President's Updates

Open Mike: Balancing principles

01/09/2017 • Over the past couple of months, the University of Oregon’s handling of events associated with Professor Nancy Shurtz’s decision to wear a controversial Halloween costume has garnered significant media attention, both locally and nationally. A number of editorials, letters to the editor, and blog posts have engaged in discussions on the topic. Some of the coverage has been, in my opinion, thoughtful but some has, perhaps not surprisingly, sensationalized and caricatured what is a very serious incident that deeply affected our students and, by extension, our entire university community.

Preparing for budget challenging

12/06/2016 • Last Thursday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown released her budget for the FY 2017–19 biennium and proposed flat funding for all seven public universities. This is good news only in the sense that it could have been a lot worse due to the state’s estimated $1.7 billion budget deficit for the next biennium. The bad news is that flat funding from the state creates significant financial challenges for the UO.

President's December Report to the Board of Trustees

12/05/2016 • December 1, 2016 President Michael H. Schill delivered the following president's report to the University of Oregon Board of Trustees during the December meeting. These are remarks as drafted and may not be verbatim. We will be discussing in great depth tomorrow two matters that occupy a great deal of my time and energy—the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact and the governor’s recommended budget that was released today and its impact on our own operating budget. Thus, I will keep my remarks on those very short.

Support for resolution reaffirming shared values of respect, diversity, equity, and inclusion

11/17/2016 • We, the president, provost, vice provosts, vice presidents, deans and other leadership of the University of Oregon, are committed to creating an inclusive, welcoming, and equitable learning environment for every member of our academic community.

Supportive of all students regardless of immigration status

11/16/2016 • We have heard from numerous students, faculty, and staff that they are concerned about potential changes to immigration laws, especially as relates to undocumented students and those covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. We want to be very clear that we support all UO students, regardless of their immigration status.

Committed to inclusion

11/15/2016 • It may be obvious to many of you, but I want to make crystal clear our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Every person in this university is important and valued. The university’s leadership team stands united in our resolve to do whatever we can to enable every member of our community to flourish and contribute.

Dear Ducks: You Belong Here

11/14/2016 • Each one of you belongs at this university, and we care about you. What we need to do is come together and embrace everyone here and make sure that everybody feels a part of this university, knowing that we can succeed and we are all rooting for them. View the "Dear Ducks" video here.

Moving forward together

11/07/2016 • Last week was an incredibly difficult time for our university. The decision of law professor Nancy Shurtz to wear blackface at her Halloween party wounded our community, divided us, and exposed fissures that long existed under the surface. It is now my job as the leader of our school to not only help us heal but, more important, to move us to a demonstrably better place. The challenge for all of us is to recognize that the problem is deep and cannot be fixed with a Band-Aid. Instead, real healing, progress, and transformation will take time, persistence, and generosity of spirit.

Unacceptable behavior

11/05/2016 • The University of Oregon has been made aware that a faculty member of the School of Law wore a costume that included blackface at a private, off-campus Halloween party that was attended by UO faculty members and students. We condemn this action unequivocally as anathema to the University of Oregon’s cherished values of racial diversity and inclusion. The use of blackface, even in jest at a Halloween party, is patently offensive and reinforces historically racist stereotypes.

Open Mike: free expression on campus

10/28/2016 • The University of Oregon has a proud history as a leader in the protection of free expression.  In 1963, the university created a free speech platform outside the EMU. A few years later, during the height of Vietnam War protests, the university created new procedures that recognized the rights of students to protest and drafted policies that took a lenient approach to non-violent demonstrations.