GC Randy Geller’s holiday message to the staff and faculty

12/11/2013: Geller: Faculty must be fully engaged

An email from President Gottfredson’s General Counsel Randy Geller, sent round today:

Work schedule for bargaining unit faculty members:

This is a reminder that under Article 32, Section 21, of the United Academics Collective Bargaining Agreement, bargaining unit officers of instruction who do not earn vacation will be considered to be on paid leave during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day (and during the week of Spring Break).

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are paid holidays. However, bargaining unit faculty members (typically some officers of research) may be required to work on these holidays if necessary to maintain or operate critical facilities or operations. If a bargaining unit faculty member is required to work on a holiday for that reason, he or she may take an equivalent amount of time off with pay at a later date, as approved by the bargaining unit faculty member’s supervisor.

Otherwise, as provided in Article 17, Section 7, of the CBA, each bargaining unit faculty member must be fully engaged in teaching, research, and service work for the university to the extent of his or her appointment, and must be engaged in work or reasonably available for work for the entirety of the term for which the bargaining unit member is employed unless on approved leave. There is no blanket leave for the period between fall and winter terms.

You previously received information about the Governor’s Day.

Faculty members who are not subject to the United Academics CBA may make individual arrangements with their supervisors regarding work schedules.

Randy Geller
General Counsel
University of Oregon

Apparently Randy got left off the list of bowl game junketeers.

Update: I’ve got a public records request in to Hubin for this year’s Bowl Game junket list. Last year’s Fiesta Bowl junketeers are here – including our hardworking, if somewhat spiteful Randy Geller, and spouse:

1/28/2013: Dave Hubin’s PR office provided this complete list of the UO Fiesta bowlers, today. Not all those listed in the letter below went, but plenty of others did. Here are just a few:

12/13/2013: Former Journalism Dean Tim Gleason not “fully engaged”?

Interim Provost Scott Coltrane is paying Tim Gleason $218,524 a year:

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His mission?

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Full contract here. Tim’s not doing very well so far. His CBA blog is more about petty rumors and snide comments about economics faculty than about solid information on implementing the agreement. And now Randy Geller is elbowing Gleason out of the way when it comes to “campus wide messaging”.

4/18/14: Coltrane special assistant Tim Gleason drops ball again

It’s been two months since UO’s former journalism dean Tim Gleason has bothered to update the administration’s blog on faculty union contract implementation – one of his few job duties. I’m guessing he’s on time when it comes to cashing his paychecks though. Does anyone know what, if anything, Gleason *is* doing to earn $16,543.67 a month, topped off with a $1,666.67 stipend?

6/30/2014 update: Is President Gottfredson “fully engaged” over summer break?

He’s got a 12 month contract, but it seems like Mike Gottfredson is also breathing a sigh of relief over Randy Geller’s retirement, and taking a little vacation. Or maybe he just doesn’t want his schedule of meetings about the rape allegation modified limited hang-out to be public? Speaking of which, I wonder when his “external review panel” meets:

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Gottfredson posts Geller replacement Doug Park’s resume

I’ve been trying to get a copy of the resume’s and job application letters for UO’s lawyers in the General Counsel’s office for the past 8 weeks or so. The qualifications of UO’s attorneys are a matter of obvious public interest given UO’s many current legal problems, the new legal service policy which requires UO employees to use these lawyers if they are accused of work-related wrongdoing, and the astonishing increase in UO’s use of outside attorneys, who are managed by the GC’s office. I think UO’s attorneys are Douglas Park, Sam (Samantha) Hill, and John F. Salmon III but it’s hard to be sure – the GC’s website says nothing.

Doug Park has fought back hard, accusing me of harassment (sexual harassment, if I understand his innuendoes correctly) for asking to see these public records. I have a petition filed with the Lane County DA to get the documents and should have a response later this week. Today President Gottfredson announced that Park will be the interim GC. The announcement below includes the usual fluff, and, surprisingly, a link to his resume.

Meanwhile there’s no news as to what Randy Geller will do next. Geller’s unexpected “retirement” was announced in the midst of Gottfredson’s efforts to keep a lid on the basketball rape allegations. Perhaps he will get some lucrative consulting work from UO, as his former boss and “General Counsel Emerita” Melinda Grier has apparently done, after being fired by Lariviere for “deficient legal representation”.

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Douglas Park has agreed to serve as Interim General Counsel for the University of Oregon. Since coming to the General Counsel’s Office in 2007, Mr. Park has provided invaluable guidance and advice to every college at the UO, and has assisted with multiple matters ranging from copyright and trademark issues, to library and museum acquisitions, to managing litigation in UO’s most high profile cases. He played an instrumental role in the formation and transition of our new Board of Trustees, and is known for his expertise in a broad range of higher education issues including government ethics, sponsored research, tenure and promotion, student rights and campus safety. Mr. Park has also served the National Association of College and University Attorneys as a planning committee member, and been a panelist or modsterator for multiple UO Law School and NACUA presentations. He currently serves on the Leadership Council for the UO’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, where he is the Chair of the Board Development Committee and a member of the Executive Committee.

Mr. Park earned a BA in English literature from the University of Washington in 1988, and a law degree from the UO in 1993. Before joining the General Counsel’s Office, he worked for nine years at the Oregon Department of Justice as an Assistant Attorney General, and then Senior Assistant Attorney General. While at the DOJ, Mr. Park was part of the U.S. Supreme Court team that successfully litigated Baldwin v. Reese. He also received the Outstanding Achievement Award, DOJ’s highest professional honor, for successfully defending the constitutionality of Oregon’s dangerous offender sentencing statute, and successfully defending the constitutionality of the appellate procedure outlined in State v. Balfour. Mr. Park has taught at the UO’s Law School as an adjunct professor, worked as a Washington State public defender, worked in the private sector, and interned at the Eugene Legal Aid. Mr. Park has also co-authored chapters published in the Oregon State Bar Criminal Law Manual, and an article published by the Willamette Law Review. See his full resume here.

Mr. Park begins his new appointment on July 1. Please join me in welcoming Doug to his new position.


Michael Gottfredson, President

Dash Paulson’s report on day 2 of the June 12-13 Trustees meeting

6/13/2014: [UO Matters: Because of the importance of this meeting to the UO community, I hired freelance reporter Dash Paulson to report on it. His summary is below, followed by a detailed report on what happened at the meeting. His summary is below, followed by a detailed report on what happened at the meeting. As usual, things in quotes are quotes, otherwise it’s the gist of the conversation. I have edited Mr. Paulson’s report a little, but have not made any substantive changes. Paulson’s report on the June 12 session is here.]


As at yesterday’s meeting, the Trustees were fully engaged and asked many questions, including some tough and skeptical ones.

Randy Geller began by briefing the board on their ability to call closed executive sessions, the potential pitfalls of FERPA, and their basic powers to discuss records.

President Gottfredson made extended remarks, first addressing sexual assault and saying campus safety for students and was the top priority. “There are students on our campus who feel unsafe. Like you I believe that’s unacceptable. As I believe, as you believe, any instance of sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual assault isn’t acceptable. Not even one…There is nothing more important for ourselves to concern ourselves with.” He concluded those remarks by saying “We’re going to lean into this as much as we can. This is a big, important problem for us.”

He went on to speak about the dramatic changes that have occurred at the University and how important it is for the University of Oregon to change its governance model, “On my own checklist of things to do, having this board checks the first box. And the first box is we have to do things differently at the University of Oregon.”

Provost Scott Coltrane spoke about the new Clusters of Excellence hires and the process that went into selecting the top ten areas for cluster hiring. “We have buy-in from the faculty on this. But you’ll see the final list is very heavy on the sciences and applied sciences.” The list highlights the ten areas that will be a top priority for hiring. “I’ve gotten a little feedback on this … last week I got letters from faculty about how social sciences and humanities weren’t included here, and of course as former dean of College of Arts and Sciences they were unhappy with me.

Coltrane will be working with those faculty whose proposals weren’t picked and “who are a little cranky right now.” [Editor: The faculty objections are about the process as much as the specific proposals that were funded. See post with Department Heads letter here.] Some nearly made the top ten, such as environmental humanities and Geospatial revolutions. “We’ll be funding some of those also” but not at the same level. Cluster funding doesn’t replace other hiring, just different. We can refigure and reshape [this process] in future years with your help.”

Finally there was a long explanation to the board on the current status of the capital campaign from Mike Andreasen, Vice President of Advancement.

At the end, President Gottfredson paid tribute to Sam Dotters-Katz, who will be graduating, and to Randy Geller, who will be retiring this year.

The details:

Convene 8:33

Lillis: Randy is going to give us some reminders on our responsibilities as Trustees.

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Trustees post new delegation of authority policy, invite Berdahl to lunch

5/30/2014 update: Rumors prove false. The Trustees have now posted the June 12-13 meeting material, here. The delegation revisions start at page 55. At first glance this new draft seems to have addressed at least some of the Senate’s problems with Geller’s initial secret policy, but expect further review by the Senate’s ad hoc committee, chaired by President Rob Kyr (Music).

In other news, the board will host a public roundtable lunch discussion with former Interim UO President Bob Berdahl on Thursday, June 12. Berdahl’s brief presidency (and the hiring of Sharon Rudnick) was instrumental in persuading the UO faculty, including me, that a faculty union was needed to counterbalance the bat-shit craziness in Johnson Hall. As it has proved to be.

Among Berdahl’s last acts at UO were giving Jim Bean and Randy Geller three-year contract extensions, the dismantling of President Lariviere’s transparency initiative, and big raises for Rob Mullens and his coaches.

Highlights of his earlier career as UC-Berkeley President include committing the university to an unaffordable football stadium, quickly followed by a lucrative golden parachute buyout. Given the current situation with Mike Gottfredson and our Trustees, it is clear Berdahl’s expertise on buyouts will be invaluable.

5/30/2014 update: Gottfredson hiding new draft of “Delegation of Board Authority” policy from faculty?
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General Counsel Randy Geller “resigns”

This is stunningly hopeful news for UO. Geller claims it was his decision, but I think President Gottfredson deserves plenty of credit for this demonstration of leadership. I imagine the UO Trustees had a say too, after the Delegation of Authority disaster. From “Around the O”:

Randy Geller, general counsel to the University of Oregon, today announced his decision to retire effective June 30.

In a personal message to several close colleagues, Geller noted that he informed President Michael Gottfredson of his intentions on April 21.

“Randy Geller has provided great service and tremendous counsel to this university through both challenging and exciting times,” said Gottfredson. “His legacy of helping shepherd this organization into a historic new governance model will be felt for many years to come.”

“I started as a higher education attorney in 1995 with the career goal of serving as the general counsel of a major public research institution with a Division I athletics program,” Geller wrote. “I have achieved that professional goal.”

In his note, Geller, who began working for UO in 2003, reflected on his accomplishments during his time as a Duck, including his role in crafting Senate Bill 270, which paved the way for the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon.

“I am honored to have been entrusted with drafting the original proposed bill and negotiating, along with my superb colleague Dave Reese at Portland State University, its final content with legislative and executive branch colleagues,” Geller wrote. “This was an experience of a lifetime.”

Geller added that he “ suspect(s) there will be some on campus, given the nature of my work here, that may try to frame this as something other than the simple truth: it is time for me to move on to the next chapter of my professional career.”

Well past time, I’d say. Rumor has it that Sam Hill, hired last fall, has been gradually taking over from Geller and presumably will be the interim GC.

Geller’s 2010 resume is here. Previous posts about his disastrous career at UO are here. Some highlights, roughly in reverse chronological order:

The recent “Delegation of Authority” disaster with the UO Board.

Geller’s Legal Services Policy power grab, defeated by the Senate.

Geller defames former Attorney General over “hack job” investigation, forced to apologize.

Geller hides HLGR billing records from public.

Geller hides HLGR billing records from state legislature’s Transparency website.

Geller hires Sharon Rudnick to bargain with UO faculty union, writes brief defending Rudnick’s fees in Sylviagate.

Geller makes UO’s academic side pay half the cost of defending Chip Kelly in the NCAA Willie Lyles case.

Geller threatens UO Senate President over random drug testing criticisms.

New UO General Counsel Randy Geller tries hides resume – and photo – from public. We get them anyway.

Senate Ad Hoc Committee posts penultimate draft of delegation of authority policy

UO GC and Board of Trustees Counsel Randy Geller tried to sneak a hack-job delegation of authority policy past the university and the board over spring break. He got caught, the board rejected it, and they called for the Senate to provide input on a new policy for adoption in June.

The Senate appointed committee has now held many open meetings on a new draft policy aimed at fixing Geller’s many factual and legal errors. In addition, while state law dictates most ultimate power to the board, the new draft policy proposes a more practical division of working responsibility between the board, the president, and the faculty. I’m no lawyer, but the result so far looks far more consistent with state law, history, common practice, and the rules of UO’s federal accrediting agency.

The committee website, with full copies of the drafts, is here. As you can see from the email below the Senate is asking for input on the latest draft by Friday. Here’s page one:

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Dear Campus Community,

As you know, the UO Board of Trustees is seeking input on a policy related to the retention and delegation of authority, the final version of which will allow the trustees to authorize others to act on their behalf.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Delegation of the Authority, convened by the University Senate and Senate President Margie Paris to follow up on this issue, has been reviewing the Policy on Retention and Delegation of Authority, integrating comments from various constituents and making suggested changes. The committee is once again seeking your feedback regarding this policy and the committee’s most recent draft edits:

Policy on Retention and Delegation of Authority with Ad Hoc Committee draft edits as of April 28

Please email your feedback about the Policy on Retention and Delegation of Authority to Senate President Margie Paris at mparis@uoregon.edu no later than this Friday, May 2. This will allow the Ad Hoc Committee to incorporate feedback into their redlined draft version of the policy, which will be passed on to the Board along with all comments from campus.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Lisa Mick Shimizu
Executive Coordinator
University of Oregon Senate

Senate to strip Geller of his powers?

4/8/2014 update: Not entirely, but this new UO legal services policy, to be debated and voted on at the Senate meeting this Wednesday, will sure put a crimp in his style. Among other sensible and long overdue restraints on our chief attorney:

Prior to any decision to participate in litigation not directly involving the University as a party by filing an amicus curiae brief, the General Counsel shall notify the President of the Senate of the intention to do so.

Kudos to Gordon Sayre (English) and Tom Lininger (Law) for getting this done. Maybe Geller will react by firing off another email like this one?

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Or this unlawyerly stupidity, which made it into the Oregonian?

4/2/2014: Randy Geller’s anti-free speech brief fails, OSU pays out $101K

In brief: UO paid our General Counsel to help write an anti-free speech brief to the SCOTUS. From the timing, it looks like President Gottfredson authorized this.

Back in 2009 OSU staff trashed the news boxes of a student publication called “The Liberty”. Liberty sued OSU over a First Amendment violation. The 9th circuit court said OSU should pay damages. OSU tried to appeal the case to the SCOTUS, and a group of other universities wrote an amicus brief, taking a firm first amendment stand: against free speech, and for the OSU administration. Our own Randy Geller joined in:

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Geller in charge of hiring UO Board chief

Originally posted 2/13/2014: Hired by Randy Geller, paid by UO, but charged with helping the trustees fulfill their fiduciary obligations. Hmmm, what could possibly go wrong? Steve Duin of the Oregonian reports on a few possibilities.

Job announcement here:

The Secretary of the University is responsible for high-level facilitation and coordination of the activities of the Board of Trustees and individual Board members. In addition to other responsibilities, the Secretary: (1) plans, designs, and organizes meetings of the Board and its committees; (2) works alongside the Board Chair, President, and committee chairs to develop meeting schedules and agendas; (3) ensures that content of agenda items is accurate, sufficient, and complete so that the Trustees may fulfill their fiduciary obligations; …

Geller to enshrine double standard in UO legal services policy?

If you’re a coach like Chip Kelly who gets caught promising a “street agent” like Willie Lyles $50,000 to help recruit football players, UO General Counsel Randy Geller will spend $150K on outside lawyers, and then pay the NCAA fine for you.

But if you’re a UO faculty member like law professor Merle Weiner, who gets sued because of something you wrote in an academic journal, you’re on your own. Now Geller wants to enshrine that double standard in the official UO policy on legal services. His latest redactions to the Senate’s policy proposal:

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Senate President Margie Paris chairs the committee that is trying to reign rein in Geller. She will report on how she’s doing at the Senate meeting this Wednesday.

Oregon State panics over public records request by journalism advisor

Bennett Hall has an excellent story in the Corvallis Gazette Times:

Oregon State University student media adviser Kate Willson thought she was just doing her job when she filed a public records request with the university. Now she’s worried it could get her fired.

OSU’s chief spokesman says Willson’s job is safe and the university was not trying to muzzle her. But he also says Willson was out of line when she tried to obtain public records from the institution she works for and that all such requests should be filed by student journalists, not their adviser. …

Willson assumes that OSU will honor the remainder of her contract, but she doesn’t expect to be offered another when the current agreement expires. Her experience has left her feeling frustrated and confused.

“They’re making such a big thing, and it’s not,” Willson said. “It’s a public record — who cares if I get it?”

The Oregon Public Records Law was passed by the Legislature in 1973 in a spirit of transparency and open government, Willson added.

But various agencies and institutions have chipped away at those foundations with one exception after another, steadily eroding the public’s ability to access government information. Wilson feels an obligation to do something about that.

“Every time they deny and we don’t push back, we make it worse,” Willson said.

Here’s the part that would never happen at UO: She actually got a meeting with her university’s general counsel. Here at UO, GC Randy Geller would have just sent her a threatening email. Of course OSU GC Meg Reeves is a little confused about the law:

Steven Wilker, a media law attorney with the Portland law firm of Tonkon Torp, said he’s baffled by Oregon State’s position. …

He’s also puzzled by Reeves’ assertion that, by virtue of her position as the university’s general counsel, she automatically has an attorney-client relationship with Willson, a university employee.

“Her client is the university; her client is not that teacher,” Wilker said.

But even if Willson were, in fact, Reeves’ client, that would not give Reeves the power to order Willson not to repeat what they said or wrote to each other. That’s “Lawyer 101,” Wilker said.

“The nature of attorney-client privilege is it’s a privilege of the client,” he said, “and the client is free to waive that privilege.”

But even if Willson were, in fact, Reeves’ client, that would not give Reeves the power to order Willson not to repeat what they said or wrote to each other. That’s “Lawyer 101,” Wilker said.

“The nature of attorney-client privilege is it’s a privilege of the client,” he said, “and the client is free to waive that privilege.”

My experiences with the OSU public records office have been generally positive – much quicker and cheaper than at UO. On the other hand the data Willson is seeking on faculty salaries is easily available for UO, thanks to our Institutional Research office. See ir.uoregon.edu. Only in pdf form however – if you ask UO’ Public Records Office for a machine readable file, they’ll hit you up for $280 dollars in inexplicable fees, and you’ll wait for a month or two.

Under VPFA Mark McCambridge OSU was a leader in financial transparency. His efforts to put all financial transactions on the web are explained in this InsideHigherEd story, and were an inspiration to UO’s Nathan Tublitz, who after a long fight with Frances Dyke got the very watered down “Financial Transparency Tool” added to Duckweb (under employee information). It seems like OSU’s new VPFA Glenn Ford is backsliding on transparency.

University President can fire you for tweeting

That would be in Kansas. From Scott Jaschik at InsideHigherEd. The newly adopted policy of the University of Kansas Board of Regents gives their President the right to fire faculty for tweets:

The chief executive officer of a state university has the authority to suspend, dismiss or terminate from employment any faculty or staff member who makes improper use of social media. “Social media” means any facility for online publication and commentary, including but not limited to blogs, wikis, and social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. “Improper use of social media” means making a communication through social media that:

… impairs discipline by superiors or harmony among co-workers, has a detrimental impact on close working relationships for which personal loyalty and confidence are necessary…

This all started when a KU journalism professor exercised his first amendment right to criticize people who exercise their second amendment rights. (And in fairness to KU, they don’t let people exercise their second amendment rights on campus either.)

Here in Oregon, President Gottfredson’s General Counsel Randy Geller tried to remove protection for faculty who criticize the university administration from the faculty union bargaining agreement – but failed.

Colleen Flaherty’s InsideHigherEd story from September is here and links to the Crooked Timber story are here. After a tough fight with the AAUP’s Mike Mauer, some national embarrassment for President Gottfredson, and many lucrative billable hours for UO’s lawyer Sharon Rudnick, former UO President Lariviere’s free speech policy was enshrined in the union contract:

Free inquiry and free speech are the cornerstones of an academic institution committed to the creation and transfer of knowledge. Expression of diverse points of view is of the highest importance, not solely for those who present and defend some view but for those who would hear, disagree, and pass judgment on those views. The belief that an opinion is pernicious, false, and in any other way despicable, detestable, offensive or “just plain wrong” cannot be grounds for its suppression.

The University supports free speech with vigor, including the right of presenters to offer opinion, the right of the audience to hear what is presented, and the right of protesters to engage with speakers in order to challenge ideas, so long as the protest does not disrupt or stifle the free exchange of ideas. It is the responsibility of speakers, listeners and all members of our community to respect others and to promote a culture of mutual inquiry throughout the University community.

And now President Gottfredson is working with a faculty committee from the UO Senate to further strengthen those rights. Which is good.

Journalism students investigate cost of athletic scandals

11/14/2013: An excellent piece of investigative journalism from UNC, here. Their university’s administrators were remarkably forthcoming about the costs of the outside investigations, and how much was paid by the athletics department and how much by the UNC Foundation. It took me years, and hundreds of dollars in public records fees, to get much skimpier information from UO about the Chip Kelly/Willie Lyles costs. In fact Randy Geller is now completely deleting what UO spends on legal expenses from the reports UO must file with the Oregon Government Transparency website:

UO for 2012-13: Goes straight from Laundry to Library, no Legal Services. I think they call that irony.

OSU for 2012-13: 

Wed Senate meeting on academic freedom and legal services

Update: UO administration time-travels back to 2009, finalizes UO’s draft Academic Plan.

For four years, the official copy of UO’s Academic Plan – ballyhooed today by President Gottfredson in the Senate – made clear it was just a draft:

Now it’s suddenly been post-dated a day, and it’s final.

Sporadic Senate live-blogging. Wednesday 11/13/13 3:00PM, 282 Lillis. 

Disclaimer: My opinions of what people said, meant, or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Senate Meeting Agenda – November 13, 2013

282 Lillis, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
3:00 pm 1. Call to Order
3:05 pm 2. Approval of Minutes October 9, 2013

Lin raises question on the calculation of 2/3 majority. Simonds replies abstentions don’t count, Paris agrees, refers him to Robert’s Rules.

Stahl checked the video, asks for re-insertion of a sentence regarding no-confidence votes and executive session. Paris has already done it.

3:10 pm 3. State of the University
3.1 Remarks by President Gottfredson

(I’m wondering if he’ll talk about the plan by OUS Chancellor Rose and Matt Donegan to renew his contract til 2016, without consulting UO Senate? Their meeting is scheduled for Friday. First they fire Lariviere without consulting us, now they tie the hands of the new UO Trustees by extending Gottfredson’s contract for two years past the date the Trustees take power.)

Shout out to faculty committees hard work.
Outstanding group of board members. CBA was great achievement.
Added many, many more TT faculty (20?) smarter students, new buildings, new capital campaign.
SB 270 was great accomplishment, new freedoms for campus and board, we can sell bonds.
Great path forward. Outstanding board, couldn’t be better.
We need a strategic plan for resources. 2009 Ac Plan is a great plan. He doesn’t seem to be joking.
Benchmarking report. We are a great research university but we need more money.
Coltrane is tasked with developing a Strategic Plan, is tasked with actually talking to the faculty. Campus forums, etc.
Three central goals: Excellence, Access, Money.
1) Need more faculty – 60 TTF right away. We’ve got $ for about 30. Wants more than that.
2) Need more grad students to boost research. Need more money for grad fellowships. Need more buildings.
3) Need big endowment increase.
Vague generalities about targeting. 15 months on the job, nothing more specific?
We’re in the quiet phase of fundraising now, making key fundraising hires, talking to big donors.

We got a little more state money last year, hope to get more.

Word about the Shelton’s budget model: Lots of concerns about lack of support for research and grad students, manipulation like Doug Blandy did in AAD. Need to change it. Modest changes, to make better strategic decisions, graduate education.

Provost is appointing an advisory group to get input on budget model and strategic spending, without going through the Senate!

Academic Freedom – very exciting meeting with Senate group on this last week (I wasn’t in the room with him, but like the motion.) He’s now very pro freedom. Quite a change from what Geller, Blandy and Gleason were doing during the bargaining.

On athletic subsidies: Complex matter, must be careful. He’s met a couple times with Senate leadership on the Senate motion, wouldn’t let Harbaugh in the room. 

Provost Search, expects campus visits in January or so.

Searches for Ombud, Library Head, Dean or two.

Very exciting time, …

Paris: Any questions? 

Q: On academic freedom. What were your objections to last years policy, other than divide it in two.
A: We had a bump in the road. We’re on the right path now.
Followup: Are you supportive of the language as written?
A: Avoids question.

Q: You mentioned strategic plan. Seems very top down. What should units do to align with it? Can you share it?
A: Yes, 2009 Academic Plan. (That plan’s a joke, was never even completed, Bean dropped the ball.) Also need Strategic Capital Campaign.

3:30 pm 4. New Business

4.1 Motion to Form an Administrative Advisory Group for Equity and Inclusion; Senator Kassia Dellabough (AAA)

Long discussion of admin appointing AAG groups outside the Senate. Harbaugh moves to amend to require consultation with the Senate Exec and a vote of the Senate on the membership. Amendment passes, motion passes with full support. Very good precedent. Diversity stuff can get contentious, need faculty buy-in and consultation.

4.2 Motion to Approve Updated Environmental Policy; Senate President Margie Paris (Law)

Postponed due to desire to get to the legal services and freedom stuff.

4.3 Motion to Approve Legal Services Policy Proposal; Senate President Margie Paris (Law)

Postponed. Geller took a knife to it. See his changes here:

4.4 Motion to Rescind Academic Freedom/Freedom of Speech Policy Proposal; Michael Dreiling (CAS – Social Sciences)

Randy Sullivan: Supports. Passes on unanimous voice vote:

4.5 Motion to Create Liaison Between Senate and United Academics of the University of Oregon; Senator Rob Kyr (Music)

Removed for now, needs more discussion to discuss principles and rules.

4.6 Motion to Create Working Group on Campus Planning; Senator Rob Kyr (Music)

passes unan.

4:30 pm 5. Reports

5.1 Report on Committee on Committees’ ten-year review and composition of working groups; Senator Rob Kyr (Music)

Has volunteers, will appoint soon, will have meetings and reports, then motions in April or so.

5.2 Report on the PAC-12 Faculty Leadership Coalition Conference – Senator Rob Kyr (Music)

5.2 Report on Senate-Administration Joint Review of the Office of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Education (RIGE); Bruce Blonigen (Economics)

Blonigen reports. Notes this is late. Committee is meeting with lots of people, looking to hear about interactions, areas for improvement in office, general research at UO. Has an outline of a report, still needs input from others, expect report to be ready by Jan.

5.3 Report on creation of Fee for Services Committee; Senate President Margie Paris (Law)

Goal is to have a committee by next meeting.

4:50 pm 6. Announcements and Communication from the Floor

Sorry, can’t type fast enough, missed some.

Stahl postpones ROTC motion, so students can participate
Harbaugh gives notice of motion on IAC confidentiality and transparency
Harbaugh gives notice of motion on ending athletic subsidies

4:55 pm 7. Other Business

5:00 pm 8. Adjournment

11/11/2013 update: The Senate will have remarks by President Gottfredson (I hope including solid progress and numbers on last year’s resolution to reduce athletic subsidies).

On Wednesday the Senate will vote on policies to limit Randy Geller’s control over legal services, and to strengthen academic freedom. As explained below, the motion to “rescind academic freedom” actually will allow the Senate to strengthen academic freedom.

Regardless of whether or not the motion to rescind the 2013 academic freedom / free speech policy proposal (left unsigned by Pres Gottfredson, therefore not in effect) passes, the very strong 2010 policy on freedom of speech and inquiry (which is also incorporated into the CBA) will remain in place while the Senate develops a new academic freedom policy. Last time we barely had a quorum, people should show up for this meeting and these votes. The Senate has sent around this statement on the academic freedom motion:

Dear Senators, 

I am writing with an update and some clarification regarding the Motion to Rescind Academic Freedom/Freedom of Speech Policy Proposal coming up on this week’s agenda. Please note that the text of this motion has been slightly modified for clarity, and now reads:

“THEREFORE BE IT MOVED, That the University Senate rescinds the policy that it adopted in April 2013, which was not subsequently signed by the University President and therefore is not in force: http://senate.uoregon.edu/content/academic-freedom-freedom-speech 

That the Senate Academic Freedom Work Group will continue to work with the University President to draft a strong academic freedom policy. 

That this motion and its preamble be preserved and prominently displayed on the University Senate website in conjunction with the existing Freedom of Inquiry and Free Speech policy for the guidance of faculty, staff, and students and that it not be removed from any present or future version of the University Senate website without an explicit and properly noticed motion by the University Senate.” 

The University Senate workgroup on Academic Freedom offers the following information regarding the Motion to Rescind the 2013 Academic Freedom and Free Speech Policy proposal: 

The motion to rescind is directed to the April 2013 Senate policy proposal – which has not been signed by the President – and is therefore not in force. This simply means that the April 2013 policy, adopted by the Senate but not in force, will be rescinded if the motion passes. This would leave the current 2010 University Policy on Freedom of Inquiry and Free Speech in place as the University Senate workgroup continues to meet with President Gottfredson on this matter. The motion is intended to procedurally “clear the table” so that the workgroup and President Gottfredson can identify mutually agreeable improvements. The Senate workgroup is comprised of Professor Michael Dreiling (Chair), Senate President Margie Paris, Professor John Bonine, Professor Deb Merskin, Professor Bill Harbaugh, and Professor John Davidson. If the Senate concurs, regular reports on the progress of discussions between the Senate workgroup and President Gottfredson will be presented to the University Senate.


The motion to rescind is for the policy proposal adopted by the Senate in April 2013, not signed by the President and not in force:http://senate.uoregon.edu/content/academic-freedom-freedom-speech
Policy that is currently in force and will remain in force if the motion is adopted: University Policy on Freedom of Inquiry and Free Speech (2010): http://policies.uoregon.edu/policy/by/1/01-administration-and-governance/freedom-inquiry-and-free-speech 

We hope this information will help as you consider this motion. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions I may be able to help answer. 

All the best,
Lisa Mick Shimizu
Executive Coordinator
University of Oregon Senate

Randy Geller says Senate IAC can hold closed meetings


Also see related docs:

From: Randy Geller <rgeller@uoregon.edu>
Date: November 7, 2013 8:22:48 AM PST
To: Robert Illig <rillig@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Margaret Paris <mparis@uoregon.edu>, Michael Gottfredson <mgott@uoregon.edu>, Rob Mullens <mullens@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Public Meetings Law and the IAC

Dear Rob:

I appreciate your patience as we have worked through this issue. I am happy to try to clear up the confusion around the applicability of the Oregon Public Meetings Law (OPML) to meetings of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC). The IAC is a committee acting under the authority of the “statutory faculty.” Although not used in Oregon law, “statutory faculty” is a term that is used in the UO Constitution and intended to provide definition to the phrase “president and professors” used in ORS 352.010.

Margie Paris has explained to me that it is your preference and hers that IAC meetings be closed. However, Margie indicated that some members of the IAC desire that meetings be open. I have previously advised you and your predecessor as chair, Brian McWhorter, that nothing precludes the IAC from following the requirements of the OPML. Compliance with the OPML involves a fairly detailed list of obligations (in addition to making certain kinds of meetings open to the public), and you are free to meet these obligations. My advice is simply that the IAC is not legally required to comply with the OPML. Short of full compliance with the OPML, the IAC may choose to open some or all of its meeting time to the public or portions thereof, but Margie explained to me that her concern is that open meetings may narrow the scope of the discussion and the practical ability of the IAC to consider certain matters.

The narrow question at issue, then, is whether the IAC is required to comply with the OPML. This question is answered by determining whether the IAC has the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public “body.” In my view, the answer to that question is “no.” This email does not provide, and should not be construed as providing, advice about any other issue.  Specifically, I stress that this discussion is narrowly addressed to the applicability of the OPML to the IAC. It should not be understood to address the scope of the faculty’s authority or the relationship of that authority to the authority of the State Board of Higher Education (SBHE), the Chancellor, or an institutional president.

The OPML applies to all meetings of a governing body of a public body for which a quorum is required in order to make a decision or to deliberate toward a decision on any matter. ORS 192.610(5); 192.630(1). The term “[g]overning body means the members of any public body which consists of two or more members, with the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public body on policy or administration.” ORS 192.610(3) (underlining added). The term “[p]ublic body means the state, any regional council, county, city or district, or any municipal or public corporation, or any board, department, commission, council, bureau, committee or subcommittee or advisory group or any other agency thereof.” ORS 192.610. While not binding, the Oregon Department of Justice has opined that an individual official is not a public body. 42 Op Atty Gen 187, 189 (1981); 44 Op Atty Gen 69 (1984). I find the Department’s views to be persuasive on this issue because the use of the term “body” in this context would clearly mean a number of individuals regarded as a single entity (e.g., the “student body”).

Whether the IAC has the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public body must be determined by reference to the legislatively-established roles of the SBHE, Chancellor, presidents of the seven public universities, and the professors at each of the seven public universities. The Oregon University System (OUS) was established as a public university system by ORS 351.011. OUS consists of the Chancellor’s Office, the public universities listed in ORS 352.002 and any related offices, departments or activities. The University of Oregon is one of the public universities listed in ORS 352.002 as a public university under the jurisdiction of the SBHE.

Under ORS 352.011, the SBHE, on behalf of the Oregon University System, “shall exercise and carry out all of the powers, rights and duties that are expressly conferred upon the board or that are implied by law or incident to such powers, rights and duties.” Another statute, ORS 351.070, lists some of the SBHE’s authorities. More specifically, ORS 351.070(4)(a) and (b) provide as follows:

(4) Subject to such delegation as the board may decide to make to the public universities and offices, departments and activities under its control, the board, for each public university, office, department or activity under its control:

(a) Shall supervise the general course of instruction therein, and the research, extension, educational and other activities thereof.

(b) Shall adopt rules and bylaws for the government thereof, including the faculty, teachers, students and employees therein. (underlining added).

ORS 351.085 describes the duties and powers of the Chancellor. Subsections (1) and (2) provide as follows:

The Chancellor of the Oregon University System shall exercise, under the direction of the State Board of Higher Education, the administrative and management authority necessary to carry out the policies and directives of the board with respect to the public universities and offices, departments and activities under the control of the board. In carrying out the duties of the chancellor, the chancellor shall:

(1) Serve as chief executive officer of the Oregon University System and administrative officer of the State Board of Higher Education.

(2) Supervise the presidents of the public universities listed in ORS 352.002 and recommend the terms and conditions of their employment to the board, including but not limited to appointment, compensation and termination.

ORS 352.004 describes the role and authority of the president of each of the public universities within the Oregon University System:

The president of each public university within the Oregon University System is also president of the faculty. The president is also the executive and governing officer of the public university, except as otherwise provided by statute or action of the State Board of Higher Education. Subject to the supervision of the board, the president of the public university has authority to control and give general directions to the practical affairs of the public university. (underlining added).

Similarly, ORS 352.010 describes the composition of the faculty and its role:

The president and professors constitute the faculty of each of the public universities listed in ORS 352.002 and as such have the immediate government and discipline of the public university and the students therein, except as otherwise provided by statute or action of the State Board of Higher Education. The faculty may, subject to the supervision of the board under ORS 351.070, prescribe the course of study to be pursued in the public university and the textbooks to be used. (underlining added).

These statutes establish the Legislature’s intended framework for the respective roles of the SBHE, the Chancellor, each institutional president as the executive and governing officer and the president of the faculty of his or her institution, and the “president and professors” as the “faculty” of each institution governed by the SBHE.

Much of intercollegiate athletics would seem to be a “practical affair” of the University, see ORS 352.004, and thus the president’s responsibility, subject to supervision by the SBHE and the Chancellor.

Further, the SBHE has adopted numerous rules and bylaws for the government of each of the public universities, including their faculty, teachers, students, and employees. The SBHE’s policy on Executive Leadership can be found here:

 http://www.ous.edu./sites/default/files/state_board/polipro/BdPol130510.pdf. Parts (F)(1), (6) and (7) are the relevant parts.

The SBHE has also enacted OUS Internal Management Directive Section 8. While somewhat dated, this IMD is still in effect and sets forth the role of the institutional presidents in relation to intercollegiate athletics in a variety of ways. Another IMD is Section 1.130, which designates the president as responsible for the development and administration of institutional policies and rules governing the role of students (which would seem to include intercollegiate athletics) and to “take into account” the views of students, faculty, and others.  The Internal Management Directives are found here: http://www.ous.edu/sites/default/files/about/polipro/files/IMD4-10.pdf

To the extent that the SBHE has acted so as to delegate authority regarding intercollegiate athletics to the institutional presidents (and the directors of athletics), the IAC’s role is to advise the presidents and the directors. Presidents and directors are individual officials and not public bodies. Thus, the IAC is not subject to the OPML because it does not have authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public body.

Further, to the extent that the faculty have a role relative to intercollegiate athletics, the SBHE’s actions and the UO Constitution both appear to provide that the president, an individual official, is the ultimate decision-maker via a presidential veto that may not be overridden by the professors.

I want to reiterate that the narrow question at issue is whether the IAC is required to comply with the OPML. This question is answered by determining whether the IAC has the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a “public body.” In my view, the answer to that question is “no.” The answer turns on the word “body” in the OPML. This email does not provide, and should not be construed as providing, advice about any other issue.  Specifically, I stress that this discussion is narrowly addressed to the applicability of the OPML to the IAC. It should not be understood to address the scope of the faculty’s authority or the relationship of that authority to the authority of the State Board of Higher Education (SBHE), the Chancellor, or an institutional president.

I hope that this is helpful.


Randy Geller

General Counsel

University of Oregon

Senate MMXXIII:I Free speech, legal services. Wed 10/9 at 3PM, 282 Lillis


  • I apologize for the skimpy notes below.
  • The Senate spent a fair amount of time on the Academic Freedom policy passed in April, but never signed by President Gottfredson. Neither Gottfredson nor Randy Geller was present to explain precisely what objections the administration had. Senate Pres Paris appointed a committee consisting of John Bonine (Law), John Davidson (Poli Sci), Michael Dreiling (Poli Sci), Bill Harbaugh (Econ) and Deb Merskin (Journ) to find out what their problem is, and what language President Gottfredson will accept. 
  • We also discussed procedures for motions of no-confidence. President Paris agreed with others that any such motions would be debated publicly.
  • Low turnout, and the Senate still has a bunch of unfilled seats. 

Senate Meeting Agenda – October 9, 2013 282 Lillis, 3:00-5:00 p.m. 

Live video here.

3:00 pm 1. Call to Order

3:05 pm 2. Approval of Minutes

May 8, 2013 

May 22, 2013

3:10 pm 

No quorum yet, so no votes on minutes.

3.  State of the University

President Gottfredson will miss this, he’s schmoozing with the “UO Portland Council” at White-Stag. Anyone know what this council is? Google has never heard of it. Presumably they’ll be talking about whether or not UO should renew the $2.4M lease on the Portland clubhouse.

Coltrane delivers speech. Good incoming students. New need-based scholarships have increased number of Pell students. GPA also up. 535 new Pathway Oregon students, vs 400 last year.

80 new faculty (gross, not net). Only 35 are TTF. “More diverse than the faculty look”. OK, they look different. Do the think different?

I’ve been busy with board and collective bargaining.

New board confirmed soon, need to work on by-laws etc. I wonder who’s in charge of that.

New CBA will help NTTF’s, standardizes practices. Implementation of policy will come through Senate and Pres. Lots of work.

$300M in new buildings, but we couldn’t afford to follow through with plan to raise faculty salary to comparators.

Gottfredson will now turn his attention to internal issues. Strategic plan for capital program. Try to stay in AAU. Hire 4-5 new faculty in strategic areas. Budget model needs work. Years of growth. Graduate student ratios “are a little out of our norm”.

Q: What do you mean by attention to the budget model?

A: Shelton has a technical task force working on the plumbing. There’s a “Budget Committee” that includes Senate members. Maybe move away from the tax to ?. Pres is concerned about funding research and graduate education. Need private money to secure our place as a research university.

Q: When you say graduate education, will that include law school grad program?

A: Yes. Need more money for grad fellowships including law.

Followup comment: Gott is absent, and missed half of the Senate meetings last year. Did he also miss FAC meetings.

Paris: We’ve now got a quorum, minutes are approved. Need a Senator for the IFS. 6 meetings a year. Kyr is nominated, approved unanimously.

3:20 pm 

4. New Business

4.1 Introductions; Margie Paris (Senate President)

Lisa, new Senate coordinator is introduced.

4.2 Orientation; Margie Paris (Senate President)

Paris runs through handy slide. See link. Board of Trustees at the top, followed by statutory faculty, Assembly, Senate.

More than 2 unexcused absences and you are off the Senate. Good rule.

Decorum: We will obey Robert’s rules, with help of Paul Simonds!

Q: Can we get a better room? Not this time.

Good idea to correspond with your constituents. Read the agenda, email them with motions in advance.

Stahl: Are all the administrative advisory groups that have been set up an abrogation of Senate authority?

Paris: Good question. We should look into it.

4.3 Election for IFS Senator; Margie Paris (Senate President)

3:45 pm 

5. Open Discussion

5.1 Academic Freedom/Freedom of Speech policy; Margie Paris (Senate President)

Last April’s Senate policy proposal had some clear language on freedom of speech and a clear call to incorporate this into the faculty union contract:

Freedom of Speech 

All University employees retain the right to address any matter of institutional policy or action without fear of institutional discipline or restraint. They also are guaranteed the protections of freedom of speech with regard to any matter, so long as it is clear that they are not acting or speaking on behalf of the University. 

Contractual Force of Policy 

This Policy on Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech shall be given contractual force by incorporation into pertinent contractual and collective bargaining agreements and individual letters of appointment. It shall be incorporated into the Faculty Handbook and the UO University Policy Library.

President Gottfredson refused to sign it, and his union bargaining team adamantly opposed putting it in the collective bargaining agreement. Gottfredson got some national ridicule and backed down, a little. Now the Senate is going to decide how to respond. My understanding is that the UO constitution calls for the President to defend himself to the faculty assembly in these situations.

Paris: Update on academic freedom. Pres was required to adopt this w/in 60 days or come back to Senate. Gottfredson did this, requesting that the policy be split into two: one on academic freedom, one on freedom of speech. Then the AY ended.

Gottfredson will come to the Senate in November and explain.

Harbaugh: So he wants it split but didn’t say how? Why don’t we ask him to split it or do it ourselves?

Kyr: Motion for a group to get this done quick?

Bonine: Pres was obligated to make this request w/in 60 days. Hubin says that the message could be interpreted as a request for a delay, which is allowed. Goes into Garcetti and new Demers 9th circuit opinion.

Current free speech policy: http://policies.uoregon.edu/policy/by/1/01-administration-and-governance/freedom-inquiry-and-free-speech

Senate votes to set up another committee to try and deal with this. approved 17 to 8.

Group will include Bonine, Harbaugh, Davidson, Dreiling.

5.2 Virtual Accreditation Review; Robert Kyr (Music)

4:00 pm 6. Reports

6.1 Carryover from 2012-2013

6.1.1 Report: Legal Services Policy; Margie Paris (Senate President)

This policy is one of General Counsel Randy Geller’s power grabs. The Senate beat him off last fall. From the live-blog:

3.1 Motion (Policy Adoption): Legal Representation Policy; Margie Paris (Law), Senate President-Elect and Chair, Legal Representation Policy Review Committee

Geller’s draft: 

That would certainly be an improvement. 

Kyr reads the motion. It spells out the GC’s responsibility to provide high quality legal assistance. Authorizes Randy to provide legal opinions about UO stuff, and hire high priced legal help from Harrang et al. New language removes Randy’s monopoly on providing legal advice to faculty, students. We have the right to seek legal advice – revolutionary. UO shall defend employees against acts of omission, including those in teaching, research, service. (Merle Weiner clause). Employees may be reimbursed for legal expenses, especially if there’s a conflict of interest. 

Paris: Originally drafted by Geller’s office, would have given you the red-lined version but it’s all red. Tublitz proposed 2 amendments today, want to add these. Right to legal advice: what if Senate wants alternative, competent legal advice? Amendments allows this. 

Mitchell, Harbaugh: SB242 took away DOJ’s monopoly on legal service to OUS institutions. Minor problem for some of the wording. 

Lamar Wise: ASUO supports motion because it gives chance to get out from under Geller. Stahl: Hold back til we get the DOJ thing figured out. Sullivan: Geller represents the administration. If he’s defending an employee, who’s the client? Paris: Let’s go back and research this stuff. Good call. Kyr: We will make Geller show his mug at the next meeting. Meanwhile, direct questions to Paris. Postponed.

We’ll see if Randy shows his face for today’s discussion: 

Nope, no Randy. Shocking.

Paris: We’re kicking this can down the road to the Board of Trustees. So no vote, the motion is tabled.

6.1.2 Report: 10th Year Review; Robert Kyr (Music)

Kyr: This has now become the 12th year review. Passes around signup sheet for volunteers to staff committees to revisit charges of the committees.

6.2 PAC-12 Faculty Leadership Coalition Conference Update; Robert Kyr (Music)

Kyr will go and report.

6.3 Forming an Administrative Advisory Group: VPOEI Yvette Alex-Assensoh (Equity and Inclusion)

The administration has become addicted to using these AAG’s to do an end run on shared governance through the Senate. No charge, handpicked faculty members. Hubin’s Public Records AAG is the most nefarious example. Gottfredson’s Budget Advisory Group is another.

Alex-Assensoh, VP for Equity, wants to form an AAG and actually wants to do it through the Senate. Respect. What do we have to do to get the rest of our administration to do sensible things like this.

6.4 Update on Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics; Margie Paris (Senate President)

Tublitz has been serving as liaison to this, without a formal process. Senate Exec has apppointed him for the rest of the year, then we’ll have a formal process.

4:45 pm 7. Announcements and Communication from the Floor

Stahl: Last year Senate voted to create a committee on proprietary research. What happened? Paris: We’ll have it by next meeting.

7.1 Notice of Motion (Legislation): Working Groups for Campus Planning and Non-tenure Track Instructional Faculty Committees; Robert Kyr (Music), Senator

7.2 Notice of Motion (Legislation): Academic Credit for ROTC; Frank Stahl, Professor Emeritus (Biology)

Stahl wants UO to stop giving academic credit for Military Science (ROTC). I think Napoleon said it best: Si vis bellum para pacem. Besides, you get to rappel out of helicopters – who can say no to that? But we should do something about their grading policy – last I looked it was almost as inflated as Doug Blandy’s notorious online AAD classes. The MIL classes are popular easy A’s for the student-athletes.

4:50 pm 8. Other Business

Stahl: Asks what happened to the motion last May for a vote of no confidence in Gottfredson?

Paris: I advised Senate to go into exec session, even though it was just a notice of motion. Maybe I was wrong.

Bonine: Exec sessions are not allowed on policy matters under Oregon public meetings law.

Harbaugh: So, if this happens again, god forbid, will we have a public discussion?

Paris: Yes, I believe so. Simonds agrees.

Bonine: Hell yes. Since we don’t have the power to fire the President, a vote of no confidence is *not* a personnel matter, and should not be secret.

Stahl follows up on procedures: Can the Senate Exec decide not to bring a motion forward?

Kyr: No.

5:00 pm 9. Adjournment

Adjourned 5 min early! Sweet!