UO Board to meet Dec 2, 3. I’ll do some live blogging.

The RG’s Diane Dietz has a good prequel, here:

A proposal to offer students guaranteed tuition for four years, a plan for upgrading residence halls and a roundtable discussion on race relations are on the agenda when the University of Oregon Board of Trustees meets Wednesday and Thursday in Eugene.

… The UO appears to be ready to meet its pledge to build or extensively renovate three residence halls before the 2021 World Championship track event comes to campus.

… In the wake of campus protests — and concerted efforts to hash out solutions — the UO Board will sit down Thursday with students, invited by UO President Michael Schill, to share their experiences at the UO and talk about current issues.

The UO Board is coming under increased pressure from the HECC, as explained here. Presumably there will be some amendments to SB 270 in the 2017 session to try and get more transparency and make the boards more responsive.

Live Blog disclaimer: My thoughts on what I think people said, meant, should have said, or should have meant. Noting is a quote unless in quotes.


Academic and Student Affairs Committee — December 2, 2015 [Materials]

December 2, 2015 9:00 am: Public Meeting Ford Alumni Center, Room 403

1. Student Conduct Code – repeal of outdated policies (Action), University Secretary Angela Wilhelms

Having seized control of these policies from the faculty under the midnight delegation of authority power-grab, the trustees now realize they don’t understand what they’ve gotten themselves into. It appears no one has read the policies, but they vote unanimously to move these repeals forward to the full board on the advice of Secretary Wilhelms.

2. Sexual Assault Prevention, Education and Awareness Updates, Vice President for Student Life Robin Holmes

Board Secretary Wilhelms and VPFA Holmes didn’t invite anyone from the Senate Committee on Gender and Sexual Based Violence to speak to the board? Not very collegial.

Robin Holmes leads with the mantra “this is a problem at every campus, not just at UO”. (Yes, but only at UO do we sue the survivor, grab her counseling records, and retaliate against the whistleblowers.)

Holmes then wisely turns things over to the sexual assault prevention staff, who do a good job explaining what UO has been doing on the prevention front.

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Frazee does a good job explaining the new “Get Explicit 101” peer program, which they tried out in the residence halls and on the athletes. “This program teaches students what a sexual assault is and how to report it.”

Get Explicit 101 will empower students to be intentional with boundaries, direct with communication, explicit with consent, and engaged as a community member to prevent sexual violence. As Ducks, we cannot simply desire that issues of sexual violence go away—we need to act intentionally and engage explicitly in prevention, which begins with understanding the context of the issue. By participating in these workshops, students contribute to the University of Oregon’s goal for a safer and healthier campus community when it comes to issues of sexual violence.

Special modules for the problematic fraternity and sorority life groups and athletes. Working with the new health class for athletes. (Hmm, is this the AD’s latest FHS 199 scam?)

Ann Curry: Link to alcohol? Frazee starts to explain the research, Holmes interrupts. Curry goes back to Frazee: What % of these assaults are really preventable? Holmes says the 1 in 5 number has not changed in 20 years. (Across campus variation)?.

Will Paustian to Eyster: Where does your research on effectiveness come from? Eyster: We work with UO’s Prevention Science Institute, since this is not rocket science. We work more with men, more so than other universities.

UO is currently trying to hire a new AVP for Sexual Violence Prevention who will presumably also replace the problematic AAEO Director Penny Daugherty.

Chuck Lillis: Are students aware of how to report? Holmes: Not as much as they should be, but reports have more than doubled since all the publicity from the basketball rape allegations.

Leeder: During orientation we have them put the reporting website and number on their phones.

Curry: What can we do about the drinking? Eyster: We’re hiring a second person to work on substance abuse prevention. [Anyone seen research showing that switching from alcohol to pot will reduce sexual assaults, as it has for traffic accidents?]

Lillis: Board should go through the assault and alcohol training, to get more informed.

Will Paustian (student member): As an incoming freshmen, the only education I received was alcohol.edu, which is a joke.

Frazee: the vendor is trying to fix it so students can’t just click through. Frazee: We have multiple points of inoculation, not just the web course. (But Get Explicit is not mandatory?)

Susan Gary speaks: I recently went through the bystander program at the law school. Very effective. Very small student turnout, we’re trying to make it required.

Holmes argues that part of the FSL problem is that the fraternities and sororities are too large to be managed, claims this is part of the reason UO is adding new fraternities and sororities. (So she’s going to then shrink the large ones. Sure she is.)

President Schill: Hard to control the frats, their houses are dry so they rent “party houses” on the side. [True, and let’s not talk about the party buses.]

Ginevra Ralph: I’d be interested to hear from a male member of your staff on how they reach out to the men. [See the comments.]

Lillis to Holmes: Is there adult supervision in the frats? (As is often the case, Holmes has no real answer).

3. Department of International Affairs – overview and discussion, Vice Provost for
International Affairs Dennis Galvan

I’ll go out on a limb and predict that Dennis is not going to be making a big announcement to the board that Gabonese President Ali Bongo has finally delivered the rest of his $15M gift to UO. The initial $5M is pretty much gone, so it’s not clear what will happen to the “Twin Edens” program.

That aside UO seems to be doing a very good job with study abroad, less so with international students, though they are working on it.

Connie Ballmer: What do I tell someone who asks me why there are so many international students at UO, when we should be educating Oregon students? Galvan: Diversity. Good for our students to learn about the rest of the world. [And, of course, we use their money to pay for Oregon students.] Talks about efforts to improve mixing between Chinese and other students.

UO is increasing efforts to recruit grad students from new Indian universities, Brazil, Indonesia.

Study abroad: All kinds of benefits for our students from a *good* study abroad program. UO is well above average for this, and also for getting funding to low income students.  About 60% of this is summer experiences, as Kurt Wilcox points out.

Galvan reports on a study showing benefits for GPA and retention from study abroad – but a few skeptical questions from the board reveal it’s bullshit study that apparently doesn’t even control for all the observables, much less deal with unobserved heterogeneity. Bummer.

Galvan is building an endowment for funds to give more scholarships for study-abroad.

Galvan explains another innovative program – exchange between UO and a historically black college in the south. Great idea.

Under Jim Bean UO was losing money on these programs, but Lorraine Davis cleaned it up and Galvan hopes to make a modest amount from them.

Galvan finishes up by mentioning the Gabon program – so did that money come through? I doubt it.

But wait, there’s more. Program to get Pell eligible students a passport, make it easier for them to travel and think about exchange. And more and more. Very interesting presentation. Committee was full engaged.

4. College & Careers Building – programmatic components, Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Andrew Marcus

Marcus is going to have a tough time convincing me that new offices for CAS administrators should really be such a high priority.

Marcus: It’s going to be a “Jaqua Center for all the students”.

OK, sorry, I’m tuning this out for a while. Marcus is very competent, I’m sure this is all well thought out.

Board seems very happy with it all.

5. Access and Opportunity Initiative, President Michael Schill and Provost Scott Coltrane

President Schill: Emphasis on low tuition is a mistake. Focus should be on scholarships for low income students and increasing completion speed and graduation rates. “Oregon Commitment”: Increase graduate rate by 20% by 2020. More details in the RG story and editorial, links here: http://uomatters.com/2015/11/rgs-diane-dietz-details-schills-oregon-commitment-plan-editors-endorse.html

Trustees very engaged, good questions.

Adjourn at 11:54.

Executive and Audit Committee — December 2, 2015 [Materials12:30 pm: Public Meeting, Ford Alumni Center, Room 403

1. Roles and responsibilities relating to financial integrity, Board Chair Chuck Lillis

The big news here is the board trying to grapple with the sudden resignation of their Chief Internal Auditor, Brenda Muirhead. More on that here:

This is really bad news for trust and transparency at UO. Muirhead was a professional with an impeccable record. Her job was to set up procedures to enhance UO’s minimal internal controls and conduct internal audits. For example, her office confirmed that UO had never done an open affirmative action compatible search for $130K VP for Collaboration Chuck Triplett. They are currently conducting a regularly scheduled audit of the athletics department, etc.

In the corporate world, the resignation of an auditor (external) is the best single predictor of internal control deficiencies, because auditors compare the revenue they earn with the reputational costs of being associated with a company with problems, and they bail when that equation becomes negative. See for example Ashbaugh-Skaife et al (2007) at https://tippie.uiowa.edu/accounting/phd/publications/collins_discovery.pdf.

A few board members ask why she left, the explanation offered by Chair Lillis is vague. The claim is made that she felt fully supported. That’s not what I’ve heard.

2. Quarterly audit report, Interim Chief Auditor Trisha Burnett

There’s a handout but apparently just for board members. Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms didn’t put it in the meeting materials. Wouldn’t want to make it too easy for people to find out what’s going on:

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Update: After I emailed her, Wilhelms provided an updated pdf with this and the IT audit, here: http://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/a0196579-1abe-4b68-a828-887a65927d07agenda_and_materials_-_eac_-_120215.pdf

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Kurt Willcox asks the due diligence question: Do audit reports normally come to the board? Wilhelms: In summary. I can make them available.

3. IT risk assessment report, Mike Cullen, Baker Tilly LLP

Also not in the online materials. Again, the handouts are only for the board members.

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And of course the Baker Tilly consulting presentation is completely unreadable:

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No one on the audit committee has seen this report until now? How can they possibly do their due diligence on this?

Schill asks the obvious question: How does UO compare to comparators? Right amount of resources in the wrong areas? Not enough resources? Baker Tilly guy can’t answer this. Isn’t that his job? Why do we hire these consultants?

After and email, Board Secretary Wilhelms provides a link to a new set of materials, with these reports, here: http://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/a0196579-1abe-4b68-a828-887a65927d07agenda_and_materials_-_eac_-_120215.pdf (Page down).

Highest risk: No university policy on securing data and systems. They note the emergency IT policy, but it’s apparently not sufficient. Same with data classification policy – need procedures to implement.

Conclusion: UO is wide open to a Cylon attack. Need top leadership to create a case for change and move things forward in order to address these risks. Presumably Baker Tilly can explain that if we hire them to do another consulting report.

Lillis to Coltrane: This is part of the strategic plan? Coltrane: we expect to have a report by March.

Lillis to BT: Suppose instead of asking you about risk, we’d asked you how to match IT to our academic goals. Do you do that sort of work? BT: No. (That’s surprising.)

Finance and Facilities Committee — December 2, 2015 [Materials1:30 pm: Public Meeting Ford Alumni Center, Room 403

1. Q1 and FY15 Annual Treasury Report, Director of Treasury Operations Karen Levear

Very clear presentation. Board very into bonds. Levear is one of the few people who will break athletics out separately:

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Good luck getting Jamie Moffitt to do this in her report!

2. FY2015 Audited Financial Statements

Again, how can the board do its due diligence when they don’t even get these before the meeting? Wilhelms has just emailed the presentation about them, here. And after another request, she provides the audit report itself, here.

Very nice production values. Not a word about UO’s athletic budget, Jock Box subsidies, etc:

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2.1 Management report, Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO Jamie Moffitt, Controller Kelly Wolf

Lots of stuff about the effect of PERS on UO – not good. While people retiring now will get pretty standard pensions (60% of final salary) UO and the state are still on the hook for bloated pas pensions, e.g. Bellotti.

[I had to leave for the Senate meeting. More later.]

2.2 Independent auditors’ report, Scott Simpson – Moss Adams LLP

3. Q1 FY16 Financial Report, VPFA/CFO Jamie Moffitt

4. OUS Policy Repeal (SBHE Policy #9 – Budgeted Operations Fund Balances) (Action),
VPFA/CFO Jamie Moffitt

5. Naming of Facilities – Jane Sanders Stadium and Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall (Action),
President Michael Schill

6. Campus Housing, Vice President for Student Life Robin Holmes and Director of Housing
Michael Griffel

6.1 Housing renovation plan overview

6.2 Bean Hall renovation project (Action)

Meeting of the Board — December 3, 2015 [Materials]

8:00 am (other times approximate) – Convene Public Meeting

1. Roundtable Discussions with Students on Race‐Related Issues (Bean, East Conference Room)

President Schill has invited a group of students, in coordination from staff in CMAE, to participate in small group conversations about their experiences at the UO and current issues and events.

Public Meeting Recesses and Reconvenes in Giustina Ballroom (approximately 9:00 am)

2. Approval of Minutes from September 2015 Meeting (Action)

3. Public Comment: Those wishing to provide comment must sign up advance and review the public comment guidelines either online (http://trustees.uoregon.edu/meetings) or at the check‐in table at the meeting.

4.   President’s Report

5.   Resolutions from Committee

  ‐‐Seconded Motion from ASAC:  Student conduct code – repeal of outdated IMD and consolidation of policies (pending December 2 committee action)

  ‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Repeal of SBHE policy #9 (pending December 2 committee action)

‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Approval of Bean Hall renovation project (pending December 2 committee action)

‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Naming of certain university facilities (pending December 2 committee action)


6. Government Affairs Updates

6.1 State Affairs: AVP for State and Community Affairs Hans Bernard will provide trustees
with an update on state affairs, including an overview of the University of Oregon’s priorities
for the 2016 legislative session.

6.2 Federal Affairs: AVP for Federal Affairs Betsy Boyd will provide an update on federal
government legislation and agency activities relating to higher education and the University
of Oregon.  Public Meeting Recessed

12:30 pm Small Group Lunches with Faculty

Public Meeting Reconvenes

7.   Tuition guarantee concept – update, Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt and Vice President for Enrollment Management Roger Thompson

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4 Responses to UO Board to meet Dec 2, 3. I’ll do some live blogging.

  1. Anonymous says:

    “Ginevra Ralph: I’d be interested to hear from a male member of your staff on how they reach out to the men.”

    I’m pretty sure the only Director-level male in the entire Office of the Dean of Students (besides the victim-blaming-one-foot-out-the-door Dean himself) is Justin Shukas, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Is that who Ginerva would like to hear from?

    Since John Davies left the Counseling Center and the Men’s Center a few years ago, there has not been a strong, active male voice in campus violence prevention who works with men and fraternities one-on-one to prevent interpersonal violence.

  2. ORLY? says:

    So the Baker Tilly report had no recommendations? Really?

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