Executive Council

The United Academics Executive Council is made up of the elected officers and chairs of the union. They meet bi-weekly in the union office. They are charged with initiating, overseeing, and revising the program of the union and the conduct of the business of the union.


Chris Sinclair is an associate professor of mathematics with research interests in random matrix theory, mathematical statistical physics and the distribution of algebraic numbers.  He joined the University of Oregon in 2009 after postdocs in Boulder and Vancouver.  Chris loves the Pacific Northwest, Oregon, and Eugene, and sees the University of Oregon as the principal economic and cultural driver of the Eugene area.  He sees United Academics as a mechanism by which faculty can help steer the University not only in the direction of sustained academic excellence but also towards enriching the educational and cultural offerings of our unique corner of the world.


Scott Pratt is a professor in the Department of Philosophy. His research and teaching interests are in American philosophy (including pragmatism, America feminism, philosophies of race, and Native American philosophy), philosophy of education, and the history of logic.  He was a member of the United Academics Organizing Committee when the union was formed and a member of the first UA bargaining team (as well as the second and third). He has served in a variety of administrative roles including department head, humanities dean in CAS, Dean of the Graduate School, and Executive Vice Provost. He sees faculty unions as a necessary part of shared governance in the present world of corporate higher education and an essential part of keeping the University of Oregon’s focus on its academic mission.


Eleanor Wakefield is an instructor in the English department and composition program. She began teaching at the UO in 2010 as a graduate student in English, continuing as a pro tem and now career instructor. During her time as a graduate student and employee, she acted as a steward and VP of Grievances for the GTFF. She has also served a steward from English for UA and chair of the Representative Assembly. Her scholarly work is on poetry and poetics, especially 19th and 20th century American formal verse.  


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Bill Harbaugh is a Professor of Economics, UO Senate President for 2018-19, and co-founder of SAIL, the university's largest faculty-run diversity program. He is also the Chair of the UAUO Budget and Finance Committee. Professor Harbaugh has taught Economics at UO since 1995. He also edits UOMatters.com, a muckraking blog about UO, for which he was awarded the Oregon Society of Professional Journalist’s “First Freedom” award in 2012. His academic research uses methods from experimental economics and neuroeconomics to study charitable giving and the economic behavior of children. His union work began in 1969, when he organized a strike of his third-grade class in protest of boring reading assignments.


David M. Luebke is a professor in the Department of History whose research and writing  focuses on the religions and political cultures of ordinary people in the German-speaking lands of central Europe. He has been a member of the UO faculty since 1997 and has supported the formation of a faculty union since beginning, way back in 2007. David is especially interested in ensuring that procedures for the review and promotion of faculty members are conducted fairly, according to clear and transparent criteria, and with proper respect for the value that departments place on scholarship, teaching, and service.


Mike Urbancic is an Instructor in the Department of Economics, where he has worked since 2012. He teaches large lectures of principles of macroeconomics and a survey course for non-majors as well as introductory courses in urban economics and game theory. Mike serves as one of the two primary advisors for his department, and he sits on the Board of Directors of The Duck Store. His interests include stargazing (when the weather allows), playing tabletop games, and writing song parodies.


  Christina Karns is an Assistant Research Professor in Psychology with the Center for Brain Injury Research and Training.  She uses human neuroimaging, behavior, and interventions in kids and adults (with and without disability) to clarify how attention and self-regulation support development. What brain systems support positive social interactions, how do they affect stress systems in the body, and to what degree are these interactions changeable, demonstrating neuroplasticity? Good science can be a powerful force toward social justice, an ethos she brings to her teaching and her research.


Michael Hames-García was hired in Ethnic Studies at the UO in 2005, talk with michael small white borderserving as Program Director from 2006-2008 and Department Head from 2008-2011. They publish and teach courses on many topics related to race, gender, sexuality, and identity, with a special foci on incarceration and on critical theory.


Nathan Whalen is a Senior Instructor II of Spanish, in the Department of Romance Languages, and has worked at the University of Oregon since 2001.  He is interested in and teaches courses dealing with cultural geography, social and political change, and artistic manifestations in Latin America. Nathan has served as a Humanities Representative and sat on the Organizing and Membership Committees and is now Chair of the Grievance and Contract Administration Committee. When not around campus teaching, grading, and engaged in moderate syndicalist rabble-rousing, Nathan enjoys traveling and attempting to grow and process more fruits and vegetables than is frankly necessary.


Tina Boscha is a Senior Instructor in the Composition Program within the Department of English. She began teaching at the UO in 2001 as a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program and her teaching specialties include WR 121 and upper division science and business writing courses. She was part of the organizing effort behind United Academics' formation and is excited to lead the Organizing and Membership Committee and Contract Action Team.


Avinnash Tiwari an Instructor in the English department and Composition program. He teaches mostly first year students how to read, think, and write critically and for an academic audience. His research interests, as well as teaching, focus on power and difference, and he is thrilled to serve as Acting Director of the new Black Studies program (BLST). Avinnash hopes to serve all of his fellow union members and wider university community by working on both state and local issues while building stronger coalitions outside our University community, with other local organizations and State and local representation, all towards best serving our shared values and goals for the U of Oregon.