Back for another feeding

Check the date on Interim Provost Jim Bean’s org chart. His friends are back:

I guess it’s time to ask for more contracts, to see what their pay and perks are this time. These are the people advising Gottfredson? Or are we paying them to do, or not do, something else? Let’s find out. Despite what Randy Geller thinks, that’s what public records requests are for. 8/6/2012.

Why Bob Berdahl hates public records access

Not sure why this took me so long to find. The San Francisco Chronicle, 2005:

UC’S PAID LEAVES CALLED ‘BETRAYAL’ – REGENTS’ EDICT IGNORED – 3 top managers were given lucrative furloughs in violation of university policy:

Former UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl received a 13 1/2-month leave at $315,600 a year. … UC granted the leaves despite a policy approved by the university’s governing Board of Regents in 1994 limiting paid administrative leaves for senior managers to a maximum of three months. The regents reaffirmed the limit in September.

“It’s a betrayal,” said former state Sen. Quentin Kopp, who helped push UC to declare an end to the paid leaves in 1994. “You can’t depend on the probity of university leaders.” … Both the state Assembly and Senate have scheduled hearings in the wake of stories in The Chronicle reporting that UC quietly paid hundreds of millions of dollars to employees in bonuses, relocation allowances, administrative stipends and other compensation.

The revelations come at a time when the university has said budget constraints have forced it to boost student fees, cut services, increase class sizes and freeze pay for thousands of lower-paid workers.

Sounds familiar. Another headline on Berdahl from 2006:

Ex-chancellor to leave UC, pocket cash – He won’t need to return salary he was paid during year’s leave:

At the time, UC said all three executives were faculty members who otherwise would have qualified for yearlong academic sabbaticals to do research in their fields of expertise. But because of their administrative service, UC said it decided instead to grant them “administrative leaves in lieu of sabbaticals” at their full executive salaries. Berdahl, for instance, received his chancellor’s salary of $315,600 a year, instead of his faculty salary of $130,900, while on leave. 

Sounds remarkably similar to the sabbatical deal Pernsteiner gave Frohnmayer, or what Lariviere gave Bean.

In reaction to these and other similar scandals the CA legislature appointed a “Task Force on UC Compensation, Accountability, and Transparency”. Their report here calls for an end to these sweetheart deals for administrators, controls on income from corporate boards, and for improved transparency and public records access. UC-Irvine seems to have implemented a pretty reasonable process to do this – and UO had one, until Berdahl took it away. 6/12/2012.

Bean is back from sabbatical

and another 7/6/2012 update:

From: “Provost Office”
Subject: Hello Again
Date: July 6, 2012 2:14:06 PM PDT

I have just returned to the Provost’s Office after an eight month leave.  I thank Lorraine Davis for doing a great job in the role of Acting Senior Vice President and Provost.  She left a stronger administration than she took over, in the face of some steep challenges.
I want to discuss two points today: internal communications and priorities for the Provost’s Office.
Internal Communications:  I feel that during the last legislative session, due to our intensely political environment, our internal communications faltered.  I commit to reversing that.  Aria Seligmann, a communications professional working for the Sustainable Cities Initiative, has now committed part of her time to the Provost’s Office to help maintain a continuous flow of information to the UO community.  I will provide regular updates on current events affecting the university, with data summaries of various successes and challenges facing the campus.  I am reorganizing the Provost’s Office to free up time for visiting with faculty, staff and student groups across campus.
Priorities:  Later this month, our leadership retreat will address the most pressing priorities for the Provost’s Office during this coming year.  The group in attendance will include the Leadership Council augmented by faculty, staff, student, Foundation and Alumni Association leadership.  I will present some ideas such as review of the Academic Plan and the Big Ideas, office and classroom space, etc.  The group will have an opportunity to add topics and to do an initial prioritization.  I have already spoken with Robert Kyr, President of the University Senate, about an online ranking process of these priorities, to be run by the Senate in September, involving the entire community.  From all this input, the President and I will settle on the priority topics for this year.
Until next time, enjoy the summer that seems to have finally arrived.
Regards, Jim

7/6/2012 update. Seems like Lorraine’s search to replace Don Harris worked out:

From: “Provost Office”
Subject: CIO and Vice Provost for Information Services Announcement
Date: July 6, 2012 9:34:37 AM PDT

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Melissa Woo has accepted our offer as CIO and Vice-Provost for Information Services for the University of Oregon.  Melissa currently serves in the role of director in University Information Technology Services at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). She has a BA from University of California, Berkeley, a PhD in biophysics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and extensive IS leadership experience at Illinois and UWM.  She brings particular expertise in research computing. Melissa will be joining us September 3, 2012.
Please join me in welcoming Melissa and thanking Roger Thompson and the search committee for bringing us such outstanding candidates.
Regards, Jim

7/4/2012 update: has been revised. On the homepage Bean is no longer claiming to have been provost since 2008. But his official biography still does:

We’ve all got our pride I guess, but leaving the interim appointment business off of his vitae might be a bit problematic in some situations. No word on a date for his performance review – let me know if you hear anything.

7/1/2012: It’s no surprise that his website is wrong. Frohnmayer appointed him as *Interim* Provost in 2008, after Linda Brady left in a hurry. There was no search. Then, after he ran Lariviere’s transition team, Lariviere appointed him permanent VP and Provost in 2009. Again, there was no search. Nor has Bean ever had a performance review as interim Provost or Provost. Bean’s 2011 sabbatical plan talks about him “transitioning back to faculty”. Great – but when?

Bean’s vision of UO’s future is perhaps best captured by his 2009 academic plan, which has been ignored by everyone including his own office. Acting Provost Lorraine Davis has spent the past year cleaning up his various messes. It’s a long list, but her most recent effort has been Information Services. 2 years ago CIO Don Harris had a performance review that turned up lots of problems. Bean did nothing. So, while Bean was out on sabbatical Davis fired Harris, restructured his office, and started an open, transparent search which has brought 3 candidates to campus over the past month.

Maybe Gottfredson will keep Davis around, and have her run a similar search for a new Provost?

Bagwhan Bean returns to UO

6/1/2012: Rejoice, faculty! It’s the first day of our glorious Provost Jim Bean’s return to Johnson Hall. I’d make a public records request for a copy of his contract, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay Bob Berdahl and Randy Geller a dime for it. (Though an anonymous reader provides incontrovertible photographic proof that Bean now drives something a bit more prestigious than a beamer.) We don’t have any say – might as well drink the kool-aid, upgrade them both to a Rolls, and hope that some day they bring you into the inner circle of acolytes with a special assistant VP job. Meanwhile, watch out for Ma Sheela.

Berdahl takes UO back to the past, starring Frohnmayer and Bean

5/24/2012: From an email sent out today by Bob Berdahl:

… As you know, my term as interim president ends September 15. I am optimistic about our search for the University of Oregon’s 17th president. I have begun preparing for the transition by convening a campus readiness team that is considering issues related to institutional boards, and by charging key members of the president’s office and Executive Leadership Team with laying groundwork for the next president. As part of the transition, I reached out to UO President Emeritus Dave Frohnmayer to ask him to serve as a part-time special assistant to the president for the summer. In this role, he will assist me with specific external relations and stewardship assignments, continuity of communications with key stakeholders and with institutional readiness issues involving the possible establishment of an institutional board. President Frohnmayer informed me that he will donate any increase in net pay for this period to fund student scholarships at the University of Oregon.

Provost Jim Bean is set to return July 1 and will transition back during June. The addition of Yvette Marie Alex-Assensoh as VP for Institutional Equity and Inclusion will occur Aug. 7. As you know, the coming school year will require us to begin the searches for new leadership at the School of Journalism & Communication and the Clark Honors College. Tim Gleason, our longest-serving dean, will step down after 16 years and return to teaching and scholarship after a sabbatical. David Frank, the first dean of the Clark Honors College, will also return to scholarship and the classroom.

We expect the campus enrollment to be approximately 25,000 for Fall 2012, reflecting an uptick in international students, stronger retention and higher overall yield rates. We still have work to do to increase our yield rate for Oregon’s best and brightest, as there is strong competition for these students in today’s market.

I will continue to apprise you of developments related to the presidential transition. As always, thank you for your efforts in advancing the university’s mission to serve students and the people of Oregon and beyond, through education and research.

Warm regards,

Bob Berdahl

Previous Frohnmayer contracts are here. The state Audits Division report on them from 7/14/2011 is here. Frohnmayer had to write UO a personal check repaying some money. Then there’s this excerpt:

After this audit the UO law school wrote him a considerably tougher TRP contract, spelling out his academic responsibilities in some detail and cutting off his summer pay. Apparently he will donate this new summer pay to scholarships. Great.

I remember back in 2009, when Frohnmayer tried to convince already underpaid faculty to accept a voluntary 5% furlough cut. He didn’t mention he wouldn’t be taking it on the half of his pay that came through the UO Foundation. And it turned out that while he was pushing faculty to go along with the OUS furlough plan, he was also negotiating his own lucrative retirement deal with Pernsteiner. Conflict of interest?

As for Provost Jim Bean: welcome back from what we hope was a productive sabbatical, the docs are here.

Live notes from 5/23/2012 Senate meeting

are not going to happen, I’ve got a defense. Live video is here.

I did catch the part where Bob Berdahl announced that Jim Bean would return as provost on July 1, after a transition starting June 1. Back of the envelope the cost to UO of Bean’s strange sabbatical episode will work out to about $300,000, or about 10% of the entire annual cost of the Lariviere faculty raises. I’d make a public records request for his contract, to pin this down and see what sort of perks he’s getting this time – but I’m not sure I can afford Berdahl’s new fees. Hint.

False statements about Bean. Moseley still on dole, Davis away game deal

4/3/2012: In a previous post I said that Provost Bean was being paid 60% of his administrative salary and a BMW while he was on a sabbatical to do research in his field of genetic algorithms and operations research.

My statements were false. Bean is not getting a Beamer while on sabbatical, and he is not getting 60% of his salary. He’s getting 75%, or $241,605, plus travel expenses to meet with old friends still active in the field.

Bean’s friend and Special Assistant to the Provost John Moseley is still on the dole too. I thought Lariviere ended that deal when he got UO out of Bend. Apparently Lorraine Davis has seen fit to keep it going:

And of course she’s got a deal of her own: free tickets and travel to away games, for the whole family. What can you say about these people? They are shameless.

Provost hired after open, national search

that would be the Portland State provost. Search info here. Four finalists brought to campus, the job went to Sona Karentz Andrews, a VC at OUS and former Provost at Boise State.

Meanwhile all indications are that Pres Berdahl is going to bring back Jim Bean as UO provost this summer. Presumably the holdup involves him completing his sabbatical research visiting schedule, or maybe a malfunctioning feeder on his document scanner.

Bean was appointed interim provost by Frohnmayer back in 2008, then made permanent by Lariviere. Never any search or public process or even any public discussion or talk about his priorities, accomplishments, goals for UO, etc. From what I can tell Bean has never even had a performance review. He did get a nice raise last year though – and the infamous beamer payments – after his fellow administrators did this cursory salary comparison for him. I wonder if any of these comparator provosts also were hired without a search and have never had a review?


student faculty ratio

2/20/2012: There’s a lot of misinformation about student-faculty ratios floating around. If you look at the number of students per tenure track faculty, you get this:

All the data from UO institutional research. It’s ugly, so Jim Bean has been counting NTTFs, which makes us look much prettier. I’ve got nothing but respect for NTTFs. But while denial may work for US News – where UO reports a student-faculty ratio of 20 – it is probably not the way to stay in the AAU.

Which side are you on?

2/16/2012: From the union organizer’s website here:

How can faculty have a real voice in setting priorities?

Thursday, February 16th
115 Lawrence

Hear speakers address these critical areas:

Howard Bunsis, a professor of accounting at Eastern Michigan University and Secretary-Treasurer of the AAUP

Dr. Bunsis, an expert in the analysis of university budgets, previously presented his analysis of the UO’s financial condition in February 2011 ( This new presentation extends his analysis to budgetary developments during 2011-2012, some of which may have implications for the current legislative session. …

Or you can listen to our once and future beamer driving Provost Jim Bean brag about how UO spends only 38% of what our peers do on administration, here:

But don’t ask to see the public records – he’ll make you pay.

Science start-up debacle

1/28/2012: From an anonymous commenter:

Having squandered millions in excessive administrative budget increases, remodeling their offices, golden parachutes, and other brilliant ideas, Johnson Hall’s solution for science startups is to spend against reserves in the humanities and social sciences. Despite having the least funding per student on campus, these programs and the college in which they reside have exercised the financial discipline and responsibility so lacking centrally, and so they have slowly accumulated substantial reserves over the last decade. These are funds they or their college on their behalf, could spend to support the humanities and social sciences.

Instead, Johnson Hall is expropriating the reserves by forcing CAS to use them for science startups without any provision for even partial repayment from the Research office. Repayment could be done slowly by promising a small share of future overhead, but ‘no, we’re in charge,’ said our czars. The longstanding ‘covenant’ with the research office has been that they receive and allocate all grant overhead. In return they assume primary responsibility for startup packages for hires anticipated to receive substantial grants. Having broken that covenant, they now demand that the humanities and social sciences, the least well-funded programs per student on campus to fix their failures.

Were did the money go? Athletics, in part. Jim Bean made the call to spend $1.8 million a year of general funds on the Jock Box tutoring operation. And he’s so proud of that he wrote an Op-Ed for the Oregonian about it. Clueless.

Jim will be back

1/28/2012: Berdahl should have announced he was giving Bean an interim appointment ending June 2013. This would satisfy the immediate need for a body to fill out the provost’s suit. It would also leave the deck clear for the next president to do an open search. But no:


The time line for transitions in the Provost office has been determined.  Jim Bean will return as Senior Vice President and Provost beginning July 1, 2012.  He will continue his sabbatical through May 31, 2012, and then serve in a transitional capacity during the month of June.  This will permit appropriate planning and coordination with me, the Executive Leadership Team, and Bob Berdahl as well as an overlap period with the current and soon-to-be-appointed Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

As the presidential search gets underway, it will be helpful to know who will serve as Provost on an ongoing basis.  I look forward to continuing in my current acting leadership role through the end of this academic and fiscal year.  I appreciate the continuing support and assistance I have experienced.


We’re all on a first name basis here, so who needs a job announcement, search, or a performance review? That sort of stuff is just for those faculty schlubs – the ones that Jim gets to evaluate and sign off on tenure and promotions, as provost. The month long overlap with Lorraine is so Jim can recover from his research efforts with old friends and get back up to speed on administrative matters.

FWIW, Pat, the OUS internal auditor, sent out this earlier this week, on her investigation of Jim’s sabbatical terms:

FYI.. update
We hope to complete the review this week.

Oregon University System
Internal Audit Division

     Patricia A. Snopkowski, Chief Auditor
     P.O. Box 488
     Corvallis, OR 97339
     Ph (541) 737-0505 Fax (541)737-9133

Nothing yet.

No Beamer. Bummer.

1/17/2012: I was wrong. I said Jim Bean was getting $775 a month to pay for his BMW while he was on sabbatical. But, in truth, Bean was only getting the Beamer money while he was Provost:

 Now that he’s on sabbatical, it appears he’s only getting 60% of $322,140. No Beamer. Bummer:

Will the students have to make his car payments if he becomes provost again? Unfortunately, we’ll probably find out. Will Berdahl make him undergo a performance review first? What do you think?

WWJBD? Bean for Chancellor

1/14/2012: Update: According to the latest records UO has stopped paying for his beamer. Interesting.

12/19/2011: Jim Bean went on sabbatical for his health, and at he moment he’s still on a sabbatical, visiting old friends to catch up on the last 15 years of OR research and scanning papers into his hard drive.

His official sabbatical documents say in one place that he plans to return as Provost in October 2012. But in another place he says he intends to go back to being a business school professor. (Not crazy – Bean’s predecessor as b-school dean Phil Romero did this when Bean was hired, and is still teaching away.)

But now Bean’s got a clean bill of health from his doctor and he wants to administrate, not scan papers or, god forbid, teach undergraduates. So, 2 weeks ago he told Pernsteiner he wanted to be the interim UO president.

When that got slammed by all the faculty and most of Johnson Hall, he apparently decided he wanted Lorraine to go back into retirement, so he could have his provost job back. Not going to happen. It’s already obvious to everyone that Lorraine is far more competent at it than Jim was, and he left her a pile of work.

The new president is not going to repeat what was probably Lariviere’s single biggest mistake and appoint Bean provost again without a search. On the other hand Bean’s going to have a tough time leaving: his sabbatical contract says if he doesn’t stay for a full year after, he has 3 months to repay his sabbatical pay and benefits – about $280,000, plus of course the bimmer:

Presumably he’s talking to head hunters now, but he’s in a tough spot. My proposed solution? Given him a job in the Chancellor’s office. Hell, make him Chancellor, and give him Treetops.