TFAB says increase in-state tuition and financial aid

The VP for Enrollment is forecasting a decline in in-state enrollment and an increase in new out-of-state students, which however will barely offset the decline from graduating students. It seems not every parent wants to send their child to Rob Mullens’s Duck branded big-time sports party school, especially one that is about to blow $12M on big-ass stereo speakers for the football stadium.

The Emerald’s Zach Demars has the story on last night’s tuition meeting here. The Trustees have already approved a small 2.9% increase for out-of-state students, apparently because they didn’t understand inelastic demand. The most likely scenario for in-state is an ~8% increase, depending on state funding. The university plans to go forward with its planned budget cuts. regardless of that funding. Which is odd.

ASUO President Maria Gallegos -Chacon and Vice President Imani Dorsey plan to issue a minority report, presumably arguing that the university should cut back on its bloated sports programs rather than soak the students again.

One bit of good news was that the TFAB endorsed a proposal put forward by some economist to use part of the tuition increase to increase financial aid for students with family incomes that are just above the cutoff for the full-tuition Pathways Oregon scholarships.

Duck AD Rob Mullens wants to spend $12M on big-ass speakers & video

While President Schill is cutting $9M from the academic budget, and about to propose 10% plus tuition increases.

You can’t make this shit up. From reporter James Crepea at the Oregonian:

“(The speakers) did not pop,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said. “What happened was there was a technical difficulty back at Matthew Knight Arena in the control center. So it was not the speakers blowing. In fact, our facilities guy said, ‘I don’t know.’ They had to go check.

“Irregardless of that, we have been looking for the last two years at a sound system upgrade but when we started digging into it and seeing the costs we started looking at a bigger project that maybe we should consider because our video board is getting old. We’re still in that process of evaluating what’s the best way to do it.”

The costs of such a project could vary enormously depending mostly on how vast a structure is required to build a new video board.

Mullens said the East end of Autzen Stadium would be “ideal” for the new video board as long as the structural costs don’t get out of hand.

“It’s total ballpark — and it’s risky to put out a number, then it’s a number people get locked into — we’re probably in the $12 million range,” Mullens said.

University to redirect Museum funds to Frohnmayer’s Steam Plant?

The RG’s Christian Hill has the story on the $26M redo of the EWEB steam plant, here:

… With a mix of commercial debt, equity from investors and tax credits, the team estimates a $4.1 million funding gap and likely would seek public dollars for the project…

A project like this needs some tenant guarantees to lock in funding, and it appears developer Mark Frohnmayer has found one:

Naturally there’s a tie-in to the UO Foundation’s tax-payer subsidized IAAF 2021 championships as well.

Senate to meet Wed 4/24 to discuss and vote on academic matters

DRAFT.

Location: EMU 145 & 146 (Crater Lake rooms)
3:00 – 5:00 P.M.

All times are estimates.

3:00 P.M.   Call to order

  • University update; Provost Banavar
  • Introductory Remarks; Senate Pres Harbaugh
  • Senate committee review report; Senate VP Skowron

3:30 PM   Approval of Minutes

3:31 PM     Business/ Reports:

4:50 PM   Open Discussion
4:51 PM   Other Reports

  • Legislative update; Robert Garral (OtP)

4:58 PM   Notice(s) of Motion

  • Core Ed Distribution Requirements; Senator Chris Sinclair

4:59 PM   Other Business
5:00 PM   Adjourn to Faculty Club, all invited!

UO not very transparent about Pres Schill’s budget cut proposal

RG reporter Jordyn Brown has the story here:

…  Additionally, UO refused requests for interviews with representatives of the Oregon Bach Festival, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Labor Education and Research Center about the budget cuts. …

This is what we pay UO’s Chief Strategic Communicator Kyle Henley $243K for? Telling UO employees not to talk to reporters? He was surprised they had questions? I suppose it’s a communication strategy, but it seems a bit overpriced:

Tobin Klinger – apparently still on the UO payroll – could do more at 1/2 the cost:

 

Poli Sci Prof Dan Tichenor asks for LERC support signatures

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to ask that you join me in signing a petition in support of the UO´s crucial Labor Education and Research Center.  Many of you are longtime friends and supporters of LERC; others have collaborated with LERC faculty and know how the UO benefits from having a Labor Center among its departments. For those of you who don’t know LERC well, please see the attached fact sheet for more information about its vital contributions.

In the current round of proposed budget cuts, LERC has been targeted for a large and disproportionate cut.  The UO is proposing a 68% cut in its funding for LERC – an amount that could eliminate half the department’s faculty.

It’s possible that cuts will be made across the campus.  But I hope you´ll agree that LERC should not be cut more than other departments.  That´s the essence of
this petition – asking the UO to guarantee that LERC´s sacrifice will be in proportion to that of other departments that make up the University´s core mission. As a longtime supporter of the labor center, I can attest that both the university and community benefit from its activities.

Please join me in voicing support for LERC by adding your name to the petition here: https://www.savelerc.com/faculty_staff_petition.

Thanks!

Dan Tichenor
Professor of Political Science

Budget cut Town Hall 2PM April 22, EMU Gumwood room

Update: RG photographer Chris Pietsch has taken many wonderful photos over the years and he is one of the reasons we still subscribe. And this may be his best:

Story here.

A little lite live-blogging. Usual disclaimer: Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. 

Two TV cameras, about 200 town hallers.

Intro from Provost Banavar, followed by a long explanation of UO’s revenue and cost problems from VPFA Moffitt. Neither looks particularly thrilled to be stuck with the job of explaining Pres Schill’s budget cuts.

In response to a bond Q and followup, Moffitt says the academic side is still paying $500,000 a year in debt service for a portion of the Knight Arena land.

Student question on Pres Schill’s salary and recent raise.

Q’s on why they are cutting LERC to the bone, while top administrator salaries continue to grow. A: Trying to protect schools and colleges. About impact. Student follows up with how impact was measured. A: Well known research. It’s kind of obvious. Plus Mike told us to protect advising and student success (and athletics and police). Q: No metrics? A: Brad or Scott can you answer, if you are here? Scott Pratt: Can’t talk about the metrics. We were looking at things that provided direct instruction.

Q: Why didn’t you look at cutting executive salaries? A: Supply and demand.

Q: Can we get a breakdown of salary costs by administrative units? What cuts is athletics going to face to do their share? A: We choose not to.

Q: Any potential growth in potentially lucrative on-line learning? Answer from AVP for online: Paraphrasing the answer: that’s really unlikely. particularly in the short term.”

Q: How can Mike Schill expect the legislature to give UO more money for tuition when UO goes to them year after year for money for athletics, Knight Campus, IAAF, etc. A: It’s politics.

Student Q: Why do I have to pay for Jaqua Center (aka Jock Box) when I can’t use it?

Q from Ed Davis (MNCH): Are you lobbying to increase state appropriations for units like Museums, LERC, Bach? A: Not really. Do try to protect them from cuts.

Q: Why has the university failed to recruit enough out-of-state students to offset the decline in international students. A: We tried. Apparently the $160K we blew on 3D googles wasn’t such a great idea. Who would have guessed.

Q from classified: Why do these budget crises always come up during contract negotiations? A: Timing and PERS. SEIU bargaining happens at same time we are trying to finalize state appropriations.

Update:  Budget cut Town Hall 2PM April 22, EMU Gumwood room

VPFA Jamie Moffitt will be there to explain why UO is not asking the Duck athletic department to share the pain.

4/21/2019: Provost Banavar signs Register Guard op-ed on museum cuts

I wonder who really wrote this? Obviously President Schill is making the decisions on budget cuts – not Provost Banavar, who has already announced that he will be stepping down on July 1. The takeaway? Johnson Hall believes that Duck sports are more important than arts, culture, and Oregon’s natural history.

The UO Senate will take up a resolution against these cuts at its Wednesday meeting. Page down for that resolution, which, unlike the JH op-ed actually quotes from UO’s mission statement, and makes clear that General Fund dollars are not all tuition dollars. Page further down for a recent news report on UO’s subsidies for the Ducks, and for some data on coaches salaries.

Also see the related Bob Keefer report in the EW here, and information on the official “Requiem for Transparency Town Hall”, on these cuts, 2PM Monday in the EMU Gumwood Room, here,

Here’s the Johnson Hall op-ed from the RG:

The University of Oregon has long provided educational and cultural programs to Eugene, Lane County and the state of Oregon through the Oregon Bach Festival, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

Our firm belief in the value of these programs and commitment to community service remains steadfast, but persistent disinvestment in higher education by the state of Oregon — combined with a multi-year drop in international enrollment and rising labor, retirement and health care costs — is putting incredible pressures on the university’s budget and requires a re-evaluation of how we support these cultural resources.

UO President Michael H. Schill recently announced $11.6 million in campus-wide budget reductions. This round of trimming is forcing the UO to focus on our core teaching and research mission, and to prioritize things such as scholarships for Oregon students, advising and tutoring programs, career faculty and campus safety.

Of this $11.6 million, $8.9 million rests within my office, the Office of the Provost, which includes the schools, colleges and units such as undergraduate education, information services, global engagement and cultural programs. I have had to engage in a very serious analysis of how much each specific unit in my portfolio should be reduced.

Last week, I let leaders of the OBF, JSMA and MNCH know that they would take reductions in their general fund support of $250,000, $314,000 and $225,000 respectively over the next two years. The OBF, JSMA and MNCH will experience larger relative budget reductions than most of the rest of campus to ensure that tuition dollars and state funding go primarily toward our teaching and research mission and impact students’ ability to succeed in the classroom.

The OBF and the museums are an important part of the university — vital to our faculty and key components of a liberal arts education — so we will continue to provide each significant general fund support. We also recognize that each of these cultural programs has a deep and committed pool of patrons, and to the extent possible, we will work to offset budget reductions with additional fundraising efforts and develop new ideas to earn revenue.

People often see construction cranes on campus, hear about contract extensions for coaches or new academic initiatives and think budget reductions are unnecessary or that administrators in Johnson Hall are being disingenuous about the budget situation. This is simply not the case.

First, we are very fortunate that the UO’s athletics department is one of the few in the nation that receives very little tuition or state funding. Athletics must live within its means — which includes revenue from ticket sales, media rights, philanthropy etc. — even as it faces the similar labor, pension and health care expenses as the rest of campus. We cannot tap athletics to offset budget reductions within our educational enterprise. [UOM: Why not? Why does President Schill allow the Ducks to continue to take from the General Fund, and allow their budget to continue to grow while the university’s academic budget is cut?]

Second, the vast majority of construction projects and programmatic investments we are making across campus are the result of dedicated donor gifts, specific state capital allocations or auxiliary funding sources such as student-paid fees. In most cases, such dollars cannot legally or contractually be diverted, and these projects and investments — which involve few to no general fund dollars — are the very thing that will keep the UO on a path toward excellence even as it wrestles with the volatility of state funding and international enrollment.

Budget cuts are never easy, and we don’t take these decisions lightly, but we have an obligation to Oregon’s students and families to allocate reductions in relative alignment with our mission. The simple reality is that we cannot continue to use undergraduate tuition dollars to fund the OBF, JSMA and MNCH at the levels we have in the past and must find new revenue streams to secure their long-term financial health.

As President Schill has said, these reductions are difficult but not insurmountable for the UO. That is certainly true for our cultural outreach programs as well, and I hope you will join me in the search for new ways to sustain and support these community resources that we all cherish.

Jayanth Banavar is provost, senior vice president and a professor of physics at the University of Oregon.

The Senate Resolution is here:

US18/19-16: SUPPORTING THE OTHER ACADEMIC UNITS AND REQUESTING MORE EQUITABLE EXPENDITURE REDUCTIONS

Date of Notice: April 18, 2019
Current Status: Notice Given
Motion Type: Resolution
Sponsor: Ed Davis, Senator

Section I

1.1  WHEREAS the University of Oregon’s mission statement says that it strives for, “… the generation, dissemination, preservation, and application of knowledge”; and

1.2  WHEREAS the Values enumerated in the mission statement include, “We value the unique geography, history and culture of Oregon that shapes our identity and spirit,” and, “We value our shared charge to steward resources sustainably and responsibly”; and

1.3  WHEREAS the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art are both accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, reflecting the uniformly high quality of their curatorial practices, collections-based research, and public-facing outreach programs, placing them in the highest ranks of museums in the United States; and

1.4  WHEREAS the exhibits and collections at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art are used by faculty in allied units in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Design for both undergraduate education and original research; and

1.5  WHEREAS the Museum of Natural and Cultural History is the designated repository for anthropological and fossil collections in the state of Oregon and was recognized with a National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2018; and

1.6  WHEREAS the Labor Education and Research Center has, for the last 42 years, strived to improve the lives of Oregon’s workers, their families, and their communities through integrated education, research, and public service that supports a strong, inclusive union movement; and

1.7  WHEREAS the Oregon Bach Festival has, for almost half a century, presented masterworks of J.S. Bach and composers inspired by his work to audiences in Eugene and across Oregon, offering educational opportunities, children and family programming, and community events, while supporting the academic mission of the School of Music and Dance; and

1.8  WHEREAS the University of Oregon must balance its budget through $11.6 million in expenditure reductions, but has chosen to reduce the budgets of these units by a combined $1.2 million, or 10% of the total of the University’s expenditure reduction, averaging out to 23% of the overall budgets of each of these units (including both UO funds and state allocations); and

1.9  WHEREAS the budget reductions of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art will be 15.1%, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History will be 16.6%, the Oregon Bach Festival will be 24.4%, and the Labor Education and Research Center will be 45% of each of their overall budgets. [UOM: should probably say “general fund budgets”.]

Section II

2.1  THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate of the University of Oregon affirms the intrinsic value of the academic work of these units, recognizing that their work in preserving and educating Oregonians in the unique geography, history, and culture of Oregon is central to the University’s mission,

2.1  BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the disproportionate cuts to these units that serve to generate, disseminate, preserve, and apply knowledge of Oregon’s labor relations, arts, cultural history, and evolutionary and geological history, do not reflect an appropriate stewardship of those resources sustainably and responsibly. Consequently, we, the Senate, request that the University of Oregon rethink its plan for expenditure reductions to distribute them more equitably across all units.

A recent report in Oregon Business by Caleb Diehl gives a pretty comprehensive review of the $5m in subsidies from UO’s academic budget to the Duck athletic empire, here. Some snippets:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a nonprofit that regulates college sports in the U.S., oversees a $13 billion college sports industry powered mostly by its premier league, Division I. The University of Oregon and Oregon State make millions off lucrative TV contracts, ticket sales and apparel deals. The 2018 budget for the University of Oregon athletic department, fueled almost entirely by men’s football and basketball, was $113.2 million.

The large amounts of revenue generated by college athletics stand in contrast to the frugality of academic departments at Oregon’s public universities, which decry the continual decline in state funding for tuition. In an era of record student loan debt and escalating tuition fees, academic departments are trimming costs wherever they can. But athletic departments continue to spend freely and even accept money from academia that could fund academic programs. Oregon Business examined their budgets and contracts, received through public-records requests. …

The University of Oregon athletics department reports to the NCAA that it doesn’t get any funding from student fees. But in fact, the department’s critics say students pay athletics a combined $5 million a year at the very least.

The university does not publicly acknowledge these subsidies, leading to what Kenny Jacoby, an alum who covered athletics spending for the online student news site, Daily Emerald, calls “the greater myth of self-sufficiency.” The department shows a balanced budget, he says, but “a lot of this stuff at UO is spelled out in building contracts, memoranda of understanding, ASUO [student and faculty government] financial arrangements.”

One of these financial arrangements governs revenue from ticket sales. All students chip in to watch sports, whether they’re fans or not. In 2017 the student government paid $1.7 million for tickets to games. The amount is specified each year in a contract between athletics and the school senate, a governing body representing the interests of students and faculty. The money comes out of the student government budget, funded by part of a mandatory $250 student fee.

The academic budget also pays around $2.2 million (as of 2014-15) for student-athlete tutoring. This service comes at a much higher cost than tutoring for nonathletes. Athletes get their tutoring inside a $41.7 million modernist cube called the John E. Jaqua Center. The university drops $4,000 a year on academic support for each athlete, according to a 2014 University of Oregon senate estimate. Nonathletes get $225 each.

The academic side also remains on the hook for athletics subsidies it agreed to in a 2009 memorandum of understanding that then-president Dave Frohnmayer signed with the athletic department. Nike founder Phil Knight donated a portion of the funds for the Matthew Knight Arena, a new basketball stadium, but the university paid $22.2 million using tax-exempt general obligation bonds for the land.

The athletic department couldn’t pay all of the debt service on the land and facility, so they turned to academics. Consequently, roughly half a million dollars comes out of the academic budget each year for a quarter of the debt service on the bonds. Another $375,000 a year pays for luxury box seats for the university president, and more goes to debt on an underground parking garage.

And here is some data on how much UO pays the Duck coaches:

[coming soon]

Some data on west of campus crime trends, relevant to budget crisis

President Schill has decided to protect the UOPD from his budget cuts, arguing that as the Eugene PD tries to clean up downtown the “bad actors” are moving closer to campus and our students need protection. But the data (limited) shows a 21% decrease in reported incidents since 2016. If you start in 2016 there is no clear trend for serious crime reports. If you start in 2017 they have also decreased, by 38%.

From: Senate President [mailto:senatepres@uoregon.edu
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 10:11 PM
To: Mike H Schill <mschill@uoregon.edu>; Matthew Carmichael <mecarmic@uoregon.edu>
Subject: crime wave data
 
Dear President Schill and Chief Carmichael – 
 
Having now heard several administrators repeat President Schill’s statements about a west campus crime wave, I started to wonder if there was any actual data on this. 
 
As it happens the EPD website allows for rudimentary searches of their dispatch log, at http://coeapps.eugene-or.gov/EPDDispatchLog/Search
 
Because the EPD webpage requires a street name, I focused on incidents with an address that included E 13th Ave, since this seems to be where the “bad actors” like to hang out. I searched for incidents reported from January 1 to March 19th for the years 2016 – 2019. The files are attached. They include everything from the trivial on up, so in addition to total incidents I looked for thefts and assaults. I found:
 
2016: 190 incidents, 11 thefts, 4 assaults
2017: 198 incidents, 11 thefts, 11 assaults
2018: 163 incidents, 11 thefts, 5 assaults
2019: 149 incidents, 15 thefts, 0 assaults
 
Obviously these data are limited, but they don’t seem consistent with a crime wave. If you have any additional data regarding trends in west campus crime I’d appreciate it if you’d share that with me.  
 
Thanks,
 
Bill Harbaugh
UO Senate Pres, Econ Prof

Chief Carmichael’s response is posted on the Senate website. He does not dispute the data above showing what could arguably be called a decrease. He does not provide any time-series data at all. This is weird, because this sort of data analysis has been the hallmark of good policing since maps with pins, and then the 1990’s CompStat.

“The Spirit of Transparency” to be laid to rest at budget cut Town Hall 2PM April 22, EMU Gumwood room

I was born in the town of Chaplin, Connecticut. New England towns are famous for their Town Hall form of governance. The town Selectmen (now mostly Selectwomen) make proposals about the budget, and then everyone – or every property-tax paying resident who cares – meets, discusses, and votes about the rate, and how to split it between snow-removal and teachers.

Our house was next to the Town Hall, so we shared a phone line with them and a few other families. This meant that the phone would ring in the Town Hall and all our houses if anyone got a call. In theory the operator was supposed to use a unique sequence of rings that identified who the call was for, but in practice this was spotty and regardless anyone could pick up their phone and listen in to whatever offer some contractor was making to the town.

UO’s governance is a bit less transparent. The Senate President is not allowed to attend the meetings of the administrative leadership team that makes budget decisions. Even simple public records requests for financial information are now met with delays and fees by Kevin Reed’s public records office. This is not how it works at normal universities, where the Senate is in the loop.

And now, in remembrance of the Spirit of Transparency past, UO is holding a fake Town Hall. Selectman Mrs. Danielson would be appalled. I learned about this from Around the O here, not from listening in on the JH phones, or from a notice to the Senate:

… The focus of the event will be the University of Oregon’s budget situation, and Banavar will lead a discussion around how the administration is working to make reductions to UO’s schools and colleges, and and the provost’s administrative units. Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt will join Banavar to provide background and context on the university’s financial picture.

The purpose of the town hall is to spark dialogue and a spirit of transparency around the difficulties faced by the university and its funding. …

Apparently President Schill will not be attending, presumably out of respect for the dead.

Provost announces college budget cut details, as athletics bloat continues

In totally unrelated news, reporter Caleb Diehl has an excellent story on the subsidies UO’s academic budget gives the Duck Athletic empire, in Oregon Business here:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a nonprofit that regulates college sports in the U.S., oversees a $13 billion college sports industry powered mostly by its premier league, Division I. The University of Oregon and Oregon State make millions off lucrative TV contracts, ticket sales and apparel deals. The 2018 budget for the University of Oregon athletic department, fueled almost entirely by men’s football and basketball, was $113.2 million.

The large amounts of revenue generated by college athletics stand in contrast to the frugality of academic departments at Oregon’s public universities, which decry the continual decline in state funding for tuition. In an era of record student loan debt and escalating tuition fees, academic departments are trimming costs wherever they can. But athletic departments continue to spend freely and even accept money from academia that could fund academic programs. Oregon Business examined their budgets and contracts, received through public-records requests.

The University of Oregon athletics department reports to the NCAA that it doesn’t get any funding from student fees. But in fact, the department’s critics say students pay athletics a combined $5 million a year at the very least.

The university does not publicly acknowledge these subsidies, leading to what Kenny Jacoby, an alum who covered athletics spending for the online student news site, Daily Emerald, calls “the greater myth of self-sufficiency.” The department shows a balanced budget, he says, but “a lot of this stuff at UO is spelled out in building contracts, memoranda of understanding, ASUO [student and faculty government] financial arrangements.”

One of these financial arrangements governs revenue from ticket sales. All students chip in to watch sports, whether they’re fans or not. In 2017 the student government paid $1.7 million for tickets to games. The amount is specified each year in a contract between athletics and the school senate, a governing body representing the interests of students and faculty. The money comes out of the student government budget, funded by part of a mandatory $250 student fee.

The academic budget also pays around $2.2 million (as of 2014-15) for student-athlete tutoring. This service comes at a much higher cost than tutoring for nonathletes. Athletes get their tutoring inside a $41.7 million modernist cube called the John E. Jaqua Center. The university drops $4,000 a year on academic support for each athlete, according to a 2014 University of Oregon senate estimate. Nonathletes get $225 each.

The academic side also remains on the hook for athletics subsidies it agreed to in a 2009 memorandum of understanding that then-president Dave Frohnmayer signed with the athletic department. Nike founder Phil Knight donated a portion of the funds for the Matthew Knight Arena, a new basketball stadium, but the university paid $22.2 million using tax-exempt general obligation bonds for the land.

The athletic department couldn’t pay all of the debt service on the land and facility, so they turned to academics. Consequently, roughly half a million dollars comes out of the academic budget each year for a quarter of the debt service on the bonds. Another $375,000 a year pays for luxury box seats for the university president, and more goes to debt on an underground parking garage.

President Schill outlines plans for $11M in budget cuts

Emailed to the campus today:

Dear colleagues,

On March 5, I wrote to let you know that the University of Oregon’s budget situation is becoming more challenging and it is imperative we move forward with efforts to reduce the UO’s annual operating costs. Since then, I have met with a variety of campus stakeholders to receive advice and guidance. Those meetings have been extremely useful in shaping our next steps, including helping identify priorities and principles to guide us. We all have a shared goal of ensuring the institution maintains a strong upward trajectory even as we grapple with state funding challenges and decreases in international enrollment.

Based on analysis by Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt and her team, we must reduce about $11 million in annual recurring expenditures from the education and general budget. I have provided the provost and vice presidents with cost-reduction goals for their units and asked them to develop plans for achieving those savings. We will prioritize our core academic and research activities; therefore, I have set higher savings targets for administrative units than I have for schools and colleges. Administrative functions will be subject to a 3 percent budget reduction, and decreases for schools and colleges will be in aggregate no more than 2.5 percent.  The provost’s office will do everything possible to ensure that the changes in our schools and colleges have as little negative impact as possible on academic activities and programs, including career faculty and staff.

Each vice president will have discretion for how best to deliver savings within their units, but I have asked them to consider some guiding principles and priorities, including:

  • AFFORDABILITY – We must not step back from our commitment to making the UO accessible to first generation, underrepresented and lower-income students. We will shield PathwayOregon and Diversity Excellence Scholarships from cuts.
  • STUDENT SUCCESS – To the fullest extent possible, units across campus should prioritize funding for efforts that support student success programs. Ensuring that we provide students with tutoring, mentoring, and advising are at the core of a great educational institution. Ultimately, this will help us to maintain affordability by enabling students to persist and graduate on time. We will also protect our student success investments in Tykeson Hall and the new advisors that are being hired to bring our student-to-advisor ratio to the national average
  • CAMPUS SAFETY – We will protect our law enforcement and Title IX (prevention and enforcement) initiatives from budget cuts, because we must provide a safe campus environment for students, faculty, staff and the broader community. Related programs and positions should be prioritized by individual units as they contemplate budget-reduction plans.
  • REVENUE GENERATION – Initiatives and programs that generate revenue should be priorities that vice presidents weigh in their budget-reduction considerations. For this reason, front-line fundraisers and student recruiters will be protected.  In addition, programs and efforts that support enrollment growth goals should be similarly prioritized.

Given that nearly 80 percent of our education and general fund budget pays salaries, it is impossible to achieve budget savings without impacting jobs. The UO already runs a very lean operation after decades of state disinvestment, and our staffing levels are below most of our peer institutions nationally. That means that many of our units will have to consider difficult decisions that may impact the level of service provided to the campus community. In some cases, we may need to stop doing things that are not aligned with the priorities I have identified or the UO’s teaching, research and service mission.

I will meet with and review the provost and vice presidents’ planned budget reductions. While I am not going to mandate a hiring freeze, to the extent reasonable, I have asked vice presidents to consider whether savings can be achieved by leaving open positions vacant or through attrition. In cases where it is necessary to move forward with workforce reductions, plans must be reviewed and approved by human resources and the general counsel. In close coordination with human resources professionals across campus, we will diligently work to ensure that colleagues who are impacted by budget reductions are offered a full range of support services and treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

We are entering a challenging period, but the hurdles we face are not insurmountable. We will continue to forcefully make the case in Salem that the state’s public higher education system needs a consistent and stable funding model that does not continually look to Oregon’s students and families to fill gaps in public support. The UO will continue to pursue a growth strategy that seeks to stabilize revenue swings by carefully and modestly increasing nonresident undergraduate enrollment over the next few years. And we will continue to leverage donor support to invest in academic initiatives – such as the Knight Campus, the Presidential Science Initiative and the humanities fellowship program – that expand and strengthen our world class academic and research programs. By working together, the UO can and will come out of these budget challenges stronger and with a clear focus on our very bright shared future.

I thank each and every one of you for all you do to make the University of Oregon a special place.

Sincerely, President Michael H. Schill, President and Professor of Law

Pres holds budget crisis Town Hall, asks faculty & OA’s to take pay cuts

That would be former President Dave Frohnmayer, in April 2009. The previous year Frohnmayer had negotiated a $150K raise for himself, and at the time of this public meeting he was negotiating a golden parachute retirement contract that  included a paid sabbatical which he used to restart his legal career at the Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick law firm.

Highlights include former Interim Provost Jim Bean lying about how UO’s administrative costs were 38% of our peers, and the news that given the crisis the athletic department would contribute $100K to help the library buy books. Rob Mullens soon put an end to that.

Frohnmayer and his stooges endured many sceptical questions from the staff, OA’s, and some faculty. Other faculty took this as an opportunity to indulge in some administrative brown-nosing. Watch it all:

Pres Schill on Addressing Budget Challenges – What should we cut?

Pres Schill’s email sent 12:42 PM 3/5/2019

Dear University of Oregon campus community:

Over the last few months, we have communicated with a wide variety of campus stakeholders to let them know that the University of Oregon is going into a difficult budget cycle. Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt has given many presentations articulating the increasing expenses that are putting pressure on our FY 2019–20 budget. We have been clear that without additional state support—a requested $120 million for all of Oregon’s public universities—we will be unable to hold resident undergraduate tuition increases at or below 5 percent and would likely be forced to look at budget cuts.

While I hope that the legislature will provide public universities in the state with the funds we requested, it is now evident that, even if the state does fulfill the request, we will need to reduce expenditures over the next two years. In addition to rising costs attributable to personnel, PERS, and health care, we are experiencing the full impact of a substantial reduction in international student enrollment. The UO enrolled large classes of students from abroad as recently as the 2015–16 academic year. Since that time, however, like many other American universities, the numbers have begun to fall off. Over the last three years, international enrollment has dropped by almost 1,000 students, representing more than $32 million in recurring tuition revenue. This decline should stabilize over the next few years as revenues slowly increase from our domestic enrollment growth initiatives.

As a result, unfortunately, we will need to reduce annual operating costs by between $10 and $11 million. While some of these reductions can be implemented immediately, some will take more than one year. Vice President Moffitt, Provost Jayanth Banavar, and I will spend the coming weeks seeking additional advice and input from campus stakeholders about how to manage this situation without eroding the tremendous progress we have made in many areas across campus over the past few years. We also want, as much as is possible, to protect programs and services that are vital to our core academic and research mission. It is my intention to come back to all of you in less than a month with a more detailed plan about how we will move forward.

Given that almost 80 percent of the UO’s general-education budget comprises salaries, the reality is that any cost-reduction efforts will affect jobs and people. I recognize that this news will cause anxiety among many in our campus community, but I believe it is important to be transparent about what lies ahead. I can assure you that we will look at every available option to mitigate the human impact of budget cuts on our campus community.

Finally, I want to address what can sometimes feel like an incongruent narrative that exists as we contemplate budget cuts at the same time that we have construction cranes busy all over campus helping to build Tykeson Hall, the Knight Campus, Hayward Field, and an addition to our student health center. The vast majority of construction projects and programmatic investments we are making across campus are the result of targeted donor gifts, specific state capital allocations, or auxiliary funding sources. The reality is that these projects and investments—which generally involve little to no general fund dollars—are the very thing that will keep the UO on a path toward excellence even as we wrestle with the volatility of state funding and international enrollment.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the UO. By working together, we will be able to weather the challenges that are ahead of us.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Please add your suggestions on what to cut in the comments. Here are some sources for information:

Staffing levels: https://ir.uoregon.edu/faculty_employees, e.g.:

UO employees can log into duckweb, go to Employee Information, Financial Transparency Reporting, and wade through reports like this:

And for info on how much the academic side is subsidizing athletics, see here.