Tuesday, December 4, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. Board Meeting

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. Board Meeting. https://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/for_website_meeting_packet_-_full_bot_12.04.18.pdf

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports

Food is good, teaching evals are bad.

2. President’s Report

Here’s the latest info on UO enrollment (week 4 headcount). Despite the increase in freshman admits shown yesterday, this is bad news:

3. Resolutions from Committee (pending December 3 committee action)

3.1 Seconded Motion from FFC: Licensing Agreement with Fanatics

3.2 Seconded Motion from FFC: Capital Improvement Project – Matthew Knight Arena

3.3 Seconded Motion from FFC: Gift of Real Property

4. Government Affairs – 2018 Recaps and 2019 Initiatives: Libby Batlan, Associate Vice President for State and Community Affairs; Hans Bernard, Assistant Vice President for State Affairs; Betsy Boyd, Associate Vice President for Federal Affairs

UO has managed to get $5M for this in the Governor’s budget. Why didn’t our lobbyists use their time and effort to lobby for more money for academics instead?

Batlan and Bernard have put up a post on their website about the Gov’s budget, here:

The Governor’s proposal is a tale of two budgets. One version is the required balanced “base budget” that divvies out funds based on current revenue projections. The second version is an “investment budget” that assumes the passage of cost containment and revenue reform next legislative session. …

In the Governor’s investment budget, additional academic and research funding that benefits the UO includes:

$15 million in campus public safety improvement through the creation of a statewide shared services training program for higher education institutions focusing on prevention, preparedness, incident response, continuity, and recovery;

$10 million to establish a Public University Innovation Fund at the Oregon Business Development Department (the state agency that oversees economic development activity) to support economic development partnerships with business and public universities. The Innovation Fund provides matching funds for university grant requests for applied research; and

$5 million in funding for the International Association of Athletics Federations World Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will take place in 2021 in Eugene. This will be the first time the event has been held in the United States.

I’m not sure how giving $5M to the notoriously corrupt IAAF counts as “academic and research funding”. Allyn Ford asks why we’re not asking for the remaining $30M for the Knight Campus. Bernard: We have other priorities.

For more on the budget situation and tax increases, try Mr. Fearless’s persinfo blog:

Kate Brown has finally been elected to her OWN term as Governor, and the Ds now control both Legislative bodies with supermajorities.  That means that they can pass any revenue bills without support from a single R.   Whether this is a good thing or not remains to be seen.  On one hand, the fear of draconian anti-PERS legislation has diminished considerably, but that does not mean PERS is entirely out of the Legislative crosshairs.  The media, the employers, the Oregon Business Alliance, Nike, and others continue to agitate for PERS reform, while progressives continue to agitate for revenue reform, particularly an increase in the Corporate Income Tax.  This is going to set up a classic battle in the Legislature as business lobbyists square off against labor lobbyists, education lobbyists, School Boards to balance those conflicting interests.  There is nothing in Kate Brown’s proposed 2019-21 budget that suggests she grasps the magnitude of the issues that the Legislature will have to confront.  At first blush, it seems like the Legislature would be easy-peasy.  Pass tax increases without R support.  Governor signs bill.  Legislature distributes revenue to starving agencies.  Sine die.

But, and this is a big one that people sometimes forget.  Whatever the Legislature does can be undone with an initiative, referendum, or constitutional amendment.  And trust me, those groups are already starting to organize, and the Legislature is well-aware of their existence.  Any tax increase, except maybe on cigarettes or liquor or marijuana, WILL BE referred to the voters, and the likely outcome is defeat.  In the past, this has had some serious consequences.  The earliest any such measure could be on the ballot would be May 2020 or November 2020.  That is more than halfway through the next biennium.  Thus, any budget increases seen by agencies will disappear shortly after the vote, and this will be more havoc-producing than not having the money in the first place.  What all this means is that the Ds have complete control of the entire legislative and executive branches of State Government, but they will have to exercise that control with more caution than their progressive supporters would like.

[Lunch Break in Room 403 – Estimated 12:15-12:45]

5. Tuition-Setting Preparatory Discussion: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration; Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life (Co-Chairs of the Tuition and Fee Advisory Board)

Moffit and Marbury propose 10% tuition cut, as UO’s strategic investments in Duck athletics, coaching salaries, and 2021 IAAF championships will bring in millions in PAC-12 broadcast revenue, scholarship donations, state funding, and new out-of-state tuition money.

Whoops, turns out they’re going to propose an increase, not a cut. The PAC-12 network is an expensive disaster, football fans aren’t giving for academic scholarships, and out-of state parents aren’t that excited about sending their kids to a big-time football factory, particularly without some serious tuition discounting.

6. Academic Area in Focus – Institute for Health and the Built Environment: Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, Associate Professor of Architecture

7. Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact – Report: Bob Guldberg, Vice President and Executive Director of the Knight Campus

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2 Responses to Tuesday, December 4, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. Board Meeting

  1. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Some related comments under UOM post of Dec. 2.

    The graphic is sobering. Maybe the dip after the big runup from about 1999-2011 is to be expected. But look at it this way. 2011-12 was when UO was flush — you don’t remember? — and it has been downhill since, with a sizeable drop in nonres students this year, with their nonres tuition. Forecasts of a big deficit in the UO budget coming, what with sharply higher PERS costs. And that is probably not factoring in a recession, which I think is likely by 2021, in which case the state budget will be hurting to pay social welfare costs, which means higher ed gets hammered, as it always does in such circumstances. I find it very hard to imagine private money making up the gap. The planned increases in enrollment? I think they are dreaming.

    So, it must really put the people in Johnson Hall on edge. I wonder if the UO “business model” is entering into a situation of being fundamentally broken. Of course, you could say it has been broken forever. But things might be the worst since the early 1990’s, when Myles Brand felt forced to preside over a contraction of UO.

    Sorry to sound so gloomy, my friends in and out of Johnson Hall, but that’s the way it looks.

    If there is any leadership coming from the Board, I am not aware of it. I hope Schill is ready.

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    • eugenenative says:

      Maybe the time has come to liquidate some of the gold-plated athletic assets for the good of the University?

      Just a thought

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