Former UO Provost Linda Brady “retires” after failing to send staff to prison

I spent a lot of time talking to Linda Brady about Charles Martinez’s double dipping, UO’s first 5-year diversity plan, and John Moseley’s UO-Bend scheme. Before I met her I assumed top administrators needed to be reasonably smart, competent people. But she was clueless and easily manipulated, which was presumably why Frohnmayer hired her. That was something of a revelation to me. When she left, Frohnmayer appointed Jim Bean to as interim provost, presumably for the same reasons. That said this is a bit surprising – not least because she let Martinez get away with much worse:

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4/25/2011: Former UO Provost Linda Brady is the subject of a feature article in the Chronicle on UNC-Greensboro (4/25/2011). She left UO to become Chancellor (president) there:

Ms. Brady says that communication, particularly with the faculty, is something she needs to improve. She’s heard that professors think she is distant and unsympathetic. When a news story about the university’s $31-million renovation of the dining hall came out in the local paper, she worried that students and professors wouldn’t understand that the project was covered through auxiliary money, separate from state funds.

Brady was hired by Frohnmayer to run things after John Moseley took his Bend golden parachute. She spent a remarkably ineffective two years at UO – except for helping Frances Dyke spend millions remodeling Johnson Hall. Frohnmayer didn’t trust her, so Melinda Grier ended up running UO. Brady left as soon as she could, to everyone’s relief – I’m guessing not least hers.

Frohnmayer then appointed Business School Dean Jim Bean as interim Provost on a two year contract. When Lariviere arrived he appointed Bean as UO’s permanent provost, without going through the normal search process.

Nostalgic?

10/11/2011: I didn’t think so. The low point for UO was the April 2009 “Furlough Town Hall” where President Dave Frohnmayer, Provost Jim Bean, General Counsel Melinda Grier, and VPFA Frances Dyke tried to trick the faculty into agreeing to 5% pay reductions.

Frohnmayer had just taken a $100,000 raise himself, and was in the process of trying to spend $1 million on the neon “Old Town” sign in Portland. Inane. Bean claimed that UO was in the black on our Bend satellite and that we had a lean top administration, spending 38% of what our peer institutions spend. Wrong. Dyke revealed that she didn’t know how much faculty payroll was, and couldn’t divide.

All four of the people in this insulting dog and pony show are now gone or going. (Although Bean may be back). In addition, Diversity VP Charles Martinez is gone. VP for Research Rich Linton is gone. Lorraine Davis is back, but just for a bit. VP for AA Russ Tomlin is retiring. We have new VP’s for admissions and development and a new athletic director. The 5% cut in faculty pay that Frohnmayer’s administration proposed is history – replaced with raises. The staff furloughs have been mostly offset with overtime.

President Lariviere has engineered a nearly complete overall of UO’s central administration. Now we’ll see what they can do.

Pay us $111.46 to find out how we spend your money

6/20/2009: Last week we asked UO Counsel Doug Park for documentation on how many millions UO administrators had spend remodeling their offices in Johnson Hall, and if it was true that Frances Dyke had diverted some of the money from a fund Linda Brady had set up for faculty offices.

A week later (and before the AG cracked down Melinda Grier would draw this step out for 3 months, minimum) we got the reply below. Information on this sort of thing is a matter of public interest and we shouldn’t have to pay $111.46 (strange – Doug usually picks a prime number) to see it – and when Tublitz’s transparency website is active, we won’t have to. Meanwhile, maybe we’ll petition this to the AG’s office.

Dear Professor X:

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for a copy of documents or accounting reports related to remodeling and renovating Johnson Hall for the last two years or what is budgeted through June 2010. You also request documents providing information about funds budgeted for faculty office remodeling – we assume for the same time period (the last two years). The University is now providing an estimate.

The University estimates the actual cost of providing the documents responsive to your request to be $111.46. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon in the amount of $111.46, the University will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure. Your check may be sent to the attention of the General Counsel’s office at 1226 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1226. Your request for a fee waiver is respectfully denied.

Please note that if the cost of preparing the documents for you is less than the estimate, we will refund the difference. If the cost of preparing the report for you exceeds the estimate, however, you may be charged for the difference. Following is an outline of how costs are determined.

…boilerplate …

Thank you for contacting the University with your request.

Sincerely,

The University of Oregon
Office of the General Counsel

Where does the money go?

6/12/2009: BTW, the Union has a new web site, here. After posting this we got a comment asking if UO Matters is going to become a Union site? Never. Our only loyalty is to skepticism.

Rumor has it that Frances Dyke has now spent $3 million on her Johnson Hall remodeling project, and that a good chunk of the money was taken from funds originally budgeted for faculty offices. Yesterday we sent UO Counsel Doug Park a public records request asking for:

a) information on how much has been spent over the past 2 years, or is budgeted through June 2010, for remodeling and renovating Johnson Hall.
b) information about what happened to the funds that Frances Dyke and Linda Brady had budgeted for faculty office remodeling.

We’ll post results when we get them.

$2.4 million on administrator offices

While UO can’t find room to house its new students, classrooms to teach them in, or offices for the faculty, UO’s VP for Finance Frances Dyke recently made the tough call to spend $2.4 million renovating and remodeling administrative suites in Johnson Hall. Where do you think her office is?

Money quote: “Funding was set aside from the Capital Repair budget that I manage for these repairs.” So where did the rest of the $2.4 million come from?

From: Frances Dyke
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 3:43 PM
Subject: Johnson Hall Projects

Here is the information you requested on the Johnson Hall renovations as summarized by the project managers. Just a few notes to help you decipher this: Suite 3 is on the west side of the ground floor. Suite 7 is on the east side of the ground floor. One thing that is not mentioned in the narrative below is that the bathroom renovation on the south side of the second floor upgraded a bathroom to meet accessibility standards. Until this project was finished the only accessible bathroom was on the ground level.

We have been working on 7 different projects in Johnson Hall over the last year.

The initial project was a heating system renovation, as the system in the building was failing, terribly inefficient, and ineffective. A study was done regarding this project 4 years ago. Funding was set aside from the Capital Repair budget that I manage for these repairs.

The project was defined as a two phase project. The first being the basement, the second phase included the top two floors. These were set up as two separate contracts as initially the timing for these projects were conceived to be a year apart. They ended up being separated by less time as the second floor renovation occurred which made it far more cost effective to incorporate the timing of the HVAC upgrade at the same time as the second floor renovation so no newly replaced finishes would be damaged with the addition of a new heating system. It took a major coordination effort on the part of a couple of my project managers, but it worked out very well.

The second floor renovation project was driven by a need to more efficiently layout the second floor, and re-organize it to fit the structure of the departments that were located on that floor. This project incorporated all of our current sustainable practices in lighting, finishes, HVAC controls, etc.

The Suite 3 and Suite 7 renovations were requested by different departments to better organize their spaces, which enabled the creation of new work stations. This work was undertaken while the space was empty for the HVAC renovation. Again this created the opportunity for efficiency based upon the fact that there was not an additional loss of productivity for another departmental move. As well, we again put significant effort into coordinating multiple contracts in this space to create the most cost effective renovation effort possible. Some of the work in this area ended up being completed slower than was desired due to some delays in the design and permitting process.

While we had a large portion of the building affected by the construction we installed a fire sprinkler system in the building. Johnson Hall has been high on the priority list for a long time. As it holds many critical records for the campus, it has long needed this system installed. We were able to install this system within the building without creating a significant increased impact to the users.

We also made a modification to the telecommunication closet within the building. This was an issue that was partially brought on by a necessary relocation driven by the second floor project, the other was that the existing closet was far below the standards of other campus systems so the opportunity was taken by the telecommunication department to upgrade the system to current standards.

The funding for the projects is as indicated below.

Basement HVAC Replacement Project (Cap Repair)

Project Budget $ 800,000
Current Expenditures $ 694,489
Projected Costs $ 716,111

1st and 2nd Floor HVAC Replacement Project (Cap Repair)

Project Budget $ 511,000
Current Expenditures $ 431,438
Projected Costs $ 445,098

2nd Floor Renovation Project

Project Budget $ 799,015
Current Expenditures $ 623,885
Projected Costs $ 704,265

Suite 3 Renovation

Project Budget $ 134,280
Current Expenditures $ 92,934
Projected Costs $ 115,477

Suite 7 Renovation

Project Budget $ 98,645
Current Expenditures $ 70,244
Projected Costs $ 90,957

Fire Sprinkler Installation/Alarm Upgrade (Cap Repair)

Project Budget $ 310,000
Current Expenditures $ 170,504
Projected Costs $ 218,952

Telecommunication Closet Upgrade

Project Budget $ 135,000
Current Expenditures $ 116,100
Projected Costs $ 128,691

Best,

Frances

Frances L. Dyke
CFO and Vice President for Finance and Administration