Bend

9/11/2009: The Bend Bulletin editorial board writes:

Although it’s difficult to be gleeful in light of the big picture, supporters of the Oregon State University-Cascades Campus must be at least hopeful today. Alone among public higher education institutions in Oregon, it may well see its finances improve in the coming year. That, at least, is what the State Board of Higher Education’s finance and administration committee will recommend to the full board when it meets early next month in Klamath Falls.

Overall, the picture is bleak. … Thus, that OSU-Cascades may get any increase at all is something of a miracle. It could see its state funding rise to a total of $9.3 million a biennium, a 2.4 percent increase from 2007-09. The added money will make a big difference, according to Becky Johnson, OSU vice president for the Central Oregon campus. …

Assuming the board accepts its finance committee’s recommendation, Central Oregonians can expect to see a stronger branch campus, one less likely to become the target of lawmakers as it was earlier this year.

Rumor has it that UO President Lariviere will soon make the call on whether or not UO will continue its own programs in Bend, which graduate 50 students per year at a loss of $20,000 per student. UO set this up as a sweet retirement and expense account scam for former UO Provost John Moseley, just appointed by current Provost Jim Bean to the new position of “liaison UO to Central Oregon” (sic).

first derivative of bloat wrst time

9/10/2009: The Institutional Research web site at http:/ir.uoregon.edu is a clean, well lit and informative place. One curious UO Matters reader has been digging around there and reports on recent trends in administrative growth. Note that the most recent numbers are 2007, and are head counts – not dollars. Most insiders believe that spending on administration, and salaries, really took off in 2008, during former Provost Linda Brady’s second year. We hope Provost Bean reads these reports – from his public statements, he either has no clue about what is going on with UO’s administrative costs, or he is lying about them.

A few interesting numbers from UO IR (http://ir.uoregon.edu/ir_files/EmplHC.pdf) If I’m reading this right, during the ten years from 1997-2007 total full and part-time teaching faculty increased 21% (adding about 300 bodies). During the same period the number of full- and part-time Management Services and Officers of Administration went up almost 40% (it was more than 40% for full-time positions) — also increasing about 300.

By this yardstick it looks like we’re adding administrators about twice as fast as teachers. That doesn’t count, of course, classified staff hired to support the administrators. We’ll save that for another day.

Over the same period, enrollment rose just over 18%. (http://ir.uoregon.edu/ir_files/enr.pdf). So another way of looking at it is that we’re hiring administrators at twice the rate of enrollment increase.

Administrative Salaries Drive Rise in Higher Education Price Index

9/9/2009: From the Chronicle:

The cost of goods, services, pay, and benefits in higher education rose 2.3 percent for the year ending June 30—a figure that is nearly a percentage point higher than the Consumer Price Index for the same period but less than half the 5-percent rate that colleges experienced in the 2008-9 academic year.

The Commonfund Institute, which calculates the annual Higher Education Price Index figure and released it on Wednesday, said administrative salaries and fringe-benefit costs showed the biggest increases.

Not here at UO, of course, where Provost Bean still apparently will not back down on his claim that UO’s administrative expenses are 38% of our peers. Our 15.9% tuition increase had nothing to do with the $305,000 we pay Bean, or the $295,000 we pay President Emeritus Frohnmayer for teaching 20 students, or the $125,000 we still pay former Provost Moseley 4 years after he supposedly resigned, or the …

PSU

9/7/2009: The PSU AAU union has an active website, with information about the staff contract among other things.

They report staff furlough days will be scheduled as follows:

Monthly pay of $2,450 or below: 8 days


Monthly pay $2,451 to $3,105: 12 days


Monthly pay $3,106 to $5,733: 14 days


Monthly pay $5,734 or higher: 16 days



OUS staff contract signed

9/6/2009: From the AP:

… The tentative agreement calls for eight to 16 unpaid furlough days over 21 months pegged to salary levels and a one-year freeze of scheduled raises. … Before the agreement was reached, workers had begun preparing for a possible strike after Chancellor George Pernsteiner demanded far deeper cuts.

This is 2 months after Pernsteiner and the OUS Board gave retiring UO President Frohnmayer a “President Emeritus” contract promising him $295,000 for teaching one 20 student class per year. The OUS still has not provided the minutes of the meeting at which they approved this giveaway.

face punch

9/4/2009: Contrast President Lariviere’s statement below with what the RG wrote in May, about then President Frohnmayer’s refusal to say anything to condemn the threats by Duck fans against Professor Sohlberg. Change we can believe in?

Update: Lariviere has suspended the player for the year, while letting him keep his scholarship and the support services he gets as an athlete. Tough and generous. We are starting to like this guy.

5/15/2009: “So the bullies have won.” The Register Guard Editors. The RG takes UO President Dave Frohnmayer to task for failing to defend Professor Sohlberg from the mob that was incited by this RG story on the O sign.

Statement from University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere regarding player conduct following the Boise State football game
Sept. 4, 2009

At the conclusion of last night’s University of Oregon season opening football game against Boise State University, a UO player displayed inappropriate and unsportsmanlike behavior. There is no place on the field of play for that kind of action, and his conduct was reprehensible.

We do not and will not tolerate the actions that were taken by our player. Oregon’s loyal fans expect and deserve better. The University of Oregon Athletics Department is reviewing the situation and will take appropriate action, reflecting the seriousness of the player’s behavior.

We then hope to put this incident behind us and look forward to the rest of the season.

UO players, coaches and fans are known for their passion and enthusiasm for athletic competition. At the University of Oregon, we are committed to demonstrating that passion in positive ways.

Richard W. Lariviere
University of Oregon President


OUS press release on budget allocations.

9/4/2009: OUS Board Secretary Ryan Hagemann hasn’t made minutes of Board meetings publicly available since December 2005. He says he is too busy. OUS does send out press releases, however. Here is an excerpt from the latest, on budget allocations.

Higher Ed Board committee recommends 2009-10 budget allocations for campuses

Overall, the OUS 2009-2011 operating budget is 17.3% lower than it was in 2007-2009, excluding federal stimulus funding; if including federal stimulus funding, the operating budget is 8.9% lower than in the previous biennia (2007- 2009 budget represents funding prior to legislatively-approved reductions). The 2009-10 allocation is about 50% of the biennial budget in most cases. Biennial campus operating budgets for 2009-2011 are as follows (includes federal stimulus funding of $30 million): Eastern Oregon University = $32.2 million (down 7.5% from ’07-09); Oregon Institute of Technology = $38.4 million (down 10.6% from ’07-09); Oregon State University = $186.7 million (down 11.1% from ’07-09); OSU-Cascades Campus = $9.3 million (up 2.4% from ’07-09); Portland State University = $136.9 million (down 11.3% from ’07-09); Southern Oregon University = $33.6 million (down 10.7% from ’07-09); University of Oregon = $128.9 million (down 16.3% from ’07-09); Western Oregon University = $36.1 million (down 10.6% from ’07-09); and the Office of the Chancellor = $13.2 million (down 19.2% from ’07-09); and OUS industry affairs programs = $5.4 million (down 27.5% from ’07-09). The OSU Statewide Public Service program allocations are: Agricultural Experiment Station = $57.9 million (down 7.2% from ’07-09); Extension Service = $42.3 million (down 6.3% from ’07-09); and the Forest Research Laboratory = $6.3 million (down 9.6% from ’07-09). (For more details on budget allocations by category go to: http://www.ous.edu/state_board/meeting/dockets/ddoc090904FA.pdf)

President Obama and UO Matters

9/2/2009: Regular readers of UO Matters know that we spend a lot of time and money trying to pry public records from the cold grasping claws of UO General Counsel Melinda Grier and her Associate Counsel Doug Park. They resist, we appeal to Oregon Attorney General John Kroger. Sometimes he tells them to fork over the records before he has to make a formal ruling, sometimes he rules against us, sometimes we pay Doug a couple hundred bucks – a pittance, given our enormous Google ad revenue – and he sends a few pages of printout.

Once (so far) we had to make a federal FOIA for some UO records. The agency denied, we appealed, and so on. Then today, out of the blue, one of the UO Matters staff gets a phone call from a lawyer at the USDOJ Office of Information and something or another. A lady with an elegant southern accent, which really takes us back.

Lawyer: “We have reviewed your appeal, and have remanded your request to the relevant agency.”
UO Matters: “Shit! uh wait, what does remanded mean?”
Lawyer: “Sir, we’ve told them to send you the documents.”
UO Matters, “Sweet! uh wait, how much is this going to cost me?”
Lawyer: “If they try to charge you, or if there are unjustified redactions, call me.”
UO Matters: “I’ve been trying to get these for a year – what happened? Is this some Obama thing?”
Lawyer: “Yes. President Obama directed Attorney General Holder to change the way we interpret FOIA law. During our review, your appeal came up.”

I liked the way she said President Obama. You can read Holder’s memo here. It’s pretty impressive stuff. Of course, we still haven’t seen the documents.

Lawyer: “A few weeks. No, let’s set a deadline: You will have them by Sept 22.”

Now if we can only get Oregon’s Attorney General John Kroger to write that same memo to Melinda Grier!

Lariviere in Bend (updated with OUS info)

9/1/2009: Rumor is that Lariviere will soon decide if UO is going to pull the plug on its Bend programs, which graduate about 15 students a year, and run at loss to the Eugene campus of $1 million or so per year. (Update: actually 50 students, or a loss of $20,000 each). The Bend Bulletin reports on Lariviere’s visit to Bend today, without going into the history of UO’s operation there, which was set to give former UO Provost a retirement sinecure. You can find more by following the links at the bottom of this post.

The University of Oregon’s new president, Richard Lariviere, met with the Bend City Council on Monday afternoon to discuss city officials’ visions for higher education in Bend. Councilors told him that in the future they hope to have a larger university presence in Bend and just how important higher education will be to the city’s growth. … Lariviere says, “We’re now trying to get a better sense of Bend,” he said. “I want to get a better sense of how the university fits in.”

OPB reports that while in Bend Lariviere also announced his support for former OUS Board member John von Schlegell’s reform call to the governor:

In Bend, Lariviere spoke to local business leaders and told OPB that he supports a critical letter that former state higher education board members sent to the Governor.

That letter proposed turning the state university system into a public corporation. Lariviere says even though that idea may make waves, it should be considered.

Richard Lariviere: “The regulatory involvement in the state in higher education is way out of whack. And any time you layer on some set of regulatory constraints you’re debilitating the university from fulfilling its obligation to the state of Oregon.”

Cheerleading

9/1/2009: The staff here at uomatters.com tries to keep focused on numbers. UO’s numbers are really fascinating, sometimes even actionable. Just ask former Provost Moseley. But every now and then something like this comes across the screen:

The University athletic department told Duck cheerleading advisors Laraine Raish and Corine Lewis they were being let go at approximately 8:30 a.m. Monday. The mother and daughter were part-time advisors to the program and not full-time coaches, according to the athletic department.

from reporter Ben Schorzman, at the UO Daily Emerald. OK, so the cheer squad needed to sex it up a little, maybe to satisfy the fat old white guys behind Kilkenny’s $69 million media contract, so we dumped the mother daughter act? Not exactly the stuff of scandal. But wait. Sometimes it’s not all numbers. Actually, 7% of the time it’s not, if you want to be exact. So check out the comments, which are way, way NSFW. Not that UO General Counsel Melinda Grier is monitoring your internet use. I hope not, anyway. But doesn’t the Emerald censor these? Is this was Thomas Jefferson was thinking about? OK, when he wasn’t thinking about Sally Hemmings, that is.

OUS resignation letter

08/30/2009: Suzanne Pardington has an interesting article in the Oregonian today, about Kulongoski’s stalled efforts to reform Oregon’s higher ed system. Pardington writes:

Five years ago, Gov. Ted Kulongoski recruited a new slate of business leaders to serve on the State Board of Higher Education and charged them with saving the state’s university system. This summer, the last of those appointees stepped down, feeling disappointed and frustrated over the structural and political roadblocks to making the big changes needed for dramatic improvements. John von Schlegell, who resigned from the board recently, sent Kulongoski a letter this week calling for an overhaul of the way the state manages and funds its seven universities. “If people just wait around for more money and don’t change the system with pretty radical changes, we’re just dying a slow death,” von Schlegell, managing director of a Portland-based private equity firm, told The Oregonian.

von Schlegell’s letter is here. His frustration with politics and academic bureaucracy is obvious. He argues for a more independent OUS system, including an end to political appointments to the board. Meanwhile, Oregonian reporter Harry Esteve writes a scathing story about the appointment of a State Rep to a job as “academic planner” for the OUS board:

State Rep. Larry Galizio got help from Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s office to secure a job with the Oregon University System, a spokeswoman for the governor confirmed Thursday. The appointment, announced Wednesday, raised some eyebrows among Salem insiders because Galizio made a dramatic about-face and provided the crucial vote to bar a resort from being developed near the Metolius River — an outcome Kulongoski desired.

In an interview with The Oregonian, Galizio said he made no deal with Kulongoski to exchange his vote for a job. “That’s laughable,” said the Tigard Democrat. Galizio also said he never talked to the governor about working for the higher education system. What he didn’t mention, however, is that he met at least twice with Kulongoski’s chief of staff, Chip Terhune, to discuss his future job prospects.

Taylor said the phone call from the governor came before the first vote, when Galizio voted no, and had nothing to do with his getting a job. “There was no quid pro quo,” she said.

Odd, but OUS spokesperson’s Di Saunders’ PR blurb on this hiring – apparently done without any sort of search or effort to follow affirmative action principles – doesn’t get into the sordid politics. If, as Esteve says, Kulongoski is using University jobs as political payoffs, a move towards more independence would seem like a really good idea, and a really unlikely outcome.

Teach Naked

The Teach Naked movement is about not using powerpoint for lecturing – or at least not relying on it as a crutch. The Chronicle has an article on it here. Last year I started posting powerpoint slides online, but lecturing just using the blackboard. Way more fun and interactive. The students seem happy knowing that there are slides they can look at later – though I’m not sure they ever do. Margaret Soltan quotes one comment to a BBC story on this:

The worst Powerpoint presentation I ever sat through was in my second year at University. It was about the theory of Fascism and lasted two hours without a break. Plus, it had over 70 slides. Each slide was packed with information and it was impossible to keep up. I have never been so bored or learnt less.

You kids. I remember sitting through the same lecture way before powerpoint – trust me, it wasn’t any better. Plus we didn’t have any way to text friends or play video games. Now that was fascism!

Bloated administration

8/18/2009: The North Carolina News and Observer has a story about administrative bloat in the NC college system.

This decade has been good for associate vice chancellors at UNC-Chapel Hill. Their numbers have nearly doubled, from 10 to 19, and the money paid to them has more than tripled, to a total of nearly $4 million a year.

The university now admits that some of these people were in jobs that were not vital. They represent the rapid management growth in the 16-campus UNC system that has added tens of millions of dollars to annual payrolls.

Now, with a tough economy and sinking tax revenues, UNC officials and state lawmakers say these jobs need cutting first.

Oregon needs similar reporting on OUS – as it is, our Provost is still claiming UO’s administrative expenses are 38% of our peers – something he knows is completely false.

How rare is Frohnmayer’s sweet retirement deal?

8/14/2009: We’ve reported before on Frohnmayer’s amazing retirement contract. The OUS board created a new position for him, called “President Emeritus”. He keeps his $245,000 base salary plus whatever the Foundation gives him to top it off, (currently $50K as Knight chair) plus a secretary and a GTF, plus a full salary 1/2 year sabbatical, plus a 90% salary 2 month “study leave”, plus offices in the HC and the law school, plus expenses including travel. In return he agrees to teach one 20 person class per year. Furthermore, when he decides to really retire, UO still won’t be done shelling out the bucks – he will be eligible for the same golden parachute contract that he gave to his former Provost, John Moseley.

Frohnmayer’s retirement package is unusually generous even in the sycophantic world of university boards and administrators. For example, Insidehighered.com has a story on a renegotiation of the retirement contract for retired NC State Chancellor (President) James Oblinger. He was originally allowed to keep his Chancellor’s salary for 6 months, before going back to a regular faculty member’s pay (and duties!). If we read Dave’s contract correctly, his deal is good for as long as he wants it. I’m guessing that will be a really, really long time. Page one says “Further, at all times, Frohnmayer shall enjoy the privileges associated with serving as a tenured professor at the University of Oregon School of Law.” But the contract says absolutely nothing about any of the responsibilities. He can teach a class in the law school someday – if he chooses to do so.

Board Cuts Pay of Ex-Chancellor of N.C. State:

The board of the University of North Carolina System voted on Friday to immediately cut the pay of James Oblinger, the former chancellor of North Carolina State University, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. Oblinger resigned in June under an agreement in which he was promised to be paid his chancellor’s salary ($420,000) for six months, before returning to the faculty, where he would be paid as a professor. The board, amid some disagreement but facing statewide criticism over the exit packages given to administrators, voted to cut Oblinger immediately to $173,000, which is what he will earn as a professor of food science. Oblinger quit amid an escalating public debate over his university hiring the wife of the then-governor. As he quit, Oblinger stated that he did not believe he had done anything improper, but wanted the university to focus on other issues.

Oh yeah – who was NC State’s Dean when they hired the then-governor’s wife for $170,000? Linda Brady, who then left to become UO Provost.

Moseley gets audited

8/14/2009: The Oregonian has a story today about former Provost Moseley’s expense account abuse. The OUS audit report mentioned in the story is available here. In that audit report UO President Lariviere agrees to stop allowing Moseley to claim any more expenses – between Eugene and his vacation home in Bend or apparently anywhere at all – and to update Moseley’s original employment contract to reflect the fact that Moseley is now only fulfilling 1 of his 4 job responsibilities. The contract will be revised by Monday. Still unclear as to whether or not Moseley will be allowed to keep all of $124,000 0.5 FTE, and if so why in the hell he should. Either way, it looks likely that he will have to repay $9,000 or so in expenses to UO for last year, and given that there are 2 more years left on his contract, this should save UO about $27,000 total.

Our favorite part of the story:

Jim Bean, UO’s senior vice president and provost, said the audit identified a minor (sic) financial issue caused by a recent change in Moseley’s duties, which moved his main work location to Bend. “I’m glad someone pointed it out, and I’m glad we got it fixed,” Bean said.

No problem Jim, we at UO Matters are happy to help. Does this mean you are going to finally share the budget info for UO-Bend with your faculty?

The Oregonian has another, very pointed story about the OUS appointing State Rep. Larry Galizio as “Director of Strategery and Planning”. The story suggests this is a payoff for his vote in support of a pet Kulongoski bill.