Blogger booted from BOT breakfast meeting on “legal training”

9/14/2014 update: Diane Dietz of the RG – also booted by the board – explains what this secret meeting was really about. Sports. Of course.

9/13/2014 Brails update: I was politely evicted from our the Board of Trustees’ Saturday breakfast “legal training meeting” with Interim GC Doug Park. It was supposed to be a public session on new business, but they rearranged the schedule Friday afternoon and I missed the announcement. The breakfast sure smelled great, so I’m at Brails, waiting for the “Hangover Special”. Given Park’s patently false legal advice to the Trustees about how Oregon PM law limits public comments, I’m guessing it will be an interesting morning, and that Park may get some long overdue legal training. At 10AM the trustees take off to watch the Wyoming game from our $375K Autzen Skybox seats.

Here’s the RG report from Diane Dietz on yesterday’s meeting.

Update: Page down for the latest data comparing UO’s underpaid faculty with our overpaid senior administrators.

Live-blog of UO Board meetings, Friday 9/12/2014

Check the official “Around the 0” blog for the PR version of Thursday’s meeting, from Chief UO Strategic Communicator Tobin Klinger. We pay this flack $115K a year of our students’ tuition money? Why?

Reporter Diane Dietz of the RG has a considerably more informative story, here:

Saying the University of Oregon requires a different kind of presidential search this time, Board of Trustees Chairman Chuck Lillis has advanced a search plan that he wrote and that reserves broad powers for himself — and a select group of others.

Lillis gave himself the authority to conduct the search with an “assist” from a 14-member committee weighted with trustees and administrators.

A second 12-member committee that includes some UO students and office workers will be allowed to provide “relevant perspectives and insights,” according to Lillis’ plan, which he unveiled Thursday at a trustees meeting in Eugene.

… Lillis alone will be allowed to rank and even eliminate finalists, according to the plan he wrote.

PRESIDENTIAL ASSIST COMMITTEE (PROPOSED)

Connie Ballmer: Chairwoman, UO alumnus, child welfare advocate
Peter Bragdon: General counsel Columbia Sportswear, UO Board of Trustees
Rudy Chapa: Investor and member of U.S.A. Track and Field Foundation board, UO Board of Trustees
Joe Gonyea III: Chief executive officer of Springfield’s Timber Products Co., UO Board of Trustees
Chris Maples: President of Oregon Institute of Technology
Joe Robertson: President of Oregon Health & Science University
Mariann Hyland: In-house legal counsel at Chemeketa Community College
Barbara Altmann: UO vice provost for academic affairs
Robin Holmes: UO vice president for student life
Jamie Moffitt: UO vice president for finance and administration
Michael Moffitt: dean of UO School of Law
Bill Cresko: UO geneticist and researcher
Leslie Leve: professor in College of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services
Paul Weinhold: president and CEO of University of Oregon Foundation

SEARCH INPUT COMMITTEE (PROPOSED)

Jon Anderson: Publisher of Random Lengths and immediate past chairman of UO Foundation.
Derrick Deadwiler: President of UO Alumni Association
Angela Davis: UO associate professor of accounting
Robert Kyr: President of University Senate, music professor
Sandra McDonough: CEO of Portland Business Alliance
Oscar Arana: Director of strategic development and communications at Native American Youth and Family Center
Jeff Eager: Attorney at Balyeat and Eager
UO student: As yet unnamed
Beatriz Gutierrez: president of Associated Students of the U0
Kate Karfilis: UO graduate student
Carla McNelly: president of Service Employees International Union Local 085 executive committee
Teri Rowe: UO Office of Administration Council

Or read the raw UO Matters take, here. But Dietz has better quotes.

Meeting of the Board
September 11-13, 2014
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Summary  |  Minutes

Disclaimer: These are my opinions and interpretations, nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 12, 2014 8:30 am (other times approximate) PUBLIC MEETING, FORD ALUMNI CENTER, GIUSTINA BALLROOM (UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

• Roll call (Secretary)

Lillis: Connie Ballmer will chair Pres search. As Kurt Willcox noted in the RG, this is already underway.

8. University of Oregon’s Competitive Excellence
• Presentation by and discussion with Interim President Coltrane

Coltrane: The usual stuff. Moffitt: We’ve taken money back from the departments and are using it for strategic investments. Shelton: We took back $2M from the departments last years, spent about half on new administrators – recurring. We’ve budgeted $1.5M for the clusters, haven’t spent it yet.

Lillis: Are we efficient in comparison to other universities? Moffitt: We are very lean. 76% of peers for faculty. Same for staff. For administrators, only 42% of peers. She’s lumping in all OAs. Latest upper admin Org chart here.

Here’s the UO Matters administrative bloat chart. Not sure if the 2013-14 UO faculty data includes the union raises, but it sure looks like the UO faculty are underpaid, and the senior administrators are overpaid.

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• Discussion with university administrators regarding student success, funding and other key factors for implementing a strategic framework for competitive excellence

Coltrane goes through the brutal benchmarking report again. We’re way behind our AAU comparators on every dimension, including faculty/student ratio, research expenditures, PhD grads, etc.

Susan Gary speaks, gently mentions faculty criticism of cluster hire process.

Coltrane and Moffitt: Net increase in TT faculty last year? 11 or 12. 10 to 15 net new TTF over last 5 years. Continuing that pace will take new money, particularly for labs, GTF’s.

Lots of serious talk about new classrooms, research buildings, dorms. This transparency is quite an improvement from back when Frohnmayer and Frances Dyke blew $2.4M renovating their own Johnson Hall office building. But no talk about replacing PLC, where we’re dealing with what we’ve got:

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Mike Andreasen (Development and Fundraising): Now that we’ve dumped Gottfredson, we’re ready to go to our donors with the public phase of the fundraising drive, looking for money for cluster hires, Pathways Oregon, Colleges. Wants to emphasize that this is now a priority for the deans.

Curry: We have urgent needs, how do we balance this with desire to increase endowment?

Andreasen: Have to consider our needs and the giving goals of donors. Complex.

No discussion of the athletic department’s continuing unwillingess to share their donor info with the academic side.

Tim Clevenger (Chief Brander): Working on branding efforts, TV ads, yada yada. 5 year effort… The Development budget is now up to $27M, here’s where a bunch of it goes. Is it a good investment for UO, or just more money for Clevenger and his consultants?

Questions for Coltrane about reallocations of resources, evaluation of programs, faculty. He gives a nice shout out to the faculty union, praising their role in improving UO’s faculty evaluation and merit procedures.

Question for Shelton about processes for reallocating resources. Shelton: We have procedures, but we need to figure out our priorities.

Connie Ballmer: What about on-line education, to increase efficiency? Coltrane: It’s a challenge because we are a decentralized campus. We do have wonderful examples of using technology, but it’s hodgepodge. We’re hiring a Director of Extension. We’re a little bit behind.

The buzzwords fly. The apparition of these faces in the crowd; petals on a wet, black bough.

Moffitt: It all sounds wonderful, but as CFO I’m very worried about paying for existing programs.

Trustee makes a pitch for “zero based budgeting” in combination with strategic planning. (Because this worked out so well for Jimmy Carter?) Moffitt: We’ve done a similar process, lots of meetings.

Shelton: The rigorous review is for the admin budget, not academics, which are based on enrollment. Colleges are underwater, because central admin has been taking more of their money. They are in a bind.

Lillis: Lunch time. Come back and talk about student success.

12:15 pm – Recess

12:30 pm – Lunch and Training Training lunch with General Counsel – Ford Alumni Center, Room 403

2:00 pm – Public Meeting Reconvenes
• Roll call (Secretary)

9. Management of Student Access and Success (Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes, Vice President for Enrollment Management Roger Thompson, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Lisa Freinkel)
• A discussion with UO leadership regarding key factors of student success, how those factors fit into the UO’s strategy to improve competitive excellence, and what steps the Board of Trustees need to take to help advance them.

Lisa Freinkel give a report on excellent progress on low SES student retention from Pathway Oregon scholarships and advising support.

Robin Holmes talks about student retention, benefits of living on campus and enrichment data. No apparent awareness of selection effects.

Roger Thompson has more on Pathways, which he has been a big supporter of, and wants to expand further. Huge improvement in completion rates. Tragic to think of low income students taking on debt for school and not graduating. UO’s low SES completion rates were already the highest in the state, and are improving. Great stuff, and the emphasis here should alleviate the concerns in the comments that the business people now running UO are going to abandon our public mission.

Thompson on a new proposal to boost completion rates by students from middle income families who have trouble in their last year or two, because they’ve maxed out federal loans. He wants to keep them at UO, by providing UO aid to get them to graduation in four years. 400 students, $4.2 million. (we could fund half this by getting the athletic department to pay for academic support for their student-athletes, and the rest by cutting other subsidies.) Sorry for the gushing here, but I’m a sucker for a VP for enrollment who talks about the opportunity cost of a 5th year of college.

Lillis asks about grad students. Thompson: DOE has cut subsidized loans for grad school (which I got – 16 years at 1.25%, paid off 3 years ago), so yes, this is a problem for them too.

Freinkel: Argues for an integrated approach with scholarships, professional advisors, faculty mentors, enrichment programs.

Ginevra Ralph asks about residential advising for the students in all the new off-campus big box housing. Freinkel: New dorms include academic space, classes. So, not easy to replicate off campus.

Trustee asks about programs to help with employment. Holmes: We’re working with alumni center on a career network program for students with alumni, parents. Curry: Maybe targets for the number of students getting internships – important for employment. Lillis: How many new staff are we talking? Is new physical space important to this? Freinkel: Yes.

10. Other Business / New BusinessBoard of Trustees of the University of Oregon

No new business.

11. Recess

SATURDAY, SEPT. 13, 2014
8:30 am (other times approximate) PUBLIC MEETING, EUGENE HILTON, VISTA ROOM
• Roll Call (Secretary)

12. Board Breakfast and Discussion of Next Steps

13. Adjourn

10:00 am – Social Event Only
University of Oregon Football Game (vs. Wyoming) – Kick-off @ 11:00 AM
Transportation will be provided to Autzen Stadium for Trustees and guests from the hotel; parking available for trustees driving themselves.

The academic budget – mostly student tuition money – pays the Athletics Department $375K a year for the skybox the Trustees will watch the game from:

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Get your New Partnership commemorative coffee mug here. Redacted UO Nike t-shirts also available. All profits used to pay Doug Park for secret UO public records.

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More VP for Research administrative bloat

Oregon is paying VP for Research Brad Shelton (a former UO math prof) $304K to manage UO’s $97M research budget. Four years ago we paid Rich Linton $185K.

For comparison, Michigan State is paying Steve Hsu (a former UO physics prof) $277K to manage MSU’s $330M research budget.

(Last year’s salary data, 2012 federal grant revenue from IPEDS).

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AAU membership is no longer even an “aspirational goal” for UO, but Ducks ranked #3 in pre-season polls.

Update: The official UO post on the mission statement mentioned below is now getting some comments, here.

As President, Dave Frohnmayer would trot out UO’s AAU membership as a way of silencing faculty who criticized him for shifting priorities, administrative effort, and money towards his goal of running a big-time college sports factory. In 2013 Gottfredson doubled-down on the bullshit, setting an aspirational goal of getting to the top half of the AAU. UO’s academic accreditation comes through the NWCCU, which in turn is supervised by the US DOE. UO filed it’s latest report on 3/1/2013, compiled by Dave Hubin. Full of bold talk and more than a few half-truths. Read it all here. The cover page refers to our goal to be in the top half of the AAU:

But the subsidies for sports and pet projects like armed police and Portland kept growing, and sports scandals continued to suck up what little competent administrative focus the administration had. Just a year after this letter Scott Coltrane came clean with the new Board of Trustees, revealing the chilling “Benchmarking report”, which finally exposed where years of misallocated resources had left us.

The Trustees have responded with a realistic mission plan. Forget about moving up. They no longer mention even staying in the AAU as even an aspirational goal:

We aspire to lead as a preeminent public residential research university encompassing the humanities and arts, the natural and social sciences, and the professions.

Full (draft) statement here with a place for comments. Mine is that, with the board’s authority behind it, the goal of continued (or restored) AAU membership could provide some constraints on the administrative excesses and pet projects we have seen and continue to see come out of Johnson Hall. Giving up on the AAU is not just a sad recognition of reality, it’s a discouraging signal about where money and resources will be redirected in the future.

Gottfredson’s “administrative and athletic surge” rolls on

http://jobs.uoregon.edu/unclassified.php?subtype=administrative

Assistant Director Of Strategic Communications
Office Of Strategic Communications For Enrollment Management
http://jobs.uoregon.edu/unclassified.php?id=4752

Assistant General Counsel
http://jobs.uoregon.edu/unclassified.php?id=4686

Assistant Basketball Coach
http://jobs.uoregon.edu/unclassified.php?id=4633

Head Acrobatics & Tumbling Coach
Athletics
http://jobs.uoregon.edu/unclassified.php?id=4751

Central administration reserves grow, while Shelton starves CAS

2/21/2014 update: Speaking of bloat, here’s a nice benefit for money-losing UO basketball coach Dana Altman, to top off his $1.8M salary, bonuses, and “opportunities to earn outside income”:

During the Term of this Agreement while Altman is head men’s basketball coach, and upon presentation of proper receipts, Altman will be eligible to receive up to twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) per year to reimburse him for travel expenses incurred by his relatives and friends to attend University athletic events or for the purpose of visiting Altman.

Latest contract here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/971644/uomatters/IAC/Altman-2.pdf

2/20/2014 update:The news from CAS is all about how Brad Shelton’s budget model is going to hold back still more tuition for UO’s central administrators to play with next year. Meanwhile, UO’s latest report to OUS shows that UO’s reserve funds are steadily increasing, by about $12M in just one year according to the forecast. This is after payment of the first round of union raises. The next round starts July 1, and will cost ~$8M, while tuition increases and new state funding will bring in about $18M in new money. So expect further increases in reserves, and more of the same BS from the administrators about “the well is dry”.

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2/18/2014: VPFA Jamie Moffitt’s transparent reports reveal administrative bloat

Budget VP Brad Shelton is now hiding his Budget Model reports behind a password wall, presumably in response to me outing Doug Blandy’s $1M AAD 250-252 student credit hour heist. Reminds me of back when Frances Dyke was VPFA and took the excel spreadsheet explaining the accounting codes off her website, claiming it wasn’t a public record.

But new VPFA Jamie Moffitt has put that file back up, along with a plethora of simple summaries showing where Johnson Hall is spending UO’s money, and plenty more detailed spreadsheets. An admirable improvement from the obfuscation we got from her during union bargaining, presumably under orders from Randy Geller. Here are some highlights.
Continue reading

UO administrative bloat

2/5/2014: The Chronicle story is here, and the Delta Cost report here.

Our administration has not posted the 2013 data yet, but casual empiricism suggests continued bloat under President Gottfredson, particularly at the higher levels, e.g. RIGE, the General Counsel’s office, “strategic communications”, and his own byzantine org chart. Keep in mind that we would all be lost without the many competent mid-level OA’s that actually run this place, and who are included in the 55% figure below.

From 2000 to 2012:

38% increase in students: from 17,843 to 24,591.

18% increase in tenure track faculty: from 605 to 715.

55% increase in administrators: from 726 to 1126.

25% increase in GTFs: from 1172 to 1470.

72% increase in non tenure track full-time faculty: from 380 to 655.

34% increase in classified staff: from 973 to 1304.

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Full data on employee counts are here, student numbers here.

Thanks to Honest Uncle Bernie for raising the question. I have some more recent data on the latest costs for executive administrators, but I don’t have time to dig into it.

2/7/2013 update: Here are a few more numbers to chew on. From Nathan Tublitz’s Transparency Tool, on Duckweb, under the Employee Information tab.

Overall VPFA budgets are up 50% over two years, Moffitt’s office is up 60%:

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VP for Budget Brad Shelton’s office has also shown remarkable growth:

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President slashes administration, adds tenure-track faculty

That would be President Steven Leath at Iowa State. From the Des Moines Register:

Iowa State University is the only school in the country to increase hiring of full-time faculty and slash staffing in all other areas over the past decade, a new report finds.

Between 2004 and 2012, ISU boosted by 41 percent the number of full-time faculty per 1,000 students, while decreasing part-time faculty and all non-teaching staff. That differs from other colleges and universities, which over the last decade have hired “an explosion of new workers” to fill administrative jobs while increasingly relying on part-time faculty and graduate students to teach students, according to the report released by the Delta Cost Project at the American Institutes for Research.

“We’re trying to intentionally run a very lean operation and put as much into direct support of students and faculty as we can,” said ISU President Steven Leath.

UO is 17th most efficient university – excluding Johnson Hall bloat, of course.

US News has come with a new ranking scheme, and we’re #17. Betsy Hammond has a slightly skeptical report in the Oregonian. And sure enough, if you go to US News you get their definition of efficient:

U.S. News has analyzed efficiency for a second time as both public and private universities continue to face tight budgets – a result of reduced state appropriations and growing consumer resistance to higher tuition. That means it’s imperative for many colleges to spend their limited resources efficiently in order to produce the highest possible educational quality.

U.S. News measures a school’s financial resources by taking into account how much it spends per student on instruction, research, student services and related educational expenditures. Financial resources have a 10 percent weight in the Best Colleges ranking methodology.

So they exclude the IPEDS spending data on central administration costs? That means paying faculty less to teach more boosts our efficiency, while there’s no penalty for a bloated Johnson Hall. Hell, by that definition, I’m surprised we’re not #1!

Gottfredson hires more branders

11/21/2013: Our President’s reaction to the grim benchmarking report from Coltrane:

Title: Sr. Director, Marketing Communications

Salary Range:  $100,000 – 120,000

Review Date:  Search will remain open until filled.  Search committee will begin reviewing applications December 20, 2013
Start Date:  As soon as possible
General Responsibilities:The University of Oregon seeks applications for the Senior Director of Marketing Communication position.  Reporting to the Associate VP, Communications, Marketing, and Brand Management, the Sr. Director is responsible for leading the University of Oregon’s marketing-communications operations, playing a lead role in the development and execution of organizational structure and practices supporting long-term communications objectives that promote the University of Oregon’s values, vision and key messages in various designed communication channels.

Posted today in the UO jobs listing, here. Another faculty line lost to administrative bloat. There’s also this:

Title:  Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communication
Department:  University Advancement
Reports To:  Associate Vice President, Communications, Marketing and Brand Management
Term:  1.0 FTE for 12 months (renewable annually)
Salary Range:  $100,000 to $120,000

and this:

Title:  Sr. Director, Marketing Communications
Department:  University Advancement
Reports To:  Assoc. VP, Communications, Marketing, and Brand Management
Term:  1.0 FTE for 12 months (renewable annually)
Salary Range:  $100,000 – 120,000

and this:

Title:  Associate Vice President (AVP) for Advancement/Executive Director (ED) UO Alumni Association
Department:  University Advancement
Reports To:  Vice President for University Advancement
Term:  1.0 FTE for 12 months (renewable annually)
Salary Range:  $150,000+
Review Date:  Search will remain open until filled.  Search committee will begin reviewing applications September 17, 2013.
Start Date:  As soon as possible

11/21/2013: Gottfredson off on more road trips

Two weeks ago it was Palo Alto for a football game. Last week it was to DC, for a meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, arranged by Kimberly Espy. This week it’s Portland to meet the UO Trustees who were too busy to come visit the campus they will soon be running, then Tucson for another game. Schedule here. Rumor has it that Gottfredson applied for the UA Presidency back in 2012 but didn’t make the final cut, hence his faux pas about the “great University of Arizona” during his campus visit to UO, as sole finalist for the UO President. The UA job went to Ann Weaver Hart, who seems to be doing great.

Latest admin contracts

9/25/2013 update: A simple request like this used to take a few days. Almost 2 weeks, and still no response.

9/16/2013 update: Another year, and a few more boxes and arrows. The new and improved org chart is here. Dave Hubin has said “If we get a request for a contract, we’ll just sent it out.” Let’s check up on that:

Subject: public records request, admin contracts
Date: September 13, 2013 8:28:04 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton
Cc: Dave Hubin
Dear Ms Thornton – 
This is a public records request for copies of the current employment contracts for
  • Interim Dean Scott Coltrane
  • Former Dean Jim Bean
  • VPEI Yvette Alex-Assensoh
  • VP for Advancement Michael Andreassen
  • VPSA Robin Holmes
  • VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson
  • VP for R Kimberly Espy
  • VPFA Jamie Moffitt
  • General Counsel Randy Geller
  • Senior VPAA Doug Blandy
  • VPAA Barbara Altman
  • Journalism Dean Doug Blandy
  • Pres Chief of Staff Greg Rikhoff
I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.


10/4/2012: Forthcoming in the NYT’s Sunday Magazine’s education supplement:


Eugene, Ore: Just eleven months ago the sudden firing of beloved President Richard Lariviere devastated morale on the University of Oregon Campus. But now faculty and student leaders are crediting new President Mike Gottfredson and Interim Provost Jim Bean with initiating a bold new plan for UO’s future.  

“With Richard, everything was outside the box. Gottfredson, on the other hand – well, let’s just say he has spent two months doing some tidy work with his org chart” said one former faculty Senate president. 

The new union leadership has been equally supportive. “After seeing this I’ve got new hope for UO’s future. Sure, competitive pay, space, graduate student support, and some respect from the administration would be nice, but this visionary org chart has already convinced two of my colleagues to reject lucrative outside offers at top 20 schools.”

 One department chair, who asked not to be quoted by name, said “I was one of the 50 out of 50 department heads who voted to tell Pernsteiner and Kitzhaber we did not want Jim Bean to be interim President. But when he showed up at the leadership retreat on Monday and unveiled this we were blown away by all the boxes and how the lines came together right at the source of UO’s past failures. The long silence in the room spoke volumes. Bean has earned his right to be the bottom in that big box.”