Day 1: Liveish-blog, Board of Trustees Th & Fr in Portland

Breaking news: Governor to cut real Higher Ed operating budget, won’t give HECC their requested extra $100M, will fund construction, will blow $35M on “free” community college. In the Oregonian:

Gov. Kate Brown is proposing a roughly equal combination of new revenues and program cuts to close a looming $1.7 billion shortfall in the state’s budget. … In the wake of the November defeat of Measure 97, which would have raised $3 billion a year, Brown is asking legislators to approve $897 million in new revenue to help balance the 2017-19 budget. …

Oregon Opportunity Grants, aimed at helping the state’s neediest post-secondary students, are expanded in Brown’s budget, with an aim of providing financial assistance to an additional 5,000 students.

She has also chosen to preserve the Oregon Promise program, which lets high school students with high enough grades attend one of the state’s nine community colleges for as little as $50 per semester.

Funding for community colleges and higher education, meanwhile, would contain no built-in cost for maintaining current service levels.

“These cuts are a level that I find absolutely unacceptable,” Brown said. “State needs are growing, but state resources are not keeping pace with the needs.”

On the other hand, the governor has proposed spending $350 million to help with facilities projects at the state’s colleges and universities. That effort includes $15 million in bonding money for campus security upgrades in the wake of the October 2015 shootings at Roseburg’s Umpqua Community College.

And I just got this helpful email from Hans Bernard:

Operating Funding:
· The Governor recommends flat funding for universities. The Public University Support Fund (PUSF) is funded at the Legislative Approved Budget (LAB) 2015 level of $667.3 million). Because of the current service level calculations and the technical details on how funds are split over the biennium (49% in the first year, 51% in the second). this does represent a modest cut to UO.

While we will need to manage a slight cut in state support and account for significant cost increases amounting to nearly $25 million in the coming year – the Governor went to great lengths to shield public universities and students from taking a disproportionate cut.

Student Financial Aid:
· The Governor increased funding for the Oregon Opportunity Grant by approximately 8% from last biennium, bringing the total funding amount to $151 million.

Oregon Promise:
· The Governor’s Budget recommends funding the Oregon Promise “Free Community College” program at $39.7 million.

Capital Funding
The proposed budget includes approximately $275 million in funding for university Capital construction projects. The largest slices of the pie are given to UO ($77 million), OSU ($47 million), PSU ($40 million) and OIT ($38 million). The budget also recommends funding for $75 million in community college projects.

UO’s Projects:
Classroom and Faculty Office Building: The Governor’s budget provides $44 million for UO’s Classroom and Faculty Office Building. The project UO submitted to the HECC included funding to renovate faculty offices once the new building was constructed. The Governor’s budget does not provide funding for those portions of the project ($11 million).

Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact: The Governor’s budget supports full funding for the Knight Campus, with the investment made over the course of three biennia. An initial investment of $33 million is included in the 2017-19 budget.

Again, I will provide you a more thorough update in the coming days. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.

Live webcast on BOT meeting here. Some live-blogging below.

The official BOT website buries the agenda, so here’s an easier version. Haven’t had time to look into the materials much, but I did notice Chuck Lillis and Ginevra Ralph have no competition for their elected Chair and Vice Chair positions. (Last year Lillis presided over the meeting that extended his own term from 2 years to 3.) I note that the UO Senate generaly is able to field competitive slates for these kinds of jobs.

And where are the internal audit reports?

Executive and Audit Committee — 8:30AM December 1, 2016 [Materials]

1. IT Strategic Planning Update: Scott Coltrane, Sr. Vice President and Provost

Sorry, there’s not enough coffee in Portland to get me up early enough to sit through Scott’s powerpoint again. Rumor down at Cafe Roma is that about 15 IT people have left so far or are leaving. There are 12 open IT jobs, including the director position, posted on the HR website. Moral is low.

2. Audited FY16 Financial Statements: Scott Simpson, Partner, Moss-Adams LLP; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President and CFO; Kelly Wolf, Controller

Not in the packet. How can the board do due diligence with this?


Angela passed out packets at the meeting, but there weren’t emugh for the 5 visitors. Presumably it’ll be online soon. The auditor’s report is that all’s well from the from the 40,000 foot level.

3. Quarterly Audit Report and Approval of an External Auditor: Trisha Burnett, Chief Auditor

UO has been independent from the state’s Audit Board for 3-4 years now. It took a year to hire the first auditor. She left in frustration after a year or so. So did a couple of her staff. That was a year ago. Our new auditor has just staffed out her office and put up a webpage. Someday they may actually start doing internal audits, such as the long promised athletics audit. While the state regularly published their audits of UO, I’m guessing it’s going to be a long public records battle to get these from the PRO.

4. Strategic Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance: Andre LeDuc, Associate Vice President and Chief Resilience Officer

Lots of colorful powerpoint slides. LeDuc’s empire seems to have expanded from security and digging faculty out of the rubble of PLC, to consideration of isssues like IT security, tuition dependancy, grant administration. Not sure where the athletics lawsuits and Halloween parties fit in. Wants to buy more insurance and water filtration systems.

Lillis asks Moffitt if UO has a list of “unfunded mandates” from the feds for UO. This idea presumably comes out of his support for erstwhile Presidental Candidate and higher-ed crank Ben Carson.

Moffitt: There was a report coming out of some east coast school listing these mandates and claiming they were a major driver of administrative bloat, but it was problematic.

5. Board Officers: Trustee Peter Bragdon

Finance and Facilities Committee — 9:45 AM December 1, 2016 [Materials]

1. Standing Finance and Treasury Reports (Written Only) and Authorization for Certain Investment Activities (Action): Karen Levear, Director of Treasury Operations

This is a proposal to invest UO’s medium term funds with the UO Foundation, in stocks and derivatives, for hedging not speculation. It was passed as a ballot inititiative this fall. Very sensible, Lavear knows her stuff.

Kurt Willcox asks what sort of oversight the board will have, and what sort of information the notoriously secretive UO Foundation will share with the Board. Jay Namyet, UOF CIO, says not much. This is a trust me proposal, but imho I trust Lavear’s judgement on this and her ability to keep an eye on Namyet.

Ann Curry asks more skeptical questions. Ross Kari does a good job addressing them, notes that after the last financial meltdown there are now more SEC rules regarding transparency and reserve requirements.

Jay Namyet notes that the UOF insists on dealing with managers who have their own net worth in the fund, and they insist on complete transparency. Good practices – but not ones the Foundation follows for its own employees.

Lillis notes that Namyet has had a spectacular 10 years in terms of investment returns.

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

Susan Gary: Is it worth it for UO to pay the LEED people to certify buildings as energy efficient. Can’t we just build them that way and save the money? Harwood: probably worth paying for the LEED stamp of approval, for public relations.

Frankly, it’s a little odd to hear so much discussion of energy audits, and so little of internal financial audits from the board.

3. Authorization of Possible Eminent Domain Proceedings (Action): Kevin Reed, Vice President and General Counsel

Diane Dietz has the story here.

Reed makes clear he is taking his responsibility to comply with the Constiution’s taking clause very seriously, with the help of some Portland lawyer.

Lets hope he takes to university’s obligation to comply with the First Amendment, when it comes to our student-reporters, student-athletes, and Divest UO and other protestors just as seriously.

Ann Curry give the RG’s Diane Dietz a shout out over her story on who this will affect the tenants. The Jock Box’s athlete-only parking lot will be untouched, of course.


Moffitt notes that all the funds for relocation etc., will come from the Knight gift.

Academic and Student Affairs Committee — 11:00AM December 1, 2016 [Materials]

1. Title IX – National Picture, Current Trends & UO Organization: Darci Heroy, Associate Vice President and Title IX Coordinator

Full disclosure: I’ve been working with Darci Heroy for 6 months on the Senate’s successful effort to replace the administration’s mandatory reporting policy with a student-centered policy, and I think she’s very sensible, effective, and committed to reducing campus sexual assault – not trying to cover it up, as has been UO’s unfortunate history.

She shows the board the new website, which has fixed many of the problems with famously incompetent AAEO Directo Penny Daugherty’s unnavigable and factually inaccurate website. It’s no surprise that the administration has never put Daugherty in front of the Board.

Heroy goes on to give some history on Title IX, explains that the pendulum is shifting back towards increased rights and more legal action for the accused.  Confident that our processes to a good job of blancing the rights of the victim and the accused.

Pres Schill asks Reed about how many lawsuits we have at the moment. Austine et al., and 2 others (?).

Heroy notes that the lawsuits have helped improve UO’s internal processes. She wants UO to be consistent in following the focus of Title IX on making sure that all of our students have access to a fair and compassionate process, one that will make sure they all have equal rights to accessing education.

Ginevra Ralph asks why universities are required to handle sexual assault differently than, say, murder.

Heroy explains that’s because of the focus of title IX on equal access to education. It does put us in an awkward place, we must have a sort of ghost criminal process. Reed agrees.

Ralph follows up, asking about the basketball allegations. Why were we required to investigate, rather than give it to the police?

Reed: The police often inestigate as well, but civil rights law holds us to a higher standard because of our obligation to provide equal access to education.

Reed & Schill: Criminal process has a higher burden of proof, is invasive, public, students don’t use it. We need to protect them anyway.

Heroy gives a shout-out to the Senate RRWG and it’s new policy. Talks about how campus is now working in sync on issues of sexual assault prevention.

Very good discussion between Heroy and the Board.

2. Health Center / Counseling and Testing Center Project Preview: Roger Thompson, Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management

Moved til after lunch.

3. Student Success: Lisa Freinkel, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies; Doneka Scott, Associate Vice Provost for Student Success; Ron Bramhall, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Excellence

[Sorry, I had to answer some emails. Sounds like the 15 credit plan is taking off, and Doneka Scott has a handle on the new system for tracking and helping students who are behind.]

Lunch break until 1:45

4. Program Approvals – Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Spatial Data Science and Technology (Geography) (Action): Scott Coltrane, Senior Vice President and Provost

Meeting of the Board — 1:45PM December 1-2, 2016 [Materials]

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 – 1:45 pm (other times approximate) – Convene Public Meeting
– Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum
– Approval of September 2016 minutes (Action)
– Public comment (2:13).

Sorry, not much live blogging. Check the video. Several public comments calling for more building energy efficiency efforts. Several pointing out the problems with the IT reorganization effort and its thus far negative effect on it personnel and services.

Several comments from owners and leasors of the land UO is negotiating to buy, all building the arguent that their property and investments are worth more than the appraised value. According to the Domino’s owner, our General Counsel stepped in the deep-dish with his RG comments.

Two portland students comment on the Halloween “black-face” incident. Appreciate Schill’s statement. Embarassed by the professor’s actions. Want more university resources in Portland for students to talk about incidents like this.

NOTE: A live teleconference will be available during public comment to accommodate individuals wishing to participate from Eugene (Ford Alumni Center, Room 403)

1. Reports
–ASUO President Quinn Haaga
–Senate President Bill Harbaugh
–Provost Scott Coltrane
–President Michael Schill

2. AY2016-17 Student and UO Scholarship/Waiver Statistics: Roger Thompson, Vice President for
Student Services and Enrollment Management; Jim Brooks, Assistant Vice President and Director
of Financial Aid and Scholarships

3. Classroom Scheduling Task Force – Findings and Next Steps: Scott Coltrane, Senior Vice President
and Provost; TBD

4. UO Portland Vision Statement: Jane Gordon, Vice Provost for UO Portland

5. Portland Programs In Focus

5.1 Agora Journalism Center, School of Journalism and Communication: Regina Lawrence,
Executive Director, George S. Turnbull Portland Center and Agora Journalism Center; Andrew
DeVigal, Chair in Journalism Innovation and Civic Engagement and Professor of Practice

5.2 Sports Product Management, Lundquist College of Business: Roger Best, Professor Emeritus
of Marketing; Damian Vaugh, Assistant Clinical Professor of Product Management

Lot of buzzwords, shiny video. Still no news on the $20M donation we were told would fund this spire of excellence.

Meeting Recessed for the Day

Day two here.


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12 Responses to Day 1: Liveish-blog, Board of Trustees Th & Fr in Portland

  1. Interested Citizen says:

    It may be that there are no completed internal audits to report on. They are just now getting new auditors. It is not feasible for a chief auditor working alone, as she has been, to perform audit work in addition to performing annual risk assessments, work with external auditors, consulting work, monthly meetings, onboarding new staff, etc.

  2. Local Board says:

    Good thing the UO is now ruled by a “local” board that meets 110 miles away.

    Imagine if the Eugene city council met in Portland.

    • Portland Prof says:

      Ummm… the UO has several TTF and NTTF in Portland, hundreds of students, a number of programs, and countless alumni. Broaden your perspective. Get out of your Eugene bubble once in a while.

      • More in Eugene says:

        The UO has hundreds of NTTF and several thousand faculty and staff and roughly 24000 students in Eugene. And our main campus, our union officials and our student groups.

        You don’t really think it is held in Portland for a couple of profs do you?

        • Fishwrapper says:

          Maybe the UO Board is following the lead of the flagship university’s BoT, which held its October retreat and meeting in Bend…

          • uomatters says:

            Good luck with that Bend thing – UO sure blew a lot of money on it before Lariviere pulled the plug.

            • Fishwrapper says:

              Back in 2009, Ed Ray announced the plan to bring OSU to 35kilostudents by 2025. This resulted in lots of questions, most notably from the community, along the lines of “Where are you going to put an extra 15k students?” – often self-answered with “Certainly not in my back yard…” After a few years of constant pushback from Corvallis citizens (there is still a town extant beyond the confines of OSU), Ray’s public tone had shifted somewhat.

              “We’ll put them in Bend!” About a year and half ago, the new (modified) vision Ray expressed was 28K +/- in Corvallis, and 5k +/- in Bend – with room to grow at the latter campus. So now folks in Bend are asking, “Where are you planning to keep all those students…?” (That was a large chunk of the post-turkey conversation last week under our roof, thanks to our Bend relatives.)

              Wherever they end up, demographic patterns suggest that by 2025, if the higher ed schools kept there proportional levels of in-state students, with the number of graduating HS seniors by 2025, schools will need to extra space, wherever it may be located. So Ray’s taking the university all-in on the Bend bet.

              It may be that all-in attitude that makes the difference, creating a real campus, rather than a hybrid as OSU and UO tried in the past. We shall see. Sometimes timing is everything…

  3. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    They better talk about the Governor’s proposed budget. From the Oregonian story:

    “Funding for community colleges and higher education, meanwhile, would contain no built-in cost for maintaining current service levels.”

    Translation: higher ed gets cut.

  4. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Another thing — they ought to talk about how greedy UO looks asking for $100 million from the state to make the Knight campus as bigger and better as possible, while the state is raising taxes and cutting various services.

    Also, the Helfrich buyout looks terrible. UO should make it clear that it is all coming out of athletic funds — that is surely the case. Right? Well …. ?

    And — people are asking whether the buyout will include PERS benefits for Helfrich! Better scotch that right away.

    Surely UO was not stupid enough to have made a deal with Helfrich that would result in another outrageous PERS payout.

    Right ????

    • uomatters says:

      The new IRS income limits probably prevent a Belottiesque PERS payout. To evade them, UO has set up a special extra retirement scheme for highly paid employees. Of course it’s even more expensve than PERS, because it’s not tax exempt.

      • honest Uncle Bernie says:

        Good point about the IRS limits. UO should at least announce that there are no PERS implications of the buyout — the latter being bad enough publicity as it is.

  5. More in Eugene says:

    I believe the evidence is strong that investments in higher education yield greater net economic development than more traditional tax incentives and a lot more than prison maintenance.

    Legislature should raise personal and especially corporate income tax.

    We also need a Eugene legislator as leader in the Senate or the House. Courtney is at best a tepid UO supporter for a Dem judging by his statements and actions over the years.

    In some ways should have waited 6 months to announce CASI.

    Also, can they finally redistrict Walden into oblivion, finally? It’s what the GOPers have done everywhere since 2010. Dems in Cali could easily squeeze 6 more D plus ensure the seats added after 2020 are all D.

    Hardball time.

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