University Task Force on Long-term Responses to COVID-19

The University Task Force on Long-term Responses to COVID-19 will advise the president of the University of Oregon on how the institution should respond to financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. It is expected that, over the next two to three years, the university may experience challenges in enrollment attributable to the pandemic that lead to significant shortfalls in tuition revenue. In addition, it is likely that the State of Oregon will reduce annual appropriations to the Public University Support Fund (PUSF) which will, in turn, lead to reductions in state funding to the university.

The task force will review data on university operations, including expenditures; staffing levels for administrators, OA’s, faculty, and staff; student FTEs by department; and revenue projections. Additionally, the task force will conduct outreach to the campus community, including campus-wide surveys and other engagement activities. Based on information provided by the administration, including proposals generated by the administration and academic leadership, as well as the results of campus outreach, the task force will consider and provide advice for how to optimize the use of resources in achieving the missions of the university. Given that the committee’s work will be both sensitive and advisory, the discussions of the task force will be confidential. While the committee’s work will be private, leadership remains committed to providing regular updates to the campus regarding the financial uncertainties it is facing and the planning it is engaging in.

The university respects and understands that many employment actions and changes to departments are subject to policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements, and the institution will ensure that all actions implemented follow applicable processes, including consultation with appropriate employee groups and stakeholders.

The university is a world-class public research university committed to the mission of providing exceptional teaching, promoting discovery, and service to the community. While the challenges ahead are uncertain, it is essential that the institution sustains the ability to carry out its mission for the long-term.


Updates from the University COVID-19 Task Force – November 12, 2020


Elliot Berkman (co-chair), College of Arts and Sciences, Associate Professor of Psychology; University Senate President
Sabrina Madison-Cannon (co-chair), School of Music and Dance, Phyllis and Andrew Berwick Dean and Professor of Dance

Bruce Blonigen, College of Arts and Sciences, Dean and Professor of Economics
Liska Chan, College of Design, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture; Clark Honors College, Associate Dean for Faculty
Robin Clement, Lundquist College of Business, Director, Master of Accounting Program; Academic Director, Sports Product Management; Robert and Lois Braddock Distinguished Senior Instructor
Nicole Dahmen, School of Journalism and Communication, Associate Professor, Honors Program Coordinator
Anthony Dillard, College of Arts and Sciences, Political Science, Undergraduate Student
Judith Eisen, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Biology
Larissa Ennis, University Advancement, Government and Community Relations, Associate Director of Sponsorships and Community Relations
Kimberly Johnson, Division of Undergraduate Education and Student Success, Office of Academic Advising, Assistant Vice Provost for Advising
Kent McIntosh, College of Education, Philip H. Knight Chair and Professor of Special Education and Clinical Sciences
Paul Peppis, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of English; Director, Oregon Humanities Center
Michael Price, College of Arts and Sciences, Senior Instructor of Mathematics, Assistant Department Head
Jennifer (Jen) Reynolds, School of Law, Associate Professor; Faculty Director, Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Center
Gerardo Sandoval, College of Design, Planning, Public Policy and Management, Associate Professor
Doneka Scott, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success
Ian Winbrock, School of Journalism and Communication, Center for Science Communication Research, SCR Program Assistant I

Members of the task force were identified and chosen jointly by the Senate President Elizabeth Skowron, Senate President-Elect Elliot Berkman, University President Mike Schill, and Provost Patrick Phillips. The Senate President and President-Elect generated a list of prospective members for the Task Force and the President and Provost made some edits and suggestions as well. Together, a list of candidates was finalized. All who were approached recognized the importance of this opportunity and agreed to serve. Broad representation was sought from the ranks of TTF and Career Faculty, Classified Staff, and Officers of Administration across campus, with a student representative. Prospective members and candidates included individuals who would bring diverse expertise and a deep commitment to the institution-as-a-whole, while also keeping the committee manageable in size.