Latest news from the UO

  • Seniors from the Class of 2018 reflect on their years as Ducks

    June 5, 2018 - 5:00am First published in Around the O. It seems like only yesterday when the class of 2018 arrived on campus for Week of Welcome, moved into the residence halls, and ate their first Cheesy Grillers. The memories of these years will live on — the first time they wandered across the river on a fall afternoon with friends for some Autzen madness. Finding the perfect study spot and surviving first Finals week. Waking up to a blanket of snow on the ground. Coming back from spring break and finding a sun-drenched campus in bloom. These were their seasons. Along the way, they found their way, not in a straight line, but one that meandered. They discovered new places, met new friends, learned new ideas. This was the path that led to these finals days of college. Now they’re getting ready to carve a new path. They’ll be leaving behind this leafy campus and embarking on new adventures, knowing the best lies ahead. That’s why it’s called commencement — it’s the start of something, not the end. Name: Taylor Jackson Major: Business Administration with a concentration in operations and business analytics. Outside the classroom: She enjoyed mentoring for the Building Business Leaders program for two years, serving as a student ambassador for the Athletic Department, and spending 70 percent of her college career in the Lillis Business Complex. Influencers: Without a doubt, Taylor said it was the people she surrounded herself with. “The people I've met along the way inspire me to continue to push the boundaries for myself and my community." Dorm life: Taylor was appreciative of her first-year dorm experience where she roomed in the Business ARC residence hall Earl. There, she made many long-lasting friends and felt she had jump-started her career within those walls. Why she's proud to be a Duck: Taylor said she loved to see the drive all her classmates put forth to go conquer or change something out in the world, and of course she enjoyed the comradery and excitement of all the sporting events. What's next: Because of her time with the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, she snagged a job in Chicago to work for Amazon as an Associate Account Executive in their Amazon Media Group. Name: Keene Corbin Major: Geography with a minor in food studies. Outside the classroom: Served as an RA for two years, participated in Geography Club's "Map by Northwest," and worked as a teacher's assistant for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Favorite memory: That time one of his residents ate two Big Mouth burritos in under four minutes. Did you know? Keene ran the Eugene Half Marathon three times and his favorite spot on campus is the Urban Farm. Favorite professor/instructor: In the Geography Department, Shaul Cohen, Chris Bone, and Leslie McClees, and also Harper Keeler in Landscape Architecture. Advice to his freshman self: Keene would have spent more time at Saturday Market and got more involved in Eugene community events. He recommended all students check out the Craft Center in the EMU at least once. What's next? He aspires to work for National Geographic and has applied to work for Harley-Davidson this summer as a cross-country social media influencer. Is there anything cooler than riding a motorcycle across the USA? ​​​​​ Name: Raquel Ortega Major: Advertising. If she knew then what she knows now: Raquel would tell her freshman self to surround herself with people who were doing work that she wanted to be doing. "Courage and motivation are contagious when everyone around you is working to better themselves every day." Outside the classroom: She worked with Pac-12 Networks, Oregon Athletic Department, Emerald Media Group, Allen Hall Advertising, and the Division of Equity and Inclusion. Favorite spot on campus: Raquel would sometimes wait up to 30 minutes to sit in the big chair in Erb Memorial Union to study and decompress after class. Professional highlight: Serving as an Art Director for Allen Hall Advertising and working on the Reset the Code campaign. "Seeing your work go up for everyone to see and for the chance for it to make a difference, nothing can beat that.” What’s next: This summer she travels to Seattle (for the first time!) to begin a career as Art Director Intern for the advertising agency WongDoody. The best part? The agency was founded by a UO alum — Tracy Wong! ​​​​​​ Name: Giselle Sheeran Major: Interior Architecture. Advice to her first-year self: "Relax! You're right where you need to be.” After applying for a random roommate, she was surprised to be matched with one of her best friends from high school. The match went so well that they're even planning to live with each other post-grad. What she likes about Eugene: Giselle can proudly proclaim that she went to school in the weirdest town in America. "I wouldn't trade the last five years and the friendships I've made for anything.” Favorite spot on campus: She only revealed the location to her secret spot because she's graduating. It's the perfect lunch spot, and nobody is ever there —  a little nook near the Columbia fountain nestled between the trees and Pacific Hall. What’s next: Giselle admitted she can't sit still for long and hopes to travel to many places in the next 10 years, specifically to Austin and Tokyo. In her immediate future, she hopes to land an interior design job in Portland. Name: Christopher Holloway Major: General Social Science: Applied Economics and Business. Why he’s proud to be a Duck: “Because the University of Oregon has provided me the opportunity to be the first male in my family to attend and graduate a four-year university.” Outside the classroom: He joined many groups that "promote inclusive education, diversity cultural awareness, and overall equity for Black students," such as the UO Black Student Task Force, where he was the Associate Leader for two years. Advice to his freshman self: "While I would encourage my first-year self to draw strength from my community and use it as an inspirational catalyst to explore the world, I would encourage and obligate my first-year self to keep a tethered link to my community, never forget where I came from, and use the education I will get from the UO to give back to my community and by helping underprivileged African-American youth of Northeast Portland." What's next: He will work at Nike World Headquarters as a Global Marketing Specialist Intern for Jordan Brand. He also plans to pursue concurrent degrees in Masters of Education and a Juris Doctorate degree. Name: DaHyun Kim Major: International studies with a minor in economics. Advice for fellow transfer students: Don’t get overwhelmed and recognize that Oregon is another school where they can explore and achieve great things. Did you know? DaHyun is originally from South Korea, and she had many opportunities to share her culture with the Eugene and Springfield community. Kenya connection: She also fell in love with the east African nation during college. After coming back from Kenya, DaHyun continued to learn Swahili which allowed her to maintain her cultural connection to the country. "Professor Mokaya, who teaches all Swahili course at UO, has been a great mentor in my last year of college, and he indeed played a significant role navigating my life.” Why she’s proud to be a Duck: Because of all the amazing and supportive alumni. "Shout out to all of the amazing Ducks!" What’s next: She’s interested in working for international NGOs. "I want to give back what I learned from college. I am searching for an opportunity that will ensure a chance to experience firsthand how my small contributions will impact the world.”

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  • Hiring a Diversity Officer Is Only the First Step. Here Are the Next

    First published by Martin León Barreto for The Chronicle. Hiring a Diversity Officer Is Only the First Step. Here Are the Next 7. By Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh  In today’s season of #MeToo, Dreamers, Black Lives Matter movements, and radical-right backlash, colleges are adding chief diversity officers to the list of essential employees. However, hiring a skilled diversity professional is just the first step. To be most effective, chancellors, presidents, and provosts must join with diversity officers to build campus environments where equity, inclusion, and diversity become a part of everyday campus life. Otherwise, they are only setting up their chief diversity officers — and their institutions — for failure. I hope the following strategies will help college leaders better position their diversity officers for success: Go first. It’s unreasonable to hold others accountable for diversity when your own staffers look just like you. So if you want more diversity on your campus, start by diversifying your own staff at the highest levels and treating its members with respect. If you do that, others are more likely to follow, and your campus will be better for it. Manage expectations. When it comes to chief diversity officers, there are almost as many expectations as there are constituencies. Don’t assume that everyone knows what the chief diversity officer’s duties are. Develop a good relationship with the officer as a basis for establishing ground rules and a mutually agreed upon agenda to promote a culture of equity and inclusion. Then, make that agenda clear and accessible. It should include the scope of the officer’s responsibilities and a reasonable timeline for achieving benchmarks. Communicate the diversity officer’s work broadly and frequently through routine campus communications and encourage the officer to push back when the scope of duties is inappropriately constrained or expanded by others. Develop meaningful measures of success. Just as chancellors, presidents, and provosts are assessed by standards that are linked to campus success, it is important to develop objective measures of performance for chief diversity officers. Those standards should be aligned with campus strategy and designed to provide incentives for faculty, staff, and students. After adopting the necessary structures and processes, assess the diversity officer’s role in working with others to create a more diverse culture, promoting innovations in programming and policies, and providing support for underrepresented people on campus. Additional guidance is available through the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, the pre-eminent voice for best practices, standards of professions, and programming in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Engage faculty members. Faculty members are often among the most powerful constituents on campus. They virtually own the curriculum, and, with students and staff, they produce the knowledge upon which many campus rankings are based. They share responsibility for guiding various aspects of campus policies and governing processes; therefore, any sustainable change in diversity requires the cooperation and support of the faculty. Fix systems, not people. For decades, well-meaning college leaders have invested money in programs aimed at "fixing" and "orienting" underrepresented faculty, staff, and students. Workshops and programs on mentoring, climate, and service are just a few. While these efforts are admirable, they focus on only one aspect of the issue. After all, when underrepresented faculty and staff leave campuses, they rarely complain about a lack of training or workshops; instead, they point to unchecked discrimination, harassment, and unfairness that are often part of the day-to-day campus culture. That is why the most effective way to enhance diversity is to "fix" the systems that undermine success for underrepresented groups. For example, fix the performance-review processes that are blind to issues of departmental climate so that managers, department chairs, and deans are better able to develop respectful working environments for all. Replace antiquated tenure and promotion processes that discount innovative research and teaching in favor of the status quo. Dismantle personnel processes that wink at sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and ADA violations, while penalizing underrepresented students, faculty, staff, and administrators who are trying to navigate hostile campus climates. Crippling systems have to change, but the chief diversity officer’s success in making that happen begins with the community’s recognition of these barriers and partnerships aimed at eliminating them. Provide adequate support. Effective results in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion take time and resources. Leaders must provide both for effective staffing, programming, and innovation. They should bring innovative diversity ideas to donors, who are often overlooked as a resource for endowed faculty positions, lectureships, and student spaces. And diversity offices should be in locations that signal their importance in daily campus life. In addition to money and space, access is equally valuable: Diversity officers need regular access to senior leaders for education, planning, and information sharing. LACE up. Create environments based on trust, in which the values of love, authenticity, courage, and empathy — LACE — are in full view. Here’s how: Love: Be kind in the face of spitefulness, forgiving in the midst of pain, hopeful when all seems lost, and patient with people, but not with ignorance or injustice. Authenticity: Authentic leaders have a firm grasp on their personal strengths and weaknesses. Admit your missteps and acknowledge when you are looking to others for support. In doing so, you invite others to be authentic as well, creating a more welcoming campus in the process. Courage: Acknowledge fear, but move forward anyway. When the going gets tough on the diversity front, take a stand and defend it, rather than using the chief diversity officer as a shield. Empathy: Take time to feel alongside the students, faculty, and staff that you serve. Seek to understand other perspectives, even when you disagree. Creating more diverse, equitable, and inclusive campuses is a transformative process. Hiring a chief diversity officer is a good first step, but without the proper infrastructure and genuine support from an institution’s top leadership, it’s little more than a doomed public-relations stunt. Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh is vice president for equity and inclusion and a professor of political science at the University of Oregon.

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  • Trustees to get closer look at academic investments, funding

    First published in Around the O on June 5th 2018. The Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon will take a deep dive into how the university invests in academics during the regular spring meeting, June 7-8. The Academic and Student Affairs Committee will hear details on the recently unveiled 2019 Institutional Hiring Plan that authorizes 56 searches for faculty members across a variety of disciplines. According to Jayanth Banavar, provost and senior vice president, the plan is not only a reflection of the president and provost’s priorities for the university but also each dean’s academic vision. The plan also includes prospects for collaboration and synergy among schools and colleges that emerged during the dean and faculty group discussions. It is intended to be a continuation of efforts to hire tenure-track faculty who will enhance the UO’s scholarly profile and academic excellence and who will share a commitment to student success. Banavar will later talk with the Finance and Facilities Committee on the new academic allocation model, in which each school or college is given a single operating allocation for the fiscal year based on a number of core components. The model will make schools and colleges responsible for creating an internal, balanced budget based on its operating allocation. Previously, the university followed an activity-based budget model, primarily driven by student activity such as student credit hours, the location of enrolled majors and graduate students, and earned degrees. In addition to academic-specific funding, the trustees will consider a proposed fiscal year 2019 budget and related expenditures. The expenditure proposal includes more than $1 billion in operating expenses and $183 million in capital expenses. Other items under discussion by trustees: Student success initiatives. Presidential initiative in data science. University Housing capital plan. Student conduct code revisions. Transform IT implementation. Full agendas and board materials are available at https://trustees.uoregon.edu/node/26. Committee meetings begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, June 7, and the full board begins at 9 a.m. Friday, June 8, all in the Guistina Ballroom in the Ford Alumni Center.

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  • The UO and the Duck get on the summer parade bandwagon

    First published in Around the O on June 1st, 2018. As summer arrives in Oregon, so does the parade and festival season. The UO is building bridges, recruiting future students and highlighting the university’s presence in communities across the state by joining the fun at all sorts of summer events. In some cases participants can do more than just watch; UO friends, students, staff, faculty and alumni are invited to march in festival parades and volunteer at UO booths. “By sponsoring and participating in these popular summer events, we hope to create good will and demonstrate we value the unique geography, history and culture of Oregon that shapes our identity and spirit,” said Matt Roberts, senior director of community relations. The Portland Rose Festival was first organized to brand the city as “summer capital of the world.” More than 100 years later, the Grand Floral Parade on Saturday, June 9, will include the Duck, the Duck Truck, cheerleaders and an alumni band. The parade start time is 10 a.m. The 4.2-mile route winds through city streets and across the Willamette River on the Burnside Bridge, adjacent to the UO Portland campus. The Duck, UOAA Central Oregon Ducks and the Duck Store will participate in the Sisters Rodeo Parade, the highlight of Sisters Rodeo Weekend since 1940. Featuring a grand marshal, rodeo queens, classic cars, floats, musical groups, horses and more, the June 9 parade makes its way through historic downtown Sisters beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Cascade Avenue. The rodeo runs June 8-10. The UO, recognized by BestColleges.com as the most LGBTQ-friendly college in Oregon and on the list of Campus Pride’s top 25 most LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities, is a sponsor of Pride Northwest in Portland, June 16-17. The UOAA Pride alumni group and Student Services and Enrollment Management will host a booth at the waterfront festival from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. Sunday in the North Park Blocks on West Burnside Avenue and ends at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. UO students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are welcome to participate by taking a volunteer shift at the booth. Register at Student Services and Enrollment Management’s sign-up link. The UO is the presenting sponsor of the annual Good in the Hood multicultural music, arts and food festival taking place in northeast Portland June 22-24. Established in 1990, Good in the Hood is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a creative medium where Portland residents, businesses and organizations can share music, food, and resources and engage in experiences that strengthen and unify the community. The parade, which takes place Saturday, June 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is the largest community parade in the Northwest, will include the UO cheerleaders, the Duck and an alumni band. The route starts at Legacy Emmanuel Center on the corner of North Williams and North Russell streets and ends at King School Park. UO students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are welcome to join the parade and volunteer at the UO booth. Register at Student Services and Enrollment Management’s sign-up link. For the first time, the UO is sponsoring the Springfield Utility Board Light of Liberty Fourth of July celebration, from 4 to 10 p.m. at Island Park in Springfield, just up the Willamette River from the UO’s main campus. The event benefits Project Share, a fund that helps low-income Springfield residents with winter heating emergencies.   The family-friendly event features live music and Kids Nation, where sponsors and vendors will have activities for kids up to age 12. Come out and visit UO’s Team Duckling, a group of UO researchers who will have engaging and educational activities for kids. Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the gate, and children 5 and under are free. The UO is the official university sponsor of Fiesta Mexicana in Woodburn, which began in 1964 as a celebration of the end of the harvest season. The festival, which takes place Aug. 3, 4 and 5, will feature a parade, folkloric dances, salsa dancing, comedy acts, live performances, lucha libre and the crowning of the Fiesta Court in Legion Park. The parade, which will include the Duck Truck, The Duck and an alumni band, begins at the Woodburn Aquatic Center at 11 a.m. Aug. 4 and ends at Legion Park. UO students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are welcome to take part in the parade and volunteer at the UO booth. Register at Student Services and Enrollment Management’s sign up link. “These events really help build and strengthen bridges with Oregon communities,” said Roger Thompson, vice president for students services and enrollment management. “Not only that, but we’re able reach out to young students and their families to help illustrate how they can access higher education and its importance in positively affecting their futures.”

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  • UO SOJC professor shares NSF-funded research findings with federal policy makers

    First published in around the O. Donna Davis, assistant professor in the UO School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), traveled in May to Washington, D.C. to share with policy makers her research studying the effects of embodiment, creativity and community in virtual worlds for people with disabilities.  The research project was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Davis and her research colleague, Thomas Boellstorff of the University of California, Irvine, presented their findings at a May 9 congressional briefing hosted by Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA).  The congressional briefing featured an excerpt from a recently released documentary about the research.  The same day they participated in a Coalition for National Science Funding’s annual exhibition of research and education projects supported by the NSF. Davis and Boellstorff also met with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) as well as California lawmakers to discuss the impact of NSF funding from the Directorate of Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences and showcase their research. This collaborative research grant allowed the researchers to explore the experiences of people with disabilities in on-line, virtual worlds. During the course of their recently concluded, three-year study, they discovered that using an avatar in a virtual world can have a profound effect on a person’s quality of life. More details about this research is found at Around the O.

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  • University unveils vision for its new Black Cultural Center

    First published in Around the O on May 15, 2018, The University of Oregon’s Black Cultural Center is rapidly taking shape as designs are being shared and a groundbreaking date is being identified. The $2.2 million center, slated to open in fall 2019, has been embraced by donors, who have provided approximately $1.7 million in gifts, including a $1 million gift from Nancy and Dave Petrone. “There is clearly widespread support for this project and a strong understanding of the value that providing such a space can have in helping our students be successful,” said Kevin Marbury, the UO’s vice president for student life. “Black students on campus have a strong desire for a place that helps them feel connected and supported by the university. We are  excited to see it coming to fruition.” Plans for the Black Cultural Center were shared with the Campus Planning Committee during a forum May 15. It is being designed by Architecture Building Culture in collaboration with The Maxine Studio. The center is a direct response to a demand made by the Black Student Task Force following a 2016 demonstration. Programming for the center will be funded through an allocation from the Presidential Fund for Excellence. The 3,200-square-foot facility, located at East 15th Avenue and Villard Street, has been designed to maximize flexibility and accommodate an array of activities, including studying, student meetings, academic support and even small classes. The center also will showcase cultural pieces and artwork that celebrate black heritage. “The Black Cultural Center will be open to any and all students,” Marbury said. “This is a place to share and celebrate black culture. We are so proud that the voices of our students are creating a lasting legacy that will have a major impact on this university for decades.”  The university will break ground for the project in the fall.

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  • Time in virtual reality worlds can make real life better

    First published in Around the O on May 11, 2018, Virtual worlds let us do things that are otherwise impossible. On platforms like Second Life, we can take on new identities, defy the laws of biology and physics, and push social boundaries with little to no consequence. But do these virtual experiences have any effect on our real lives? That’s the question Donna Davis and Tom Boellstorff wanted to answer with a National Science Foundation-funded study. Since 2011, Davis, an assistant professor in the UO School of Journalism and Communication and director of its strategic communication master’s program, and Boellstorff, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine have been looking at the effects of virtual support groups for people with disabilities. During the course of their recently concluded, three-year study, they discovered that using an avatar in a virtual world can have a profound effect on a person’s quality of life. Take, for example, Fran, a 91-year-old woman with Parkinson’s disease. After watching her avatar dance and perform tai chi in Second Life, Fran was able to stand without the assistance of her lift chair. “Balance is a common problem for people with Parkinson’s,” Davis said.  “But as Fran was watching herself do tai chi, she convinced herself she could do what her avatar could do. For example, although previously she could not step off a curb without assistance, she found the confidence to try it with success. We’re still not sure if that was an effect of muscle memory, a neurological effect or purely psychological, but it certainly warrants further study.” Davis told the story of Fran and other members of the Second Life disability community at the inaugural UO Wings Presidential Speaker Series. She admitted it’s been difficult to get people to see the connection between virtual world research and real communication outcomes. But her work has revealed a clear link: Virtual worlds and the avatars people use to inhabit them greatly affect how they interpret and express their own — and others’ — visual identities. In virtual spaces, Davis said, “People don't see how tired you are. They don't see your tremor. For some, that body language may be deceptive and not what they are trying to express. Being embodied in a space where they felt like they looked —healthy and young — and they weren’t passing judgment on each other, it leveled the playing field.” The virtual disability support group has also helped its members develop strong social networks and interpersonal relationships. It has even created employment opportunities. “One example is a woman diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s who was forced to retire from her career in fashion design,” Davis said. “In the virtual world, she learned how to design clothes for roleplaying and themed environments. She now earns an income selling those clothes on the virtual marketplace.” Davis stumbled onto virtual worlds 10 years ago while pursuing her doctorate at the University of Florida. After taking a graduate seminar in the then-cutting-edge technology, she changed the focus of her dissertation to the relationships that form in virtual worlds. How real are they if they're only online? How do they affect the way we think about relationships in the physical world? “That relationship perspective of virtual reality is the piece that has driven my research agenda all the way through,” she said. Although virtual spaces offer advantages in communication and community building, Davis acknowledges that the technology still has a long way to go in granting accessibility to all. Headsets, for example, are often too heavy and can create motion sickness in some people. "Being embodied in a space where they felt like they looked — healthy and young — ... it leveled the playing field." —Donna Davis, School of Journalism and Communication Even tasks as seemingly simple as sending and receiving text or voice communication can be problematic. “Thinking about accessibility from the perspective of ‘how can everybody be included?’ means you're creating really smart technology that's good for everybody,” Davis said, “not just people with a certain ability or disability.” Now that the National Science Foundation-funded study is complete, Davis is pivoting her research to focus on emerging opportunities in virtual reality as well as the ethics of VR technology and experience. “We can't replace physical relationships with virtual-world ones, or we'll fail each other,” she said. “The physical world will die. These are important, long-term, critical issues that affect the way we think about each other and the environments we're in.” Davis will delve deeper into this new area this fall, when the School of Journalism and Communication begins development on a new virtual reality lab at UO Portland. The school has already built two smaller VR and 360-degree video studio spaces in Portland, where students in the multimedia journalism master’s program are learning how to shoot and edit 360-degree video and use photogrammetry to convert physical spaces into virtual representations. Although she’s expanding her research, Davis has no intention of abandoning the communities she formed in Second Life. “If you want to say that these aren’t ‘real worlds,’ I would beg to differ,” Davis said during her Wings talk. “These are real friendships. We are like family now.” —By Jeff Collet, School of Journalism and Communication

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  • Landmark climate lawsuit will proceed

    First published in Around the O on May 8, 2018. A lawsuit filed by 21 young people, including two University of Oregon students, will move forward to trial after a federal appeals court rejected a government motion for dismissal. The suit seeks to compel the government to take more aggressive steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, arguing that the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights have been violated because federal agencies have failed to protect “essential public trust resources.” It claims the government created a national energy system that is doing long-term damage to the environment, imperiling their futures. An Oct. 29 trial date has been set. The suit was filed by 21 plaintiffs who were between 8 and 19 years old when it was filed. Two of them, Kelsey Juliana and Tia Hatton, are now students at the UO. The plaintiffs are represented by Our Children’s Trust. The Trump administration sought to stop the suit with an appeal to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. But a three-judge panel unanimously rejected the request, saying the issues raised by the government could be better dealt with at the trial level. U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken is scheduled to hear the case at the federal courthouse in Eugene. The appelate decision was covered by numerous media outlets. For a sample, see "Trump administration just failed to stop a climate lawsuit brought by 21 kids" in The Washington Post. Information also is available on the Our Children's Trust website.

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  • Hayward design honors the past while looking to the future

    First published in Around the O on May 8th, 2018. The new design for the university’s iconic Hayward Field will address longstanding infrastructure needs while saving and repurposing as much of the old stadium as possible, campus leaders say. The facilities will serve as a new home for UO men’s and women’s track and field program and world-class meets such as the Prefontaine Classic. It will also include space for updated human physiology department research and academic facilities. The new stadium is fully funded by 50 donors, led by Phil and Penny Knight. The updated Hayward will increase permanent seating by more than 2,000 seats and preserve existing student recreational fields. Designs for the project were unveiled April 17. “No one appreciates the history of Hayward Field more than the University of Oregon,” said Michael H. Schill, UO president and professor of law. “In fact, its legacy of excellence plays a critical role in the university’s identity as a top research institution. We do not take that legacy lightly, and we will look to preserve it as much as possible in the new facility.” A renovation of Hayward Field has long been a priority for the UO. Early designs for the project were introduced in 2016 and included the preservation of the east grandstand. Since then, those plans evolved based on several factors, including cost, timelines and the integrity and safety of the current infrastructure. Facilities designers and venue operators deemed the removal of the east grandstand necessary for several reasons. The current east grandstand was built in 1925, and, like many buildings that age, has critical structural challenges. It is not fully ADA compliant, lacking ramps and cane detection; does not meet modern seismic safety requirements; has many wood components coated in layers of lead-based paint; poses fire hazard risks; and has wood decay in many core areas. “While we have worked hard over the years to ensure the east grandstand is safe for thousands of fans and athletes, it is not equipped for long-term occupancy,” said Mike Harwood, associate vice president for campus planning and facilities management. According to designers and project managers, as many elements of the grandstand as feasible will be preserved, and the new facility will include salvaged and repurposed portions of the grandstand timber and beams for signage and photo opportunities for fans. Additionally, the UO will preserve as much of the structure as is practical and possible for the benefit of the community. The construction project team, led by Portland-based Hoffman Construction, is exploring options and creating a plan that includes storing salvaged materials and facilitating a community process to provide advice and recommendations on what to do with them. The renovation of the project is timed to maximize the number of track and field events that can be hosted at Hayward Field before constructions begins in summer 2018. Construction will conclude in time to host the 2021 IAAF World Track and Field Championships, the first time this event has taken place in the United States. The cities of Eugene, Springfield and communities throughout Oregon are preparing for this event, otherwise known as Oregon21. Organizers estimate the event will bring nearly 2,000 athletes from more than 200 counties and tens of thousands of track and field fans. “The Oregon21 Track and Field World Championships will undoubtedly serve as an important economic stimulus over the several-month training and completion period for many businesses and individuals throughout the region,” Schill said. “It will also serve as a catalyst to support even greater interest in our university and the wonderful energy and momentum that exists within our city, region and state. This incredible community that loves and feels such a strong connection to Hayward is part of what makes it a special place. We are committed to ensuring that the Hayward magic lives on.”

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