Category Archives: Communications

President Schill drops policy proposal for TPM restrictions on free speech

2/14/2017:

From: Mike Schill <mschill@uoregon.edu>

Subject: Time, Place and Manner rules

Date: February 14, 2017 at 5:51:47 AM PST

To: Chris Sinclair <csinclai@uoregon.edu>, William Harbaugh <harbaugh@uoregon.edu>

Hi Bill and Chris,

After discussing the matter with you two, Kevin Reed and other senior staff, I have decided to withdraw our proposal for time, place and manner rules.  While I still believe that these rules are advisable to protect content neutrality, I am also convinced that we need to do more work in educating the community and building consensus around them.  The UO has no shortage of pressing issues, difficult problems and wonderful opportunities for us to work on together now.  Therefore, I am putting the time, place and manner proposal on hold for the foreseeable future.

Best,

Mike

12/07/2016: For informational purposes and background, please see previous senate motion:

This policy contains elements related to free speech activities on campus.

11/27/2016 update: After weeks of of not responding to Senate requests for an updated draft of the TPM free speech restrictions policy, General Counsel Kevin Reed has now submitted one to the administration’s Policy Advisory Council.

Continue reading President Schill drops policy proposal for TPM restrictions on free speech

New UO Provost Announced

Dear University of Oregon colleagues and students,

It is my great pleasure to announce that distinguished physicist Jayanth R. Banavar will join the University of Oregon as our next provost and senior vice president. The hiring of Jayanth as the UO’s next chief academic officer is the culmination of a nationwide recruitment that started in August. 

Jayanth comes to the UO from the University of Maryland, where he has served as dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences since 2011. He was far and away our first choice out of a talented pool of nationally prominent academic leaders. The search committee, vice presidents, faculty members, and others who met with Jayanth were impressed with his stellar academic credentials, interdisciplinary track record, strategic mindset, creativity, and ability to make tough decisions with a touch of humor and personal warmth. Jayanth will begin his duties here in Eugene in July, and I cannot wait to welcome him to campus.

This is a critical appointment for the UO. The provost is responsible for working with me, the deans, and the faculty to set the academic priorities for campus and for managing the human and capital resources to support those priorities. In the coming years, the provost will lead efforts to continue our recruitment of new faculty members, retain the talented faculty already here, realize our aggressive student success goals, and oversee the implementation of a new academic budget system. The provost is the guardian of our academic excellence, working with faculty and staff members, students, and other stakeholders across campus to ensure that we maintain the highest-possible quality of scholarly activity and educational programs. I am confident that Jayanth has the experience, vision, wisdom, and leadership skills to work collaboratively with constituencies across this campus to deliver on those ambitious expectations. There are numerous people I would like to thank. The first is our current provost, Scott Coltrane, who last June announced his plans to retire this summer. Scott has served as a valuable counselor and trusted resource throughout this process. We are grateful that he will work closely with Jayanth over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition in the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs.

I also want to thank Geri Richmond, who carved out time from her busy research responsibilities to lead the 17-member provost search committee. The committee, under Geri’s leadership and with the assistance of the search firm Russell Reynolds, did an amazing job of helping me identify, evaluate, and vet an outstanding pool of highly qualified candidates, working on an accelerated timeline with representatives from various stakeholders across campus. I thank each of them for their service and commitment to the UO. I am also grateful to the University Senate leadership and the Faculty Advisory Council for understanding our need to balance a competitive search process with our desire to receive input from appropriate campus constituencies. The culture of trust and partnership we continue to build played a significant role in delivering a successful outcome. 

Finally, I want to thank all the members of the UO community for your support through this process and the last 18 months. In that time we have hired three new vice presidents, four deans, and a variety of other campus leaders. In naming Jayanth to the role of provost, we have successfully put in place a foundation of leadership that will guide this campus in our pursuit of excellence and will change the trajectory of our school for decades to come.


A transition e-mail account has been created for Jayanth at provosttransition@uoregon.edu. Please join me in welcoming Jayanth and his wife, Suchitra, to the University of Oregon.


Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law
 

President Schill to recommend a 10.6% tuition increase for in-state students.

To University of Oregon community members,

Pursuant to university policy, the provost and I have received the recommendations of the Tuition and Fee Advisory Board (TFAB), a body containing students, administrators, and members of the faculty and staff. Among the recommendations is an increase in tuition of $21 per credit hour—or $945 per year—for in-state undergraduate students. The TFAB recommends the same increase for out-of-state undergraduates students of $21 per credit hour, or $945 annually. For the 2017–18 academic year, this equates to a 10.6 percent increase in undergraduate tuition for in-state students and a 3 percent increase for out-of-state students. The TFAB also recommended various tuition increases for graduate tuition and a new technology fee of $50 per term.

I regret that I have little choice but to accept the TFAB recommendations on tuition and fees for next year. Pursuant to university policy, I am posting the TFAB recommendations together with this memorandum for public comment. After receiving public input, I will forward my final tuition recommendation to the UO Board of Trustees for consideration at its next regular meeting on March 2–3.

I wish it were not necessary for us to increase tuition by these significant amounts. Although the vast majority of our lowest-income students will be spared from this increase by the PathwayOregon scholarship program, for some students a $945 increase will make attending the UO difficult or impossible. Yet the state’s fiscal problems leave us no choice. Oregon’s disinvestment in higher education over more than two decades has shifted the burden of paying for college from the state to our students and families. In 2015, the state made some positive moves toward addressing this trend with an increase in funding, which was greatly appreciated. The governor’s recommended budget, however, keeping funding flat over the next biennium in the face of rapidly rising costs, returns us to the previous status quo of disinvestment.  

Only four other states in the nation provide less funding per student for higher education than Oregon. That is simply unacceptable. Public universities in Oregon have calculated that it would take at least an additional $100 million in state support for public higher education to preserve core student services and financial aid. If we received this amount we would voluntarily limit tuition increases to about 5 percent.
Flat funding may not sound like a reduction, but the university is forecasting very large cost increases over the next couple of years—largely created by salary increases from collective bargaining agreements and unfunded retirement costs. These increased costs amount to roughly $25 million. 

Even with the substantial tuition increases recommended by the TFAB, the university will still need to close an $8.8 million recurring gap in our budget for next year. We have already begun a process, aided by faculty members, administrators, and students, to identify how we can create new revenue streams and/or cut expenses. Roughly 80 percent of our educational budget pays the salaries of our faculty, staff, and administrators. Therefore, any efforts to cut the budget will inevitably lead to a loss of jobs and pain to our community. 

As we move forward, we will strive to protect the academic and research programs of the university. Our goal will be to continue and accelerate the progress we have seen over the past couple of years in enhancing excellence in teaching and research, including investments in faculty hiring, research infrastructure, and support for student access and success programs. Budget challenges will make this harder and may require difficult choices, but we cannot and will not take our eyes off the pursuit of excellence in all that we do at the UO. 

As I have already noted, we will do everything we can to shield our most vulnerable students from the impact of this proposed tuition increase. The PathwayOregon program continues to provide full tuition and fees to about 2,000 Pell Grant–eligible resident students on our campus, including more than a third of our first-year resident students. We have also made significant progress toward achieving the goals set when we announced the Oregon Commitment in 2015, which provides advising, planning, and academic resources to help every student at the university graduate in a timely fashion. To every extent possible, we intend to maintain the integrity of those important efforts.

It is my hope that we can still avoid raising tuition by more than 10 percent and reducing our budget through layoffs and attrition. I call on all of our constituents—students, faculty and staff members, alumni, and friends—to join me in requesting that the legislature and governor prioritize higher education and stop shifting the cost of educating our future workforce to our students and their families. Over the next several months I will be in Salem urging our lawmakers to remember that the future of our state is being shaped in places like Eugene, Corvallis, and Portland. Please join me in that effort. 

If, collectively, we are successful, we can reduce the tuition increase. The TFAB recommendation estimates that each $20 million increment in increased state funding for public higher education would allow the UO to reduce the proposed resident undergraduate tuition increase by roughly 1 percentage point. The full $100 million in state support for higher education would result in a 5.1 percent recommended tuition increase at the UO. Increases of state support would also reduce the operating cuts that would be needed in the coming year. This would significantly help our students, their families, and our employees.

Ultimately, we likely will not know how state funding for higher education will shake out until June or July of this year, which is when state lawmakers historically approve the budget for the next biennium. I will continue to keep the UO campus community abreast of changes to our budget situation and the potential impact on the UO campus as information becomes available. 

I invite you to comment on the tuition proposal prior to my making a final recommendation to the UO Board of Trustees. Please provide input using this form by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 17, 2017. 

Thank you.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

President Schill: Keep Deady name, add Black Cultural Center

Dear University of Oregon community,

Like many universities throughout the nation, the University of Oregon is actively engaging in issues of diversity and inclusion on campus and using them as an opportunity for debate, learning, and community-building. Some well-publicized incidents this academic year have underlined the importance of our efforts to ensure that each and every student, faculty, and staff member feels included and comfortable learning and contributing here. 

In this message, I want to focus on two decisions—I will not recommend to the Board of Trustees that it dename Deady Hall, and we will move forward with efforts to build a new Black cultural center at the UO. I am announcing these decisions now because our campus needs clarity about the status of Deady Hall and a clear path forward to focus on tangible actions we can take to improve the climate at the UO for students of color, specifically those who identify as Black or African American. 

In the fall of 2015, the Black Students Task Force presented UO leadership with a set of 13 demands. One demand requested the following: “Change the names of all of the KKK-related buildings on campus. Deady Hall will be the first building to be renamed.” In February 2016, I empaneled a committee, chaired by Associate Professor Charise Cheney, to provide me with advice on a set of criteria that could be utilized in decisions for denaming buildings on campus. After receiving the committee recommendations, I appointed three historians to research the historical record of Dunn Hall and Deady Hall’s namesakes and answer a set of questions based upon these criteria.

On August 9, 2016, we released the historians’ 34-page report. More than 1,000 people—faculty and staff members, students, alumni, and community members—provided input on the report and numerous editorials, letters to the editor, and commentaries have appeared in the media.

On September 1, 2016, in a letter to the community, I established a set of principles that would guide my decision about whether to recommend the denaming of a building on campus to the Board of Trustees. They are as follows:

  • Bigotry and racism have no place in our society or our university. Each of us must value each other based on individual merit and not the color of our skin, the social status of our parents, our gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or physical or mental ability.
  • It is vital that all students at the University of Oregon feel valued and included as part of this institution. This is true for every member of our community, but particular attention needs to be paid to members of groups who often feel isolated and alienated as a result of their chronic underrepresentation on campus and the legacy of racism in this state and nation.
  • We must be careful not to obscure our history regardless of whether we like what we find when we study it. The only way we can understand our present and prevent injustice from repeating itself is to study our history and learn from our past.
  • The process of naming or denaming a building has symbolic value. But symbols are less important than actions that affect the material circumstances of members of our community.
  • Naming a building and denaming a building are not identical actions and should be governed by separate decision-making processes and considerations.
  • Naming a building honors an individual either for exceptional contributions to the university and our society or for exceptional generosity. While extremely meaningful, naming a building occurs regularly and is usually done contemporaneously with, or shortly after, the life of the person for whom a building is named. The very purpose of naming is to establish a durable honor that stands the test of time.
  • Denaming a building, on the other hand, is an extraordinary event and should only occur in very limited circumstances. Many decades may have passed since the person whose name is on a building was alive, and information will typically be less complete than in a naming decision. Contemporary decision-makers will often be limited in their ability to evaluate the behavior of people who lived in circumstances and with cultural mores very different from our own. Denaming is also an act associated with ignominy and the destruction of reputation. We should normally be careful when we do this, particularly because the person involved will seldom be available to defend himself or herself.
  • Finally, denaming threatens to obscure history and hide the ugliness of our past, which is contrary to our institution’s values of promoting lifelong learning and sharing knowledge. Therefore, the presumption should be against denaming a building except in extraordinarily egregious circumstances.

In that letter, I announced my decision to recommend to the Board of Trustees that they dename Dunn Hall, a building that commemorated a former professor of classics at the University of Oregon who also served as the Grand Cyclops of the Lane County Ku Klux Klan. The Board of Trustees unanimously adopted this recommendation on September 9, 2016. Dunn Hall was temporarily renamed Cedar Hall.

Because the issue of potentially denaming Deady Hall was more contested, I decided to delay a decision until UO students returned from their summer vacations so we could continue the conversation. Throughout the fall term I have continued to solicit the opinions of community members on the question of denaming Deady Hall.  

In applying the principles for denaming to Dunn Hall, I found that the presumption against denaming was outweighed by the facts set forth in the historian’s report—namely that Frederick Dunn was the head of a hate group that supported racism and violence against African Americans, Catholics, and Jews, and was not a man for whom a building should be named on the University of Oregon campus. Matthew Deady, however, presents a more complicated case, the detailed facts of which are recounted my September 1, 2016, letter to campus and in the historians’ report.

In my view, the facts set forth in the historian’s report do not support overturning the presumption against denaming Deady Hall. Many of Deady’s historical accomplishments were exceptional. He was an active and respected legislator and political figure in the state. He was appointed by President Buchanan to be the first federal judge for the State of Oregon. He, more than any single person in the University of Oregon’s history, played a formative role in its creation and early years as a regent. It was his work in persuading Northern Pacific Railroad president Henry Villard to donate to the university that kept its doors open in the 1880s.

Of course, Deady was also a deeply flawed man. He held racist views which I find abhorrent and contrary to the principles of our university. His support of slavery prior to the Civil War cannot be excused, even if it was based upon his understanding of the “letter of the law” of property. Nor can his support for the 1849 exclusion act be ignored. The fact that Deady’s views and actions were shared by many Oregonians at the time he lived does not excuse them, although it does explain them. 

Although Deady’s racist views did not abate after the Civil War, he fully embraced the new constitutional order. The historians characterize his change as a “metamorphosis.” Deady supported the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, which guarantee to all equal protection under the US Constitution. While he never had the opportunity to issue an opinion involving African American civil rights, he was a protector of Chinese immigrants.

Deady does not represent an example of an egregious case justifying overturning the presumption against denaming. Unlike Dunn, he was not the head of an organization which espoused violence against vulnerable populations. Also unlike Dunn, his positive acts and importance to the nation, state, and university were noteworthy and of historical distinction. For all of these reasons, I will not recommend that the Board of Trustees dename Deady Hall.

The fact that Deady Hall will remain a symbol of racial intolerance for many of our students is troubling. Many students associate this past and our continuing to honor a man who was racially intolerant as evidence that the university does not take their concerns about diversity and inclusion seriously. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As I have stated previously, bigotry and racism have no place in our society or in our university. It is vital that all students at the University of Oregon feel valued and included as part of this institution. While the process of naming or denaming a building has symbolic value, symbols are less important than actions that affect the material circumstances of members of our community. It is these actions that we now must focus on.

We have already implemented half of the demands of the Black Student Task Force, including the creation of the Umoja Academic Residential Center, the creation of an African American Opportunities Program and accelerated efforts to recruit African American students to the university, and the hiring of African American faculty members including the launching of a new African American Studies cluster in the College of Art and Sciences. Once these faculty join the university we will work with them and our existing faculty to explore the feasibility of creating a Black studies minor and/or program. In addition, I will continue to advocate that the faculty consider and develop innovative changes to incorporate issues of race more broadly into our curriculum. We will also continue to finalize our fundraising strategies for diversity scholarships by the end of this academic year.

Today, I would like to announce my commitment to build a new Black cultural center at the UO. I have been convinced that, particularly in light of their small numbers, African American students need a place that will provide them with an opportunity to gather, reinforce their academic pursuits, enhance connective bonds that support recruitment and retention, and discuss their shared experiences and needs. We will work with our students to plan a structure that will provide them with a place of respite with programming that will promote their success. Fundraising for this project has already begun with a generous $250,000 gift from our alumnus and campaign chair Dave Petrone and his wife Nancy. The planning phase for design and construction will begin immediately.

We will also commence this spring with the renaming of Cedar Hall. We will solicit from our community nominations of names of individuals who have distinguished themselves in the fight for racial justice and equity. Our students will be involved from start to finish as we identify criteria and select someone who will embody the values of achievement, tolerance, and equity. It is my hope and expectation to bring this renaming decision to the Board of Trustees in June.

We will also move forward with plans to work with our students and faculty to ensure that the lessons we have learned about ourselves and our history are not lost. We will plan installations in both Deady and Cedar Halls that remind all visitors of their histories and of the continuing project of inclusion and diversity.

The work of making the University of Oregon a more diverse and inclusive university is important work and will not happen overnight. It will not be complete when we cut the ribbon on the Black cultural center. Nor will it be complete when we recruit more African American students and faculty members to Eugene. While I am grateful to the Black Students Task Force for placing racial equity squarely on our agenda, it will take all of our efforts—faculty and staff members, students, administrators, alumni, and community members—to make this university the inclusive place we want it to be. I am eager to get on with this work.

Sincerely,

Michael H. Schill

President and Professor of Law

 

Chief Information Officer finalists to visit campus

From this story on Around the O:

Finalist candidates for the position of vice provost and chief information officer will visit campus through the month of January.

Each of the three candidates will meet with information services staff and administrative representatives. In addition, a session will be held for faculty members with each finalist.

Candidate information will be released on the Office of the Provost website in advance of each visit.

Candidate A – Jan. 18 and 19
Faculty Session: Jan. 19, 10–10:45 a.m., EMU Cedar Room (231)

Candidate B – Jan. 23 and 24
Faculty Session: Jan. 24, 4–4:45 p.m., EMU Spruce Room (232)

Candidate C – Jan. 30 and 31
Faculty Session: Jan. 31, 9:15–10:00 a.m., Ford Alumni Center 403

The VP/CIO reports to the provost and is responsible for leading Information Services and campus-wide critical technology responsibilities. More information about the posting is available on the Office of the Provost website.

Closed search for new provost

Dear members of the University of Oregon community,

As many of you may know, the Provost Search Committee has been hard at work for the past five months. The 17-member committee, which includes representatives from virtually all of the UO’s constituencies, has created a position description, built a pool of candidates, and conducted interviews with a wide variety of potential candidates. We are now at the stage of the process where we plan to bring some of them back to Eugene for more intensive interviews and recruitment.

The Provost Search Committee, in conversation with members of the search firm Russell Reynolds Associates and some of our candidates, has concluded that the successful completion of the search requires that we follow what is increasingly becoming the national practice: avoiding the sort of open search that we have previously employed for decanal candidates. If we were to follow past practice, a number of candidates would drop out of the process rather than compromise their leadership positions at their current universities.

We have consulted with University Senate leadership and the Faculty Advisory Council on how to move forward with the next step in the process in a way that carefully balances our need to conduct a competitive search with our desire to receive input from appropriate campus stakeholders. We have agreed that over the next few months, finalists will come to Eugene to be interviewed again by the search committee and by deans, vice presidents, the provost and his chief of staff, the senate president, and the president of United Academics. Following this process, the search committee will present their final recommendations to the president, who will ultimately make the hiring decision. 

We are excited by the pool of candidates; they are an accomplished set of academic leaders capable of leading our university. We are also very grateful for the generous amount of work and dedication of members of the Provost Search Committee who are committed to finding our university the best person to be our next provost. While our process for selecting the next provost will be different than it has been in the past, in light of the inclusive nature of our search committee and our desire to hire the very best provost we can, we are comfortable with the process set forth above. 

We look forward to providing you with more information in late February or early March.

Sincerely,

Michael H. Schill

President and Professor of Law

Geraldine Richmond, Provost Search Committee Chair

Presidential Chair and Professor of Chemistry

Open Mike: Balancing principles

From: “President Michael H. Schill” <pres>

Subject: Open Mike: Balancing principles

Date: January 9, 2017 at 11:55:25 AM PST

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past couple of months, the University of Oregon’s handling of events associated with Professor Nancy Shurtz’s decision to wear a controversial Halloween costume has garnered significant media attention, both locally and nationally. A number of editorials, letters to the editor, and blog posts have engaged in discussions on the topic. Some of the coverage has been, in my opinion, thoughtful but some has, perhaps not surprisingly, sensationalized and caricatured what is a very serious incident that deeply affected our students and, by extension, our entire university community. A number of colleagues have asked me for my own views on the matter. I hesitate to burden you with this personal reflection, but because this incident has polarized our community I have decided that it would be useful for me to share some of my own thoughts about the matter.

At the outset, I should state that, under university policies, the provost, not the president, is the figure whose job it is to respond to complaints against faculty members. Therefore, I have not played a formal role in responding to the incident. I write this to clarify my institutional role and not to decline responsibility. To the contrary, as president, I am ultimately responsible for everything on our campus.

When Professor Shurtz invited her two classes to her home for a Halloween party on October 31 and dressed up wearing blackface, she created a conundrum that is the stuff of a very difficult law school examination question. Two very important principles were potentially in conflict—the right of students to be free from racial harassment and the right of faculty members to exercise free speech. A law firm that the university hired to do an impartial investigation of the matter interviewed students and faculty members who were at the party and made a factual finding that at least some of the students felt compelled to attend their professor’s party and that they would potentially suffer negative consequences if they left early, despite being deeply offended and affronted by Professor Shurtz’s costume and its strong connotations of racism. The investigators made a factual finding that the behavior by Professor Shurtz constituted racial harassment under university policy V.11.02.

Of course, this is only part of the story. Professor Shurtz told the investigators that she didn’t intend to act in a racist manner. Instead, she said she was dressed “as a book” she had recently read that highlighted the shortage of black doctors in the medical profession. She also told the investigators that she was making a statement about the paucity of African American doctors. The law firm weighed the harms from the harassment against the value of her conduct and determined that, according to the balancing test prescribed by Pickering v. Board of Education, the former outweighed the latter, rendering her conduct unprotected. The provost accepted the findings of the investigation and, pursuant to university policy, took appropriate actions to make sure that Professor Shurtz understood the gravity of the incident and would not behave in a similar fashion in the future. I am not able to divulge the nature of these actions because university policy mandates confidentiality.

As I consider the case of Professor Shurtz, I have to admit I am torn. I believe that freedom of speech is thecore value of any university. When faculty members pursue their avocation—teaching students and conducting research—they must be able to say or write what they think without fear of retribution, even if their views are controversial, and even if their research and their views risk causing offense to others. Otherwise, advances in learning will be stunted. This freedom of speech includes the freedom to share political views, academic theories, good ideas, and even bad ones, too. It includes speech that offends others. Without academic freedom we could scarcely call the UO a university.

For me, stating that principle in the abstract is easy and uncomplicated. But here is the problem—figuring out when and whether there are legitimate limits on freedom of expression actually is complicated. In general, it is not acceptable for someone to use her rights to deprive another of her rights. I should not be able to use my speech to deny others of their right to be free from racial or sexual harassment. I can hold—and share—controversial views. But that does not give me the right to harass specific individuals or to speak in any way I wish to, in any place, or any point in time.

But, when exactly does offending someone turn into proscribed harassment? Only a small number of legal commentators would say that faculty members should be immune from all harassment charges on academic freedom grounds. Instead, most of us recognize that speech rights are extremely important, but they also fall on a continuum. For whatever it is worth, I personally am fairly close to the end of the spectrum that believes speech should be maximally protected. But even I believe that there are cases when speech or conduct is of relatively minimal value compared to the great harm that it may do to our students—particularly to students who already struggle with isolation and lack of representation. For example, imagine a required class in which a professor repeatedly uses the “N” word for no apparent reason except to elicit a reaction. Could African American students forced to sit through this class have a claim of harassment? I think so. Similarly, imagine a class in which a professor makes repeated, sexually explicit remarks to a student or students for no educational purpose. Free speech principles should not, in my view, prevent the university from taking appropriate actions to make sure these actions stop and do not recur in the future.

To be sure, the case of Professor Shurtz is not quite as clear-cut. The events took place in her home, not in the classroom. Her stated intention ex post was not to offend, but to draw attention to systemic racism. Still, some of her students felt that they were in a similar situation to students in a classroom being subjected to harassing speech, as they felt pressure to attend and to remain at the event. They felt that they could not leave without jeopardizing their standing in the class, and they also felt that the offensive nature of the blackface was the equivalent of hearing the “N” word. In these circumstances, should the university have ignored the event or should it have taken action proportionate to the offense? What lesson would we be teaching our students if we let the incident end without even an official letter of reprimand? These were the very difficult questions that Provost Coltrane had to grapple with, and I am supportive of the process he used and the fairness he displayed in making his decision.

Some commentators have taken to the barricades, and suggested that any finding or action taken with respect to Professor Shurtz will ultimately open the door to firing professors for expressing their political views. Really? In law, we call this the “slippery slope” argument or “the parade of horribles.” While I have tossed and turned for nights over the fact that the university found that a professor’s expressive conduct constituted harassment, I think the reaction of those commentators is overly dramatic and not supported by anything that took place in this case. Go online and you will find that Professor Shurtz remains a member of the law school faculty. Name a single faculty member who has been punished by the provost for his or her political views. This has not happened and you have my vow it won’t happen as long as I occupy my office in Johnson Hall.

The blackface incident has been a painful one for everyone in our UO community. It came at a time of heightened emotions with respect to the treatment of African Americans on our campus and on campuses throughout the nation. It also came at a time of turmoil and recrimination in our national politics. In my opinion, each of us should be uncomfortable with the harassment that our students experienced at the home of a senior faculty member. Each of us should also be uncomfortable with the fact that the provost felt it necessary to take remedial actions with respect to a faculty member in connection with her expressive conduct. Maybe I am just being a Pollyanna, but ultimately I hope that this discomfort will serve a good purpose. I hope that we come out of this experience with a greater understanding both of the value of free speech and the ways in which our speech can harm each other.

Sincerely,
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

 

President Schill to work with Senate Budget Committee on new budget

This announcement was sent out 12/6/2016. The administration’s unelected Budget Advisory Group will not meet this year, and the administration will form a joint Budget Advisory Task Force with the Senate Budget Committee. The BATF will start meeting in January.

More information on how the Governor’s budget proposal will affect higher education is available on OSU’s excellent government affairs blog. UO’s website is here.

Dear University of Oregon community,

Last Thursday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown released her budget for the FY 2017–19 biennium and proposed flat funding for all seven public universities. This is good news only in the sense that it could have been a lot worse due to the state’s estimated $1.7 billion budget deficit for the next biennium. The bad news is that flat funding from the state creates significant financial challenges for the UO.

You may recall that the UO joined with all of the other Oregon public universities in signing a letter this fall stating that we needed a combined $100 million in additional state funding to keep next year’s tuition increase below 5 percent. This proposed budget obviously falls well short of that goal. Oregon has still not returned to the levels of state support delivered to the UO before the economic downturn—about $80 million in 2008. The UO currently receives about $66 million in state operating support. Also bear in mind that over the last 20 years, both in Oregon and nationally, cuts to public support for higher education have shifted the burden of paying for a college degree to students and families. We will work tirelessly to seek additional funding from the state—and we call on students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders to join with us in this effort.

We project that the UO’s educational and general operating expenses will increase approximately $25 million next year largely due to salary increases contained in our faculty and staff labor contracts, rising health-care costs, and the extraordinary increase in our required contribution to the state’s unfunded pension (PERS) liability. The way the state distributes funds over the two years will result in another $2.5 million reduction. When you add everything up, it means next year, if our funding from the state remains constant as proposed, the UO will face at least a $27.5 million shortfall. We must find, in some combination, additional revenues (e.g., tuition and fees) or expense reductions as a result.

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that the current governor’s budget proposal of “constant funding” is premised on the assumption that the state will generate nearly $900 million in new revenue from a variety of sources. If lawmakers are not able to agree on a revenue plan, the overall state budget will need to be cut further to bring it into balance.  

Also, the university’s revenue shortfall for next year should not be confused with efforts by several of our schools and colleges to bring their budget into balance. This work is ongoing and will proceed along a parallel track.

As we plan for these uncertainties, our top priority is to protect our access and academic programs. Indeed, with the incredible opportunities presented by the gift of Phil and Penny Knight, our initiative to increase the number of tenure-related faculty by 80 to 100 members over five years, investments in student success, and planned initiatives around diversity and inclusion, the school is poised to make historic strides in building the sort of academic excellence that only a few years ago seemed out of our reach. Despite the very real financial challenges we may face, we will protect these efforts and keep our march toward excellence on track.

While we will not know the final state budget for many months, perhaps as late as July, we need to move ahead now in our planning. The Tuition and Fees Advisory Board began meeting last month to consider the budget situation and potential tuition and fee increases. The current budget realities mean it will be nearly impossible to keep the tuition increase below 5 percent, and in fact the percentage could rise much higher. We will join with our students in helping state lawmakers understand how this proposed budget affects higher-education affordability at the UO and across the state of Oregon.

In addition, we will need to look creatively at other options. Within the next few weeks, the president will appoint an ad hoc budget advisory task force to provide advice and ideas for raising additional revenues and reducing expenses. The task force will include members of the Senate Budget Committee as well as administrators, faculty and staff members, and students. It will begin meeting in early January. The traditional Budget Advisory Group, which works to make recommendations on strategic investments, will not be convened this year.

We also ask that all departments proceed carefully with any new hiring of administrative staff and non-tenure-track faculty over the remainder of this fiscal year. Existing searches and requests for hiring approval should be reevaluated with an eye toward whether the personnel are absolutely essential and whether the hiring could be delayed until July 2017, when we will have a better understanding of the overall budget. Ultimately, it is very likely that many of our units will see reductions to their budgets next year. In many instances, it will be better to handle these expense reductions through attrition rather than through layoffs or contract nonrenewals. 

The governor’s budget is a starting place and nothing is set in stone. Over the next several months, we will work with counterparts at the other state universities to make the case to increase state funds for higher education. We invite all members of our community, including our alumni, the ASUO, and labor unions, to join us in this effort.

Sincerely,

Michael H. Schill                          

President and Professor of Law   

Scott Coltrane

Provost and Senior Vice President        

Chief Carmichael reports on UOPD implicit bias and racial/gender/LBGTQA sensitivity training

Received this afternoon, following a request on Saturday:

Senate President Harbaugh,

Thank you for your specific request for information about police training related to “implicit bias and racial/gender/LBGTQA issues, and any plans for additional training.” Per your request please find my response below.  I focused the response on what we are doing currently and what we plan to do in the future understanding that our future plans are still in the development phase.  It goes without saying we are currently not doing enough training in this area but we are planning to change that here at UOPD. 

Current Training and Initiatives at the University of Oregon Police Department specifically related to racial/gender/LBGTQA issues

  • All officers attend the police academy and receive training in the referenced areas
    • 10 hours of cultural awareness training focusing on communication skills
    • 1.5 hours of training on community policing and problem solving orientated policing
  • Internal University of Oregon Police Department Training
    • Field Training Program currently provided by the Eugene Police Department for all new officers which includes a general focus on community orientated policing
      • After completion of this training new officers receive training here at UO focusing on meeting the needs of our community (general community orientated policing training)
    • 7 hour training that focusses on Perspectives on Police Profiling/Tactical Ethics.  (provided 2 years ago)
    • Implicit Bias training for command staff
    • Staff reviewed the Department of Justice video on “Law Enforcement and the Transgender Community”

Moving forward our future strategies focus on a training plan that is consistent with serving the needs of all UO community members.  I have learned through experience that training in the areas of community policing cannot be a onetime deal and must include a focused and sustained approach.  My hope is to seek input and support from various partners such as faculty, staff and students.  We will be reaching out to all of our campus partners for their support, expertise and collaboration in developing a community approach to the training of our police department.

I do plan to implement an internal field training program for all new officers instead of having them trained at the Eugene Police Department.  The training model we will use is called the Reno Police Department Adult Learning Model.

“The Reno Police Training Officer (PTO) model is based on the teaching principles of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and emphasizes the need for the PTO to function primarily as a trainer rather than as an evaluator. PBL is firmly established in the fields of medicine and education, where it is used to facilitate the transfer of knowledge. Similarly, in policing, recruits need to learn much more than just laws and police procedures. They must also understand how to transfer their academy knowledge effectively when dealing with individuals and issues within a community. As demands on police continue to increase, agencies must provide officers with the resources and the training necessary to fulfill their expanded role. This approach will help police recruits think about their roles and responsibilities as they approach specific problems in their daily work. Problem solving is an integral part of police work and requires a creative and flexible method of thinking”[1].  (Sorry for the cut and paste but this is one of the best descriptions I have found on the program, I am hoping for faculty support on this project)

There must be a place for our community to play a role in this area of our new training program if we are to be successful.  There are specific training opportunities that we plan to move forward on now which include but are not limited to:

  • Online technology and programs such as, “Project Implicit” thoughtfully delivered and utilized by all members of the department
  • Seattle Police Department video training on Transgender community education
    • Review Seattle Police Department policy for implementation here
  • Partner with the Dean of Students areas for Diversity and Community as a resource to better understand and serve our student community
    • Partner with other UO organizations, students, faculty and staff on similar topics
  • Review of best practices to include a legislative review

We will continue to work with the State of Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training which is home to the State’s police academy and responsible for our certification.  This just a snapshot of what is in the works for our training plan.  While we continue to train, our timeline is to go live with our plan sometime in the end of January.  I am excited about developing out the section of our training plan related to community policing that not only fits UO but acts as a model for others to follow.

I hope I provided you enough detail about our plans moving forward.  If you would like further information about other areas of training not covered in this email please let me know.

Sincerely, Matt

Matthew E. Carmichael, Chief of Police

University of Oregon Police Department

Matt.Carmichael@uopd.org

Thinking about the Role of the UO Senate, by Craig Parsons

 

I am proud to be serving as a new UO Senator this year. Given some controversy over the Senate’s role in recent years, I want to think deliberately about how I see this body. I am writing this memo to clarify my views for myself, but I will share it to seek reactions that could sharpen (or change) my thinking.

Continue reading Thinking about the Role of the UO Senate, by Craig Parsons

You’re invited to the new UO Faculty Club

From: “President Michael H. Schill” <pres>

Subject: You’re invited to the new UO Faculty Club

Date: November 1, 2016 at 10:27:05 AM PDT

Colleagues,

We are pleased to let you know that at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9, we will open the new University of Oregon Faculty Club in a new designated space in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. This idea has been in the works for a number of years, and is meant to provide a place where statutory faculty and their guests can gather in a welcoming and collegial space.

Continue reading You’re invited to the new UO Faculty Club

IAAC motion amendments

From: Theodora K Ko Thompson <theoron@uoregon.edu>

EQUITY AND INCLUSION IN SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON

Dear President Schill, Members of the Senate

I respectfully seek reconsideration that classified staff representation be included in the new IAAC structure. I thank members of the senate who have expressed speaking on our behalf, sharing concerns about not having a classified staff member on the new committee in advocating for the continued inclusion of our membership.

It is my hope that the experiences I share will lend context to the value of classified staff voice, participation and inclusion in roles we have the interest to step forward, and to serve.

Public speaking does not come easy for me. As I’d expressed to a past Director of Employee Relations, “I am much more fluent in writing than when I speak. Writing is my forte given that I was raised to be “seen not heard.” It takes a lot out of me to speak publicly and with my stepping into leadership roles, it’s a challenge I take on to compel myself to work at expressing myself verbally. The level of comfort at public speaking and in verbal expression remains a professional development effort, if you will.”

When President Schill and I met the first time, I was not prepared for the question to express my thoughts about what makes the University of Oregon great. I would like to offer the following in answer to that question, to lend context to the value of classified staff service and representation on committee, why we seek to be dignified and respected for the opportunities that are offered to serve and why equity and inclusion in out classified representation matters.

MENS AGITAT MOLEM

MENS AGITAT MOLEM the words inscribed in the University of Oregon’s Great Seal “Mind move mountain” are words of the university’s motto that is “a reminder of the power of learning and of the university’s commitment to the life of the mind.

In our new mission statement, are these words we state as our values:

We value the passions, aspirations, individuality, and success of the students, faculty, and staff who work and learn here. We value academic freedom, creative expression, and intellectual discourse. …”

Mens Agitat Molem – I believe – speaks for ALL of us – irrespective of our roles at the University of Oregon. The “life of mind” speaks to the intellectual discourse that ensues when we proudly serve as representatives when meetings convene, where the diversity of thought is shared, valuing equity and inclusion in a learning environment, regardless of classification. I have been inspired with Mens Agitat Molem, and many classified leaders have worked over the years with the strive that the University of Oregon remain faithful to the commitment in “the life of the mind” for which it stands for, and for the values in our mission statement not only to be meaningful and true in the experiences of classified staff who step forward to serve on committee, and in leadership roles the individual undertakes – but that the University of Oregon is as committed and faithful in the demonstration of fostering a campus climate and culture that upholds these in our policy on Community Standards Affirmation: https://policies.uoregon.edu/policy/by/1/01-administration-and-governance/community-standards-affirmation

We further affirm our commitment to:

· Respect the dignity and essential worth of all individuals.

· Promote a culture of respect throughout the University community.

· Respect the privacy, property, and freedom of others.

· Reject bigotry, discrimination, violence, or intimidation of any kind.

· Practice personal and academic integrity and expect it from others.

· Promote the diversity of opinions, ideas and backgrounds which is the lifeblood of the university.

As I’d expressed in correspondence related to the new title of the UO Senate Community Values Committee:

“…The new title of UO Senate Respect and Communities Values Committee reflects and shows relevance upon the historical significance that came about from student action of values for a campus climate of a learning organization such as the UO should be about, and be not only for the present, but importantly, inherent values of leadership for the greater community at large as well. These values cannot remain simply on a plaque, but that they are a set of values we carry with ourselves in the work we do…”

Classified employees who desire to serve, take on leadership roles, aspire to learn, receive training, earn a degree – should not only be denied these opportunities to be engaged in the learning environment at the University, but to be respected no less differently or less deserving of the dignity and respect of their service and leadership. The “inconvenient truths” of classified staff experiences in expressing interest to step forward include:

· In my first term as an elected senate representative I shared with Senate President Nathan Tublitz that a former senator was being discouraged from serving again. This was when serving on the Senate was two hours of meeting time in a month.

  • It was hard to maintain membership for the classified staff who served on the Classified Staff Training and Development Advisory Committee, a Senate Advisory Group. Members of the committee would meet for one and half hours during their lunch period twice a month; staff reported experiencing difficulty and taken to task for the extra half-hour.

More recently:

  • The interest to serve on the Safety Committee and Sexual Assault Task Force has been discouraged. The Traffic Appeals Board, an Administrative Advisory Group that used to hold regular meetings, but from I learned, would meet on an adhoc basis, perhaps once a quarter. Staff have shared that they put themselves on the line when the response to these expressed interest to serve is to use vacation time if they are so inclined to pursue the endeavor; it is not uncommon as well that the integrity of their interest and their experience to serve on committee to contribute to the intellectual discourse is also taken to task.

I recently provided feedback that I was glad to serve on the Ombuds Search Committee where I learned to better understand the processes of Affirmative Action in the hiring and search processes, notwithstanding that after twenty two years of service, this first opportunity to serve on a search committee was not with the department I’d dedicated years of service.

Against the tide, the pool of these experiences are these redeeming points of our experiences to the question what makes the University of Oregon great:

IT IS A POINT OF PRIDE, thanks to the leadership Ed Singer, the classified represntative on the Senate that the three senate representatives for classified representatives are not token representatives on the Senate, that the Senate passed the motion to dignify and respect classified representatives as equal members with voting rights in our shared governance.

“In 1995, the University of Oregon’s governance was restructured and the University Senate was created. Note the term “University Senate.” The University Senate was to be inclusive. Faculty, Officers of Instruction, Librarians, Officers of Administration and Students were included in the membership. For some reason, Classified Staff was not included. We suspect that this was an oversight.

This omission was partially correct in 2002 when three Classified Staff were added to the Senate membership. They were added, however, without voting privileges”

IT IS A POINT OF PRIDE, thanks to the leadership of Senate President Nathan Tublitz, that the UO Senate Classified Staff Leadership Award was created on February 9, 2011 with the following words http://oldsenate.uoregon.edu/content/uo-senate-leadership-award-classified-staff

It is a point of pride that we are reportedly the only university in higher education that has a shared governance system which includes representatives from all of the stakeholders on campus including faculty, non-­tenured track instructors, officers of administration, librarians, students, and classified staff. Leadership, in the framework of a dynamic and evolving organization, is complex and multifaceted. What lies dormant within each of us is our potential to make a difference, make change, and impact the lives of others. That which lies within each of us is our capability and potential to become a change agent.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Helen Keller

Note: You will note that there is much thought behind the issues we share of our experiences of the campus climate and culture that we strive and seek for in the acceptance speeches: http://oldsenate.uoregon.edu/content/uo-senate-classified-staff-leadership-award

IT IS A POINT OF PRIDE, thanks to the leadership of Senate President Kyr who showed he valued the voices of staff who fear to speak or fear to step forward in the hostile work environments they work, in the plea conveyed in Dr Carla McNelly’s acceptance speech, that :

“…in the summer of 2010 the UO Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Respectful Workplace was formed. The committee included all campus stakeholders, to make recommendations to the UO Senate regarding a campus wide cultural shift for a respectful workplace. The committee reviewed UO policies, Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA), state and federal laws, and policies at other institutions of higher education. In the Spring of 2014 an Ombuds Program was established.

It is the inclusion of our participation that has served to benefit the campus community, that we take pride in the collaborative effort that brought about the Ombuds office and the Ombuds program for the safe place and resource for the campus community.

IT IS A POINT OF PRIDE that Kurt Krueger, a classified staff on the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, who served six years on committee, served successfully as Chair of the committee.

THESE POINTS OF PRIDE – to be heard, to be respected, that we are included – the dignity and pride that comes with stepping forward – are roles that are meaningful demonstrations of OUR faith that the University will value these words:

“We value the passions, aspirations, individuality, and success of the students, faculty, and staff who work and learn here”

We take our appointed and elected roles seriously; we value these opportunities to be included. There is dignity and pride that comes with the classified staff’s desire to serve, to step forward to serve the University of Oregon – to bring that which is unique of our individuality to the intellectual discourse on any issue.

Learning that our elected representative roles are excluded from the new restructure of IAAC comes yet as another disappointment. Johnny Earl, who is an elected representative on the IAC, is a past MLK award recipient who has served as a representative on the University’s Diversity Committee. In 2015, Senate representative John Ahlen, in his introduction of Johnny Earl as the Senate Classified Staff Leadership Award recipient, shared that Johnny worked the evening or graveyard shift – yet he continues to step forward into these leadership roles on his off time during the day because he values and truly cares about the University of Oregon and that for many classified staff, it takes resilience and courage to continue to work at making the University a great place to work – notwithstanding what we continue to encounter expressed in Dr Carla McNelly’s acceptance speech (http://oldsenate.uoregon.edu/files/CarlaClassifiedStaffAwardSpeech2011_0.pdf)

The disinvestment in education – the tug and pull between academics and athletics – has contributed to the tension within the IAC over the years that it is sad that there is today this revised motion that speaks of a compromise for a functional committee with some representation arrived at, at the expense of excluding classified staff representation.

I respectfully submit Stephanie Prentiss’s testimony that she sent to Lois Yoshishige to be shared with Johnny and I when she learned of the motion to exclude our representation. I respectfully submit that there is value to see meaningful worth in classified staff representatives’ ability and capacity to serve on the IAAC, that our perspective and input will lend to the rich intellectual discourse toward academic excellence.

Respectfully,

Theodora

Theodora Ko Thompson, UO BA ’04, MS ’07
Admissions Specialist
Office of Admissions
University of Oregon
240 Oregon Hall
1217 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1217
E-Mail: theoron
Telephone: (541) 346-1301
UO Admissions toll-free number:
1-800-BE-A-DUCK (800-232-3825)
Fax: (541) 346-5815


Go, Go Yonder. Further. Farther.
******************************
Learn a new language and get a new soul.” Chinese proverb
Le monde est un livre dont chaque pas nous ouvre une page“…”The world is a book; each step opens a page for us” – Alphonse de Lamartine, Voyage en Orient VIII
One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things” -Henry Miller

Stephanie P Testimony IAC support.doc

Announcing the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact

Colleagues and Students,

I have the immense pleasure of announcing that our dear friends Penny and Phil Knight have made an extraordinarily generous $500 million gift—the largest ever to a public flagship university—that will launch an initiative to rethink and reshape research at the University of Oregon. The Phil and Penny Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact will fast-track scientific discoveries into innovations, products, and cures that solve problems and improve our quality of life.

Continue reading Announcing the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact

Board agrees to give 5 minutes to ASUO and UO Senate Presidents

10/6/2016:

From: Angela Wilhelms <wilhelms@uoregon.edu>

Subject: Standing Meeting Reports

Date: October 6, 2016 at 2:08:43 PM PDT

To: Senate President <senatepres@uoregon.edu>, Quinn Haaga <qhaaga@uoregon.edu>

Cc: Amanda Hatch <ahatch@uoregon.edu>, Jennifer LaBelle <jlabelle@uoregon.edu>

Bill and Quinn, 

I hope this email finds you both well and enjoying the start of another busy academic year! 

Chair Lillis asked me to extend an invitation to both of you to present a standing report at the Board of Trustees meetings, beginning with the next meeting in December. 

ASUO and University Senate standing reports were a part of board meetings during the first several meetings.  However, they were removed from the agenda in favor of written reports when some presenters used the time to speak to the audience and rally crowds, rather than update the board on the progress and goings-on within the respective organization.  

The Chair believes that we are past some of those practices, and he trusts that trustees can resume receiving updates from you (or your designees if you cannot attend) that are informative and insightful. 

We ask that you still provide a written version of your report so that trustees can read it in advance and come prepared with any questions.  The oral reports are scheduled for 5 minutes each, so you could easily include more detailed information in the written material. These are not intended to be two different reports. 

Amanda will be in touch prior to each meeting with the time, and she’ll be your point of contact on logistics and details. Barring some reason to adjust the schedule, these will almost always take place near the very beginning of the meeting after public comment. 

Let me know if you have any question!

Angela

 P.S.  Since the December meeting is in Portland, we will have a live teleconference feed to a room on campus so that the two of you, as well as people interested in making public comment, don’t have to travel to Portland.  Amanda will have those details closer to time as well so that you can share it with your respective groups. 

Angela Wilhelms

University Secretary

University of Oregon

wilhelms@uoregon.edu

O: 541.346.5561 | C: 503.931.5426

9/6/2016: Senate Pres Harbaugh letter to Board Chair Lillis

Dear UO Board Chair Lillis, and UO Trustees:

I am writing to you as UO Senate President. Last week the Board Secretary asked me to submit written comments to you for this week’s meeting, and then to answer questions at some point during the time you have set aside on your next agenda “for public comments”.

I refused, because I believe, as have all previous UO Senate presidents since UO independence, that our Board of Trustees should be willing to give the Senate some specific time on their agenda for discussing academic matters with them. I see that the UO student leadership also does not appear on your agenda. Apparently they have also been put in the public comment period.

This is not normal. The boards of governors of other AAU universities regularly set aside scheduled time on their agendas for the representatives of the faculty and the students – and what else is a university about? – to speak, ask questions of the board, and answer the board’s questions. (Besides, the comments from the public are often among the more interesting parts of the board meetings, and I hate the idea that the Senate’s time will take away from the public’s.)

The UO Senate has in past years scheduled time for both Chair Lillis and Trustee Ballmer to speak to us. The Senate made sure these presentations were well promoted, and that everyone understood their importance. Turnout was large and these interactions helped the faculty and the university understand the board, and built some trust in it. As Senate President I welcome requests from any trustee to speak, and I will treat them with the same respect that the Senate has done in the past.

In that spirit, I hope that your next agenda will explicitly schedule time for the Senate leadership to address the board and to ask and answer questions about academic matters. I promise to bring plenty to the table.

Yours,

Bill Harbaugh

Economics Professor & Senate President

University of Oregon

Input sought on IT report and process

Begin forwarded message:

From: “Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs” <provost>

Subject: Input sought on IT report and process

Date: August 26, 2016 at 10:48:30 AM PDT

 

Dear Colleagues,

The University of Oregon has been engaged in an ongoing conversation about improving information technology (IT) across campus. Having a robust, efficient, and secure IT system and structure is essential to the UO’s academic and research success and critical to serving students, faculty, and staff.

Over the last year we have conducted a series of assessments, begun developing an IT strategic plan, and started updating our policies. This work shows the UO must transform its IT system so that we have the appropriate infrastructure and staffing model to support our vital academic and research mission.

As part of these assessments, the UO commissioned a report by IT consultant Harvey Blustain, which is available on the provost’s webpage. The report suggests the best way to improve the IT support and operations is to consolidate the university’s fragmented technology resources and put in place consistent policies, procedures, and practices to increase efficiency and decrease institutional risk. Interim Chief Information Officer Chris Krabiel, Dean of Libraries Adriene Lim, and I have reviewed the report and believe it is a promising path forward for improving the UO’s IT systems and utilizing the skills of our many talented IT professionals.

I invite the campus community to read the report and offer feedback using this input form by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 30. Interim CIO Krabiel and Dean Lim will be engaging faculty and staff across campus in direct conversations to solicit more input. Additionally, in the coming weeks, interim CIO Krabiel will continue to meet with IT staff to review the report findings, answer questions, take input, and consider next steps. Additional information about the process, timeline, and proposed next steps is available here.

The input received from these discussions and from the comments form will be evaluated and used to finalize a recommendation to President Schill regarding next steps in improving services and further smoothing the transition process.

I thank the many people across campus who are working on this important IT transformation that will help position the UO for academic and research excellence. And I thank you in advance for your input and support of moving the university forward.

Sincerely,

Scott Coltrane
Provost and Senior Vice President

Provost search committee named

President Schill’s 8/19 email.

From: “President Michael H. Schill” <pres>
Subject: Provost search committee named
Date: August 19, 2016 at 2:27:57 PM PDT

Dear Colleagues,

Choosing a provost is among the most important decisions a president will make for a university. The provost is the chief academic officer of the institution and, as such, the guardian of our most important functions—education and scholarship. We are fortunate that Scott Coltrane will have served in that role for more than three years, in addition to serving as interim president and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since arriving at the UO in 2008. Now that he has announced he will retire in June 2017, it is vital that I select a worthy successor who will be my partner in advancing the University of Oregon.

I am pleased to announce that 17 people have been selected to serve on the Provost Search Committee, led by Professor Geri Richmond, to assist me in recruiting our next provost. I reached out to a broad representation of campus constituencies to develop the committee membership, which includes members of faculty, staff, students, and administration. I am grateful that everyone I asked to serve agreed to devote their time and expertise to this effort.

The names of the committee members are listed here on my website. Further updates will be posted on this site as we progress through the search process.

I thank Professor Richmond for taking on the task of leading this very important committee, and thank each member of the committee for their service to our university.

Sincerely,
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Notice of Temporary Policy

Begin forwarded message:

Dear Colleagues,

President Schill has approved emergency policy V.11.02 and associated changes to UO’s grievance policy and discrimination policy relating to the prohibition of discrimination and the process for responding to reports of prohibited discrimination. These temporary changes will be in effect for 180 days and provide needed clarification of who is a “responsible employee” and therefore required to report prohibited discrimination, including sexual harassment.

In summary, the emergency policy:
· Reinforces the expectation that all employees are required to communicate reports of prohibited discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, to:
o The Title IX Coordinator;
o The Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services; or
o The Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.
· Clarifies that the following offices are “confidential resources” that can help connect students and employees with support services and help them navigate their options, without being required to report the alleged misconduct:
o The Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services;
o The University Health Center;
o Ombudsperson; and
o The University Counseling Center.
· Provides clarification regarding when a report made in a privileged context does not trigger a duty to report, including:
o Reports made to an attorney in the context of providing legal counsel (such as student legal services);
o Reports made by unit members to a steward of their union;
o Information shared in a public awareness event (such as “Take Back the Night”);
o Information received during an IRB approved research project; and
o Reports made by students in the context of an academic assignment.
· Provides a pathway for certain faculty or staff to receive training and authorization from the Title IX Coordinator to be exempt from the reporting requirement.

This emergency policy reflects the input of the University Senate’s Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, and incorporates many thoughtful suggestions made by stakeholders in three separate meetings of the senate as it debated, but was unable to enact a permanent policy this past spring.

President Schill and I have asked the senate to return to the task and make modifications that reflect sound policy and remain compliant with our legal obligations under Title IX. To that end, University Senate leadership have appointed a working group, led by Knight Professor of Law, Merle Weiner, to seek broader consensus on a legally sufficient policy.

It is my hope that the senate can run an open and transparent process, one that relies on subject-matter experts and finds a careful balance between supporting a student’s control of whether to initiate a formal response to an incident of sexual harassment or prohibited discrimination and the university’s need to receive information necessary to stop and prevent discrimination. If the senate once again is unable to pass a policy, or if the policy it crafts does not meet minimum legal requirements, the president will be prepared to act at the end of the 180-day life of this emergency policy.

Sincerely,

Kevin Reed
Vice President and General Counsel