10/4/2009: We are passing along information on 2 upcoming Union events. As background, a joint AAUP-AFT group is working to organize a UO faculty union. Their website is http://unitedacademics-of-uo.org. They are currently attempting to build support, get President Lariviere to adopt a neutrality policy, and at some point will presumably call for a vote. As we understand the new – and controversial – cardcheck election process, they will then have 90 days to get a majority of faculty to sign cards supporting the Union. If they can do this, UO’s faculty will be unionized. Not sure about OA’s.
The first event is a panel discussion on Tuesday, October 6th, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Ben Linder Room of the EMU. The theme for the panel discussion is “Why Unionize at an AAU Institution?” and panelists are from several unionized universities.
The second event is a lecture/discussion on Wednesday, October 7th, from 4:00 – 5:20 p.m. in the Knight Library Browsing Room. The guest speaker is Ezra Zubrow, Professor of Anthropology, SUNY Buffalo and the University of Toronto, and the topic of the lecture is “What is the Role of the Senate on a Unionized Campus? The SUNY Buffalo Experience.”
10/04/2009: On Friday we received a letter from the US Gov’t recognizing UO Matters as “News Media”, in recognition of our efforts to disseminate factual information regarding the University of Oregon and higher education in general. (We have no idea why they fell for this, but they did.) This apparently means quicker turnaround and a substantial discount on our FOIA requests. Damn I love this country.
10/3/2009: After 2 years of Kilkenny’s prodigal spending, UO’s athletic department has a serious budget problem. Fortunately their media contract includes a bonus for higher TV ratings. By reinstating Blount, Chip Kelly stirs up a little more controversy, brings in a few more viewers, and makes it a little more likely his $1 million a year checks won’t bounce. Maybe Kelly will get really lucky and Blount will hit someone else.
But there is some real news here. First, Blount got a lawyer from the new NCAA Alumni Association. There are few quotes below, but you should read the whole story on ESPN – the reporter has done some real investigating. Of course, the lawyer has an agenda of his own, but it’s obvious Bellotti and Kelly have been trying to hide the back room deals.
Bellotti dismissed the notion that Blount having legal representation or assistance from the advocacy group played any role in Kelly’s reversal. “None whatsoever,” Bellotti said. “That’s never been an issue in any of these discussions.”
Yeah, uh, whatever you say, Coach.
Second, this really gets interesting if you check out the sociologist Harry Edwards on wikipedia. Edwards has been advising Blount. Long, long ago, when America was a different country, Harry Edwards was a Black Panther and was the architect of the black power protest at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Personally, I think that was a great day for sports and for us all.
So, what do you think? Did Harry Edwards tell LeGarette Blount to “keep your head down and that nice Irish coach will surely take care of you and your kid just like he promised” or “this is your whole life, get a lawyer and fight for it.” And who paid for Edwards to spend 2 days in Eugene anyway?
10/1/09: The Daily Emerald explains that President Lariviere decided not to spend another dime of UO money on Frohnmayer’s “Old Town” sign craziness. The rumor is that Lariviere is also going to dump Moseley’s UO-Bend programs as soon as feasible. Lots of other good rumors. Early days, but it’s hard to avoid a strange and unfamiliar feeling of optimism about UO.
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.
9/25/2009: Blackboard and research – posting will be light for a bit.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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 …
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