UO crime wave?

As President Schill considers where to cut, one obvious place is the UOPD budget. While UO has its problems, a crime wave is not one of them. The most easily accessible data I can find is here, and it shows a continuing decline in violent crime, and no increase in property crime or quality of life crime in the areas surrounding the UO campus (the initial spike is from when reporting started.)

Pres holds budget crisis Town Hall, asks faculty & OA’s to take pay cuts

That would be former President Dave Frohnmayer, in April 2009. The previous year Frohnmayer had negotiated a $150K raise for himself, and at the time of this public meeting he was negotiating a golden parachute retirement contract that  included a paid sabbatical which he used to restart his legal career at the Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick law firm.

Highlights include former Interim Provost Jim Bean lying about how UO’s administrative costs were 38% of our peers, and the news that given the crisis the athletic department would contribute $100K to help the library buy books. Rob Mullens soon put an end to that.

Frohnmayer and his stooges endured many sceptical questions from the staff, OA’s, and some faculty. Other faculty took this as an opportunity to indulge in some administrative brown-nosing. Watch it all:

Pres Schill on Addressing Budget Challenges – What should we cut?

Pres Schill’s email sent 12:42 PM 3/5/2019

Dear University of Oregon campus community:

Over the last few months, we have communicated with a wide variety of campus stakeholders to let them know that the University of Oregon is going into a difficult budget cycle. Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt has given many presentations articulating the increasing expenses that are putting pressure on our FY 2019–20 budget. We have been clear that without additional state support—a requested $120 million for all of Oregon’s public universities—we will be unable to hold resident undergraduate tuition increases at or below 5 percent and would likely be forced to look at budget cuts.

While I hope that the legislature will provide public universities in the state with the funds we requested, it is now evident that, even if the state does fulfill the request, we will need to reduce expenditures over the next two years. In addition to rising costs attributable to personnel, PERS, and health care, we are experiencing the full impact of a substantial reduction in international student enrollment. The UO enrolled large classes of students from abroad as recently as the 2015–16 academic year. Since that time, however, like many other American universities, the numbers have begun to fall off. Over the last three years, international enrollment has dropped by almost 1,000 students, representing more than $32 million in recurring tuition revenue. This decline should stabilize over the next few years as revenues slowly increase from our domestic enrollment growth initiatives.

As a result, unfortunately, we will need to reduce annual operating costs by between $10 and $11 million. While some of these reductions can be implemented immediately, some will take more than one year. Vice President Moffitt, Provost Jayanth Banavar, and I will spend the coming weeks seeking additional advice and input from campus stakeholders about how to manage this situation without eroding the tremendous progress we have made in many areas across campus over the past few years. We also want, as much as is possible, to protect programs and services that are vital to our core academic and research mission. It is my intention to come back to all of you in less than a month with a more detailed plan about how we will move forward.

Given that almost 80 percent of the UO’s general-education budget comprises salaries, the reality is that any cost-reduction efforts will affect jobs and people. I recognize that this news will cause anxiety among many in our campus community, but I believe it is important to be transparent about what lies ahead. I can assure you that we will look at every available option to mitigate the human impact of budget cuts on our campus community.

Finally, I want to address what can sometimes feel like an incongruent narrative that exists as we contemplate budget cuts at the same time that we have construction cranes busy all over campus helping to build Tykeson Hall, the Knight Campus, Hayward Field, and an addition to our student health center. The vast majority of construction projects and programmatic investments we are making across campus are the result of targeted donor gifts, specific state capital allocations, or auxiliary funding sources. The reality is that these projects and investments—which generally involve little to no general fund dollars—are the very thing that will keep the UO on a path toward excellence even as we wrestle with the volatility of state funding and international enrollment.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the UO. By working together, we will be able to weather the challenges that are ahead of us.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Please add your suggestions on what to cut in the comments. Here are some sources for information:

Staffing levels: https://ir.uoregon.edu/faculty_employees, e.g.:

UO employees can log into duckweb, go to Employee Information, Financial Transparency Reporting, and wade through reports like this:

And for info on how much the academic side is subsidizing athletics, see here.

Live: Full BOT meeting, 10AM EMU Redwood room

TUESDAY, MARCH 5 – 10:00 A.M.: CONVENE PUBLIC MEETING
– Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum – Approval of December 2018 minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

– Public comment

Community Member David Igl asks why there are still no interpretative materials posted at Deady Hall, and provides his usual claims that the 1920’s KKK was not, at its inception, a racist organization. I’ve responded to this before, at http://uomatters.com/2016/09/professor-frederick-dunn-was-not-tricked-into-joining-the-kkk.html.

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports
-ASUO President Maria Gallegos

Calls for an advisory board to develop a holistic plan for UO tuition and growth. In an admirable first for the ASUO, rather than complain about the tuition increases, Gallegos proposes working with the administration and faculty and donors to increase scholarships, and with the legislature to increase state funding.

Gallegos reports that as she meets with the legislature, she finds that even local legislators do not trust the UO administration or the board to make sure that any new state funding will actually go to students.

-University Senate President Bill Harbaugh

The usual drivel from Harbaugh, who sold out to the administration for a few course releases and $10K here and there, about how we should all work together in harmony to improve UO.

2. President’s Report

Apparently Roger Thompson reports that interest from prospective students is at an all time high. Sure. There will be cuts, about $10-$12M.

Pres Schill opposes legislation to disarm campus police. Making efforts to bolster humanities, using part of the $50M unrestricted gift he brought in. Knight Campus and cooperation with OHSU going well. Thanks the staff who worked to get UO through the snowstorm, keeping students fed and warm etc.

3. Tuition and Mandatory Fees (does not include resident, undergraduate tuition) (Action): Michael Schill, President; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO; Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life

Out of state tuition to rise by $990 because $1000 looks bad
From a 02/04/2019 post

You can’t make this stuff up. Zack Demars has the story in the Daily Emerald on the “deliberations” of the Tuition Fee Advisory Board, here:

… One of the major considerations by the board was public perception: The board settled on 2.97 percent to keep the advertised increase slightly below $1,000 per year so as not to deter potential new students, who are needed to increase the tuition-paying population.

The proposal, which only impacts out-of-state undergraduate students, would increase the cost of a single credit by $22 next academic year. For a full-time student taking 15 credits a term, that shakes out to an increase of $990 a year, an increase slightly larger than last year’s 2.49 percent nonresident increase.

TFAB will consider and propose changes to resident tuition in the spring, after more data is available about how much the state legislature will contribute to the university, which of two revenue proposals the state will approve and how many new students enroll next year. …

Since I try to avoid meetings where the decision has already been made behind closed doors, I skipped this. But there appears to have been no discussion of price elasticities, discount rates, differential tuition, or what the point is in spending money on out-of-state marketing, branding, recruiters, and subsidizing Rob Mullens’s big-time athletic enterprise if our tuition setting process boils down to this.

And since it apparently does, why not go to $999? That extra $9 would bring in about $90K, recurring – enough to pay for half a brander.

The most recent estimate I’ve seen for the elasticity of demand for out-of-state students is 0.5. So increasing tuition 10% would decrease the number of students 5%, and increase revenue. But instead the university is going to give non-resident students a break, then come back and balance the budget by increasing in-state tuition.

More:

7% increase for law school tuition, which still can’t balance its books, much less repay the ~$10M subsidy Jamie Moffitt gave to former dean Michael Moffitt.

Board Chair Chuck Lillis – who has lost several ERISA lawsuits for raiding his companies’ retirement funds – gets in a dig in about how the state is making the students pay for PERS. For a more intelligent view of what’s going on with PERS and what to do about it, try here.

Lots more on potential cuts, etc. Pres Schill will send out a memo this afternoon.  Talk about salary/hiring freezes. I’ll post more on this later.

Recess for Lunch: Estimated 12:30-1:30 p.m.

4. Resolutions from Committee (pending March 4 committee action)

4.1 Seconded Motion from ASAC: Student Conduct Code

4.2 Seconded Motion from FFC: Slape Terrace Naming

4.3 Seconded Motion from FFC: ZIRC Renovation Project

5. Academic Area in Focus – Comic Studies: Ben Saunders, Professor of English

Prof Saunders gives a great talk, and it’s pitched at just the right level for our Trustees:

6. The UO’s Economic Impact Report: Tim Duy, Professor of Practice, Economics

Professor Duy has a tough act to follow, but I’m sure the Board will enjoy 45 pages of LaTex, 63 tables, and the cautionary language about not overinterpreting his work:

Meeting Adjourned

Rob Mullens paid $2.5M to get rid of Leavitt, will pay Andy Avalos $2.45M

3/5/2019 update: As Milton Friedman often said, it sure is easy for Rob Mullens to spend the University of Oregon’s money. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a contract that pays an employee 70% of a year’s salary if they voluntarily quit. WTF? Reporter Gabriel Ornelas has the story in the Daily Emerald:

2/14/2019:  The RG’s Ryan Thorburn has the Leavitt story here.

Meanwhile UO is considering layoffs for underpaid NTTF.

UO Board thinks UO Board is doing well, but public comments are uncivilized

UO’s federal accreditors, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, requires that every university board

“regularly evaluates its performance to ensure its duties and responsibilities are fulfilled in an effective and efficient manner.”

When I requested copies of these evaluations for our Board, I imagined I’d get some sort of substantial performance review, with input from stakeholders referencing the Board’s charge and its successes and failures on issues such as state funding, tuition increases, fundraising, finances, fiduciary oversight,  etc.

Silly me. Our board’s evaluations are just surveys of the board itself, conducted by the BOT Secretary Angela Wilhelms. No outside input at all. I had to make a public records request just to find out if they were even doing them. Full docs for 2015 and 2017 here, snippets below. Our Trustees are particularly unhappy with the uncivilized and disrespectful public comments they must listen too – and in all fairness some have been pretty out there:

     

 

 

 

Majority of all racial/ethnic/political groups now oppose using race in admissions

From InsideHigherEd, here.

UO uses a “holistic admissions” policy which includes race/ethnicity as a factor. It’s a bit surprising to see how little support this has outside academia:

Here’s what people think should matter:

And I was surprised to learn that our use of race/ethnicity is unusual. According to a survey of college admissions practices, here, only about a third of colleges report considering race/ethnicity:

Live: BOT Finance and Facilities Committee

Board of Trustees | Finance and Facilities Committee
Public Meeting | March 4, 2019 @ 1:30 p.m.
Erb Memorial Union | Redwood Auditorium
Convene – Call to order, roll call – Approval of December 2018 FFC minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

1. Quarterly Financial Reports: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

Last quarter, projected $5.5M deficit for Education and General Fund. Things are now a bit worse:

Fortunately there’s plenty of money in the athletics budget. Here’s a new chart. I can only imagine why this is not broken out by instructional / non-instructional employees:

UO’s budget problem is simple: not enough students:

No questions from the Trustees. Seriously. The members of the BOT Finance Committee have no questions about UO’s finances. Great.

2. Tykeson Hall Terrace Naming Proposal – Slape Terrace (Action): Bruce Blonigen, Interim Tykeson Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

I’m thinking this is not going to be controversial, and it’s not. Approved.

3. Quarterly Audit Report and Update on Research Audit Management Plan Update: Trisha Burnett, Internal Auditor; Cass Moseley, Sr. Assoc. Vice President and Chief of Staff, Research and Innovation

There’s a brief discussion with Cass Moseley about problems in Research and Sponsored Services. Pres Schill assures the committee he’s taking this seriously.

4. Capital Construction Project – ZIRC (Action): Cass Moseley, Chief of Staff and Sr. Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation

We must have more zebrafish. $8M in NIH money. Action this day. Approved.

Adjourn to secret Johnson Hall meeting about what to do about the GTFFers.

Live: BOT Academic and Student Affairs Committee

The Trustees have moved their meetings from the Ford Alumni Center to the EMU Redwood room. Board Chair Chuck Lillis is absent, caught in a Denver snow storm.

Board of Trustees | Academic and Student Affairs Committee
Public Meeting | March 4, 2019 @ 10:00 a.m.
Erb Memorial Union | Redwood Auditorium
Convene – Call to order, roll call – Approval of December 2018 minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

Provost’s Quarterly Report

I missed most of it, but I’ve been assured by a generally reliable source that Provost Banavar delivered an excellent report.

1. Data Science Initiative Update: Bill Cresko, DSI Director and Professor of Biology

Cresko gives an excellent talk, w/out powerpoint! Ends on how to get UO’s undergrad programs in this area up to speed quickly.

2. Student Conduct Code: Proposed Change and Update Regarding 2018 Changes (Action): Kris Winter, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students; Katy Larkin, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

During its Delegation of Authority powergrab, the Board took over authority for the Student Conduct Code. I’m not sure why, but now they have to approve any changes. There are three this time. First is a minor one:

Next is a more significant and controversial one – adding criminal violations to the SSC. This came up last year, and the Student Conduct Committee was opposed:

and:

I’m a bit confused as to why the committee is not discussing these at this meeting. They did vote to move the notice change to the BOT.

3. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives and Updates: Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion; Victoria DeRose, Associate Vice President and Director, Center on Diversity and Community; Leslie-Anne Pittard, Assistant Vice President for Campus and Community Engagement.

The VPEI’s office has ballooned in size and cost:

and the number of buzzwords in their reports has kept pace. This year they’ve added “resilience”:

and they want to become “strategic partners” with campus units:

Trustee McIntyre asks what the VPEI’s office does for socioeconomic diversity, and whether they have any assessment of their results there, or anywhere. The response is some anecdotes about campus engagement and “Diversity Action Talks”.

 

4. New PhD Program Approval – Ethnic Studies (Action): Laura Pulido, Professor and Department Head; Lynn Fujiwara, Associate Professor

They did a great job presenting this to the Senate las month, who approved it unanimously. The board committee is getting the 3 minute version. They’ll approve it and pass it on to the HECC.

11:30 Meeting Adjourns

Board of Trustees to perform due diligence theatre March 4-5, EMU Redwood

Back in 2013, under pressure from Phil Knight and other Duck boosters, the Oregon Legislature passed SB270, which allowed UO to set its own independent board. The hope was that, free from the shackles of state bureaucracy and control, and with a board of wealthy and politically well connected trustees, UO would thrive.

Things have not worked out well. Tuition is up, undergrad enrollment is down, grad enrollment is flat, the board has failed to persuade the state to increase appropriations, and state support for capital expenditures has been modest except for Knight Campus and the IAAF Championships. Nor has the Board been able to limit state micromanagement of the university’s academic decisions, e.g. with SB160 this year.

Private philanthropy appears to have increased a little, although even with the Knight gift the $2B campaign fell short and had to be extended. In addition, the care and feeding of the Board eats up about $600K a year.

Here’s the board’s schedule for their Monday and Tu meetings. (Note the move from the Ford Alumni Center to the EMU’s Redwood Auditorium.)

The only items of substance on the agenda appear to be rubber-stamping decisions on out-of-state tuition, minor revisions to the Student Conduct Code, a new PhD program, and something about new Zebrafish facilities. And a secret meeting about the labor negotiations with the GTFF.

Board of Trustees | Academic and Student Affairs Committee
Public Meeting | March 4, 2019 @ 10:00 a.m.
Erb Memorial Union | Redwood Auditorium
Convene – Call to order, roll call – Approval of December 2018 minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

Provost’s Quarterly Report

1. Data Science Initiative Update: Bill Cresko, DSI Director and Professor of Biology

2. Student Conduct Code: Proposed Change and Update Regarding 2018 Changes (Action): Kris
Winter, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students; Katy Larkin, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

3. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives and Updates: Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for
Equity and Inclusion; Victoria DeRose, Associate Vice President and Director, Center on Diversity and Community; Leslie-Anne Pittard, Assistant Vice President for Campus and Community Engagement.

4. New PhD Program Approval – Ethnic Studies (Action): Laura Pulido, Professor and Department
Head; Lynn Fujiwara, Associate Professor

Meeting Adjourns

Board of Trustees | Finance and Facilities Committee
Public Meeting | March 4, 2019 @ 1:30 p.m.
Erb Memorial Union | Redwood Auditorium
Convene – Call to order, roll call – Approval of December 2018 FFC minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

1. Quarterly Financial Reports: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

2. Tykeson Hall Terrace Naming Proposal – Slape Terrace (Action): Bruce Blonigen, Interim Tykeson Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

3. Quarterly Audit Report and Update on Research Audit Management Plan Update: Trisha Burnett, Internal Auditor; Cass Moseley, Sr. Assoc. Vice President and Chief of Staff, Research and Innovation

4. Capital Construction Project – ZIRC (Action): Cass Moseley, Chief of Staff and Sr. Associate Vice
President for Research and Innovation

Meeting Adjourns

Board of Trustees
Meeting Agenda | March 4-5, 2019
Erb Memorial Union | Redwood Auditorium
MONDAY, MARCH 4 – 3:00 P.M.: CONVENE EXECUTIVE SESSION

Executive Session re Labor Negotiations
The Board of Trustees will meet in executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(d) for purposes of
conducting deliberations regarding labor negotiations with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. This session is closed to members of the public and the media. The meeting will be called to order and adjourned. No other topics or matters will occur on March 4. Notwithstanding the location listed above, this March 4 executive session will occur in Johnson Hall.

TUESDAY, MARCH 5 – 10:00 A.M.: CONVENE PUBLIC MEETING
– Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum – Approval of December 2018 minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

– Public comment

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports
-ASUO President Maria Gallegos
-University Senate President Bill Harbaugh

2. President’s Report

3. Tuition and Mandatory Fees (does not include resident, undergraduate tuition) (Action):
Michael Schill, President; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO;
Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life
Recess for Lunch: Estimated 12:30-1:30 p.m.

4. Resolutions from Committee (pending March 4 committee action)

4.1 Seconded Motion from ASAC: Student Conduct Code

4.2 Seconded Motion from FFC: Slape Terrace Naming

4.3 Seconded Motion from FFC: ZIRC Renovation Project

5. Academic Area in Focus – Comic Studies: Ben Saunders, Professor of English

6. The UO’s Economic Impact Report: Tim Duy, Professor of Practice, Economics
Meeting Adjourned

UC system cancels $50M deal with Elsevier

The Chronicle has the story here:

… The system, which announced the decision on Thursday, had sought one contract that would cover the cost of subscriptions to Elsevier’s trove of journals in addition to the processing fees that make all UC research published in Elsevier journals freely available to all. The system’s prior five-year contract with Elsevier had cost about $50 million.

An Elsevier spokesman did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

The California system is just the latest to back away from Elsevier. Tight library budgets have made universities reluctant to sign contracts for high-cost bulk subscription packages. Last year, for example, Florida State University said it would not subscribe to the publishing behemoth’s journals in one bulk deal. Instead, it chose to maintain about $1 million in subscriptions. …

 

Faculty Club closed tonight

That’s the news. Unclear how this will affect research metrics. Now official, thanks to an email from the FC’s Chief Strategic Communicator:

Dear Colleagues,

This week the Faculty Club is meeting in an igloo in Hendricks Park, custom-built by a hardy group of volunteers from the Physics Department.  Please dress in layers and mind your step on the icy trails.  Saint Bernards available upon request.

We will resume our regularly scheduled meetings in the club room at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art next week.

Yours, James Harper

Chair of the Faculty Club Board