No search to replace Interim VPR Brad Shelton yet, but new Assoc VPRs appointed

Subject: deans-dirs: Welcoming Dr. Cassandra Moseley and Dr. Andrew Nelson to the VPRI Office

Date: July 2, 2015 

Dear Colleagues:

We wish to announce that two colleagues are joining our efforts in the Vice President for Research and Innovation office as of July 1, 2015: Dr. Cassandra Moseley as an Associate Vice President for Research and Dr. Andrew Nelson as the Executive Director for UO RAIN.  We are looking forward to their energy and insights as we move into the next academic year. Both will have partial appointments in our office and remain active in their research and academic appointments.

Cass will in many ways take on the responsibilities of Dr. Beth Stormshak who has ably served as Associate Vice President for Research for the last four years.  Cass will be both the Institutional Official and the Research Integrity Officer and among other responsibilities will be the direct supervisor for Research Compliance Services.  Cass has been working with the VPRI for over a year on special projects, primarily focused on the implementation of the UA CBA as it relates to the research environment.  Recently promoted to Research Professor, she has been and remains the Director of the Institute for a Sustainable Environment and the Director of the Ecosystem Workforce Program and a highly active sponsored researcher. Cass has been with the UO since 2001 and holds a PhD in political Science from Yale University and a B.A. in Mathematics and Government from Cornell University.

Andrew will coordinate and facilitate the UO activities associated with the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN) an Oregon consortium of government, higher education and the business community. In particular he will focus on the programming that is related to our students and faculty.  Andrew is taking the reins on this project from Associate Vice President Pat Jones who retired from the UO at the end of June.  Recently promoted to Associate Professor, Andrew has served as a member of the Research Advisory Board and he is the academic director of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship and the Bramsen Faculty Fellow in innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability. He holds a PhD in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, an MSc from Oxford University and a B.A. from Stanford University.

Please join me in welcoming them to the Research and Innovation team.

Brad

Brad Shelton Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation Vice Provost for Budget and Planning Professor, Mathematics
University of Oregon
Email: shelton@uoregon.edu
Phone: (541) 346-2090
http://research.uoregon.edu

GradGate: Senate to investigate graduate fellowship cuts, missing $11M

2/5/2015 update:

A reader passes along this Brad Shelton powerpoint, which among other things documents the $1.5M Moffitt to Moffitt transfer:

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The bottom line though, is that there’s plenty of water in the well. Or at least that’s what Brad Shelton was telling UO’s academic deans in September:

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I wonder what changed?

2/4/2015 update: The Senate Executive Committee met today. The sudden cuts to graduate fellowships in some UO departments, right in the middle of grad recruiting, got some serious attention. Senate President Kyr is going to ask the Senate Budget Committee to look into the situation and report back to the Senate ASAP.

Meanwhile, in the absence of any information from President Coltrane or Provost Bronet, the rumors are flying. Please post yours in the comments, whilst adhering to the one cuss-word limit.

Isn’t it odd how it only takes Johnson Hall 3 hours to spam the entire university with a witch-hunt email accusing a professor and two archivists of an “unlawful release” of UO archives, but when it comes to something as crucial as graduate student fellowships, they wait until departments are bringing students to campus to tell us sorry, they spent that money on something else?

Speaking of where they spent the money, the Senate Exec Meeting was attended by UO’s new VP for Collaboration Chuck Triplett, who is tasked with spying on the faculty and reporting back to Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms. Pernsteiner paid Triplett $72K, but Angela Wilhelms is giving him $130K, and didn’t even make him go through an affirmative action compliant search. No wonder he’s so happy:

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What are the chances that chief collaborator Triplett will relay the news to the Board of Trustees that UO’s spending priorities are out of whack? How much are we paying Wilhelms?

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2/4/2015: UO cutting grad student fellowships?

That’s the rumor. If true, it means Chuck Lillis has decided that it would be more fun to play with UO if it were out of the AAU. If you know something, say something.

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:

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And a snapshot from last year:

UO neuroscience at the crossroads. Cluster of excellence, or rebuild effort?

UO’s overpaid VP for Research Brad Shelton is going to have an interesting time rationalizing these low retention offers.

Diane Dietz has the story in the RG, here:

At least one UO brain researcher has already been poached.

Clifford Kentros, a neuroscientist in the psychology department, who designed and produced a new species of mouse, left for Norway in spring 2013 — although he’s maintaining his laboratory at the UO for a while yet.

Kentros went to work at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience after getting an employment contract that’s the envy of his peers, who live in a constant state of grant-seeking to pay their salaries.

“They offered him a fantastic salary and research support package,” Awh said. “One back-of-the-napkin way to describe his package was that he doesn’t have to write any more grants and he will have (research) funding until he’s 70.”

Kentros — and others scientists — left behind a state-of-the-art animal vivarium in the new Lewis Integrative Science Building. It has room for 4,000 cages but only about 1,000 are in use, according to the cluster proposal.

More departures in neurosciences “could very well spark a chain reaction,” Awh said, that would put the UO on the defensive. In that event, “neuroscience at Oregon will have to focus on rebuilding rather than on expanding.”

Oregon State University has shown cluster hires can work, he said. “I was impressed that there were actual hires — it happened,” Awh said. “We all hope there will be a similar way to describe this (at the UO) some day, but it’s not today.”

For more on how UO got to this point, check out the Espy posts.

Instead of paying faculty competitive wages, we’re paying failed former provost Jim Bean $245,000 a year to work on “experiential learning”. Apparently that doesn’t involve actually teaching a class.

Shelton reports that Espy brought in a 13% increase in UO research grants

9/21/2014 update: That may even have been more than the latest increase in the athletics budget. The report from UO’s astonishingly well paid new VP for research Brad Shelton is here. Oregon State has a real-time dashboard showing their data, here. If anyone knows where the full UO report is please put the link in the comments, thanks.

5/20/2013 updated Updated: Beavers crush Ducks in Civil War for research money, with athletic spending number chart, and at the bottom, some salary and consulting payment info from Espy’s office.

Diane Dietz has the story and data on UO here. I got the OSU data from their very complete Research Office data page, here. Both are “Federal Flow Through” totals, which are the easiest to find directly comparable data. They include spending on outreach and instruction, but it’s mostly research money and the trends look similar no matter how you cut it. That’s the table on the left. The table on the right shows athletic department spending, from USAToday. (Official UO and OSU numbers for 2012.)

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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Gottfredson doesn’t show for UO Trustees Meeting

Let’s hope this is the beginning of the end.

5/29/2014: UO Trustees Academic Affairs committee to meet today

Notice: The UO Trustee’s committees will meet On May 29 and June 3, and the full board will meet June 12-13. Info here. Today’s meeting:

12:30 PM, Thursday, May 29, 2014 – Public Meeting – HEDCO Education Building, Room 230T

1.0 Convene
• Call to Order and Welcome (Mary Wilcox)
• Roll Call

Present: Coltrane, Holmes, Geller(!), Thompson, K Willcox, Ford, Shelton, Chapa, Altmann. On the phone: M Willcox, Dotters-Katz, Lillis. No Curry, no Blandy. About 15 in the audience.

President Gottfredson is missing. Odd, it’s on his schedule.

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Coltrane gives Espy jobs to Shelton, Berglund

As announced on April 15, Dr. Kimberly Andrews Espy will be leaving the University of Oregon on May 23 to take a new position at the University of Arizona. After consulting with a number of faculty and administration colleagues over the last few weeks, the President and I have made some decisions about how best to transfer the responsibilities of the office for Research, Innovation, and Graduate Education. Beginning Tuesday, May 27, we will separate the responsibilities of Graduate Education from Research and Innovation. Today, we are pleased to be naming two interim positions, both of which will report directly to me.

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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.
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Bean to end Shelton’s "Responsibility Centered Management"

10/31/2012: Today’s message from our interim provost – presumably sent with Gottfredson’s blessing – represents some serious backtracking regarding Brad Shelton’s 2009 “New Budget Model”, of which Shelton wrote:

What is RCM? In most modern American universities, authority is highly decentralized, but responsibility (specifically financial responsibility) is held centrally. This decoupling of authority from financial responsibility poses problems for decision makers at every level of the University. Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) is a combination of policies and practices designed to overcome these problems by coupling decision making directly to the associated financial ramifications. These policies and practices should be clearly articulated and crafted to fit the mission of the institution. The backbone of an RCM is typically a Budget Model which:

  • prescribes precisely how revenues are shared amongst responsibility units,
  • associates revenues directly to revenue creating activity (for example student credit hours or degrees awarded),
  • allows decision makers to realize rewards from good financial decisions,
  • allows good local decision making to benefit the entire institution.

The Oregon Budget Model is described in detail in the Oregon Budget Model Primer

Bean’s message?

“It is a tool that allows the Provost and each of the Deans to understand the financial consequences of each decision they make. The Model is not designed to create incentives or disincentives …”

But of course the whole point of Responsibility Centered Management is exactly that – and it’s a good thing. Johnson Hall has blown through its share of the budget with a raft of pet projects like the $2 million Jock Box budget, Police, administrative sabbaticals, golden parachutes for “special assistants” etc. There’s also been some serious mismanagement – e.g. of ORSA, and some other things they’ve hid pretty well.

Apparently raising the tax rate on the colleges isn’t enough to cover these bills – now Bean wants to pretend the whole deal was just advisory. He gets a bit muddled there in the middle, but see the bottom for where this is going:

Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
Message for October 31, 2012

Colleagues: 

Below is a description of the Oregon Budget Model.  I thank a number of members of the administration for helping put it together, most notably Brad Shelton. 

What is the Oregon Budget Model?  

The Oregon Budget Model is an arrangement between the Provost and the Deans of the Schools and Colleges. The model determines the overall General Fund Budgets (see below) of the Centrally Funded Units, and each School or College. 

The primary purpose of the Model is to achieve decision-level transparency. It is a tool that allows the Provost and each of the Deans to understand the financial consequences of each decision they make. The Model is not designed to create incentives or disincentives nor does the Model proscribe the internal budgeting process of any School and College.  Those decisions should be made to attain the mission of the institution, not to maximize dollars.  The model is there to show the financial impact of proposed decisions as one factor in decision-making. 

Under the Budget Model, any changes in educational activity directly affect the budgets of the Deans. Changes might include how many student credit hours faculty teach, how many majors are in a school and how many graduate students are enrolled.  

What is the General Fund? 

The General Fund is the bulk of our basic operating funds, the dollars we use to pay for instruction, maintenance, utilities, the library and a host of other operations. The two primary sources of General Fund dollars are student tuition and state appropriation. The General Fund comprises a little more than half of all of the operational dollars flowing through the institution. 

There are many other types of funds within the institution, such as Grants, Contracts, Auxiliary funds (Housing, Parking, Athletics and others) and Gift funds.  The Oregon Budget Model does not affect any of these funds.  

Oregon Budget Model impact 

The best way to understand the impact of the Model on the University is to consider the change in the percentages of overall Academic General Fund budgets and overall Administrative General Fund budgets. 

The Oregon Budget Model was fully implemented in 2010-11, although some of the principles of the model were already used to adjust 2009-10 budgets.  Here is the General Fund breakdown:

General Fund %
Schools and Colleges
Centrally Funded Units
2008-09
57.2%
42.8%
2009-10
59.5%
41.5%
20010-11
61.9%
38.1%
2011-12
63.4%
36.6%
2012-13 (approximate)
63%
37%

To understand these percentages, we must consider some important caveats. The Oregon Budget Model does not just realign budgets; it also realigns responsibilities for certain types of expenditures. For example, under the Model, Academic support accounts became School and College costs rather than Centrally Funded costs.  The percentages above take most of those changes into account, going back to 2008.  Thus we see that the Model has effectively shifted a significant percentage of funding from Centrally Funded to School and College Budgets. 

Plenty of detail about all of our budgets can be found on the web site of the Office of Budget and Resource Planning: http://brp.uoregon.edu 

Future of the Oregon Budget Model 

The Oregon Budget Model is not cast in stone. It has proved to be an excellent tool for analyzing decisions, but any such tool is guaranteed to create unintended consequences. Further, we find ourselves in a very different situation today than in 2009. The model will need to change as we understand the full impact of recent economic events. Like every AAU school that works with an activity-based budgeting system, we will constantly be adapting the Model to best achieve the mission and strategic goals of the University of Oregon. 

I welcome questions or comments at provost@uoregon.edu

Regards, Jim