Board of Trustees to authorize $12M for UO’s emergency coronavirus response

Just kidding, they’re going to authorize $12M for the biggest big screen in big time college football, apparently paid for by tax-deductible Duck donations solicited by AD Rob Mullens, while VP for academic development Mike Andreassen was asleep at the wheel.

Not what the legislature had in mind when they passed SB 270 and gave UO it’s own independent board, and not likely to lead them to increase tax funding for UO’s academic budget next cycle:


Student Senator Brian Sun concerned students may drop UO’s ersatz remote classes, take real on-line classes at other univs.

Posted with permission:

Dear Senate President Skowron, Provost Philips and the Academic Council,
     My name is Brian Sun. I am a student senator on the University Senate. I hope everyone is staying healthy at this crazy time.
     We had lots of meaningful conversation regarding the continuity of this university in the next term during yesterday’s senate meeting. I am glad to hear that everyone is trying to put students at the center of this conversation.
     However, we are seeing many senators raising concerns about the ability of faculty to teach their course remotely. It is a totally valid point that the new remote teaching will create obstacles for instructors to teach.
     But by saying it is “acceptable” to teach in a lower quality is not something we as students want. We need to keep in mind that students pay a tremendous amount of tuition to go to this university to get a quality education. Even it is remote teaching, there are still expectation from students for the quality of classes.
     If our courses are all moved to remote teaching during the entire spring term, why would students take a low quality “online” class here, instead to take online classes at a professional online education institution at a lower cost?
     I appreciate the hard work of everyone in the academic council and Office of the Provost and all faculties who is working hard to provided students with quality education here. Please take into consideration of student expectations in the changing operation.
Brian Sun
ASUO Senate Seat 18

MMXX-X bargaining today, 12-3PM in 125 Chiles

MMXX-X live-blog. My continuing series on Budget Buckets is here. If you don’t like my blog read the official Union tweets or Facebook page. Usual disclaimer: This is my opinion and interpretation of what the bargainers are saying, thinking, or should be saying or thinking. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Cecil: How about canceling the next 3 weeks of bargaining? Matella: OK, we can talk about on-line remote sessions too.

Cecil, meanwhile, we have:

Article 4: Unit Level policies. Union counterproposal

Cecil: We’ve backed off the requirement that Deans have to come to a department meeting to explain their changes in department policies, by adding an out if 2/3 of faculty don’t want to hear the dean’s speech, or if the changes are not substantive. Doesn’t need to be a special meeting, just the next regular department meeting.

Rosiek: UO has weak faculty governance, need to improve it by making it easy for faculty to call admins to account.

Article 9, Union Rights: Admin counter

Peter Fehrs from admin side presents: We’ve struck the fine for getting the union late lists of faculty hires, and added a clause weakening the union’s right to know who is in the bargaining unit. Weird.

Cecil: Legislation is pretty clear that employers have to share info on new hires with the union, and share the info with the union. [The administration doesn’t want the union to have this on a timely basis, to make it harder for the union to sign up new members, and they’re being pretty stubborn arguing that they don’t need to keep up to date records.]

Matella: We know we’ve beeen really bad about doing this in the past. We promise to do better.

Cecil: Your mistakes cost us time fixing them for you, and cost us money paying per-caps. Hence the late fee we propose.

Matella: We don’t like the idea of you imposing financial penalties on us. It’s a matter of principle. And money.

Cecil: You want us to spend the union’s money and time fixing your mistakes, with no consequences for you. Do you think we don’t understand incentives? Fehrs: Would you rather we stop collecting dues for you?

Cecil: We just learned that you’ve been paying someone fall and winter when they weren’t even working. Can’t you just fix your systems?

Matella: We’re all doing a lot of work getting this right. Cecil: Why did it take an act of the legislature to get you to make any fixes?

Art 39: Acceptable Use. Admin “re-issue” based on constructive talks with Leo Howell at last session:

Cecil: We’ll take a look at it and get back to you.

Art 31: Tenure Transition, Admin Counter:

These are the administration’s proposals on changing the current Tenure Reduction Program to a Tenure Transition Program. Makes it a three year gradual transition. Union proposed a buy-out program – leave the TRP early, get a buy-out payment. Admin accepts this in principal, but is much weaker than the union’s. Give the *admin* the right to buy out faculty, and cuts the amount of the buy-out.

Old TRP is now called the Tenure Relinquishment Program. No new enrollment in it after July 1, 2022. Faculty can choose one or the other.

Cecil: Why can’t faculty make the call on buy-out, rather than the admins?

Matella: We can’t pay you for work you don’t do.

Cecil: Faculty are giving up something of value – tenure, you’re paying them to give it up. That’s a legal contract.

Matella gets confused. This is basic Paper Chase contract stuff.

Matella: I tried to write it so faculty could choose, but so it would sound like admin did.

Cecil: Sure you did. But the language here is not binding.

[I thought the UO pretended that Gottfredson voluntarily left for that $940K, not that he was fired and got it as compensation. Now they’re claiming that was illegal?]

Matella: Legal concerns aside, Administration is interested in some way of letting faculty buy out.

Cecil: Thanks, we’ll look at this language.

Matella: We don’t want to give faculty on TTP or TRP sabbaticals. [Although our board of trustees did right a special sweetheart sabbatical/retirement deal for Law Professor Michael Schill].

Green: Why is the administration intent on devaluing the work that faculty who’ve spent their entire professional lives here, with pay far below comparators, by being petty in their last years?

Matella: Sorry, not at all my intent. Hope we can work things out.

Epstein: The old TRP gave TTF an incentive to retire, so UO could give jobs to new PhDs. This weakens that incentive. Why?

Matella: Got it.

Lots more back and forth, the union will be back with a counter.

1:35: Cecil calls for a caucus.

more discussion

2:00: Session ends early. 

Prelude from this morning:

I have no idea what will happen. I’ll try and live-blog. Presumably Matella will start off by explaining that all the new IMG media contract money will be going for coaches salaries and the new $12M Autzen video screen. UO won’t say how much the contract will bring in, our how the money will be shared, but I’ve got PR requests in. Meanwhile, our Administration is hiding lots of zeros:

From what I can tell at the moment, after the Duck Dept of Athletics steps on it, the academic side’s leftover slice of licensing revenue goes directly to VP Kyle Henley, for “strategic communications”:

How will UO replace Trustee Ballmer after cancellation of Duck BBall games?

Trustee Connie Ballmer is quitting 3 years early. The normal replacement procedure is for President Schill and Gov Brown to cut a secret deal on a new Trustee for the “Independent” Board that sets his salary and bonuses at a basketball game, with followup by Chuck Lillis’s Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms, UO lobbyists Hans Bernard and Libby Batlan, and Brown’s Chief of staff.

But this year the NCAA has banned spectators, because of the coronavirus. So I wonder how they’ll do it this time?

(Thanks to Gov. Brown’s lawyers for providing these public records, at no charge)

Pres Schill on coronavirus response: no sports spectating, meetings restricted, no in-person finals, first 3-weeks next term all online

Provost Phillips is talking about this to the Senate now. Very knowledgeable and sensible. Answering many many questions, earning every penny of his full-priced provost pay. Emphasizes UO is not closing, but practicing “social distancing”. I expect UO’s response plan below will reassure a lot of people who have already been taking similar steps themselves.

I shudder to think how Scott Coltrane, who couldn’t even deal with a GTFF strike, would have handled something of this magnitude. Gottfredson on the other hand was a natural at social distancing from day one.

Also, we’re not supposed to say we’re “teaching online”. We’re “teaching remotely”. Online is apparently now a bad word. Does anyone know why?

5:00 In the Senate, Pedro Garcia-Caro has proposed extending the session and suspending the rules to introduce an emergency resolution:

Resolution on the academic response to the pandemic Coronavirus impacting classes in spring 2020

Sponsors: Kristen Yarris (Global Health and International Studies) Pedro García-Caro (Spanish and Latin American Studies), Eileen Otis (Sociology)

WHEREAS campuses across the region and around the US, classes are being moved from physical, in person classes to online format classes to provide necessary social distancing to avoid contagion

WHEREAS the UO administration has announced that spring classes will be offered as online classes throughout the beginning and perhaps the whole of the spring term

WHEREAS academic continuity is guaranteed by the current provisions of our legislation but the extent of this crisis impacts the quality of academic instruction for an extended and indefinite period of time

The SENATE has agreed on the following RESOLUTION

    1. INSTRUCTORS OF RECORD will be allowed to use two weeks at the start of spring term with no instruction as preparation time to move their classes online
    2. We acknowledge that online education is never the same quality or value as what we do in classroom/in person teaching. Not setting an expectation that we will be great or even good at teaching online in the spring, with so little transition time (doing just ok as a form of resistance)
    3. online content produced for these classes will remain faculty intellectual property, and we ask the administration and departments not to assume otherwise
    4. We recommend having week-long inservice, online meetings and trainings to prepare to teach online before actually doing so,
    5. We acknowledge the impact that all this will have not just on professional-class workers, but on the service workers around us, who clean and maintain and otherwise keep our universities running,
    6. We will expect institutional financial support for the technology and infrastructure needed to do online teaching (e.g. site licenses for Zoom and other online platforms),
    7. During this time of temporary modification to our teaching practice, we recognize and seek to mitigate the impact of the virus not just on our universities and students, but on the public health systems that surround us.

UAUO Pres Sinclair: Believes motion covers matters related to working conditions, which the faculty union can negotiate with the Admin, by law. This motion is unnecessary.

Prov Phillips: We will continue to consider something along these lines.

More debate ensues. Senate barely has a quorum, including online senators. Sorry, I mean remote senators.

Me, online: We already have a process for what this motion covers, through the Academic Council and the Faculty Union. Why would we do this as special legislation?
 It’s called a Resolution, but it reads as binding legislation.

Someone moves to amend to replace “online” w/ “remote”. Seriously. Passes.

I argue remotely against the motion, on the grounds we have a policy that gives part of this authority to the AC, a CBA that gives some to the Union, and that both reserve the rest for the faculty to make their own decisions under academic freedom.

Frances White makes the same argument in RL, and with more emphatic language.

Garcia-Caro praises the Pres and Provost for their response so far, still supports the motion.

Koopman: The admin has said that all instructors can already do what’s in A: use two weeks at the start of spring term with no instruction as preparation time to move their classes online. Where is it written?

Skowron: Clarification will come.

5:30 PM: Vote called, motion fails.

Brief video recap of discussion here.

Message from Pres Schill to campus:

Dear University of Oregon community,

For some time now, the UO has been monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and preparing contingency plans as the virus spreads across the state of Oregon, our nation and the world. At this time, there are still no known cases of COVID-19 in Lane County, but with spring break quickly approaching, we believe it is time to enact active measures to increase social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus and protect students, faculty, staff and the broader community. The UO will take the following steps:

    • Effective Sunday, March 15, the UO will cancel nonessential events and gatherings of more than 50 people. For information and guidance about events or to seek a waiver, please use this web form. In addition, attendance at all UO home athletic events will be restricted primarily to participating student-athletes, essential personnel and credentialed media. The UO Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will communicate directly with ticket-holders about refunds.
    • No finals exams will be offered in-person for winter term. Provost Patrick Phillips will send guidance shortly to all UO instructors, who will be asked to quickly provide clear direction to students about how they intend to complete courses and assign final grades. Students will receive additional information in the coming days.
    • For the first three weeks of the spring term – which starts March 30 – the UO will deliver all classes remotely. We will continue to assess and monitor the situation, and provide further guidance about plans for the rest of the term no later than April 10.
    • Effective Sunday, March 15, all nonessential university travel, both domestic and international, is suspended indefinitely. For more information and guidance on UO travel or to seek a travel waiver, email
    • We strongly encourage students, faculty, and staff to consider not traveling during spring break. We know that may not be possible, but everyone should be aware of travel warnings, quarantine restrictions and other guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help inform personal travel choices.
    • The UO campus remains open and operating under a normal schedule, including business functions, offices hours and other support operations. Classified employees and officers of administration should continue to perform their normal functions. Employees should review the frequently asked questions and work with their supervisors to learn more about social distancing techniques and flex work options.
    • Residence halls will stay open over spring break and beyond, and limited dining will be available during spring break.

We are continuing to work in close coordination with the Oregon Health Authority. Many of the steps we are taking will be disruptive to our institution and to many of you individually. We do not take these actions lightly, and even though the UO campus will remain open, we recognize and appreciate that many of these measures will have a significant impact on our operations. We also do not have answers to all the questions that will come from these decisions. This continues to be a very fluid situation, and we have an incredible team that is working tirelessly to implement these policies and to protect the safety and wellbeing of campus. Please be patient and know we are moving as fast as we can under some extraordinary and unprecedented challenges.

Students, faculty and staff will receive additional instructions in the coming days about the specific impact of these changes on their activities. We will communicate as quickly as we can with updated information, so pay close attention to your university email and frequently monitor the UO’s coronavirus website, which includes a list of frequently asked questions and extensive links to outside health agencies. We will continue to utilize the website as the best place to get the latest information about the UO’s response to COVID-19.

Questions, concerns or suggestions should continue to be directed to this web form or to a new coronavirus information line at 541-346-7007 (the line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays). The UO’s Incident Management Team (IMT) – which has grown to more than 150 people working – is monitoring and responding to queries submitted online and by phone. Depending on the volume of questions, they may or may not be able to directly respond to every submission, but the information will be used to inform changes to campus operations, update FAQs or to draft additional communications to campus audiences to address emerging issues.

If you are not feeling well, stay home and follow the health support instructions listed on the UO’s coronavirus website. We know one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is through good hygiene, so please follow the CDC’s guidance for hand washing and other prevention recommendations.This is a tough time, to be sure, and I wish the steps we are taking were not necessary. Some of these disruptions to our schedules and routines may create stress or anxiety. Take care of yourself and demonstrate grace to each other in the face of these challenges. Now is the time for the UO community to band together to ensure that, even in the face of adversity, we are dedicated to supporting students and committed to delivering on our mission of teaching, research, and service.Thank you for all that you are doing on behalf of the UO.

Sincerely, Michael H. Schill, President and Professor of Law

Oregon Supreme Court, wary of UO Law profs and students, cancels annual visit to Law School

A generally reliable source passes on this snippet from an email apparently sent to all UO Law students:

I regret to inform you that Oregon Law, in consultation with the Oregon Supreme Court, has changed its plan for tomorrow’s scheduled oral arguments.

In light of the large number of attendees and the planned participation of individuals in high-risk populations, we have made the difficult decision to modify certain aspects of the event.  The Court will hear arguments in Salem, while students will watch live via webcast ( or later via recording.  Following each argument, the justices will answer questions submitted in advance by Oregon Law students.  In addition, out of an abundance of caution, the Lane County Bar Association luncheon that was to follow oral arguments has been cancelled.

We look forward to hosting the Supreme Court and the local bar on campus again next year.

Senate to meet today on evals, coronavirus, curriculum, research

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

Senators got an email today from Pres Skowron, allowing them to participate on-line. Good call.

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

3:10 P.M.  Approval of the Minutes

3:11 P.M.   State of the University

  • Provost Patrick Phillips
    • Coronavirus planning, updates; Andre LeDuc (CRO/AssocVP Safety & Risk Services), Cass Mosely (Sr Assoc Vice Pres Research), Ron Bramhall (Assoc Vice Prov Academic Exec)

3:30 Report on Teaching Eval progress

  • Scheduling adjustment –> 3:30 P.M., CIET/CAIT: Sierra Dawson (Assoc VP Academic Affairs), Lee Rumbarger (Assist Vice Provost TEP), Janet Woodruff-Borden (Exec Vice Provost for Academic Affairs)

3:45 P.M.   New Business

  • Vote: US19/20-11: Approval of Curriculum Report, Winter Term 2020; Frances White (UOCC)
  • Updates: Research Commission; Elliot Berkman, Psychology & Senate VP
  • Updates: Test Optional Admissions; Janet Woodruff-Borden (Exec Vice Provost for Academic Affairs) & Jim Rawlins (Asst VP, Director of Admissions)

4:20 P.M.    Open Discussion

  • Updates: Search Guidelines for Academic Administrator Positions

4:40 P.M.   Reports

  • Open Access; David Condon, Psychology

4:55 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion
4:56 P.M.   Other Business

  • Legislative Updates; Melanie Muenzer

5:00 P.M.   Adjourn

Duck branding contract lets IMG cut payments if we cancel games

Pretty prescient, from the 2016 contract. IMG pays the Ducks a fee for the right to sell advertisements at games, license Puddles and the O for apparel, etc.  Note that this language also lets them off the hook for just about anything else imaginable, including, as I read it, a change to the NCAA cartel’s restrictions on player’s ability to sell their name, image, and likeness:

America’s courseware publishers eager to seize corona-opportunity

This is the first one to make it through my spam filters. Please post any you get in the comments.

Dear Professor Harbaugh,

I’m reaching out to you about the on-going COVID-19 outbreak and the ways that McGraw-Hill can help.

Recently, several schools have decided to suspend or are considering suspending face-to-face classes to help mitigate the potential risk for students and faculty. We know this potential change comes at a difficult time, during the middle of the term, and could be extremely disruptive to your class. That’s why McGraw-Hill is here to support you and your students. It is my utmost priority to ensure you and your students have access to the materials you need to be successful, while making sure everyone stays healthy and safe. Whether it be helping you to:

Explore online assignments in replacement for in-class activities
Learn how to assign online textbook readings
Learn how to create virtual lab activities and assessments
Find additional resources or online materials

McGraw-Hill is here to assist. Let me know how I can help you.

Thank you,

Texas university proposes annual collegiality reviews for faculty

From InsideHigherEd, here:

… Sam Houston State’s proposal links poor collegiality assessments to comprehensive performance evaluations and assisted faculty development plans. Timelines for remediation vary by plan, but the maximum extension of any plan is one year. After that, the faculty member’s fate is in the hands of the dean and provost. Possible outcomes to the process range from restoration to regular faculty status to getting a new remediation plan to — most seriously, and to Grant’s point — initiation of dismissal proceedings.

The proposed policy on faculty performance reviews affirms that the “university environment is based on the principles of free exchange of ideas and information.” It defines collegiality as “respectful interaction and professionalism that is consistent with advancing the department or university.” …

Faculty Club challenges coronavirus to Retsina-Ouzo cocktail duel

Sporting events and exams may be cancelled, but isolated pockets of civilized life shall survive:

Dear Colleagues,

This week is the last week of the term for Faculty Club, which will meet this Wednesday and Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00, then resume meeting in week two of the Spring Term.   As always, all members of the faculty and their guests are welcome.

On Wednesday we mark the retirement, after forty years at the University of Oregon, of campus legend Jeff Hurwit.  An expert in ancient Greek art, he finishes his last UO class this week.  Kristin Seaman (Art History) will be giving the Six-o-Clock Toast and presenting a special gift, while our bartenders have been experimenting with the retsina and ouzo to concoct a new Greek-themed “signature cocktail!”

Thursday, if all the picture-hanging goes according to plan, we celebrate the unveiling of Olga Volchkova’s latest painting, “Saint Salmonberry,” which the artist has temporarily loaned to our club room.   Many of you already know Olga’s work, which is an imaginative and often whimsical take on the Russian icon tradition (her “Saint Cannabis” hung for a while in the same corner that “Saint Salmonberry” will occupy).  The artist will be on hand to chat about the new painting, the icon tradition, or whatever other subjects come up in the ebb and flow of conversation.

As always, we’ll hope to see you, and any guests you’d like to bring, on one or both nights this week.

Yours, James Harper

Chair of the Faculty Club Board

Leave PEBB and give everyone a 5% raise with no cuts to benefits


Given the proposal by the UO Administration’s lead bargainer Missy Matella along these lines during Thursday’s bargaining, this seems like a good time to repost this from 2013. The numbers below are old and for all Oregon universities not just UO, but very roughly they suggest potential savings for UO of perhaps $20M a year from self-insurance, with no cuts in health benefits. That would buy a lot of parking and day care, or about a 5% raise for faculty, OA’s, and SEIU staff. And Duck coaches, I suppose.

Obviously no sane person would trust the UO Administration not to use such a change to weaken  benefits, particularly after their attempt to do so during the recent GTFF bargaining. And Matella seems pretty sane. But the Faculty Union could write legal protections into the CBA that would guarantee no increase in deductibles etc. Hence Matella’s appeal to the Union.

8/29/2013: UO benefits: Cost vs. value

During the first year of Gottfredson’s administration UO faculty pay has fallen still further behind the average at 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 UO administration is now arguing that generous UO benefits justify not getting UO salaries to AAU peer levels. However, while benefits at UO may be more expensive than those at our peers (though that’s an open question, see bottom) that does not mean that they are more valuable to faculty.

In a nutshell, UO pays about 25% more for health care than employees get in benefits. The loss is equivalent to about 4% of salary for the average professor. UO pays as much as 33% more for retirement benefits than employees get in retirement value, making UO retirement benefits worth perhaps as little as 2% more than those at our comparators. UO also does not provide housing subsidies, and other benefits, that many other AAU publics provide.

All in all I think the burden is on the administration to show that UO benefits are more valuable than those at our comparators – and they’ve made no serious effort to do this.
Lots of ins and outs here, I’m sure it’s not all correct for PERS, and it ignores some twists. Comments are welcome – I’m talking to you, Bernie – and I will try to update this in response. It’s mainly about faculty but I think most of it applies to other UO employees.

Health benefits:

Health insurance costs UO $1260 a month, per covered employee, paid to the state PEBB health care plan. This rate is the same for all state employees.

OUS has tried to withdraw from PEBB, because OUS employees are healthier than the rest of the state work-force. Hannah Hoffman has a good story on this in the SJ, with a link to the OUS report, which says:

By PEBB’s own accounting, the Oregon University System is a net payer into the state insurance program. In 2011, PEBB estimated a fiscal impact of $51 million if OUS were to separate from the state insurance program. The SB 242 Financial Analysis conducted for this report estimates that if OUS had operated an independent health insurance program in 2010 and 2011, there would have been a savings of about $67 million for this two year period compared to PEBB with self-insured OUS medical and dental plans, and about $49 million if fully-insured plans had been used.

Let’s call it $59M for the 2009-2011 biennium. OUS PEBB claims totaled $235M for the same period. So the subsidy is roughly 25%. OUS used this argument to try and get out of the PEBB system, arguing that it was wrong for student tuition to go to subsidize benefits for non-university state employees.

The corresponding argument is that the value of UO’s health benefits to its employees is only about 75% of what UO pays in costs to PEBB.

Retirement benefits:

Way more complicated. The basic argument is that the state retirement plan, PERS, has a large unfunded actuarial liability, or UAL. The state has promised more to current retirees and workers than it has set aside to pay them, and now it is balancing the books, by increasing what UO has to pay in. These extra payments are not entirely of value to current faculty!

Last I looked the UAL was about $16B in 2009, market recovery has reduced it to I think $8B. The goal is to shrink that to $0 over 20 years, and then have a fully funded system with reserves sufficient to pay all promises. Once that is achieved, contributions for current workers would fall, and would all go towards their own benefits when they retire, paid from their own contributions plus the earnings from their contributions. See here for more:

In the meantime, current payments by UO for employee retirement benefits go in part to reduce the UAL for past retirees. If you want an illuminating anecdote, read Ted Sickinger’s amazing piece in the Oregonian about former UO football coach Mike Bellotti. UO paid only a few hundred thousand dollars into PERS for him while he was working. Bellotti’s benefits are about $500K a year, and his unfunded liability is about $10M.

So, a good chunk of the money UO pays to PERS, ostensibly for your retirement, actually goes to pay for Coach Bellotti and others of his ilk. You’d have to be quite the sports fan – like UO VPFA Jamie Moffitt – to count this as a valuable benefit.

How much does this reduce the value to you of what UO pays in retirement benefits into PERS? The official “PERS by the Numbers” guide estimates it’s 33%:

Approximately 68% of PERS’ total accrued liability is for members who are no longer working in PERS-covered employment (retirees and inactives). As a result, approximately 33% of an employer’s contribution rate is associated with these groups.

For more, see the Fall 2012 actuarial report, here:

So it’s perfectly clear?

What are UO’s contribution rates to PERS? It varies by when you were hired. Tier 1,2 is pre 2003. Current (post SB 822) rates are here:

The 6% pickup contribution, paid by UO, goes to the PERS fund for old hires (I think) and into a separate fully funded defined contribution IAP account for newer ones. And if you opted into the ORP, all the money goes into an independent defined contribution plan. You’re not helping out Bellotti at all, you free-rider.

Let’s say that, on average, retirement benefits cost UO 17.5% of salary, including the 6% pickup. If we trust PERS, 1/3 of that is a subsidy to current retirees. So, lets say the value to the average UO employee is a bit less than 12%.

(However, for people who opted into the ORP defined contribution plan, all their contributions go into their own individual accounts – no subsidy for the Bellotti’s.)

For AAU publics the average cost of retirement benefits is about 10%. Now maybe some of them are also dealing with UAL’s, using similar subsidies, so their value might also be less than their costs.

But if not – and keep in mind there are plenty of other caveats, most notably the ORP one – the value of UO’s retirement benefits is on the order of 2% more than our comparators, not the 6% number the administration trots out. Having strong retirement benefits will help put you on the way to a happy, prosperous retirement, but for extra financial security once your working days are over, you might want to receive support from a financial advice group such as Key, who can help you when it comes to matters of equity and annuities. Companies such as that can help when it comes to creating a budget for retirement so you aren’t left out in the end wondering where your money has gone. If you still don’t fully understand what equity you have in your home and how it can help benefit you in your retirement or would simply like more information then go to

For some people, planning how much money they’ll have for their retirement may seem like a long way off, but preparing for this situation now could help to make sure that everything is already in place. Especially when it comes to your finances. Having enough money saved in an IRA can help to make sure that you will be able to live off this money when you are no longer receiving an income. Some people may even make the decision to invest in precious metals such as gold and silver to further establish their financial security. With help from companies similar to Lear Capital, (you can learn more here) you can build upon the funds you already have in your accounts to make sure that you are able to live out your retirement years in the best way possible. But it could be paramount to your financial situation that you decide to start planning for your retirement now.

Housing benefits:

UO has nothing. I haven’t done a real search, but here are a few programs by other AAU publics to help faculty buy houses. Many also have university owned, heavily subsidized faculty housing, typically used by new hires while they save for a down payment.

U of Colorado. While Paul Weinhold at the UO Foundation gave Pat Kilkenny a balloon loan for his baseball park, the UC Foundation will actually give their faculty subsidized loans to buy a house.

UCSD. 40 years subsidized rates, plus help with the down payment:

UW. Pretty modest:

UCSB. Subsidized, low down payment rates for up to $1.3M: and