Tag Archives: General Counsel

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

Free Speech for student-athletes and the student press

1/23/2017 followup:

Dear GC Reed – 

I’m writing as Senate President, to ask you for an update on your investigation of the Duck AD for potential violations of UO’s free speech and academic freedom policies.

Thanks,

Bill Harbaugh Senate President, Economics Professor, University of Oregon

On MondayJan 23, 2017, at 8:30 PM, Kevin S Reed <ksreed@uoregon.edu> wrote:

I’m in deep interview mode.  Coming along swimmingly.

Kevin S. Reed | Vice President and General Counsel

Office of the General Counsel

219 Johnson Hall | Eugene, OR 97403-1226

(541) 346-3082 | ksreed@uoregon.edu

1/12/2017 update:

Register Guard reporter Austin Meek has a report on General Counsel Kevin Reed’s investigation of the Athletic Department here: http://registerguard.com/rg/sports/football/35172801-69/oregon-general-counsel-opens-review-into-athletic-department-media-policies.html.csp

12/1/2016 update: 

Yesterday I received an email from President Schill saying that he would instruct GC Reed to investigate these athletic department free-speech issues, and report to him. I assume that the Senate will also be given this report.

I’ve already talked with several current and former Duck sports reporters, who told me about many other potential similar violations of UO free speech policies by the Athletic Department in recent years, with respect to both student-athletes and student and professional reporters.

One noted the #blacklivesmatter protest by Dana Altman’s student-athletes during the National Anthem, reported by Tyson Alger in the Oregonian here:  http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2014/12/oregon_coach_dana_altman_says.html

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-9-31-26-am

Altman chewed out his players and wouldn’t let them talk to the press afterwards.

The Senate will continue to look into these free speech issues.

From: UO Senate President <senatepres@uoregon.edu>

Subject: Free Speech for students and the student press

Date: November 27, 2016 at 10:13:14 PM PST

To: Kevin Reed <ksreed@uoregon.edu>

Dear General Counsel Kevin Reed:

We are writing you as President and Vice President of the Senate, regarding media reports that UO Athletic Department AAD Dave Williford told Oregon Daily Emerald sports editor Kenny Jacoby and other UO student-journalists that he would take away their Athletic Department issued press credentials, if the Emerald went ahead with their story on alleged assaults by UO football players. The news reports also say that the UO Athletic Department has a policy requiring that student-athletes not talk to the press without the Athletic Department’s permission.

The story is published here, https://www.dailyemerald.com/2016/11/17/oregon-tight-end-pharaoh-brown-accused-three-acts-violence-since-october-2014/ and the interview in which Mr. Jacoby explains the threat to take away his and other UO student reporters’s press credentials is here: http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf/2016/11/oregon_daily_emerald_story_dem.html.

This apparent threat from Mr. Williford, and these Athletic Department policies, procedures, or practices preventing UO students from talking to reporters may be in violation of the UO policies on Freedom and Speech and Inquiry, and on Academic Freedom. The former policy states:

The University of Oregon values and supports free and open inquiry. The commitment to free speech and freedom of inquiry described in this policy extends to all members of the UO community: Faculty, staff, and students. It also extends to all others who visit or participate in activities held on the UO campus.

Free speech is central to the academic mission and is the central tenet of a free and democratic society. The University encourages and supports open, vigorous, and challenging debate across the full spectrum of human issues as they present themselves to this community. Further, as a public institution, the University will sustain a higher and more open standard for freedom of inquiry and free speech than may be expected or preferred in private settings.

Free inquiry and free speech are the cornerstones of an academic institution committed to the creation and transfer of knowledge. 

(at https://policies.uoregon.edu/policy/by/1/01-administration-and-governance/freedom-inquiry-and-free-speech)

The latter policy states:

The University’s responsibility to help students to think critically and independently requires that members of the university community have the right to investigate and discuss matters, including those that are controversial, inside and outside of class, without fear of institutional restraint.

(at https://policies.uoregon.edu/content/academic-freedom-0)

We are asking that you investigate this incident, and the relevant UO Athletic Department policies, practices, and procedures, and give a report to the Senate giving your interpretation of whether or not the UO policy on Free Speech and Inquiry and the policy on Academic Freedom, or relevant State or Federal laws, have been violated. 

In particular, We ask you to address the following questions:

1) Is requiring student-athletes not to speak to the press without Athletic Department approval in conflict with UO free speech policies and law?

2) Is taking, or threatening to take, the press credentials of UO student journalists if they publish a story in conflict with UO free speech policies and law?

3) Were Mr. Williford’s actions – i.e. apparently attempting to discourage student-athletes from talking to the press, and threatening to take away the press credentials of these reporters, consistent with current UO policy?

We would appreciate it if you would send this report to the Senate by January 10, 2017. Please let us know if you have any questions. 

Bill Harbaugh, Economics Prof., Senate Pres

Chris Sinclair, Assoc. Prof. Math, Senate VP

Adminstration’s investigation of the halloween party Black doctor incident

 

(Updated)

Dear Colleagues –

On Monday I sent UO General Counsel Kevin Reed this request:

11/13/16, 3:18 AM, “UO Senate President” <senatepres@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Dear GC Reed –

I’m writing as UO Senate President, to request that you provide the Senate with the details of the charge you’ve given the AAEO office and/or outside counsel to investigate the Halloween blackface incident. The Senate and its Executive Committee is particularly interested in knowing what laws, regulations, or UO policies the investigation may involve.

We would like to have the information before the Senate meeting this Wednesday.

Continue reading Adminstration’s investigation of the halloween party Black doctor incident

Volokh comments on TPM free speech constraints proposal

Below is an exchange between UO GC Kevin Reed and UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh, a well known free-speech advocate and blogger, regarding Reed’s proposed policy  regarding restrictions on the time, place and manner of campus free-speech.

From: Kevin Reed [mailto:ksreed@uoregon.edu]

Sent: Friday, October 21, 2016 10:58 AM

To: Volokh, Eugene <VOLOKH@law.ucla.edu>

Subject: Any chance you’d be willing to comment on these?

Continue reading Volokh comments on TPM free speech constraints proposal

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

The Senate Responsible Reporting Working Group

We’ve set up a working group to rewrite the Responsible Employees Policy, as follows. It is a small group, but it will consult with all Senate constituents.

Charge:

The Senate Responsible Reporting Working Group is tasked with drafting a new Responsible Employees Policy for the Senate and Administration to consider as a replacement for the current emergency policy. The working group will follow the Senate’s normal open meetings rules, and will solicit input broadly from the Administration, the Senate, and the university community, and will hold at least one town hall type meeting for this purpose. The working group may seek outside advice, particularly on considerations involving compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The draft policy sent to the Senate will be accompanied by a document explaining the rationale for the recommended rules and procedures.

Membership:

  1. Merle Weiner, Professor, Law (Chair)
  2. Phyllis Barkhurst, OA, Director of 90by30, Co-Director of the UO Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect
  3. Jennifer Freyd, Professor, Psychology
  4. Bill Harbaugh, Professor, Economics
  5. Darci Heroy, OA, Interim Title IX Coordinator
  6. A student member, TBA.

General Council Kevin Reed’s 8/19 email:

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:
    • The Title IX Coordinator;
    • The Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services; or
    • 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:
    • The Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services;
    • The University Health Center;
    • Ombudsperson; and
    • The University Counseling Center.
  • Provides clarification regarding when a report made in a privileged context does not trigger a duty to report, including:
    • Reports made to an attorney in the context of providing legal counsel (such as student legal services);
    • Reports made by unit members to a steward of their union;
    • Information shared in a public awareness event (such as “Take Back the Night”);
    • Information received during an IRB approved research project; and
    • 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