Office of Equity and Inclusion searching for buzzword consultant

Nice to know that, after laying off 100 faculty, UO now has money to burn on a consulting firm to help with “executive trustbuilding”, “change management”, “active learning skills including paraphrasing” (that’s a direct quote) and “harnessing the power of culture to optimize outcomes“. $25K, or enough to pay for 4 Pathways scholarships. And it’s renewable:



UO Trustees hold emergency meeting to double Coach Horton’s pay

Just kidding, that was for Athletic Director Rob Mullens and football coach Matt Helfrich. There’s no evidence Chuck Lillis is going to fall for Rob’s shit again. They’ll give the money to some new baseball coach:


In February the UO Board of Trustees gave big raises to Duck AD Rob Mullens and football coach Mark Helfrich, after a second place finish in last year’s championship. Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms kept the purpose of the meeting secret until the last minute, and even left the contracts off the docket of meeting materials. The board approved them with no discussion after then Interim President Scott Coltrane enthusiastically endorsed the raises:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.42.05 PM

The contracts were made public later, and along with many perks and bonuses the Trustees basically doubled Helfrich’s base salary, which had been a mere $1.8M:

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UO issues RFP for study of gender and racial discrimination

More on this later, this post is just a placeholder. The RFP is here. The main output looks like a simple regression, for which UO will provide the data. I’m no econometrician, but it’s about an hour’s work – maybe two if you look at time trends, instead of just the proposed 2017 snapshot. It will be interesting to see how much the consultants’ bids come in at:

Secretive UO Foundation releases stale, minimally required IRS data

Update: Court rules university foundations subject to state public records law

That would be in Illinois. The Student Press Law Association has the news here. An increasing number of state AG’s, courts, and laws now require the same – but not Oregon.

5/16/2017: They are just now releasing data from the FY that ended June 30, 2016. Donations fell from $136M to $103M. CEO Paul Weinhold’s compensation increased from $417K to $444K, overall compensation for the top 5 “key employees” has increased by about 30%. (The individual pay reported in the full 990 below is for the calendar year 2014-15, while the overall number is for the 2015-16 FY – meaning that Weinhold’s pay is probably actually up 30% or so over last year. )

UO Foundation expenses


They report spending only $10K on lobbying (presumably for the IAAF) and lump academic and non-academic (sports) expenditures together.

President Schill’s office is telling the Emerald they do not have records on expenditures of foundation funds by his office:

The full IRS 990 for 2015-16 is here:

For comparison, the 2014-15 990 is here:

More below the break:

Continue reading

Crowdfunding for two worthy faculty initiatives

Dear CAS Colleagues,

In case you haven’t heard, I want you to be aware of an innovative fundraising campaign currently underway that will benefit two CAS programs.

The campaign, called DuckFunder, is a crowdfunding approach that aims to attract lots of small gifts (and even some large ones) for very focused projects. This is a six-week campaign, now entering its final few days. It will wrap up Friday, May 19.

This year, two CAS projects were selected:

· SPICE, a summer program that inspires teen girls to stay engaged in STEM studies Fundraising goal = $8,000

· Team Duckling, a psychology research team that studies how children learn and grow. Fundraising goal = $10,000

I will be making a personal donation to both of these worthy projects and encourage you to:

· Visit one of the links above and consider making a small donation that will help them reach their goal

· Help get the word out by clicking on one of the social share icons at the top of the SPICE or Team Duckling crowdfunding pages (links above) to share with your friends and family via Facebook, Twitter or email.

If you have a project you’d like to be considered for next year’s DuckFunder campaign, you can submit an application here:

Thank you for considering this request.

Warm regards, Andrew

W. Andrew Marcus
Tykeson Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
University of Oregon

It’s time for UO to drop baseball

8/21/2012: Pat Kilkenny paid for the park with a secret balloon loan from the UO Foundation that UO wouldn’t explain unless I paid the public records office $484.42:

UO students had to pay $1.54 million in subsidies for baseball last year, and even Bob Berdahl thought that coach George Horton scheduled too many away games during classes.

And now Horton is asking Mullens and UO President Mike Gottfredson for a 33% raise, to $600,000 a year. Adam Jude story in the Oregonian. Best suggestion from their comments? Pay Horton 10% of the profits. Net profits, that is.

Dysfunctional HECC now wants UO & PSU to beg for tuition increases

Update: OPB’s Rob Manning reports on the latest from the HECC, here:

… HECC commissioners were critical of the large universities, suggesting they had not done enough outreach to affected groups, like students.

One commissioner also suggested that by rejecting tuition hikes it would send a message to state lawmakers that more funding is needed for public universities.

… In a statement released Thursday night after the meeting, HECC executive director Ben Cannon signaled an expectation the big public universities would come back to the commission to make their arguments again.

Meanwhile, InsideHigherEd reports that UO’s old friend, former OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner, will soon be available to help out the HECC:

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association has hired Robert E. Anderson to be its new president, beginning in August. He will replace George Pernsteiner, who has led the group for four years.

5/12/2017: Pres Schill responds to HECC’s denial of tuition increase

Dear University of Oregon community members,

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s decision yesterday to reject the University of Oregon’s tuition plan is disappointing and creates uncertainty on our campus. If it stands, we will be forced to make even deeper cuts at the UO than are already anticipated, including cuts that will likely affect student support services, academic programs, and jobs. While we would like the HECC to reconsider its vote, we are already evaluating additional budget reduction steps that can be taken if this decision holds and the state does not provide additional support for public higher education.
No one wants to increase tuition, but the university is left with little choice given that tuition is the UO’s main source of revenue after decades of declining state support. Prior to the HECC’s vote, the UO’s tuition plan would have required more than $8 million in budget reductions next year, which would come on top of more than $6 million in cuts made in the previous fiscal year. I have steadfastly expressed my view that we will try to shield the academic part of our university from the impact of this year’s budget cuts, but if we are forced to limit our tuition increase to less than 5 percent, then that aspiration will likely be impossible.

In the face of cost-drivers that institutions do not control—including retirement and health benefit costs—Oregon’s public universities have been clear that significant additional state support for higher education is necessary to keep tuition increases low and to maintain critical student support services. State legislators still have the opportunity this session to approve a higher-education budget that prioritizes Oregon students and their families and makes the proposed tuition increase at the UO and other institutions unnecessary.

The state of Oregon deserves a world-class research institution like the UO. The HECC’s decision to overturn a tuition plan that was reached through months of inclusive campus engagement and careful deliberation by our institutional Board of Trustees, however, threatens our ability to deliver on that promise for all Oregonians. We will continue to work with students, faculty, staff, and alumni to make the case in Salem that cutting higher-education funding and usurping campus independence will lead to untenable outcomes for the UO and all of higher education in Oregon.
As we have said repeatedly, the UO stands ready and willing to provide HECC commissioners with the information they need to reconsider their decision about tuition on our campus. This situation is very fluid and time is of the essence, given that the fiscal year starts on July 1, but you have my commitment that we will communicate with the campus community as we hear more. I appreciate your patience and understanding.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

5/11/2017: HECC turns down UO’s 10% tuition increase

That’s the bad news from the HECC meeting today. The tuition increase for in-state student tuition will be capped at 4.99%.

The vote on UO was 4-4, and a majority was needed. Will Campbell has a “to be updated” report in the Emerald here.

The docket is here, the official HECC statement is here:

PRESS RELEASE: HECC Takes Action on Public University Tuition Proposals, Approving Increases at OIT, SOU, WOU 

MAY 11, 2017
Contact: Endi Hartigan, Communications Director, Higher Education Coordinating Commission,, 971-701-4032 cell

Salem, Oregon  — Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) voted today at a public meeting in Salem to approve three out of five requests for resident undergraduate in-state tuition increases at Oregon public universities. The Boards of Trustees for Oregon’s seven public universities generally set tuition for their students, but under Oregon law* passed in 2013, HECC is required to determine for the State of Oregon whether any public university proposal for undergraduate in-state tuition and fee increases greater than five percent is appropriate.

Facing significant budget shortfalls in 2017-18, five of Oregon’s seven public universities** proposed 2017-18 tuition and mandatory fee increases above the five percent statutory threshold. These proposals were based on anticipated state funding levels, as described in the Governor’s Recommended Budget for higher education. The Commission’s action today approved proposed tuition increases at Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT), Southern Oregon University (SOU), and Western Oregon University (WOU). The proposals for Portland State University (PSU) and University of Oregon (UO) were not approved, in part related to concerns about student involvement in the tuition-setting process. Both PSU and UO fell one vote short of the five Commissioner votes required for passage. The vote followed nearly four hours of public testimony from students and other stakeholders over the last two days of Commission meetings, as well as vigorous discussion among the Commissioners.

Institution ApprovedTuition Increase**
OIT 7.42%
OIT-Wilsonville 8.08%
SOU 11.43%
WOU* 7.45%
Institution Not Approved
PSU 8.37%
UO 11.48%
*=Weighted Average Increase
**Resident undergraduate tuition and mandatory enrollment fee

Cognizant of the precedent-setting nature of its action, the Commission’s votes followed a careful evaluation of the universities’ requests against a set of criteria substantially shaped by Governor Kate Brown, who on April 10, 2017 issued a letter to HECC Commission Chair Neil Bryant detailing conditions for tuition approval. In her letter, the Governor expressed concern for whether universities gave serious consideration to alternatives, how tuition increases would impact underrepresented students, how they would be balanced with institutional cost-saving measures or cuts, the degree to which students and faculty were involved in tuition-setting processes on campuses, whether additional state funding would reduce these tuition levels.

Institutions prepared detailed responses about how they satisfied these concerns; those responses, along with HECC staff analyses are available on the HECC website under materials for the May 10 and 11 public meetings here. The Chairs of the Boards of Trustees of all five universities joined senior university administrators before a HECC subcommittee on May 10 to personally attest to how they met the Governor’s conditions.

Neil Bryant, Chair of the HECC, said, “This was an unprecedented scenario for our Commission, as Oregon faces stark challenges in higher education funding. We appreciated the Governor’s student and equity-focused vision, which we share, and her clear criteria, which reinforced HECC priorities. The fact that universities are committed to reducing tuition increases should the Legislature provide additional state funding was an especially important consideration to the Commission. Although the Commission did not approve the UO and PSU proposals, we are committed to supporting the institutions in every way we can on next steps.”

The Commission’s discussion focused heavily on the insufficiency of state higher education funding levels, which has a direct impact on tuition. A recent national report on higher education funding showed that while Oregon made significant investments in 2015, this was in the context of many years of underfunding. Oregon still ranks substantially low (37th) for educational appropriations per student, and has seen some of the steepest reductions in the country since before the 2008 Recession.

Ben Cannon, executive director of the HECC, said, “Our Commissioners were faced today with the same unwelcome dilemma that has tested university Boards of Trustees: namely, the gap between steadily rising costs and flat state funding levels. Under these circumstances, the Commission concluded that the proposed increases represent the ‘least bad’ option for WOU, SOU, and OIT. We look forward to hearing how UO and PSU intend to either adjust their tuition proposals or present additional information to the HECC that could result in reconsideration.”

In their remarks, Commissioners expressed appreciation for the institutions, students, agency staff, and all who testified and contributed to the public process. Commission Chair Neil Bryant said, “I commend all public testimony, both pro and con, concerning the tuition increases. The HECC understands the tremendous burden that is placed on students and their families and is committed to supporting additional funding to reduce tuition.”

Under Oregon law, UO and PSU will need to do one of the following before finalizing their 2017-18 tuition rates for resident undergraduate students: 1) Modify their plan such that it falls below the 5% increase threshold requiring HECC approval, 2) Receive approval from the HECC for a modified or resubmitted proposal that is at a level of 5% or greater, or 3) Receive approval from the Legislative Assembly for a tuition increase greater than 5%.

*ORS 352.087(1)(i) and ORS 352.102(4).
**Eastern Oregon University (EOU) and Oregon State University (OSU) did not seek HECC approval, as their boards approved tuition increases of less than five percent.

The HECC is dedicated to fostering and sustaining the best, most rewarding pathways to opportunity and success for all Oregonians through an accessible, affordable and coordinated network for educational achievement beyond high school. For more information, go to

More here:

2.0 DRAFT March 8, 2017 Minutes
4.0 2017-19 Community College Strategic Fund
5.0 Community College Support Fund Distribution: Growth Management
6.0a Public University Support Fund Distribution: Overview of SSCM Model
6.0b SSCM Funding Model Overview presentation
6.0c SSCM Summary
6.0d SSCM Calculation Map
7.0a Public University Tuition and Fee Increase Requests
7.0b UO Tuition & Fee Increase HECC summary
7.0c UO Tuition & Fee Institutional Board Packet
7.0d PSU Tuition & Fee Increase HECC summary
7.0e PSU Tuition & Fee Institutional Board Packet
7.0f PSU Tuition & Fee Institutional Finance Committee Packet
7.0g Letter from Governor Brown to HECC re  tuition increases

Professor resigns after discipline threat for criticizing diversity training

In the Chronicle here:

… The emails leaked to The American Conservative document a conflict that began in February, when Mr. Griffiths responded to a colleague’s email urging Divinity School faculty members to participate in voluntary diversity training with his own email urging them to skip it as a waste of time. “It’ll be, I predict with confidence, intellectually flaccid: There’ll be bromides, clichés, and amen-corner rah-rahs in plenty,” he wrote. “When (if) it goes beyond that, its illiberal roots and totalitarian tendencies will show.” He argued that such training was “at best a distraction” from the school’s academic mission.

Elaine Heath, the Divinity School’s dean, subsequently responded with an email saying “it is inappropriate and unprofessional to use mass emails to make disparaging statements” to humiliate or undermine colleagues. “The use of mass emails to express racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry is offensive and unacceptable, especially in a Christian institution,” she wrote. …

I’ve been to some hilariously bad and counter-productive diversity trainings, some mixed ones, and one good one (run by a church when I was 9).  UO is now requiring members of search committees to take “implicit bias training”, and the administration has hired diversity consultants to train the deans and others on it. I took a version offered at a recent BOT meeting, complete with doing the Implicit Association Test. I thought it was pretty interesting.

But the facilitator did not spend much time explaining the scientific controversies about the research. The Chronicle has a good analysis of the disputes over whether the IAT is reliably repeatable, whether it correlates with behavior, and whether changes in the IAT correlate with changes in behavior, all motivated by several recent meta-analyses. Read it all here:

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Harvard, and the University of Virginia examined 499 studies over 20 years involving 80,859 participants that used the IAT and other, similar measures. They discovered two things: One is that the correlation between implicit bias and discriminatory behavior appears weaker than previously thought. They also conclude that there is very little evidence that changes in implicit bias have anything to do with changes in a person’s behavior. These findings, they write, “produce a challenge for this area of research.”