Was the Bowl of Dicks jury tainted by a secret Masonic blood oath?

You be the judge. Here’s Andrea Coit, the $290 an hour HLGR lawyer whom Randy Geller put in charge of defending UO against former UOPD officer James Cleavenger’s “Bowl of Dicks” lawsuit, on page 335 of the official trial transcript from day 2:

MS. COIT:  Mr. Cleavenger is wearing a Freemason pin on his lapel. I know the connotations for Freemasons. I don’t know the jury’s membership in any sort of community like that. I don’t think it’s necessary that he wears it.

THE COURT: He has the First Amendment right to wear whatever he wants to, frankly; but I wouldn’t say the Freemasons are real popular either, It cuts both ways.

MR. CLEAVENGER: Your Honor, it’s actually a University of Oregon pin.

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THE COURT: Oh, it is? Counsel?

MS. COIT: My apologies if that’s —

THE COURT: He’s going to give that to you. You’re a Duck, aren’t you?

MS. COIT: I am. Absolutely. My apologies if that’s —

What in the world was Ms Coit talking about? I’m no legal history professor, but it all started with one of the weirder episodes in early American politics:

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Wikipedia has more here. And if you google “freemason oath jury trial” you’ll find this, along with some similar anti-semitic arguments:

Page 183 of the Masonic Handbook states: Whenever you see any of our signs made by a brother Mason, and especially the grand hailing sign of distress, you must always be sure to obey them, even at the risk of your life. If you’re on a jury, and the defendant is a Mason and makes the grand hailing sign, you must obey it; you must disagree with your brother jurors, if necessary, but you must be sure not to bring the Mason guilty, for that would bring disgrace upon our order. You must conceal all crimes of your brother Masons except murder and treason, and these at your own option, and should you be summoned as a witness against a brother Mason, be always sure to shield him. Prevaricate, don’t tell the truth in this case, keep his secrets, forget the important points. It may be perjury to do this true, but you are keeping your obligations.”

More recent work on the Grand Masonic Conspiracy comes from the noted English barrister John Cleese, here. And here’s video of Louis Farrakhan, explaining how the Free Masons have manipulated US politics since George Washington – an idea which Farrakhan apparently got from watching Nicholas Cage in National Treasure, or maybe from reading way too many Dan Brown novels.

In short, the possibility that the plaintiff is using his lapel pin to make secret signals to his brother Masons on the jury is not the most credible argument to try out on a judge – even if it hadn’t turned out to be a Duck pin.

HLGR is due in court in Portland this Friday Feb 12th, for one last attempt to convince Federal Judge David O. Carter to set aside the jury’s verdict from September awarding Cleavenger $755K in damages plus legal fees. The docket is here. I’m starting to get a sense for why UO has decided to pay HLGR senior partner Bill Gary $315 an hour to give Ms Coit a little help with this case.

The best summary of events so far comes from longtime Oregonian reporter Betsy Hammond, here:

A federal jury awarded a former University of Oregon public safety officer $755,000 Friday after finding that UO Police Chief Carolyn McDermed and a top lieutenant retaliated against the young officer for blowing the whistle on department wrongdoing. The eight-person jury sided with ousted UO public safety officer James Cleavenger, who said the chief and Lt. Brandon Lebrecht vindictively retaliated against him for speaking out about department bias and ineptitude. Top university officials, including the No. 2 in-house lawyer, were in on the decision to punish him. “This is a victory for every honest police officer,” said Jason Kafoury, Cleavenger’s lead lawyer. “The jury today honored and enforced an officer’s right to speak freely on matters of public concern, regardless of whether their superiors approve.”

… Kafoury said of the verdict: “This is a loud and clear message that the University of Oregon needs to get new leadership in that police department.”

Top UO human resources officials were intimately involved in the decision to fire Cleavenger, and McDermed testified that Douglas Park, then UO’s No. 2 in-house lawyer, knew she was going to try to get Cleavenger on the Brady list. Since then, Park was promoted on an interim basis to be UO’s top in-house lawyer, but he is slated to return to the No. 2 job when a permanent successor takes over in about a week.

Oregon Bar wants to hide information on complaints about lawyers

Award winning investigative reporter Lee Van der Voo has the report, here:

… The proposal now before the Oregon State Bar seeks to change that, however. The proposal comes from the bar’s Disciplinary System Review Committee, which looked at what works and what doesn’t and also considered the findings of a 2014 American Bar Association review of attorney discipline in Oregon, which supported the bar’s transparency but suggested a few procedural tweaks. The history of the committee’s work stretches back some years, versions of which can be had in the report itself,[2]and in a minority opinion by attorney Richard Weill.[3] It led to the recommendations now before the bar’s Board of Governors that, if approved, would seal complaints about attorneys, all related information and documents, and keep complaints confidential unless a formal complaint is filed by one of two mechanisms that involve a bar committee either formalizing the complaint or settling it.[4] The committee is also recommending complaints be expunged after three years.

In a dissenting opinion, Weill argued committee’s work was unduly influenced by a heavy-hitting attorney who was the subject of a disciplinary proceeding while serving on the committee. He contends the committee’s work so jumped the rails that many of its recommendations aren’t in the public interest at all, such as taking away a complainants’ right to appeal. The prevailing side, however, concluded the system wasn’t doing enough to protect attorneys facing discipline from reputational damage, in effect rendering them guilty until proven innocent while discipline was taking years to carry out.[5] (Supporters included the attorney who served on the committee while facing discipline and was later exonerated, Barnes Ellis.)

One extra year of college costs students more than a 100% tuition increase

Updated with a letter in the ODE from a variety of student groups raising questions about the administration’s seriousness in consulting them about the tuition increases, here:

University of Oregon campus community,

On Jan. 4, a new term began for most students at the UO, and with that began another round of weekly talks about tuition with the Tuition & Fees Advisory Board. This board is comprised primarily of administrators and faculty, with two students appointed by students and two students appointed by the administration. At the start of the term, guaranteed tuition was off the table for 2016-2017, and administrators presented an increase of 4.7 percent for in-state students and 4.46 percent for out-of-state students. Over the course of the year, if a student were to take an average of 15 credits per term — the required amount for graduation in four years — than this would amount to an increase of about $484 for in-state students and $1,428 for out-of state students per year. Factor in the duration of loan payment and interest rates, and students will be paying this increase back for many years to come.

The student representatives, including the ASUO President Helena Schlegel, opposed this increase and looked forward to negotiating ways to adjust the budget in order to reduce the proposed tuition and fee increases. During the week of Jan. 25, the student participants left the meeting a few minutes early in order to make it to class. The rest of the group came to a consensus about the 4.7 percent increase after the student representatives left.

Both student-nominated representatives were informed on Monday, Feb. 1 that this decision had been made, as well as that all remaining TFAB meetings for the year would be canceled as they were no longer deemed necessary. …

2/7/2016: In response to popular demand I’m posting some info about the tuition increase debate.

The feds make UO post this cost of attendance information:

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But these numbers ignore the biggest component of college costs: the wages students give up by not working. Even for the lowest earning group of college majors – Humanities – the median starting salary was $36,237 last year, according to the NACE:

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So when a student takes 5 instead of 4 years to graduate, it costs them more than would a 100% increase in UO’s out-of-state tuition, or a 300% increase in in-state tuition.

This is the argument Mike Schill made to the Eugene City Club on Friday: let’s make UO cheaper by getting students graduated more quickly, rather than fighting over a 4.7% tuition increase. KVAL has video, here:

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Last year UO’s students shut down the Trustees meeting with a demonstration over tuition increases. Lillis and Coltrane looked like deer in the headlights. But this year we’ve got a President who is talking sense.

Will the students listen, or demonstrate and shut down the March 3-4 Trustee’s meeting too? Here’s the Daily Emerald’s report, more here. It turns out our students are talking sense too:

Schlegel demanded “The Three Asks,” including a 3.5 percent tuition increase for both resident and non-resident students, University’s support for the corporate tax measure and funding for the Oregon Opportunity Grant.

The “corporate tax measure” is the Better Oregon ballot initiative for a 2.5% tax on corporate sales, which would apparently increase state tax revenue by 25%. The legislature is considering a watered down version, which would still lead to significant increases in state revenue and the likelihood of more state higher education funding.

So surely this legislation is a priority for the UO Board of Trustees? Nope, not even on their list. The only tax increase that UO’s Board of Trustees want is a 1 percentage point increase in the hotel tax, to subsidize a track meet:

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So it should be an interesting Board meeting.

Eric Roedl’s Bowl of Ducks case goes to mediation, and he gets another raise

What’s it about this time? Duck bowl games.

Back in 2012 Duck Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Finance and Administration Eric Roedl got a call from some insurance salesman, and ended up buying a policy that would pay the Duck football coaches in the event their unpaid student-athletes won enough bowl games to trigger the lucrative bonus clauses in the coaches’ contracts. These bonuses topped out at about $1M. UO paid Lloyd’s of London $489,940 for the policy.

Unfortunately, it seems that Roedl didn’t read the fine print on the contract. Hey, it’s not like he was spending his own money, as Milton Friedman would have put it. It turns out Lloyd’s was only obligated to pay the coaches if the Ducks won the BCS. If they topped out at some intermediate lesser bowl, then the bonuses were UO’s problem. Which, of course, is what happened, meaning UO was out $687,965.74 in bonuses, *and* the $489,940 insurance premium. Clever salesman.

So UO promptly sued Roedl for spending UO money without exercising due diligence.

Just kidding. Roedl works for the Ducks. How bad would that look? Instead UO sued the insurance salesman. And, from the looks of the lengthy docket here, I’m guessing UO’s HLGR lawyers are doing pretty well off this.

Then UO gave Roedl a raise. Then another raise. He’s now at $225K – up $55K from his starting salary three years before, and up $81K from what Jamie Moffitt was getting in 2010 to do the same job:

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So it’s win, win, win for Roedl, Lloyds, and HLGR. Not so good for UO, of course. Originally HLGR wanted to take this case to a jury, but that hasn’t been working out too well for them lately, and so now the plan is to try for mediation:

MINUTES of Proceedings: Status Conference. Parties are to schedule mediation. All court deadlines are stayed pending the completion of mediation. Telephone Status Conference is set for 4/27/2016 at 09:00AM by telephone before Chief Judge Ann L. Aiken. Court will send call-in instructions prior to the call. C. Robert Steringer present as counsel for plaintiff. John E. Zehnder, Jr. present as counsel for defendants. James T. McDermott and Gabriel Weaver for Third Party Defendants. Court Reporter: Kristi Anderson. Chief Judge Ann L. Aiken presiding. (rh) (Entered: 12/15/2015)

Despite fire-sale ticket prices, Duck fans still avoid Dana Altman’s basketball

Steve Mims has the data in the RG, here:

Oregon lowered ticket prices by more 34 percent this year, including a $500 reduction in the lower half of the 100 level, and added single-game tickets for $10. Oregon also provided free shuttles to games and offered season parking passes for $50 to $100.

Oregon is averaging 6,770 fans this season, which is up from 6,209 last year. The difference is even wider in conference games, with an average of 8,098 following 7,131 last season. (But for today’s Utah conference game announced attendance is only 6,807.)

A 34% cut in the price, and, using the midpoint method, an increase in the Qd of (6770-6209)/((1/2)(6770+6209)) = 8.6%. So the elasticity of demand is about 0.25. And you don’t have to have passed microeconomic principles to understand that this price cut is going to reduce ticket revenue below last year’s dismal $2.6M. And rumor has it that AAD Eric Roedl has realized he can’t squeeze ASUO any more either.

UO & Weinhold leave Lananna & Nathanson twisting in Salem wind

2/7/2016:  At the December Board of Trustees meeting UO announced that getting state subsidies for Track Town’s 2021 IAAF championship was the University of Oregon’s #3 legislative priority. Pdf here:

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Back in April the UO Foundation’s Paul Weinhold was excited about using the Foundation’s assets to backstop a sports gamble:

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And UO lobbyist Hans Bernard had been busy preparing the scheme for months: Increase the hotel tax to pay for the “IAAF Family” and their 5 star lodging demands, and get another $15M in state bonds, to help tart up Hayward Field:

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That’s right, UO’s state lobbyist was going to hire a PR firm to lean on newspaper editorial boards to endorse subsidies for Track Town and the IAAF. Doesn’t he trust Tobin Klinger? In any case, here’s the plan:

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But things have changed. It’s become harder to ignore the extent of the IAAF’s corruption, reporters have started to ask questions about why a university foundation would guarantee losses for a track meet, the suspicious timing of campaign gifts to former Gov Kitzhaber, and the potential conflicts of interests for Lananna, who is paid $440K by UO, $335K by Track Town, $30K by Nike, and has now registered a corporation in Delaware, to develop a for-profit professional track league. Not to mention the possibility of Swedish military action against Eugene if the bidding isn’t reopened.

So here’s UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold as quoted by Reuters on Feb 2, trying to set the mile record for backpedaling:

The idea surfaced frankly out of Salem (the state capital) that Salem and our legislature might be able to provide some support for Hayward,” Weinhold said.

“Just as the idea came from Salem, the idea that it wasn’t going to work came from Salem, so we took cues from the political powers that this was not going to fly.”

The University of Oregon and the UO Foundation are missing from the list of those testifying on Nathanson’s scaled back $25M stealth subsidy legislation. Instead it’s packed with ex-olympians, Lananna’s Track Town, the USOC, and others with sentimental ties or likely to get a cut of the state subsidies. (Former Foundation board chair Jon Anderson provides an endorsement, but pointedly does not mention any connection to the Foundation.) Testimony on the hotel tax increase will continue Monday, the legislative info is here.

Saul Hubbard has been covering this for the RG – his report on Friday’s testimony is here:

“This is not about a single event. It’s about improving the tourism sector of our economy,” said Rep. Nancy Nathanson, the Eugene Democrat who is the key backer of HB 4146.

Still, the subsidy for nonprofit TrackTown was at the heart of Friday’s discussion. The International Association of Athletics Federations last year awarded TrackTown the 2021 IAAF track and field championships for Eugene. The event will cost far more to stage than it can bring in in ticket and other marketplace revenue and corporate donations, so TrackTown President Vin Lananna is seeking government subsidies.

Judging by the comments, this IAAF subsidy scheme is opposed by everyone from the tea-partiers to the tax and spend liberals. Hubbard’s report on the well-timed donations that are behind it is here:

2/4/2016: UO’s stealth Track Town IAAF 2021 subsidy comes up in legislative committee Friday

Unfortunately the mandatory lobbying reports to the OGEC aren’t very detailed, and they don’t break out the lobbying UO’s Hans Bernhard and Paul Weinhold’s UO Foundation are doing for Track Town and athletics, from what they might be doing for the academic side:

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But obviously they’ve been busy, tearing up Vin Lananna’s plan to have Seb Coe and Ashton Eaton come and make a big show of asking the legislature for $40M. Now they’ve come back with a stealth plan for only $25M – and they’ve done it without mentioning the IAAF or Track Town once. You can follow the legislation and testimony on OLIS, here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1/Measures/Overview/HB4146.

As Kate Brown’s economic advisor Vince Porter hints at in his less than wildly enthusiastic prepared remarks, questions have been raised about this whole scheme, why we are doing business with a group that apparently took hush money from Putin to cover up doping, who is really benefiting, what it’s going to cost UO, will it lead to war with Sweden, etc:

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Fortunately the RG’s Saul Hubbard is on the story, with a lengthy report here:

SALEM — Travel Oregon, the state’s small tourism marketing agency best known for its scenic TV and online ads, might soon be responsible for making an unprecedented decision on a $25 million state subsidy for the 2021 world track and field championships in Eugene.

… HB 4146 would double Travel Oregon’s annual budget, adding about $17 million a year in new revenues, with virtually no legislative direction as to how the new funds should be spent — which is highly unusual for a targeted tax increase.

Travel Oregon’s board has never considered a funding request like TrackTown’s. The board has typically allocated about six matching grants a year to other agencies for tourism marketing projects. Until this year, those grants were capped at a maximum of $20,000.

The board has received stand-alone requests for costlier “sponsorship” opportunities in the past. But it has funded only one large one since 2003: a five-year, $5 million advertising and sales campaign in Germany to help airline Lufthansa fill its new nonstop flights to Portland.

And what return did Oregon get from that $5M investment? $0. Lufthansa ended the flights in 2009 and hasn’t been back to PDX since. Not a good omen.

Kilkenny Towers

2/5/2016: Kilkenny Towers sold for $30M. Elon Glucklich has the story in the RG here.

2/21/2012: ODE reporter Deborah Bloom teams up with investigative reporter Jeff Manning from the Oregonian to produce a fascinating story on how UO’s former Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny developed the Courtside and Skybox apartments next to Matt Court, while he was on the UO payroll. He started working on the deal summer of 2009, and didn’t tell Lariviere until construction was well underway, summer of 2010. ODE link here, Oregonian here:

Cody and Kilkenny’s 2009 gamble now seems ahead of its time. Both Courtside and the larger, adjacent Skybox complex are 100 percent occupied, marketing themselves as “anchors of the up-and-coming Arena District.” Rents range from $625 to $1,250 per bedroom per month, making them some of the more expensive student housing units in the city. As 50 percent owner, Kilkenny figures that he could eventually earn $7 million to $10 million.

There’s nothing wrong or illegal about a public employee making a profitable investment, even a hugely profitable one. Ron Bersin, executive director of the Oregon Ethics Commission, said state law allows public employees to participate in private ventures. What would constitute a violation is if Kilkenny made decisions in his public role from which he benefited. Kilkenny was no longer athletic director when the buildings were erected. But he remained employed until March 2011 as special assistant to the athletic director.

Kilkenny stepped down as AD in July 2009, when Frohnmayer left. But then the string of new AD’s – Mike Belotti, Lorraine Davis, and Rob Mullens, all kept him on the payroll at 0.50 FTE. This let him get UO health insurance. Guy with a private jet gets the state to pay for his health insurance? Too bad UO won’t give that same deal to the 0.49 FTE NTTF’s getting paid $25,000. (By very rough count, about 100 NTTF’s are at exactly 49%, so no benefits.)

Meanwhile the athletic department is still stuck with a $10 million ten year balloon loan on the baseball park Kilkenny built for us. And we’re still stuck subsidizing athletics’s overhead, thanks to the secret deal Kilkenny cut with Frohnmayer.

We should note that the Courtside scandal was first brought to light by Camilla Mortensen in the Eugene Weekly last year, here. UO finally took Kilkenny off the payroll 2 months later. At the time we wrote a little bit about how Kilkenny came to be hired by Frohnmayer as AD, here. Apparently this is the first in a series of investigative stories that the Oregonian and Emerald will cooperate on. Great idea. Obviously there is plenty of material to work with.

Oregon legislature considers bill making it illegal for university lawyers to do what Park and Hill did

2/4/2016 update: Legislation and testimony etc. here:

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This isn’t a hard one:

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Meanwhile, UO’s lawyers are getting nasty in their attacks on Stokes and Morlok, the UO Counseling Center employees who blew the whistle and brought the whole matter to state and national attention, and who have alleged that UO responded by retaliating against them:

1/26/2016: UO lawyers use Stokes and Morlok’s OA award against them. Updated below Continue reading

Johnson Hall calls in Duck AAD Eric Roedl’s $5M loan

Just kidding, it’s only UO’s colleges and academic departments that aren’t allowed to have negative carry forward balances:

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Cut Duck baseball, save CAS faculty:

Lets face it, baseball is the English Department of the Duck Athletic enterprise.

The Ducks make a lot of money on football, break even on basketball, and lose money on everything else. Women’s basketball once did OK, but Kilkenny trashed it, and the rebuilding is slow since the fans hate Matt Court and many would rather see a woman coach. In any case the NCAA makes us have Women’s basketball.

Baseball is the big money looser. When Duck booster Pat Kilkenny started a baseball team in 2009, he told us they’d turn a profit by 2014. He lied. Here are the latest numbers. After their share of central costs and a little – very little – TV revenue, it looks like they’re loosing roughly $4.5M a year, with no positive trend.

If baseball were an academic department, with 25 students, $360K in revenue, and $2.5M in direct costs, Andrew Marcus would be taking a knife to the place and reallocating the funds to save UO’s academic mission and keep us in the AAU.

But instead UO is cutting English faculty. Can anyone explain how this makes sense?

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Your comments wanted on yet another pointless strategic plan with no budget

Plenty of buzzwords though. The deadline to comment on UO’s “strategic framework” is today. In Around the O, here.

The document is meant to complement the UO’s mission statement and the 2009 Academic Plan, not replace either. Further, the framework is not written to be a “plan”—it does not contain metrics or specific tactics—and to be honest, we may not have the resources to fully execute each strategy. That will not, however, preclude us from striving to reach the important goals contained in the overall framework to enhance excellence at the University of Oregon.

Uh, no thanks.

The professor who thought he was a basketball player

Duck basketball coach Dana Altman isn’t the only employer who’s willing to look the other way for someone with a checkered past, if they’ll bring in some revenue. The NYT reports on the University of Chicago’s decision to hire a well-funded professor from UNC without asking too many questions about his history. It didn’t end well:

The professor, Jason Lieb, made unwelcome sexual advances to several female graduate students at an off-campus retreat of the molecular biosciences division, according to a university investigation letter obtained by The New York Times, and engaged in sexual activity with a student who was “incapacitated due to alcohol and therefore could not consent.”

Chicago then decided to fire him, but he resigned first.

Schill and Marcus lance Gottfredson and Coltrane’s festering CAS budget boil

Don’t blame the physicians.

Interim CAS Dean Andrew Marcus sent this blunt and prescient letter to then President Gottfredson and Provost Coltrane two years ago. I can’t remember where I got it – probably from my stash of presidential archives. PDF here.

In it Marcus lays out the budget problems that he’d inherited from former CAS Dean Coltrane, and that had been inflicted on CAS by the many changes in Brad Shelton’s budgeting model – including diversion of CAS tuition to other colleges – and the side deals, as well as by SCH declines and the faculty union’s successful bargaining efforts to move pay toward the AAU averages.

Marcus also puts Gottfredson on notice that money will have to be found to boost tenure track hiring and pay for science startups, or we can kiss the AAU goodbye. Gottfredson did raise money  – for a new softball stadium.  Coltrane raised money too – for 160over90. Here’s hoping Schill brings in something for the academic side soon. Meanwhile the bleeding will continue, at least in CAS.

 

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Marcus attempts to dispel rumors, but budget is still opaque

2/2/2016: I’ve pasted the only actual budget information that was in the budget memo at the bottom. Where are the numbers showing the trends in the CAS budget, and where is the info showing where the money taken out of CAS has been going and where it will go? The $4M CAS deficit noted below is the result of changes in how Brad Shelton’s budget model allocates money, and the many side transfers that have been made outside of that model. But that data is no longer being updated – and the old data seems to have been taken down.

Someone has these numbers. Why aren’t we being shown them?

February 1, 2016

To: CAS Faculty and Staff
From: W. Andrew Marcus
Interim Tykeson Dean

Re: The college budgeting process and rumors

Dear CAS Faculty and Staff,

I am writing to update you on the college-wide budgeting process and – I hope – to dispel some rumors that I am hearing from some quarters. As I noted in my memo of January 13, 2016 (https://casweb.uoregon.edu/budget-memo), CAS needs to reduce its $4M operating budget deficit while also aligning its resources to meet the strategic priorities outlined by President Schill (https://president.uoregon.edu/content/aligning-our-resources-support-academic-excellence).

In CAS, this has meant growing our Ph.D. numbers and
tenure track faculty lines (we have 22 searches underway to fill replacement and new lines), while reducing staffing in the dean’s office and seeking ways to align teaching resources in CAS departments with instructional needs. This last measure means that we are reducing the total number of non-tenure track faculty lines, which – of course – creates uncertainty for people in those positions.

To be clear, we are continuing to follow the process I outlined in the January 13 memo. This means we are having budget conversations with every department and program in the college. None of us is happy about reducing budgets, but they are necessary conversations. The way these meetings work is that we (the dean’s office) propose possible reductions based on student numbers and other pedagogical, departmental and college-wide considerations. Department heads and managers often provide alternatives to our proposals, which leads to a conversation (sometimes heated debate) about alternatives to achieve the results. I have been adamant that alternative solutions brought forward by a department must achieve the same on-going cost reductions – unless an argument can be made for a compelling institution-wide need that trumps the need to reduce the deficit and grow TTF numbers.

Regardless of the particulars of any one program, we are adhering to the same principles I outlined in the January 13 memo. But let me dispel a few things I’ve heard circulating:

 The dean’s office is still having conversations with departments about proposed cuts; nothing is finalized at this time. In most cases, these conversations have changed some of the outcomes we initially propose. In departments with dramatic enrollment declines, however, there may be few (if any) alternatives that a department can offer to our proposal to align instructional staffing with student demand. I acknowledge those conversations can feel one-sided to the department and we remain open to alternatives, if any can be found.

 Final decisions for all departments will be made only after review of our recommendations by central administration and a meeting with United Academics to ensure that our processes are in compliance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I hope – but cannot guarantee – that we will have final decisions by the end of February. It is my goal to give all affected employees as much time as possible to plan their future.

 Reductions in personnel numbers will be achieved only through contract non-renewals. We are not doing mid-term contract terminations or severing of MOUs.

 Also we are not terminating tenure-track faculty. Much of the reason for pursuing these painful budget decisions is to support growth of TTF lines, as evidenced by our ongoing searches.

 We are not terminating any departments, nor have we ever contemplated this measure.

 We are not reducing overall GTF numbers in the college, although some departments will see declines (and others will see increases) as we move instructional GTF support from low-enrollment to higher-enrollment units. Moreover, with the additional Ph.D. fellowships offered by the Graduate School, we hope to achieve growth in Ph.D. numbers in the year to come.

 All colleges, schools and administrative units within the university are being asked to go through a similar budget process. CAS is not being singled out in this process, although the process differs between units. For example, administrative units at UO have been asked to develop plans for a 2% budget reduction. In CAS, however, we have a specific monetary target, which is to eliminate our $4 million deficit. We are doing this by realigning instructional resources with instructional demand, which means that some units are taking a greater than 2% cut, while others are experiencing a smaller reduction. I know that times of uncertainty can be exceptionally difficult, both emotionally and professionally. This was my reason for detailing at the January 13 CAS heads and department managers meeting the financial history that has led us to this point and the specific principles for moving through this time, principles which include transparency and consistency. As you hear of “decisions that have been made” or “cuts that are happening,” please go back to the memo after the January 13 meeting and review its content (https://casweb.uoregon.edu/budget-memo). I pledge to adhere to the processes and principles outlined in that document; whatever else you hear is speculation at this time.

As a final note, I want to acknowledge the difficult work that our department and program heads are doing in this process. They have been articulate advocates for their programs, their employees, and their disciplines; it is clear they are willing to put themselves on the line for all of you. I hope you will give them the thanks and deep respect they deserve as we work through this process. I am proud to count them as colleagues.

From the budget memo:

Achieving our research and instructional goals has been complicated by the significant budget shortfall that CAS has carried for the last two years, something we have discussed many times in meetings with heads, faculty, and staff. At one point, our projected annual operating deficit exceeded $12 million. Thus far, we have been able to avoid major reductions by using carry forward funds. In addition, central administration has worked with the college to shift funds to CAS. In the past year alone, our central administration has authorized a permanent, recurring budget augmentation of $7 million per year, provided a one time transfer of $4M to our budget, altered the budget model to add SCH-based funds to all school and colleges, and helped CAS remove major costs centers (startups and high performance computing) from our budget. Even with these measures, however, we face a projected deficit of about $4 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year. We therefore need to implement cost-savings measures in order to balance the budget in future years.

Brad Shelton’s BRP website is even less informative:

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There used to be very clear data on the budget model and side payments:

 

But while CAS faculty are being laid off, Provost Coltrane is increasing the general fund subsidy for athletics – his budget for the Jock Box subsidy is up 39% since 2000, including  another 7% this year:

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(From Nathan Tublitz’s Financial Transparency Tool on Duckweb)

Around the O on Aisha Almana: Saudi, feminist, UO grad, donor

Very interesting story, here:

… A significant gift from Aisha Almana, a UO graduate, hospital executive and prominent feminist, will create new international opportunities in education and global health at the University of Oregon.

The Aisha Almana Global Health Program will provide scholarships for Saudi women to study global health at the UO, fund seed grants for faculty research, help implement an annual series of speakers and workshops, and support internships for UO students in the Saudi kingdom — the UO’s first fully funded international internships in global health.

Almana is her country’s leading activist for justice, equality and respect for women. In 1990, she led 46 women in a historic protest against her country’s ban on women driving. …

First UO’s new VP for communication Kyle Henley gave the branders the boot, and now Around the O no longer reads like the official organ of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Not bad – still no comments though. Also in Around the O, the new “DuckFunder” campaigns, link here:

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