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.

PRESIDENT

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.

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

The position of Executive Vice President is currently open. It is a priority for us to represent the full range of faculty voices on campus, including representation from a wide range of departments and programs.  If you're interested in the position, you can connect with the staff by emailing info@uauoregon.org.

SECRETARY

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.  

TREASURER

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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.

VICE PRESIDENT FOR TENURE-TRACK FACULTY AFFAIRS

Maram Epstein is an associate professor in East Asian Languages and Literatures, specializing in narrative aesthetics, gender, and cultural studies in late-imperial China. She has been at the UO since 1994. Maram is committed to working with faculty to address issues of equity, access, and transparency on the campus. She has a particular interest in advocating for a faculty voice in determining institutional priorities and believes that United Academics has an important role in helping to develop policies that promote a true commitment to academic excellence.

VICE PRESIDENT FOR NON-TENURE-TRACK INSTRUCTIONAL FACULTY AFFAIRS

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.

VICE PRESIDENT FOR NON-TENURE-TRACK RESEARCH FACULTY AFFAIRS

  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.

VICE PRESIDENT FOR DIVERSITY AND EQUITY

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.

CHAIR OF THE GRIEVANCE AND CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE

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.

CHAIR OF THE ORGANIZING and MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

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.

CHAIR OF THE POLITICS COMMITTEE

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.