Finance and Facilities Committee — September 8, 10:00AM

Elevator version: Moffitt says the academic budget is sort of OK. Meanwhile Mullens is raking in the dough, and spending it just as quickly on whatever he wants. No talk of the long overdue Athletics Department contributions to UO’s academic mission.

Finance and Facilities Committee — September 8, 2016 10:00 am – September 8, 2016 [Materials] [Livestream]

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Whoops, that’s the OSU Board’s Finance and Administration Committee. Here’s what I could put together for UO’s committee:

Convene – Call to order and roll call – Approval of June 2016 FFC minutes (Action) – Public comment

Lois Yoshishigi, classified staff from the business office. Comments on the Oregon Hall renovation. Her office works with student loan repayment, and will have to move. She is worried that the move will make it more difficult for students to work with them on repayment rescheduling, and that this will discourage students who need help to stay in college.

Chair Ross Kari thanks her for her comments and says they will be considered.

1. Quarterly and Year‐End Finance Report: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO

This is the one place where UO beats OSU. See page 3 of the UO materials for VPFA Jamie Moffitt’s summary of UO’s financial situation, followed by pages of detailed information.

Moffitt: Students are taking more credits, fund balance is up a little, the well is run-rate-even and should be for this coming year too.

2. Auxiliary Budget Review: Athletics: Rob Mullens, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics; Eric Roedl, Deputy Athletic Director

I’m no internal auditor sworn to follow the IIA’s Red Book & Code of Ethics, but if Rob Mullens’ and Eric Roedl’s “budget review” doesn’t raise some red flags with UO’s Chief Auditor, what will? Starts on page 9:

Moffitt introduces, explains that the committee has mostly talked about the E&G budget, will spend more on “auxiliary units” like the Ducks.

Mullens:Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 12.32.41 AM

I’ve lost track of how many years, and how many auditors, UO’s Audit Office has gone through while saying it would someday audit athletics, or at least try “To gain an understanding of the athletics program in order to identify inherent risks ….”:

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Mullens, who got a fat raise from the trustees last year, skims through the finances with a few pie charts. Makes his usual subtle pitch for another Autzen expansion. Are the trustees going to ask him any tough questions? Such as:

  1. Why are you charging the President’s office $500K for the Autzen skybox and basketball tickets?
  2. Why are UOs regular students still subsidizing the $2.5M Jock Box, given all your new revenue?
  3. What’s the new sneaker deal going to look like? Where are you going to spend that money?
  4. Are you ever going to start contributing to UO’s academic mission?

Ann Curry asks Mullens about UO’s ranking in NCAA’s bullshit Academic Progress Rate. Break this out for the revenue athletes. Mullens explains all the help that the Jock Box gives student-athletes to make sure they can stay eligible to play and earn money for him and the coaches.

Ross Kari notes the risks of revenue variation. Mullens admits football season ticket sales have fallen. Kari asks him if he has plans for cost cutting or revenue enhancement.

Lillis: Any progress in refinancing the Arena debt? Moffitt: As you know the deal was structured in a way that makes it very difficult to refinance. We’ve talked with a lot of bankers. We’re stuck with it. [Meaning the academic side is also stuck with the high interest rate on the $500K a year we’re paying for the chunk of land that Matt Court sits on. Thanks for all that, Kilkenny.]

3. Capital Construction & Planning
‐‐Oregon Hall Renovation (Action): Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO

Moffitt: It’s complicated, we’re trying to handle all the disruption and moves as well as possible. [Striking that the Jocks have everything, while UO’s multi-cultural student services don’t have places for confidential student advising.]

‐‐Pacific Hall Renovation (Action): David Conover, Vice President for Research and Innovation; Bill Cresko, Professor and Associate Vice President for Research

[Cheryl and Allyn Ford have already donated $7M for this. Nice]

Conover: We need more space for more science faculty and labs. We want to renovate, create space for 14 labs, with undergrad, PhDs, post-docs etc.

Cresko: This building was originally science, gradually got taken over by AAA etc. We’re going to convert it back to science. Much cheaper and quicker than new construction, we’re already recruiting faculty for these labs.

4. UO Buildings – Energy Policies and Programs: Michael Harwood, Associate VP for Campus Planning and Facilities Management

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2 Responses to Finance and Facilities Committee — September 8, 10:00AM

  1. NotMyMonkey says:

    Your summary of Lois Yoshishigi’s statement is rather lean in detail.
    Lois works for Business Affairs Student Loans AND COLLECTIONS. Students who are in arrears, late on paying bills, and blocked from registering must visit her office.
    Business Affairs offices that are being moved to the Thompson Building include:
    PAYROLL
    CASHIERS
    ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE (Student Billing)
    ACCOUNTS PAYABLE
    PROPERTY CONTROL
    TREASURY OPERATIONS
    TRAVEL
    This is relatively unknown to campus and not know to students. The UO Board of Trustees probably did not know either since the renovation of Thompson and the move was under the $5 million threshold.
    Think about it: Payroll off campus, Cashiers off campus (where departments make change and deposits), Student Billing and Collections off campus and away from Financial Aid and other student services.
    Thanks for allowing more detail to be included here..

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    • Lois Yoshishige says:

      Here is a recap of what I said at the Board of Trustees meeting about the Business Affairs Office move to the Thompson Building. We will be moving as early as the end of October 2016.

      We have concern that because of the move we will not be able to serve the campus community, especially low income students and staff, as effectively as we are doing now. The Student Billing and Collections departments are very connected to Financial Aid, Admissions and Registrar’s Offices. When students don’t have the money to pay, they are blocked from registering and getting transcripts. My co-workers spend hours helping students and their parents fill out complicated financial aid forms or explaining charges or making payment arrangements. I think we are successful if we can resolve billing issues as quickly as possible for students so they can focus on their studies, which is what they come to the university for. With the distance—a 13 minute walk between Oregon Hall and the Thompson Building–it will take a longer time to resolve issues. It becomes more likely that students and parents will give up because people have a hard time thinking about money. I know we’re trying to set up Skype between the departments. But I think in-person assistance is necessary for things like this. We want as few students as possible to drop out or end up with a big debt without the ability to get a degree.

      Another concern is employees who don’t have Direct Deposit needing to pick up their paychecks. It will especially impact food service workers and custodians who work at the dorms close-by. Currently, they are able to pick up their paycheck during their lunch break.

      These same food venues at Hamilton, Living Learning Center (Dux Bistro), Carson Hall and Global Scholars (Fresh!) need daily access to change (dollar bills and coins) so they can conduct their business. It will be harder to do that if their staff need to walk to the Thompson Building.

      We will do our utmost to come up with ways to continue the excellent service we are proud of providing. Thank you for your time in allowing me to share these concerns.

      Lois Yoshishige

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