Anna Richter-Taylor and Gallatin Public Affairs bill UO $356,014 for what?

This previous post explains that in March Coltrane told Clevenger to review expenditures, report back, and freeze hiring in the meantime.

Apparently UO is so short on strategic communicators that VP Tim Clevenger has spent $356,014 on help, just at Gallatin Public Affairs. What’s it buying, other than Oregonian editorials about UO’s “bumbling” leadership? Let’s ask him:

On ThursdayApr 30, 2015, at 8:15 AM, Bill Harbaugh <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Tim – I put up a post with the GPA invoices, at I’d appreciate it if you can send me some documentation on what they have been doing to earn this money.

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Some of it looks like efforts to deal with the bad publicity from HLGR’s negotiation’s with the faculty and student unions, but most of the invoices have no details whatsoever – just the billable totals.

Here’s one monthly payment, totals below, full doc dump here. It only took 5 weeks to get these from Dave Hubin’s public records office. I’m still waiting for documents describing what these people actually did to earn this money. No wonder Jamie Moffitt’s well is dry:

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4/27/2015: Coltrane and Angela Wilhems dump another $200K + on administrative bloat

The going rates in the AAU for new assistant professors, for Fall 2013:

Math: $83,000
Human Physiology: $72,300
English: $62,800
Economics $120,800
International Studies: $72,500
Business administration: $156,000
Journalism: $57,200
Special Education: $75,000

But why would the UO administration hire more troublesome faculty, when they can spend the money on an Associate Vice President for Public Affairs instead, and task them with the job of making the UO administration look good? A mission so impossible that you know it’s got to pay well. Add in support staff and the latest admin bloat is going to cost UO 2 to 3 faculty lines:

Title: Associate Vice President for Public Affairs Communication

Department: University Advancement

Reports To: Vice President for University Advancement

Term: 1.0 FTE for 12 months (renewable annually)

Salary Range: $150,000 – $200,000

Review Date: Search will remain open until filled. To ensure consideration, please submit application materials by May 26, 2015

Start Date: As soon as possible

General Responsibilities:
The University of Oregon seeks applications for the Associate Vice President (AVP) for Public Affairs Communication. The Office of Public Affairs Communications includes media relations, digital communications, internal communications, emergency communications, and counsel to university constituencies, including the Office of the President.

Reporting to the Vice President for University Advancement, the AVP serves as the chief communications officer of the university and will lead and manage internal and external communications strategy and execution. The AVP will provide strategic vision and leadership in the creation and implementation of communications initiatives, including fostering relationships with media, community leaders, external organizations, students, and other campus constituencies. This position will serve as a member of the President’s leadership team and will work closely with the President, the President’s Chief of Staff, the University Secretary, and the Associate Vice President for Marketing and Brand Management among other senior leadership on campus. …

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.