leadership advice

LBJ slept around, drank whiskey, got rich selling his influence, and lied a lot even for a lawyer. Then one day he gave the best speech in American history. Four minutes before Congress gets over the shock and realizes they need to applaud. “… and should we conquer the stars, but fail at this cause, then we shall have failed as a nation …” Take that pretty boy Jack. Two months later they passed his bill. Even the southerners voted for it – because he had them by the balls. Oh yeah, we landed on the moon too.

illegal public records

9/19/2009: From openuporegon.com:

Carl Malamud has now sent Oregon Attorney General Kroger this letter, stating that he has posted the Oregon Public Records manual online for free access. He also tells Kroger he will soon do the same for several of the other law manuals that the DOJ trys to sell, including the Administrative Law Manual, Public Contracts Manual, and Core Mediation Training Manual. Malamud’s letter to Kroger says:

… I’m sure you will agree that “the law, which, binding every citizen, is free for publication to all, whether it is a declaration of unwritten law, or an interpretation of a constitution or statute.” Banks v. Manchester, 128 U.S. 244, 253 (1888).

Malamud’s work is described in this NY Times story. His efforts to “make public law public” are funded by the Omidyar Foundation (ebay) and endorsed by Larry Lessig – one of Kroger’s old law professors at Harvard. These are serious people – if they weren’t, could they afford to boast that they are endorsed by the “Great Seal“?

9/17/2009: According to this post at openuporegon.com, and this and this, a UO Professor is in trouble with Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, for illegally posting a copyrighted version of the “Oregon Attorney General’s Public Records and Meetings Manual.” Now slashdot.org, a hotbed of open source information and activism, has put up a post. Last I looked there were 200 comments, and multiple mirrors of the illegal manual. When the open source guys decide your information should be public, it will be public.

Old town sign

9/18/2009:

OK, we’re starting to like this Lariviere guy. First he ditched Frohnmayer’s weird plan to have students graduate first, then take exams. Now, from the Oregonian, it seems he is going to abandon Dave’s attempt to blow $1 million of UO money on the Portland Old Town sign – or maybe he’s just a better bargainer.

University President Richard Lariviere said today that the UO’s lease on the sign is up at the end of the month and he’s not sure that the university will renew it. … the university is questioning whether it’s worth paying $850,000 for the sign, plus $130,000 to $150,000 a year to light and maintain it.

For once there is none of the doublespeak Provost Bean has been giving the faculty about how the $1 million was an imaginary number, and it actually wasn’t going to cost us anything, really. We’ve got you on youtube Jim – and we’ve finally figured out how to make the video start right when the potential misrepresentation of the actual facts begins. Just click the image.

Anyway, what a change from back in May, when the RG editors had to take Frohnmayer to task for failing to defend Professor Sohlberg from the mob that was incited by this RG story on the Autzen O sign. Of course, signs are just signs. Here’s hoping Lariviere isn’t all hat, and gets to the substance soon. Like maybe a few administrative changes.

Frohnmayer joins law firm

9/17/2009: Times are tough for UO faculty, what with salaries stuck at 80% of those at Missouri. Lots of us are looking around for something on the side, to make ends meet. Apparently former Pres Frohnmayer is now in the same boat. And his golden parachute contract – which pays $245,700 for co-teaching two 25 student classes – leaves Dave with a little more free time than most of us have. So, he’s now got a side gig working part time for Oregon law firm Harrang Long etc. (sic).

Dave does promise to follow UO COC rules – unlike VP Martinez. (But whoops – it seems Dave forgot to tell the reporter about his other second job as an Umpqua Bank Director, at $40,000 per year for about 20 days work. Proxy statement here.)

From today’s RG story by Sherri Buri McDonald. Kudos to her for asking some tough questions.

Former University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer has taken a job with the Eugene-based law firm of Harrang Long Gary Rudnick. As of Tuesday, Frohnmayer became “of counsel” to the firm, accepting select projects in legal, public policy and other matters,

Frohnmayer said he has joined the UO faculty and is on paid sabbatical leave through the end of the year, which will probably result in him writing a book or articles. While on sabbatical, he’ll develop the undergraduate leadership courses he will teach next year in the university’s Clark Honors College
….
Frohnmayer said his work for Harrang Long will be limited and comply with the “conflicts of interest” and “conflicts of commitment” rules that all university faculty must observe.

While Frohnmayer goes to work for Harrang Long, he remains a highly paid state employee. Under that contract, he is now on paid sabbatical through the end of the year, at $4,725 a week. From Jan. 1 through March 31, he will continue to be paid that salary while he teaches the undergraduate course at the Clark Honors College, according to the contract. Then, he will go on “study leave” through May 30, during which the UO will pay him $4,252 a week, according to the contract. … He said he plans to use his study leave to continue to study leadership theory.

Leadership theory? You are joking with us, right Dave? Very funny.

OUS Board Minutes

9/15/2009: Oregon law requires the OUS Board to keep minutes of their meetings and make them publicly available. They haven’t done this since December 2005. Check their website if you think we are making this up.

Back in mid July (2009) we tried to get a copy of the minutes for the 7/10/2009 meetings at which the Board approved Frohnmayer’s fat retirement giveway – just after trying to persuade faculty to take unpaid furloughs – and just before Pernsteiner played hardball with the staff, and just made them do it.

Well , OUS Board Secretary Ryan Hagemnn is on vacation, and in his absence one of his staff has decided enough is enough, and has sent us the requested minutes. Thanks! We plan on requesting and posting these regularly , at the link below. So what do these minutes reveal about Frohnmayer’s golden parachute? No idea, read them yourself and post a comment!

they will never stop looking after their own

9/14/2009: What is it about UO administrators. Do they take a blood oath to defend each others’ paychecks til the bitter end? We’ve written before about the OUS audit which found current Provost Bean had cut former Provost Moseley’s retirement contract job duties without reducing his FTE, and was letting Moseley charge UO for weekly trips to his vacation home on the Deschutes – whether or not there was any UO-Bend work to do over there. We thought this situation had been resolved, but it turns out Provost Bean has pulled a fast one.

After an anonymous online tip alerted her, OUS auditor Pat Snopkowski wrote this July 31 audit report to UO President Lariviere, in which she states:

“University Management has agreed with Dr. Moseley that he will not receive reimbursement for his expenses associated with his assignment.” (p 3).

Seems pretty clear. However, the contract amendment for Dr. Moseley, signed by Moseley and UO Provost Jim Bean on Aug 20, says exactly the opposite:

3. Moseley and UO understand that as a result of his changed assignment, Moseley’s expenses for his work in Central Oregon will be paid as if he were a UO employee whose workstation and tax home is at the UO Bend facility.

What’s the difference? The OUS agreement with President Lariviere says Moseley is not to be reimbursed for travel to his vacation home. But the contract Bean signed with Moseley allows him to continue charging UO for one trip a week. Additionally, while Moseley’s new contract gives him responsibility for only one of the 4 job duties laid out in his original contract, he is allowed to keep the entire 0.5 FTE in his original contract. When questioned about this, Provost Bean reportedly said

“Look, you know Moseley. Do you really want me to give him a job here in Eugene?”

Good point Jim, but do we really have to pay him to come visit every week? For the curious, the contract between Moseley and then President Frohnmayer is here. It runs for 2 more years – but it’s such a blatant attempt to subvert the PERS rules I assume that UO could break it easily. BTW, the info for Ms Snopkowski’s anonymous tipline is

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

we recommend it.

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!