Oregon University System (OUS) workers represented by SEIU Local 503 will be voting on whether or not to strike Sept. 9, 10 and 11. The union, which represents classified employees at the University of Oregon and other schools, posted on its website on Aug. 19 that "management’s proposals still do not fit with our vision for the kind of university system Oregon needs." Classified employess include nurses, office specialists, analysts and more. As the UO's human resources page says, "Classified employees carry out work that supports the academic work of the university faculty and researchers, enriches the student learning experience, and enhances the beautiful campus environment."
SEIU writes of why it has declared an impasse and is calling for a strike authorization vote:
1. OUS shouldn’t be a poverty-wage employer. Management’s wage proposal leaves more than 1,200 classified workers eligible for food stamps.
2. OUS should honor the sacrifices of classified workers over the last four years, rather than insisting on cutting down the step system and offering miniscule raises. Instead of taking financial pressures out on classified employees and students.
3. OUS should recover lost income from the banks who helped crash our economy with misleading and fraudulent financial practices.
4. OUS should focus resources on classrooms and student and faculty services instead of high-salaried administration.
Declaring an impasse doesn't stop bargaining and mediation, it's a required step before a strike. The next bargaining session is Aug. 22 and 23 at Oregon Tech. SEIU says that more than 200 members, students, and faculty came out for a Solidarity Rally at UO.
To raise money for the Strike Hardship fund, a classified worker from Southern Oregon University Anne Wadley is raffling off an Oregon-themed quilt. Go here for more info and where to buy tickets.
It's not getting much press outside of Madison, Wisc., but the unions there are still protesting Governor Scott Walker. The daily Sing-Along at the Wisconsin Capitol has been generating arrests since July 24 — 300 have been arrested and given $200 tickets, and the Wisconsin State Journal says the number of protesters, who chant "We're still here," at 1 pm each day is growing.
Protests in Madison made headlines in 2011 when Walker announced plans to eliminate collective bargaining for most public workers. Unions haven't given up on changing how labor is being treated in that Midwestern state. Recent arrests include firefighters, Matt Rothschild, editor of The Progressive magazine, an elected city official, a 14-year-old girl and three members of the Raging Grannies.
It remains to be seen if splititng up Oregon's state schools is going to pan out for the benefit of all the schools or just the ones with big donors (aka "Uncle" Phil Knight, who pulled himself from the list). But for the long-term good of higher ed or not, the boards are announced. Some commentary in italics, please feel free to jump in.
Gottfredson says in his email to the UO:
The university received gift commitments totaling $200,054,995, the second highest one-year total in the UO’s history. Of the total, $85,772,471 was designated by donors specifically to support faculty and academic programing, research activity, and student aid and scholarships, representing a significant increase in giving in these key categories. Commitments of $48.3 million were designated for the university’s endowment, which provides the institution with a stable source of ongoing funding. As of June 30, the endowment stood at an all-time high market value of $550 million—the largest endowment at any of Oregon’s universities—and saw a 13.8 percent return for the fiscal year.
But UO Matters points out that "… it appears that about 57% of the donations to the Foundation went to the jocks. If you count the $140M or so Knight spent on the football sweat shop - and it's hard to ignore - the jocks got about 75%."
Onto the the new governing boards:
UO's board (via email to staff and students, still waiting on a press release …)
Allyn Ford, Roseburg (president and CEO, Roseburg Forest Products) (Timber money, the enviros just LOVE this.)
Andrew Colas, Portland (principal, R&H Colas Construction)
Ann Curry, New York (television personality and journalist, UO alum)
Chuck Lillis, Castle Rock, Colo. (communications businessman, UO donor)
Connie Ballmer, Bellevue, Wash. (wife of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer) (Umm this day and age do we really say the most important thing about someone is that she's a "wife"?)
Ginevra Ralph, Eugene (Co-founder of The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts)
Joseph Gonyea III, Springfield (chief operating officer of Springfield-based Timber Products Co.) (Oh yay! More timber money!)
Mary Wilcox, Portland, (UO Alum and principal in various family investment companies)
Peter Bragdon Portland (general counsel, Columbia Sportswear, Portland)
Ross Kari, Sisters (UO Alum and executive vice president and CFO of Freddie Mac)
Rudy Chapa Portland (businessman, former UO track star)
Sam Dotters-Katz, Eugene (UO student)
Susan Gary, Eugene (UO faculty member)
Kurt Willcox, Eugene (UO staff member)
And OSU's board (via informative press release)
Mark Baldwin, of Albany, Ore., is an analyst and programmer in OSU’s Information Services division. He has had a long and successful career in information systems and technology in higher education and the private sector. Prior to joining the OSU staff, he worked at Western Oregon University and a number of private sector firms. As specified in SB 270, he represents the staff at Oregon State.
Patricia Bedient, of Sammamish, Wash., has been executive vice president and chief financial officer of Weyerhaeuser Company since 2007. She began her career and worked for 27 years with Arthur Andersen LLP, becoming partner in 1987. She serves on the boards of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, and has served two terms on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees. She also is on the World Forestry Center board. (The dominance of timber money is less surprising at OSU, given it's got a forestry school).
Rani Borkar, of Portland, Ore., is corporate vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Development Group for Intel Corporation. She leads numerous global engineering teams that are responsible for the development of a full range of processors for server, client, and handheld devices. She has been with Intel since 1988 and earned the Intel Achievement Award in 2002.
Darald “Darry” Callahan, of San Rafael, Calif., is former president of Chevron Chemical Company, and served as executive vice president of Power, Chemicals and Technology for ChevronTexaco Corp. from 2001 until his retirement in 2003. He also has served as president of Chevron Oil Bahamas Limited and president of Warren Petroleum Company. He is a former chair of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees. (Chemicals and oil, yup.)
Michele Longo Eder, of Newport, Ore., is an attorney whose practice includes an emphasis in marine and fisheries law. In partnership with her husband, Bob Eder, she is a shareholder in Argos Inc. and is president of Eder Fish Company, a wholesale fish dealer for domestic and foreign buyers. She is a member of the NOAA Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee and former commissioner of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.
Elson Floyd, of Pullman, Wash., has been president of Washington State University since 2007. He was president of the University of Missouri from 2003-07, and Western Michigan University from 1998 to 2003. He began his career at University of North Carolina, where he held several executive positions. He is on numerous national boards including the Washington STEM Center Board, Association of Public Land Grant Universities Board, and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.
Orcilia Zúñiga Forbes, of Portland, was appointed to the State Board of Higher Education in July 2012; her term expires in 2014. She retired from OSU in 2004 as vice president of University Advancement, and has served as a trustee for the Meyer Memorial Trust since 1999. She is also serving on the boards of the Chalkboard Project and the University of New Mexico Foundation.
Paul Kelly, of Portland, Ore., was named to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education in 2007 and served as president from 2008-11. He recently retired from the law firm Garvey Schubert Barer. From 1987 to 2005, he served in several positions at Nike, Inc., including general counsel and global director of public affairs. He is on the Oregon School Funding Defense Foundation board and Legal Aid Services of Oregon board, among others.
Brenda McComb, of Corvallis, Ore., is dean of the OSU Graduate School and a former forest habitat researcher. Before being named dean of the graduate school in April of 2011, she led the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society in the College of Forestry. Her research has focused on the effects of land management practices on animals and natural habitats. As specified in SB 270, she represents the faculty at Oregon State.
Laura Naumes, of Medford, Ore., is vice president of Naumes Inc. The company has orchards in California, Oregon and Washington and is a leading producer of pears. It also produces several varieties of apples, along with cherries, Asian pears and persimmons. She is a former member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco advisory council and began her first term as trustee on the OSU Foundation Board in 2012.
Patricia “Pat” Reser, of Beaverton, Ore., is board chair of Reser’s Fine Foods, Inc., a family-owned fresh refrigerated food company. She previously served as corporate secretary for 13 years, and is a retired employee of the Beaverton School District. She is one of three co-chairs of OSU’s Capital Campaign Steering Committee and is serving her third term as an OSU Foundation Trustee.
Taylor Sarmon, of Corvallis, Ore., is a sophomore majoring in political science at Oregon State and is executive director of government affairs for the Associated Students of OSU. In that role, he oversees ASOSU’s local, state and federal lobbying efforts. The graduate of Union High School in eastern Oregon served as an intern during the 2013 Oregon Legislative session, and is a past president of the national Future Business Leaders of America. As specified in SB 270, he represents the students of OSU.
Kirk Schueler, of Bend, Ore., is chief administrative officer for St. Charles Health System. Previously, he was president of Brooks Resources Corporation, a real estate development firm in Bend. He was appointed to the State Board of Higher Education in 2009; his term expires in 2013. He serves on the boards of the Bend Foundation, Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation, and the Jeld-Wen Tradition Foundation.
John Turner, of Pendleton, Ore., retired as president of Blue Mountain Community College in June. He joined the college in 2003 as executive vice president and provost, becoming president in 2005. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as a colonel with more than 28 years of service, including a stint as president of the Marine Corps War College in Quantico, Va. He serves as a commissioner of the Port of Umatilla.
For the official list from the governor, Portland State and the Higher Ed Coordinating Commitee go here.
Lady Gaga stays true to her inner art freak with her new music video "Applause," which was released today. I love Lady Gaga and her cheekiness, and I like someof her "art pop" music, but this video, while successfully showcasing Gaga as the glam chameleon that she is, is not the narrative gold of some her past work. Watch below and decide for yourself.
The Oregon Legislature may have banned roping horses to trip them in the last session, but the horse tripping issue hasn't gone away. The Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo is alleged to have said it will continue the event, despite the law and public outcry, and a recently released recording shows police in Malheur County discussing the fact the rodeo board compelled them to pull over an animal rights activist.
The rodeo is scheduled to take place again May 17-18, 2014. The description of the Big Loop event has not changed on the rodeo's website.
The video of the police, taken from their own cameras, was obtained by SHARK — Showing Animals Respect and Kindness — which brought attention to the cruel event by videoing the horses galloping and then being roped by the neck and legs before crashing to the ground in 2012 and 2013. SHARK says that the Malheur County Sheriff's Department has financial and personal ties to the rodeo.
Eugene attorney Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center is defending one of the SHARK videographers who was charged with a misdemeanor in Malheur County for videoeing the horse tripping.
In the video below, SHARK President Steve Hindi, who filmed the event after the SHARK volunteer was arrested, recounts the incident.
Warning: The cop part is pretty funny, the video of the horse tripping is not.
(We are going to forgive Hindi for calling Malheur (Mal-yur) County "Malure" County because he clearly cares about animals.)
One of several YouTube videos on Gupta's statements on pot.
Many Eugene residents received a unified jolt yesterday as the first Amber Alert issued through a cell phone notification went out across the state.
Introduced as a partnership between a the wireless industry, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the program now broadcasts Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on compatible phones. The program went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, and most newer phones have the WEA function.
If your phone is enabled for the new program, you may receive one of three of the unusually loud notifications: President, imminent threats and Amber Alerts. To differentiate from other alerts, some phones flashed light and vibrated in addition to the loud tone.
Social media reactions varied greatly, with some on Twitter and Facebook supporting the idea as a good use of newer technologies, while others felt it was intrusive and unnecessary. Alerts also went out on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Emergency alerts and Amber Alerts can be turned off, presidential alerts cannot.
The alert was issued for a 16-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy believed to have been abducted by California resident John DiMaggio. The alert went out in California on Aug 5., after the children’s mother’s body was found in a burned down house belonging to DiMaggio in San Diego. The alert asked citizens to look out for a blue 2013 Nissan Versa. The search was extended to Oregon and Washington on Aug. 7.
The Amber Alert system is a “voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of the child,” according to amberalert.gov.