Gottfredson: Weak on Freedom?

4/16/2014 update: It’s been a week now, no signing ceremony. The rumor is that President Gottfredson has stuck Dave Hubin with the job of finding some explanation – plausible or not, doesn’t really matter - for why although he would personally love to sign this policy, it would be a violation of his fiduciary responsibility as “The University”.

4/10/2014 updates: Senate passes academic freedom motion unanimously

InsiderHigherEd has a report on the “months of contentious negotiation” between the Senate, the union, and Gottfredson over academic freedom, and Betsy Hammond has a story on this in the Oregonian here:

Gottfredson, in an emailed response to The Oregonian, said, “I look forward to closely reviewing (it) …I fully support the strongest policy on academic freedom possible. Academic freedom is central to our mission and underlies everything we do as a university.”

This is our passive-aggressive president’s typical non-response. “Asked and answered.” “I’ll take that under advisement”. ” “I look forward to reviewing it”. Then nothing.

Here’s some more history, with his Randy Geller’s redlines of an earlier Senate draft. And here’s Gleason and Rudnick’s restrictive proposal on academic freedom, from 2/17/2013 during the union bargaining. All about the limitations, authority, and of course that easily abused requirement for “civil dialogue” – and if The University thinks it’s not, then discipline!

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UO law school prof angry about plan to use his raise for student fellowships

4/17/2014 update: And now the ABA Journal.

These emails have gone viral, with many hundreds of comments on law blogs like Lawyers Guns and Money, Tax Law Blog, Above The Law, Professor Bainbridge, JDU, Eschaton, Leiter’s Law School Reports, something called Gawker, and Jeff Manning’s piece in the Oregonian:

This was bad viral. The University of Oregon Law School professor’s wild rant about his compensation made Illig look petty and unsympathetic at the same time. More importantly, it shined a light on the raging debate about higher education, the value of advanced degrees and the mushrooming debt encumbering a generation of students.

The official UO law school blog – which, in an admirable demonstration of transparency actually allows comments, has responded:

To The Law School Community:

We’ve been getting some questions about a resolution brought to the last faculty meeting, and we’d like to share some information. Recently the University announced across-the-board cost of living adjustments and merit pay increases to take effect later in the year. A group of law faculty came up with the idea to divert the law school’s portion of the faculty merit pay funds to a post-graduate fellowship program for new law grads, in lieu of accepting a pay increase. Last Friday, this group brought this idea as a resolution (included below) to the regularly scheduled faculty meeting. A wide majority of those present voted to approve the resolution—in addition, a majority of the full faculty support the resolution.

We brought the matter to the Provost and although he is supportive of our goals he cannot bend the University rules to make this creative idea happen. However, we remain committed to finding ways to fund post-graduate opportunities and address other employment issues facing our graduates. We invite your comments and questions on this blog or one-on-one.

(I am not the Faculty Spokesperson. To avoid the appearance of speaking for everyone on the faculty, here I will include the names of some faculty who agreed to sign this statement (and I don’t mean to imply that those not included do not support it): Stuart Chinn, Michael Fakhri, Caroline Forell, Liz Frost, Erik Girvan, Carrie Leonetti, Mohsen Manesh, Roberta Mann, Michelle McKinley, Margie Paris, Jen Reynolds, Liz Tippett.)

Here is the text of the resolution from 4/11/2014:

The faculty recommends that the dean proceed with conversations with the Provost and the President regarding: reallocating funds for proposed faculty merit raises toward student fellowships, with a focus at present on post graduate student fellowships. If this proposal is approved, the faculty will revisit this reallocation of funds after two-three years.

4/14/2014: Several members of the law school email lists (which included staff, secretaries etc.) have forwarded these two emails from professor Rob Illig (Law) about a plan apparently floated by Law Dean Michael Moffitt (paid $292,800 after a recent raise) to deal with the law school’s enrollment problems and US News ranking, which has fallen from #80 to #100 since Moffitt took over in 2011.

The plan? Cancel raises for the faculty, and use the money to fund a program to give non-profits money to hire UO law school graduates, boosting the employment numbers that go into the US News rank.

Here are UO Law salaries for 2012-13, with comparison to other AAU publics:

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Associate Professor Illig is not happy with Moffitt’s plan, or with the lack of transparency in how it was presented to the law faculty (who apparently voted to approve it).

Subject: Re: law-fac-staff: What happened to Oregon Law?
From: Rob Illig <>
To: Rob Illig <>
Cc: Dustin Littrell <>, law-faculty Faculty <>, “ Staff List” <>, Dan Miller <>


To my shock and amazement, I just learned – three days after the faculty
meeting – that someone (you? the faculty?) is trying to take away my
one-in-a-decade chance at a raise WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT.

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Mark Yuran gone as UO Chief HR Officer

4/16/2014 Now verified:

Sent on behalf of Jamie Moffitt:

UO Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

I am writing to share news regarding an important change within the University of Oregon Human Resources Department.

Mark Yuran has elected to resign his position as Chief Human Resources Officer. We wish him well and thank him for his contributions.

We ask that you and your staffs continue to work with the appropriate Human Resource office specialists regarding specific and ongoing issues and opportunities. Feel free to contact Greg Stripp, associate vice president for administration, at or 541.346.5551, or myself, should any urgent items arise during this interim period. We will provide additional succession details when appropriate and thank you for your ongoing support.

Please share this message with additional colleagues as appropriate.


Jamie Moffitt
Vice President for Finance & Administration & CFO
University of Oregon

4/2/2014: That’s the latest from rumor control. VPFA Jamie Moffitt hired him in October, according to this announcement from UO’s “Office of Strategic Communications”. According to the Sept search announcement he was charged with, among other things, union contract implementation and grievances. The outside search was conducted by Kim Morrison of Diversified Search, Inc.

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VP for Research Kimberly Andrews Espy to leave UO for Arizona

This is a big win for President Gottfredson, for the UO Senate which has been pushing for this for more than a year at the urging of much of UO’s research community, and for the review committee that the Senate established and which Associate Dean Bruce Blonigen chaired. UA President’s announcement here, UO’s below:

From: “President’s Office” <>
Subject: Vice President Espy to take research position at University of Arizona
Date: April 15, 2014 at 3:07:39 PM EDT

Dear Colleagues,

Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the Graduate School, has accepted the position of vice president for research at the University of Arizona. She begins May 27.

I wish Dr. Espy the very best in her new appointment, and thank her for her outstanding service to the University of Oregon. During her nearly three-year tenure at the UO, she has provided valuable leadership and guidance that has greatly benefited our research mission. Dr. Espy led efforts to significantly expand the university’s research infrastructure and began the University’s Research Development Services, which assists faculty in proposal development. She also built strong partnerships in Oregon to accelerate research application through start-up businesses.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Espy as she takes her new position.


Michael Gottfredson, President

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The NCAA in Crisis: Today at the UO Alumni building

Update: UO student journalist Will Rubin has an excellent report on last week’s UO symposium, here. Complete with a brief quote from De’Anthony Thomas – then his lawyer cut him off. AAD Craig Pintens keeps a tight leash on what athletes say in public, so don’t expect any uncensored comments from the Duck’s current revenue producers on unionization, rights to player likenesses, concussions, random pot testing, and so on. Notably absent from the panel were UO’s soon to be replaced FAR and NCAA cartel enforcer Jim O’Fallon (Law) and the UO Senate’s current IAC chair and wannabe sports lawyer Rob Illig.

4/11/2014: Complete with the NYT’s Joe Nocera – our Faculty Athletic Rep Jim O’Fallon’s nemesis. Many other well known speakers. No idea why this wasn’t better advertised. From
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Business school does “360 degree” review of Dean, posts all comments

No, of course I’m not talking about UO and our B-School Dean Kees de Kluyver. This is for Eastern Michigan. Survey responses here. Seems like a constructive exercise.

Will this ever happen for UO administrators? Maybe. After a secret performance review of President Gottfredson last spring – the Senate wasn’t even told it was being done – the OUS Board extended his contract through July 2016. As the RG editorial board noted last summer about Gottfredson’s lackluster first year at UO:

“And if a president proves lacking in either vision of his own or the ability to execute the vision of others, the board can replace him.”

Fortunately, as the editors also note, we now have an excellent independent board:

“These people won’t be content to be figureheads. They will expect the UO to perform as the state’s leading institution of learning and research, and as a primary engine for Oregon’s civic, cultural and economic development. All of them have achieved their various types of success through careful investments of their money, time and energy. Now they’re investing a part of their lives in the UO, demonstrating a commitment to the university and a faith in its potential.

And fortunately UO’s Trustees are indeed taking charge and planning a new review for Gottfredson. Here’s hoping it involves an open process, along the lines of what other universities do.

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UO gives coach Kelly Graves 6 year, $3M perkalicious contract

$500k a year, bonuses, car, country club memberships, outside income, etc. Contract here. This is for a sport that loses millions a year. The administration was supposed to consult with the Senate’s IAC about this hire, but didn’t.

In other news, Diane Dietz has a story in the RG about UO’s tuition increases for out-of-state students. It’s nice to see that Brad Shelton and Roger Thompson aren’t regurgitating UO’s past claims that big-time sports brings in high-paying students, at least when they talk to the press and present to the UO Trustees. So why are we subsidizing it?

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Gottfredson misleads Senate about secrecy on Board authority policy

4/12/2014 update: The report by UO’s new $115K Senior Director of Communication Affairs Tobin Klinger in “Around the O” gives Gottfredson’s excuse to the Senate for hiding Geller’s delegation of authority policy from the faculty:

Prior to the [Senate] discussion, President Michael Gottfredson spoke on the board meeting actions, expressing his regret that the timing of the board meeting had not allowed for adequate comment and reflection on the policy from the campus community.

Bullshit: Nothing prevented Gottfredson telling the Senate about this months ago, or from sending the Senate an email with a heads up and the draft policy. Rumor has it he didn’t even tell his Faculty Advisory Council, whom he meets with weekly.

How long has he known this was coming? A year? Geller was so paranoid about keeping the policy secret he even told faculty Trustee Susan Gary (Law) to sent her comments to him privately and not to the other Board members. This was Randy’s effort to subvert Oregon’s open meetings law, which according to the Attorney General applies to meetings conducted via email discussions, but not necessarily one-on-one exchanges.

The next Senate working group meeting on fixing Geller’s policy is Wed April 16, 1:15, in the Johnson Hall conference room. It’s an open meeting.

4/7/2014: Kyr Committee to defend UO from Administration’s spring break coup attempt

Since this committee will be advising the UO Board by taking a fat red marker to Gellers’ policy, these are public meetings. Right, Randy? The schedule and more info on this treasonous plot is here, video of the first committee meeting is here:

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GTFF bargaining: Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick damage to UO spreads

4/11/2014: GTFF bargaining restarts today, 3:30 in 112 Lillis. The grad student live-blog is here. The word is that the raise proposals will be on the table. Still no numbers on how much UO money Gottfredson and Geller have paid Frohnmayer’s law firm to negotiate against our grad students. The GTF contract has expired, so they can give notice of a strike soon. Why not – that worked out pretty well for the PSU faculty, and Gottfredson can hardly we don’t have the money for grad students, given his largess with Tim Gleason and Jim Bean’s golden parachute sinecures. Meanwhile still no word on what happened to Mark Yuran, the $180K Chief of Human Resources who was hired in fall to be in charge of these negotiations, but is now suddenly gone from the HR website:

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2/6/2014 update: UO’s graduate student union is asking faculty and others to sign a petition endorsing their efforts to extract a reasonable contract from the UO administration. Sign here. Assuming that The University can clear the sidewalks, bargaining resumes Friday 2/7/2014 at 3PM, in the EMU Ben Linder room. Show up early for a good seat, the administration’s bargaining team tends to mumble. It’s almost as if they’re embarrassed about something. Their current offer is for 1.5% this year, 2% next. I’m no economist, but I’m thinking this is not a rational strategy for recruiting top PhD students and keeping us in the AAU. Maybe Gleason should throw in a goat?

1/24/2014: I haven’t done the math – perhaps Gordon Taylor has – but I’m guessing Coltrane’s $2.2M subsidy for jock box operations would fund a 10% raise for all our GTFs, including those now above the UO minimums.
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Pretty in China party scene, and UO spending money on cops not counseling

Great story by Hannah Golden in the Emerald about the gloriously over-the-top parties that our entrepreneurial Chinese undergrads are organizing.

And also an excellent report by Bayley Sandy, headlined “Student leaders do their best to compensate for the UO Counseling Center’s insufficient funding”. Maybe VPFA Jamie Moffitt should raffle off one of the new armed 4×4 police trucks she bought the UOPD, to help raise some money for the student counseling center?

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Updated update on Academic Freedom

From the Senate website, for debate and vote today. Great policy. The sticking point will be “c. POLICY AND SHARED GOVERNANCE. Members of the university community have freedom… ” The administration wants to restrict this freedom only to faculty. Why?

Suppose, say, that President Gottfredson had a rogue General Counsel who was firing off random email threats to faculty and writing amicus curiae briefs for his lawyer friends on the side. Would the President be able to fire him, or could the GC claim that he was merely enjoying his freedom?

Why do they also want to exclude students? I have no idea.

Policy on Academic Freedom

The University of Oregon encourages and supports open, vigorous, and challenging debate across the full spectrum of human issues as they present themselves to the university community. The University of Oregon protects free speech through Policy No. 01.00.16. This policy on Academic Freedom builds on these existing commitments by recognizing the special contexts of scholarship, teaching, governance, and public service.


a. SCHOLARSHIP. The University’s research mission requires that members of the UO community have autonomous freedom to conduct research and produce creative work, and to publish and disseminate that work, limited only by the standards and methods of accountability established by their profession and their individual disciplines.

b. TEACHING. The University’s responsibility to help students to think critically and independently requires that members of the university community have the right to investigate and discuss matters, including those that are controversial, inside and outside of class, without fear of institutional restraint. Matters brought up in class should be related to the subject of courses or otherwise be educationally relevant, as determined primarily by the faculty member in charge of the class.

c. POLICY AND SHARED GOVERNANCE. Members of the university community have freedom to address, question, or criticize any matter of institutional policy or practice, whether acting as individuals or as members of an agency of institutional governance. The freedom of non-faculty employees to address matters under this paragraph may be limited with adequate notice by policies appropriately adopted by the University.

d. PUBLIC SERVICE. Public service requires that members of the university community have freedom to participate in public debate, both within and beyond their areas of expertise, and to address both the university community and the larger society with regard to any matter of social, political, economic, cultural, or other interest. In their exercise of this freedom, university community members have the right to identify their association or title, but should not claim to be acting or speaking on behalf of the University unless authorized to do so.


These freedoms derive immediately from the university’s basic commitment to advancing knowledge and understanding. The academic freedoms enumerated in this policy shall be exercised without fear of institutional reprisal. Only serious violations of this policy – ones that rise to the level of professional misbehavior or professional incompetence – should lead to adverse consequences. Any such determinations shall be made in accordance with established, formal procedures involving judgment by relevant peers.

4/8/2014: Sorry, I don’t have one. The Senate ad hoc committee is meeting with President Gottfredson and his administration right now, but Randy Geller has banned me from the academic freedom meeting because of my over-enthusiastic use of academic freedom. So I’m sitting in the Johnson Hall lobby, waiting to hear what happens. The Senate will vote on a new policy on Wednesday, I hope.

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Senate to vote on FAR hiring, join NCAA in calling for independent review of academic support for athletes

The FAR motion is here. Gottfredson has set up a closed search, with some other peculiar conditions for Jim O’Fallon’s long overdue replacement. This resolution asks him to make it open.

The academic support motion is here. There have been many scandals about these operations at other universities. Currently UO’s services are reviewed by Lorraine Davis, who is on the AD payroll. Not exactly independent, and even the NCAA has taken UO to task on this.

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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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Senate to vote Wednesday on Transparency for Senate Committees

The Meeting is this Wed 4/9/02014, 3-5PM in 115 Lawrence. Agenda here.

Among the important motions for this meeting is one that would require most Senate committees to post their agendas online a week before the meeting, and generally hold open meetings – with plenty of reasonable exceptions for personnel matters, student records, and discussions that involve other confidential matters. The importance of open meetings for UO business was reinforced at the recent meeting of the UO Board of Trustees, where Randy Geller’s efforts to draw up a delegation of authority motion for the board in secret led to way more work for everyone, and way less trust.

This motion has gone through the Committee on Committees and was discussed in detail at the last Senate meeting. The motion and more information is posted at There is additional background at the bottom of that page, e.g. an opinion from GC Randy Geller and from another competent attorney with a different interpretation. Both agree that the Senate can do this if it wants, subject of course to laws about releasing student and personnel records. The motion includes provisions covering those exemptions.

I think this motion draws a reasonable balance between openness, confidentiality, and minimizing extra work. I support it and I hope other Senators will too.

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