Coltrane promises more transparency. Cheap talk?

9/22/2014: Troy Brynelson has the interview in the ODE:

Coltrane also inherited an administration derided for its opaqueness. He quickly became a favorite of the faculty for his openness, hosting public forums and city hall-style meetings for people across the school to chime in on issues.

“The administration and the faculty have to work together,” Coltrane said of the divide. “…We need to be better at posting information before it’s asked for, and routinely put up important documents and financial statements and that sort of stuff. That should be available to the public all the time.”

Talk is cheap, and Coltrane’s won’t be credible until he tells Dave Hubin and Doug Park to stop using fees, delays, redactions, statements that the administration’s lawyer’s resumes are protected “faculty records”, and claims of harassment to hide documents.

9/21/2014: Coltrane to meet with Senate President, new faculty, etc.

Mike Gottfredson hid out in Johnson Hall for his first 10 months, and when he finally emerged it was to blow off the faculty, saying their questions had already been “asked and answered” by his $300 an hour lawyer Sharon Rudnick. Dave Hubin charged student journalists $250 to see Gottfredson’s schedule – a public record.

In contrast, Scott Coltrane is already doing the job. From his official calendar:

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Gottfredson unable to find qualified “Faculty Athletics Representative”

9/22/2014 update: Gottfredson’s last official act before skipping town with his $940K was to appoint former journalism dean Tim Gleason to replace longtime NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon (Law), after presumptive heir Rob Illig (Law) crashed and burned with his viral “I’m worth $1M, so screw you unemployed law grads” campaign. The FAR’s are having their national meeting in November in New Orleans. For more info about what the FAR is supposed to do to balance the interests of big-time Duck sports and its multi-million dollar employees with our academic mission, try here. Meanwhile the UO Senate needs to decide what to do about Gleason – specifically this proposed legislation from Pedro Garcia-Caro calling for a Senate role in appointing a new FAR.

7/21/2014 update:

This winter Gottfredson set up a search committee to find a replacement for Jim O’Fallon (Law), who has had the FAR job for 25 years and who been the subject of repeated Senate motions and reports calling for a review and replacement. The Senate will take this up again in the fall. Andy Karduna (Human Phys) agreed to chair the committee, despite Gottfredson’s secrecy requirements. Karduna reported to the IAC and the Senate that the secrecy (and presumably Gottfredson’s control-freak job description and the requirement of a year-long apprenticeship to O’Fallon) kept several qualified and interested faculty from applying. Rumor has it that Rob Illig (Law) wanted the job, but his $1 Million salary goal was a bit too steep. The appointment was supposed to be made in June, but apparently there are still no takers.

6/20/2014 update: Gottfredson appoints IAC-lite, to evade faculty oversight of athletics

The day after President Gottfredson got the EPD report on the basketball rape allegations he decided to dismantle the Senate Intercollegiate Athletic Committee and appoint his own handpicked group of faculty to a new “Advisory Group”. Still no word on who Gottfredson will appoint as FAR in training. At least a few qualified and interested faculty refused to apply under the terms of Gottfredson’s secret search. The Senate will vote on legislation for a new search in the Fall, in any case.

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Shelton reports that Espy brought in a 13% increase in UO research grants

9/21/2014 update: That may even have been more than the latest increase in the athletics budget. The report from UO’s astonishingly well paid new VP for research Brad Shelton is here. Oregon State has a real-time dashboard showing their data, here. If anyone knows where the full UO report is please put the link in the comments, thanks.

5/20/2013 updated Updated: Beavers crush Ducks in Civil War for research money, with athletic spending number chart, and at the bottom, some salary and consulting payment info from Espy’s office.

Diane Dietz has the story and data on UO here. I got the OSU data from their very complete Research Office data page, here. Both are “Federal Flow Through” totals, which are the easiest to find directly comparable data. They include spending on outreach and instruction, but it’s mostly research money and the trends look similar no matter how you cut it. That’s the table on the left. The table on the right shows athletic department spending, from USAToday. (Official UO and OSU numbers for 2012.)

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Academic leadership retreat underway

9/19/2014: Academic leadership retreat:

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9/16/2014: Brad Shelton and Jamie Moffitt have led a JH takeover of CAS discretionary spending, and CAS has in turn has taken control from the departments. So even aside from the reports on a possible GTF strike and upcoming faculty negotiations, this should be an interesting meeting:

CAS Department Heads’ Retreat
Wednesday, September 17, 2013
8:30 am – 1:30 pm
Ford Alumni Center – Ballroom

8:30 – 9:00 Breakfast and mingle

9:00-9:20 Introductions and Opening Remarks
Andrew Marcus

9:20-9:50 Financial & Budget Process Update
Gordon Taylor & Sherri Nelson

9:50-10:05 ADUE Update
Ian McNeely

10:05-10:30 Governance/CBA implementation schedule for coming year
Doug Blandy, Barbara Altmann and Bill Brady

10:30-10:45 BREAK

10:45-11:00 GTF Negotiations Update
Kassy Fisher

11:00 – 11:15 Research and Innovation
Brad Shelton

11:15-11:30 CAS Strategic Communications Update
Lisa Raleigh

11:30-11:45 Development and Campaign Update
David Welch

11:45 – 12:00 Wrap-up and Question/Answers – Andrew Marcus and ADs

12:00 – 12:15 Transition to Divisional Breakout Sessions

Ballroom – Managers
Ford 403 – Humanities
Ford 402 – Social Sciences
Ford 301 – Natural Sciences

12:15 – 1:30 Lunch and Divisional Breakout Sessions

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UO faculty salaries $20K below AAU averages, whilst senior admins cash in

The bargaining for a new faculty union contract starts in January. UO’s IR department has just released the data from the AAU Data Exchange on UO faculty salaries, pasted below. Full data, by department, here. I’ve added a spreadsheet showing the salary and comparators for our Johnson Hall administrators below that. (Note that the figure and table use different comparator groups, and also that UO is now using all AAU publics rather than the OUS 8 as the comparator. I’m sorry for the lack of NTTF and GTF data, but the AAU doesn’t care enough about you to collect it in any reliable fashion.)

I don’t know if UO’s reported faculty salaries include the 2013-14 union negotiated ATB and Merit raises, or Tim Gleason’s $350 goat. But UO clearly is way behind Richard Lariviere’s plan to get UO faculty to the AAU averages – by fall 2014. (Note that Lariviere was talking about the 8 OUS comparators, not all AAU publics as UO is now using, but this does not matter much to the conclusions.) Meanwhile Jamie Moffitt’s reserves continue to grow. Lariviere’s plan is here, as described in his 2011 letter to Pernsteiner:

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It ain’t happening:

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But Johnson Hall is doing more than fine:

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Time series for the faculty?

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Corrupt Board of Trustees and President dissolve Faculty Senate

The Chicago State University faculty muckraking blog has the story, here. The Chicago Tribune reports that the board recently lost a $3M lawsuit to a whistleblower over a retaliation lawsuit, and it is now being sued again by the faculty bloggers and FIRE. Their president and board are trying to use a new online civility policy to restrict free speech and academic freedom. This is the road Bob Berdahl, Mike Gottfredson, Randy Geller, Dave Hubin, and now Doug Park want to take UO down.

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Hubin’s public records office uses fees and delays to hide docs

9/18/2014 update: Excluding duplicates, UO has received roughly 40 public records requests in the 90 days since June 18. Log here. That’s roughly two requests every three working days. They’ve got two staff, plus help from the GC’s office on redactions. Some requests are complicated, but many are simply asking for bids, contracts, or accounting statements, which require almost no PRO time. (And many requests are never filled, after reporters see the high fees Dave Hubin wants to charge them).

The Oregon AG’s Public Records and Meeting Manual gives one week as a reasonable time for public agencies to respond – but according to this letter UO’s PRO is now 6 weeks behind. They’ve got plenty of time to spend on writing long excuses, however.

9/14/2014: Dave Hubin’s public records office charges KATU TV $779 for retaliation docs

To his credit Scott Coltrane has already spent more time talking to the press than Mike Gottfredson did in two years. Unfortunately he’s had to use most of that air time to deal with Gottfredson’s reeking aftermath. And as the latest story makes clear, that’s unlikely to change until El Jefe tells Dave Hubin it’s time to return to Richard Lariviere’s transparency policies.

The current UO administration is willing to spend piles of tuition money on PR flacks to write stories that make them look good, and to help reporters get information that puffs up administrator’s resumes. Tim Clevenger gets $195K, Tobin Klinger gets $115K, and Ann Wiens gets $110K for writing stories like this. I can’t wait to read her Coltrane hagiography. (For contrast, look at the excellent story Brent Walth wrote for the Oregon Quarterly about Lariviere’s New Partnership Plan. If you can find it – the OQ seems to have deleted the editions from before Ms Wiens was hired from their archives.) Dave Hubin gets $140K to help hide public records – page down for details.

And here’s the petty trust destroying punishment these expensive administrators inflict on journalists who dare to criticize Johnson Hall:

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Original KATU story here, UO response here, KATU evisceration of the UO response here.

How does UO decide to deny a fee waiver request? UO Public Records Officer Lisa Thornton explains, here. (Paraphrased with a little editorializing on my part, not direct quotes, but I think a pretty accurate reflection of the March 2013 meeting, and so far as I remember never disputed by her supervisor and Assistant to the President Dave Hubin):

Fee waivers:

Dave Hubin: I believe we are operating within the law, which says “may waive”. But the optics are not good.

Lisa Thornton: We apply the three-part test on page 20 which gives us broad discretion to delay and frustrate, and we drive a truck through that.

Tim Gleason: Explain.

Thornton: I apply my judgement to ask if the citizen’s of Eugene would benefit from reading about this. (My god).

Q: Do you explain your denials? Thornton: No.

Craig Pintens: Can’t you have drop down boxes or something?

Thornton: We google the requester to see what they are up to. (My god).

Even Gleason sees this is trouble: “It’s problematic to give you this discretion.”

John Bonine: Oregon law was based on federal law, which contrasts public benefit with private benefit. Commercial is out. If it’s not just for yourself, it’s public benefit.

Gleason: Back on his thing about the burden on the institution.

Bonine: First test for public interest, then ask if the extent of those benefits exceeds the cost.

Thornton: So I’m going to have to do benefit-cost analysis? Can I hire an economist?

Bonine: Not only that, I want you to put your decision and reasons on the web. Provides guidance to requestors, reduces your unbounded authority.

Thornton: We do have discussions and back and forth with requesters about public interest.

Harbaugh: No, you don’t.

Thornton: Let me backtrack on my previous statement. Randy Geller has advised me not to explain fee waiver denials.

Bonine: WTF? Hubin should go back to Geller and change this.

Bonine: There should not be secret law. It is not appropriate for an agency to hide the reasons for a denial. If explanations harm the university, that’s because the university is not behaving well.

Hubin: Is there a consensus that we should give better explanations, and post them? I would have to take that to Geller, and Gottfredson.

Bonine: Not appropriate for Geller to hide his opinions – so if we ask this, we want to get his opinion in writing.

Hubin: We will write some language for transparency about our denials of fee-waivers for transparency requests.

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Dana Altman’s lax recruiting practices continue, where’s Lorraine Davis?

9/17/2014: Justin Wise has the story in the ODE, here. After Brandon Austin you’d think Dana Altman would be a little more careful vetting his players, but apparently 2 of his new recruits have failed to meet UO’s academic standards (or those of the notoriously lax NCAA). No word if Lorraine Davis’s Special Athletic Admits Committee approved them. The IAC will take up a resolution tomorrow (below) to appoint a member to her committee.

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(Updated with DA’s response) Interim GC Doug Park says it’s harassment to cc him on a public records request

9/17/2014 update #2: Page down for the response from the District Attorney’s Office to the UO Public Records Office, and interim General Counsel Doug Park.

9/17/2014 update #1: Page down for a new letter to the District Attorney’s Office, with a cc to Mr. Park.

9/16/2014: Here’s my polite followup to a simple public records request for info on how much UO is paying outside lawyers and consultants. It’s 10 days past the normal due date:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 8:51 PM
To: Public Record Requests
Cc: Kelly Wolf; Douglas Park
Subject: PR request, legal and consulting reports

Dear Ms Thornton

It’s now been more than two weeks since I made this PR request: http://publicrecords.uoregon.edu/content/banner-reports

As you know, the Oregon DOJ thinks that one week is generally a reasonable time to fulfill a request. This is a simple one: These BANNER reports take only a few minutes to run. I would appreciate if you could provide them promptly.

Bill Harbaugh

I cced Interim General Counsel Doug Park because I assumed he’d want to know that UO was out of compliance with the Oregon DOJ’s guidance on public records law. But Park thinks it’s harassment for me to cc him:

On Tuesday Sep 16, 2014, at 9:34 AM, Douglas Park <dougpark@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Bill:

I politely asked you to stop contacting me (see attached emails), but you continue to do so. This is the latest example. You also cc’d me on your recent demand for Melissa Matella’s information on 8/20/14 (the newest attorney in our office). I am not part of and do not control the Public Records Office. And I have no idea what BANNER reports you are now requesting. Thus, continuing to cc me on your emails to the Public Records Office serves no purpose, except harassment.

As I have previously noted, if you have a legitimate legal need that is part of the course and scope of your UO employment that concerns the UO, you may run that through your Department Chair or Dean so that he or she can determine whether it is something the General Counsel’s Office needs to assist with. Again, for your convenience, I added Andrew and Bruce to this email string so that they know they may need to assist you.

Doug

I point out this is part of his job:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Subject: Re: PR request, legal and consulting reports
Date: September 16, 2014 at 9:44:35 AM PDT
To: doug park
Cc: Lisa Thornton, “(W.) Andrew Marcus”, Bruce Blonigen, Kelly Wolf, Robert Kyr, Michael Dreiling, Bruce McAllister

Hi Doug -

I assume that as interim GC you have a responsibility for ensuring UO follows the public records law. Your office frequently reviews that office’s procedures, and gets involved in particular requests, as we’ve read in the newspapers lately.

The AG’s interpretation of that law is that one week is a reasonable period of time to respond, and the PR Office is now well past that period. This should be matter of professional interest to you, and I will continue ccing you in situations like this.

I am sorry that you view this as harassment. I’ve cced Senate President Kyr, UAUO President Dreiling, and UO Ombudsman Bruce McAllister on this reply.

Bill Harbaugh

Mr. Park expands on his claims:

From: Douglas Park
Subject: RE: PR request, legal and consulting reports
Date: September 16, 2014 at 10:01:52 AM PDT
To: Bill Harbaugh
Cc: Lisa Thornton, “(W.) Andrew Marcus”, Bruce Blonigen, Kelly Wolf, Robert Kyr, Michael Dreiling, Bruce McAllister

Dear Bill:

If the Public Records Office has a legal question, that Office is always welcome to contact the General Counsel’s Office for legal advice. It is unnecessary for you to contact me about such matters or otherwise cc me on your requests to that office, regardless of whether you are the requestor. You are merely using the public records laws as a tool for harassment.

Accordingly, I ask again that you follow the established procedures of filing your requests with the office that was created for that purpose: the Public Records Office. No one else in the world cc’s me on their public records requests: only you. Your conduct on this matter stands-outs as strikingly unique. It is so unique and unusual, concluding that it is intended to harass (because it serves no other purpose and no one else does it) is a logical conclusion.

Please do not contact me again. Contact from you has become unwanted and harassing.

Doug

My petition to Deputy District Attorney Patty Perlow for the documents, with a cc to Park:

from: Bill Harbaugh
to: PERLOW Patty
cc: Douglas Park <dougpark@uoregon.edu>, Kron Michael C <michael.c.kron@doj.state.or.us>, Public Record Requests, “(W.) Andrew Marcus”, Bruce Blonigen, Kelly Wolf, Robert Kyr, Michael Dreiling, Bruce MacAllister,

date: Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 11:03 PM
subject: public records petition, UO legal and consulting payment reports

Dear Deputy District Attorney Perlow:

On July 27 I made a public records request to the University of Oregon for

a) BANNER statements showing payments for legal services, from 5/31/2014 to the present.

b) BANNER statements showing payments for consulting services, from 1/1/2013 to the present

These are simple basic accounting statements showing the payee, date and amount of payments. To my knowledge there is nothing confidential about them, and UO has regularly provided them in the past without charge. Anyone with access to UO’s accounting system can run them in a few minutes.

Nearly 3 weeks have now passed, and the UO public records office has not responded to my request, or to the followup below.

Therefore I petition your office to order UO to produce these documents without delay and without charge.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Bill Harbaugh

And a prompt response to UO and Mr. Park, from the Lane County District Attorney’s Office:

From: PERLOW Patty
Subject: FW: public records petition, UO legal and consulting payment reports
Date: September 17, 2014 at 2:01:25 PM PDT
To: ‘Office of Public Records’ <pubrec@uoregon.edu>, ‘Douglas Park’ <dougpark@uoregon.edu>
Cc: ‘Bill Harbaugh’

Below is a public records appeal from Bill Harbaugh. Please let me know whether the University intends to provide the requested records and, if yes, a timeline for production.

Thank you,
Patty Perlow

As background, under Park’s predecessor, Randy Geller, the GC’s office hid the legal billings from public records requests, and even from the required reporting to the State Transparency Office. Park has to decide whether to try that again this year. So perhaps it’s not surprising he’s a little sensitive on this issue. Full Jan 2013 post here. An excerpt:

1/29/2013: Oregon has a law on government transparency: SB 2500, passed in 2009. State agencies are required to post a bunch of stuff, including expenditures. The webpage is here. But UO has stopped reporting what they spend on legal services. They don’t even admit that they stopped reporting – it now just goes from Laundry to Library, as if there’s nothing missing. Orwell would have loved it:

UO for 2012-13 FY (released fall 2013)

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KATU interview with Schuman confirms Coltrane’s panel won’t look into rape allegations

And Carol Stabile, co-chair of the Senate Task force, says they can’t do much investigating, because the administration won’t share information on how they dealt with the allegations. The faculty is doing what if can to move forward though:

To: Scott Coltrane, Interim University President
From: Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support
RE: Initial Recommendations for Immediate Action

Dear Interim President Coltrane,

As you know, the Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support has been meeting since July 2014. While we are still working with various administrators to acquire data and information that is vital to our charge, we have already identified some items for immediate. In accordance with Senate legislation, we will submit our final report at the October 22nd University Senate meeting.

Below, please find our initial recommendations for immediate action. We are submitting these recommendations to you now because they are urgent and we believe that they must be implemented before September 29th, the first day of classes of the new academic year.

Using “Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault” as a guide, we have identified six items (please see below) as best practices that have been or are being adopted throughout the nation.

After serious discussion, the Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Assault and Survivor Support voted unanimously in support of the recommendations below at our September 8th meeting. We urgently request that all of these recommendations be implemented no later than September 29th, 2014, except for 4a and 4b, both of which need to be received by all teaching faculty, including GTFs, no later than September 22nd, 2014:

1.     Emergency Fund for Survivor Support and Prevention: UO should establish a discretionary fund for survivor support and prevention ($10,000) to be administered by the Sexual Violence Response & Support Services Coordinator. This amount would be reviewed at the end of FY 2014 by the University Senate, which will then make a recommendation for funding for FY 2015. Implementation: no later than September 29th, 2014.

2.     Good Samaritan Policy: Recognizing that the threat of punitive policies can cause hesitation during stressful and confused situations, universities and communities around the country have adopted Good Samaritan policies. We recommend that the UO immediately adopt a Good Samaritan Policy, which we are forwarding to you as a link (draft included). Implementation: no later than September 29th, 2014.

3.     Title IX Messaging: In order to comply with Title IX, the President’s Office should compose and send a message to all UO employees, which provides clear information about Title IX resources, identifies officers and deputy officers, and specifies all our Title IX responsibilities. Implementation: no later than September 29th, 2014.

4.    Educational Messaging:
a.     Syllabus Statement Regarding Sexual Violence: The President’s Office should send the attached message to all teaching faculty for inclusion on their syllabi. This message has been reviewed by the Teaching Effectiveness Program (draft included). Implementation: no later than September 22nd, 2014.
b.    Guidelines for Classroom Discussions of Violence: The President’s Office should send the attached message to all teaching faculty concerning discussions of sexual violence in classrooms (draft included). This message has been reviewed by CoDaC, the Teaching Effectiveness Program, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and faculty members from the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. Implementation: no later than September 22nd, 2014.

5.     Anonymous Reporting: The UOPD “anonymous” reporting form currently is tracking IP addresses. UOPD should immediately stop tracking IP addresses. Our final report will include additional recommendations addressing concerns about reporting. Implementation: no later than September 29th, 2014.

For your convenience, we offer the following links to further important resources:
Not Alone
Title IX
Clery Act
University of Oregon resources
The website of the Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support

Respectfully submitted,
Carol Stabile, Professor (Journalism; Women’s and Gender Studies);
Randy Sullivan, Senior Instructor (Chemistry; Biochemistry);
Co-Chairs, Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support

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Faculty union VP Ron Bramhall in the AAUP’s Academe, on contigent faculty

Blog post here, full article by Bramhall here:

… Continuing disinvestment in higher education across the country has led to an overreliance on contingent faculty. According to “The Just-in-time Professor,” a report issued by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in 2014, in 1970 contingent faculty made up about 20 percent of the faculty in the United States and today, they make up about 75 percent of the instructional workforce. They are the new majority, and their plight is finally getting the attention it deserves.

An increasing reliance on contingent faculty has much broader implications. The struggles of contingent faculty are not merely about working conditions. They are symptomatic of the continual decline of what has made higher education in the United States great. At its best, higher education in the United States is about deep inquiry and discovery, controversial ideas, critical peer review, and academic freedom. At its worst, it is about managing enrollment, building a “brand,” optimizing student credit hours, and job training. When the majority of faculty in front of students each day have no idea if they will have a job next term or if they will be able to pay this month’s bills, these core values suffer. When they have no time to meet with students because they have to teach too many classes to make ends meet, these values suffer. When they are so worried about being rehired that they fear engaging in discussion of anything even remotely controversial, these values suffer. The gradual erosion affects everyone—all faculty, students, and the broader society. …

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