Oregonian, RG, WWeek post Blandy and Altmann’s demand for takedown of UO Presidential Archives

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“Zip drive”? I had one of those – back in 1994.

“Remove any documents you have posted on the internet”? You mean the confidential Geller/Berdahl/Hubin legal opinion about dissolving the UO Senate? Sorry guys, that’s not how the internet works. The RG, Oregonian and Internet Archive have already, uh, archived it.

The Diane Dietz report in the RG is here:

The letter to the unnamed professor warned “any further disclosure of confidential documents would be in direct contravention of your responsibility as a member of the faculty.”

The letter was signed by Barbara Altmann, vice provost for Academic Affairs. The professor got the documents from the UO library archives on Dec. 3.

The unnamed professor has not returned documents — which were delivered to the professor electronically — to the university. Two archivists are on leave pending an investigation on how the documents were released.

To date, one document and a set of emails appeared on the UO insider blog uomatters.com published by UO economics professor Bill Harbaugh. The single 14-page document suggested dissolving the University Senate in the wake of the faculty’s vote to form a union in 2012.

The other was a series of emails regarding the drafting of a column that appeared on the editorial page of The Register-Guard on July 14, 2014, and attributed to Robin Holmes, vice president for student life.

The emails suggest that the opinion piece that defended the UO’s handling of a rape allegation was actually drafted by a UO public relations employee.

Can anyone point me to the part of UO’s Faculty Handbook that says professors can be disciplined for refusing to take Randy Geller’s legal opinions off the internet?

The report from Rich Read (two Pulitzers) in the Oregonian is here:

Whatever the case, Coltrane and members of his administration seem desperate to get the material back. They say that release of the confidential information, which Blandy said was “improperly disclosed,” violated a state privacy law and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Another official signed Blandy’s letter for him in barely legible handwriting, appearing to be that of Barbara Altmann. She holds the identical title of senior vice provost for academic affairs.

The letter says that once the professor returns the electronic documents, officials will review them. “We will ultimately make the documents that are not exempt from disclosure available to all library patrons as part of the university’s archives,” Blandy wrote.

“Ultimately”? Is that sort of promise legally binding? I didn’t think so.

The Nigel Jaquiss (one Pulitzer) report in Willamette Week is here:

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I’m surprised Doug Park hasn’t sent Jaquiss a takedown notice over that Duck © image. FWIW, here’s Scott Coltrane’s “unlawfully released” email again:

Date: January 20, 2015 at 7:39:38 PM PST
From: “President’s Office” <pres@uoregon.edu> Reply-To: pres@uoregon.edu
Subject: Archive release investigation

Dear Colleagues,

We have recently learned that a significant number of archived records from the President’s Office have been unlawfully released. These records contain confidential information about faculty, staff and students, but our current understanding is that no social security numbers, financial information or medical records were shared.

We have launched an investigation of the incident, and we have put staff members on administrative leave, pending that investigation. The information was sent to a university professor, and we have already requested that the professor return the information and refrain from any public release of confidential information. To our knowledge, only one record has been shared externally at this point.

We are committed to taking steps to mitigate the potential injury associated with this situation.

Sincerely,

Scott Coltrane, Interim President

Our President really needs a competent lawyer, or at least a strategic communicator who can backward induct.

Faculty Union Bargaining Kick-Off: Tuesday, 6-7 PM, 220 HEDCO

It’s a union, of course there will be beer. And also info about bargaining priorities and how you can help the union convince Scott Coltrane to honor Richard Lariviere’s promise to get UO faculty salaries to the AAU medians.

There’s plenty of water in the well this year, as demonstrated by the latest increases in pay for our central administrators, the proposed 50% raise for the new UO President, and UO Foundation Chair Paul Weinhold’s largesse in offering a blank UO check for the IAAF Track Championship bid. So I’m assuming bargaining will be short and sweet, at least on the economics. The actual bargaining starts Th at 10 AM.

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Coltrane looking for new Senior Executive Assistant

Job ad here. Rumor has it that Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms wants a Chuck Triplett type, who will keep her and Chairman Chuck Lillis informed about exactly what UO’s President is up to:

Title: Senior Executive Assistant

The University of Oregon seeks applications for the Senior Executive Assistant for the Office of the President position. The Office of the President is the chief executive office for the University of Oregon. The office consists of the president, chief of staff, and several high-level executive and administrative support positions. The office staff works to provide efficient and responsible operation of the president’s office in support of the president’s initiatives and priorities in service to the students, staff, and faculty, as well as the Board of Trustees and external partners of the institution.

LibraryGate: NYT confirms crackdown on access to Presidential Archives

1/25/2015: Rachel Donadio has the story in the NY Times, here:

… Every archival official knows that he or she would be safer” erring on the side of “denying access to documents.” The problems are both bureaucratic and political. The slow-moving federal committee in charge of declassifiying state archive material has been renamed the Commission on State Secrets, and it sees its mandate as protecting them, scholars say. …

Others scholars offer tales of more recent closures. Mark Kramer, the director of cold war studies at Harvard, cites the abrupt closing, in September 2003, of material on Stalin’s postwar foreign policy that had been available since the early ’90s. “One day I was able to order files … and a couple of days later I was told that the whole opis” — or batch of material — “had been sealed and would need to be re-declassified,” Kramer said in an e-mail message. “I was no longer permitted to see even the files I had pored over in the past.” Similarly, James Person, an associate at the Cold War International History Project, which publishes material from former Communist countries, said that five years ago he consulted documents from 1956 concerning the Soviet relationship with North Korea; when he returned in March 2006, they had been reclassified.

But many researchers find imaginative side doors. “You don’t give up because you can’t get into the presidential archive in Moscow, which is still the holy of holies,” James Hershberg, a historian at George Washington University, said of the former Politburo archive that contains the most sensitive material.

Oh, wait. This is from 2007, and it’s about Russia’s President Vladmir Putin, not UO’s President Scott Coltrane. And so far has I can tell Putin has never demanded the return of “unlawfully released archives”, threatened a professor for posting archived documents on the web and demanded that they be taken down, or put librarians or archivists on leave for making archives available to the public.

Thanks to анонимный for the link.

1/24/2015: Bob Keefer’s Eugene Art Talk reports on Friday’s faculty party Archives gossip

Here. I’ll have a report on the Saturday parties after this one quiets down, and more rumors trickle in. As always, I advise faculty to check VP Robin Holmes’ website and obey Eugene’s “Ordinance on Unruly Gatherings”, especially if you’re inviting professors from the natural sciences.

LibraryGate: RG editorial on Presidential Archives records release

1/24/2014: The case of the UO records. In the Register Guard, here:

Decoding the curious case of the University of Oregon’s misdirected records requires the deductive powers of a master sleuth — one with an ear for dogs that do not bark, an eye that can detect the fig behind the leaf, and a nose that will wrinkle at the whiff of a rat. But in the absence of a Holmes, a Columbo or even a Clouseau, ordinary Ducks are left to sort through the case on their own by eliminating various possibilities.

Did an unnamed professor do anything wrong when he obtained 22,000 pages of UO presidential documents? Apparently not — the records were placed in the university’s open archives, and were available to anyone. All that sets the professor apart from other members of the public was that he knew what to ask for.

Did the UO’s librarians or archivists, two of whom have been placed on paid leave for releasing the records, commit a breach? Evidently not — making archival materials available to the public is the very essence of their job. The records should have been redacted to protect against the release of such material as legally protected information about students, but redactions should be made by those who are the source of the documents and know what they contain.

Did the office of the president or someone else in the administration cause grave offense? A spokesman for the president says the documents do not contain Social Security numbers, medical records or financial data, eliminating several of the most serious possible violations of student privacy. So far no damage has been done.

What’s in the records, anyway? The only clue is a 14-page memo by the UO general counsel discussing the possibility of dissolving the UO Senate after the university faculty voted to unionize. To those who suspect the administration of plotting to undermine shared governance at the UO, it’s a smoking gun. To the administration, it’s an opportunity to show that the UO stuck with shared governance despite being given a legal argument for weakening it.

The other 21,986 pages could contain information about former UO President Michael Gottfredson’s departure, or the administration’s response to allegations of sexual abuse against three UO basketball players. Information of this kind should be public, or is likely to become public in the course of litigation.

So no wrongdoer can be identified in the release of the records, and no damaging consequences have followed. A detective might conclude that there’s nothing for the university to be terribly upset about.

I apologize to the Register Guard for posting their entire editorial. Given the subject, I hope they won’t sue me. All my posts on the Presidential Archives can be found here.

Rich Read of the Oregonian’s latest report is here:

As university officials urgently seek return of the documents, they are warning employees not to talk with reporters. Adriene Lim, dean of UO libraries, wrote an internal memo instructing library faculty, managers and staff members to keep a lid on information.

But Lim’s memo was leaked to Bill Harbaugh, a UO economics professor who posted it Thursday on his blog, UOMatters.com. Harbaugh has repeatedly declined to comment on matters including whether he’s the person who has the records. He says his attorney has advised him not to talk yet.

“If you receive any media inquiries about this situation, please do not try to handle them yourselves,” Lim wrote in the memo obtained and posted by Harbaugh. “Refer these calls to Tobin Klinger in UO’s Public Affairs group.” …

In a July 15 post, Harbaugh skewered Klinger, writing: “Go away Mr. Klinger. UO needs more faculty, not more PR flacks.”

The skewering was in response to the letter Klinger – a trained media professional, whom UO’s pays $115K a year, and who really ought to know better – sent to the RG editors:

I’m a recent transplant to Eugene, having spent a majority of my adult and professional life working with media in northwest Ohio. Like many, I idealized life in the Pacific Northwest. Eugene and its people have lived up to my vision. Eugene is access to independent film, unique foods, outdoor activities, cultural happenings and community pride. I don’t know that this shines through on the pages of The Register-Guard, particularly with the sophomoric “reporting” of Diane Dietz. …

Sorry Tobin, but Eugene’s community pride isn’t just about “unique foods”. We’ve also got a legacy of free speech (obligatory Wayne Morse link) and some of us aim to keep it that way.

Speaking of which, redacted U of Nike coffee mugs are still available, here. All profits go to buy UO public records from Dave Hubin. Or maybe to someone’s legal defense fund?

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UO’s lawyers illegally obtained confidential student records?

Josephine Woolington has the report in the RG, here:

… In the UO case, filed Jan. 8, the unnamed student says she was raped by three UO basketball players. She is suing the university and head basketball coach Dana Altman, alleging they violated her federal civil rights because one of the students who raped her had been recruited by the UO, even though he previously had been accused of rape elsewhere. The lawsuit also says that UO administrators and attorneys in December accessed information about the female student’s therapy sessions — in violation of state and federal privacy laws — in order to prepare against any lawsuit. The woman had previously threatened to sue the university.

The UO on Friday said that it did not unlawfully access the student’s counseling records. A UO spokeswoman also said the university will file a response soon in U.S. District Court in Eugene. …

These seem like serious and credible allegations. Presumably the University will immediately demand the return of these documents from its administrators and attorneys, and hire an outside investigator to discover what happened. Maybe they can use the same firm that is examining the Presidential Archives situation?

UO professor illegally posts protected documents on his UO website

Back in 2009 I was trying to get a pdf copy of the “Oregon Attorney General’s Public Records and Meetings Manual” to post online. This is a 362 page book published by the DOJ every few years, explaining how citizens can use Oregon law to get public records, and giving DOJ opinions and court rulings on public records and open meetings. Just the sort of thing people should be able to easily access, in order to improve transparency and increase trust in government. At the time it was only available to the public in law libraries, unless you had the foresight to order a copy from the DOJ’s printing office.

In response to my request for a pdf, the Attorney General’s office offered to sell me one for $25, but only if I promised not to post it online:

Good afternoon, Professor Harbaugh.

You requested our Public Records Manual in PDF format. I believe that Tony has told you that, pursuant to our administrative rule, the Manual costs $25. OAR 137-008-0010(4)(d). Upon receipt, you can send a check in that amount to

Publications Section
Oregon Department of Justice
1162 Court St NE
Salem OR 97301-4096

Please enclose a copy of this email with your check.

Our IS people require you to follow the instructions below before we send you the PDF. The State, by and through DOJ, owns copyright to the Manual, and it is not to be redistributed without our permission in any format. This measure is to help protect the copyright.

I ignored the implied threat, and the $25 fee. Instead I checked the manual out of the UO Law Library, scanned all 362 pages to pdf (2 pages at a time, painful, and ugly) and posted it all on my UO hosted website. It’s still up, here:

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I then sent Attorney General John Kroger (Hardy Myer’s replacement as AG), and UO General Counsel Melinda Grier an email, letting them know I had illegally posted a copy of the Oregon AG’s copyrighted Public Records and Meetings Manual on my official UO hosted website.

The press had a lot of fun with the absurdity of the Oregon DOJ trying to limit public access to a document about transparency and public access to government records – especially given that it has that famous quote from James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, on the title page. The RG story by David Steves is here:

Right-to-know advocates are defying Oregon’s attorney general by putting a restricted government document on the Web for everyone to see.

But the document at the center of this dispute isn’t a sensitive record such as a list of Oregonians’ Social Security numbers or names of concealed-handgun-permit holders.

Rather, it’s the state’s Public Records and Meetings Manual — a bland legal guide updated by the state every two years to help the public and the media gain access to government documents and attend public meetings. The state Justice Department, which publishes the 11/2-inch-thick paperback book, doesn’t want it posted on the Internet by others.

Until now, the only way to get the guide has been to buy it from the state for $25.

The right-to-know advocates say they are stunned that the state is trying to stymie its free distribution on the Web.

“I was shocked. Especially given what it says on the cover. It’s got this quote from James Madison about the importance of knowledge and a free society,” said University of Oregon economics professor Bill Harbaugh, one of those at odds with the state over the issue.

Harbaugh decided to carry out Madison’s vision as he sees it by posting a scanned version of the manual online — despite an explicit admonition that copyright law prohibits such an action. Harbaugh’s a bit sassy about it, to boot. His Web site, harbaugh.uoregon.edu, says: “Get your free and illegal copy of the Oregon Attorney General’s Public Records and Meeting Manual here.” …

The blogosphere was even more amused. The Volokh blog (at the time a bit obscure, now the main law commentators for the Washington Post) wrote about it here. Then Carl Malamud got interested. Malamud is the man who worked with Aaron Schwartz to get the federal governments federal court records off their paywalled PACER system, with the help of a cadre of sneaky library patrons, armed with usb keys. (Their free workaround, RECAPTheLaw.org, works beautifully. For example, you can get the court documents for the Cleavenger v. UO bowl of dicks case here.)

Malamud runs Public.Resource.Org, which posts state laws and codes and IRS 990 tax forms for non-profits online, for free and open access. In 2007 he’d persuaded the Oregon Legislature to give up their claims that Oregon Laws are copyrighted. When he heard that the DOJ was now claiming their copyright on the PR Manual meant it couldn’t be posted online, he drove up to Salem, paid the AG their $25, took the PR Manual back to California, ground off the binding with a  belt-sander, fed it through a sheet-fed scanner, and posted it on his website. Came out way nicer than mine. I like to think of myself as a handy guy, but I’d never realized the belt-sander was a vital tool for the cause of transparency.

On his way back south Malamud stopped in Eugene and gave a fascinating talk (video here) at the UO Library at the invitation of UO librarian JQ Johnson, pictured here giving the introduction:

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(JQ passed away in 2012, and is very badly missed):

Malamud then wrote AG John Kroger a very polite letter explaining what he’d done, and if I recall correctly, suggesting that Kroger contact the Public Resource attorney – the famous Larry Lessig of Harvard – if he had any questions.

Apparently Kroger didn’t. A few months later he gave in completely, and had the 2008 manual posted on the DOJ website under a creative commons copyright. Current AG Ellen Rosenblum now has the 2014 version of the Public Records and Open Meetings Manual proudly posted on the Oregon DOJ’s website, here. (The pdf conversion is not as good as Malamud’s 2008 one though.)

In 2012 the Oregon Society of Professional Journalists gave me their “First Freedom” award for my contributions to getting the PR Manual online. Former UO Journalism Tim Gleason is still upset that this went to a blogger – and in particular to me – as he made clear during our joint appearance at a 2013 SPJ conference:

Tim Gleason’s defense of UO’s public records practices falls flat with journalists.

Did Frohnmayer illegally delete records from UO’s Presidential Archives?

The latest report from RG reporter Diane Dietz on the Presidential Archives is here. Oregonian reporter Rich Read has more here. Previous stories and emails about the Presidential Archive are here.

While Duck PR flack Tobin Klinger and Interim UO President Scott Coltrane are hard at work spinning the possibility that the archives may contain too much – such as potentially confidential student and faculty records – the Dietz story raises the possibility that they contain too little:

Documents are moved from the president’s office to the archive using a file-transfer protocol. In 2009, Frohnmayer’s executive assistant skimmed the documents, flagging “confidential or otherwise sensitive items” before the documents were transferred to the library.

Generally, that’s how archiving works. The provider of the documents determines what’s confidential or not otherwise disclosable under exemptions to public records law.

The UO’s “records management transmittal form” has a checkbox where the provider indicates whether confidential records are included in the transfer.

Professional archivists long have struggled with the need for openness and the requirements for confidentiality. They observe provider restrictions — when they are informed of them — but often, they also try to persuade the provider to restrict a minimal amount of material for the shortest period of time, according to the Society of American Archivists and the American Library Association.

“Although access may be limited in some instances, archivists seek to promote open access and use when possible,” according to a statement of the society’s core values.

“By documenting institutional functions, activities and decision-making, archivists provide an important means of ensuring accountability,” the core values statement reads. “In a republic, such accountability and transparency constitute an essential hallmark of democracy.

“Public leaders must be held accountable both to the judgment of history and future generations as well as to citizens in the ongoing governance of society.”

Hard to argue with that as a worthy goal.

As UO president from 1995 to 2009, Dave Frohnmayer made many interesting deals. Some examples that have come to light from public records requests by myself and others, such as former RG reporter Greg Bolt and the Oregonian, include agreements between UO and Phil Knight over the conditions for Knight’s Jaqua Center for Student Athletes, here:

The Jaqua Athletes Only Study Center story just gets weirder. We’ve now managed to get a few more of the peculiar agreements between UO and Phil Knight’s “Phit LLC” from the UO lawyers.

  • License agreement, Dyke and Knight, 1/8/08 (UO “leases” land to Phit, to allow no-bid construction.)
  • Amendment 1, Frohnmayer and Knight, 1/8/08 (UO to pay for parking, computers, staff.)
  • Amendment 2, Dyke and Slusher, 7/31/2008 (UO can’t use extra space but must pay 2/3 cost of landscaping it)
  • Amendment 3, Dyke and Slusher, 4/1/2009 (UO to pay for SEED energy improvements)
  • Amendment 4. Dyke and Slusher, 4/1/2009 (The contractor for the Academic Center has contracted with UO for the Arena and Parking Garage. Weird, not sure what that’s about.)

Another example would be the “Memorandum’s of Understanding” between Frohnmayer and Duck booster and onetime UO Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny giving the UO Athletic Department a variety of secret subsidies and discounts on overheads rates, here:

It took a petition to the Oregon DOJ to make those public.

So are the appropriate records regarding these and other agreements, and the negotiations that led to them, in the UO Presidential Archives as state law seems to require? Or were they “flagged as confidential” and then “disappeared?”

The electronic and paper archives are all public and available to any library patron (supposedly in confidence), so it shouldn’t take much more than a visit to UO’s Knight Library to find out.

The basic indexes are here:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/971644/uomatters/Archives/frohnmayer_presidentrecords_overview.pdf

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/971644/uomatters/Archives/frohnmayer_presidentrecords_11182014.pdf

UO tells librarians to shush about Presidential Archives records release

1/22/2015 Presidential Archives records release investigation update:

FOR INTERNAL-LIBRARY USE ONLY

Dear Library staff, faculty, administrators,

As you read in President Coltrane’s recent message, we have recently learned that significant numbers of archived records have been released, despite the fact that some of these records contained confidential, private, and sensitive information about faculty, staff, and students.

Because this is a complex situation involving issues of privacy, legality, institutional responsibility and more, I am working with others to review all pertinent information. The University’s assessment of the current situation is underway, with the help of an outside investigator.

If you receive any media inquiries about this situation, please do not try to handle them yourselves, but refer these calls to Tobin Klinger in UO’s Public Affairs group, tklinger@uoregon.edu, 6-5558.

I will share as much as I can in the coming days. In the meantime, thanks for your continued dedication to the UO Libraries’ mission and work.

Best wishes,

Adriene

Adriene Lim, Ph.D., MLIS
Dean of Libraries
Philip H. Knight Chair
University of Oregon Libraries
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1299
Phone: 541-346-1892
Email: alim@uoregon.edu

1/22/2015 update: UO administration now snooping through library patrons’ circulation records

Is nothing sacred? The paranoid UO administration is now snooping through library circulation records showing who checks out what when. Rich Read reports the latest in the Oregonian, here:

… Asked whether the material escaped from the President’s Office or University Archives, Klinger said the archives. “It had gone from the President’s Office to the Archives for their processing in the Archives,” Klinger said. …

A patron, it turns out, is someone who makes requests from the library. “We have an ask out to the patrons to return the records,” Klinger said.

Klinger declined to make Coltrane, the interim president, available for an interview Wednesday. “Not today,” Klinger said. “I’d circle back in a few days or a week or so.”

Yup, Assistant Duck PR flack Tobin Klinger is now in charge of deciding if and when Scott Coltrane is available to talk to the press. Wow.

I’m no librarian, but here’s the official ALA policy on library circulation records:

The Council of the American Library Association strongly recommends that the responsible officers of each library, cooperative system, and consortium in the United States:

    1. Formally adopt a policy that specifically recognizes its circulation records and other records identifying the names of library users to be confidential. (See also ALA Code of Ethics, Article III, “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received, and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted” and  Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.)
    2. Advise all librarians and library employees that such records shall not be made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government except pursuant to such process, order or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power.
    3. Resist the issuance of enforcement of any such process, order, or subpoena until such time as a proper showing of good cause has been made in a court of competent jurisdiction.

1/21/2015 update: Diane Dietz in the RG: UO employees release piles of presidential documents; administrators want them back

The University of Oregon has given a professor who got a hold of 22,000 pages of uncensored presidential documents until Thursday to give them back, UO spokesman Tobin Klinger said.

Klinger declined to say what would happen to the unidentified professor — who got the documents at some point in the library archiving process — if he declines to return the documents.

Two UO employees who gave the documents to the professor were placed on paid leave, Klinger said. “Paid leave will stand until we have greater clarity on what transpired,” he said.

The spokesman declined to identify the two employees — or the professor in question.

“I’m not going to confirm an identity for that individual that was the recipient. The request is out for cooperation; I don’t want to do anything that’s going to necessarily influence that,” he said.

The trove of records consists of internal and external correspondence to and from the UO president from 2010 through the presidency of former UO chief Michael Gottfredson, which ended last August when Gottfredson abruptly resigned.

“Some of those would technically constitute student records just because they would be identifiable to the student that was involved. Employee records (and) faculty records that would be protected as well were a part of that, to a degree,” Klinger said.

“It does not appear — and we don’t have any reason to believe — that there’s anything in terms of social security numbers or financial data or medical records or anything of that nature,” he said.

But were there embarrassing documents?

“I wouldn’t want to speculate,” Klinger said.

The University of Oregon is notoriously reluctant to release public documents, even though the university is bound by Oregon public records law.

It often takes months for the university to provide requested records. And sometimes the records the university finally supplies are completely redacted. …

And Richard Read in the Oregonian, here:

University of Oregon officials have placed two employees on leave after the “unlawful release” of 22,000 pages of records from the president’s office, including confidential information on faculty, staff and students.

Interim UO President Scott Coltrane sent out an email Tuesday night, addressed to colleagues, saying an investigation was underway. Although no Social Security numbers, financial information or medical records apparently were divulged, Coltrane wrote that, “We are committed to taking steps to mitigate the potential injury associated with this situation.”

… It’s unclear whether the professor who has the information is willing to return it. “We’ve made the initial outreach,” [UO Deputy Chief Strategic Communicator Tobin] Klinger said. “The ball is in the professor’s court.”

Oregon law requires public institutions, such as the University of Oregon and state agencies, to release information upon request.

But the public-records law exempts various types of information from disclosure, safeguarding personal privacy, trade secrets, personnel records, financial data and other sensitive material. Officials can redact confidential information before releasing documents.

Although Coltrane’s email said the records were “unlawfully released,” he did not explain what was unlawful. …

The material includes correspondence between the university’s last four presidents and parents, students and faculty members, Klinger said. “It’s the typical type of correspondence that you would expect to go to and from the President’s Office,” he said.

Klinger described the breach as serious but not catastrophic.

“I don’t want anybody to equate it to a financial institution having their records hacked and spewed all over the planet,” he said.

1/20/2015:

Date: January 20, 2015 at 7:39:38 PM PST
From: “President’s Office” <pres@uoregon.edu> Reply-To: pres@uoregon.edu
Subject: Archive release investigation

Dear Colleagues,

We have recently learned that a significant number of archived records from the President’s Office have been unlawfully released. These records contain confidential information about faculty, staff and students, but our current understanding is that no social security numbers, financial information or medical records were shared.

We have launched an investigation of the incident, and we have put staff members on administrative leave, pending that investigation. The information was sent to a university professor, and we have already requested that the professor return the information and refrain from any public release of confidential information. To our knowledge, only one record has been shared externally at this point.

We are committed to taking steps to mitigate the potential injury associated with this situation.

Sincerely,

Scott Coltrane, Interim President

Coltrane’s actions don’t match his words. They’re better.

One of the many inexcusable aspects of the UO administration’s handling of the March 8th basketball rape allegations was the the refusal to tell UO students what had happened. From what I can tell Mike Gottfredson, Robin Holmes and Dana Altman planned to keep it a secret forever.

Our students found out about it the same way everyone else did – from the sports reporters. Because of UO Professors Jennifer Freyd and Carol Stabile and their allies, that has now changed:

Date: January 21, 2015 at 5:41:57 PM PST
From: “UO Police Department” <police@uoregon.edu> Reply-To: police@uoregon.edu
Subject: Campus Crime Alert 2015-01-21

What is this notice? Campus Crime Alerts are released by the University of Oregon Police Department when certain crimes are reported on or near campus property, and in compliance with federal law. These timely warnings provide information about campus safety situations, and allow campus community members to take precautions for personal safety. All crimes should be reported as soon as possible to local law enforcement.

Please note this message may contain information that some may find upsetting.

The University of Oregon Police Department has received information that a woman not affiliated with the UO may have been drugged and later sexually assaulted late Saturday, January 17, while at a private social gathering in Watson Hall, a UO residence hall located inside Hamilton Hall on the UO campus. Attempting to cause another person to ingest something without knowledge or consent is aggravated assault, a felony crime.

This incident is unresolved and an investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this or similar incidents should call UOPD Detective Sergeant Kathy Flynn at 541-346-9694. Updates regarding this incident, when and if available, will be posted on the UOPD website at police.uoregon.edu. …

When I asked Scott Coltrane at last week’s Senate meeting what he would do differently if there was a repeat of the basketball incident on his watch, he said probably not much – he thought Gottfredson handled it well. Fortunately, in this case, Coltrane’s actions don’t match his words. They’re better.

Live blog: Senate meets Wed to continue fixing Chuck Triplett’s policy debacle

Over the summer Mike Gottfredson hired Chuck Triplett, the OUS Board Secretary who’d helped Pernsteiner fire Lariviere. The BOT and Angela Wilhems then put Triplett in charge of revising UO policies – and taking away the Senate’s former control over academic policies. No search, no faculty input, no affirmative action compliance, just a brand new $130K job as AVP for “Collaboration”. You can’t make this stuff up.

The one faculty member on the Board is Susan Gary (Law). But she’s away on sabbatical, seems out of the loop, and did not tell the faculty or the Senate what was being done – just as she didn’t clue us in on the Board’s previous power grabs. Not the way to build trust. (Fortunately Gary’s term expires this summer, and presumably the Governor will nominate a replacement who is willing and able to help the Board build bridges to the faculty).

Now the Senate Exec and most prominently John Bonine (Law) are hard at work trying to fix the policy situation. The Agenda for Wed’s meeting is below. The link to Bonine’s famous “Policy Tracker Spreadsheet of many colors” is here.

The Senate agenda also includes a motion to approve the membership of VP Yvette Alex-Assensoh’s Equity and Inclusion (i.e. Diversity) Advisory Group. Having this approved by the Senate is a noticeable improvement from Gottfredson’s efforts use Administrative AG’s to bypass the Senate, and deserves full support.

Senate Meeting Agenda – January 21, 2015

115 Lawrence, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

3:00 pm    1.   Call to Order

3:00 pm    2.   Approval of Minutes

3:05 pm    3.   State of the University

3.1       Remarks by Interim President Coltrane with questions [Note: this has now been taken off the official agenda, here. I don’t know why. Triplett and Hubin seem to be the only JH admins here.]

3:05 pm    4.   New Business

4.1       Motion (Legislation): Approval of Membership for the Senate Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Advisory Group; Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion

Alex-Assensoh (VP for EI) introduces, passes unanimously. Brief discussion about how this “Senate Advisory Group” is sort of a mix between a regular Senate committee and an AAG. Advises VPEI, but appointed by Senate. Seems reasonable, we ought to try it with the secretive PAGIA and Hubin’s PRAAG.

4.2       Motion (Legislation): The UO Senate Award for Shared Governance, Transparency, and Trust; Bill Harbaugh, Professor (Economics) & UO Senator

Introduced with due credit to James Madison (and VWTH):

A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

Harbaugh amended to make all “members of the university community” eligible.

Passed unanimously.

Bonine introduces motion to clarify legislation/policy difference.

Passes unanimously.

 

4.3       Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal of Two Duplicative Policies on Post-Tenure Review; Senate Executive Committee

Passes unanimously

4.4       Motion (Policy Adoption): Adoption and Amendment of 21 Due Process Termination and Resignation Policies; Senate Executive Committee

Bonine raises questions on how these policies interact with faculty CBA. Dreiling thinks it’s OK. Questions as to whether it applies to faculty or OA’s etc. Triplett: OA’s are treated as faculty in many ways. UO GC Doug Park is MIA, so no chance for a legal opinion. Consensus is these are in effect anyways, we should reenact them, but may need to be amended at some point.

Passes unanimously.

4.5       Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal and Adoption of Two Policies on Academic Calendar; Senate Executive Committee

The biggee: Quarter’s or Semesters? UO has no policy. The Bonine number is 629. He wants to adopt the OUS IMD enshrining the status quo. Q: Can we vote now to switch to semesters? No. Triplett raises a useful point on history v. policy in the IMD’s. Amended. Passes unanimously.

4.6       Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal of Duplicative Policy 337 on Academic Freedom (OAR 580-022-0005); Senate Executive Committee

Bonine: UO’s hard-fought Academic Freedom is better than the OUS one, let’s repeal theirs to eliminate confusion. Pases unanimously.

4.7       Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal of Duplicative Policy 338 on Public Activities (OAR 580-022-0010); Senate Executive Committee

Bonine: We had a long debate about this conflict of interest issue and a good UO policy. (Geller and Rudnick tried to shred it in the union negotiations, but got stomped.) Keep ours, repeal OUS. Passes unanimously.

4.8       Motion (Policy Adoption): Adoption of amended Policy 339 on Candidates for Public Office (OAR 580-022-0015); Senate Executive Committee

Keeps UO employees rights to run for public office and serve. Changes “Board” to “President”. Passes unanimously.

4.9       Motion (Policy Adoption): Adoption of amended Policy 340 on Relationship with State Government (OAR 580-022-0020); Senate Executive Committee

“Nothing in this rule shall be construed as inhibiting an employee of the University from exercising the right of citizenship..”

Q: Can students testify at the Legislature as reps of ASUO? A: Ask Doug Park, he’ll find out some reason no… Sullivan: I’m not a lawyer, but of course you can say you represent ASUO if you do… Passes unanimously.

4.10     Motion (Policy Adoption): Repeal of Duplicative Policies 515 and 628 on Honorary Degrees (Board Policy and IMD); Senate Executive Committee

Passes unanimously.

Bonine: We’ve now done 85 of the 350 or so policies of Senate interest.

Kyr: You’ll be getting a survey asking about your expertise an interest in the remaining policies. 2 meetings in Feb.

4:55 pm    5.   Open Discussion

Davidson: Discussion of revocation was easy, because we understand tenure and the reasons for it. Easy for us to take tenure for granted. Reminder that privilege comes with responsibilities, including the willingness to contest popular ideas that we may disagree with.

Lubash: ASUO was called about 2 hours about the archives that were released. Is the Senate going to comment on this? Kyr: We just learned about this yesterday, its important, we just initiated a Senate award for transparency and have recently worked on academic integrity.

4:55 pm    6.   Reports

4:55 pm    7.   Notice(s) of Motion

4:55 pm    8.   Other Business

5:00 pm    9.   Adjournment

More from 1/20/15: Unfortunately some real policy damage has already been done. In December the BOT accepted Triplett’s recommendations and voted unanimously to repeal a host of existing policies, including this one – my personal favorite:

BOARD STATEMENT (1933)

(Made inescapable and inviolable policy of the Oregon State Board of Higher
Education, Meeting #40, October 16, 1933, pp. 72-73.)

First. The people of Oregon have dowered the Board with plenary powers in the field of higher
education and the Board must honorably and courageously execute this sacred and important
trust.

Second. In the exercise of that trust, the Board has selected a Chancellor who is amenable at all
times to the Board, but who is the Board’s chosen and trusted chief administrative officer. The
Board has the right to ask, and will demand, full and unequivocal loyalty from those who, in
turn, serve under the Chancellor’s direction. This does not involve the loss of cherished
academic freedom; it does not limit or abolish open and fair discussion, but it means the
elimination of subversive tactics.

The educational institutions should have their faculty councils. Moreover and better still, there
should be interinstitutional councils, in which the Chancellor’s presence and participation
should promote understanding and mutual confidence. The scope and content of their
proceedings should be constructive and helpful and should leave no room for the type of
devious undermining and sapping that endangers the successful operation of the sane and
wholesome System created by the will of the people of this state.

Intelligent and fair-minded men will recognize that this does not involve subserviency to the
personality or identity of any specific Chancellor who may hold official tenure, but it does mean
that the Board regards the subtle negation of his efforts, and attempts to weaken, minimize,
and impair his efficiency, as inevitably tending to defeat achievement of the purposes of the
Board that is responsible for him, and to which he is responsible. Unreasoning and
irreconcilable feudists should, accordingly, be relegated to theatres of combat beyond the walls
of the institutions whose permanency and growth is a matter of such vital concern to the
Commonwealth.

I’d love to know the history from 1933, explaining why this was adopted.

This is an open search? Coltrane finally posts General Counsel search info

1/21/2015 update: The search started in December:

A week after the public records request below, Interim President Cotrane has finally posted information about the search to replace Interim General Counsel Doug Park. It’s good to hear that UO is at least following the affirmative action rules this time:

General Counsel Search Information

The University of Oregon is seeking to hire a General Counsel to the University. Doug Park is serving as interim General Counsel while a permanent replacement is sought.

The General Counsel to the University (GC) is the chief legal officer for the University of Oregon. The GC is responsible for managing the university’s legal affairs and overseeing the office’s provision of legal services to the university and the UO Board of Trustees. The General Counsel works closely with other executive officers, university units, and student government, and is authorized to accept legal process on behalf of the university. The General Counsel supervises the office budget and staff, including five other attorneys.

The complete position description can be found here.

President Scott Coltrane has appointed a search committee after seeking nominations from the university senate president and other campus stakeholders. The committee has been approved by Affirmative Action and Unclassified Personnel Services.

The committee includes:

Priscilla Southwell, Department head and Professor of Political Science
Meg Reeves, General Counsel at Oregon State University
Brad Shelton, Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation
David Schuman, Professor of Law
Angela Wilhelms, Secretary of the University

As the search progresses, additional information will be provided on this webpage.

Estimated Search Timeline

December 1–19, 2014
Review/revise position description, write announcement and advertise, seek nominations and appoint search committee

December 19, 2014
Office of the President sends documents to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (AAEO) for approval

January 11 and 18, 2015
Place advertisements

February 6, 2015: Closing Deadline
Search committee will begin review of files; open until suitable candidate is identified

March 2015
Invite finalists to campus for interviews

April 2015
Candidate arrives on campus

But who’s really in charge? Google “General Counsel University of Oregon” and you’ll see it’s still Randy Geller:

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 2.14.11 PM

Weird. Maybe they’ll take that link down someday. It only took them a few hours to take down the page Geller posted appointing Melinda Grier as UO’s “General Counsel Emeritus”, after the Oregonian’s Steve Duin started asking questions.

I thought Gottfredson fired graciously accepted Geller’s request to retire and spend more time with his family back in April, the day after UO got back the EPD police report on the basketball rape allegations. Purely coincidental, I’m sure.

Geller now works for Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick, the same law firm he gave the university’s legal business to back in 2011, after President Larviere fired UO GC Melinda Grier over a football scandal. Small world.

1/20/2015 update: Pres Coltrane starts search to replace Doug Park with real General Counsel

Continue reading

University drops expensive, iffy branding scheme

That would be King’s College London. The Times has the report:

… Professor Byrne said the decision had been made to “keep that name [King’s College London] in every way, both as our official name and how we talk about ourselves”.

“So no more King’s London,” he added.

Professor Byrne, who took over King’s in August last year, also said he would not seek to change the university’s 22-year-old logo “for quite some time”.

“I just want things to settle down and get on with the more important things,” he said.