UPDATE: As of 5/15/2009, no response from Provost Bean on this:
Sent to Provost Bean 4/19/2009:
Dear Provost Bean:
At the Furlough town hall you asked faculty to email this address if they had questions. This one regards the budget for UO-Portland.
At the meeting you explained that much of the White Stag renovation was paid for by the developer, with money from federal redevelopment funds. You said that UO had made lease specific improvements, but that these had been paid for, so far, using proceeds from the sale of another building. Paraphrasing, you also said that the cost of buying the WS sign, and presumably redoing it, would not come out of general funds, but would be paid by Foundation money. The implication was that these funds therefore were not available to deal with the current crisis.
I am hoping that you can explain two aspects of your statements in a little more detail:
First, how much did UO get from selling other Portland property, how much of that has been allocated to the WS renovation, and what will be the likely net surplus or uncovered cost. What purpose will any surplus by reallocated to, or any shortfall made up from?
Second, that sign again. In your remarks at the meeting I don’t think you said there was an (earmarked donation) specifically for the sign or specifically for WS remodeling. I realize donations to the foundation are exempt from some of the disclosure rules, but I am hoping you can explain how much money has been given to the WS project, with earmarks of what type.
For example, if the money comes from funds earmarked for WS renovations generally, couldn’t that offset other funds which could then be reallocated back to some project with more importance, given our current budget crisis?
This sign has a lot of significance – sort of the point of a sign I guess – and this question comes up time and time again in the debates of UO’s spending priorities. Letters to the editor has focused on this repeatedly. I this it would be good to present a credible evidence based argument that the money that is about to be spent on the WS sign could not legally be redirected to other UO projects, should such an argument exist.
Thanks for your time, and I will post these questions and any reply from you at http://uomatters.com