- Associated Press - Monday, August 31, 2015

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - New University of Oregon President Mike Schill has opened a new front in his charm offensive, asking UO faculty to bring books they’ve written to fill a broad, empty bookshelf in his office.

Writing books is one area in which UO faculty excel. UO professors publish books at the rate of 76 per 100 faculty members, compared with 69 per 100 at the average public university belonging to the Association of American Universities, according to a 2012 analysis.

Professors queued up to deliver their tomes during appointed hours, when Schill was available to receive them - between Aug. 19 and last Thursday.

“I want to know that at any time, while talking to another faculty member, a staff member, an elected leader, a donor, I can pick up a book and reference the great work we are doing on this campus,” Schill said in a blog post.

Schill has chatted with the professors who’ve delivered their books, asking and answering questions, according to observers.



“Who would have guessed that professors like to talk about their latest book?” Professor Bill Harbaugh wrote on his independent blog, uomatters.com.

So far, Schill has collected 101 books.

Additional dropoff times are scheduled for 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 8.

“This combines two of my great loves,” Schill said in his post. “I really enjoy discovering new books and am extremely excited to get to know our faculty members personally. I want to understand their expertise, hear about what they’ve written and learn about their research.”

Schill, a self-described bibliophile, said he was eager to visit Powell’s City of Books in Portland when he moved to Oregon in July. He said he loves shopping for books, loves collecting books and, apparently, loves shelving books.

“I try to buy every book that comes out about higher education and read every other one I buy. Given how hot the area is right now, it’s challenging,” he said in a July interview.

Schill could populate a shelf or two with titles he wrote, co-wrote or edited. They include “The Future of Health Care Reform in the United States,” ”Property; Eighth Edition,” ”Reducing the Cost of New Housing Construction in New York City,” ”The State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods,” ”Housing and Community Development In New York City: Facing The Future” and “Revitalizing America’s Cities: Neighborhood Reinvestment and Displacement.”

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Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com

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