UO hires Director of Talent Management *and* a Strategic Talent Consultant!

Names redacted because I’m sure everyone involved in this lucrative little farce has the best and most earnest intentions. The Assistant VP who wrote it is paid $136,698.


Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2015 

Subject: Operations Announcement – Talent Management


I am pleased to share the following news regarding some upcoming changes in Operations.

We’ve always known how important our employees are in making this a special and highly successful organization.  As a result of our recent growth/expansion and the launching of our campaign, we must further invest in our greatest asset – our talent. With this in mind, we are planning to expand on the professional development program that was previously implemented and build a talent management program that will focus on strategic talent management around recruitment, professional development, and retention.

In order to do this, we will be hiring a Director of Talent Management position who will partner with XXX XXXXXXXX to fully assess our organizational needs and build a comprehensive and robust program.  Having dedicated staff, time, and resources will help us define what this program will need to look like for University Advancement.

To expedite the program building process, we have enlisted the assistance of a talent management consultant, XXXXX XXXXXXX. XXXXX has worked with various advancement talent management teams at Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Michigan, in addition to providing coaching and consulting services within the higher-ed advancement arena.  XXXXX will be soliciting input and ideas in order to help prepare for this new position.

We will be looking to collect your input on many facets.  Your involvement will be vital in making this new program one that meets the needs of our department.  In the works are surveys and meetings to collect information about our current practices around professional development and employee engagement.  Additional details will follow in the coming weeks and months.

I am happy to answer any questions you have and will continue to provide updates as we build this new important program!


Assistant Vice President, XXXXX XXXXX

University Advancement University of Oregon

Paul Campos in the NYT on administrative bloat


…Interestingly, increased spending has not been going into the pockets of the typical professor. Salaries of full-time faculty members are, on average, barely higher than they were in 1970. Moreover, while 45 years ago 78 percent of college and university professors were full time, today half of postsecondary faculty members are lower-paid part-time employees, meaning that the average salaries of the people who do the teaching in American higher education are actually quite a bit lower than they were in 1970.

By contrast, a major factor driving increasing costs is the constant expansion of university administration. According to the Department of Education data, administrative positions at colleges and universities grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, which Bloomberg reported was 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.

Even more strikingly, an analysis by a professor at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, found that, while the total number of full-time faculty members in the C.S.U. system grew from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, the total number of administrators grew from 3,800 to 12,183 — a 221 percent increase. …

At UO, it’s the senior admins who are eating the pork, not the OA’s:

HECC approves UO Board’s pet Sports Product Degree

3/13/2015 update: And boy is PSU pissed. Allan Brettman has the report in the Oregonian, here:

The state Higher Education Coordinating Commission on Thursday approved UO’s application to start a Master of Science in Sports Product Management. The program, long sought by the region’s sports products companies, will enroll students this fall.

But before the commission’s 6-2 vote in Salem, PSU President Wim Wiewel delivered a fusillade of criticism at the program. He accused UO of failing to collaborate with PSU on the curriculum and made clear his dissatisfaction with any other state higher education institution infringing on PSU’s turf.

“You are deciding if you are going to allow our public universities to engage in a free-for-all for the Portland geographic area,” Wiewel told commissioners in prepared remarks before the vote.

UO officials, for their part, were delighted with the board’s vote. They noted that the program has been under formation for about two years, has widespread support from companies such as Nike, Columbia Sportswear and Keen, and is expected to enhance the region’s existing reputation as the epicenter for athletic footwear, sportswear and outdoor products.

“This program creates an educational pathway to help the state retain its advantage in this important area,” Frances Bronet, acting UO senior vice president and provost, said in prepared remarks. …

Off course it’s already a money pit, despite promises donors would pay for it. And it’s sucking up time that UO’s administrators could have spent supporting research that might help keep us in the AAU. And it’s cost UO maybe $500K in Jim Bean. That said, it’s a natural for UO.

7/5/2015: UO’s big new strategic initiatives: sports and police

The announcement is here: http://provost.uoregon.edu/content/fy15-strategic-initiatives. It’s not all bad, but of course Jim Bean’s sports product design proposal gets a bundle:

New Tenure Related Faculty Position: Sports Product Management

AAA and LCB jointly submit a strategic initiative in Sports Products that seeks to educate product designers and design process managers for the state’s largest, homegrown, alpha-cluster of companies, and to conduct research critical to their continued success. This collaboration addresses an academic opportunity, to launch a program which enables two critical components that Oregon owns: one is that of connecting design and hands-on learning with strategic management practices; two propels a model of embodied learning, where action art/athletics/physical health/sports are a rich part of an intellectual and learning continuum.

School of Architecture and Allied Arts/ Lundquist College of Business

$140K recurring , $450K start up

There’s also $500K plus $130K recurring for the UOPD’s new information system. Remember when Frances Dyke told Floyd Prozanski and the State Legislature that an independent UOPD was going to cost maybe $66K? She lied. Their budget has increased from $2 to $5 million, even before this:

Computer-Aided Dispatch/Record Management System (CAD/RMS)

The Communication and Emergency Response Center (CERC) serves the UO community by providing dispatch and emergency communication services for UOPD, Parking and Transportation, Environmental Health and Safety, Student Affairs and Campus Operations, serving a population of approximately 30,000. UOPD maintains its own communications and records units, and works closely with the City of Eugene Police Department (EPD). The current CAD system was installed in 1997 and no longer interfaces with the City of Eugene PD system. UOPD must implement a modern Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)/Record Management System (RMS) that will serve the current and future needs of both the UOPD and other campus partners, with end-to-end encrypted VPN (virtual private network) connection to City of Eugene servers and CJI (criminal justice information) systems.

$130K recurring, up to $500K one time

VPFA Jamie Moffitt paid AON Hewitt consulting $500K in January

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What did they do to earn it? I don’t know, let’s find out:

Subject: public records request, AON Hewitt consulting
Date: March 3, 2015 at 12:34:55 AM PST
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Jamie Moffitt <jmoffitt@uoregon.edu>, Gregory Rikhoff <grikhoff@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton:

This is a public records request for any UO public records contracts, invoices, or deliverables related to Aon Consulting Inc/dba Hewitt Assoc, dated from 1/1/2014 to the present.

I’m ccing VPFA Jamie Moffitt as my understanding is that she coordinated their consulting work, and should be easily able to produce the documents.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

Things our administration has money for: Sports Products and Cops

2/24/2015: Coltrane tops off the bloated UOPD budget – up $1M in a few years – with a new Assistant Chief to help out UOPD Chief Carolyn McDermed. She gets $139K a year – same as the chief of Eugene’s far larger EPD. The Chief of the Oregon State Police gets $149K. Job ad here, more bloat below.

12/1/2014: From Gottfredson’s “Strategic Initiatives” project last summer. These are two of the projects that were approved, the funds are mostly out of student tuition money and CAS cutbacks. More than $1M. No sign that Coltrane has revisited these priorities:

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RG Editorial Board argues UO President is paid enough, already

12/17/2014 update:  The Johnson Hall central administration wants to argue we need to pay a lot to get a President, so that they can use that salary when justifying their own raises. Search firms have their own incentives. They are getting some pushback from the RG’s Editorial Board. Read it all here:

… The UO’s last president, Michael Gottfredson, was paid $544,000 a year plus a variety of attractive perks. … Most public members of the elite Association of American Universities in the West paid their presidents less in 2013 than Gottfredson received — an average of $387,000 at the five University of California system AAU members, and $422,333 at the University of Colorado. The University of Arizona was in the same ballpark as the UO. The outlier is the University of Washington, which paid $770,000, according to the Chronicle. The figures include deferred compensation, bonuses and retirement pay.

Yet some trustees are concerned that the UO will not be able to attract a suitable candidate at Gottfredson’s salary level, and are talking about some combination of pay and benefits in the $600,000 to $800,000 range. Connie Ballmer, who heads the board’s presidential search committee, said it’s “crystal clear from the search firm that we are way low.”

That depends on what the firm is searching for. At their first meeting trustees spoke as though the UO would need to persuade a talented leader to leave a secure and well-paid position to come to Eugene. That’s not necessarily the case. The UO’s next president could be, and perhaps should be, someone who hasn’t already broken into the academic big leagues — an ambitious administrator who sees an opportunity to make his or her mark at the UO.

… And then there’s that element of populism mentioned by Hart. As a public university, the UO should avoid offending public sensibilities with a presidential salary like that of a corporate CEO. The UO faculty and staff, on whose work any president’s success will depend, have long been underpaid relative to their peers, and should not be made to feel that the president is subject to a different set of expectations. Pushing the presidential salary into the stratosphere would be neither necessary nor politic.

If the board does this, they’ll presumably say it will be paid out of Foundation funds, as they did for Frohnmayer’s raises. I’m not sure why they think this makes it any more acceptable, but Lillis also made a point of noting this for Gottfredson’s $940K buyout.

12/15/2014:  Job #1 for new UO Board: Pay president 150% of comparators, and faculty 88%?

President Lariviere famously said that for him, job #1 was to get UO faculty salaries to the average of our AAU comparators. He meant it, he gave out raises, and a year or so later the OUS Board fired him. That was one step in the process that led to legislative approval of a new independent UO board.

So what is job #1 for that new UO Board? Shift UO’s scarce resources to the faculty, or keep spending them on administrative bloat?

That’s the question raised during Friday’s meeting of the UO Board’s Presidential Factors Committee, chaired by UO Trustee Ginevra Ralph.

Diane Dietz has the story in the RG, here:

University of Oregon trustees are mulling whether to use the tools of business to recruit, sign and retain a new president to run the UO.

They’re kicking around ideas such as a signing bonus, pay-for-performance compensation, use of a jet for work trips, penalties for early departure and/or deferred compensation — perhaps totaling $600,000 to $800,000 annually. That would handily top the $544,000 annual package of previous president Michael Gottfredson.

“Clearly, (incentives are) used in worlds we come from,” said Connie Ballmer, chairwoman of the UO Board of Trustees’ presidential search committee.

Gottfredson’s pay rate won’t get a top-caliber candidate to the UO, she said. It’s “crystal clear from the search firm that we are way low,” she said.

Trustee Susan Gary, a law professor who represents faculty on the UO Board, suggests a more earth-bound approach, such as scaling the president’s pay to faculty salaries, which average roughly $100,000 a year.

Despite Lariviere’s efforts, and the efforts of the new UO faculty union, UO faculty salaries are still at the bottom of the AAU, while UO’s Senior Administrators continue to pile on the pork:

UO’s Institutional Research office has posted the comparison of UO salaries to AAU averages,  by department and rank, here. Who is at the absolute bottom? I’m no economist, but it’s UO Economics, at 74%:

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 8.34.18 PM

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 8.34.34 PM

OK, I’m exaggerating. There are a few small departments at 73%, and a few others tied for 74%. But whatever – UO administrators are doing more than fine:

Eleventh hour talks to be held today

11/25/2014 update: The GTFF has sent its leadership team to meet with the State appointed mediator, presumably for the last time. No word if the UO administration has sent anyone with the power to cut a deal, or just $300-an-hour zoning easements attorney Jeff Matthews and the usual low-level administrators. Meanwhile UAUO President Michael Dreiling has an op-ed in the RG in support of the grad students:

Why do we support the federation?

On Nov. 5, UO President Scott Coltrane explained to the University Senate why attracting, supporting and retaining graduate students is essential to meeting our academic ambitions. The UO is doing poorly in this respect.

Recent data show that our total number of graduate students has declined. Many universities with which the UO competes already provide paid sick leave for their graduate employees. The UO cannot afford to fall further behind them. Better pay and a humane sick leave policy would make the UO more competitive, and we urge the administration to move on these proposals.

He’s got a point. UO needs more grad students to stay in the AAU, as Board Chair Chuck Lillis discussed in his meeting with the faculty Senate. It’s not happening, and we all know pay and benefits are part of prospective students’ decision. Here’s the last 10 years or so of enrollment data (includes professional students). We lost 100 or so last year alone:

11/24/2014 update: Unions post updates on strike, what to do about grades, AAUP support

The United Academics faculty union’s website includes some useful info about grading, and a letter of support from the AAUP for the “dilute and degrade” legislation and opposition to the administration’s confidential strike plans, here. This message is particularly strong:

The campus is caught up in confrontation and brinksmanship. Regardless of where anyone stands on the issues between the GTFF and the administration, we all have right to expect our administration to provide creative leadership in these difficult times. We are not getting this leadership from our colleagues in Johnson Hall.

The GTFF grad student union post is here, and among other things they have a letter of support from a major German trade union, reassuring the UO administration that:

“Parental leave, maternity protection and sick pay are not equivalent to socialism, but are self-evident principles.”

Now that this matter of principle has now been cleared up, perhaps the UO administration will finally agree to a deal with the GTFF. Rumor has it that the mediator from the Oregon LRB is willing to try one more time, tomorrow.

11/22/2014 update: Blandy and Altmann’s admin costs up $1.1M or 50%, in just two years

And Scott Coltrane doesn’t know where to find the $300K to settle with the GTF’s?

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And from what I can tell UO’s General Counsel’s office has spent another $150K on outside lawyers in the last two months, suggesting that HLGR’s Sharon Rudnick and Jeff Matthews may be approaching $250K in billings for the GTFF bargaining. (Dave Hubin’s Public Records office is still hiding the invoices, which I paid him for almost 2 weeks ago.)

11/22/2014 update: The well known Crooked Timber blog follows up on the Chronicle report with a complete dissection of the UO administration’s dissembling about the grad student strike, here.

11/21/2014: $530,000 in Vice Provosts not enough to figure out “X” grade

For some reason UO has *two* “Senior Vice Provosts of Academic Affairs”, Barbara Altmann and Doug Blandy, each pulling in paychecks of ~$190K, plus a regular VP of Academic Affairs Ken Doxsee, paid ~$150K. But apparently three’s not enough to do the job. While we all know Blandy has some unusual but lucrative ideas about what an A grade means,

it seems that Academic Affairs is also now confused about the X grade:

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UO loses two underpaid neuroscientists, hires overpaid VP for Research

Diane Dietz reports the sad news on Ed Awh and Ed Vogel, two top “cluster of excellence” professors who are leaving UO for the University of Chicago, in the RG here.

The report on our newly appointed and overpaid Interim VP for Research Brad Shelton is here. UO Today video interview with Shelton about his job, here.

More on the increasing gap between the underpaid UO faculty and the overpaid UO administrators, from UO’s increasingly transparent and subversive Institutional Research website, here:

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 11.00.05 PM

And a snapshot from last year:

UO data shows huge raises for top admins, not faculty, OA’s, or staff

From UO’s own increasingly transparent and subversive Institutional Research website, here:

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 11.00.05 PM

As one admittedly extreme example of our top end bloat problem, look at provosts. Last year UC-Berkeley was paying Provost George Breslauer $322K (now retired). He had seven years experience in that job, and a budget of about $2.5B. In comparison, UO is paying Interim Provost Frances Bronet $360K. She has no experience in the job, and has a budget of about $850M.

Here’s some more data:

GTFF strike rally 11:30 Wed, at Johnson Hall Admin building

Update: UO’s undergrad student government supports the grad students. In the Emerald:

Given this history, we were deeply disappointed to see that university administration is not interested in similarly striving to meet the needs of our GTFs. The paltry offers handed down to our GTFs have been thoroughly insufficient. Although it has been suggested that there are simply not enough funds, in the wake of former President Gottfredson’s million-dollar severance package, those words ring hollow. To state that this university does not have the funds to provide paid medical and parental leave to its GTFs is utterly unacceptable and suggests that there is a dire need to reassess our university’s priorities.

And what are those UO’s priorities? Dave Hubin’s Public Records Office is doing its best to stall release of the new data until after the mediation sessions with the GTFF later this week, but judging from last year’s numbers, lining the pockets of the Johnson Hall administration seems to be job #1:


Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 3.21.28 PM

The UO administration’s rather pandering response is below the break. I’m guessing the upcoming mediation session the email mentions is the reason the Public Records Office is hiding the contracts showing current pay for top Johnson Hall administrators.

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Non affirmative action compliant Triplett hire

11/4/2014 update: UO Auditor to investigate Affirmative Action waiver for Triplett hire

The UO administration spends millions on promoting student and faculty diversity. But will it follow the law when it comes to hiring Johnson Hall administrators? UO’s new Auditor is going to look into it:

From: Brenda Muirhead <brendam@uoregon.edu>
To: William Harbaugh <harbaugh@uoregon.edu>
Subject: RE: PR request, AAEO documents
Date: November 4, 2014 at 3:47:51 PM PST


Thank you for the email yesterday. I will review this case and determine if a request to waive a search was appropriately approved for this position. If you have any questions about the fraud and ethics reporting process, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at 541-346-6541.

Brenda Muirhead
UO Office of Internal Audit

11/3/2014: UO violated Title VII in Asst VP of Collaboration hire, according to Public Records Office:

Title VII is the section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act involving hiring, generally known as “affirmative action”. UO’s affirmative action policies require basic good hiring practices such as an open search and public job announcement, or an explanation for the exception. I’m no detective, but I think this evidence that UO violated its policies in hiring its new Assistant VP for University Initiatives and Collaboration is called “the dog that didn’t bark”:

From: “Thornton, Lisa” <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Date: October 16, 2014 at 12:14:09 PM PDT
Subject: Public Records Request 2015-PRR-076


Dear Mr. Harbaugh-

The University does not possess records responsive to your request made 10/06/2014 for “documents related to the job search for the new UO Assistant VP for University Initiatives and Collaborations… [s]pecifically I am requesting any documents showing exemptions or exceptions to the UO job search procedures”. [The full request is below].

The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.


Lisa Thornton
Office of Public Records
University of Oregon
Office of the President

Presumably Ms Thornton and Dave Hubin have already brought this potential non-compliance with state and federal affirmative action law to the attention of Interim General Counsel Doug Park, for swift investigation and appropriate remedial efforts. But just in case, I have cced Park on the notification – at the risk of another set of retaliatory emails from him, accusing me of harassment.

10/16/2014: Administration kicks off diversity plan by hiring new AVP without an affirmative action search

“Around the 0” has the latest window dressing, here:

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 2.43.09 AM

Sounds great. So, did they do an affirmative action compliant search for their latest Assistant VP hire? Doesn’t seem likely:

Subject: Re: PR request, AAEO documents
Date: October 15, 2014 at 11:04:18 AM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu> Cc: doug park <dougpark@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton

It’s been more than a week since I made this PR request. I would appreciate it if you could let me know when you expect to be able to provide the documents.

On MondayOct 6, 2014, at 3:19 PM:

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for documents related to the job search for the new UO Assistant VP for University Initiatives and Collaborations, announced here: http://around.uoregon.edu/content/uo-gains-statewide-education-system-expertise-latest-hire

Specifically I am requesting any documents showing exemptions or exceptions to the UO job search procedures explained at http://ups.uoregon.edu/content/new-appointments and http://ups.uoregon.edu/content/interim-recruitment-guidelines-unclassified-personnel

I believe that this search and hire may have violated UO policies and procedures, and Oregon and Federal affirmative action hiring laws, and therefore I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

10/1/2014: Chuck Triplett, who helped Pernsteiner fire Lariviere, now works in JH Continue reading