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:

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. Board Meeting

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. Board Meeting. https://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/for_website_meeting_packet_-_full_bot_12.04.18.pdf

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports

Food is good, teaching evals are bad.

2. President’s Report

Here’s the latest info on UO enrollment (week 4 headcount). Despite the increase in freshman admits shown yesterday, this is bad news:

3. Resolutions from Committee (pending December 3 committee action)

3.1 Seconded Motion from FFC: Licensing Agreement with Fanatics

3.2 Seconded Motion from FFC: Capital Improvement Project – Matthew Knight Arena

3.3 Seconded Motion from FFC: Gift of Real Property

4. Government Affairs – 2018 Recaps and 2019 Initiatives: Libby Batlan, Associate Vice President for State and Community Affairs; Hans Bernard, Assistant Vice President for State Affairs; Betsy Boyd, Associate Vice President for Federal Affairs

UO has managed to get $5M for this in the Governor’s budget. Why didn’t our lobbyists use their time and effort to lobby for more money for academics instead?

Batlan and Bernard have put up a post on their website about the Gov’s budget, here:

The Governor’s proposal is a tale of two budgets. One version is the required balanced “base budget” that divvies out funds based on current revenue projections. The second version is an “investment budget” that assumes the passage of cost containment and revenue reform next legislative session. …

In the Governor’s investment budget, additional academic and research funding that benefits the UO includes:

$15 million in campus public safety improvement through the creation of a statewide shared services training program for higher education institutions focusing on prevention, preparedness, incident response, continuity, and recovery;

$10 million to establish a Public University Innovation Fund at the Oregon Business Development Department (the state agency that oversees economic development activity) to support economic development partnerships with business and public universities. The Innovation Fund provides matching funds for university grant requests for applied research; and

$5 million in funding for the International Association of Athletics Federations World Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will take place in 2021 in Eugene. This will be the first time the event has been held in the United States.

I’m not sure how giving $5M to the notoriously corrupt IAAF counts as “academic and research funding”. Allyn Ford asks why we’re not asking for the remaining $30M for the Knight Campus. Bernard: We have other priorities.

For more on the budget situation and tax increases, try Mr. Fearless’s persinfo blog:

Kate Brown has finally been elected to her OWN term as Governor, and the Ds now control both Legislative bodies with supermajorities.  That means that they can pass any revenue bills without support from a single R.   Whether this is a good thing or not remains to be seen.  On one hand, the fear of draconian anti-PERS legislation has diminished considerably, but that does not mean PERS is entirely out of the Legislative crosshairs.  The media, the employers, the Oregon Business Alliance, Nike, and others continue to agitate for PERS reform, while progressives continue to agitate for revenue reform, particularly an increase in the Corporate Income Tax.  This is going to set up a classic battle in the Legislature as business lobbyists square off against labor lobbyists, education lobbyists, School Boards to balance those conflicting interests.  There is nothing in Kate Brown’s proposed 2019-21 budget that suggests she grasps the magnitude of the issues that the Legislature will have to confront.  At first blush, it seems like the Legislature would be easy-peasy.  Pass tax increases without R support.  Governor signs bill.  Legislature distributes revenue to starving agencies.  Sine die.

But, and this is a big one that people sometimes forget.  Whatever the Legislature does can be undone with an initiative, referendum, or constitutional amendment.  And trust me, those groups are already starting to organize, and the Legislature is well-aware of their existence.  Any tax increase, except maybe on cigarettes or liquor or marijuana, WILL BE referred to the voters, and the likely outcome is defeat.  In the past, this has had some serious consequences.  The earliest any such measure could be on the ballot would be May 2020 or November 2020.  That is more than halfway through the next biennium.  Thus, any budget increases seen by agencies will disappear shortly after the vote, and this will be more havoc-producing than not having the money in the first place.  What all this means is that the Ds have complete control of the entire legislative and executive branches of State Government, but they will have to exercise that control with more caution than their progressive supporters would like.

[Lunch Break in Room 403 – Estimated 12:15-12:45]

5. Tuition-Setting Preparatory Discussion: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration; Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life (Co-Chairs of the Tuition and Fee Advisory Board)

Moffit and Marbury propose 10% tuition cut, as UO’s strategic investments in Duck athletics, coaching salaries, and 2021 IAAF championships will bring in millions in PAC-12 broadcast revenue, scholarship donations, state funding, and new out-of-state tuition money.

Whoops, turns out they’re going to propose an increase, not a cut. The PAC-12 network is an expensive disaster, football fans aren’t giving for academic scholarships, and out-of state parents aren’t that excited about sending their kids to a big-time football factory, particularly without some serious tuition discounting.

6. Academic Area in Focus – Institute for Health and the Built Environment: Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, Associate Professor of Architecture

7. Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact – Report: Bob Guldberg, Vice President and Executive Director of the Knight Campus

3:00 p.m. Finance and Facilities Committee

3:00 p.m. Finance and Facilities Committee https://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/meeting_packet_-_ffc_final_12.3.18.pdf

1. Audited Financial Statements: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO; Kelly Wolf, Associate Vice President and Controller; Scott Simpson, Partner, Moss Adams

Here’s one metric where UO is not at the bottom of the AAU – reserves:

2. Quarterly Financial Reports and Annual Treasury Report: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO; Karen Levear, Director, Treasury Operations

All these business people on the board, and the only trustee who found the error in the report is the UO staff trustee, Jimmy Murray, a librarian. Controller Kelly Wolf thanks him.

As usual these reports do not include any information on the athletics budget, or the various tax changes affecting it, or their subsidies, or their debt obligations. This is despite the fact that in the past trustees have specifically asked to see this.

Treasury report:

Karen Lavear knows her stuff: All is well. UO won an award last year for our internal bank procedures. Investments are outperforming benchmarks.Risk is low. “My job just gets easier and easier every year.”

Lavear is also the only person willing to break out athletics finances – the source of most of UO’s debt:

UO’s credit rating agencies continue to give us good ratings. And, in comparison to peers, we’re cash rich:

Debt to revenue ratio is however high.

3. Licensing Agreement (Action): Kyle Henley, Vice President for Communications

Under AD Rob Mullens the Duck brand has been losing value rapidly, so Henley wants to lock in a long-term contract before the next sports scandal. Seems prudent. Athletics’ 50% cut might even cover their likely future legal costs – except that the academic side will inevitably pay those for them:

This is for Duck crap, not crap with the O on it. That’s a different deal, with Nike.

Henley: Gen-z values experiences, not stuff. [Really? they don’t stay for Duck games either.]

Trustees are notably sceptical. This gets a bit off the rails. No one will say it, but the obvious concern is whether Fanatics will continue to provide the popular Go Ducks vodka and Jell-O jigglers:

KGW has an investigative report on the latest scandal, here:

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4. Capital Planning Annual Report: Michael Harwood, Associate Vice President for Campus Planning and Facilities Maintenance

If you work in PLC, you are going to die there. Harwood’s schedule goes out to 2031, and PLC isn’t on it:

5. Capital Project Lease and License Agreement (Action): Eric Roedl, Deputy Athletic Director; H.J. Cohn, Sr. Associate Athletic Director

Upgrade the graphics and “fun fan experience” at Matthew Knight Arena.

6. Capital Gift Acceptance (Action): David Conover, Vice President for Research and Innovation

A generous family wants to give UO $215K worth of beachfront land in Bandon for environmental and archaeological research. No access except hiking, but no plans to build anything.

2:00 p.m. Executive and Audit Committee

2:00 p.m. Executive and Audit Committee https://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/meeting_packet_-_eac_12.3.18_final.pdf

1. Enterprise Risk Management – Semi-Annual Report: Andre Le Duc, Associate VP and Chief Resilience Officer

I’m not seeing anything here on how much UO is paying United Academics for insurance, what the terms are, or how much of the cost reflects our various sports scandals, concussions, and the NCAA lawsuits.

On the other hand it does have a lot of buzzwords and fun figures:

2. Transform IT Update: Jessie Minton, Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer

Thorough.

3. Quarterly Audit Report and Suggested Amendment to Audit Charter (Action): Trisha Burnett, Chief Auditor

The Board will now get quarterly reports from our auditor. But this quarterly report is not anywhere close to what due diligence requires. Baby steps:

Burnett has held this job for about 2 years, since the previous auditor left after asking too many questions. Her report is superficial, as are the Board’s questions.

Board of Trustees to perform due diligence Mon and Tue

Since the Board’s official website is an unhelpful mess, here are the times and agendas for the committee and board meetings Monday and Tuesday, along with a few excerpts and some commentary. All events in the Ford Alumni Center. Monday meetings start at 10:30, Tuesday at 10.

I’ll try and add a little live-blogging below, as the meetings progress. Meanwhile I’ll note that UO’s federal accreditors require the Board to conduct a self-study 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/

While OSU’s board posts their evaluations on the internet, UO’s Board secretary Angela Wilhems is making me file a public records request to see UO’s.

Why?

10:30 AM Monday 12/3: Academic and Student Affairs Committee: https://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/meeting_packet_-_asac_12.03.18.pdf

Provost’s Quarterly Report

Provost Banavar gives the Senate and Sierra Dawson a shout-out on the Senate’s efforts to reform student evaluations, highlighting roll-out of our new non-metrics, and Ginger Clark’s (USC) talk to the Senate, here.

In other news, VP for Budget Planning will be retiring Jan 1 – but don’t get too excited, he’ll still be working half-time on budget planning etc.

1. Annual Enrollment and Financial Aid/Scholarship Report: Roger Thompson, Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management; Jim Brooks, Associate Vice President and Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships

For some reason Roger isn’t reporting SATs, or any info on our comparators. Spending on recruiting is way up – UO is hiring more recruiters and buy PSAT data and sending out mailers. It would be interesting to see those mailers – several parents have told me they’re not very impressed.

International enrollment down, overall freshman enrollment up 6%, out of state enrollment up, first-generation enrollment up:

Ford asks about transfer student numbers. Thompson reports it’s not good.

Jim Brooks then talks about financial aid. UO seems to be engaging in much more price-discrimination, with substantial increases in merit aid: 

Despite this, because of the tuition increases UO’s discount rate has barely budged, from 10 to 11% over the past few years. Student borrowing is down, parent borrowing is up.

In very good news, PathwayOregon enrollment (low-SES Oregon residents) is way up:

Lillis asks how UO compares to AAU in terms of federal aid. Brooks not sure.

2. Student Success Initiative – Semi-Annual Report: Dennis Galvan, Interim Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Studies; Doneka Scott, Associate Vice Provost for Student Success

Doneka Scott is out for health reasons, we hope she’ll back soon.

PathwayOregon’s “wrap-around” advising model has shown great success, plan is to roll this out for all students in some form through the Tykeson project.

Wilcox asks about stagnate first year retention – any evidence as to what is working and what is not? Galvan: no evidence.

3. Online and Hybrid Education – Initiative Update: Carol Gering, Associate Vice Provost for Online and Hybrid Education

She’s new, seems focused on using online to improve grad rates for regular students. No big OSU type online push:

 

Update 3: Pres Schill gets $188K raise, donates $100K for need-based scholarships

I can’t imagine why Around the O hasn’t communicated anything about this board meeting. So I’ll update this post as the meetings progress. See below the break for the details.

Update 1: New financial overview info below.

Update 2: Board engages in its traditional 60 minute bashing of the state for underfunding us. This seems unlikely to be productive. See below for some live blogging:

The Trustees love the idea that UO can’t count on the state for funding. President Schill argues that it almost seems they want to hurt us. My question is why is UO so bad at gaming this system? Why do we keep antagonizing the Beaver alumni in the legislature with things like blowing our money on a Duck Baseball program? Why do we make things like state money for the IAAF championships a top lobbying priority?

Maybe their goal is to make sure that UO has to rely on private philanthropy?

Update 3, Friday AM: President Schill announces he will donate his expected $100K annual bonus to the UO, for scholarships for first-generation students, in honor of his mother who helped him get through college as a first-generation student. Good man. Good son!

Board of Trustees Meeting Agendas | September 5-7, 2018
All meetings Room 136, Naito Building, UO Portland. Livecast links will be posted here.

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