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Archive for November, 2011

ASUO Senate Meeting 11-30-11

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

We are having major technical difficulties. To find the live coverage of the ASUO Senate Meeting, go to the Oregon Daily Emerald website.

This seems like some sort of conspiracy…

Here is the link

Vote or Die: The EMU Addition

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Today starts the beginning of a five-day opportunity to vote on the EMU and Student Rec Center (SRC) renovations. I’m sure many of you have been getting annoying emails all day telling you how you should vote. I’m not going to do that. I don’t care how you vote and neither does the Commentator, but it is important to know what you’re voting on.

 

The first question is asking if you are okay with paying $35 a term to renovate the SRC There will be a juice bar, which I know is a big selling point to the lovely Sophie Lawhead. So keep that in mind.

 

The second question is asking if you’re cool with paying $65 a term to renovate the EMU. So that’s 35 plus 65. I write words, I don’t do math so figure it out for yourself.

 

Number three is about stipends. You can read my stipend post or read something educate yourself on that issue.

The next section took the Senate 10 hours to write so pay close attention.

 

If the EMU remodel is approved, should any student groups have their square footage space reduced in the new EMU?

Basically do you think the Insurgent deserves less space, probably? But be careful here because you might get beat up by the Women’s Center.

 

Should the EMU governance board continue to have a majority of non-elected student members?

Should average Joes help design the new building?

 

If the EMU remodel is approved, should the facility be closed during construction?

Would you like all hell to break loose for two years? Or you can think of it as a massive game of musical chairs. Everyone likes musical chairs.

And that’s really all my jurisdiction. The rest is about sports and stuff so you would have to consult someone who cares a little more, like the people in the drowning glass building… Happy voting!

Ben Eckstein: Confidential

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

What does ASUO President Benjamin Eckstein think about the termination of President Lariviere? That is an excellent question and even though I interviewed Eckstein about the matter I am still left wondering. Below is a summary of the interview. The amount of time it takes you to read is the amount of time the interview lasted. He should get an award for being diplomatic.

Because the majority of the EMU was closed for Thanksgiving the interview took place in the back room of the ASUO office. In the office, there was a pepper shaker but no salt shaker, which I found suspicious but decided to ignore it and start the interview.

Eckstein started out by saying that him and Lariviere have had their disagreements but he respects Lariviere very much and has every intention on working with him if he is allowed to stay. So forth and so on.

Then he mentioned that there are smart people on both sides with good points, and this is a good discussion to have at the state level because it is important.

I thought I had him when he said it’s good it is happening, but he meant that it’s a big issue and should be handled by the state.

After a little prodding (I reminded him that he is a politician and he has to have more to say about the future of his university) he said that he is going to do everything in his power to make sure that students are being held at the forefront of all these decisions because they are they ones being affected. He wants to “give them a seat at the table when decisions are being made.”

He said, “Students should be meaningfully involved and consulted.” He wants to make sure that  people who usually don’t have a voice in these kinds of circumstances have a say in things that will be directly impacting them.

When asked about his testimony, he said it will basically be about students. It seemed like he had students on his mind.

I will try to crack this nut again after the decision is made. But for now, well played Eckstein.

Need a reason to skip class tomorrow?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The Education Alliance of UO, as previously reported, is holding a walk out tomorrow in solidarity with a supposed national walk out planned at universities around the country, however a half-hearted Google search found no evidence of other walk outs or educational alliances, except this one.

Education Alliance organizer Giffin Gates made it clear that this walk out was “not about Lariviere,” but to, what else, raise awareness about the University’s lack of transparency around tuition raises and athletic subsidies. Doesn’t anyone read UO Matters anymore?

The walk out will take place at 12:15 tomorrow in the EMU Amphitheater, speakers include ASUO Senator Jeremy Hedlund (oh hey there), Vice President of CSU James Jacobson, LCC Poli Sci Professor Stan Taylor, a student from OMAS (Office of Multicultural Academic Success), former ASUO VP Maneesh Arora, UO sociology Professor Chuck Hunt (beard!) and some grad student known only as “Jamil.”

The 30 member advocacy group is only three weeks old, but have already held a “teach-in” with UO sociology Professor Michael Dreiling to discuss the Occupy movement and it’s intentions for universities as a whole.

Students love walking and hate class, so it will probably draw a crowd, but will this result in any real policy change for UO? Nah. But when we can gather together in a public place and chant, that’s almost as good, right?

OSPIRG saves Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

OSPIRG, ever vigilant for the very existence of our planet, has hopped on the yearly toy alert bandwagon. Unfortunately, the report they cite offers more scares than actual advice for shoppers. They say that toys with lead and other dangerous chemicals have been found, but not once do they name a product to avoid. They also warn against toys capable of making sounds over 85 decibels… you know, the noise level of city traffic inside a car. Seriously, do people make toys that loud? Naturally, it came with the standard warning against toys with choking hazard sized parts, because apparently between now and my childhood, parent have started feeding their kids G.I. Joe guns and all children are developmentally disabled. No one I knew growing up choked on the toys we owned, even though some of them were probably wildly dangerous. George Carlin said it best…

Today’s kids are way too soft. For one thing, there is too much emphasis on safety. Child proof medicine bottles, fire proof pajamas, child restrained car seats… and helmets! Baseball, bicycles, skateboard helmets. Kids have to wear helmets now for everything except jerking off! Grown-ups have taken all the fun from being a kid just to save a few thousand lives. It’s pathetic. What’s happening is that these soft fruity baby boomers are raising an entire generation of soft fruity kids who aren’t allowed to have hazardous toys. Whatever happened to natural selection; survival of the fittest? The kid who swallowed too many marbles doesn’t grow up to have kids of his own. Simple as that. Nature knows best.

 

http://kezi.com/news/local/231369

W.W.G.D?

When I was a kid my parents bought me candy with knives inside it, and I turned out just fine.

Emergency Senate Meeting Tomorrow

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

An emergency University Senate meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday November 30, 2011 at Mac Court, 3:00 pm – 3:10 pm. Pissed at Pernsteiner? He will be there, and Gov. Kitzhaber might show his face. This reporter will  be severely disappointed if she does not see at least one glitterbombing (or should it be hat-bombing?) take place.

OUS Votes to Terminate Lariviere

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Here’s a quick update before the coming shitstorm: as of 5:58 pm on Monday, November 29th, 2011, the OUS board unanimously voted to terminate Richard Lariviere’s contact. His tenure as President of the University of Oregon will come to an end on December 28th, before the next academic term begins. The Register-Guard reports that an interim president has not yet been chosen, and OUS board president Matt Donegan said the board will begin its the search immediately.

Opponents of the firing aren’t taking the decision lying down. A teach-in organized by the faculty is at this very moment taking place in the EMU Ampitheatre, and a student walk-out is scheduled for 12:15 tomorrow in the same location.

So much for a quiet Thanksgiving holiday.

The Register-Guard has the full story here. Oregonlive.com has a synopsis of the board meeting here. Even the Wall Street Journal saw fit to comment; that story can be found here.

Lariviere urges students to focus on policy reform

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

President Lariviere addressed his supporters in an email sent out tonight at 7:44 PM. He thanked the students and faculty for their support but asked them to worry less about keeping him around and more about the need for an independent governing board for the University of Oregon, and all other OUS institutions.

So he’s asking for us to, instead of holding marches, signing petitions, and making Facebook groups to “make a difference” and right this wrong, we could, what’s that, instead ask for meaningful policy shifts to create real and lasting changes for future generations of students to come? Yeah, ship this one out, he’s totally full of shit.

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

Thank you for your support this week.  Jan and I are deeply touched.  More than anything I want the University of Oregon to flourish. Like so many of you, I love this university and all it represents.

I came here because the University of Oregon is a model for how public universities fulfill their mission in troubling times.  I came here because the state of Oregon is a place so often at the forefront of change, a crucible where innovators, dreamers, mavericks and fair-minded citizens devise new solutions to old problems. I still believe this is true.

The conflicts that resulted in my termination are a symptom of the broken system of governance and funding in Oregon higher education that desperately needs changing if the state of Oregon is going to achieve the greatness we all aspire to.   You know that.  This is why there has been the outcry—the genuinely amazing outcry—from so many of you.

I am humbled by your support, but your cause should not be my employment status. Your cause must be how Oregonians will be educated.  Your cause must be how institutions like the University of Oregon can be strong in a state with weak public resources.

I urge those of you who plan to rally or attend the state board meeting to focus your time, energy and efforts, not on questioning the wisdom or process of the decision.   Instead focus yourselves on the larger cause of meaningful policy reforms that will benefit the UO, the system of higher education, and the state of Oregon.  The Governor and Legislature already took actions this year to create a promising new governance structure for all education in Oregon.  It is possible for the state to take the next step and create a strong, independent governing board for an institution like the University of Oregon.

Universities in Oregon need to be differentiated based on their mission.  Strong independent boards should be guided by goals set by a statewide coordinating authority.  Each individual university must be able to best organize resources, serve the state and meet its mission.

A system approach that delivers conformity among institutions by applying the same fiscal and policy lens to all, regardless of mission, will continue to be costly to the state’s future.  It will not harness the unique strengths of each institution.  Such an approach has not and cannot deliver the fullest promise of higher education for Oregon’s future.

Work for a genuinely independent, genuinely powerful institutional governing board.  That is the doorway to a better future for the UO.  Stay the course.  Don’t let disappointment prevail.

Thank you for supporting the University of Oregon and for the honor of serving as the sixteenth president of the university.

Sincerely,

Richard Lariviere

 

Vandals deface estate, Peter Parker gets there to photograph it

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

When an “anonymous tip” was given to the Oregon Daily Emerald Staff, intrepid journalist and photographer Peter Parker was first to the scene of the crime. He arrived at 1:35  in the morning, in time to see the culprits sprint away from the hit and run deed in a sparsely populated suburban neighborhood not anywhere near where a reporter would be imagined to be at that hour. Hell, the photographer even reacted faster than the Chancellor and his family who were home at the time. After snapping a photo of the web-slinging vigilantes so clear he had to be standing to take it, and not running after the culprits who would have surely seen the bespectacled reported just gawking from where the crime scene was, he raced back to the Daily Bugle, where his boss Mr. Jameson had no clue how he was the only one capable of getting a clear shot of the radioactive renegades. Pausing a moment to clench his cigar in hand and declare that Spider-Man was a menace and that the city has no room for vigilantes like him, the meek Peter Parker stepped out with his payment, changed in a phone booth, and fought the Green Goblin on top of a building, because he was goddamned Spider-Man and only an idiot wouldn’t realize that for a photographer to get such a clear shot of the vandals in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, they would have to have been party to the valdalism and the vandals are a little less “unidentified” than the Emerald lets on.

Seriously, the photo snap is from behind, but the reporter knew that they were not only all wearing bandanas and masks, but that they were all male. How did they accomplish such investigative journalism? Because they were in the same group and are using the Emerald to give their boring, unimaginative vandalism the attention they crave by legitimizing it with a report. Seriously, either their stories have no editorial process or their editor missed some Blue’s Clues shit here.

 

EDIT: Overnight the story, along with the images in question, was pulled from the ODE’s website. Luckily, the Register Guard still had a copy of the good one, because you can’t just upload things online and erase all traces of them.

http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/27240641-41/lariviere-state-university-board-oregon.html.csp

Eugene has no need for vigilantes! Curse you, Spider-Maaaaaaaan!

As you can clearly see, the perps are all male and wearing masks and bandanas.

The Lariviere Situation Continues

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

So here’s what we’ve got:

Governor Kitzhaber calling bullshit on Lariviere, saying it’s about “trust,” and standing behind the state board. From his letter:

First, let me say that the situation involving the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and Dr. Richard Lariviere has nothing to do with an “ongoing difference of opinion over the future of the University of Oregon,” as Dr. Lariviere suggested in an email sent out to faculty and students last Tuesday.

There have been a number of well-publicized incidents involving Dr. Lariviere that have eroded trust and confidence with the Board of Higher Education.

Dr. Lariviere unilaterally granted substantial salary increases to his administrators and faculty. Unlike every other university president in the state, he disregarded my specific direction on holding tight and delaying discussion about retention and equity pay increases until the next biennium to allow for a consistent, system-wide policy on salaries.

Full text of the letter here.

The UO Deans calling it as they see it, urging for reconsideration:

We are unanimous in giving the president an A+ for his vision, his leadership and his unwavering commitment to public higher education. We are confident that an evaluation of his performance based on appropriate metrics would lead to a similar grade. We can only conclude that the state board and the governor gave him an F in “plays well with state bureaucracies.”

President Lariviere was hired by the board and supported by the UO community because he promised to lead us in finding a new model for excellence in higher education in Oregon. The UO community challenges the board, the governor and our president to forge a new path so that we can continue to build a great university for the benefit of all Oregonians.

Full text at the RG

State Board Prez blames it on the trust too. Story here.

& A letter from the senate executive committee:

(more…)

Moss Street to be paved for parking lot

Friday, November 25th, 2011

The UO, with the consent of the abutting property owners, applied for the vacation of a portion of Moss Street extending from East 15th Avenue to East 17th Avenue. Moss Street is located just east of campus, but you’re probably not familiar with East Campus, because it’s opposite West Campus—the area in which you either live or party or both. You can find Moss Street in the shadow of Matthew Knight Arena, and along it you can find the site of the new East Campus Residence Hall, an exquisite gravel parking lot, a couple of houses converted into UO offices, and the sad, displaced Moss Street Children’s Center.

The Eugene City Council held a public hearing Monday night with the Moss Street ordinance first on their agenda. Four people stood and spoke on behalf of the ordinance, three of which were a tri-part UO tag team: the VP of Finance and Administration, the assistant VP of Student Affairs, and some landscape architect. They each presented a few reasons why vacating Moss Street was in the “public interest.” They claimed that the purchase of Moss Street is part of the UO’s “strategic effort to steer parking away from its surrounding neighborhoods,” allowing the UO to transform Moss Street’s 60 parallel parking spaces into 107 head-in parking spaces. The benevolent UO also says that they really just want to “lessen the burden” on the city, repair sidewalks, add better lighting and maintain the landscaping themselves.

At the hearing, the public produced only one person in opposition, a certain Zachary Bishnoff, “former” UO student and concerned citizen. Zachary moved us all with some of that lukewarm, quintessentially Eugene, stick-it-to-the-man rhetoric we all know and love: this will turn the historic Fairmount Neighborhood into a suburban office park, how does UO know what is in the public interest, I have a ponytail and a mustache, blah blah blah. Well to mine and the UO tag team’s surprise, and I think to Zachary’s as well, the council responded to this plea and voted to delay the vacating another two weeks, giving time for further deliberation and for anyone else to submit their concerns to the council.

Adjourned, bitches. Democracy at a local level throws an eensy-weensy wrench in the inexorable gears of the University of Oregon and its malicious encroachment upon the city of Eugene. Well, you can bet that I’ll be submittin’ nothin’ to the council in my allotted two weeks. You know why? Not only does the UO already own all property adjacent to this portion of Moss Street, but the UO’s gonna fork out a cool 1.8 million to the city of Eugene for those ugly 1.35 acres (58,729 square feet). I just know that number makes Mayor Kitty Piercy purrrrrrrrrrr. Today I walked down Moss Street myself and I couldn’t even tell I was off campus. Call me indifferent, but I hereby conclude that the UO’s motion to purchase part of Moss Street is not that big of a deal. But read the ordinance and form your own opinions here.

 

Update from the UO Senate Executive Committee

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

An email sent out by Julie Palanuk today at 2:17 PM shares the University Senate’s plan to fight for Lariviere’s reinstatement, and they’re not going down without a fight:

 

Dear UO community:

The Senate Executive Committee met yesterday and formulated the following plan for the upcoming week:

1) YESTERDAY (WEDNESDAY): The Senate Executive Committee issued the petition on reinstating President Lariviere that many of you have seen and signed. As of 11:50 pm this evening, 2,890 people have signed the petition.

Please consider signing it if you haven’t and if you have, please forward the web address of the petition to your colleagues and students (http://senate.uoregon.edu/content/petition-reinstatement-president-richard-lariviere).

We also strongly encourage community members to write letters to the Governor, State Board and local legislators.

2) FRIDAY: The Senate Executive Committee will issue a strongly worded public statement on behalf of the university community denouncing the State Board decision with an explanation of why the decision is so detrimental to our university.

3) MONDAY: The State Board will hold a hastily scheduled meeting in Portland solely on President Lariviere’s contract. It is expected that the Board will follow the lead of the Governor and Chancellor and terminate his contract.

The Senate President Robert Kyr will be allowed to speak at that meeting. We are asking as many faculty, students and staff as possible to attend the meeting to show support for President Lariviere. We have been told that the meeting will likely commence at 3 pm (check State Board web site on Friday for an official announcement; http://www.ous.edu/state_board) and will be held in PSU’s Academic & Student Recreation Center, Suite 515 (1800 SW 6th Avenue, Portland).

The Senate Exec will help set up carpools if anyone has space in his/her vehicle or if someone needs a ride. Please contact N. Tublitz at tublitz@uoregon.edu.

4) TUESDAY: The Senate and CAS Department Heads will sponsor a teach-in/rally here on campus. Senate President Kyr will report on the State Board meeting. Several faculty from across campus will also speak.  There might also be a march. This will be the first campuswide community gathering since the President’s firing. Time is likely to be noon to 2 pm. Location TBA.

5) WEDNESDAY:  2:45 pm  University Senate meeting for the purpose of calling a Statutory Faculty meeting.

3:00-5:00 pm  Statutory Faculty meeting. All community members are invited to attend. Governor Kitzhaber, Chancellor Pernsteiner and State Board Chairman Donegan are to be invited and will be given an opportunity to speak. Following their presentations, there will be an extended question and answer period.

At around 4:30 pm there will be two motions presented to the Statutory Faculty for adoption. The first will be a motion in support of retaining President Lariviere. The second will be a motion of no confidence in the Chancellor and the State Board. The location of the Senate and Statutory Faculty meetings will be determined and announced as soon as possible.

Updates on these activities will be posted on the University Senate website (http://senate.uoregon.edu/). Additional events will be scheduled depending on the outcome of the events in the next week.

Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have contributed to this important effort.

Senate President Robert Kyr and the Senate Exec Committee

 

“There may also be a march.”  This is Eugene. Of course there will be a march.

 

Holiday Reading

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Looking for a giggle?

Here are a couple of article from the archives worth reading:

In Defense of Free Speech. January 16, 2010 by D.

12 Things My Dorm Fire Inspector Wasn’t Happy About. October 21, 2009 by Nick Ekblad.

Chip Kelly Writes Check to Aggrieved Fan. September 21, 2009 by Ian.

Determinism makes one more likely to be cheater, pumpkin eater. April 18, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella.

Give Them A Pulitzer. April 26, 2005 by Timothy.

 

Agate Hall Accessorizes

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Wednesday, the current home of University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, Agate Hall, was adorned with a giant banner stating, “WE STAND WITH THE HAT.”

Apparently, the decision was made at a SOJC faculty and staff meeting Wednesday afternoon.

In hanging this banner, the SOJC is speaking not just for SOJC staff and faculty but for its students as well. That building represents the SOJC as an entity and the banner is an official stance in support of President Lariviere.

Yet, as far as I am aware, students weren’t consulted. As far as I am aware (and I checked, but I admit, I got upwards of 25 emails Wednesday about Lariviere via grad list emails), I did not get an email inviting me to the meeting. If the SOJC was going to take a stance,  they should have been transparent and made sure there was clear and thorough communication with students. Furthermore, students should have had a voice in the matter.

There seems to be an argument that we should trust the people that attended that meeting and SOJC Dean Gleason to make that decision for us but I find it invalid.

Trusting Dean Gleason to speak for us is the same as trusting the CEO of a big company to speak for its employees (note: I very much respect Dean Gleason and the SOJC staff, they are all very thoughtful people who wouldn’t take something like this lightly). He’s not necesarily in tune with my interests, he hopefully doesn’t think exactly the same way as I do, there is a possibility that he could be wrong and I didn’t elect him to represent me. This isn’t a normal, write-it-off kind of event, this is the President of the university and a banner on the front of our building. We should be encouraged to do as journalists do and explore all sides of the story. We should be presented with information from both sides. We should have a discussion or a talk with several guest speakers. We should sit down and talk with the President. We should be independent thinkers, and having our leaders stand behind an issue discourages that and encourages us to jump behind the cause rather than thoughtfully defend our positions.

Let’s stop and think, what has Lariviere done that’s bettered the university? And equally,  how has he hindered progress? Honestly, at this point, I can’t tell you, I have a lot of research to do. But it is quiet curious that this just popped up, it makes me think that we might be missing some information.

The jury’s out for me on Larieviere’s reinstatement, but I reject the idea of  let those in power speak for the masses. Every voice is important. The SOJC mobilized too quickly to get a comprehensive feel for the reactions of its students.

Here’s the question I’m left wondering–where did the money for the banner come from? Even if it was a small amount, it still matters. If the banner was paid for with student fees then if there are students who oppose President Lariviere’s reinstatement, they should be allowed a banner as well.

The Commentator is working on securing a photo of Agate Hall. 

Update December 4, 2011: UO SOJC Dean Gleason said in an email that the banner was paid for with faculty money. He also said that he made it clear to the faculty that he was not directing the project.

 

‘Twas the day before Thanksgiving and things were bat-shit crazy at UO

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Here’s a run-down of the coverage on UO President Richard Lariviere’s employment situation:

November 22, 2011. Lariviere Out as U of O President. Willamette Week. Portland, Ore.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 10:40 a.m. University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere’s contract will not be renewed. Oregonian. Portland, Ore.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 12:53 p.m. Phil Knight on Richard Lariviere firing at UO: ‘an application of Oregon’s Assisted Suicide law’. Oregonian. Portland, Ore.

November 23rd, 2011, 12:23 a.m. President Lariviere asked to resign (contains original email to students). The Cool kids at the Commentator. Oh wait that’s us.

November 23, 2011. UO Students React to Lariviere Stepping Down. KEZI. Eugene, Ore.

Support builds behind UO president Lariviere.  Register-Guard. Eugene, Ore.

November 23, 2011. Was Donegan and Pernsteiner’s decision legal? UO Matters (blog). Eugene, Ore.

November 23, 2011. State Board of Higher Education to Convene a Special Meeting. Oregon University System (please note that while everyone is freaking out, this does not say, “hey kids, we’re firing Lariviere on Monday”)

November 23, 2011. State board decision sparks frustration in campus community. Ol’ Dirty. Eugene, Ore. (Yes, I know, I;m cringing sharing this but they have a video of School of Journalism and Communication Dean Gleason talking)

November 24, 2011, 12:43 a.m. Lariviere’s response to state board via email to students, faculty and staff (includes full email from President Lariviere). Oregon Commentator

Also, this blog was started in support of Lariviere and there’s a petition here to reinstate Lariviere, which has 2862 signatures as of 12:35 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.