More on the End of Bend:

7/19/2010: From Greg Bolt in the RG, on the end of Bend:

… Some faculty members who reviewed the budget concluded that the program was costing the university more than $1 million a year beyond what it brought in, draining revenue from the Eugene campus as it struggles with steep cuts in state funding.
But Bean maintains that at least in the program’s most recent years the UO’s Bend efforts were breaking even. “We have gone to minute detail and passed the spreadsheets around, and some people believe them and some people don’t,” he said.
The Bend program also is tied up with another sore spot among some faculty: the post­retirement contract the UO made with former provost John Moseley. After retiring from his full-time provost position at the UO in Eugene, Moseley since 2007 has been working half time as a special assistant to the provost, acting as the liaison for the Bend program on a contract that pays him $124,000 a year.
The large paycheck for part-time work has drawn the ire of many professors. Moseley will continue in his post through next year, which also is when the UO expects to wind down the undergraduate program in Bend.
This program was established by Frohnmayer to provide a retirement job for Moseley. We probably dropped between $5 and $10 million on it. I asked Provost Bean for the spreadsheets mentioned above last year, and I was told I would have to pay to see them. The people who have seen the presentation said they omitted Moseley’s salary and expenses, videoconferencing centers, many of the inducements paid to departments to get them to send people to Bend, and so on. There’s no reason not to be transparent about these costs – is there? Hell, Moseley posts the rates for his fishing lodge right here.

Here’s the info on the OUS auditor’s investigation of Moseley’s expense account abuse. UO also refuses to release further documentation on the expense account payments, unless you pay them. Everything is on the up and up here, right?

Are racial and economic diversity substitutes?

7/19/2010: From Ross Douthat in the NYTimes, discussing this book on who gets into elite colleges:

For minority applicants, the lower a family’s socioeconomic position, the more likely the student was to be admitted. For whites, though, it was the reverse. An upper-middle-class white applicant was three times more likely to be admitted than a lower-class white with similar qualifications.

How to raise sweatshop wages:

7/18/2010: The NYT has a story on the WRC plan: convince socially progressive shoppers to pay more for college branded clothing from factories that pay a “living wage”. Add political action and boycotts to taste. Then there’s the Nike method: just create a lot of new jobs and let labor shortages drive up wages. The WRC plan seems to be working for a few factories here and there. The Nike approach seems to be working for most of China. Easy choice – unless you care more about ideology than results.

Athletic scholarship discrepancy?

7/17/2010: In the 2007-2008 FY the UO Foundation reports disbursing $13 million to UO for athletic scholarships. This money presumably comes from Duck Athletic Foundation donations fans must make to be eligible for season tickets. The $13 million figure comes from the public annual report the foundation must file under state law. They reported similar numbers to the IRS on the 990 forms they must file to maintain tax-exempt status, and to ensure donations to them are tax deductible.

However, the UO athletic department reports they only spent $6.6 million on student-athlete scholarships that year. This number comes from UO’s internal accounting system, and also seems to be what UO reported to the NCAA. (Courtesy of USAToday’s database.) And since athletics gets another $1 million or so from state lottery funds, also dedicated to scholarships for athletes, it looks like there was a $7.4 million gap between what the athletic department received in funds earmarked for scholarships, and what they actually spent on scholarships. In other years, the gap is more like $3 – $4 million.

Uh, I wonder where the rest of the money went, coach?

Spreadsheet numbers for the Athletic Department, from UO’s BANNER accounting system. More here.

There seems to be a bit of a gap.

Lariviere appoints mild mannered accountant as Athletic Director

7/15/2010: Makes sense. Between Jamie Moffit and this Mullen guy, Lariviere just might be able to whip UO athletics into shape.

Under Mullen’s 2010 budget, Kentucky’s athletic department isn’t just self-supporting, they will give UK’s academic side $1.7 million for academic scholarships. Imagine that!

Meanwhile, while the UO athletic department claims not to rely on state money when asking for donations, this is not true. It has been taking $1.2 million from state lottery funds that should go to need based financial aid, and giving it to the jocks. Then the UO Foundation gives them another $9.4 million for athletic scholarships – versus only $6.9 million for academic and need based. (2008-09 numbers.) And now Frances Dyke is increasing  parking fees for students, faculty and staff, to make us subsidize fancy underground parking for Matt Court and the Jock Box. And of course academics gave athletics the land for the Jock Box gratis, and is going to pay all the $30 million in bonds for the arena land for the next 30 years. (Fact check on that last insinuation, anyone?).

ORSA Questions

7/15/2010: We’ve written before about the chaos at ORSA. Paula Roberts is now gone, and apparently ORSA is now being run by Moira Kiltie and 2 consultants from Huron Consulting: Tim Patterson and Marisa Zuskar. On the ORSA staff website here. Rumor is Frances Dyke is paying Huron $250 an hour for them to clean up the mess. $250 each, that is, plus expenses. Must add up quick – there goes our ICC money again. We still don’t know how this is related to Rich Linton’s departure, or to the previous ICC debacle. Anyone know anything? Drop us an anonymous comment on the right – if you put Do Not Publish at the top, we won’t.

for-profit traders short sell for-profit schools

7/15/2010: From Sharona Coutts at propublica.org, hat tip to Margaret Soltan:

Short sellers have shown a steadily increasing interest in for-profit schools, according to Will Duff Gordon, an analyst at Data Explorers, a company that collects and analyzes data about short-selling. Since April, his company has also seen a spike in short positions in the sector, indicating a strengthening view that the stocks will fall. In general, short sellers place bets that a company’s stock or some other financial instrument will decline in value.

“This is not an opportunistic bit of short selling,” Gordon said of for-profit schools. “People have worked out that these companies are overvalued. They’ve put on bigger and bigger short positions as the price keeps going down. And they have been right because the price keeps dropping.” For their part, short sellers claim they are merely bringing to light the fundamental problems of an industry that survives in large part on taxpayer largesse.

Such as?

As much as half of the money lent to students attending for-profit colleges and universities will never be repaid, an Education Department projection says. Default rates at nonprofit schools are far lower. 

I’m no economist, but I believe this means that the medieval not-for-profit university model may have a few more centuries left in it. But read the rest of the Coutts story for evidence that the short sellers may be manipulating the market. I’m shocked!

Student Affairs promotions

7/15/2010: A reader points us to this announcement of a reorganization in the Student Affairs office. Looks pretty straightforward to me.

These “Notices of Intent to Promote” are required by UO’s Affirmative Action Plan – which was once again illegally backdated, and is now out of date yet again. As is the notice – the promotions took effect July 1. This isn’t a “Notice of intent” it’s a “Notice we already did this and forgot to tell anyone”.

I used to be a skeptic about AA. But the rules boil down to this: have public announcement of the job opening and an open search, or a good explanation for why not. Who could have any problem with that? And what does it take to get UO to follow the affirmative action laws?  Given Penny Daugherty‘s history, a new AA Director is step one.

I notice that AAEO lists two vacant positions on their website, but does not have any active searches. Anyone know what is going on there?

Customer friendly General Counsel’s office

7/14/2010: We won’t know if this is just cosmetic until the new GC gets hired, and decides who to fire. But their new website is a good effort. I like the FAQ:

What must I do before engaging in private consulting? Review University Policy Statement 09.00.05. Most private consulting requires prior University approval. Approval authorizes important work that might otherwise violate Oregon’s ethics statutes.

What are the chances Frohnmayer got approval before supplementing his $245K UO sinecure with his second job at Umpqua Bank, and his third at Harrang, Long, etc.?

UO Alumni Center sucks money from real UO

7/14/2010: Inside Oregon has a puff piece on the new Alumni Center:

The final beams and superstructure of the Cheryl Ramberg Ford and Allyn Ford Alumni Center were set in place recently by construction crews. … The four-story, 60,000-square-foot center — being built just west of the Matthew Knight Arena — is scheduled for construction next May. The $32.5 million project is being paid for with private gifts and state bonds. … The building will also unite the UO Alumni Association, Office of Development and University of Oregon Foundation staff under one roof. … Private gifts will pay for $22.75 million of the construction costs, and $9.75 million will be funded with state bonds. The university is continuing to raise $2.5 million for the project.

How did UO decide that the best use of $32.5 million in state money and donations from loyal alumni was a palace for the UO Foundation and the Development office, with fireplace and interactive video panels, instead of classrooms, faculty offices, labs? I’m guessing that the Foundation and Development office had a little input!

When loyal UO donors ask where their money is most needed, they are now told that the number one and two priorities are the “Athletic Legacy Fund” and this palace. People who would happily have given to academic causes are not told about needs for departments, classrooms, chairs, scholarships, etc. Instead they are told that their gift can buy a named conference room in the Alumni Center.

So far as I can tell, the faculty has no real input into deciding the prioritization lists of the Development office. Does anyone know differently?

Update: a reader writes in the comments:

I suppose UO Matters doesn’t remember the Campaign for Oregon – when Dept heads and Deans spent a lot of time assembling projects and proposals for donations. These were used in the campaign for Oregon. But who chose what to pitch? I think that is the core of the problem. In the end, academics got about half of the funds raised. The other half? Athletics.

And another:

This is an example of Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy:

In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

And a rebuttal from “alumni and staff member”

In regards to the Alumni Center and Campaign Oregon, I’d like to say that without the work of Development Officers and the commitment and generosity of UO alumni and donors, we’d be unable to support many student scholarships and programs on campus. With an Alumni Center (we’re the only school in the pac 10 without one), the UO will only be able to raise MORE money for scholarships and important academic programs. http://giving.uoregon.edu/why-give

The cost of parking transparency

7/13/2010: DPS Captain Herb Horner has been in charge of parking at UO for years. Back in April, he was interviewed by the Daily Emerald about the big increases in parking fees and fines that would be needed to pay for the underground parking garage that UO had to build – and pay for – to provide parking for Matt Court and the Jock Box. After the latest increase takes effect in fall, total faculty/staff payments for parking will have almost doubled over 3 years. Captain Horner was pretty transparent about why:

Horner said the department conducted two studies on where to place the a new garage … Instead, the University went ahead with plans to build the Knight Arena garage. Because it is underground, Horner said, it will cost three times as much as an above-ground structure would have cost. “If the circumstances had been perfect, we would never have built an underground structure,” Horner said, adding, “Under the circumstances, because of the location, because of the requirement to actually build the arena, this is what we have.”

And today UO posted a job ad for a new Parking and Transportation Director. I’m guessing it’s going to be a while before another UO administrator agrees to another candid interview!

The basic issue here is pretty sad. Phil Knight persuaded Frohnmayer to force students, faculty, and staff to subsidize the parking garage for Matt Court, the $200 million arena that is named after his son.

Knight is worth $8 billion dollars. Why would he do something so petty? Who knows, maybe he was still mad at Frohnmayer over the WRC. I’m pretty sure the secretaries earning $12.48 an hour had nothing to do with that decision though.

New Director, Human Research Protection

7/12/2010: Juliana Kyrk retired this year, and the job ad is out for her replacement:

Director, Human Research Protection Program
Office for Protection of Human SubjectsPay Range: $80,000 – $100,000

This position will report to the Assistant Vice President, Responsible Conduct of Research who also serves as the University’s Institutional Official. This position leads a team of five professionals with five major duty areas: protocol review and approval, IRB panel support, development of policies and SOP’s, developing and implementing Human Subject Research (HSR) education and training for staff, committee members, and faculty and student researchers, and administrative management and leadership. The successful candidate will have significant expertise in the full breadth of areas reflected in HSR administration. Additionally, the successful candidate will have the ability to work effectively with faculty, staff and students from a variety of diverse backgrounds.

While ORSA has been in complete disarray, the Human Subjects Protection office has been very well run. I hope they can find a worthy replacement for Juliana. Given what I’ve seen of other university’s IRB offices it won’t be easy. Rumor is that the general disarray at the top of ORSA led to her retirement. Don’t know how this is related to the Rich Linton resignation if at all.

What will Moseley do now?

7/12/2010: Here’s more on the end of Bend, from Sheila Miller in the Bend Bulletin:

HEAT, a committee composed of 22 people, including representatives from Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties, was asked to come up with the recommendations in line with the goals of increasing education offerings and opportunities for students in the region, and increasing enrollment at Oregon State University-Cascades Campus.

…. Third, the plan calls for OSU-Cascades to take over all University of Oregon programs currently offered at the campus to simplify the operation and make it run more efficiently. Currently, both OSU and University of Oregon operate degree programs on the campus. Under the recommended plan, OSU would become the only entity on campus.
Students currently enrolled in UO programs would be allowed to finish them, but within two years the university’s role would be phased out. OSU-Cascades would continue offering the four programs the UO currently operates on the campus.
UO programs

“When this campus started, it was important that we use everything at our disposal to try to get the campus up and running,” Johnson said. That included the UO’s programs. But as the campus has grown, having both universities on the same site has been a challenge, with different policies and procedures, faculty promotions and other work force issues. Students can’t currently major in one school’s program and minor in the other school’s program; administrators must know both colleges’ policies, and marketing OSU-Cascades is bogged down with two brands.

“We feel it’s more efficient” to offer the programs through one university, Johnson said. “And if there’s a specialty program or a niche that another school could offer better than OSU-Cascades, they should be invited in to do that.”

Jim Bean, the University of Oregon provost, said it was a difficult decision, but ultimately would be the right one. “At the beginning, it was the issue that no one wanted to talk about,” he said. “This was not a turf war at all. It was an examination of a number of options.” Bean said to help make the transfer process between COCC and OSU-Cascades seamless, the University of Oregon had to step out of the way. “To have the UO there would not make it twice as hard, it would make it three times as hard,” he said. Under the recommended plan, University of Oregon faculty would be offered the opportunity to transition into positions with OSU.

Provost Bean has claimed that UO was making money on the Bend operations, but nobody really believes that, the understadning is that we have been subsidizing this program because former Provost John Moseley wanted us to and nobody had the guts to call him on it. My understanding is that the OUS Board still needs to decide whether to act on these recommendations. It doesn’t seem like John Moseley had any substantial role in the HEAT working group – despite the fact that we pay him $124K to be UO’s “Central Oregon Liason”.

7/9/2010: A reader passed along this Oregonian story by Bill Graves. The OUS board has finally pulled the plug on UO Bend.

The University of Oregon also offers a degree program in Bend, but it will turn its courses over to Oregon State to give students a more efficient and less confusing path to a four-year degree. 

The reader wants to know what we think this will do to former UO Provost Moseley, who is still getting paid 1/2 time at a $248,941 FTE, to – supposedly – act as UO’s “Central Oregon Liason”. In reality, he does jack – from his fishing retreat on the Deschutes. I’m not kidding, you can rent one of his lodges here, for $4300 a week during the high season. Most people think the only reason we ever started this program – on which UO loses about $1 million per year – was to provide a retirement sinecure for Moseley, who’d been buying property over there for years, and hiding that from the Oregon Government Ethics Commission. Apparently this was the running joke at his retirement party.

I think I’ve seen that rug before:

UO pays the dude until the summer of 2012. For the curious, the contract between Moseley and then President Frohnmayer is here. It’s such a blatant attempt to subvert the PERS rules I assume that UO could break it easily. BTW, the OUS Auditor’s anonymous tipline is

OUS Hotline: 1.888.304.7810
Or at www.ous.edu/financialconcerns

we recommend it.

How Lorraine Davis earns her $360K

7/11/2010: From Rachel Bachman in the Oregonian. This is fucking unbelievable perhaps just a little bit surprising, given why Pres Lariviere fired Melinda Grier:

Dana Altman, on the job for nearly 11 weeks as Oregon men’s basketball coach, does not have a formal contract despite a university pledge to quickly finalize such documents.

But interim athletic director Lorraine Davis said Friday that Oregon and Altman’s agent are trading paperwork during the busy summer recruiting months and that Altman’s contract will be completed soon.

“As far as I understand and know, we’re very close,” Davis said. “Certainly you wish these things would be done in a week, but.. I’m not concerned.” …

Of course she’s not concerned. She gets paid $30K a month regardless. When we get a new AD, she goes back to collecting $10K a month for arranging the sorority girl/football recruit get togethers and proctoring exams at away games. When’s the next team trip to Hawaii? And why is her salary on the academic budget instead of the athletic budget?