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Statement on metrics

I oppose the initiative to incorporate external “metrics” into evaluating teaching and scholarship. First, we already have a system for evaluating teaching and scholarship – the collective judgment of faculty and peer review. At the heart of this system are two principles: 1) only faculty themselves have the disciplinary expertise to evaluate colleagues’ work; and 2) while faculty draw on concrete evidence including publications, there is ultimately a degree of scholarly judgment involved that can’t be collapse into a mathematical formula. There is no reason to change this system unless the intention is to have administrative edicts take precedence over…


A Response to the UO’s Goal of Measuring Excellence

Dear Provost Banavar, We applaud your call to develop meaningful metrics that will help us evaluate “how well we are collectively contributing to the university’s mission.” We are proud to work for the University of Oregon and we support the vision of our University defined by our mission statement:  “The University of Oregon is a comprehensive public research university committed to exceptional teaching, discovery, and service.” As stated, our vision “is to be a preeminent and innovative public research university encompassing the humanities and arts, the natural and social sciences, and the professions. We seek to enrich the human condition through…


Lego Grad Student Coming to UO!

Whether you care to openly admit it or not, grad school has probably felt like a sledgehammer repeatedly slamming into your face and soul. Spend an hour with Lego Grad Student as he attempts to explain why this is a perfectly normal–but not inevitable–feeling, and offers painfully learned advice on how you can manage it. (Satisfaction absolutely not guaranteed.) We all know that graduate school is not easy.  Many students experience ‘imposter syndrome’ while navigating their graduate program.  Imposter syndrome is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being…


UO Puerto Rico Project: Hurricane Maria and Its Aftermath

The Ethnic Studies archival team has released the Puerto Rico Project‘s digital archive. https://blogs.uoregon.edu/theuopuertoricoproject/ They recommend regularly checking in for new interviews, bibliographies, stories, photographic journeys, and more educational materials pertinent to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. The Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies hosts the Justice Across Borders Symposium on March 8, 2018. You can find additional information at http://cllas.uoregon.edu/2018-symposium.


Intertwined: Stories of Home

Are you interested in the art of storytelling? Would you like to get more connected to your stories and the stories of those around you? We have just the thing: on Saturday, March 3, the team from last year’s “Intertwined: Stories of Home” event will be hosting a free, fun, low-stress storytelling workshop from 10:00am-1:00pm in Straub 245. We would love for you to join us! This workshop is an opportunity to Explore the structure, presentation, and art of stories Practice crafting and presenting your own narrative in a supportive environment Connect with a group of faculty, staff, and students committed to supporting…


Budget Cuts, Reorganization, and Frustration in COE

The College of Education (COE) has recently been presented with relatively significant budget cut targets by the Provost’s office.  The COE faculty are eager to find ways to maintain the excellence of our programs while also achieving the prescribed fiscal goals.  Unfortunately, we are not being given the information that would make such collaborative problem solving possible.  Frustration levels are high. In response to this situation, UA stewards in COE recently hosted a meeting of college faculty with UA Executive Director David Cecil.  25 faculty attended, and 28 others sent regrets along with lists of their concerns.  The concerns expressed…


Metrics and faculty governance

Last year, the members of the Board of Trustees expressed concern that we, as a campus, would not be able to measure the progress toward our goal of achieving excellence in all facets of faculty work unless we had a defined set of metrics to measure faculty performance. At the behest of the Trustees, the Provost’s Office drafted a plan to measure faculty research productivity. Over the course of the last several years, UA leadership has repeatedly pointed out well-cited problems associated with certain external metrics, particularly Academic Analytics, in evaluating individual faculty or entire departments (for further reading on…


Amicus brief supports sanctuary jurisdictions

The AAUP joined this week with other groups, including members of the California Community College System, in filing an amicus brief in support of a permanent injunction against a Trump administration executive order that sought to strip federal funding from “sanctuary jurisdictions.” The lawsuit resulting in the injunction was filed by the city of San Francisco. The AAUP’s interest in the case stems from the potential application of the executive order to colleges and universities. Such an extension would negatively impact colleges’ and universities’ ability to carry out their public mission and their interests in developing a diverse student body. Allowing the…


Save the Date for Healthcare: January 23rd!

This year, a broad coalition of Oregon Democrats, Republicans, health care advocates and providers, and healthcare companies passed a landmark Medicaid funding package. Unfortunately, some want to turn back this progress and have gathered signatures to repeal this critical funding. Currently, 95% of Oregonians, including all children, have health coverage. Voting Yes on Measure 101 protects healthcare for 350,000 Oregonians who rely on the Oregon Health Plan for their insurance, including 66,000 children. Measure 101 stipulates that hospitals, insurance companies, and other healthcare providers pay a small, temporary assessment which is then matched by the Federal government. This crucial funding…


Everyone Needs a Friend, Even Assistant Professors

Are you a first, second, or third year faculty member? Feeling a little unsure of how everything is supposed to work here at UO and in academia in general? Wish you had someone with more experience you could talk with? Many faculty feel this way, so we have developed a mentorship program to help facilitate informal faculty networking and support across campus. Connections with colleagues matched by interests and experiences can be useful in providing guidance on a range of professional issues and topics, including but not limited to: navigating work-life balance, publishing, teaching, nuances of department life, new community…