No confidence votes

11/7/2013: Very interesting column in the Chronicle, by a Dean who reports being blind-sided by a faculty vote of no-confidence, which was followed by his firing. UO needs an evaluation system for its senior administrators so they can get useful feedback from the faculty, before things get to this level. The UO Senate voted last year to require that the UO administration develop such a process, but things got stalled – just as the need for this feedback is getting intense. President Gottfredson’s first evaluation was conducted in secret by OUS in spring. The faculty did not know it was even being done, much less have an opportunity to provide him with feedback on his performance. Previous post on this here.

Update: Interim Provost Jim Bean finally resigns. Ray of hope for UO.

2/20/2013: Congratulations to Nathan Tublitz and the Senate: SPQUO. Stupid and futile gesture works!

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that James Bean has requested a return to his faculty position at the Lundquist College of Business at the end of this fiscal year. Jim’s more than four years of outstanding service to the University of Oregon as senior vice president and provost came at a particularly critical time for the institution. His efforts to develop a transparent budget system for the university and to place the campus on a better financial footing have been especially noteworthy. Equally important is his work with faculty and the deans to develop a dynamic academic plan.

There are many additional contributions to the UO that Jim has made as provost and I look forward to the opportunity to celebrate those with you in the coming months. I am also personally very grateful for his guidance, counsel and leadership during my first months here.

I have asked Jim to continue to lend his expertise to certain critical opportunities facing the university following his return to the faculty. I am very appreciative that Jim has agreed to continue to lend substantial support to issues he has played a major role in during his time as provost.

I will work with campus leadership, faculty and our community colleagues as we initiate a national search for Jim’s permanent successor. In addition, I will seek campus and community input as I consider an interim replacement to assume the role of senior vice president and provost on July 1 while we undertake our search.

Please join me in thanking Jim for his service and congratulating him on his many accomplishments during these past four years.

Best regards,

Michael Gottfredson, President

2/14/2013: Nathan Tublitz’s motion for an immediate performance review of Interim UO Provost James C. Bean first came up in the January meeting. The Senate put it off, hoping that President Gottfredson would either convince Bean to step down quietly, or decide that under current rules Bean should be reviewed now anyway. Neither happened, so the motion came back up yesterday. There was a lively discussion. Professor Tublitz made the case for the importance of the job, and hit a few of the highlights of Bean’s various failures. No one disputed the facts.

Pres-Elect Margie Paris and Kassia Dellabough argued for delay until fall, when UO will finally have a formal evaluation policy. I argued to just do it. Senate President Kyr gave President Gottfredson a chance to defend Bean or the proposed delay, he declined. After an amendment on the dates (Gottfredson to start the review now, and report to us at the May meeting) the motion passed on a voice vote, about 25 in favor and 2 opposed.

My take on the Senate’s message to President Gottfredson? We lost confidence in Bean long ago, and the longer you keep him the more we wonder about you. Appoint an interim, and start the search for new provost now, or come back to the Senate within 60 days and tell us why you think we should suffer this fool for another year.

Gottfredson to claim administrator reviews were his idea all along

11/27/2012: That’s the word from a conversation today between Dave Hubin and a UO Matters correspondent. Apparently the official JH position is going to be that Gottfredson’s decision to implement reviews has nothing to do with the two motions that passed the UO Senate unanimously on Nov 7. Whatever dude, just do it.

Interim Provost Bean said at that Senate meeting that he had checked that very morning and found that all but one of UO’s senior administrators had been reviewed annually, and had had a major review within the past 4 years – or something along those lines, I don’t have the stomach to watch the video.

But Bean still has not responded to requests to see a copy of the purported timetable of reviews. He promised to put these on the web last year, and the public records request is now more than 6 weeks old. As part of the Senate motion, President Kyr has also asked for this timetable. Nothing. The last email I got from Bean on this subject?

From: James Bean
Subject: Re: FAC, evaluations of senior administrators
Date: August 29, 2012 8:50:17 AM PDT
To: X
cc: Y, Z
Each year we determine who is due, and our capacity to do them, then choose. We have not settled on those for this year but will do so in the next month. Jim

He simply ignored the part of the question asking for the dates of prior reviews.

Senate to vote on performance reviews for admins:

11/7/2012: Both the measures below, on faculty input into admin evaluation and hiring, were passed unanimously by the UO Senate today. Next up? Nathan Tublitz’s call for an immediate comprehensive performance review of Interim Provost Bean will be voted on at the Jan 16 Senate meeting:

The Senate requests that President Gottfredson immediately initiate a comprehensive performance evaluation of Provost James C Bean, the chief academic officer at the University of Oregon. The review of the Provost shall focus on decisions, policies and leadership issues impacting academics and shall contain substantial input from faculty, staff and students. The review shall be completed no later than March 31, 2013 and an extensive executive summary of the review shall be presented by President Gottfredson to the Senate at the April 2013 Senate meeting.

Judging from the expressions on people’s faces today when Bean tried to defend his record on evaluations the debate on Tublitz’s motion will be short. Patience for Bean’s nonsense wore thin long ago, and Gottfredson did not spend any political capital trying to support him. Bean has two months and eight days to do the honorable thing and announce he will step down as Provost on 7/1/2013 and return to teaching, giving Gottfredson plenty of time to find a competent replacement.

11/5/2012: The last time a related measure came up in the Senate was 1996. The vote was unanimously in favor, but Lorraine Davis didn’t follow through.

I hope all Senators will attend Wednesday’s Senate meeting, which will include a vote on two motions to develop university policies requiring faculty and Senate input into searches and regular performance reviews of executive administrators. Suggestions on the wording are welcome! The complete meeting agenda is here.

President Gottfredson endorsed the principle behind these motions in his remarks to the Senate last month:

So there’s an essential advisory role for the senate, even on administrative matters – an essential role on those matters that are central to the execution of our mission, like budget and finance, space and capital planning, athletics and of course participation in the selection and the evaluation of academic administrators.

Motivation: The UO currently has a number of senior administrators who have been appointed without systematic faculty input, and/or who have served for long periods of time without performance reviews that incorporate input from the faculty or other Senate constituencies. Policies for faculty input into searches and performance reviews are common at other universities. Regular “360 degree” performance reviews are a basic good management practice. UO policies on these matters, to the extent they can be found, are conflicting and incomplete. These two motions aim to regularize these policies for UO.
1) A motion to ensure faculty and Senate input into the hiring of executive administrators:
The UO Senate moves:
a) That the UO faculty and Senate should have input into the hiring of executive administrators, including the Provost, Deans, and Vice Presidents and Provosts or equivalents such as the General Counsel and Athletic Director. This input should be a part of regular searches, interim appointments, and “special assistant to the provost” TRP type appointments.
b) That to accomplish this goal the Senate President will appoint an ad hoc committee of UO faculty and Senate constituents to develop a formal but flexible university policy that includes representation on search committees and where appropriate public presentations to the relevant constituents and the university community. The Senate requests that President Gottfredson appoint 2 administrators or staff to this committee, and that he instruct them to cooperate with the committee on the development of an appropriate university policy.
c) The committee will present a policy proposal for a Senate vote by the February meeting, to be forwarded to the administration for incorporation as an official policy.
2) A motion to ensure faculty and Senate input into performance reviews of executive administrators
The UO Senate moves:
a) That the university should conduct regular major “360 degree” performance reviews of executive administrators, including the President, Provost, Deans, and Vice Presidents and Provosts or equivalents such as the General Counsel and Athletic Director. 
b) That to accomplish this goal the Senate President will appoint an ad hoc committee of UO faculty and Senate constituents to develop a formal but flexible university policy for regular reviews. The Senate requests that President Gottfredson appoint 2 administrators or staff to this committee, and that he instruct them to cooperate with the committee on the development of an appropriate university policy. 
This policy should include a regular public schedule of major “360” performance reviews of executive administrators, on a three-year cycle. The reviews should include representation on review committees by faculty and other Senate constituencies, as well as procedures to collect and incorporate input from faculty, OAs, staff, and students and other interested parties. The policy should include provisions for catchup reviews for administrators who have not had major reviews within the past three years. The reviews will be followed by summary reports to the Senate on the outcomes.
c) The committee will present a policy proposal for a Senate vote by the February meeting, to be forwarded to the administration for incorporation as an official policy.

Tublitz calls for review of Bean

11/1/2012: Former UO Senate President Nathan Tublitz has sent me a copy of this motion which he intends to introduce in the Senate in November, for debate in January:

MOTION TITLE: Performance Review of Provost James C Bean 

Sponsor: N. Tublitz, Professor of Biology 

MOTION:  The Senate requests President Gottfredson to immediately initiate a comprehensive performance evaluation of Provost James C Bean, the chief academic officer at the University of Oregon. The review of the Provost shall focus on decisions, policies and leadership issues impacting academics and shall contain substantial input from faculty, staff and students. The review shall be completed no later than 31 March 2013 and an extensive executive summary of the review shall be presented by President Gottfredson to the Senate at the April 2013 Senate meeting. 

BACKGROUND: Provost Bean was selected as interim Provost in 2008 by then President Frohnmayer and permanently appointed to the position by then President Lariviere in 2009. In each instance the appointment occurred in the absence of a national search, contrary to the standard hiring practice for this position at the University of Oregon and other research universities. To date Provost Bean has not been the subject of a formal performance review unlike faculty and staff who are reviewed much more frequently. Given that the Provost is the highest ranking and the most influential academic position on campus, this motion requests an immediate performance evaluation of the Provost focusing solely on academic issues. It is important to note that this is not a personnel review; it is a performance evaluation on issues impacting academics at the University of Oregon.

A fairly comprehensive collection of material for Bean’s performance review is here. The cocktail party version? His colleagues have spoken: after the Lariviere firing neither the UO faculty heads, the Faculty Advisory Committee, nor the Senate Executive Committee would support OUS Chancellor Pernsteiner in his efforts to appoint Bean as interim president.

performance evaluations of admins

By popular request:

Subject: PR request, evaluations of senior administratorsDate: October 19, 2012 9:27:21 AM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton Cc: Robert Kyr , President Gottfredson , James Bean , Linda King  

Dear Public Records Officer Thornton: 

This is a public records request for the dates of the most recent performance evaluations (major and minor) and of the scheduled evaluations for UO’s senior administrators – i.e. those reporting to the President or the Provost. 

I originally asked Provost Bean for this information in August, ccing President Gottfredson, and following up with them several times. They have provided nothing. 

This information is needed for a debate at the next Senate meeting on a motion to require regular administrative evaluations with faculty input.  

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest. OUS regulations and UO rules require regular evaluation, and UO has apparently been violating those requirements. 

Thanks for your help,
[UO Matters]

Senate motions on faculty input for admin reviews and hiring

9/23/2012. Here’s an outline, suggestions welcome. Note that there are now two separate motions. Also see the comments and the discussion at http://pages.uoregon.edu/uosenate/dirsen/1_15_97mins.html for a previous Senate effort at this.

1) A motion to ensure faculty and Senate input into the hiring of executive administrators:

The UO Senate requests that the UO administration work with the Senate and the FAC to develop procedures to ensure faculty input into the hiring of executive administrators, including the Provost, Vice Provosts and Vice Presidents, Deans, General Counsel, members of the “Executive Leadership Team” and others with direct reports to the President or Provost. Procedures should be designed for regular searches, interim appointments, and “special assistant to the provost” TRP type appointments.
2) A motion to ensure faculty and Senate input into performance reviews of executive administrators

a) Ensure that a regular schedule of three year major “360” performance reviews of executive administrators is publicly posted and followed. These reviews will include procedures to collect and incorporate input from faculty, OAs, staff, and students and other interested parties where appropriate. 

b) Develop a plan to schedule “catchup” performance reviews for those administrators who have not had such major reviews within the past three years, with these catchup reviews to be complete by June 1, 2013. (Might have to stagger these, apparently there will be a lot of catchup!)

c) Make summary reports to the Senate on the outcome of these reviews, to the extent allowed by Oregon’s public records law exemptions.

Michigan State’s policy on searches is available here, UO’s policy on reviews is here, but it is vague and is more honored in the breach than the observance. I remember sitting down with Lariviere 2 years ago and asking when he was going to give the faculty a chance to participate in an evaluation of Bean. I sat on the FAC for the past two years, and from what I know faculty input has only been formally incorporated in the recent reviews of Don Harris and Russ Tomlin.

Some idle gossip

It’s been a while since the latest Beangram. Someone told me he sent out something about online education a few weeks ago, probably got caught in my spam along with the Nigerian offers. Today there’s this from Indiana University – an $8 million initiative to develop online courses. Given the millions that Bean and Moseley have blown on Bend and Portland, I really hope Gottfredson has the sense not to put him in charge of anything expensive like this. Meanwhile, people are talking about  Gottfredson’s plans to devise something dramatic to try and keep UO in the AAU. Maybe along the lines of what Susan Herbst is doing at U Conn?

Here’s a news story on the evaluation of Kent State President Lester Lefton, by student journalists Rex Santus and Doug Brown. The board hired an outside firm to do the evaluation, then made a public report that all was well and paid him his full $100K bonus. The actual report from the evaluators was more critical, and was kept hidden, until the student journalists got it with a public records request. How can you pay a guy a $100K performance bonus out of public funds and try to hide the basis for the payment?

Here at UO top administrators are supposed to get regular annual evaluations, and more comprehensive evaluations on either a 3 or 5 year cycle, no one really knows which. The faculty handbook said every 3 years, but Russ Tomlin deleted the handbook from the academic affairs website, sometime before his own review led to his resignation. Provost Jim Bean will not tell me who else has been evaluated or when. He will say that the schedule for this year’s evaluations has not yet been set:

On WednesdayAug 29, 2012, at 8:50 AM, James Bean <jcbean@uoregon.edu> wrote:
Each year we determine who is due, and our capacity to do them, then choose.  We have not settled on those for this year but will do so in the next month.  Jim

Not exactly consistent with the rules, eh? Here’s hoping he and Randy Geller are tops on that list. 9/7/2012.

Hsu leaves for MSU

7/24/2012: That’s Stephen Hsu in Physics, hired by Michigan State as VP for Research. More information on his blog, here. He will be missed.

Michigan had an open, public search with faculty input. The faculty has a formal written agreement with the administration requiring that. The process starts with the President notifying the faculty senate. The contrast with the insider dealing at UO is striking:

  • Provost Jim Bean: appointed by Frohnmayer as interim, made permanent by Lariviere without any search. 
  • VPFA Jamie Moffitt: Got her job after an open search failed and Lariviere appointed her apparently without discussing it with the committee – of which she’d been a member. The search committee had been appointed by Bean and of course had no faculty representation, until people protested. 
  • VP for Academic Affairs Doug Blandy: An internal search, of sorts. Initially our administration was to not even going to have the candidates do presentations to the faculty. What more do you need to know about JH priorities?

It’s time for the UO Senate to insist that the UO administration adopt the same sorts of rules for faculty input as Michigan State – as a binding policy. And let’s make it retroactive.

Administrator grades are up

12/12/2010: This quarter’s grades are now up for the UO administrators. Given that Chip Kelly only got an A-, our poll responders seem a bit on the tough side. You want to see more evidence of effort?

.
Title Name Fall 2010 GPA Fall 2010 Grade
.
Coach, Football Kelly, Chip 3.73 A-
.
President Lariviere, Richard 2.75 B-
.
Provost Bean, James 1.69 C-
.
VP, Academic Affairs Tomlin, Russell 1.34 D+
.
VP, Finance and Admin Dyke, Frances 0.75 D-

Regardless, whoever is in charge of this place should consider implementing a deadline, to encourage early withdrawal for some of these administrators, as we do for our under-performing students. 
Yes, I know these are bullshit polls I am running. But while UO’s rules require in-depth evaluations of our top administrators, they ignore the rules. Go figure. So this is all we’ve got to go on.


The UO Faculty Handbook says:

C. Evaluating Administrators 
Officers of administration, like their teaching colleagues, are entitled to an annual evaluation by the head of the department, dean, or director of the faculty member’s administrative unit. University policy requires that an in-depth evaluation be conducted every three years. 

And this HR webpage has this:

Performance appraisals are one of the most effective supervisory tools to communicate expectations, provide feedback, plan work, acknowledge contributions, and help employees gain the skills to be successful. They are especially important for Officers of Administration who often provide leadership to students, staff and colleagues in meeting the university’s mission and goals. …

Annual appraisals for OAs are required by the university president and vice presidents. This is especially important in the first few years in a new position to ensure clarity on expectations and performance.

Performance evaluations of administrators?

We’ve heard that UO has recently started conducting performance evaluations of some administrators. This will come as a surprise to many who felt that the end of annual appraisals was nigh. No word yet if this process extends to the central administration. We are trying to track down details on who has been evaluated so far, who is scheduled for evaluation, and the process that is being used. If you know anything about this, please post an anonymous comment. Comments starting with “Do Not Post” will not be posted. We are not asking for details on the evaluations themselves – just the names and the process. Thanks.

The UO Faculty Handbook says:

C. Evaluating Administrators
Officers of administration, like their teaching colleagues, are entitled to an annual evaluation by the head of the department, dean, or director of the faculty member’s administrative unit. University policy requires that an in-depth evaluation be conducted every three years.

And this HR webpage has this:

Performance appraisals are one of the most effective supervisory tools to communicate expectations, provide feedback, plan work, acknowledge contributions, and help employees gain the skills to be successful. They are especially important for Officers of Administration who often provide leadership to students, staff and colleagues in meeting the university’s mission and goals.

Annual appraisals for OAs are required by the university president and vice presidents. This is especially important in the first few years in a new position to ensure clarity on expectations and performance.