Faculty raises announced …

6/14/2010: … at the University of Florida. From Paul Fain in the Chronicle:

Despite struggles with years of budget cuts, the University of Florida announced on Friday a broad package of pay raises for faculty members. The 4-percent merit raises buck a national trend of wage freezes at public universities and are possible, university officials said, because Florida tapped federal stimulus money to cut costs through buyouts and retirement payments.

For 2009-10, average pay for a full professor at UO was about 12% below Florida. (And no, Provost Bean, we’re not counting UF’s Med School.) Eugene’s housing prices are about 10% above Gainesville’s.

Administrator evaluations

6/13/2010: Just about finished up with grading here – another 120 pages to go. My students have already done their evaluations of me. Getting feedback isn’t always pleasant, but that’s sort of the point. UO requires student evaluations for every course I teach, and these evaluations are part of what determines my salary. Administrators are also supposed to be evaluated. The UO Faculty Handbook says:

C. Evaluating Administrators
Officers of administration, like their teaching colleagues, are entitled to an annual evaluation by the head of the department, dean, or director of the faculty member’s administrative unit. University policy requires that an in-depth evaluation be conducted every three years.

And this HR webpage has this:

Performance appraisals are one of the most effective supervisory tools to communicate expectations, provide feedback, plan work, acknowledge contributions, and help employees gain the skills to be successful. They are especially important for Officers of Administration who often provide leadership to students, staff and colleagues in meeting the university’s mission and goals.

Annual appraisals for OAs are required by the university president and vice presidents. This is especially important in the first few years in a new position to ensure clarity on expectations and performance.

I believe there are also OAR’s and/or OUS rules to the same effect. Does anyone know whether these “in-depth” evaluations are actually done for UO’s senior OA’s? I’ve heard that they were done for Myles Brand, John Moseley, once, a long time ago! Thanks to Anon for the pointer on this.

Have a public search for the Diversity VP job – a nutty idea?

6/3/2010: Martinez makes a lot of his Hispanic background. But he doesn’t speak Spanish.
5/31/2010: See update below on OIED hiring issues, details on this later.
5/25/2010: See update below on NIH grants. Almost unbelievable, but all from report.nih.gov.
5/23/2010: See update below on Associate Professor / tenure. 
5/20/2010: Here are a few of the problems with current Vice President for Diversity Charles Martinez:

  • No Affirmative Action search for his diversity job: He was appointed as an interim inside hire, and after 5 years UO still has not had an open, public search that followed the standard affirmative action rules. This is an obvious violation of UO’s AA hiring rules. Given that his job is VP for Diversity, it’s also hilarious.
  • No Affirmative Action for his 2009 Associate Professor in the College of Education position either. From what we can tell Provost Bean and Russ Tomlin simply created a new tenured associate professor position out of nothing, just for Martinez. If there was any advertisement, search or any other attempt to follow UO’s AA hiring rules, it’s well hidden.
  • Overcommitment with UO and NIH: He has a 0.75 time appointment at UO. He’s got another 0.65 time job off campus at OSLC. This violates UO’s conflict of commitment rules, common sense, and the law of addition. While supposedly working 0.75 time as UO’s VP for diversity he been the Principal Investigator on $5.3 million in NIH grants, run through OSLC. This means UO does not get the ICC money for these grants, and Martinez can double dip on his salary. During this time Martinez has apparently secured $0 in federal grants for OIED. This is why it’s called a “conflict of commitment.” Provost Bean gives him a special exemption from the rules. Then UO claims the documentation of this exemption is exempt from public disclosure. Right.
  • Tenure: Martinez has worked since 2005 as a non-tenure-track administrator. Last year UO put him up for tenure and made him an associate professor in the Education school, in violation of the UO tenure policies. Provost Bean then refused to show the Faculty Personnel Committee his letter, or even tell them that he had given Martinez tenure – out of embarrassment?
  • No written job description: Last week, 2 years after we asked the UO administration, Martinez did finally come up with a job description, and he even posted it on his web page. Thanks Dr. Martinez, this is step one in an open AA compliant search for your replacement.
  • Performance: Even given the hours he does spend at UO, Martinez has been remarkably ineffective at getting external funding or developing new programs to increase diversity. He’s had this job 5 years, and his contribution has been a series of “Diversity Action Plans” which have cost millions, sucked up huge amounts of faculty, staff, and OA time, and accomplished almost nothing.
  • Hiring problems at OIED: OIED is currently involved in three open searches. (Not for Martinez of course – at UO, open AA compliant searches are just for the little people.) We’ve heard about complaints and AA issues with the procedures for two of these searches.

Now that his longtime ally Melinda Grier bas been summarily fired, Martinez is suddenly,  understandably, and visibly nervous about keeping his $220,000 sweetheart deal. He should be. So he is trying to convince the local diversity groups that he is their only friend at UO, that UO is blocking his diversity efforts, and that his enemies are trying to fire him because they are racist nuts.

Very constructive strategy, Dr. Martinez. Actually, we’re trying to get you fired because we care about diversity, and you have wasted 5 years and millions of dollars while lining your own pockets. Let’s have a public job announcement and an affirmative action compliant open search, and see if you really are the best person to hold this important job. Does that idea scare you?

PAC-16

6/12/2010: There is an article on the latest shifts in athletic conferences in USA Today here, and another on the PAC-16 specifically here. My takeaway is that college football is getting even more profitable, and that players and academics will continue to get nothing from it – so, uh, who will get the money, coach?

You’d probably have to be an economist or something to understand what’s going on here. And they do quote one attempt to provide a game-theoretic model using an information revelation mechanism with binding incentive compatibility and participation constraints as in Holmstrom (1977) and Myerson (1979):

“Of course they’re going to say that,” Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist said of the Big Ten’s repeated emphasis on academics. “What are they going to say? ‘We’re going to prostitute ourselves?’ “

Actually, it’s only prostitution if you get paid. So as a UO professor I am only 82% ashamed. Thanks to Margaret Soltan for the link.

Steve Duin of the Oregonian on the PAC-16:

6/13/2010: Steve Duin of the Oregonian on the PAC-16:

In the Pacific-10’s imminent decision to expand to 16 teams, we have the triumph of gluttony over moderation, crass over class, John Calipari over John Wooden.

What’s more, we might have our final proof that the university presidents who have sanctioned this money-grubbing, power-grabbing madness are not watchdogs but water boys for athletic departments run amok….

ORSA administrator forced out

6/11/2010: Two weeks ago VP for Research Rich Linton was told he would get a terminal contract. Today, rumor has it that Associate Vice President of Research and Director of ORSA Paula Roberts was fired by Provost Jim Bean, and that this was the direct result of pressure from “irate” UO faculty angered over her poor job performance. If true, I think this would be the first time in recent memory that the UO administration has taken faculty complaints about a matter involving a senior administrator seriously enough to take serious action. Good work Provost Bean, and I hope this is a precedent.

$25,000 to oppose union, $0 to evaluate administrators

6/9/2010: In November, UO VP for Finance Frances Dyke signed a secret contract with labor relations consultant Stan McKnight for $25,000 to develop UO’s website responding to a faculty unionization effort from the AAUP/AFT. UO kept the contract secret until May, when the GTTF union found out about it. At that point UO fessed up, posted the contract and work description here and ended the deal.

The official line is that the $300 an hour consulting fee was not for advice on how to “oppose the union” – that would be illegal under Oregon law – instead it was for help “conveying relevant and factually accurate information” to the UO faculty. Which explains why the administration tried to keep the contract secret, to the point of including a nonstandard confidentiality clause preventing McKnight from even disclosing the existence of a contract:

Because you don’t want to give the faculty factually accurate information about who is giving the faculty factually accurate information. The contract was limited to $25,000 because OUS rules require a public posting on the OUS procurement website for contracts more than that. Clever. Too clever. Dumb. But it should make a good case study for Melinda Grier’s labor law class.

The saddest part of this is that the McKnight firm is not exactly the Pinkerton Agency. McKnight’s main business is consulting on evaluations of university administrators. Standard stuff for any well managed institution. They survey the faculty and staff, collect ratings of effectiveness, strengths and weaknesses, then write up an independent evaluation explaining what is being done well, areas for improvement, and so on. Now that’s something I’d be willing to see UO pay $25,000 for. I’ve been here a long time, and UO has never performed this basic good management practice for its top administrators. Not even once. Because they are scared of what they will hear and are afraid it would make it harder to justify giving each other raises. And they wonder why there is support for a union?

How did this $25,000 contract come to light? Apparently UO lied to the GTFF during negotiations and those ever curious grad students got suspicious and dug it up. Good work. No word yet on how much UO will pay for advice on how to minimize the damage from UO having to tell the faculty that they had been hiding the existence of this contract, or on how much UO will pay for advice on how to minimize the damage from having to tell the faculty that they had to pay a consultant to tell them how to minimize the damage from having to …

6/10 Update: A senior UO professor now leaving for another university sends us these extracts of past Senate meeting minutes on previous efforts to make UO administrators take the requirement for annual evaluations seriously. He says the last time faculty were surveyed for their opinion on a top administrator was for President Myles Brand’s 3 year review. Frohnmayer put an end to that business.

Larry Galizio resigns from OUS to head CCC

6/11/2010: Larry Galizio was an Oregon state representative who retired mid term 2009 and was given a OUS job by Governor Kulongoski. Harry Esteve of the Oregonian called it payback for supporting a pet Kulongoski bill to stop a development project near some supporters’s vacation homes. Nigel Jaquiss in WWeek now reports that Galizio is leaving OUS to take the job as President of Clatsop CC. One of their board members has resigned in protest, saying it was a political decision and that Galizio was the least qualified candidate. What we have to look forward to when the Governor appoints UO Board members.

Go Ducks

6/9/2010: I thought Masoli had been kicked off the team after the laptop theft, but I can’t keep them straight anymore. Not sure if possession really should count, but it looks like this will move the Ducks up in the Fulmer Cup rankings. Does Kelly’s contract have a penalty for this sort of thing? Shouldn’t it? The Oregonian reports that Masoli will also lose his scholarship. Because coach Kelly needs it for another player. What about UO’s backup quarterback? In the car with Masoli during the arrest.

Louisiana cleans up Higher Ed. pension abuse.

6/9/2010: The Louisiana Higher Ed commissioner has resigned after the Times Picayune caught her in a retirement scam involving double dipping. Legal but sleazy, and she didn’t tell the board what she was going to do. In Oregon, her boss would have helped her set up the scheme and written the contract for her. I still don’t understand how the golden parachute deals that Frohnmayer set up for John Moseley et al, passed legal review. Oh wait – Melinda Grier reviewed them. Huey Long would have been proud of those two. The later Huey, that is.

Public Records Officer to report to President

6/9/2010: Still no job ad for a new General Counsel, but Lariviere has followed through on his promise to remove authority for public records requests from the GC’s office and there is an ad for the new job here. The new position will report directly to Lariviere. No salary is given, but the qualifications are basically a Journalism degree and a few years experience with public records. We are still trying to get info on what changes UO will make to public records policy. The interim person in charge is Brian Smith. Notably, the job description involves fulfilling requests – not setting policy or procedures. The Public Records Officer will be an ex-officio member of the new UO Senate “Transparency Committee” which is intended to give input on policy, procedures and compliance.

Public Records Officer
Office of the President 

Reports To: President
Term: 1.0 FTE for 12 months (renewable annually)
Review Date: Search will remain open until filled. Search committee will begin reviewing applications the week of June 21, 2010
Start Date: As soon as possible

GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Public Records Officer (PRO) is a position in the new Public Records Office that reports directly to the President and is responsible for the effective, timely and thorough compliance with the public records law and managing, processing, and completing all
public records requests submitted to the University of Oregon. The PRO analyzes each request, determines where responsive records are located, and communicates with other offices to gather the responsive records. With advice as needed from the Office of the General Counsel, the PRO will determine whether records are exempt from disclosure or prohibited from being disclosed and respond to the request accordingly. Currently the university receives 125 – 150 public records requests annually.

The PRO must have a working knowledge of public records law and preferred experience with Oregon Public Records law and with state and federal confidentiality rules as applied to public universities.

The PRO will manage the office and oversee all aspects of public records requests including initial intake, coordination of payments, reviewing records, and communicating with requestors and records holders.

REQUIREMENTS:
* Bachelor’s degree (journalism, public administration, political science), or any degree demonstrating the capacity to address the desired skills;
* Demonstrated budget management in a non profit or public entity
* Demonstrated strong interpersonal and communications skills with internal and external constituencies;
* Attention to detail;
* A minimum of two years working knowledge of public records law;
* Demonstrated ability to evaluate voluminous amounts of information in a timely fashion and track multiple requests simultaneously;
* Develop strong working relationships with units on campus;
* Demonstrated ability to track and learn new state and federal laws, rules and regulations relating to public records requests.

PREFERENCES:
* Experience with Oregon Public Records law
* Experience with state and federal confidentiality rules as applied to public universities

HOW TO APPLY:
Send PDF attachment via e-mail to Abigail Jorgenson, abbyj@uoregon.edu and include the following: cover letter addressing your qualifications; resume; and list of names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three references [one of whom must be indicated as your most recent supervisor].
OR
Send to:
Public Records Officer Search
University Relations
1270 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1270

The University of Oregon is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. Candidates with experience serving the needs of diverse populations strongly desired.

Faculty raises:

6/8/2010: This is rumor but we hear President Lariviere is still going to push to raise faculty pay. For full prof’s this is the lowest in the AAU by 10% and is currently at 84% of our “peer institutions.” Most of the raises will go to the full’s as a group, they are the most underpaid.

In the comments, “Wild and Crazy Duck” thinks this is the wrong time to push for raises. I disagree. The counterargument is that drastic steps are needed to ensure UO’s survival as a top research school, that this should be a top state priority, and that the benefits to the students are worth the extra tuition. I think Lariviere can and will make that case to the public. He’s already got a bunch of newspaper editorial boards to sign on, including the Oregonian and the RG. And I bet that he got the OUS Board to agree to something like this before he accepted the job.

So which fulls will get the raises? Lariviere has ditched Russ Tomlin’s plan, which was to give the most money to those making the least relative to their peers, with a small merit bump. The new plan is an across the board increase (still targeted mostly at fulls) in proportion to current salary with the amounts determined by how far the department is behind its comparators. The main difference is that Tomlin’s plan would have given most of the money to those making less than the dept. average, the new plan will give most to those making more.

No word yet on OA’s and senior administrators but we can assume the latter are spending a lot of time on figuring out how to get their own raises. In the past UO has used “stipends” to funnel more money to the senior administrators, then folded the stipends into salary later, when no one is looking. For example, Provost Bean got a $12,000 stipend (folded into his salary last year), Diversity VP Martinez gets a $23,306 stipend on top of his regular pay and his off the books OSLC money. These stipends are supposed to go to faculty who take on extra administrative assignments. Too bad!

* Note to reader: These stipends are not for expense reimbursements: they are regular taxable income, just from a different pot.

Legislators not excited by Lariviere Plan

 6/6/2010: Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney told the OUS Board the universities can keep the money they have raised from higher enrollments and tuition, but not to expect more autonomy from the state, particularly regarding tuition. More state money is a non-starter. Report by David Sarasohn in the Oregonian. No mention of Lariviere’s plan to increase faculty salaries.

Economist on state budget

6/6/2010: UO Economist Tim Duy has a sobering Op-Ed in the Oregonian on the state’s budget:

Another lesser known trend is battering the state — the steady decline in average wages relative to the rest of the nation. From 1987 to 1997, average wages increased from 88.9 percent to 94.3 percent of the U.S. average for the brief period Oregon rode the tech boom. Unfortunately, that trend ended even before the 2001 recession, and wages fell back to 89.4 percent of the U.S. average by 2008. Interestingly, this trend occurred even as development officials convinced themselves that young “creatives” are flocking to the state, fueling growth in high wage jobs. The data suggests otherwise — relative job quality is declining.

To be sure, one can wax poetic about the value of the “second paycheck,” the nonmonetary benefit of Oregon’s quality of life. But like it or not, money is important. State coffers certainly could use the boost a 5 percent increase in wages would provide. Meanwhile, even as job growth stalls and relative wages decline, Oregon’s population keeps increasing. Note that the employment-to-population ratio — the proportion of the 16-and-older population that is employed — peaked at 65.2 percent in 1998 and has since reverted to 57.8 percent, a level not seen since the 1970s. More people simply require more services: more health care for the poor, more schools for our children, more prisons for our criminals. But without job growth, how can we pay for these services? Perhaps we should rethink the wisdom of basing our economic strategy on attracting people and instead attract jobs.

Duck Soup’s spot on comment:

6/5/2010: I have no idea who Duck Soup is, but I agree with him/her:

… Briefly, UO is a very low-budget place, an overachiever, but starved too long to have avoided academic decay.

However, UO could have reached its supposed faculty salary goals of a decade ago if it had really wanted to. Dave F, Moseley, Bean didn’t. I don’t know if this was due to intent or simply a lack of focus.

UO spends a lot of money on things that I don’t care to have in the pot. Some of these things would be missed by others.

Overall, there has been a growth of administration at the expense of more directly academic expenditures. Been going on for years, maybe decades. All of this is easily seen from publicly available figures. Why this is not an issue — in the state board, the UO senate, the completely feckless FAC and budget committee — is beyond me. Maybe too many would-be administrators in the latter three groups, a lot of surreptitious butt-kissing.

Finally, I don’t see how tuition can keep rising faster than disposable income of middle class families. UO (and most other universities without huge endowments) need to figure this out before the public rebels. Part of it can be solved by ending above-mentioned administrative growth/bloat.

But, another piece of the puzzle, I think, is a reorientation of private giving. UO brings in something like $100 million/yr, very roughly, in private giving. But very little of this, proportionately, goes to tuition relief — I mean holding down posted tution rates in addition to augmenting financial aid.

Where does all the booty go? Look around! Especially near the corner of 13th and Agate and surroundings. Some of it is worthwhile, but different goals are needed for the future.

Have I left anything out?