Prov Phillips promotes competent interim VPRI up from the ranks

Over the years this office has been a stew of lethargy, incompetence, insider favoritism, and outrageous self-dealing. Cass has just kept on doing her job for the university through all that, and now she’s in charge. At least for a while. Good move by Provost Phillips, imho:

Dear University of Oregon community members,

I am writing today to fill you in on my decision to suspend the search for the Vice President for Research and Innovation, and appoint Cassandra Moseley as the interim leader in this important position. Cass, an esteemed researcher and talented administrator, will officially assume these duties in July.

Postponing this search was not an easy choice, but it is necessary. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have already had to postpone the searches for the dean of the College of Design and university librarian. The OVPRI search committee, led by Darren Johnson, director of the UO Materials Science Institute, has made good initial headway on the search, and I greatly appreciate the committee’s efforts.

However, a number of factors need to be taken into account at this time, including challenges related to domestic travel, our campus policies on social distancing in the workplace, and concerns from some candidates about staying in the search during such challenging times at their current institutions. Of course, we are also operating under a hiring freeze, and I want to be cognizant of the financial impacts of hiring a senior administrator at a time when there is significant financial uncertainty at the UO. So, after consulting with President Schill, I have decided to postpone the search.

I am very pleased that Cass has agreed to step in to lead the VPRI office in the interim. She will take over from David Conover, who announced in November his plans to retire. Cass joined the UO more than 18 years ago and has had a distinguished career as a respected scientist and academic, and she is a highly capable research administrator. She joined the OVPRI in 2014, and has served in a number of roles in the office, including chief of staff. She is a research professor at UO and former director of the Institute for a Sustainable Environment. She is past chair of the US Department of Agriculture Forestry Research Advisory Council and currently the liaison between Councils on Research and Government Relations for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. Cass leads the Ecosystem Workforce Program, a joint program between University of Oregon and Oregon State University, where she has conducted applied research on federal forest management, wildfire, resilience, community-based forestry, and sustainable rural development.

She also serves as deputy incident commander of our Incident Management Team and has been critical in ensuring that our research operations—and the entire university—are in a strong position to respond to the current pandemic crisis. We are very fortunate to have such an experienced and capable leader to help us during this transition.

I will re-evaluate the situation this fall. If possible, I’d like to resume the search, develop a plan to interview candidates, and select finalists for on-campus interviews. This position is a critical piece of the University of Oregon academic leadership team, and I want to ensure that our process generates a strong candidate pool.

Please take care of yourselves, and I hope everyone is staying safe during this unprecedented time. If you have any questions about any of the searches, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].

Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

Isaacson Miller, who gave PSU Rahmat Shoureshi, to lead VPR search

The announcement from Provost Phillips on UO’s VPR search is here, with a list of the search committee members etc. It will be an open, national, affirmative action compliant search. Good news. But the search firm will be Isaacson Miller, who ran the PSU Presidential search that brought them Rahmat Shoureshi.

Shoureshi lasted 21 months at Portland State, before his lies and various scandals caught up with him, at which point their Board fired him and then paid him another $880K. Apparently Isaacson Miller is not very good at due diligence. I wonder if they repaid PSU their ~$200K fee?

At UO, they recently ran the searches that hired Sarah Nutter for LCB Dean, and Bob Guldberg as Knight Campus Director, and the sham open search that Gottfredson held before promoting Scott Coltrane from interim to regular Provost.

VPRI David Conover to retire, open national search for replacement

Dear University of Oregon Colleagues,

We are writing to let you know that David Conover is retiring from his role as vice president for research and innovation at the end of the academic year, effective July 3, 2020. David has served the university with distinction and been instrumental in promoting interdisciplinary research excellence and innovation in every corner of campus. He has determined that now is the right time for him to step down to wrap up some important research he has developed over his long and distinguished career. Upon retirement, he will hold the title of emeritus professor in the Department of Biology.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) supports the university’s research centers and essential core facilities, encourages innovation and economic development through strategic partnering and technology transfer initiatives, and helps identify ways to support our efforts as a top-tier research institution. The office oversees and coordinates the UO’s research proposal submissions, compliance, and contract and grant administration.

David has provided leadership around research opportunities across the university with a steady hand, an eye toward problem-solving, tenacity, and an earnest wit. He helped develop OVPRI’s new strategic plan, reduced administrative bottlenecks, and improved the ways the university uses data to benchmark and evaluate our research success.

David joined the university in 2016 and in the nearly four years of his tenure, the UO’s research and development expenditures grew almost 20 percent. For fiscal year 2018-19, the value of new research awards increased 70 percent, and federal research expenditures were up 9.6 percent. David and his team have done a great job in supporting these achievements in part by encouraging and incentivizing faculty to apply for more and larger grants.

We are committed to seeing that activity and trajectory continue under the next leader of OVPRI. We will launch an open, national search in the coming months for a new vice president to support the great work and research occurring across the campus and leverage the momentum of the last few years. We hope to be able to have the role filled prior to David’s departure next summer. Going forward, we will consult with David, his office, and campus stakeholders on next steps and will provide more information as a search plan is developed.

Please join us in thanking David for all he has done to serve the University of Oregon. We are happy that he will remain a friend and partner to the university in the capacity of emeritus professor.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law
Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

W. Andrew Marcus (Geog) appointed as Permanent CAS Dean

5/3/2016: Schill’s on a roll. Four down, one to go:


W. Andrew Marcus has been Interim Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences since 2013, and he knows both the amazing opportunity and daily challenges of the University of Oregon’s largest college. That firsthand knowledge and a 15-year UO career that has been defined by incredible dedication, committed leadership, and an unflappable passion for his college make him a clear choice to serve in the role on a permanent basis.

Andrew has earned the respect of the faculty, staff, and UO leadership by always maintaining an optimistic eye on the future. Perhaps most visibly, he has been the driving force to conceptualize the Tykeson Hall College and Careers Building, and will now continue that work to make it a reality.

A tireless advocate for his faculty and staff, he leads by example, as demonstrated by his significant reorganization of the dean’s office to optimize its efficiency in the face of budgetary challenges. The high-functioning and dedicated team he has built allows him to devote more and more time to advancing the visibility of CAS, especially among alumni and donors.

Andrew remains research-active, focusing on human impacts on rivers and the use of remote sensing technology to map and understand rivers. Most recently he served as lead editor of the award winning Atlas of Yellowstone. He also served as head of the Department of Geography from 2008 to 2011, associate dean for social sciences from 2011 to 2013, and president of the UO Senate in 2004–5. 

A 1978 graduate of Stanford University, Andrew went on to earn his master of arts in geography from Arizona State University in 1983 and his PhD in geography from the University of Colorado in 1987.

Please join me in congratulating W. Andrew Marcus, now the permanent Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences.

Scott Coltrane
Provost and Senior Vice President

Schill’s on a roll. Four down, one to go:

?: New LCB business school Dean ?

5/3/2016: Andrew Marcus appointed as Permanent CAS Dean

5/2/2016: New School of Architecture and Allied Arts Dean Christoph Lindner, from Amsterdam

4/28/2016: UO’s new Dean of Journalism and Communications is PR expert Juan-Carlos Molleda from UFL

4/26/2016: UO’s new VP for Research, David Conover from Stony Brook

5/2/2016: New School of Architecture and Allied Arts Dean Christoph Lindner, from Amsterdam
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Coltrane posts videos, calls for feedback on VP Research finalists

Surveys much be completed by 5:00, Wednesday, March 9.

Candidate A: February 23-24, 2016 – Roger Cone

Candidate B: February 25-26, 2016 – David Conover

Candidate C: March 1-2, 2016 – Patricia Bauer

Candidate D: March 3-4, 2016 – Edmund Seebauer

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