Public meeting on Chancellor’s contract renewal and terms

11/28/2011: Time to change the OUS agenda: Please copy, edit as you like, and email to the list below. CC uomatters@gmail.com and I’ll keep a tally – hard for them to ignore a reasonable request like this, especially now.

Dear OUS Board Chair Donegan and OUS board members:

I’m writing to request that the OUS board address the issue of Chancellor Pernsteiner’s contract renewal, and specifically that you

a) solicit input on Chancellor Pernsteiner’s job performance from OUS Presidents, administrators, faculty, and other concerned citizens, and then

b) schedule executive and public meetings to address the issue as to whether or not his contract should be renewed, and if so on what terms.

As explained below this matter is fairly urgent. If you do not act now, the Chancellor’s current contract will automatically review, with no opportunity for public input or for your own review of his performance.

The Chancellor’s current contract, at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/971644/uomatters/Pernsteiner/Pernsteiner%20contract%202010.pdf automatically renews under its current terms unless your board meets and decides otherwise by 12/31/2011.

The terms of Dr. Pernsteiner’s current contract are quite controversial. For example, the Register Guard has a long story in February, focused on his use of the Treetops mansion in Eugene. ( http://registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/cityregion/25869291-41/chancellor-system-ous-state-university.csp ) This story was followed by several editorials in various newspapers raising questions about the expenses and legality of the arrangement.

Other terms of Chancellor Pernsteiner’s contract are also problematic. As just one example, he has been unable to provide documentation of the $23,320 in “professional expenses” he receives under his current contract, as shown by this letter from the OUS Board Secretary: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/971644/uomatters/Pernsteiner/No%20Pernsteiner%20receipts%20110308%20PRR.pdf . Obviously this is not consistent with normal business or employee procedures. It is also not consistent with his own contract, which explicitly requires such documentation. There are other questions regarding OUS expenditures for his maid service, the mortgage on his private home in Portland, etc.

Finally, Oregon SB 242 and SB 909 raise serious questions about the future role of the Chancellor’s office and job. Chancellor Pernsteiner should be asked to publicly explain how he sees his role in the future of Oregon higher education – and other stakeholders should be given a chance to explain how they see his role – before his contract is automatically renewed, without public discussion.

I appreciate your consideration of this potential agenda item.

xyz

email to:

George_Pernsteiner@ous.edu, mdonegan@forestcap.com, matt_donegan@ous.edu, l.w.eiland@intel.com, jill_eiland@ous.edu, ciuffettl@oregonstate.edu, lynda_ciuffetti@ous.edu, allyn_ford@ous.edu, jim_francesconi@ous.edu, paulkellyjr@comcast.net, rosemary_powers@ous.edu, ppulliam@pcc.edu, preston_pulliams@ous.edu, kirk_schueler@ous.edu, dave_yaden@ous.edu, paul_kelly@ous.edu, ryan_hagemann@ous.edu, charles_triplett@ous.edu, Marcia_Stuart@ous.edu, Diane_Saunders@ous.edu@ous.edu>@ous.edu>@ous.edu>@ous.edu>@ous.edu>@brooksresources.com>@eou.edu>@hk-law.com>@ous.edu>

Vandals attack Treetops Mansion, official residence of Chancellor Pernsteiner

11/27/2011: Or maybe the headline should read:

“Chancellor Pernsteiner loots Oregon student’s budgets to pay for his mansions, maids and croissants”

Sam Stites of the ODE has the scoop on the former interpretation, with some Aaron Marineau photos of the perpetrators fleeing the well manicured, spacious grounds of Treetops, OUS Chancellor Pernsteiner’s state owned and maintained 9,200 sq ft mansion. I swear the guy on the left is Frank Stahl. UO Matters deplores all senseless acts of vandalism, and this one is particularly senseless, since Pernsteiner’s money and the Treetops costs all come from student tuition and taxes. Guess who will pay. Here are a few other interesting Pernsteiner facts, in case you need something truly scandalous and corrupt to deplore:

And his contract will be automatically renewed unless the OUS board acts by 12/31/2011.

    Will the OUS Board renew his contract?

    11/25/2011: No, I don’t mean President Lariviere’s contract. I mean Chancellor Pernsteiner’s.

    Governor Kitzhaber can’t be too happy with Pernsteiner, after he sold him a simple plan to get rid of a man he described as troublemaker with no faculty support, which then blew up in Kitzhaber’s face. Time is running out for Dr. Pernsteiner. Read his contracts – the 2010 one starts on page 15:

    By December 31, eh? Now that’s going to be one fun OUS Board meeting. Read the whole contract – his giveaway perks are astounding. I wonder what he’ll get this time – new hot tub? Say, has OUS GC Ryan Hagemann posted public notice yet? Just curious.

    The sham OUS meeting to ratify the closed door decision about Lariviere starts with a private executive session at 2PM Monday. Agenda is finally posted, here. The public part starts at 3pm in PSU’s Academic & Student Recreation Center, Suite 515 (1800 SW 6th Avenue, Portland). Be there.

    UO and Phil Knight protest Pernsteiner’s decision

    11/23/2011: From Uncle Phil in the Portland Business Journal:

    “It deeply saddens me that some people in power in our state continue to drive Oregon into a death spiral with their embrace of mediocrity. It’s yet another application of Oregon’s Assisted Suicide law.

    “For the Chancellor and the State Board of Higher Education, a ‘team player’ is someone who falls in line with their acceptance of mediocrity, and the one who strives for excellence does not fit in. Let us hope that the Oregon community can take this astonishingly bad decision and recognize that it does not have to define us. We still have the collective capacity to rise up and do great things.”

    Amen. All sorts of petitions and letters, and rumors of strikes and demonstrations are flying around campus. A moment of silence at the Civil War game? A march on Pernsteiner’s Treetops mansion?
    A meeting of the Statutory Faculty and a vote of no confidence in the OUS board and Chancellor Pernsteiner seems likely.

    The demonstration of crude power by Pernsteiner, Matt Donegan and the OUS Board, and Governor Kitzhaber is the most galling part. No input from the faculty. Nothing. UO does not have a single representative on the board that decided to fire our President. Comments here.

    Kitzhaber fires Lariviere

    11/22/2011: Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week has the scoop:

    WW has learned that Oregon University System board members met with University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere on Monday, telling him that when his contract expires in June, it will not be renewed. Governor John Kitzhaber surprised Lariviere by affirming that decision in a 4 p.m. meeting today.

    Dr. Pernsteiner wins. UO loses. My first thought is there is no way in hell I want to work for George Pernsteiner without a strong faculty union on my side. So let’s start one – where and when can I sign that card check? Am I nuts?

    Honest, competent, and he wanted the best for UO. It’s amazing the state’s old guard let him stay this long.  Remember what OUS did to Paul Olum? Meanwhile who will be interim President? Frohnmayer? Lorraine Davis? Melinda Grier as GC? Moseley as Provost? Disastrous. Rep. Phil Barnhart gives Lariviere a strong defense in this RG story. 

    If you want to email Pernsteiner and the OUS Board members and tell them what you think – or ask them what they plan to do now that they own UO – the addresses are

    george_pernsteiner@ous.edu, matt_donegan@ous.edu, jill_eiland@ous.edu, lynda_ciuffetti@ous.edu,  hannah_fisher@ous.edu,  allyn_ford@ous.edu,  jim_francesconi@ous.edu,  Farbodd_Ganjifard@ous.edu,  paul_kelly@ous.edu ,  rosemary_powers@ous.edu ,  preston_pulliams@ous.edu ,  kirk_schueler@ous.edu, dave_yaden@ous.edu

    Occupy Eugene to move in with Pernsteiner at Treetops Mansion

    11/1/2011: Word down by the Duck Pond is that the Occupy Eugene folks are going to take Chancellor Pernsteiner up on his gracious offer to host the whole movement at his official state owned mansion, Treetops, at 2237 Spring Blvd. Dr. Pernsteiner is quoted in a flyer making the rounds:

    “Not many of those of us in the elite 1% can say that they get every dime of it from taxpayers and student tuition money. And of course on top of that fat $280,900 salary I get a housing allowance to pay the mortgage at my other house in Portland, extra retirement money, $23,120 for professional expenses, travel money, and a car. Treetops has a lovely lawn, 3000 square feet of verandas, and 9000 square feet of living space. It’s the second largest house in the county. It’s almost too much – even for a man as important as I am – so I welcome these visitors. I do feel obligated to warn them that thanks to UO Matters and those vengeful bastards at the DOJ the university system has cut my maid service to every other week.”

    Turn-by-turn walking directions here.

    More on OUS Chancellor, UO Board

    9/24/2011: Roundup of recent developments in Gov Kitzhaber’s reorganization of Oregon Education. Worth reading it all, from Bill Graves in the Oregonian:

    Gov. John Kitzhaber recently appointed the powerful Oregon Education Investment Board, which he will chair and which will control the budget for education in Oregon from preschool through graduate school.

    The state also will have a new Higher Education Coordinating Commission charged with orchestrating the policies and practices of the state’s seven public universities and 17 community colleges.

    Less clear is what will happen to the Oregon State Board of Education and the State Board of Higher Education as the new boards take control. The investment board will recommend a plan for the state boards to the Legislature in a report on Dec. 15, said Tim Nesbitt, who is managing the investment board implementation for the governor.

    Maybe it’s time for Chancellor Pernsteiner to go back to school and finish up that PhD? Often a good thing to do after a layoff.

    Will UO staff strike the first week of classes?

    9/14/2011: A non-random sample says yes. They don’t buy Pernsteiner and Kenton’s call for “shared sacrifice”. Does anyone recall any previous staff strikes? This Greg Bolt story repeats the stories about UO raises, does not mention Lariviere’s overtime adjustments or the benefits and retroactive benefits the OUS bosses got. There’s a similar story Bill Graves story in the Oregonian. UO is not doing a good job getting our version of the story out.

    Why does the Register Guard hate Lariviere?

    9/7/2011: I don’t get it. First the two Diane Dietz stories, now this editorial. They repeat Di Saunder’s misinformation, put Bean’s quote in the worst possible context, and say nothing about the raises the OUS administrators took for themselves while they were forcing furloughs on the UO staff. Nothing on Lariviere’s courageous moves to use overtime to undo the furloughs for low paid staff.

    It’s like the RG is trying to help Pernsteiner fire Lariviere. What a disaster for UO and the state that would be. There are plenty of tough questions to ask about Lariviere’s management of UO. Why did it take him 2 years to start cleaning the administration of Frohnmayer holdovers like Martinez, Linton, and Dyke? Why is he putting so much money into new administrative hires, and so little into new faculty? Why is the athletic department still sucking $5 million a year from academics, while he lets them pretend they are self-supporting? Why do we still not have a reasonable public records process? Attacking Lariviere over these raises is a cheap shot – while ignoring the important questions. I don’t get it.

    UO tuition pays for Pernsteiner’s fracking maid service

    9/2/2011: I’m sorry, but there’s no polite way to state that simple fact:

    More docs on Pernsteiner here. And more on order from OUS. We also pay his mortgage. And thanks to an anonymous commenter for explaining what’s really going on here:

    The fact is that the UO would like to raise staff salaries and eliminate furloughs and has the money to do it. The conflict is with the OUS and the need to subsidize other campuses. Classified staff should be strong supporters of the New Partnership Plan. The status quo is bad for the UO, bad for faculty and staff, and bad for the state.

    The RG article itself shows how shameless the OUS is in attempting to undermine the UO. It is really disgusting. It is almost as though they are laying a trap for the UO administration to step into so that they can fire them.

    9/4/2011: Update:

    A commenter notes that we also pay for maid service for Lariviere. The difference is Lariviere uses McMorran House for UO events pretty much all the time. Here’s what the Feb RG story says about Pernsteiner:

    Not used for meetings

    The deed isn’t the only document that restricts how the house is used. Pernsteiner’s employment contract also stipulates he is “required to reside” at Treetops.

    The contract also requires that the house be used “to conduct Board or OUS meetings and events on a regular and continuing basis,” something that doesn’t appear to be happening.

    Paul Kelly, president of the state Board of Higher Education, said no board meetings have been held at the house in the 3½ years he has been on the board. In fact, he said he’s never been in Treetops.

    “I have not been there for any kind of board or official business,” he said.

    The story also explains that while Pernsteiner rarely uses the house in Eugene (he lives in Portland, at his own house, which we are paying his mortgage on) his college age kid(s) do live there, along with some of their friends.

    UO bosses defend pay raises

    9/3/2011: That’s the headline of today’s RG story by Diane Dietz:

    When University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere returns from today’s football game in Texas, he will have to produce a report justifying why the UO gave pay raises worth about $1.9 million a year to about 390 administrators several months ago. George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University System, asked for the report Friday, a day after The Register-Guard publicized the raises.

    Lariviere and Bean do an OK job defending the raises. There is not a word in the story on Pernsteiner or Kenton‘s pay and perks. UO students pay for Pernsteiner’s maid service, mortgage and his morning croissant and the RG is bragging they are making *Lariviere* explain where the tuition money is going?

    Why does the RG hate Lariviere, and leave it up to the Oregonian to investigate OUS? The story has this from former OUS Board Chair Paul Kelly (still on the board):

    That’s why higher education board member Paul Kelly Jr., a private-sector attorney, said he was very surprised to learn Friday about the UO raises. The education board oversees the state university system, including the UO. It would be nice to give every deserving employee a raise, but it would not be affordable, he said.

    Yes, Kelly is the model of fiscal caution when it comes to raises for staff making $30,000 a year. But here’s his signature on Dr. Pernsteiner’s May 2010 contract, giving him a *retroactive* raise and perks that now total well over $350,000:

     

    That last one was the subject of this audit by the Secretary of State’s Audits Division, which concluded

    Yes, it would not be affordable to give the staff raises. There would be no UO tuition money left over to dole out to Paul Kelly’s buddies.