11/28/2011: Time to change the OUS agenda: Please copy, edit as you like, and email to the list below. CC firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll keep a tally – hard for them to ignore a reasonable request like this, especially now.
Dear OUS Board Chair Donegan and OUS board members:
I’m writing to request that the OUS board address the issue of Chancellor Pernsteiner’s contract renewal, and specifically that you
a) solicit input on Chancellor Pernsteiner’s job performance from OUS Presidents, administrators, faculty, and other concerned citizens, and then
b) schedule executive and public meetings to address the issue as to whether or not his contract should be renewed, and if so on what terms.
As explained below this matter is fairly urgent. If you do not act now, the Chancellor’s current contract will automatically review, with no opportunity for public input or for your own review of his performance.
The Chancellor’s current contract, at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/971644/uomatters/Pernsteiner/Pernsteiner%20contract%202010.pdf automatically renews under its current terms unless your board meets and decides otherwise by 12/31/2011.
The terms of Dr. Pernsteiner’s current contract are quite controversial. For example, the Register Guard has a long story in February, focused on his use of the Treetops mansion in Eugene. ( http://registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/cityregion/25869291-41/chancellor-system-ous-state-university.csp ) This story was followed by several editorials in various newspapers raising questions about the expenses and legality of the arrangement.
Other terms of Chancellor Pernsteiner’s contract are also problematic. As just one example, he has been unable to provide documentation of the $23,320 in “professional expenses” he receives under his current contract, as shown by this letter from the OUS Board Secretary: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/971644/uomatters/Pernsteiner/No%20Pernsteiner%20receipts%20110308%20PRR.pdf . Obviously this is not consistent with normal business or employee procedures. It is also not consistent with his own contract, which explicitly requires such documentation. There are other questions regarding OUS expenditures for his maid service, the mortgage on his private home in Portland, etc.
Finally, Oregon SB 242 and SB 909 raise serious questions about the future role of the Chancellor’s office and job. Chancellor Pernsteiner should be asked to publicly explain how he sees his role in the future of Oregon higher education – and other stakeholders should be given a chance to explain how they see his role – before his contract is automatically renewed, without public discussion.
I appreciate your consideration of this potential agenda item.