Gov. Brown nominates Officer of administration to UO BoT seat that has been filled by union classified employees

Gov. Brown nominated two new people to the UO Board of Trustees to fill spots of two members that are stepping down at the end of June. Jenny Ulum, who serves as the senior director of communications for King Estate Winery, has been chosen to take over for Chuck Lillis’ at-large seat. Lillian Moses, who serves as the director of housing capital construction at the University of Oregon, has been tapped to fill the nonfaculty staff representative currently served by Jimmy Murray. 

Since the board took effect in 2014, the nonfaculty staff representative position on the board has been filled by classified employee that is a member of the SEIU 503. Jimmy Murray and his predecessor Kurt Willcox both were active in SEIU. Lillian Moses however is a nonunion Officer of Administration at the University of Oregon. 

In a post on the SEIU 503 sublocal 085 website, Johnny Earl says that all classified employees were caught by surprise that an Officer of Administration was chosen for the non-faculty staff member seat. Earl goes on to say that classified employees and Officers of Administration have different interests and because of this it does not make sense to have one seat represent both groups. Among the differences he notes is that many classified employees are supervised by Officers of Administration and that classified employees are governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

“Classified employees will never feel comfortable until a new seat is made on the board for classified employees representative that represents their interest only. We hope that one day classified employees would be able to vote on who we would like to represent us on the Board of Trustees. Up until that time the same struggles between the two employee groups will persist,” Earl says in closing.

Chuck Lillis has served on the board since its founding. At its quarterly meeting on May 20 the trustees named Vice Chair Ginevra Ralph, co-founder of the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts, to serve as board chair. They bumped up Steve Holwerda, managing director of Ferguson Wellman Capital Management, to serve as Vice Chair.

The Oregon Senate Rules committee will vote on the nominees in June. If they approve both, they will join the board on July 1.