Senator Dembrow promises to revisit Univ Trustee appointment procedures in wake of Hornecker appointment

9/18/2019 update: 

UO Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms has still not responded to my public records request for her documents involving this latest in a long line of trustee appointments made in back-room deals, without campus input.

On Friday UAUO President Chris Sinclair, UO Senate Immediate Past President Bill Harbaugh (me), and UAUO Politics Chair Avinnash Tiwari sent the Senate Rules Committee this letter asking that they hold off on confirming Elisa Hornecker until the university community had a chance to give input. The letter is posted on the committee’s website here:

Chair Burdick, Vice-Chair Baertshiger, Jr., and members of the committee:

We are writing regarding Monday’s confirmation vote of a new member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon. At no point during this nomination process have faculty, staff, students, and most administrators had an opportunity to learn about this candidate, much less offer input on who would best serve the University of Oregon and the State of Oregon. We ask you to hold off on voting for this particular candidate until the campus community has had a chance to learn more about the candidate, their qualifications, and their knowledge of important matters that are sure to impact our campus in the next few years.

We understand that providing public comments regarding the appointment of a Trustee for the University of Oregon’s Board is highly unusual. Our comments are not about the candidate, as we know nothing about them. There was no notice of a vacancy on the UO Trustees website of a vacancy, nor was a call for nominations made to the campus community.

As mentioned above, Angela Wilhelms has not produced any public records on this yet, however Governor Brown’s office gave us what Wilhems wouldn’t: Elisa Hornecker’s application letter, here. It is minimalist. If she has any higher education policy knowledge or experience beyond her ’82 UO undergrad degree, and a stint on the secretive UO Foundation board she doesn’t she doesn’t mention it:

For comparison, there were four PSU Board nominees up for consideration as well. Here are the far more impressive qualifications of just one of them:

 

And here’s a link to the video of the hearing, with Senator Dembrow’s response. Back up to see the prepared statement from Ms Hornecker and the comments from myself and Tiwari. To quote Dembrow:

“I do think that we should look at the process by which candidates are nominated and vetted on our campuses. I think it was within the spirit of those of us who helped create this new system that there would be more participation on the campuses, and if that’s not happening then I’ll commit to doing that.”

Today the Oregon Senate voted to confirm this appointment, as we expected. I’d hoped that under the circumstances Hornecker would have done the right thing, withdrawn her name from consideration, and allowed for a more open appointment process, but no.

For more comparison, see the presentation from another of PSU’s eminently qualified nominees here:

 

9/9/2019: Who is Elisa Hornecker & who is she replacing on the Board?

I have no idea. The BOT’s webpage says nothing about a vacancy. The August 26 generic press release from Governor Brown is here. The list of appointments is here, and includes this:

The Senate Rules committee is supposed to vote on these next week, but their webpage has nothing yet. Thanks to an anonymous correspondent for catching this. The most recent previous appointee to UO’s problematic Board of Trustees was Marcia Aaron, appointed by Gov Brown after she and Pres Schill sat together at a basketball game:

If you see something say something.

Board of Trustees to perform due diligence theatre, Portland Th & Fr

UO Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms has buried the agendas in pdf’s, to make it hard to see what our board is up to. I’ve reformatted them as html below.  Among the items that our board will not be discussing in public:

  1. UO’s current budget crisis and administrative bloat
  2. UO’s future budget crisis and demographic cliff
  3. Upcoming search to replace Pres Mike Schill
  4. Legislative distrust of UO and resulting lack of state funding
  5. IAAF 2021 subsidies
  6. Upcoming Duck athletic scandals
  7. Ducks by 6 points, watch party Saturday in Schill’s $350K Autzen skybox
  8. Cost of football concussion insurance

All meetings in the UO-Portland Naito Building, Room 136, first floor to the left.

Academic and Student Affairs Committee — September 5, 2019. 10:00 a.m.

Provost’s Quarterly Report

1. Student Success Initiatives Semi-Annual Report: Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life; Sarah Nutter, Dean of the Lundquist College of Business; Julia Pomerenk, Assistant Vice President and Registrar; and Doneka Scott, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success.

2. Accreditation Update – Learning Outcomes: Ron Bramhall, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Excellence; Chuck Triplett, Associate Vice President for Academic Infrastructure

3. University Leadership and Faculty Development Initiatives: Sierra Dawson, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Anticipated Recess for Lunch

4. Research Enterprise Annual Report: David Conover, Vice President for Research and Innovation

5. Academic Area in Focus – Urbanism Next: Nico Larco, professor of Architecture, and Becky Steckler, program manager

[Materials]

Executive and Audit Committee — September 5, 2019. 3:00 p.m.

1. FY19 Year End Audit Report and Quarterly Report: Amy Smith, Interim Chief Auditor

2. Chief Auditor Search Plan and Update: Greg Stripp, Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President

[Materials]

Finance and Facilities Committee — September 6, 2019. 8:30 a.m.

1. Quarterly Financial Reports: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

2. FY20 Budget and Expenditure Authority Authorization (Action): Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

3. Naming of the Black Cultural Center (Action): Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life

4. Housing Transformation Capital Project – Authorization for Project Expenditures (Action): Roger Thompson, Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management; Michael Griffel, Assistant Vice President and Director of University Housing

5. Oregon Acoustics Research Laboratory Capital Project – Authorization for Project Expenditures (Action): Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, Professor of Architecture

6. Annual Retirement Plan Report: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

[Materials]

Meeting of the Board — September 6, 2019 10:30 AM

– Public comment

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports
-ASUO President Sabinna Pierre
-University Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

2. President’s Report

3. Resolutions from Committee (pending September 6 committee action)
-Seconded Motion from FFC: Black Cultural Center Naming
-Seconded Motion from FFC: University Housing Project
-Seconded Motion from FFC: Oregon Acoustics Research Laboratory
-Seconded Motion from FFC: FY20 Expenditure Authorizations

4. Knight Campus Semi-Annual Report: Bob Guldberg, Vice President and Executive Director of the Knight Campus

5. Executive Session Regarding Collective Bargaining: Missy Matella, Senior Director of Employee and Labor Relations; Peter Fehrs, Associate Director of Employee and Labor Relations. The Board of Trustees will meet in executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(d) for purposes of conducting deliberations regarding labor negotiations. This session is closed to members of the public
and the media.

[Materials]

Trustees to meet 110 miles off campus, 4 weeks before students return

You wouldn’t know it from Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms minimalist website, but rumor has it the Sept 5-6 meeting of our Board of Trustees will be in Portland. Classes in Eugene start October 1. Maybe they have something urgent to vote on, like another round of raises for the coaches and administrators, or more tuition increases:

Or maybe they just want to go through their due-diligence charade in peace and quiet, then make it down to President Schill’s skybox in time for the football game on Saturday:

 

Steve Raymund to replace Chuck Lillis as BOT Chairman

That’s the rumor from yesterday’s match down at the Faculty Club’s polo grounds. Lillis’s 2nd 3-year term as chair of UO’s Board of Trustees is up in December. Raymund is an Econ grad, a wealthy self-made businessman, the current chair of Paul Weinhold’s secretive sports-obsessed UO Foundation board, and a generous donor to UO’s academic mission.

Trustee McIntyre to propose tuition freeze & cuts to Duck subsidies

Just kidding, there’s no sign that Faculty Trustee Laura Lee McIntyre will make any such motion, or raise any questions about why the board continues to rubber-stamp raises for Rob Mullens and his coaches while increasing undergraduate tuition and cutting museums.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES, Th 9:30 AM FORD ALUMNI CENTER

Full Board meeting.

Original meeting materials here. Latest release here. For some reason the webcast link isn’t working.

– Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum – Approval of March 2019 summary (Action) [There is no mention of what this summary is in the posted materials.]

Public comment: 

The room is full, the public comments are blunt, calling out the Board for incompetence etc., e.g.:

Immediate Past Senate President / Current Faculty Union President Chris Sinclair:

The board of Trustees at the University of Oregon is in an untenable situation. The people ‘below you’ on the .org chart—represented by the people in this room—are supremely unhappy with the financial management and strategic vision of the university. Simultaneously the people above you, legislators and political appointees, are supremely unhappy with the financial management and strategic vision of the university.

It seems the only people happy with university leadership on budget issues are donors (and trustees themselves).

The mission of the university, approved by this body, is:

The University of Oregon is a comprehensive public research university committed to exceptional teaching, discovery, and service. We work at a human scale to generate big ideas. As a community of scholars, we help individuals question critically, think logically, reason effectively, communicate clearly, act creatively, and live ethically.

And aside from the vapid “human scale to generate big ideas” phrase, it is a good mission. The mission is the touch stone for decision making. It should be the North Star of the board—the words to revisit when making your decisions.

You are about to be asked to approve an extremely high tuition increase. You are being asked to finance the university on the backs of Oregon students. By doing this you are implicitly agreeing that it is more important to preserve athletics and other donor driven initiatives in exchange for millions in additional debt for Oregon students and families.

The University of Oregon has already telegraphed the message that, instead of plugging the looming budget shortfall. it is more important to install state-of-the-art sound systems in athletics facilities. The new speakers will undoubtedly come from donor money, but this is irrelevant. Legislators have already heard the message that speakers are more important than students. Faculty have heard the message that world-class athletics facilities are more important than students. Students themselves have heard that we’re broke, and that they should take on debt (and years of financial risk) to accommodate the fickle whims of an octogenarian billionaire.

How do these decisions, and the resulting negative change in public perception, benefit students? How do they benefit the relationship between the university and the state? How do they support the mission—the North Star—of the university?

This is but one example, and it is emblematic of a larger problem.

Cultivating donors is like trophy hunting for University Presidents. However, as a skill, it is only valued by other university presidents and those who measure their success in dollar signs. Our president is particularly good at this aspect of his job, and it will undoubtedly lead to a promotion to a better university one day.

On that day, will we be looking at a university with a handful of expensive white elephants littering campus, and serving a handful of elite researchers/coaches, while the core academic facilities rot from neglect, classrooms overflow, and Oregon students are saddled with debt?

Or will we see a “community of scholars, who help individuals question critically, think logically, reason effectively, communicate clearly, act creatively, and live ethically.”?

The choice is yours, and it’s time for you as trustee to shift the financial decision making back to the mission of the university. You must be brave. You must do this. The University of Oregon is counting on you.

Thank you.

Chris Sinclair
Associate Professor of Mathematics, University of Oregon

A student: “You ask us to go to Salem and lobby for more state money, but the legislators tell us they don’t trust you to spend the money wisely”

Prof Ellen Scott (Sociology) walks the board through some of the work that LERC and UO faculty and grad students have done and how it has led to changes in Oregon laws that have improved the lives of working Oregonians.

Prof Maram Epstein (East Asian Languages) asks the board to exercise their independent fiduciary responsibility to redo the proposed budget in a way that is consistent with UO’s mission as a public university.

Many, many students make comments as well.

Former staff Trustee Kurt Willcox: The university is turning away from its outreach mission to the state by defunding LERC and the museums.

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports

-ASUO President Maria Gallegos and Incoming ASUO Vice President Montse Mendez and Chief of Staff Hibo Abtidon

“Hayward Field does nothing for me. I’m a student.”

– Incoming Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

written comments in board materials

2. Provost’s and President’s Reports

these seem to be postponed

3. Undergraduate Resident Tuition (Action): Michael Schill, President; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO; Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life

VP Marbury is upset because the ASUO President criticized him.

President Schill blames outgoing Provost Banavar for the budget cuts to LERC and the museums. This is chickenshit bizarre.

12:47, and none of the trustees have yet mentioned any of the issues that came up in the public comments, such as cuts to athletic subsidies.

Ginevra Ralph asks why students don’t understand about gift restrictions. VP Moffitt explains that they do, they just think the university should shift its fundraising priorities. (Or just tax athletic donations. The UO Foundation already taxes donations, but won’t explain where the money goes.)

Wilhelms reports that Pathways costs about $6M.

Lillis calls the question on President Schill’s tuition increase.

Ralph and Paustian talk about how difficult this is and what a great job VP’s Moffitt and Marbury have done. Paustian says he will vote no – but doesn’t present an alternative motion. Colas gives a shout out to the students and GTFFs – but doesn’t present an alternative motion.

Vote: All in favor except Paustian.

Recess: Estimated to Reconvene at 1:00 p.m.

4. Resolutions from Committee (pending May 22 committee action)
–Seconded Motion from FFC: Capital Construction Project (Housing Project Preliminary Costs) –Seconded Motion from FFC: FY20 Expenditure Temporary Authorization

5. Student Conduct Code Changes (Action): Kris Winter, Dean of Students

6. A Look at PERS: Tim Nesbitt, Interim Deputy Director of PERS Solutions for Public Services and former Higher Education Coordinating Commission Chair; John Tapogna, President and Partner, ECONorthwest economic research and consulting firm

7. Academic Area in Focus – ShakeAlert, ALERTWidlfire, and the Emerging Internet of (Wild) Things: Professor Doug Toomey, Earth Sciences

Meeting Adjourned

Board of Trustees to meet Wed, Th on tuition, etc

See below for some light live-blogging. So far my takeaway is that most of the trustees haven’t done their homework and are asking softball questions, when they have any questions at all.

Note that Wednesday’s public committee meetings and the executive (closed) meeting of the board are in the Art Museum, starting at 8:30, while Thursday’s full Board meeting is in the Alumni Center, starting at 9:30.

Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms buries the agenda information in pdf files deep within the Board’s website, so as usual I have put it in more accessible form below. I’ll add some clips later and do some live-blogging.

Wed 8:3o AM Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art | Ford Lecture Hall

Finance and Facilities Committee

Meeting materials here. Note that, as usual, the Trustees have only been given the information about budget planning today, presumably so that they won’t have had time to digest it and ask tough questions. The new packet is here.

I assume that Board Chair Chuck Lillis learned this trick when he was on the board of Washington Mutual as it collapsed in one of the largest bankruptcies in history, leaving stockholders with 2 cents on the dollar.

For some reason Lillis has left his WaMu service and the lawsuits about the board’s failure to conduct due diligence off his UO Trustees biosketch:

1. Housing Transformation Capital Project – Authorization for Preliminary Expenditures (Action): Roger Thompson, Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management; Michael Griffel, Assistant Vice President and Director of University Housing

Sorry missed most of this. No coffee for the plebes.

2. Critical Business Functions Audit Project – Report and Update: Trisha Burnett, Chief Auditor

The usual.

3. Quarterly Financial Reports: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

As usual Jamie focuses the discussion narrowly on the E&G budget, and doesn’t talk about what the administration talk about – e.g. the subsidies for athletics and the law school – which were supposed to be phased out by now but which instead continue to grow:

4. Financial Reports and Discussion: Savings Initiatives, Expenditure Reduction Efforts, and LongTerm Financial Projections: Michael Schill, President; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

Jamie explains that UO is making significant administrative cuts from what is already a low level. Allyn Ford says that if this continues maybe the university should consider substantial program cuts. I assume he means the baseball program.

Ross Kari asks if Jamie can calculate what % tuition increases of this period would be needed.

Chuck Lillis points out that the problem is not costs, it’s revenue. Too little tuition, too little state support, too little donations. These, of course, are the problems that the UO Board was supposed to address, and which it has consistently failed at. Except for increasing tuition – they’re great at that.

Schill points out that, because we are unionized, the administration can’t arbitrarily freeze or cut faculty salaries during a recession, while continuing to subsidize themselves and the coaches. Yea union!

Short break.

5. FY20 Budget and Expenditure Authority Authorization (Action): Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

Approved, sent to full board.

6. Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Overview: Rob Mullens, Athletic Director; Eric Roedl, Deputy Athletic Director

As usual, they Ducks have prepared a flashy presentation. Will the trustees ask them any tough questions? Some obvious ones:

The university is in a budget crisis. Why aren’t you helping out by reducing your costs?

Why hasn’t the millions we spend on the Ducks lead to increased out of state enrollment?

Do you think your bragging and profligate spending on coaches’s salaries and shiny new facilities are part of the reason the Legislature doesn’t want to give UO more money? Because that’s what the legislators say.

Why do you keep pushing the costs of the Duck’s legal problems onto the rest of the university?

Yours is a risky business. Now, it makes no difference to me how a man makes his living, but don’t you think you should have more than a week of expenses in reserves? Or do you just plan on hitting up the academic side for more subsidies when you get another lawsuit?

When do you think the news about the most recent sexual assaults by your players will become public?

What do you think about the fact that the UO Foundation has withdrawn its guarantee for the 2021 IAAF championships?

Trustee Ginevra Ralph doesn’t ask anything above, but she does ask how one-and-done’s reflect on UO’s academic mission. Mullens says everyone else does it.

Meeting Adjourns

12:45 WEDNESDAY: EXECUTIVE SESSION

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art | Ford Lecture Hall

Meeting materials here.

Executive Session re Labor Negotiations

The Board of Trustees will meet in executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(d) for purposes of conducting deliberations regarding labor negotiations with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. This session is closed to members of the public and the media. The meeting will be called to order and adjourned. No other topics or matters will occur on May 22. Notwithstanding the location listed above, this May 22 executive session will occur in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Wed 1:30 PM Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art | Ford Lecture Hall

Public meeting of Executive and Audit Committee

Meeting materials here.

1. Quarterly Audit Report and FY20 Audit Plan (Action): Trisha Burnett, Chief Auditor

Burnett reports that the number of reports to UO’s ethics hotline are unusually low for a university or size. Presumably this is because of the lack of trust that many UO staff and faculty have in her office – which has had a mixed past. The link to the hotline is here. As you can see you can report all sorts of things, anonymously:

Ginevra Ralph asks about the independent audit of the internal auditors. It turns out it’s not really that independent – it’s done by the internal auditors professional association.

Pres Schill asks about the audit of university committees. Burnett reports it’s a bit of a look at internal Governance. Schill asks if the audit will include Senate committees. Good question. Burnett says the intention is to start at the top, which I assume means the President and Provost’s committees.

Committee approves report.

2. Semi-Annual Enterprise Risk Update: Andre LeDuc, Associate Vice President and Chief Resilience Officer

I’d sort of thought this would include some actual information about the cost of UO’s various insurance policies, athletics riders, deductibles, payouts, etc. Nope. It’s all buzzwords and silly diagrams:

3. Semi-Annual Transform IT and Information Services Report: Jessie Minton, Chief Information Officer

Sorry, end of today’s live-blogging. I’ve got to get ready for the Senate meeting. See you tomorrow at 9:30AM and the Alumni Center.

4. New Program Proposal – PhD in Planning and Public Affairs (Action): Rich Margerum, Professor and School Head for Planning, Public Policy and Management

Meeting Adjourns

Th 9:30 AM FORD ALUMNI CENTER

Full Board meeting.

Meeting materials here.

– Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum

– Approval of March 2019 summary (Action)
– Public comment

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports
-ASUO President Maria Gallegos and Incoming ASUO Vice President Montse Mendez and Chief of Staff Hibo Abtidon -Incoming Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

2. Provost’s and President’s Reports

3. Undergraduate Resident Tuition (Action): Michael Schill, President; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO; Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life

Recess: Estimated to Reconvene at 1:00 p.m.

4. Resolutions from Committee (pending May 22 committee action)
–Seconded Motion from FFC: Capital Construction Project (Housing Project Preliminary Costs) –Seconded Motion from FFC: FY20 Expenditure Temporary Authorization

5. Student Conduct Code Changes (Action): Kris Winter, Dean of Students

6. A Look at PERS: Tim Nesbitt, Interim Deputy Director of PERS Solutions for Public Services and former Higher Education Coordinating Commission Chair; John Tapogna, President and Partner, ECONorthwest economic research and consulting firm

7. Academic Area in Focus – ShakeAlert, ALERTWidlfire, and the Emerging Internet of (Wild) Things: Professor Doug Toomey, Earth Sciences

Meeting Adjourned

HECC steps in for failed university boards on capital construction

The latest evidence of the failed promise of Oregon’s independent boards:

HECC Embarks on First-Ever 10-Year Strategic Capital Development Plan for Public Universities

To learn more about the project and university stakeholder meetings, see www.oregon.gov/highered/10-year-capital-plan

Salem, OR – The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) has embarked upon an in-depth process  to develop the first-ever 10-year comprehensive strategic capital plan for Oregon’s seven public universities. Launched in February of this year, the HECC concludes its first phase of statewide campus meetings this week, and will sponsor a second series of regional focus groups with campus leaders, businesses and community representatives to inform the project this June. The 10-year plan will provide a target public university capital portfolio through 2029 and will be used to guide the Commission in its recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature on the prioritization of state-funded capital projects for years to come.

Ben Cannon, executive director of the HECC, said, “This is a critically important project for the campuses and for the hundreds of thousands of students they serve through their many facilities, classrooms, and research spaces. The plan will guide our Commission’s priortization of capital projects in biennial budget recommendations for the next decade, and will inform state leaders in their challenging decisions to align taxpayer-supported bonding with Oregon’s transformational goals to expand college opportunity and success for all.”

The plan is being developed in partnership with the public universities and with the expertise of SmithGroup, a planning and design firm with extensive national experience in strategic fiscal planning in higher education. After the first series of campus meetings concludes this week, the HECC and its contractor will have finished the first phase of data gathering, conducted in extensive collaboration with the public universities, to ensure the availability of data for analysis. The next set of campus visits will be held June 10 through 28, and will be focus-group style meetings to invite input from business and community representatives to assess the needs of each of the seven public universities and their regions.

Jim Pinkard, HECC director of postsecondary finance and capital, said, “Through recent university visits,  consultations on university strategic planning efforts, and expert input, we are building the knowledge base that will inform this plan. We are optimistic by the learner-focused lens that our partners are already bringing to the table in the planning process and look forward to deepening our understanding through local focus group meetings this June.”

The 10-year strategic capital plan will be a high-level summary of the state’s capital needs for public universities based on demographic, economic, industry, and other environmental factors, dividing the targeted portfolio by region of the state. It will divide the existing and potential future capital portfolio according to ideal usage and utilization, estimating space need for different academic disciplines and functions. Staff anticipates the initial phase of work to be completed by the end of September 2019. The HECC will first use the final deliverable and the data and analysis behind it to guide its prioritization of public university capital requests for the 2020 Legislative Session.

Board of Trustees holds emergency meeting to discuss budget crisis

Just kidding, of course they won’t meet about that. This is about our greedy basketball coaches.

Two days after President Schill announced that UO is facing an $11M budget crisis which will likely lead to layoffs for instructors and OAs, our Board’s executive committee will be phoning it in on Thursday at 1PM, to give fat raises to Dana Altman and Kelly Graves. Full packet with contracts here.

Live: Full BOT meeting, 10AM EMU Redwood room

TUESDAY, MARCH 5 – 10:00 A.M.: CONVENE PUBLIC MEETING
– Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum – Approval of December 2018 minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

– Public comment

Community Member David Igl asks why there are still no interpretative materials posted at Deady Hall, and provides his usual claims that the 1920’s KKK was not, at its inception, a racist organization. I’ve responded to this before, at http://uomatters.com/2016/09/professor-frederick-dunn-was-not-tricked-into-joining-the-kkk.html.

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports
-ASUO President Maria Gallegos

Calls for an advisory board to develop a holistic plan for UO tuition and growth. In an admirable first for the ASUO, rather than complain about the tuition increases, Gallegos proposes working with the administration and faculty and donors to increase scholarships, and with the legislature to increase state funding.

Gallegos reports that as she meets with the legislature, she finds that even local legislators do not trust the UO administration or the board to make sure that any new state funding will actually go to students.

-University Senate President Bill Harbaugh

The usual drivel from Harbaugh, who sold out to the administration for a few course releases and $10K here and there, about how we should all work together in harmony to improve UO.

2. President’s Report

Apparently Roger Thompson reports that interest from prospective students is at an all time high. Sure. There will be cuts, about $10-$12M.

Pres Schill opposes legislation to disarm campus police. Making efforts to bolster humanities, using part of the $50M unrestricted gift he brought in. Knight Campus and cooperation with OHSU going well. Thanks the staff who worked to get UO through the snowstorm, keeping students fed and warm etc.

3. Tuition and Mandatory Fees (does not include resident, undergraduate tuition) (Action): Michael Schill, President; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO; Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life

Out of state tuition to rise by $990 because $1000 looks bad
From a 02/04/2019 post

You can’t make this stuff up. Zack Demars has the story in the Daily Emerald on the “deliberations” of the Tuition Fee Advisory Board, here:

… One of the major considerations by the board was public perception: The board settled on 2.97 percent to keep the advertised increase slightly below $1,000 per year so as not to deter potential new students, who are needed to increase the tuition-paying population.

The proposal, which only impacts out-of-state undergraduate students, would increase the cost of a single credit by $22 next academic year. For a full-time student taking 15 credits a term, that shakes out to an increase of $990 a year, an increase slightly larger than last year’s 2.49 percent nonresident increase.

TFAB will consider and propose changes to resident tuition in the spring, after more data is available about how much the state legislature will contribute to the university, which of two revenue proposals the state will approve and how many new students enroll next year. …

Since I try to avoid meetings where the decision has already been made behind closed doors, I skipped this. But there appears to have been no discussion of price elasticities, discount rates, differential tuition, or what the point is in spending money on out-of-state marketing, branding, recruiters, and subsidizing Rob Mullens’s big-time athletic enterprise if our tuition setting process boils down to this.

And since it apparently does, why not go to $999? That extra $9 would bring in about $90K, recurring – enough to pay for half a brander.

The most recent estimate I’ve seen for the elasticity of demand for out-of-state students is 0.5. So increasing tuition 10% would decrease the number of students 5%, and increase revenue. But instead the university is going to give non-resident students a break, then come back and balance the budget by increasing in-state tuition.

More:

7% increase for law school tuition, which still can’t balance its books, much less repay the ~$10M subsidy Jamie Moffitt gave to former dean Michael Moffitt.

Board Chair Chuck Lillis – who has lost several ERISA lawsuits for raiding his companies’ retirement funds – gets in a dig in about how the state is making the students pay for PERS. For a more intelligent view of what’s going on with PERS and what to do about it, try here.

Lots more on potential cuts, etc. Pres Schill will send out a memo this afternoon.  Talk about salary/hiring freezes. I’ll post more on this later.

Recess for Lunch: Estimated 12:30-1:30 p.m.

4. Resolutions from Committee (pending March 4 committee action)

4.1 Seconded Motion from ASAC: Student Conduct Code

4.2 Seconded Motion from FFC: Slape Terrace Naming

4.3 Seconded Motion from FFC: ZIRC Renovation Project

5. Academic Area in Focus – Comic Studies: Ben Saunders, Professor of English

Prof Saunders gives a great talk, and it’s pitched at just the right level for our Trustees:

6. The UO’s Economic Impact Report: Tim Duy, Professor of Practice, Economics

Professor Duy has a tough act to follow, but I’m sure the Board will enjoy 45 pages of LaTex, 63 tables, and the cautionary language about not overinterpreting his work:

Meeting Adjourned

UO Board thinks UO Board is doing well, but public comments are uncivilized

UO’s federal accreditors, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, requires that every university board

“regularly evaluates its performance to ensure its duties and responsibilities are fulfilled in an effective and efficient manner.”

When I requested copies of these evaluations for our Board, I imagined I’d get some sort of substantial performance review, with input from stakeholders referencing the Board’s charge and its successes and failures on issues such as state funding, tuition increases, fundraising, finances, fiduciary oversight,  etc.

Silly me. Our board’s evaluations are just surveys of the board itself, conducted by the BOT Secretary Angela Wilhelms. No outside input at all. I had to make a public records request just to find out if they were even doing them. Full docs for 2015 and 2017 here, snippets below. Our Trustees are particularly unhappy with the uncivilized and disrespectful public comments they must listen too – and in all fairness some have been pretty out there:

     

 

 

 

Live: BOT Finance and Facilities Committee

Board of Trustees | Finance and Facilities Committee
Public Meeting | March 4, 2019 @ 1:30 p.m.
Erb Memorial Union | Redwood Auditorium
Convene – Call to order, roll call – Approval of December 2018 FFC minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

1. Quarterly Financial Reports: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

Last quarter, projected $5.5M deficit for Education and General Fund. Things are now a bit worse:

Fortunately there’s plenty of money in the athletics budget. Here’s a new chart. I can only imagine why this is not broken out by instructional / non-instructional employees:

UO’s budget problem is simple: not enough students:

No questions from the Trustees. Seriously. The members of the BOT Finance Committee have no questions about UO’s finances. Great.

2. Tykeson Hall Terrace Naming Proposal – Slape Terrace (Action): Bruce Blonigen, Interim Tykeson Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

I’m thinking this is not going to be controversial, and it’s not. Approved.

3. Quarterly Audit Report and Update on Research Audit Management Plan Update: Trisha Burnett, Internal Auditor; Cass Moseley, Sr. Assoc. Vice President and Chief of Staff, Research and Innovation

There’s a brief discussion with Cass Moseley about problems in Research and Sponsored Services. Pres Schill assures the committee he’s taking this seriously.

4. Capital Construction Project – ZIRC (Action): Cass Moseley, Chief of Staff and Sr. Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation

We must have more zebrafish. $8M in NIH money. Action this day. Approved.

Adjourn to secret Johnson Hall meeting about what to do about the GTFFers.

Live: BOT Academic and Student Affairs Committee

The Trustees have moved their meetings from the Ford Alumni Center to the EMU Redwood room. Board Chair Chuck Lillis is absent, caught in a Denver snow storm.

Board of Trustees | Academic and Student Affairs Committee
Public Meeting | March 4, 2019 @ 10:00 a.m.
Erb Memorial Union | Redwood Auditorium
Convene – Call to order, roll call – Approval of December 2018 minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

Provost’s Quarterly Report

I missed most of it, but I’ve been assured by a generally reliable source that Provost Banavar delivered an excellent report.

1. Data Science Initiative Update: Bill Cresko, DSI Director and Professor of Biology

Cresko gives an excellent talk, w/out powerpoint! Ends on how to get UO’s undergrad programs in this area up to speed quickly.

2. Student Conduct Code: Proposed Change and Update Regarding 2018 Changes (Action): Kris Winter, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students; Katy Larkin, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

During its Delegation of Authority powergrab, the Board took over authority for the Student Conduct Code. I’m not sure why, but now they have to approve any changes. There are three this time. First is a minor one:

Next is a more significant and controversial one – adding criminal violations to the SSC. This came up last year, and the Student Conduct Committee was opposed:

and:

I’m a bit confused as to why the committee is not discussing these at this meeting. They did vote to move the notice change to the BOT.

3. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives and Updates: Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion; Victoria DeRose, Associate Vice President and Director, Center on Diversity and Community; Leslie-Anne Pittard, Assistant Vice President for Campus and Community Engagement.

The VPEI’s office has ballooned in size and cost:

and the number of buzzwords in their reports has kept pace. This year they’ve added “resilience”:

and they want to become “strategic partners” with campus units:

Trustee McIntyre asks what the VPEI’s office does for socioeconomic diversity, and whether they have any assessment of their results there, or anywhere. The response is some anecdotes about campus engagement and “Diversity Action Talks”.

 

4. New PhD Program Approval – Ethnic Studies (Action): Laura Pulido, Professor and Department Head; Lynn Fujiwara, Associate Professor

They did a great job presenting this to the Senate las month, who approved it unanimously. The board committee is getting the 3 minute version. They’ll approve it and pass it on to the HECC.

11:30 Meeting Adjourns

Board of Trustees to perform due diligence theatre March 4-5, EMU Redwood

Back in 2013, under pressure from Phil Knight and other Duck boosters, the Oregon Legislature passed SB270, which allowed UO to set its own independent board. The hope was that, free from the shackles of state bureaucracy and control, and with a board of wealthy and politically well connected trustees, UO would thrive.

Things have not worked out well. Tuition is up, undergrad enrollment is down, grad enrollment is flat, the board has failed to persuade the state to increase appropriations, and state support for capital expenditures has been modest except for Knight Campus and the IAAF Championships. Nor has the Board been able to limit state micromanagement of the university’s academic decisions, e.g. with SB160 this year.

Private philanthropy appears to have increased a little, although even with the Knight gift the $2B campaign fell short and had to be extended. In addition, the care and feeding of the Board eats up about $600K a year.

Here’s the board’s schedule for their Monday and Tu meetings. (Note the move from the Ford Alumni Center to the EMU’s Redwood Auditorium.)

The only items of substance on the agenda appear to be rubber-stamping decisions on out-of-state tuition, minor revisions to the Student Conduct Code, a new PhD program, and something about new Zebrafish facilities. And a secret meeting about the labor negotiations with the GTFF.

Board of Trustees | Academic and Student Affairs Committee
Public Meeting | March 4, 2019 @ 10:00 a.m.
Erb Memorial Union | Redwood Auditorium
Convene – Call to order, roll call – Approval of December 2018 minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

Provost’s Quarterly Report

1. Data Science Initiative Update: Bill Cresko, DSI Director and Professor of Biology

2. Student Conduct Code: Proposed Change and Update Regarding 2018 Changes (Action): Kris
Winter, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students; Katy Larkin, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

3. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives and Updates: Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for
Equity and Inclusion; Victoria DeRose, Associate Vice President and Director, Center on Diversity and Community; Leslie-Anne Pittard, Assistant Vice President for Campus and Community Engagement.

4. New PhD Program Approval – Ethnic Studies (Action): Laura Pulido, Professor and Department
Head; Lynn Fujiwara, Associate Professor

Meeting Adjourns

Board of Trustees | Finance and Facilities Committee
Public Meeting | March 4, 2019 @ 1:30 p.m.
Erb Memorial Union | Redwood Auditorium
Convene – Call to order, roll call – Approval of December 2018 FFC minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

1. Quarterly Financial Reports: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

2. Tykeson Hall Terrace Naming Proposal – Slape Terrace (Action): Bruce Blonigen, Interim Tykeson Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

3. Quarterly Audit Report and Update on Research Audit Management Plan Update: Trisha Burnett, Internal Auditor; Cass Moseley, Sr. Assoc. Vice President and Chief of Staff, Research and Innovation

4. Capital Construction Project – ZIRC (Action): Cass Moseley, Chief of Staff and Sr. Associate Vice
President for Research and Innovation

Meeting Adjourns

Board of Trustees
Meeting Agenda | March 4-5, 2019
Erb Memorial Union | Redwood Auditorium
MONDAY, MARCH 4 – 3:00 P.M.: CONVENE EXECUTIVE SESSION

Executive Session re Labor Negotiations
The Board of Trustees will meet in executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(d) for purposes of
conducting deliberations regarding labor negotiations with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. This session is closed to members of the public and the media. The meeting will be called to order and adjourned. No other topics or matters will occur on March 4. Notwithstanding the location listed above, this March 4 executive session will occur in Johnson Hall.

TUESDAY, MARCH 5 – 10:00 A.M.: CONVENE PUBLIC MEETING
– Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum – Approval of December 2018 minutes (Action)

Meeting materials here.

– Public comment

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports
-ASUO President Maria Gallegos
-University Senate President Bill Harbaugh

2. President’s Report

3. Tuition and Mandatory Fees (does not include resident, undergraduate tuition) (Action):
Michael Schill, President; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO;
Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life
Recess for Lunch: Estimated 12:30-1:30 p.m.

4. Resolutions from Committee (pending March 4 committee action)

4.1 Seconded Motion from ASAC: Student Conduct Code

4.2 Seconded Motion from FFC: Slape Terrace Naming

4.3 Seconded Motion from FFC: ZIRC Renovation Project

5. Academic Area in Focus – Comic Studies: Ben Saunders, Professor of English

6. The UO’s Economic Impact Report: Tim Duy, Professor of Practice, Economics
Meeting Adjourned

How long will it take Kevin Reed’s PRO to find Trustee evals?

Or at least make an inflated estimate of the cost of finding them? Given that Reed is also the Board’s attorney, you’d think this would be a pretty easy public records request.

UO’s federal accreditors require the Board of Trustees to conduct a self-study evaluation every two years:

2.A.8 The board regularly evaluates its performance to ensure its duties and responsibilities are fulfilled in an effective and efficient manner. http://www.nwccu.org/accreditation/standards-policies/standards/

OSU’s board posts their evaluations on the internet. Four weeks ago I filed a public records request for the UO Board’s evaluations. Still no response: