CAS Admin gives Faculty Union some credit for 2020 merit raises

Just kidding, of course they don’t:

The MOU between UAUO and the UO Administration is here. The TTF merit pool is 1.625% by department and the NTTF merit pool is 2.125%, so if your raise is more than that you are excellenter than the rest of your department.

For TTF, the union also negotiated a 0.5% university-wide pool for external equity raises. Expect an announcement about those in a few weeks. For the external equity raises, you can see the comparator data, by department and rank, here. Although these data are a bit dated, basically if the “UO Avg as % of AAU PUBLIC Peers Avg” for your department/rank is lower than 90%, you can also expect an external equity raise in your January paycheck.

Irrational exuberance for Masters degrees?

From InsideHigher Ed here:

The explosion of new master’s degree programs in recent years hasn’t corresponded with a surge in students, analysis by the research and technology services company EAB suggests.

Megan Adams, managing director of research at EAB, said many colleges have overestimated the popularity of new degree programs. They may anticipate awarding hundreds of degrees per year, but the true number is often a single digit, she said.


EAB chart showing lower expectations for growth every year since 2013 (NCES actual and projected master’s degree conferrals)

Forensics Director Jacobsen on fund modification and debate at UO

12/19/2019 from Forensics Director Trond Jacobsen:

I’d like to thank him for sending this very interesting letter on the history and present of debate at UO. It also explains his work on the fund modifications, which will allow these gifts to be used to benefit our students. And follow his link below to the Daily Emerald article, which has much more.

As the Director of Forensics at Oregon, and an alum of the forensics program, thank you for bringing attention to the good work of Oregon Forensics. Oregon Forensics traces our origins to October 1876, a week after the university opened, and we are among the most successful co-curricular activities at this university.

Oregon students participated in some of the first intercollegiate forensics competitions, the first radio and televised debates, and the first world tour of debate. An Oregon economics professor in 1926 invented the type of debate dominant in the United States, one that is practiced in modified form in parts of Asia as “Oregon-Oxford” debate. There is no public university in the country with a more impressive forensics legacy. Now based in the Robert D. Clark Honors College – President Clark was also the Director of Forensics in the 1940s and 1950s – we are and will always remain open to every undergraduate student on campus, regardless of background or experience.

That legacy attracted modest gifts over the years designed to promote and encourage student participation. As the Director of Forensics I became aware that three such gifts, totaling $140,000 as of 2018, were dormant, benefiting no one because they imagined a speech and debate environment that no longer exists. For instance, the smallest and most recent envisioned distribution through a Department of Speech that no longer exists. The other two imagined a world where 2500 people would buy tickets to see Oregon debate Oxford on campus and where competitive speech was the cultural highlight of a small and remote campus.

More students now compete in forensics activities at Oregon than perhaps any time in our nearly 150-year history, with more than 120 students in speech, debate, and mock trial, up from about a dozen when I arrived in 2013. Unlike competitions in 1889 or 1920, our competitions now take place mostly outside Eugene, at institutions like Washington, Berkeley, Utah, UCLA, UC-Irvine, Texas, and Cornell.

Using the regular and normal process we succeeded in ensuring that every cent of the income from these endowments will support students competing in modern forensics activities, rather than supporting precisely zero students, perhaps awaiting some future use removed from the intent of the donors.

Here is a link to an Oregon Emerald article about my efforts:

Trond Jacobsen
Director of Forensics and University Forum
Career Instructor, Information Science
Robert Clark Honors College
University of Oregon

12/17/2019: UO Foundation’s latest donor fund modifications: communism, oratory

Back in early 2018 I had a series of posts about the UO administration’s successful effort to seize control of a $2.5M fund donated by former professor Marion Dean Ross to the Department of Art History, for the purpose of buying books and photographs on architectural history. Full post here. The gist was that, over the objections of Ross’s executor, UO GC Kevin Reed and Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold were able to eliminate the restriction that the money go for books, and get control of spending from the fund removed from the department’s faculty, and put under the discretion of the CoD Dean – at the time Christoph Lindner.

Since then I’ve been keeping an eye on these fund modifications, thanks to the Oregon DOJ’s Public Records Office, which sends them on request without the fees and delays Kevin Reed’s office here at UO uses to subvert the clear intent of the law.

Most of these are sensible modifications to small gifts from long ago, with “impractical and impossible” (sic) restrictions, e.g.,

Although that doesn’t stop our INS from asking something similar on their Application for Naturalization:

In any case the court has agreed with UO to remove this test:

Here’s another one, dating back to 1889. That year about one out of a hundred Americans got as far as a Bachelors Degree, and the possession of one was apparently enough to attract a crowd, eager to hear your thoughts on matters of the day:

Times have changed:

What’s perhaps most remarkable about this modification is that Jacobsen didn’t have to give spending authority to his Dean – instead it gives it to him, the program director, where it should be. With the Ross modification, GC Kevin Reed argued that it was standard practice in gift modifications to take spending authority from the faculty and give it to the Administration. Glad to see it’s not.

How to boost STEM enrollment for women

Info on former UO CAS Assoc Dean Ian McNeely’s 2009 effort to bring grade inflation (most present in non-STEM fields) under control, which failed after massive faculty opposition and Johnson Hall indifference, is here.

If the argument below is correct, it would have led to a large shift of students – particularly women – towards STEM courses.

Colleen Flaherty in InsideHigherEd:

Harsher grading policies in science, technology, engineering and math courses disproportionately affect women — because women value good grades significantly more than men do, according to a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

What to do? The study’s authors suggest restricting grading policies that equalize average grades across classes, such as curving all courses around a B grade. Beyond helping close STEM’s gender gap, they wrote, such a policy change would boost overall enrollment in STEM classes.

Using administrative data coupled with thousands of students’ course evaluations from the University of Kentucky from the fall of 2012, the study’s authors determined that students spent one hour more per week studying for a STEM course than for a non-STEM course, on average. At the same time, they earned lower grades in STEM courses.

The STEM classes in the sample were almost twice as large as their non-STEM counterparts and associated with grades that were 0.3 points lower. They were also associated with a 40 percent more study time.

Women in the sample had higher grades in both STEM and non-STEM courses than men. But they were significantly underrepresented in STEM.


More from Paula Barran’s lawyer Peter Jarvis

Well, she switched from using “bodily fluids” to “biological samples” in her legal arguments to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after I pointed out that that the former might be a bit too Dr. Strangelove. So my post was not just parody, it was constructive parody – the best and, I hope, the most legally protected kind of parody.

In any case here’s the latest letter from the lawyer who’s the lawyer for the lawyer who’s working for UO’s lawyers who work for UO President Schill, a lawyer. He wants to talk to my lawyer:

Mark Thoma retires, closes influential Economist’s View blog

From Noah Smith of Bloomberg, reposted in the SF Chronicle:

The end of econ blogging’s golden age

If someone asked you to name the greatest economics blogger of all time, you might name Paul Krugman, or my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Tyler Cowen. But there’s a third name that deserves to be on that short list: Mark Thoma, an economics professor at the University of Oregon. On Friday, Thoma announced a well-deserved retirement. But the changes his blog made in the economics profession will endure.

Thoma’s blog, Economist’s View, began in 2005. Like many bloggers, Thoma posted off-the-cuff thoughts on policy, data, theory and news. But it was when he began putting up daily lists of links from other blogs that Economist’s View became something truly influential. Many bloggers post periodic lists of links, but Thoma’s was daily and comprehensive; if anyone said anything interesting on any econ blog, there was a good chance that Thoma would broadcast it to the world. No one was too obscure to go on his daily roundup; if he thought you had something interesting to say, he would give you a platform.

… This had an important leveling and invigorating effect on a profession that had grown much too hierarchical and insular. But it also allowed crucial policy matters to be debated in real time. Academic journals often take years to publish research papers, then years more to publish the responses. But in 2008 and 2009 catastrophe was unfolding in a matter of days and weeks. Policy makers looking for timely and novel analysis in those desperate days couldn’t find it from the American Economic Review, but they could find it on Thoma’s blog.

Bloggers were thus able to influence a policy world still in the process of shaking off outdated ideas. … Thoma was both a participant and a crucial mediator in this epic clash of ideas. He himself was among the voices favoring stimulus, though he always took a moderate and measured tone. Crucially, he always took care to broadcast the arguments of the opposing side. I have never seen a fairer arbiter of debate.

… Thoma’s retirement marks the end of an era. With the rise of Twitter and other social media, public economics discussion has moved on. But the changes the blogosphere wrought on the profession – greater openness, a decreased reverence for hierarchy and a willingness to debate important issues in public – will live on.

Johnson Hall can’t hire a Library Dean without paying a search firm $150K?

No wonder Brad Shelton is running a $10M deficit. It’s not like this is something important like a new Duck offensive co-ordinator. In fact, according to the glossy brochure put out by WittKieffer search consultants Suzanne Teer, Philip Tang, and Jessica Herrington at, who are charging us $150K or so, the next Dean of UO Libraries won’t even need to have a Bachelors Degree, much less an MLS, or a PhD like the previous Dean:

Thanks to an anonymous angry librarian for the link. I can only speculate as to why AVP Melanie Muenzer’s search advocate “thought partner” didn’t catch this omission – or why they added “Personal Qualities” to a job announcement.

I can see the applications now: “Since you asked, size 12 shoes, a bit overweight, and happily married on the second try. Letter from spouse attached.”

Their entire brochure is a piece of work. It’s more about promoting Pres Schill – a client? – and the Board of Trustee’s accomplishments than about recruiting a new Dean of Libraries:

New mission statement? Yes, Coltrane and Lillis did get that time-wasting task done, after a year or so. Mission Accomplished. This is the first mention I’ve heard of it since.

In 2018 the UNC system banned its schools from hiring Witt Kieffer for searches, after they failed to do due diligence.

Update: OSU hired F. King Alexander, despite censure by LSU Senate and the AAUP after he fired a professor for cussing in class


I wonder how much of this the Witt/Kieffer search consultants, Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Suzanne Teer and Kim Brettschneider passed on to the OSU Board and hiring committees. In 2018 the UNC system banned its schools from hiring Witt Kieffer for searches, after they failed to do due diligence on a chancellor hire.

Page down if you’re interested in how OSU’s new president F. King Alexander spent $85M in student money on the infamous LSU Lazy River.

If you are interested in having an informed opinion on his role in firing LSU professor Teresa Buchanan, I doubt you’ll do better than this thorough, well researched, and nuanced 2017 report in Elle – a magazine which apparently sucks in readers with promises of fashion and horoscopes, and then gives them some serious reporting about higher education. Warning – it’s a long story:

Or just cut to the conclusion – $600K a year LSU President Alexander fired a $78K professor without even bothering to do his homework:

[President] Alexander now probably wishes he’d paid closer attention to the Buchanan case. When he was deposed by Corn-Revere this January, he admitted that he hadn’t read the hearing transcript, had no idea who’d testified, and chose to overrule the faculty panel largely based on the complaints of the local superintendent, Ed Cancienne. Alexander said in the deposition that he was particularly moved by Cancienne’s assertion that Buchanan had said “pussy” three times in one of his schools, though he and the other LSU investigators admitted that they were under the impression that she’d used the word in the anatomical sense. In fact, according to testimony, Buchanan had asked teachers how they’d respond if a parent of one of their students got hostile and called them a “pussy.”

Here are some other sources on LSU President Alexander and the Buchanan firing:

The professor’s firing offense? From the Baton Rouge Advocate, here:

Buchanan’s controversial comments included saying “f*** no” repeatedly in the presence of students, using a slang term for vagina that implies cowardice, and joking that the quality of sex declines the longer a relationship lasts.

Buchanan, who worked for LSU for nearly two decades, claimed the salty language was part of her teaching approach and was not directed at — nor did it disparage — any student.

The LSU student newspaper has the story here on the subsequent censures of LSU Pres F. King Alexander by the Faculty Senate, and of LSU by the AAUP:

In January 2018, the U.S. District Court for the middle district of Louisiana dismissed former University education professor Teresa Buchanan’s case that LSU President F. King Alexander and three University administrators violated her first and fourteenth amendment rights.

Alexander fired Buchanan in 2015, despite a panel of faculty members choosing not to recommend her dismissal when they found her guilty of violating the University’s sexual harassment policies.

Buchanan officially filed a notice to appeal the court’s decision on Feb. 1.

However, the Faculty Senate is not satisfied with the University’s decision and suggests that Buchanan’s right to due process was violated.

Despite the court’s initial motion for summary judgement, the LSU Faculty Senate and the American Association of University Professors have not reconsidered their respective censures of Alexander and the University. … [Full story includes links to court decisions etc.]

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which joined in the unsuccessful lawsuit against Alexander and LSU on behalf of the professor he fired, has more here:

What happened to Teresa Buchanan was wrong. The LSU administrators involved, including the university’s president, F. King Alexander, should be ashamed of themselves. And the courts should not have let LSU get away with Buchanan’s firing. If anything, the Supreme Court’s choice to pass on this case will only increase the likelihood that it will see more such cases in the future.

12/13/19: OSU Board hires F. King Alexander from LSU, of Lazy River fame

The OSU PR flack version, here:

“Dr. King Alexander is the right person, educator and higher education leader to carry on the transformative impact that Oregon State University provides throughout our state, nation and world,” said Rani Borkar, chair of OSU’s Board of Trustees. “His leadership will carry forward the university’s significant momentum generated by President Ed Ray.

A more skeptical view, from the former LSU Board chairperson who tried to get Alexander fired, here:

Longtime supporter says it’s time to fire LSU president, athletic director

Governor says he’s not ready to support such an action.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said he’s not ready to back up a call to oust LSU President F. King Alexander by the former chair of the state’s top policymakers for public higher education.

Richard Lipsey, a longtime supporter of LSU and one of the richest businessmen in Baton Rouge, pointed to a series of what he called scandals that has hit the headlines over the past few weeks from the suspension of basketball coach Will Wade to the university’s involvement in hospital foundation fraud allegations to criticism from the Legislative Auditor for improperly paying a vet school professor who had been disciplined.

… “It’s very unfortunate what’s going on there. It’s time we move on,” Lipsey said in an interview about a series of issues that have arisen over the past few months at LSU that he blames on Alexander’s leadership. “We don’t really have all the facts, they’re not very transparent. But there have been so many missteps over at LSU. We need to begin the search for a qualified leader.”

… Lipsey faulted Alexander for spending $85 million on a “lazy river” swimming pool while the basement of the main library gets ankle deep in water whenever it rains.

Lipsey faults Alexander on being unable to get handle on the fraternities at LSU, where one freshman died from overdrinking in 2017 and nine DKE members were arrested earlier this year for violent hazing incidents.

… On Monday, the legislative auditor issued a report finding that the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine “improperly compensated” a faculty member more than $400,000 in salary and benefits for more than three years even though the professor did no work.

… An independent auditor claimed last week that fundraiser John Paul Funes had diverted at least some the $810,000 they say he took to help the parent of an LSU athlete by paying her wages for a job.

More on LSU’s Lazy River and leaking library here.

Alexander’s new contract is here, thanks to an OSU reader for the link. They’ll pay him $630K, plus perks. His “return to faculty” rights are pretty sweet, though nothing compared to what UO’s generous Trustees just promised Pres Schill – from other people’s money.


Schill’s deal is for ~3x the average UO law professor’s pay, and 1/2 the work:


RG prints first of Jacoby’s NCAA scandal series


Here: Sounds like UO will be starring in #2.

12/10/2019: Last year the UO Senate gave Mr. Jacoby its Trust, Transparency, and Shared Governance Award for his work as a Daily Emerald reporter, uncovering various Duck athletic scandals despite the cover-up efforts of the UO administration. He’s since gone national – though I expect this series of stories will have some specific local content as well:

UO Senate live-blog today, Wed Dec 11th, on Data Science proposal etc.

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

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

Discusses possibility of move senate and committee elections and appointments to earlier in the year, so we’re not filling seats in the summer. Great idea. Currently the interest survey goes out in April, the proposal is to move it to March. Maybe it should even be Feb.

3:10 P.M.  Approval of the Minutes

3:15 P.M.   [Not President Schill’s] State of the University

  • Janet Woodruff-Borden, Executive Vice Provost

Janet Woodruff-BordenJanet Woodruff-Borden
Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Executive support: Suzette Howard

Janet Woodruff-Borden leads the academic and faculty affairs efforts for the Office of the Provost. She oversees issues around curriculum, academic training, professional development, online and hybrid education, and employee and labor relations matters. She previously served as vice provost and dean of the UO Graduate School. She came to UO from the University of Louisville where she was professor of psychological and brain sciences. She held a number of administrative positions throughout her career at Louisville, including director of graduate studies for the clinical psychology doctoral program and associate dean for graduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on the etiology, developmental psychopathology, and treatment of anxiety disorders. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wake Forest University, an M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh.

She has the job formerly held by Scott Pratt. For those who are having trouble keeping up, here are the latest org charts:


Woods: Will there be an attempt to do peer reviewed research on the new teaching evaluations? A: I’m science based, so I expect so. Mentions some possible outcome measures – i.e. better teaching.

3:30 P.M.   New Business

One noteable change:

School of Law
 The following changes to the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree have been approved by the Provost (Effective
fall 2019):
o A maximum of 28 law credits earned outside of the US changed to 57 credits
o 15 law credits earned through Distance Education changed to 28 credits
o No limit for LAW 714 changed to a limit of 14 credits
o No double dipping for Diversity requirement changed to Ok to double dip in Diversity requirement
and either the Writing or Experiential Learning

Report is approved unanimously.

Sorry, I’ve heard this 4 times. It’s much needed and well thought out. If you want to be a troublemaker, ask Joe why they want to make their students take calculus.

Approved unanimously after a full and frank discussion.

No vote this meeting, discussion only. Very positive reception.

  • Intro/Update: Accelerated Masters Programs; Andy Karduna

No vote this meeting, discussion only. Great idea, imho. Senate agrees.

4:30 P.M.    Open Discussion
4:40 P.M.   Reports
4:50 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion
4:55 P.M.   Other Business
5:00 P.M.   Adjourn

Live-blog Full Board meeting, Tu 12/10/2019: $0.1M for Schill, $1M for Cristobal

Disclaimer: My summary of what people said or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. The Monday committee meetings are here.

The wrap up (Note: I skipped out before the votes on some of these, but I assume the board rubber-stamped whatever Lillis and Wilhelms put in front of them, as usual):

  1. The board voted 12-0 to spend $100K of other people’s money on a bonus for President Schill – and gave him a retention package with a fat retirement deal – teach two courses a year for $450K. Schill promised to donate $75K back to UO for scholarships.
  2. The board re-elected Charles M. Lillis as Chair to a 3rd term, since no one else will take on the job of being Phil Knight’s amanuensis. Avoided mention of his ERISA lawsuit settlements and the ~$175M he and the other WaMu board members had to pay out after they led it to the largest financial bankruptcy in US history. Video here. “This time they even blamed teachers.”
  3. The board avoided any substantive discussion of what work they might do to carry through with the promises Lillis, Knight, and the other backers of SB270 and UO independence made about stabilizing UO’s funding. As Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”
  4. VP’s Jamie Moffitt and Kevin Marbury set the stage for ensuring that ASUO is on board with the next round of tuition increases, and that they will result in only minor student demonstrations and minimal public embarrassment to the Trustees. They also discussed a proposal to offer a guaranteed tuition rate for new students over their 4 years.
  5. The board voted to issue $120M in debt to finish constructing the Athlete Village for Phil Knight’s Oregon21 T&F championships. Bonds to be repaid with higher room and board charges for UO students.

KEZI has a report on Pres Schill’s bonus, here:

Chair Chuck Lillis and Vice Chair Ginevra Ralph are recommending the approval of the bonus based on Schill’s performance.

“He’s already making $700,000, why does he need that $100,000 bonus?” said student Daisy Caballero.

Schill is actually making $720,000 a year, and the bonus would come just weeks after graduate employees were fighting for basic benefits and a livable wage.  …

The Daily Emerald reports the Board then voted 12-0 for the $100K bonus, of which Schill has generously promised to donate $75K for scholarships.  This will leave him with about $13K after tax, which may not be worth the bad will.

That said our board has done more wasteful things, like voting a few years ago for a contract for the Duck’s Mark Cristobal which so far this year has given him $1M in bonuses to top off his ~$3M pay:

And speaking of philanthropy, while the Duck athletic department’s donations to the Oregon Community Fund Drive are up 50% over last year, that’s off of a $50 base – total, for a department with many, many people making more than $250K.



Full Board of Trustees, Tuesday December 10, 2019 | 9:30 a.m. Live here:

– Public comment (Sorry, I spilled my coffee and missed some of the public comments.)

Former Trustee Kurt Willcox speaks against $100K bonus for Pres Schill noting he is already the 38th highest paid public president. Presided over large tuition increases, a deficit, cuts to LERC and museums, and labor unrest with the GTFF etc.

Grad Student Johnny Saunders walks the board through the history of the $120M residence hall bond deal they are about to approve, referring to previous board minutes and reports commissioned by the board to show that this proposal is motivated by the desire to build an athlete village for the 2021 IAAF meet, not by need for new undergraduate housing. Thanks to Jonny for providing his notes and links:

– Finance and facilities committee meeting, December 2nd, 2015:
page 32
“The findings from the feasibility and market demand study final report clearly state that the university of oregon should […] renovate rather than replace bean, hamilton, or walton. the findings show that the cost of replacement would create prohibitively expensive room and board rates relative to renovation.”

– Still described as ‘hamilton renovation” at meetings on
– December 1st 2016
– December 7th, 2017

– finance and facilities committee june 7th 2018
meeting slides: video:

-Introduced with no further reports,
– vague nonempirical statements about need for plan
-only tangential reference to feasibility reporty

– two reasons for project presented
housing demand

with reference to the 2011 residence hall feasibility and market demand study:

housing demand:
– feasibility and market demand study estimated 23,198 undergrads in 2021
– for that we would need 5100 total beds
– but currently there are 18,903 undergrads
– should be low/no pressure for housing

– in FFC presentation: ‘we know what housing students want’
– but the feasibility study: “Moreover, the students in the focus groups in the Residence Hall Feasibility and Market Demand Study did not express alarm or disdain over their existing housing. They said the housing is what they expected to live in as freshmen. That the housing was not brand new was of secondary importance.”
– 5/8 of their focus group said cost was the primary reason they chose UO

What changed in the spring of 2018?
– price tag
– end-date of first phase: a new building in summer 2021 instead of a renovated Hamilton in 2022

This board is derelict in its duty to pass this bond.
– Board has not asked why it suddenly costs $500k per new bed
– housing demand is far lower than expected
– cost of attending consistently increases, pricing students out of an education
– student’s in both the board’s focus group and ASUO explicitly say they don’t want this project:
– ASUO statement on tuition increases says too much money spent on giving lavish experience:
– no additional reports have been given
– no firm details on how much housing fees will increase
– And still pass along an unadvertised potentially double digit percent increase in cost to a generation of UO students

Two members of the OA Council (sorry I missed names) speak to the board about their 2018 climate survey and the issues it raises regarding salary and respect for their work. The OA’s are UO’s core managers, the OA website is here.

Community member David Igl reiterates his well known views on the Dunn denaming and the KKK. Say what you will about Mr. Igl, he is not afraid to speak unpopular and factually questionable views to a hostile audience.

Community member and student Joe Tindhal states that UO is infected by “social justice snowflakes” and “students leave dumber than when they arrive”. He also notes a decline in Star Wars merchandise sales. Given that our board is mostly composed of rich old business people, this seems more directed at the students than the board, and they exercise their First Amendment right to make their disagreement known while respecting his right to speak.

Lillis calls a 5 minute recess.

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports

-ASUO President Sabinna Pierre

Not present.

-University Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

Despite Chuck Lillis’s best hopes the UO Senate survived Harbaugh’s presidency, and with Skowron in charge he will have to find a new excuse for subverting shared governance. She delivers a crisp, fact-based report:

She also arranged meetings with select faculty and the board over lunch. Lillis is eating this stuff up.

2. President’s Report & an Overview of the Last Five Years: President Michael, Schill

Presumably this will be part retrospective, and part supporting material for his next job application.

5 years and he’s late turning it in? Still nothing posted. OK, just got the link, here. How can the board be expected to do its due diligence on his $100K bonus and lucrative retirement deal when they don’t get his brag sheet til the day of the meeting?


Pres Schill notes that it’s 5 years since the UO Board took power. Lots of chaos. Lots of work and money was spent recreating the functions previously done by the OUS board. Schill notes that when he arrived Coltrane could not tell him how many faculty we have. [As union treasurer, I can report that IR still cannot figure that out on a timely basis.]

Gives a shout out to the faculty – careful to include the NTTF/Careers. I wonder if this means he’ll agree to raising their salary floor from $38K for 8 classes a year?

Rebuilt his relationship with the university senate [Is this the part where he gives me some credit? Nope. Good, this would blow my street-cred.]

Replaced UO’s semi-transparent and easily gamed RCM model with BradShelton’s opaque budget model, which centralizes faculty hiring with a committee run by Brad. This will allow UO to move faculty lines from the declining humanities to the sciences. Says this will promote excellence – as measured by Brad Shelton’s metrics, of course.


State funding up substantially – thanks to the state, not UO. Endowment up 37% over 5 years. This seems low – the S&P is up more than 50%. Raised $374M for scholarships – I assume that’s mostly promises. 33% of fund drive money is for athletics. I think that excludes Hayward, etc.


Enrollment, not so good. And no, this slide is not in his report:

Worked with the Senate to redo student evaluations, worked with faculty on new academic programs for undergrads, etc.

Student Access:

Scholarships to Oregonians up by 37%. [But then tuition is up, which offsets much if not all of this.]

Student success:

Gives CAS – but not Andrew Marcus – credit for Tykeson, which so far is a money pit for everyone but Ikea.

Diversity: Lots of window-dressing. Still having problems retaining minority faculty. Need a new VPEI pretty soon, maybe that will help?

Student Experience:

There’s no doubt that the physical environment has improved dramatically since I came here in 1995. E.g. new EMU, paid for by student tax. Not so good for faculty, though I did get window AC for my PLC office, which helps when my students start sweating over calculus questions.

Sexual Violence: We’ve improved services, and GC Kevin Reed has done a great job hiding the sorts of incidents that got President Gottfredson fired. So far.

Athletics: “We’re” going to Rose Bowl, We’ll have a big junket for the Deans and JH senior admins and their spouses so they can recruit students. Sure, that’ll work great.

If you want to see who else took this previous junket, there’s video here and photos here.

For a more sober analysis of the effects of football on enrollment, here’s one of many recent papers:

Colleges and universities face pressure to maintain enrollments in a time of demographic shifts in the college-going population and reductions in state funding. One indicator of successfully maintaining enrollments is the percentage of accepted students who matriculate—the enrollment yield. Factors known to contribute to yield include school size, cost, research, and reputation. Of interest in the present study is the import of academic reputation as measured by U. S. News and World Report rankings and social reputation as measured by designation as a ‘party school’ relative to accomplishments of the school’s high-profile athletic teams. I use a 21 year panel to model yield for all institutions competing at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics. The results show that yield rates consistently respond to USNWR rankings, but being named a party school has a more sporadic influence. Athletic success has little effect on a school’s enrollment yield. The findings suggest that the signals sent by academic rankings are stronger and better received than the signals sent by social or sports accomplishments.

Challenges: Pres Schill comes close to saying out loud that Board has not delivered on the financial stability that was promised. Points out that philanthropy is tricky.

It is. When Phil Knight gave the money for Hayward, Schill could have made sure that he paid to replace the parking and the $2.3M for utility hookups. He didn’t, so now the UO staff and students are stuck with the bills. Very tricky.

Questions from the Board?

Nope. No preparation, no questions, no due diligence.

3. Tuition-Setting Process and Guaranteed Tuition Discussion: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration; Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life; Roger Thompson, Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management

This is the second time around for the tuition guarantee proposal, which is going nowhere for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who read the version three years ago. I assume it’s on the agenda so the trustees can have something that sounds consequential to ask questions about. It’s not, so I’ll skip it – although Thompson is *very* enthusiastic for its potential to help with recruiting. Of course as he suggests – honesty is one of his many charms – it will also eliminate student protests at board meetings over tuition increases, which might be enough to encourage our trustees to kick in the millions that will be needed to implement it.

Bragdon asks why, if this is such a great idea, more schools aren’t doing it. Moffitt explains they are, the presentation just had a short list.

Ralph notes that the last time they heard this presentation Thompson was a lot less positive about it. Why the new enthusiasm? He’s worried the UC system will do it first.

Ford notes that a reserve will be crucial in case of an enrollment decline, or drop in state funding. Asks if the HECC is qualified to evaluate this sort of program. [They certainly are. I’m on the HECC’s SSCM working group, and I’ve found the HECC staff to be quite good. on par with Thompson’s people. Certainly more knowledgeable about higher ed issues than, say, Brad Shelton. ]

Board catches Thompson’s infectious enthusiasm, tells TFAB to start looking at guaranteed tuition.

The real action here is on the TFAB and the coming tuition increases. VP Marbury presents on the state-mandated tuition setting process. For some examples of the propaganda – and lies – that Moffitt and Marbury dish up to our students during this process, check their website here:

OK, so we can’t blame the coaches, so it must be the faculty’s fault. Interestingly, Moffitt and Marbury – or whoever is strategically communicating for them –  are a little confused about whether to blame the faculty union’s labor cartel or free market forces:

They could also blame double-dippers like VP Brad Shelton, who’s now collecting PERS and a fat UO salary. Last year, with SB1049, the legislature decided to make state agencies pay PERS contributions on these salaries, which had been exempt.

Interestingly, the overall impact of PERS this year is a *reduction* in costs, because of reductions in bond costs and because as UO’s Tier 1 employees retire UO no longer has to pay into PERS for them. (Except now while they keep working, as with Shelton or TRP faculty).

Back of the envelope and ignoring the elasticity of demand, a 1% increase in tuition brings in about $750K from in-state students, and about $2.5M from out of state.

So balancing the budget could be done as follows, while keeping the tuition increase to 2%;

    1. $5M saved by eliminating hidden athletic subsidies
    2. $5M saved by dropping baseball, men’s golf and tennis.
    3. $3M saved by reducing the subsidy for law school tuition
    4. $2M saved by reducing consulting costs and getting rid of a few lawyers and strategic communicators.
    5. $6.5M in new revenue from a 2% tuition increase.

That’s more than enough to make the $19M nut.

Needless to say this is not the proposal Moffitt and Marbury will guide the students toward in the next few months of TFAB meetings. Instead UO will push for 4.9% tuition increases, just below the level that triggers HECC review, and they will continue to claim that the athletics budget is untouchable, and that the faculty, state, PERS, and China are to blame for the increases.

Meeting Recessed for Lunch with Students

I’m not sure I’ll live blog the rest of this, video is at (I didn’t. Enough is enough. See top for summary.)

4. Resolutions and Seconded Motions from Committee (Actions)

4.1 Seconded Motion from FFC – Bond Issuance Authorization: Ross Kari, FFC Chair

4.2 Seconded Motion from EAC – Board Officers: Peter Bragdon, Trustee

4.3 Resolution Re Presidential Bonus and Contract Amendment: Chuck Lillis, Chair

5. Academic Area in Focus – Media Center for Science and Technology: Ellen Peters, Philip H. Knight Chair and Director of the SOJC’s Media Center for Science and Technology

Sorry, but this is just too glossy and self-promoting to take seriously.