sexual violence.

“We cannot ignore the fact that, despite the relatively small number of students directly involved in their activities,” Stabile and the report said, “Athletics and Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) play disproportionately powerful roles in facilitating or tolerating conditions in which sexual violence occurs on campus.”

Andrew Greif in the Oregonian:

“We must not be reluctant to name sexual violence or to discuss its prevalence, even when doing so entails investigating and addressing problems within organizations that contribute to the social and cultural life of the university,” the UO Senate report states. “We cannot ignore the fact that, despite the relatively small number of students directly involved in their activities, Athletics and Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) play disproportionately powerful roles in facilitating or tolerating conditions in which sexual violence occurs on campus.

Josephine Woolington in the RG:

A suspension of plans to expand the number of sorority and fraternity chapters on the University of Oregon campus is among 23 recommendations presented this afternoon to the University Senate by a task force charged with studying the UO’s sexual violence prevention efforts.

The nearly two dozen recommendations are intended to improve the UO’s prevention and support policies for victims. The changes would cost the university at least $500,000.

Other recommendations put forth by the task force include forming a sorority and fraternity sexual assault task force; creating an Office to Address Sexual and Gender Violence; funding a campus “climate” survey to assess rates of victimization; developing proposals to mandate that all students take classes on gender, sexuality and social inequity; and empowering the University Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee to address sexual violence issues within the UO athletic department.

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

3:00 pm     1.   Call to Order

3:00 pm     2.   Approval of Minutes

3:00 pm     3.   State of the University

3.1       Connie Ballmer, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee Presentation and Discussion

Very good sign that the Board is willing to talk with the faculty transparently about this. Presents basics from http://trustees.uoregon.edu/presidentialsearch. Emphasizes that we have a stable board, good interim president good place to start a search. [Be better with a big academic donation in the bag, instead of all this Duck nonsense, but it’s still good.]

Student Q: Why all these committees if board decides? Which committee really has power? A: The search committee. Q: Why no students on search committee? A: None: Q: Why 2 Moffitts but no students? A: I trust the Moffitts.

Bonine Q: What’s your view of the role of faculty, Senate, board w.r.s.t. shared governance? A: I’ll defer to Chuck Lillis.

Student Q: How long is the term of a president supposed to be? A: 7 to 12 years as goal.

3:20 pm     4.   New Business

4.1       Presentation of Recommendations from Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support (Carol Stabile and Randy Sullivan, Co-Chairs and Robert Kyr, University Senate President)

REPORT HERE, powerpoint summary here.

President Kyr thanks members, especially Carol Stabile. Huge amount of work.

[Blogging will be light, I’m listening.] Professor Stabile calls out athletics and greek life in particular, notes the “wall of secrecy” around athletics, calls for them to cooperate with IAC. Calls for a suspension of plans to expand fraternities and sororities.

4.2       Strategic Planning Process, Revision of the Academic Plan, and University Priorities (Interim President Scott Coltrane and Acting Provost Frances Bronet)

Coltrane thanks Senate TF, says he will consider their proposals along with the upcoming report from the ~$200K euphemistically named “President’s Task Force”

On to “Achieving Competitive Excellence” report. Same thing presented to BOT a few months back.

4.3       Motion (Resolution): GTFF Bargaining; Regina Psaki, Professor (Romance Languages) & UO Senator

Passed unanimously. How can a university with AAU pretensions, in desperate need of more grad students, give them the shaft over pay and benefits?

Giant waste of administrative time, effort, and money. Cut a deal and let’s all get back to work – Interim President Coltrane.

5:00 pm     5.   Open Discussion

5:00 pm     6.   Reports

5:00 pm     7.   Notice(s) of Motion

5:00 pm      8.  Other Business

5:00 pm     9.   Adjournment

Background reading for today’s Senate TF report on sexual assault prevention policies

More suggestions welcome:

Senate Task Force website: http://senate.uoregon.edu/content/task-force-address-sexual-violence-and-survivor-support-0

UO Coalition to End Sexual Violence: http://uocoalition.wordpress.com/

A one-stop community based approach from Cornell: http://m.ithaca.com/news/cornell-ithaca-college-implement-community-approach-to-sexual-assault-prevention/article_561a34a8-59fa-11e4-810b-0b0aa4491a91.html

Ducks replace “United We Ball” message with “It’s on Us” video

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If Dana Altman, Rob Mullens, and Mike Gottfredson had succeeded in their efforts to keep the basketball rape allegations secret, the Ducks might still be trying to sell tickets with messages like this:

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Fortunately the press found out, the athletic department caught hell in the sort of way that might affect their future salaries, and now the Ducks have a different, and much better message:

Feds outlaw methods Gottfredson and Altman used to hide rape allegations

Inside Higher Ed has the story, here:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education published the final rules to carry out changes to the Clery Act today, requiring colleges and universities to collect and disclose crime statistics about the number of reported crimes that were investigated and determined to be unfounded. Previously, those incidents were not required to be reported, so the rule requires the disclosure of statistics from the past three calendar years as well as those going forward.

“That’s the biggest change we’ve made,” Lynn Mahaffie, acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education, said during a press call Friday. “It allows us to better monitor what crimes are being reported, see the extent that reporting is being abused, and provide technical assistance.”

The rules place more emphasis on not only sexual assault but also dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Colleges must describe each type of disciplinary proceeding used by the institution for each violation and how that is determined. They must include in their annual security reports a statement of policy and procedures for dealing with these crimes.

How Jennifer Freyd Persevered Against Administrative Resistance

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has a long, thorough report by Tom Bartlett, on their front page, here. (Gated if you are off campus). It leaves out a lot, including the contrast between Gottfredson’s secretive self-appointed “review panel” and the open Senate Task Force Freyd serves on, and the proprietary AAU survey and Freyd’s open access version. It does get into the UO administration’s efforts to silence and intimidate Prof Freyd, by attacking her academic reputation:

“We’re seeing a huge shift in consciousness about sexual assault,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like this in this field.”

Not that there haven’t been setbacks. Ms. Freyd’s own university hasn’t exactly offered unwavering support. When she met with administrators in the spring about her survey, they seemed supportive. The president at the time, Michael R. Gottfredson, agreed to provide the $30,000 in funding she thought she’d need to pay participants and cover other administrative costs, she said.

“I thought we had a deal and I would do this big study,” Ms. Freyd recalled. “I said, ‘The results aren’t going to be pretty.’ He said, ‘I know.’”

But once administrators saw the survey, their tune changed. The offer of funding vanished. Ms. Freyd showed The Chronicle an email she had received from Robin H. Holmes, vice president for student life at Oregon, stating that the university would prefer to use an external survey rather than one that had “a priori assumptions about outcomes.”

Charges of Bias

For any scholar, the suggestion that his or her research is biased from the get-go is a not a trivial accusation. When news that the funding had been rejected became public, an article in an Oregon newspaper, The Register-Guard, included a comment from a university spokeswoman again speculating that Ms. Freyd was guilty of bias. (The spokeswoman, Rita Radostitz, said last week that her comment had been off the record and taken out of context.)

Anyone who knows Freyd knows that when the administration chose to try and intimidate her, they made a huge mistake.

The story goes on to report about Freyd’s work on institutional betrayal. It’s worth pointing out that UO administrators also attacked Emeritus Law and Philosophy Professor Cheyney Ryan for raising questions about the basketball rape allegation cover-up. And Interim UO President Bob Berdahl didn’t like me posting this story which noted the scandals about his UC-Berkeley sabbatical scam, so he wrote this attack on my academic scholarship:

Once again, Bill Harbaugh has launched a personal assault on me, claiming I am guilty of a “$350K Beanesque scam.” Once again, Harbaugh shows how indifferent he is to actual facts. He is referring to his blog of several months ago, to which I responded at the time. His story is derived from articles in the SF Chronicle critical of the UC policy of granting a year’s administrative leave to chancellors who had served six or more years. This was hardly a “Berdahl scam;” it was a policy adopted by the Regents. I had no influence or control over the policy. Does anyone seriously believe that a chancellor could simply grant himself an administrative leave without the consent of the UC President and the UC Regents, who are required to approve chancellors’ compensation? Because the SF Chronicle was critical of the policy, it made me the Bay Area example of its criticism, rather like the Oregonian recently made me one of the poster children for its criticism of tier one PERS payouts, another policy over which I had no influence or control. Given Harbaugh’s McCarthyite tactics, I’m surprised he hasn’t also accused me of a PERS scam! And given Harbaugh’s preference for polemics over reporting and his carelessness with facts, one has to wonder, as other faculty have, whether his scholarship suffers from the same lack of objectivity and distortion of the facts as does his blog.

President Gottfredson’s union bargaining team did something similar, attacking me for being “anti-university” when they didn’t like me blogging about how the union administration and their lawyers were trying to destroy academic freedom. Hilariously, they wrote an “open letter” to the entire university, on UO letterhead, but didn’t sign it and tried to charge me $286 for records showing who had:

My Response:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Subject: your Feb 28 open letter about Professor Bill Harbaugh
Date: April 12, 2013 6:22:40 PM PDT
To: Sharon Rudnick , Randy Geller
Cc: James Bean , doug park , Barbara Altmann , Timothy Gleason , Doug Blandy , [email protected], William F GARY , [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], arde[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], Bruce Blonigen , “[email protected] Coltrane” , President Gottfredson
, “[email protected]” , Ryan Hagemann , Robert Kyr , Margaret Paris

Dear Ms Rudnick and Mr. Geller:

I’m writing you in regard to the Feb 28 “Open letter from the UO Bargaining Team” which is attached, and which is posted on the official University of Oregon website for faculty contract negotiations, at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/fact-check/

A colleague came across this website a week or so after the letter had apparently been posted, and alerted me to it. I thought it was pretty hilarious, particularly in its discussion of the UO Matters blog at https://uomatters.com, which I edit, and in regard to the claims that I am “indelibly associated” with the faculty union.

In truth I fought long and hard against faculty unionization. I signed the membership card only at the end, because I wanted to be on the winning side, where I could make a difference. I have made it very clear on my blog and in conversations with many UO administrators that I am still quite skeptical of faculty unions and that my ultimate loyalty is to the University of Oregon and to the principle of public education for which it stands. I regularly tell the union organizers I will turn on the union the moment it starts doing more harm than good to this principle, and I’m pretty sure they believe me.

But I digress. Many UO faculty have now told me that I should be outraged by your letter, that it is harmful to my professional reputation, and even that it constitutes “defamation per se”, whatever that means.

While I’m no lawyer, on closer reading I think they may have a point. The letter is on UO letterhead, is posted on an official UO website, is addressed to my academic colleagues in my university community, and it even uses my professional title:

“We write this letter to our University community because we believe it is both necessary and appropriate to inform you of … the continued reporting of biased, erroneous and inflammatory reports from the bargaining table by Professor Bill Harbaugh …”

The letter and the website also make some damaging accusations about my actions and intentions, stating them as if they were facts. I note in particular the statement that my blog is “consistently anti-university”, and “He has also filed frivolous and repeated records requests for information directly related to bargaining.” I’m thinking maybe that was supposed to say “not directly related to bargaining” but regardless, I am not the sort of person who takes accusations of frivolity lightly, even confused ones. Economics is a serious subject, and no potential employer would want to hire a professor with a reputation for joking around.

However the strangest part of this open letter is that a group of UO administrators and attorneys would write something like this, put it on official UO letterhead, post it on an official UO website, and then not sign their names to it.

So, I am writing to ask Ms Rudnick, who is apparently the leader of this team, or perhaps more appropriately Mr. Geller, her immediate supervisor at UO, to send me the names of the people on the “UO Bargaining Team”.

I’m ccing all the people I’ve been able to identify as potential members of the UO Bargaining Team, from the website, the HLGR invoices, and a few other sources. I’ve also cced my department chair, CAS Dean Coltrane, President Gottfredson, OUS Chancellor Rose, OUS General Counsel Ryan Hagemann, current UO Senate President Kyr and incoming Senate President Paris.

I’d appreciate a prompt response, listing the names of the people on the UO Bargaining Team. If any of the team members want to disavow the letter, I’d appreciate it this would be posted on the website where the letter appears. Feel free to also post this letter if you’d like, and let me know if you’d like a signed copy on UO economics department letterhead.


Bill Harbaugh
Professor of Economics
1285 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403

And for an earlier case, here’s the RG report on Professor Jean Stockard – I believe UO settled for $600,000.

The problems Stockard reported concerned the treatment of three South Korean visiting scholars enrolled in the IPRI, who complained that they had been charged for services that should have been covered by their tuition and that they did not receive the training they paid for.

The students had paid up to $20,000 each to take part in the program.

Stockard claims in the lawsuit that she brought the problems to the attention of UO officials, including President Dave Frohnmayer and then-Provost John Moseley, but that they failed to take action. She later reported the issue to the secretary of state’s fraud and abuse division.

That prompted an audit by the Oregon University System, which found a number of accounting errors that the university subsequently rectified.

But while Stockard was on a scheduled sabbatical in fall 2005, she received a letter from a university official saying that she would be removed as department head unless she voluntarily resigned. The letter said the move was not related to her actions regarding IPRI but said “faculty have expressed concern” about her ability to “move forward from the problems that arose around IPRI.”

Stockard declined to step down and was isolated, deprived of budget authority, excluded from meetings and threatened with a “no confidence” vote, the suit claims. Unable to continue her duties, Stockard resigned as department head in February and in June retired earlier than she had planned because of “continuing retaliatory conduct” by other faculty and admini- strators.

The suit seeks compensation for lost income due to her early retirement and alleged defamation in addition to punitive and compensatory damages.

In addition to Frohnmayer and Moseley, defendants named in the suit are Lorraine Davis, vice president for academic affairs; Frances Bronet, dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts; Richard Linton, vice president for research; and professors Michael Hibbard, Judith Hibbard, Ed Weeks and Richard Margerum.

And there’s an earlier retaliation and discrimination case against UO administrator Joe Wade, which Frohnmayer and Moseley also lost in court. Fortunately we’ve now got a union to protect us from this sort of thing.