7/14/2009: I’m no economist, but it’s hard to read the email below without thinking Lariviere has just pulled off a real hat trick with the OUS Board. Even after discounts recent tuition increases have got to bring in about $20 million a year. The cut in state funding seems like it will be no more than $9 million. So is UO in fat city now? Can anyone explain if there’s something wrong with my math?

The following message is forwarded on behalf of Senior Vice President and Provost Jim Bean:

Last Thursday and Friday the State Board of Higher Education met in Portland. As a result, we can share two important new pieces of information. Tuition increases were approved. For UO undergraduates they are 7.5% for resident students and 12% for out of state (see http://www.ous.edu/news_and_information/news/071009.php for full detail), increases vary by credit hours registered). Given the current economic conditions in Oregon, we are concerned about the impact of these tuition increases on our students and their families. For that reason, we are holding back 30% of all increased funds over inflation for financial aid. This will require sacrifice since the pool of funds from increased tuition will be smaller than the funding lost from decreased state appropriation, even net federal stimulus. This aid will be distributed based on student financial need through the PathwayOregon Program and normal FAFSA processes.

We also learned of the overall state reduction to Higher Education. It is limited to about 11% due to the planned gubernatorial veto of additional legislated cuts to the Higher Ed budget. However, we will not know how that is distributed to individual universities until October.

This leads to the second important point of the email. We feel that waiting until October to process contracts is unfair to the great staff and faculty at this institution. Therefore, we will process all expected contracts beginning today and hope to have them done by the end of August. We feel that we have enough information to do so prudently. The decision to issue contracts is guided by the principles established earlier – that we will do everything possible to protect faculty and staff salaries and increase financial aid for students during these difficult economic times.

President Lariviere, as well as the other OUS presidents, has agreed to a 4.6% FTE reduction for the current fiscal year. The savings from President Lariviere’s salary achieved through the FTE reduction will be directed to support student scholarships.

Thank you again for helping us get through this difficult year. We have a couple more ahead of us, but we are well positioned to come through this stronger relative to our peers.

Regards, Jim

Track Meet

Alex Tomchak Scott of the ODE has a clarifying article on Lariviere’s decision to reverse Frohnmayer’s decision to move finals to the week *after* graduation so that none of that unpleasant education stuff will interfere with the NCAA Track meet. Beans’s recent email to the faculty tried to attribute Lariviere’s decision to the argument that the NCAA was considering shortening the meet. I think he was thinking that admitting otherwise would mean acknowledging the original move was a mistake. Apparently UO administrators don’t make mistakes. But Nathan Tublitz is quoted as saying Lariviere decided to change it back to signal that academics comes first. So next spring when you students are spending those beautiful days in the library trying to grok the eigenvalues of the Dolbeault complex for Hermitian manifolds, remember it’s Lariviere’s fault. Back when Frohmayer was President, spring at UO was all about naked frisbee (mostly SFW).

A commentor writes:

It is highly likely that the NCAA will be moving
the date for the national championships back
to the previous week as a result of streamling
the regional quals. I don’t believe the decision
for the UO to reverse itself has anything to do
with athletics vs academics, but everything to
do with logistics.

Do you have any inside knowledge on this?

RG editorial interview with Lariviere

7/5/2009: The RG has an editorial about Lariviere here. (With the apparently obligatory sloppy kiss to Frohnmayer.) There’s some vague talk about faculty salaries – but nothing specific on how he plans to deal with it, beyond some statements about how the sciences and professional schools have done better than the humanities in terms of funding – I assume he doesn’t mean better in terms of salaries. There are no specifics about what he is willing to sacrifice to get the money to increase salaries – not that this would be expected in a piece like this. We hope he begins with a serious re-examination of Bend, Portland, OIED, and the 5 new Sustainability big ideas. Interestingly the last UO President who tried to deal seriously with the salary problem at UO was Paul Olum, president from 1980 – 1989. The OUS Board fired him. The RG editorial on that is here – it’s interesting reading. The board has known about the salary problem for a long time – and they’ve spent UO’s money on many, many other things instead. Even if Lariviere himself is serious, he may have a tough time convincing the board this should be their #1 priority!

Public Records

6/16/2009: No responses yet to our public records requests for data on the Bend program losses, the $3 million on Johnson Hall remodeling, and we are still waiting for copies of Frohnmayer’s retirement contract and Lariviere’s contract – presumably meaning that they are still haggling out the details with OUS. We really hope that Lariviere is insisting on getting it in writing that the OUS board will not allow Frohnmayer to meddle in his decisions.

UO: lowest salaries for faculty – and administrators at the trough

6/8/2009: After a year on the job Provost Jim Bean discovers – from a news article in a Missouri student newspaper we posted here – that UO’s faculty are the lowest paid in the AAU. This is after he wasted a huge chunk of IR and Senate time trying to defend UO’s excessive salaries for administrators – including his own. Better late than never. The good news is the Lariviere quote – but of course Frohnmayer has promised the same thing ever since the Senate white paper came out in 2000: faculty salaries were his “top priority”. Right.

(A comment points out that Bean knew this already – he’s writing this email to make it sound like he is “shocked to discover…”. )

From: James Bean [mailto:jcbean@uoregon.edu]
Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 12:26 PM
To: Deans Working Group
Subject: Faculty Salaries

The Missouri article stating that UO has the lowest salaries in the AAU has caused quite a stir (we have since verified that they were correct). Low salaries were always thought of as just Oregonian. But 34 out of 34 is a whole other thing. We cannot have this. Richard’s reaction was “this is job #1.” Richard will likely have an announcement on how we are attacking this when politically feasible (after last gavel). Please communicate to your faculty that the Missouri article really got our attention. This may require disruptive solutions.

Thanks, Jim

_______________________________
James C. Bean
Senior Vice President and Provost
202 Johnson Hall
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1258
T 541-346-3186
F 541-346-2023

Steve Duin at the Oregonian has a post about this. In related news, on Friday the OUS Board approved emeritus status and a new contract for Frohnmayer. We’ve requested the contract, and should soon know how much we have to pay Frohnmayer to finally get him to stop being President.

ICC memo

(From May 2009)

MEMORANDUM
To: Units receiving ICC beginning budget allocations
From: Rich Linton
Subject: ICC Beginning Budget Allocations- FY10

ICC- FY10 Beginning Budget

The ICC beginning budget for FY10 will be posted in the coming days, and I write to communicate two key decisions regarding the overall allocations effective July 1, 2009.

1. I do not plan to “sweep” any FY09 fund balances from existing ICC indices, other than those already negotiated with the units directly impacted. In light of the voluntary FTE reductions in ICC-funded positions for the remaining three months of FY09, some of the ICC carryforwards should be impacted favorably.

2. I will apply a 4% “across the board” cut to virtually all line items in the ICC beginning budget for FY10, including research administrative units reporting to me. The few exceptions include the library, lease payments for off-campus research space that involve fixed costs, and a few instances for centers that are involved in pre-existing agreements related to ICC “backstops” or ICC deficit reduction. No cuts will be made to prior commitments to provide multi-year ICC allocations, for example faculty start-up packages or grant matching funds.

It should come as no surprise that the state budget crisis impacting the University of Oregon has placed escalating stresses on my overall ICC budget, especially in aspects such as faculty recruitment and retention, graduate student support and research infrastructure. In addition, the federal F&A “overhead” rate at the UO was reduced from 48% to 42% effective July 1, 2008 and is beginning to impact on reduced F&A recovery from grants and contracts. The funds available for ICC distribution are being significantly constrained despite the growth in new sponsored program awards.

I will evaluate the need for recurring reductions in ICC allocations as we move through FY10. I am hopeful that the Federal “Stimulus” will enhance UO’s research funding and associated F&A generation in the months to come.

Thanks, as always, for your understanding and support. Please let me know if my office can address any questions or concerns.

Best regards,
Rich

bargaining 37 stuff

ADMIN TEAM DELAYS BARGAINING UNTIL 1PM TODAY, TUESDAY. 

GLEASON DRIVES OFF, TOLD TO CHECK FOOTBALL PALACE CUSHIONS FOR LOOSE CHANGE:


CECIL RALLIES FACULTY FOR 14.5%, OR STRIKE:


Bargaining: Tuesday 9/3/2013, 1pm-4pm(?), Room 122 or 101 Knight Library.

9:00 AM: Gottfredson meeting with his $100K a month bargaining team:

The most recent admin proposal was for 10.5%. On Thursday the union countered with 14.5% – down from their initial 18%. Gottfredson’s team is meeting now to finalize the proposal they will present to the faculty at 10AM 1PM today – be there.

Raises: The elevator version:

We’re going down. During the first year of President Gottfredson’s administration UO faculty pay has fallen still further behind other AAU public universities:

  • Full profs: down from 85% to 82% 
  • Associate profs: down from 92% to 90% 
  • Assistant profs: down from 93% to 89%
The relative drops are mostly driven by pay raises at the other AAU schools, however UO’s average pay for assistants and fulls has actually fallen, presumably because of composition changes. The retroactive 1.5% ATB raise proposed by the admin’s for 2012-13 is only for 6 months, so it’s really only a 1% raise. Sneaky. Either way it is not close to enough to make up for the ~3% UO faculty lost relative to other AAU publics between Fall 2011 and Fall 2012. Much less enough to get the elevator going up. And the administration has been fibbing: UO benefits don’t make up salary gap.
I’ll live-blog it, meanwhile here’s some background:

Their conclusion is that while both effects are at work, Bowen effects dominate in public research universities, with $2 in increases due to administrators seizing on increased revenue for every $1 in increases due to upward pressures on faculty and staff salaries from other industries. Same for private research institutions. What’s more, they find a plausible culprit within universities. They notice that cost increases are likelier when the ratio of staff to faculty is higher. That suggests that when administrators within the university accumulate bargaining power, they’re better able to force increases in costs. The administrative staff, they suggest, is what’s really driving this.

By administrative staff, they presumably mean central administrators like Jim “38%” Bean. Say Jim, any update on how much our administration is going to piss away in Portland this year? Thanks to an anonymous reader for the link. From the WaPo’s excellent “The Tuition is Too Damn High” series, inspired by:


9/1/2013 Bloat update: Lots of rumors flying around – and I didn’t start all of them – that the administration’s haste to wrap up bargaining is motivated in part by a desire to get the economics off the table before the latest administrative bloat data comes out:

From: Bill Harbaugh 
Subject: public records request, non-classified employees
Date: September 1, 2013 11:55:21 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton Cc: J P Monroe , jbolas@uoregon.edu, Andrea Larson , cmatese@uoregon.edu, gvenegas@uoregon.edu

Dear Ms Thornton:

This is a public records request for a machine readable file in excel, comma delimited, or any other standard format showing the following information for UO non-classified employees as of 9/3/2013:

First Name, Last Name, MI, University Email Address, University Office Address, University Office Phone Area Code, University Office Phone Number, Employee Type, Academic Title, Job Type, Job Title Job Start Date, Yrs in Position, Fac Prim Activity, Home Department, Rank, Rk Date, Pay Department, Annual Salary Rate, Appt Percent Job Status, Job End Date, Appointment Status, Term of Service, EEO Type, FT/PT

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

I’m ccing a few people in the UO IR office, who should be able to easily provide these data.

The prior data on this is from the error ridden Beangrams, and the most excellent presentations of the AAUP’s Howard Bunsis. March 2013 update for UO here:

“Institutional Support” means central administration, more or less.

Tuesday 9/3/2013, 10am-4pm, room 122 or 101 Knight Library, be there.

Rumor from the spectators at the annual faculty club ping-pong semi-finals is that Gottfredson has told Geller and Rudnick to stop their $100K a month billing frenzy and cut a deal, quick. The large faculty turnout at the Thursday meeting had its intended effect, and Rudnick’s flip-out didn’t hurt either.

Rudnick will apparently meet with Gottfredson et al at 9AM to get his instructions. As you can see from the spreadsheet below the union has already come down from 19.3% over 3 years (compounded) to 15%, and has made concessions on health, childcare, and promotion raises as well. The majority of the faculty I’ve talked with feel that if the union offer is not acceptable as is, we should strike during week one.

The bargaining will start at 10:00 AM. Show up Tuesday and find out what concessions Gottfredson is prepared to make on governance and on Geller’s “we own your IP and everything on your computer” proposals. The word from the spectators on Th was that the process and personalities were “interesting”, but not so distracting that you couldn’t get a few reviews done, if you sit in the back. And fun to socialize with your colleagues during the breaks. Not to mention the excellent homemade baked things – consider this a public records request for the recipe.

Synopsis from session XXXVI, Thursday 8/29:

  • Practice drill for strike goes off well. ~100 faculty show up on a summer day when they’re not even on contract. News on the SEIU strike preparation in the ODE here.
  • Some chatter about discipline for Rudnick over her disrespectful treatment of faculty and library staff this morning. Does UO’s respectful workplace policy apply to $300 an hour lawyers? 
  • Union holds firm on raises, only minor concessions. Rudnick seems to have new instructions from Coltrane, sounds ready to deal.
  • After lunch, still about 60 faculty in the room. No visible support for the admin team. No Altmann, no Moffitt, no Geller, no one with any actual authority to deal. No wonder this takes forever.
  • After getting all medieval on me for “posting of false and inaccurate information about bargaining” the administration’s bargaining team is now trying to keep me from posting copies of the presumably fact-based transcripts they’ve been taking at every bargaining session – their stenographer has been typing away all day. Latest here
  • Art 49, use of UO computers, a.k.a as the Stasi Clause. They own you.

Your Guarantee of Truthiness: All UO Matters bargaining posts are fact-checked by Geller and Rudnick’s secret team of well paid consultants, who post their spin on the official UO Admin site, hereIf you pay Dave Hubin $285.98 he’ll even tell you who wrote it.

Proposals so far:


Here’s hoping this bargaining gets wrapped up quickly, so Sharon Rudnick and her HLGR colleagues can get back to their important civil rights work – for Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds: