Provost Bean is unacceptable as interim President

12/1/2011: Update: Provost Bean’s 2011 sabbatical contract is here. It’s an academic sabbatical, but we pay him his much higher administrative salary. It also turns out we’ve been making his beemer payments, $775 a month, mostly from student tuition money. In fact, we are also apparently on the hook for “all expenses associated with Jim Bean’s sabbatical.” Because there’s no way the B-School will pay for a shoddy proposal like this. Thanks Russ. Read it all. 

Provost Bean originally said he wanted to go on sabbatical for his health. You take a sick leave for your health. A sabbatical is for research. Sure enough, his sabbatical contract does not mention health – instead it gives two new, conflicting reasons. On page 4 of the pdf, in his cover letter to Lariviere, he says he wants to go back to being Provost:

Jim Bean’s got a point: UO needs a more effective Provost. But that’s not why he wants a sabbatical. On the very next page of our Provost’s sabbatical proposal he’s got a totally different story – now he wants to go back to being a professor, and teach and do research. He’s got a pretty pathetic idea of what that involves:

Bean thinks student tuition should pay for “visiting old friends”? Wait – it gets even more embarrassing:

I’m no economist, so I can’t tell you what $322,140 at a 0.60 FTE plus benefits and a free BMW works out to in dollars but I think it should be enough to find someone willing to actually *read* the literature, not just scan it. (OK, it’s $289,562.) And how much did Bean gain by claiming his Senior VP salary rather than his Professor salary, for what is, at least purportedly, an academic sabbatical? 0.60*(322,140 – 185,733) = $81,844 plus OPE at 45% = $118,674. Where did UO get that money? Mostly from our students, and a bit from Oregon taxpayers.

and here’s the BMW part:

12/1/2011: These are (mostly) my comments, but I think a substantial majority of the faculty agree. The vote of the ~50 CAS heads was unanimous for Berdahl. Sorry Jim, but that’s the way it is.

After a mixed performance as B-School Dean, Jim Bean was appointed interim Provost by Frohnmayer (2008) without a search. Linda Brady had left suddenly and he was available. Then he was promoted to Provost (2009) without a search. Just like Chancellor Pernsteiner’s career.

His tenure as Provost was also mixed, at best. Lots of efforts to make himself look good (his oversold 5 big ideas) and a repeated refusal to engage with the faculty on tough questions (e.g. athletics, Martinez firing, budgets, Bend, …). Unable to attract good administrators to UO. Kept Russ Tomlin and Frances Dyke for 3 years? John Moseley is *still* on the books as Bean’s “special assistant” at $248,941 FTE? Now that’s leadership.

One reason for the Lariviere firing was the faculty and administrative raises. Bean took one of the largest ones for himself – $15,340. Imagine if he could have gone out to the press defending Lariviere, saying “I believed these were so important to retention that I pushed them through and did not take a dime for myself.” Bean couldn’t do that, because $306,800 was not enough for him. He wanted $322,140 (and a BMW 7 series) – regardless of what it cost UO in the end.

Then this September he stepped down at the last minute as Provost – literally a few days before classes started. President Lariviere had to rummage through the Johnson Hall recycling bins for an interim replacement. I’ve never heard of someone taking a sabbatical for medical reasons – we do them for research, right? Weird. I wonder what his sabbatical contract looks like. I will find out. See link to contract above.

Now – 2 months after saying he was physically unable to be provost, he’s suddenly willing and able to take on the President’s job. I don’t trust him or his relationship with Pernsteiner and the board. I think this is a set up. So do many others. Show us the medical records Jim.

He’s been a toady for Chancellor Pernsteiner before: Watch this 2009 video of the infamous “furlough meeting” where Bean claimed that UO was in the black on our Bend satellite, that we had a lean top administration, spending 38% of what our peer institutions spend, and that we should go along with Pernsteiner’s call for voluntary faculty furloughs:

Lies and more lies.


10/11/2011: I didn’t think so. The low point for UO was the April 2009 “Furlough Town Hall” where President Dave Frohnmayer, Provost Jim Bean, General Counsel Melinda Grier, and VPFA Frances Dyke tried to trick the faculty into agreeing to 5% pay reductions.

Frohnmayer had just taken a $100,000 raise himself, and was in the process of trying to spend $1 million on the neon “Old Town” sign in Portland. Inane. Bean claimed that UO was in the black on our Bend satellite and that we had a lean top administration, spending 38% of what our peer institutions spend. Wrong. Dyke revealed that she didn’t know how much faculty payroll was, and couldn’t divide.

All four of the people in this insulting dog and pony show are now gone or going. (Although Bean may be back). In addition, Diversity VP Charles Martinez is gone. VP for Research Rich Linton is gone. Lorraine Davis is back, but just for a bit. VP for AA Russ Tomlin is retiring. We have new VP’s for admissions and development and a new athletic director. The 5% cut in faculty pay that Frohnmayer’s administration proposed is history – replaced with raises. The staff furloughs have been mostly offset with overtime.

President Lariviere has engineered a nearly complete overall of UO’s central administration. Now we’ll see what they can do.

unauthorized retirement announcement

2/17/2011: The OA’s have been waiting for an email like this:


Yesterday many of you received an email from Frances Dyke, announcing that she “had made this very personal decision” to retire as VP for Finance and Administration, effective June 30 2012.

Contrary to the impression made in her unauthorized email, I am in charge, not her. I have made the decision that Ms Dyke will serve the remainder of her time at UO as an adjunct accounting instructor in the business school, starting next quarter.

I would like to thank Ms Dyke for her years of service to UO. We’ve learned something from those years, and this time we will have an open national search for this important job. I will appoint an interim VPFA shortly.

Provost Jim Bean

But it’s just a dream. Bean is not going to send this email, not least because he himself was appointed to his provost job without a open national search. Dyke really is going to be VPFA until 2012.

add the lottery money, the arena garage, the $1 jock box land giveaway, …

10/8/2010: UO athletics brings in about $70 million. They pay about $14 million to the coaches and the AD. This is not enough for them, so they want the regular students and the taxpayers to write a blank check for the jock box operations – about $2 million this year. To top it off, they want to claim they are self-supporting, so that people don’t ask tough questions.

With her latest reporting, Rachel Bachman of the Oregonian is not making it easy for them. There are now over 100 comments. It’s surprising and disappointing to see Provost Jim Bean quoted as favoring this subsidy. He should be fighting for the academic side. Someone in our administration needs to:

For the better part of a decade, University of Oregon officials have touted the athletic department’s economic self-sufficiency, a rarity in the world of big-time college sports. But for at least nine years, athletics has used hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from the university’s general fund to cover the cost of academic support for athletes, according to files obtained by The Oregonian.

The general fund has paid nearly $8.5 million over the past nine years for academic support for athletes, which includes exclusive tutoring and counseling, increasing sixfold from less than $300,000 in 2002-03 to a budgeted $1.8 million this academic year. …

Jim Bean, Oregon’s senior vice president and provost, who also oversees academic support for athletes, said it is appropriate for the university to pay for academic support for athletes, and honest for the school to maintain that athletics is self-sufficient despite that support. 

“I actually insist that that be funded from the academic side to make sure that we have the right academic control,” said Bean, who oversees academic support for athletes.

Bean said that because a large majority of Oregon athletes come from out of state, the athletic department pays more tuition for them on average than the average non-athlete student pays, effectively offsetting the cost of athletes’ academic support.

But that is not how two other prominent athletic departments who claim self-sufficiency operate. The University of Michigan and the University of Kentucky pay out-of-state tuition for out-of-state athletes, spokesmen said. This year they will use athletic funds to pay $1.5 million and $1.8 million, respectively, for academic support for athletes, with heads of those support programs reporting jointly to an academic leader and to the school’s athletic director. …

At the recent faculty leadership meeting I asked Rob Mullens if he had any plans to start using athletic department revenues to fund need-based student scholarships, as he had done at Kentucky. He just stared at me. Whoops, I thought, my bad, I get it. You only did that at Kentucky because the president there told you you had to. So President Lariviere must have told you …

Provost Bean agrees to meet with faculty about lack of transparency in tenure and promotion decisions

12/23/2009: We’ll post what we learn:

From: “James Bean”
Date: December 23, 2009 7:56:54 AM PST>

Subject: RE: FPC and the Provost

This is a classic example of email as a poor medium for disucussion.  I will be happy to meet with whatever members of the faculty wish to discuss this topic.  The amount of misinformation being tossed around here is amazing.  Until that meeting happens, please have a happy holiday.

Regards, Jim

This is in regard to 2 motions Frank Stahl has put forward to the Senate, regarding Provost Bean’s refusal to share information about his final tenure and promotion decisions with the Faculty Personnel Committee faculty members who advise him on those decisions. Yup, you can’t let the faculty know who gets tenure – and you certainly can’t tell them why!


THE MOTION: With respect to procedures for promotion and/or tenure, the Senate directs the Provost as follows: At the time that candidates for promotion and/or tenure receive notice of the Provost’s decision, the Provost shall notify the Faculty Personnel Committee of actions taken with respect to their recommendations.

MOVED: The Provost shall deliver copies of the 2009 Tenure and Promotion decision letters to the Chair of the 2008-09 FPC. The 2008-09 Chair of the FPC is requested to add an amendment to her annual report to indicate whether the Provost’s letters disagree with the FPC recommendations and, if so, in what manner and in how many cases.

Old town sign


OK, we’re starting to like this Lariviere guy. First he ditched Frohnmayer’s weird plan to have students graduate first, then take exams. Now, from the Oregonian, it seems he is going to abandon Dave’s attempt to blow $1 million of UO money on the Portland Old Town sign – or maybe he’s just a better bargainer.

University President Richard Lariviere said today that the UO’s lease on the sign is up at the end of the month and he’s not sure that the university will renew it. … the university is questioning whether it’s worth paying $850,000 for the sign, plus $130,000 to $150,000 a year to light and maintain it.

For once there is none of the doublespeak Provost Bean has been giving the faculty about how the $1 million was an imaginary number, and it actually wasn’t going to cost us anything, really. We’ve got you on youtube Jim – and we’ve finally figured out how to make the video start right when the potential misrepresentation of the actual facts begins. Just click the image.

Anyway, what a change from back in May, when the RG editors had to take Frohnmayer to task for failing to defend Professor Sohlberg from the mob that was incited by this RG story on the Autzen O sign. Of course, signs are just signs. Here’s hoping Lariviere isn’t all hat, and gets to the substance soon. Like maybe a few administrative changes.

they will never stop looking after their own

9/14/2009: What is it about UO administrators. Do they take a blood oath to defend each others’ paychecks til the bitter end? We’ve written before about the OUS audit which found current Provost Bean had cut former Provost Moseley’s retirement contract job duties without reducing his FTE, and was letting Moseley charge UO for weekly trips to his vacation home on the Deschutes – whether or not there was any UO-Bend work to do over there. We thought this situation had been resolved, but it turns out Provost Bean has pulled a fast one.

After an anonymous online tip alerted her, OUS auditor Pat Snopkowski wrote this July 31 audit report to UO President Lariviere, in which she states:

“University Management has agreed with Dr. Moseley that he will not receive reimbursement for his expenses associated with his assignment.” (p 3).

Seems pretty clear. However, the contract amendment for Dr. Moseley, signed by Moseley and UO Provost Jim Bean on Aug 20, says exactly the opposite:

3. Moseley and UO understand that as a result of his changed assignment, Moseley’s expenses for his work in Central Oregon will be paid as if he were a UO employee whose workstation and tax home is at the UO Bend facility.

What’s the difference? The OUS agreement with President Lariviere says Moseley is not to be reimbursed for travel to his vacation home. But the contract Bean signed with Moseley allows him to continue charging UO for one trip a week. Additionally, while Moseley’s new contract gives him responsibility for only one of the 4 job duties laid out in his original contract, he is allowed to keep the entire 0.5 FTE in his original contract. When questioned about this, Provost Bean reportedly said

“Look, you know Moseley. Do you really want me to give him a job here in Eugene?”

Good point Jim, but do we really have to pay him to come visit every week? For the curious, the contract between Moseley and then President Frohnmayer is here. It runs for 2 more years – but it’s such a blatant attempt to subvert the PERS rules I assume that UO could break it easily. BTW, the info for Ms Snopkowski’s anonymous tipline is

OUS Hotline: 1.888.304.7810
Or at

we recommend it.

Moseley gets audited

8/14/2009: The Oregonian has a story today about former Provost Moseley’s expense account abuse. The OUS audit report mentioned in the story is available here. In that audit report UO President Lariviere agrees to stop allowing Moseley to claim any more expenses – between Eugene and his vacation home in Bend or apparently anywhere at all – and to update Moseley’s original employment contract to reflect the fact that Moseley is now only fulfilling 1 of his 4 job responsibilities. The contract will be revised by Monday. Still unclear as to whether or not Moseley will be allowed to keep all of $124,000 0.5 FTE, and if so why in the hell he should. Either way, it looks likely that he will have to repay $9,000 or so in expenses to UO for last year, and given that there are 2 more years left on his contract, this should save UO about $27,000 total.

Our favorite part of the story:

Jim Bean, UO’s senior vice president and provost, said the audit identified a minor (sic) financial issue caused by a recent change in Moseley’s duties, which moved his main work location to Bend. “I’m glad someone pointed it out, and I’m glad we got it fixed,” Bean said.

No problem Jim, we at UO Matters are happy to help. Does this mean you are going to finally share the budget info for UO-Bend with your faculty?

The Oregonian has another, very pointed story about the OUS appointing State Rep. Larry Galizio as “Director of Strategery and Planning”. The story suggests this is a payoff for his vote in support of a pet Kulongoski bill.

Bill O’Reilly does UO

8/4/2009: Fox news has a segment on the lack of political diversity among the faculty at UO: It’s apparently based on journalism student Dan Lawton‘s piece in the Christian Science Monitor. Dan reports that only a handful of UO faculty are registered Republicans, and argues the University should work to hire professors with more diverse political views. Be sure and check out Provost Bean’s spirited defense of UO’s intellectual diversity, 30 seconds in.

As always, Bill O’Reilly’s reporting is based on a careful analysis of the empirical data coupled with a thoughtful discussion of the larger issues and their implications for the survival of western civilization. Except the part where he describes being a professor at UO as a “plush job”. Actually, UO faculty salaries are the lowest in the AAU. It’s the UO administrators that drive the beemers. Thanks to a reader for the link.

Bend Profits?

7/6/2009: Provost Bean keeps changing his story on whether or not UO is losing money on Bend – most people say about $1million a year, he claims it’s in the black – so one of the UO Matters team filed a public records request for the data he used as background for his various statements. UO’s PR guy Doug Park has now replied, offering to sell the documents to us for $45.63. Should we pay, or petition the Attorney General for a fee-waiver on the grounds that it’s illegal to make false statements when asking for charitable donations – as was done during the furlough meeting? Suggestions welcome!

"Big Ideas" or better pay than Missouri?

6/10/2009: Update on Frohnmayer’s Foundation slush fund: Apparently he has been in a mad rush to spend $1 million in leftover money as quick as possible. Anyone with details, post a comment. We’re guessing this money is not going to Faculty!

Provost Bean has now selected UO’s next “Big Ideas” which will … well, we don’t really know what it means to be a big idea. All of Bean’s revolve around green/sustainability/diversity. While President Lariviere has said that his own #1 priority is getting faculty salaries about the bar set by Missouri, at least one “Big Idea” proposed that UO take steps to increase faculty salaries and research support. This did not make Bean’s cut. More in the comments.

The Daily Emerald now has a news blog. They’ve posted a story on UO .lt. UM.

According to this Kansas newspaper, incoming President Lariviere will be paid $540,000 in salary and deferred compensation. Adding in the usual perks and ORP, and this will probably add up to about $600,000 using the definition of total compensation. The average for all PhD granting schools will be about $500,000 next year. OUS Secretary Ryan Hagemann tells us that he and Lariviere are still negotiating, and that there is no final contract yet. We’ll post the contract when Hagemann approves it.

UO: lowest salaries for faculty – and administrators at the trough

6/8/2009: After a year on the job Provost Jim Bean discovers – from a news article in a Missouri student newspaper we posted here – that UO’s faculty are the lowest paid in the AAU. This is after he wasted a huge chunk of IR and Senate time trying to defend UO’s excessive salaries for administrators – including his own. Better late than never. The good news is the Lariviere quote – but of course Frohnmayer has promised the same thing ever since the Senate white paper came out in 2000: faculty salaries were his “top priority”. Right.

(A comment points out that Bean knew this already – he’s writing this email to make it sound like he is “shocked to discover…”. )

From: James Bean []
Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 12:26 PM
To: Deans Working Group
Subject: Faculty Salaries

The Missouri article stating that UO has the lowest salaries in the AAU has caused quite a stir (we have since verified that they were correct). Low salaries were always thought of as just Oregonian. But 34 out of 34 is a whole other thing. We cannot have this. Richard’s reaction was “this is job #1.” Richard will likely have an announcement on how we are attacking this when politically feasible (after last gavel). Please communicate to your faculty that the Missouri article really got our attention. This may require disruptive solutions.

Thanks, Jim

James C. Bean
Senior Vice President and Provost
202 Johnson Hall
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1258
T 541-346-3186
F 541-346-2023

Steve Duin at the Oregonian has a post about this. In related news, on Friday the OUS Board approved emeritus status and a new contract for Frohnmayer. We’ve requested the contract, and should soon know how much we have to pay Frohnmayer to finally get him to stop being President.


We’ve been wondering what happened to the voluntary Fourlough program. After a lot of publicity and the hyped town hall meeting, the web site was never updated with new information or the promised FAQ. We finally received the email below on 5/20 from Provost Bean. In it he makes no attempt to encourage people to enroll or to donate money, and he does not re-iterate any of the claims he made at the 4/14 meeting, such as: UO’s administrative expense ratio is 38% of peers, Bend is making money, and the Portland programs are not a drain on Eugene. We’ve asked him about all these claims, and he has been unable/unwilling the document any of them.

The following message is from Senior Vice President and Provost Jim Bean –


The voluntary salary reduction program is still moving forward, and I thought this a good time for an update. As of May 14, 435 faculty and staff had contributed nearly $462,000 to help with the budget rescission this year. FTE reductions attracted 271 individuals contributing $327,000 and outright gifts attracted another 164 for $135,000. Of the 2,581 eligible staff, 17% participated. Among officers of instruction and research the participation rate was 9%, while among officers of administration it was slightly above 27%.

I sincerely thank all of you who chose to be part of the solution. The $462,000 contributed helped defray the $8.6M rescission (take-back) of state funds this year. For those of you in schools and colleges, your gifts reduced the take-back from your unit’s budget.

Regards, Jim