PSU President Shoureshi runs afoul of Oregon transparency law

Even a half-competent university general counsel knows how to use Oregon’s anemic public records law to help his president hide public records from the public. Trust me on this.

The fact that PSU’s general counsel is not willing to do that for President Rahmat Shoureshi means Shoureshi’s days are numbered.  Jeff Manning has the latest in the Oregonian, here.

Pres Schill to hold confidential internal search for new Provost

Dear University of Oregon campus community,

In the weeks since Provost Jayanth Banavar announced his intention to step down on July 1, I have personally consulted with dozens of faculty members and administrators on how to proceed in the coming months. In addition, I have engaged in dialogue with groups such as the Faculty Advisory Council, Senate Executive Committee, Deans Council, and Academic Council. I am grateful for all of the advice I received.

We are at a critical time as it relates to our academic mission, a time that requires robust leadership from a provost. This fall, we will open Tykeson Hall and need to ensure that the resources put towards student success bear fruit. Similarly, the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact is set to open next year and much needs to be done to hire faculty, create new programs, and develop meaningful and effective connections to our schools and colleges. Similarly, our nascent data science program needs support from the provost, both to hire faculty members in departments across the campus and ensure cross-disciplinary collaboration. In addition, the provost and the vice president for research and innovation are working with dozens of faculty members to fashion a campuswide academic initiative on resiliency and the environment. We will also begin searching for two new deans this fall (College of Arts and Sciences and College of Design), and having a permanent provost likely will be highly relevant to candidates.

Sustained leadership from the provost will also be required to successfully negotiate bargaining agreements with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation and United Academics this summer and in fall. Finally, despite the fact that the recently announced budget reductions for most academic units were modest, some schools/colleges and the museums will need help in adapting to them.

Virtually all of the people and stakeholder groups I spoke with were concerned that a long, drawn out search for the provost commencing next fall would impede or slow our progress in moving each of these initiatives forward. The challenge of seeing these efforts through to timely completion would be exacerbated if we hired someone from outside our university, since a national search could take more than a year and then a new leader would require six months or more to get up to speed.

A secondary observation expressed by some was that, over the past four years, we have repeatedly hired academic administrators from other universities, and that the time is ripe to grow and promote academic talent from within. Finally, some mentioned that the substantial cost of an external search for the provost, which could exceed $200,000, seems out of place when we are cutting budgets, raising tuition, and considering workforce reductions.

While I have generally favored external, national searches in the past for top academic and administrative positions, I am convinced that we do not have the luxury of time, and need to act swiftly. I have decided to commence an internal search for a provost immediately, with a goal of identifying a new provost from among our own ranks by the time Provost Banavar steps down. I have asked incoming Senate President and Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Skowron and Professor of Geography Alec Murphy to co-chair the search committee. The committee will be comprised of members who hold a tenure-related or career-faculty appointment (TTF or NTTF) at the UO, with the exception of one member who will be an officer of administration selected from the provost’s portfolio. Over the next few days, we will consult with Senate leaders to recruit two senators to the committee.

This will be a confidential search, though we will provide multiple opportunities for finalists to be interviewed by a variety of campus constituencies. I will ask the search committee to provide me with a report on each finalist’s strengths and weaknesses, and after reviewing feedback from the community, I hope to announce a decision in mid-June. If it turns out that we are unsuccessful in this effort, we will begin a national search in the fall.

I would very much like to encourage anyone who is interested to consider throwing their hat in the ring. We will launch a search website shortly, which will feature the job description and qualifications. A letter of interest and CV should be submitted to search@uoregon.edu no later than midnight on Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

I would like to thank everyone for giving me the benefit of their wisdom on how we should proceed with the provost search. And, I offer a special thanks to Elizabeth and Alec for taking on this responsibility.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

 

University to redirect Museum funds to Frohnmayer’s Steam Plant?

The RG’s Christian Hill has the story on the $26M redo of the EWEB steam plant, here:

… With a mix of commercial debt, equity from investors and tax credits, the team estimates a $4.1 million funding gap and likely would seek public dollars for the project…

A project like this needs some tenant guarantees to lock in funding, and it appears developer Mark Frohnmayer has found one:

Naturally there’s a tie-in to the UO Foundation’s tax-payer subsidized IAAF 2021 championships as well.

Senate to meet Wed 4/24 to discuss and vote on academic matters

DRAFT.

Location: EMU 145 & 146 (Crater Lake rooms)
3:00 – 5:00 P.M.

All times are estimates.

3:00 P.M.   Call to order

  • University update; Provost Banavar
  • Introductory Remarks; Senate Pres Harbaugh
  • Senate committee review report; Senate VP Skowron

3:30 PM   Approval of Minutes

3:31 PM     Business/ Reports:

4:50 PM   Open Discussion
4:51 PM   Other Reports

  • Legislative update; Robert Garral (OtP)

4:58 PM   Notice(s) of Motion

  • Core Ed Distribution Requirements; Senator Chris Sinclair

4:59 PM   Other Business
5:00 PM   Adjourn to Faculty Club, all invited!

UO not very transparent about Pres Schill’s budget cut proposal

RG reporter Jordyn Brown has the story here:

…  Additionally, UO refused requests for interviews with representatives of the Oregon Bach Festival, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Labor Education and Research Center about the budget cuts. …

This is what we pay UO’s Chief Strategic Communicator Kyle Henley $243K for? Telling UO employees not to talk to reporters? He was surprised they had questions? I suppose it’s a communication strategy, but it seems a bit overpriced:

Tobin Klinger – apparently still on the UO payroll – could do more at 1/2 the cost:

 

Poli Sci Prof Dan Tichenor asks for LERC support signatures

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to ask that you join me in signing a petition in support of the UO´s crucial Labor Education and Research Center.  Many of you are longtime friends and supporters of LERC; others have collaborated with LERC faculty and know how the UO benefits from having a Labor Center among its departments. For those of you who don’t know LERC well, please see the attached fact sheet for more information about its vital contributions.

In the current round of proposed budget cuts, LERC has been targeted for a large and disproportionate cut.  The UO is proposing a 68% cut in its funding for LERC – an amount that could eliminate half the department’s faculty.

It’s possible that cuts will be made across the campus.  But I hope you´ll agree that LERC should not be cut more than other departments.  That´s the essence of
this petition – asking the UO to guarantee that LERC´s sacrifice will be in proportion to that of other departments that make up the University´s core mission. As a longtime supporter of the labor center, I can attest that both the university and community benefit from its activities.

Please join me in voicing support for LERC by adding your name to the petition here: https://www.savelerc.com/faculty_staff_petition.

Thanks!

Dan Tichenor
Professor of Political Science

Budget cut Town Hall 2PM April 22, EMU Gumwood room

Update: RG photographer Chris Pietsch has taken many wonderful photos over the years and he is one of the reasons we still subscribe. And this may be his best:

Story here.

A little lite live-blogging. Usual disclaimer: Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. 

Two TV cameras, about 200 town hallers.

Intro from Provost Banavar, followed by a long explanation of UO’s revenue and cost problems from VPFA Moffitt. Neither looks particularly thrilled to be stuck with the job of explaining Pres Schill’s budget cuts.

In response to a bond Q and followup, Moffitt says the academic side is still paying $500,000 a year in debt service for a portion of the Knight Arena land.

Student question on Pres Schill’s salary and recent raise.

Q’s on why they are cutting LERC to the bone, while top administrator salaries continue to grow. A: Trying to protect schools and colleges. About impact. Student follows up with how impact was measured. A: Well known research. It’s kind of obvious. Plus Mike told us to protect advising and student success (and athletics and police). Q: No metrics? A: Brad or Scott can you answer, if you are here? Scott Pratt: Can’t talk about the metrics. We were looking at things that provided direct instruction.

Q: Why didn’t you look at cutting executive salaries? A: Supply and demand.

Q: Can we get a breakdown of salary costs by administrative units? What cuts is athletics going to face to do their share? A: We choose not to.

Q: Any potential growth in potentially lucrative on-line learning? Answer from AVP for online: Paraphrasing the answer: that’s really unlikely. particularly in the short term.”

Q: How can Mike Schill expect the legislature to give UO more money for tuition when UO goes to them year after year for money for athletics, Knight Campus, IAAF, etc. A: It’s politics.

Student Q: Why do I have to pay for Jaqua Center (aka Jock Box) when I can’t use it?

Q from Ed Davis (MNCH): Are you lobbying to increase state appropriations for units like Museums, LERC, Bach? A: Not really. Do try to protect them from cuts.

Q: Why has the university failed to recruit enough out-of-state students to offset the decline in international students. A: We tried. Apparently the $160K we blew on 3D googles wasn’t such a great idea. Who would have guessed.

Q from classified: Why do these budget crises always come up during contract negotiations? A: Timing and PERS. SEIU bargaining happens at same time we are trying to finalize state appropriations.

Update:  Budget cut Town Hall 2PM April 22, EMU Gumwood room

VPFA Jamie Moffitt will be there to explain why UO is not asking the Duck athletic department to share the pain.

4/21/2019: Provost Banavar signs Register Guard op-ed on museum cuts

I wonder who really wrote this? Obviously President Schill is making the decisions on budget cuts – not Provost Banavar, who has already announced that he will be stepping down on July 1. The takeaway? Johnson Hall believes that Duck sports are more important than arts, culture, and Oregon’s natural history.

The UO Senate will take up a resolution against these cuts at its Wednesday meeting. Page down for that resolution, which, unlike the JH op-ed actually quotes from UO’s mission statement, and makes clear that General Fund dollars are not all tuition dollars. Page further down for a recent news report on UO’s subsidies for the Ducks, and for some data on coaches salaries.

Also see the related Bob Keefer report in the EW here, and information on the official “Requiem for Transparency Town Hall”, on these cuts, 2PM Monday in the EMU Gumwood Room, here,

Here’s the Johnson Hall op-ed from the RG:

The University of Oregon has long provided educational and cultural programs to Eugene, Lane County and the state of Oregon through the Oregon Bach Festival, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

Our firm belief in the value of these programs and commitment to community service remains steadfast, but persistent disinvestment in higher education by the state of Oregon — combined with a multi-year drop in international enrollment and rising labor, retirement and health care costs — is putting incredible pressures on the university’s budget and requires a re-evaluation of how we support these cultural resources.

UO President Michael H. Schill recently announced $11.6 million in campus-wide budget reductions. This round of trimming is forcing the UO to focus on our core teaching and research mission, and to prioritize things such as scholarships for Oregon students, advising and tutoring programs, career faculty and campus safety.

Of this $11.6 million, $8.9 million rests within my office, the Office of the Provost, which includes the schools, colleges and units such as undergraduate education, information services, global engagement and cultural programs. I have had to engage in a very serious analysis of how much each specific unit in my portfolio should be reduced.

Last week, I let leaders of the OBF, JSMA and MNCH know that they would take reductions in their general fund support of $250,000, $314,000 and $225,000 respectively over the next two years. The OBF, JSMA and MNCH will experience larger relative budget reductions than most of the rest of campus to ensure that tuition dollars and state funding go primarily toward our teaching and research mission and impact students’ ability to succeed in the classroom.

The OBF and the museums are an important part of the university — vital to our faculty and key components of a liberal arts education — so we will continue to provide each significant general fund support. We also recognize that each of these cultural programs has a deep and committed pool of patrons, and to the extent possible, we will work to offset budget reductions with additional fundraising efforts and develop new ideas to earn revenue.

People often see construction cranes on campus, hear about contract extensions for coaches or new academic initiatives and think budget reductions are unnecessary or that administrators in Johnson Hall are being disingenuous about the budget situation. This is simply not the case.

First, we are very fortunate that the UO’s athletics department is one of the few in the nation that receives very little tuition or state funding. Athletics must live within its means — which includes revenue from ticket sales, media rights, philanthropy etc. — even as it faces the similar labor, pension and health care expenses as the rest of campus. We cannot tap athletics to offset budget reductions within our educational enterprise. [UOM: Why not? Why does President Schill allow the Ducks to continue to take from the General Fund, and allow their budget to continue to grow while the university’s academic budget is cut?]

Second, the vast majority of construction projects and programmatic investments we are making across campus are the result of dedicated donor gifts, specific state capital allocations or auxiliary funding sources such as student-paid fees. In most cases, such dollars cannot legally or contractually be diverted, and these projects and investments — which involve few to no general fund dollars — are the very thing that will keep the UO on a path toward excellence even as it wrestles with the volatility of state funding and international enrollment.

Budget cuts are never easy, and we don’t take these decisions lightly, but we have an obligation to Oregon’s students and families to allocate reductions in relative alignment with our mission. The simple reality is that we cannot continue to use undergraduate tuition dollars to fund the OBF, JSMA and MNCH at the levels we have in the past and must find new revenue streams to secure their long-term financial health.

As President Schill has said, these reductions are difficult but not insurmountable for the UO. That is certainly true for our cultural outreach programs as well, and I hope you will join me in the search for new ways to sustain and support these community resources that we all cherish.

Jayanth Banavar is provost, senior vice president and a professor of physics at the University of Oregon.

The Senate Resolution is here:

US18/19-16: SUPPORTING THE OTHER ACADEMIC UNITS AND REQUESTING MORE EQUITABLE EXPENDITURE REDUCTIONS

Date of Notice: April 18, 2019
Current Status: Notice Given
Motion Type: Resolution
Sponsor: Ed Davis, Senator

Section I

1.1  WHEREAS the University of Oregon’s mission statement says that it strives for, “… the generation, dissemination, preservation, and application of knowledge”; and

1.2  WHEREAS the Values enumerated in the mission statement include, “We value the unique geography, history and culture of Oregon that shapes our identity and spirit,” and, “We value our shared charge to steward resources sustainably and responsibly”; and

1.3  WHEREAS the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art are both accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, reflecting the uniformly high quality of their curatorial practices, collections-based research, and public-facing outreach programs, placing them in the highest ranks of museums in the United States; and

1.4  WHEREAS the exhibits and collections at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art are used by faculty in allied units in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Design for both undergraduate education and original research; and

1.5  WHEREAS the Museum of Natural and Cultural History is the designated repository for anthropological and fossil collections in the state of Oregon and was recognized with a National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2018; and

1.6  WHEREAS the Labor Education and Research Center has, for the last 42 years, strived to improve the lives of Oregon’s workers, their families, and their communities through integrated education, research, and public service that supports a strong, inclusive union movement; and

1.7  WHEREAS the Oregon Bach Festival has, for almost half a century, presented masterworks of J.S. Bach and composers inspired by his work to audiences in Eugene and across Oregon, offering educational opportunities, children and family programming, and community events, while supporting the academic mission of the School of Music and Dance; and

1.8  WHEREAS the University of Oregon must balance its budget through $11.6 million in expenditure reductions, but has chosen to reduce the budgets of these units by a combined $1.2 million, or 10% of the total of the University’s expenditure reduction, averaging out to 23% of the overall budgets of each of these units (including both UO funds and state allocations); and

1.9  WHEREAS the budget reductions of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art will be 15.1%, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History will be 16.6%, the Oregon Bach Festival will be 24.4%, and the Labor Education and Research Center will be 45% of each of their overall budgets. [UOM: should probably say “general fund budgets”.]

Section II

2.1  THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate of the University of Oregon affirms the intrinsic value of the academic work of these units, recognizing that their work in preserving and educating Oregonians in the unique geography, history, and culture of Oregon is central to the University’s mission,

2.1  BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the disproportionate cuts to these units that serve to generate, disseminate, preserve, and apply knowledge of Oregon’s labor relations, arts, cultural history, and evolutionary and geological history, do not reflect an appropriate stewardship of those resources sustainably and responsibly. Consequently, we, the Senate, request that the University of Oregon rethink its plan for expenditure reductions to distribute them more equitably across all units.

A recent report in Oregon Business by Caleb Diehl gives a pretty comprehensive review of the $5m in subsidies from UO’s academic budget to the Duck athletic empire, here. Some snippets:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a nonprofit that regulates college sports in the U.S., oversees a $13 billion college sports industry powered mostly by its premier league, Division I. The University of Oregon and Oregon State make millions off lucrative TV contracts, ticket sales and apparel deals. The 2018 budget for the University of Oregon athletic department, fueled almost entirely by men’s football and basketball, was $113.2 million.

The large amounts of revenue generated by college athletics stand in contrast to the frugality of academic departments at Oregon’s public universities, which decry the continual decline in state funding for tuition. In an era of record student loan debt and escalating tuition fees, academic departments are trimming costs wherever they can. But athletic departments continue to spend freely and even accept money from academia that could fund academic programs. Oregon Business examined their budgets and contracts, received through public-records requests. …

The University of Oregon athletics department reports to the NCAA that it doesn’t get any funding from student fees. But in fact, the department’s critics say students pay athletics a combined $5 million a year at the very least.

The university does not publicly acknowledge these subsidies, leading to what Kenny Jacoby, an alum who covered athletics spending for the online student news site, Daily Emerald, calls “the greater myth of self-sufficiency.” The department shows a balanced budget, he says, but “a lot of this stuff at UO is spelled out in building contracts, memoranda of understanding, ASUO [student and faculty government] financial arrangements.”

One of these financial arrangements governs revenue from ticket sales. All students chip in to watch sports, whether they’re fans or not. In 2017 the student government paid $1.7 million for tickets to games. The amount is specified each year in a contract between athletics and the school senate, a governing body representing the interests of students and faculty. The money comes out of the student government budget, funded by part of a mandatory $250 student fee.

The academic budget also pays around $2.2 million (as of 2014-15) for student-athlete tutoring. This service comes at a much higher cost than tutoring for nonathletes. Athletes get their tutoring inside a $41.7 million modernist cube called the John E. Jaqua Center. The university drops $4,000 a year on academic support for each athlete, according to a 2014 University of Oregon senate estimate. Nonathletes get $225 each.

The academic side also remains on the hook for athletics subsidies it agreed to in a 2009 memorandum of understanding that then-president Dave Frohnmayer signed with the athletic department. Nike founder Phil Knight donated a portion of the funds for the Matthew Knight Arena, a new basketball stadium, but the university paid $22.2 million using tax-exempt general obligation bonds for the land.

The athletic department couldn’t pay all of the debt service on the land and facility, so they turned to academics. Consequently, roughly half a million dollars comes out of the academic budget each year for a quarter of the debt service on the bonds. Another $375,000 a year pays for luxury box seats for the university president, and more goes to debt on an underground parking garage.

And here is some data on how much UO pays the Duck coaches:

[coming soon]

Tuition & fee board met Friday 10:30-12 to discuss athletics cuts

Just kidding, they’re actually talking about cuts to museums, OA’s and staff, and increasing in-state tuition. There is no sign that the Rob Mullens and the Ducks will even be asked to cut their bloated budget or the subsidies they take from the academic side. This recent report in Oregon Business, by Caleb Diehl, has an excellent story on the subsidies UO’s academic budget gives the Duck Athletic empire, here. Some snippets:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a nonprofit that regulates college sports in the U.S., oversees a $13 billion college sports industry powered mostly by its premier league, Division I. The University of Oregon and Oregon State make millions off lucrative TV contracts, ticket sales and apparel deals. The 2018 budget for the University of Oregon athletic department, fueled almost entirely by men’s football and basketball, was $113.2 million.

The large amounts of revenue generated by college athletics stand in contrast to the frugality of academic departments at Oregon’s public universities, which decry the continual decline in state funding for tuition. In an era of record student loan debt and escalating tuition fees, academic departments are trimming costs wherever they can. But athletic departments continue to spend freely and even accept money from academia that could fund academic programs. Oregon Business examined their budgets and contracts, received through public-records requests.

The University of Oregon athletics department reports to the NCAA that it doesn’t get any funding from student fees. But in fact, the department’s critics say students pay athletics a combined $5 million a year at the very least.

The university does not publicly acknowledge these subsidies, leading to what Kenny Jacoby, an alum who covered athletics spending for the online student news site, Daily Emerald, calls “the greater myth of self-sufficiency.” The department shows a balanced budget, he says, but “a lot of this stuff at UO is spelled out in building contracts, memoranda of understanding, ASUO [student and faculty government] financial arrangements.”

One of these financial arrangements governs revenue from ticket sales. All students chip in to watch sports, whether they’re fans or not. In 2017 the student government paid $1.7 million for tickets to games. The amount is specified each year in a contract between athletics and the school senate, a governing body representing the interests of students and faculty. The money comes out of the student government budget, funded by part of a mandatory $250 student fee.

The academic budget also pays around $2.2 million (as of 2014-15) for student-athlete tutoring. This service comes at a much higher cost than tutoring for nonathletes. Athletes get their tutoring inside a $41.7 million modernist cube called the John E. Jaqua Center. The university drops $4,000 a year on academic support for each athlete, according to a 2014 University of Oregon senate estimate. Nonathletes get $225 each.

The academic side also remains on the hook for athletics subsidies it agreed to in a 2009 memorandum of understanding that then-president Dave Frohnmayer signed with the athletic department. Nike founder Phil Knight donated a portion of the funds for the Matthew Knight Arena, a new basketball stadium, but the university paid $22.2 million using tax-exempt general obligation bonds for the land.

The athletic department couldn’t pay all of the debt service on the land and facility, so they turned to academics. Consequently, roughly half a million dollars comes out of the academic budget each year for a quarter of the debt service on the bonds. Another $375,000 a year pays for luxury box seats for the university president, and more goes to debt on an underground parking garage.

But since the Holy Duck Empire subsidies won’t be cut, here are some potential increases to in-state undergrad tuition, from VP Moffitt. They range from 5% to 22.5%:

Arts on the Chopping Block

Bob Keefer has the story in the Eugene Weekly, here. Some snippets:

The University of Oregon plans to solve its budget crisis by cutting money for the arts and culture.

That’s the message conveyed by a series of major budget cuts quietly proposed for the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

… The university needs to cut its overall budget by $11.6 because of falling enrollment and other revenue losses, UO President Michael Schill has said.

Despite the university’s culture of secrecy, word of the arts cuts — which had not been publicly announced — leaked out when former Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy posted the news on Facebook April 10.

Apparently on orders from above, arts administrators declined to talk about the cuts to Eugene Weekly, referring questions to Molly Blancett, the university’s interim spokesperson. …

Why isn’t UO cutting subsidies for Duck sports instead?

Coach Altman: We will never pay players. Judge: Orders $6k payments to 53K “student-athlete” victims of NCAA antitrust violations

Dana Altman, from CBS sports:

Steve Berkowitz, from USA Today:

The plaintiffs’ lawyers have developed a list of roughly 53,000 football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball players who are set to get some share of the settlement money, according to Wednesday’s ruling. Those who played their sport for four years will get an average of about $6,000 apiece, the ruling said.

With his latest raise Dana Altman is paid roughly 600 times that much, per year: http://uomatters.com/2019/03/new-contract-for-dana-altman-will-not-play-well-in-salem.html Additional lawsuits brought by players against the NCAA cartel continue.

Tree-sitting global warming protest sure to boost UO’s enrollment yield

The last survey I was allowed to see showed that UO students listed our reputation for environmental studies and activism as a bigger part of their enrollment decision than the ~$120M Duck athletic empire. So with freshman tuition deposits due May 1, this protest couldn’t have come at a better time. Reporter Michael Tobin has an excellent story in the Emerald, here.

Rumor down at the faculty club is that VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson plans to spend a few nights up on the platform, during breaks from his busy recruiting travel schedule.

Some data on west of campus crime trends, relevant to budget crisis

President Schill has decided to protect the UOPD from his budget cuts, arguing that as the Eugene PD tries to clean up downtown the “bad actors” are moving closer to campus and our students need protection. But the data (limited) shows a 21% decrease in reported incidents since 2016. If you start in 2016 there is no clear trend for serious crime reports. If you start in 2017 they have also decreased, by 38%.

From: Senate President [mailto:senatepres@uoregon.edu
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 10:11 PM
To: Mike H Schill <mschill@uoregon.edu>; Matthew Carmichael <mecarmic@uoregon.edu>
Subject: crime wave data
 
Dear President Schill and Chief Carmichael – 
 
Having now heard several administrators repeat President Schill’s statements about a west campus crime wave, I started to wonder if there was any actual data on this. 
 
As it happens the EPD website allows for rudimentary searches of their dispatch log, at http://coeapps.eugene-or.gov/EPDDispatchLog/Search
 
Because the EPD webpage requires a street name, I focused on incidents with an address that included E 13th Ave, since this seems to be where the “bad actors” like to hang out. I searched for incidents reported from January 1 to March 19th for the years 2016 – 2019. The files are attached. They include everything from the trivial on up, so in addition to total incidents I looked for thefts and assaults. I found:
 
2016: 190 incidents, 11 thefts, 4 assaults
2017: 198 incidents, 11 thefts, 11 assaults
2018: 163 incidents, 11 thefts, 5 assaults
2019: 149 incidents, 15 thefts, 0 assaults
 
Obviously these data are limited, but they don’t seem consistent with a crime wave. If you have any additional data regarding trends in west campus crime I’d appreciate it if you’d share that with me.  
 
Thanks,
 
Bill Harbaugh
UO Senate Pres, Econ Prof

Chief Carmichael’s response is posted on the Senate website. He does not dispute the data above showing what could arguably be called a decrease. He does not provide any time-series data at all. This is weird, because this sort of data analysis has been the hallmark of good policing since maps with pins, and then the 1990’s CompStat.