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.

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.

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

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:

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 10.33.58 PM

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

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


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.

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.


10:30 AM Monday 12/3: Academic and Student Affairs Committee:

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.

Continue reading

Trustees to give Phil Knight an honorary UO degree, then watch football game

Around the O has the news here, with some other stuff about the upcoming UO Board of Trustees meetings which will be held in Portland Sept 6-8. UO faculty aren’t on contract until Sept 15th. Classes don’t start until Sept 24. But hey –  there’s a home football game on the 9th, hence the timing.

I’ll post the traditional user friendly guide to the BOT agenda in a few days.

Senate Pres talks to Trustees about UO Foundation, IAAF, academic freedom, internal audit

From June 8, just getting around to posting. Video here:

I’m posting this in part because of today’s Op-Ed in the Oregonian from Oregon Association of Scholars President (and PSU PoliSci prof) Bruce Gilley, which inaccurately characterizes the UO Senate’s resolution in support of the free-speech rights of our students as endorsing the “heckler’s veto”. Gilley:

… The protection of intellectual freedom on campus used to be the preserve of faculty. Yet the radicalization of faculty — conservative or registered Republicans have virtually disappeared from Oregon college faculties today — means that faculty today are more often the main threat to intellectual freedom. The disgraceful endorsement by the University of Oregon’s faculty senate of student mobs who disrupted the president’s annual address last October is the latest example. …

The UO Senate’s resolution is here. I can only assume Prof. Gilley has not read it. Among other things, it states:

2.1 BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the UO Senate supports the rights of students to peacefully protest during university events, even disruptively, so long as those protests do not prevent speakers from being heard and the audience from hearing what they have to say; [Emphasis added.]

See below for more. Back up the video to hear the remarks from incoming ASUO President Maria Alejandra Gallegos-Chacon, which end with a call for a reform of UO’s student discipline rules to ensure free speech cases are treated with the care they deserve.

My report to the Board of Trustees as written:

The report in the meeting materials is from outgoing Senate President Chris Sinclair. He is giving a presentation at a national meeting on the Senate’s Core Education reform program, so I’m his surrogate.
I was Senate VP this year, and will be Senate President for the coming academic year. Last week the Senate voted Elizabeth Skowron (Education) in as Senate VP this year, and so she’ll become President the year following this one.
Elizabeth has broad support from the faculty and other Senate constituents, and from Chris and myself. Her election was unanimous.
I’ll be happy to answer questions about Chris’s report, which explains some of the Senate’s work this year, i.e. including the plans we have put in place to improve core ed, teaching and teaching evaluation but first I want to add a few comments.
First, I want to report on a conversation that Chris and I had with UO’s internal auditor Trisha Burnett, this March, as part of her annual check-ins. We explained that we were particularly concerned about
1) UO’s diversity efforts: While you will hear a lot about the IDEAL diversity plan today, meanwhile UO is dropping the ball on basic practices like exit interviews for departing minority and female faculty and open hiring processes for administrators. Burnett agreed that these were problems. I hope you have got the same message from her office and will help address it.
2) The athletic department. As you know the NCAA is investigating UO over an incomplete grade  for a student-athlete. This is a side-show.
One real concern is about the  extent to which the “ Support for Student Athletes” operation is providing good academic support to revenue-sport athletes, and help for those that aren’t going to make it to the pros or graduate. I assume you’ve seen the graduation rates for the revenue sport-athletes. Burnett is worried about the potential for an UNC type scandal, or an Michigan State type one. The faculty knows little about how the AD and SSA operate, and our past oversight efforts have not been successful. The Senate’s IAC committee has been replaced by an advisory committee to the President. You should be aware of Burnett’s concerns about the risk, which she expressed clearly to us, although apparently not in her written reports to you.
3) The UO Foundation. The Foundation is heavily involved in the 2021 IAAF championships award, which is now under federal investigation. Your board was involved in this as well. We made our concerns clear, to Burnett, she made clear that the Foundation was not cooperating with her efforts to learn more. This is not a good situation, we hope you are keeping your eye on it.
Second, I want to explain the Senate’s resolution “In Support of the UO Student Collective”. This is the group of students that disrupted President Schill’s “State of the University”speech in October.
A personal note: One of the first courses I taught when I came to UO was on environmental economics. One of my students was an environmental activist, and frequently and loudly spoke up during lectures to object to the economic approach.
President Schill has said that with this resolution the Senate endorsed the sorts of disruption of classes by students who might object to something about the course content, as has occurred at other universities, such as Reed and Evergreen, where students have essentially shut down courses on particular subjects.
This is not at all what our Senate has endorsed. The resolution states clearly:
2.1 BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the UO Senate supports the rights of students to peacefully protest during university events, even disruptively, so long as those protests do not prevent speakers from being heard and the audience from hearing what they have to say; 
I’m not a lawyer, but this language is consistent with everything I understand about the First Amendment, everything I believe about academic freedom, and everything that UO’s other policies on these matters state. People have a right to speak, and those who object to that speech have the right to have their objections heard even if that disrupts and causes inconvenience for the speaker and the audience.
What those who object cannot do, and again I quote from our resolution, is prevent speakers from being heard and the audience from hearing what they have to say. 
Our resolution does not endorse the sorts of disruptions that prevent faculty, or our President, from teaching what they want to teach or saying what they want to say. It specifically speaks against that, only allowing “disruption” so long as that disruption doesn’t prevent the professor’s lecture, or for that matter the President’s talk, from continuing.
Our resolution does not endorse allowing the actions of the Students Collective taking the podium and shutting down President Schill’s address – although it does call for some leniency in their subsequent discipline, and some reforms to make sure free speech discipline cases are handled with special care. These were students, after all.
If this is not clear, please see the UO policy on Academic Freedom, which the Senate passed in 2014 and which the UO President signed, which states:
The University’s responsibility to help students to think critically and independently requires that members of the university community have the right to investigate and discuss matters, including those that are controversial, inside and outside of class, without fear of institutional restraint. It is the responsibility of speakers, listeners and all members of our community to respect others and to promote a culture of mutual inquiry throughout the University community.
Or see the UO Policy on Freedom of Inquiry and Free Speech, which we passed in 2010, which states:
The University supports free speech with vigor, including the right of presenters to offer opinion, the right of the audience to hear what is presented, and the right of protesters to engage with speakers in order to challenge ideas, so long as the protest does not disrupt or stifle the free exchange of ideas. 
I don’t see how the Senate and the faculty could be any more clear about our position, and I’m tired of hearing people misrepresent it. Though of course I’m open to any arguments, even disruptive ones.
Thank you. Questions?

June 7-8 Board of Trustees meetings reveal decline in excellence metrics

As with most BOT meetings, this one is scheduled to coincide with an athletic event. In this case it’s the NCAA T&F championships. The next meeting is Sept 6-7, followed by a Duck football body-bag game against PSU.

You can go to the BOT website here and click and page through pdfs trying to find out when the BOT committees and Board are meeting this Th and Fr and what’s on their agendas. Or just use my much more convenient format:

The gist:

Thursday there will be committee meetings from 8:30 to about 2:30, with a lunch break. Friday the Board will meet starting at 8:30AM.

All meetings will be in the Ford Alumni Center Giustina Ballroom. Videos will be livecast at

Nothing new of substance will be disclosed, discussed, or decided in the BOT’s public meetings, unless the students force it.

So just how excellent will these meetings be? Let’s check the Board’s metrics. A quick search of the meeting materials for “excellence” gives 5 + 3 + 0 + 15 = 23, a statistically significant decline from past meetings.

The details:

Thursday Committee meetings:

Board of Trustees | Academic and Student Affairs Committee | June 7, 2018, 8:30 a.m.

Meeting materials here. Agenda:

Provost’s Quarterly Report

1. Student Conduct Code – Proposed Revisions (Action): Kris Winter, Dean of Students; Jill Creighton, Assistant Dean of Students for Conduct and Operations; Keegan Williams-Thomas, Undergraduate Student and Member of the Community Standards/Student Conduct Committee

2. Institutional Hiring Plan – Strategic Priorities and Direction: Jayanth Banavar, Provost and Senior Vice President

3. Annual Report: Student Success Initiative: Doneka Scott, Associate Vice Provost for Student Success

Board of Trustees | Executive and Audit Committee | June 7, 2018, 10:30 a.m.

Meeting materials here. Agenda:

1. Quarterly Audit Report and Consideration of FY19 Audit Plan (Action): Trisha Burnett, Chief

2. Enterprise Risk Management: Andre Le Duc, Associate Vice President and Chief Resiliency Office, Leo Howell, Chief Information Security Officer

3. Transform IT – Implementation update: Jessie Minton, Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer

Board of Trustees | Finance and Facilities Committee June 7, 2018, 1:30 p.m.

Meeting materials here. Agenda:

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

2. FY19 Budget and Expenditure Authorization (Action): Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

3. University Housing Capital Plan: Roger Thompson, Vice President for Student Services and
Enrollment Management; Michael Griffel, Director, University Housing

4. Academic Allocation Model Implementation: Jayanth Banavar, Provost and Senior Vice President

5. Retirement Plan Management Annual Update and Policy Modifications (No Impact to
Benefits/Plans) (Action): Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO; Craig Ashford, Assistant General Counsel; Gay Lynn Bath, Retirement Plans Management Director

Board of Trustees FRIDAY, June 8 – 9:00 a.m.: 

Meeting materials here. Agenda:

– Public comment

1. ASUO and University Senate Reports
-ASUO Outgoing President Amy Schenk and Incoming President Maria Gallegos
-University Senate Incoming President Bill Harbaugh

2. President’s Report

3. Resolutions from Committee
-FY19 Budget and Expenditure Authorization (pending June 7 action by FFC)
-Amendments to Retirement Plan Management Policies (pending June 7 action by FFC)
-Amendments to the Student Conduct Code (pending June 7 action by ASAC)

4. Academic Area in Focus – Volcanology, Volcanic Hazards, and Geothermal Energy: Paul Wallace, Department Head and Professor, Earth Science; Joe Dufek, Lillis Professor of Volcanology, Earth Sciences

5. Presidential Initiative in Data Science: Bill Cresko, Professor of Biology and Initiative Director

6. IDEAL Framework Implementation: Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and
Inclusion; Victoria DeRose, Professor, Associate Vice President and CODAC Director; Lesley-Anne Pittard, Assistant Vice President and CMAE Director of Programs

7. Conferral of Honorary Degrees (Action): President Michael Schill

Mr. Lorry I. Lokey and Ms. Carrie Mae Weems.

Trustees to meet for a few hours Friday March 2

Board of Trustees
Meeting Agenda | March 2, 2018
Ford Alumni Center Giustina Ballroom
FRIDAY, MARCH 2 – 8:30 a.m.


1. Standing Reports
-University Senate President Chris Sinclair
– Public comment
-ASUO President Amy Schenk
-Provost Jayanth Banavar
-President Michael Schill

2. FY19 Tuition and Fees: Mike Schill, President; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

The proposal from Pres Schill and VPFA Moffitt includes two “differential tuition” components.

One is a $20 per credit add-on for business school classes. This was brought to the “Tuition and Fee Advisory Board” by the B-school dean, and their report here includes extensive discussion (page 4 and 5) of the pros and cons. The increase will reduce the need for increases in tuition for other UO students. The business school commits to use 20% of the new fees to reduce tuition for their low income students.

The second proposal is for a cut to tuition for Honors College students. This proposal will increase the need for tuition increases for other students. This  cut is not tied to income, or merit. The cut was not brought to the TFAB. Instead it was approved on the side, at a meeting of the Budget Advisory Group after a brief presentation by VP Brad Shelton. Not exactly transparent.

At UO discounts (scholarships) for low income and high ability students average 10% of the listed tuition. Our comparators average discounts of about 20%. This difference is part of the reason why UO’s enrollment is falling and why we are doing such a bad job enrolling low income students relative to our peers. The Honors College tuition cuts will make this problem worse.

3. Academic Area in Focus – Global Health: Josh Snodgrass, Professor of Anthropology; Kristin Yarris, Professor of International Studies, Director of the Global Health Minor

Board of Trustees holds snoozer of a meeting March 1, 2

I’ll try to live-blog some of this, and I’ll be there for the public comments Friday, but there are limits on how much of this stuff I can take.

Their website makes it as hard as possible to figure out what is going on, so here are the agendas for the committees and the BOT, with links to the meeting materials. Looks like a snoozer to me, but if you see something, say something.

As usual Jamie Moffitt does not show the Trustees any substantive data on UO’s budgetary decisions such as how much goes to athletics, the various colleges, etc. No mention of the centralization of resources which is causing College of Ed dissension. No discussion of the increasing proportion of resources going to the central administration at the cost of the College of Arts and Sciences. No discussion of the continuing subsidies for the law school and (rumor has it) the College of Design.

The Executive and Audit Committee materials do not include Internal Auditor Trisha Burnett’s report, and when the Trustees do get to see the report, at the meeting, it will avoid any specifics that might alert them to problems or lead them to ask tough questions or allow them to do their due diligence.

There are, however, shiny powerpoints from the Chief Resilience Officer and the Chief of Police, complete with photos of the new dog.

Board of Trustees | Academic and Student Affairs Committee
Public Meeting | March 1, 2018, 9:00 a.m.
All meetings in Ford Alumni Center | Giustina Ballroom


1. Accreditation – March Report to NWCCU

Banavar: No worries, all is well. No questions from the board.

2. Educator Equity in Teacher Preparation Plan – Submission to HECC (Action): Randy Kamphaus, Dean, College of Education; Krista Chronister, Associate Dean, College of Education

Chronister: No worries, all is well. No questions from the BOT. Endorsed unanimously.

3. Teaching Excellence: Scott Pratt, Executive Vice Provost; Sierra Dawson, Associate Vice Provost; Lee Rumbarger, Teaching Engagement Program Director

Starts with photo of a recent intermediate microeconomics class:

Pratt: No worries, all is excellent and we’re making it more excellent.

Rumbarger: Teaches courses on the fictional representation of teachers. (I didn’t know that, cool.)

Dawson: Fact based research on how to do more excellent teaching. Starts by asking the BOT to recall some excellent teaching they were exposed to.

Trustees seem to be enjoying this.

Rumbarger advocates for using specifics to talk about teaching excellence. Read the packet, I can’t type that fast. Many specific examples of how the TEP is promoting simple practices that improve teaching.

Dawson explains more about how AAU is now emphasizing teaching improvements, need for better student feedback and teaching evaluation procedures.

Pratt explains need for better evaluation, more emphasis on using the Teaching Excellence Program to improve faculty teaching.

Some good questions from the trustees.

4. Mental Health – Student Services and Support: Doneka Scott, Assoc. Vice Provost for Student Success; Shelly Kerr, Director of the Counseling and Testing Center; Kris Winter, Dean of Students

The Trustees are asking some excellent and skeptical questions of Kerr, regarding the survey and what it means.

5. Clark Honors College – Structural Changes and Updates: Karen Ford, Interim Dean, Clark Honors College

Sorry, I’ve got to leave. Ford did a good job presenting this to the Senate yesterday.


Board of Trustees | Finance and Facilities Committee
Public Meeting | March 1, 2018, 1:15 p.m.


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

2. Capital Project Proposal – University Health Center / University Counseling and Testing Center: Michael Griffel, Director, University Housing

Sorry, I missed this meeting. I’m sure it was a thorough 45 minutes.


Board of Trustees | Executive and Audit Committee
Public Meeting | March 1, 2018, 2:00 p.m.


1. Quarterly Audit Report: Trisha Burnett, Chief Auditor

There’s no there here:

And here it is, shown to the Trustees just before the meeting: Three pages. How can the Executive and Audit Committee do its due diligence like this?

Chuck Lillis: Trisha is doing a great job telling me things in closed meetings.

Ross Kari: Some evidence of improvements in past deficiencies.

Peter Bragdon: How have you tried to market the hotline? A little.

No mention of departure of Auditor Stephanie McGee, for a better job at another university. Lots of turnover – never a good sign in an internal audit department.

2. Enterprise Risk Management: Andre Le Duc, Associate Vice President and Chief Resiliency Officer

Not clear where the Bach Festival fits into this. UO’s spending on risk management has grown enormously – here are the employee counts, from IR. Not clear why the Board doesn’t require this sort of information in reports:

Connie Ballmer: Why is your office dealing with things like enrollment and academic quality?

Le Duc: It’s all about protecting the brand. My office needs to monitor and proactively manage everything.

3. University of Oregon Police Department – Overview and Updates: Matt Carmichael, Chief of Police

By all accounts Carmichael is doing a great job rebuilding the UOPD. And his budget is flat:

That said, I can’t help but think that somewhere far, far away there’s a poor village surrounded by landmines from some forgotten war. They could really use this dog:

Carmichael and his three students have many other good things to report, including more student shuttle services (started by ASUO, now managed by UOPD at their request) and bringing the UOPD back on campus, by putting a substation in Onyx Bridge.

Adjourn til Tomorrow.

UO Board Trustee Rudy Chapa steps down

At-large positions on the governing board are volunteer posts with nominees selected by the governor. The governor will submit her choice to the Oregon Senate, which in turn votes on whether to confirm nominees.

Those interested in applying should contact University Secretary Angela Wilhelms, who can provide more detail on executive appointment processes and deadlines. She can be reached at or 541-346-5561.

Perhaps Governor Brown will use this opportunity to appoint someone to the Board who knows something about higher education.

Dec 8th, 8 AM Meeting of the Board

Dec 8th, 8 AM Meeting of the Board —  [Materials] [Webcast]

– Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum
– Approval of September and October 2017 minutes (Action)
– Public comment

1. Standing Reports
-ASUO President Amy Schenk
-University Senate President Chris Sinclair
-Provost Jayanth Banavar
-President Michael Schill

2. Seconded Motions and Resolutions from Committee (pending Dec. 7 committee action)
–Seconded Motion from FFC: Athletics Multi-Sport Apparel Agreement

Passes unanimously with no discussion.

–Seconded Motion from FFC: Updated Capital Project Budgets (Klamath Hall, Tykeson Hall)

Passes unanimously with no discussion.

3. Tuition-Setting Process and Analysis Components: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration; Brad Shelton, Executive Vice Provost

4. Governor’s Task Force on the PERS Liability – Recommendations Affecting Universities: Nik Blosser, Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Kate Brown

5. Knight Campus Leadership and Governance: Michael Schill, President; Patrick Phillips, Acting Director

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

7. Academic Area in Focus – The Environmental Humanities: Stephanie Le Menager, Professor of English and Environmental Studies; Marsha Weisiger, Associate Professor of History

8. Academic Excellence – How Do We Define and Measure It? Jayanth Banavar, Provost; Scott Pratt, Executive Vice Provost; Brad Shelton, Executive Vice Provost

Board of Trustees to meet last days of finals week, to avoid pesky students

This is the Dec 7 committee meetings. Dec 8th board meeting is above.

Update: I’ll fix these links and add some live-blogging during the meetings today and tomorrow.

They scheduled their last meeting during summer break, to coincide with a Duck football game. So I suppose this is a D+ if we grade them on improvement. Their website is hard to navigate, so here are the links and some additional info. All meetings will be in the Ford Alumni Center, Giustina Ballroom.

Dec 7th, 9AM. Academic and Student Affairs Committee[Materials] [Webcast]

Mary Wilcox, Chair, Connie Ballmer, Rudy ChapaAnn CurryAllyn FordWilliam PaustianMichael Schill

This starts of with usual pablum about 24/7 academic excellence. At least the Board has stopped using the Ducks as an example of how us faculty and staff can achieve it.

1. Core Education Evaluation and Redesign: Scott Pratt, Executive Vice Provost; Chris Sinclair, President, University Senate; Sarah Nutter, Dean, Lundquist College of Business

I’m a little unclear on what the learning objectives are for this section. Maybe there will be some iclicker questions for the board at the end, to check comprehension.

VPAA Scott Pratt starts of by explaining the current system, and noting that while it looks simple in theory, it’s been exploded by UO’s responsibility centered budget model. Two years ago it would have been heresy for an administrator to admit this. Now it’s dogma, and the RCM is being replaced by top-down control from the provost’s office. 10 years from now, …

Senate Pres Chris Sinclair lays out one possible proposal for Gen-Ed reform. Hope is to have a more structured first-year program, with students taking set of courses in related subjects, while living in dorms with other students interested in the same matters. Helps with retention, so on. Some changes to how we organize the multicultural requirement, since the buzzwords have changed – “tolerance” is out, for example.

LCB Dean Sarah Nutter: As working on expanding business ARCs. Goal is employment ready, globally connected graduates.

[I’m no Economics professor, but economics majors do better at this than business majors – according to the WSJ. Mid career salaries for econ majors average $98,600, while for business management majors it’s just $72,100. Parents should understand this before pushing their kids into a narrowly based vocational business program.]

Board Chair Chuck Lillis asks how we know students are learning something in writing classes. Notes that some universities keep a record of all student papers, and compare progression over their education. This is the best idea I’ve ever heard from him.

Connie Ballmer asks about the timeline, notes it’s an ambitious project. Who is in charge – Provost or Senate. Pratt and Sinclair: We both are. Her follow up is on metrics. Sinclair: Task Force. Ginevra Ralph asks about sexual assault training, which students talked about last year. Also asks Senate to make sure the requirements are flexible enough for non-traditional students. Ann Curry applauds fact program is flexible, provides a liberal education.

2. Online and Hybrid Education Planning: Scott Pratt, Executive Vice Provost; Adriene Lim, Dean, UO Libraries; Jessie Minton, Chief Information Officer

I’ve been listening to UO administrators talk about doing something online since Jim Bean. This ship has sailed. Pratt notes that while Bean bloviated, OSU acted, and now dominates online in the state. Now it’s going to be tough for UO to do more than fill in some gaps. Good reasons to build some more on-line anyway, even if only for our own students. So we’re going to throw some money and time at this. Step one will be to hire a Vice Provost, to hire some Assistant Vice Provosts.

The trustees are slowing realizing that UO is never going to make money at this, but we will help our students graduate more quickly.

3. Presidential Initiative in Data Science: Bill Cresko, Professor of Biology, Assoc. Vice President of Research, and Director of the Presidential Initiative in Data Science

4. Annual Student Scholarship and Financial Aid Report: Jim Brooks, Associate Vice President and Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships

Normally the trustees would hear from VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson. But the enrollment news is embarrassingly bad, and no one wants to talk about it:

So instead we’ve got Jim Brooks. He does a good job presenting some informative slides:

Most of UO’s aid is merit, not need based. and the growth rate for merit aid is far higher. (Some wiggle room in the categories though.) This is despite the growth of Pathway Oregon. As I’ve reported before, UO is failing when it comes to economic diversity, and the figure above shows why. Here’s more from IR:

Undergrad minority enrollment has nearly doubled since 2005 to 27%, but the percentage of low-income Pell grant eligible students peaked at 26% in 2011, and has fallen slightly since.

Here’s much more on this, based on NYT reports etc:

8/7/2017: UO is failing on economic diversity. Where’s the “Economic Diversity Action Plan”?

UO is ranked #328 out of 377  selective public colleges for promoting income mobility. 56% of our students come from families in the top 20% of the income distribution (4.3% from the top 1%) and only 4.7% come from the bottom 20%:

Brooks also reports that federal law will mean a $3.2M reduction in federal aid for UO students. Trustees ask some questions, this isn’t as drastic as it sounds.


Dec 7th, 10:45 AM, Executive and Audit Committee — [Materials Now updated with full Nike deal.] [Webcast]

1. Status of Information Technology at the UO: Jessie Minton, Chief Information Officer

2. Quarterly Audit Report: Trisha Burnett, Chief Auditor

The Audit Report will not be provided until the meeting, because we wouldn’t want the Trustees to have time to do their due diligence.

The Audit Report – such as it is – is now posted. There’s no meat here:

Say, I wonder what happened to the results from their audit of the athletic department? Whatever’s going on with UO Audits, the Trustees are never going to learn about it. Unbelievable.


Dec 7th, 1:30 PM, Finance and Facilities Committee —  [Materials] [Webcast]

1. Annual Audited Financial Statements:

Pretty bare-bones data:

No substantive questions from the trustees as might be expected given that there is so little detail presented. Still no breakout of the athletic department budget – the $13.7M to buyout Helfrich is hidden in here somewhere, as is the millions in subsidies from the academic side.

Bond rating is good.

The external auditor presents UO with a “clean audit letter”, gets gushy about how great UO’s team is. Gosh, it’s almost like he wants to keep the UO contract.

Chuck Lillis – a man who has some experience with inadequate external audits and lawsuits against Board members – rather pointedly asks him if there is a rule requiring UO to switch auditors every few years – as is true for publicly traded corporations. Turns out there’s not. Nor does Moss Adams have an internal rule requiring that their employees rotate – to avoid too much coziness with the clients.

2. Quarterly Financial Reports: Jamie Moffitt.

As is true every year, Moffitt tells the board we are “run rate even” – despite drop in tuition revenue, international students, increase in pension costs, etc. More state revenue, more grants, etc.

JP at IR keep promising the employment numbers below will be updated, and there’s nothing about this in Moffitt’s report, but here’s where the money has been going. On a Full Time Equivalent basis, faculty numbers are up 22%, since 2007-8, while administrator numbers are up 43%:


3. Intercollegiate Athletics Multi-Sport Apparel Agreement (Action):

See post here.

4. Capital Planning Annual Report:

5:  Tykeson Hall – Capital Project Reauthorization (Action):

The PLC faculty are going to die there and rot in its ruins. Meanwhile they’ve added another floor to the new Tykeson building – but not for faculty.

3:10PM. That’s it for today. See you tomorrow:

Trustees to review, discuss report on General Counsel Kevin Reed’s activities

It looks like a busy meeting for their Executive and Audit Committee. Presidential Assessment, Audit report, Annual reports from the GC, Compliance, Ethics, etc. Here’s their agenda, with handy links:

1. Call to Order/Roll/Declaration of a Quorum (Borkar)

2. Consent Item
a. Minutes of the July 20, 2017 Executive & Audit Committee Meeting
(Borkar) (TAB A)

3. Action Items
a. Board Chair’s Report: FY2017 Presidential Assessment (Borkar) (TAB B)
b. Board Policy and Bylaw Review/Amendments (Borkar, Colbert) (TAB C)
c. 2018 Executive & Audit Committee Work Plan and 2017
Board Assessment Results (Borkar, Colbert) (TAB D)
d. Executive & Audit Committee Charter Amendment (Borkar, Colbert,
) (TAB E)
e. Office of Audit Services Progress Report (Snopkowski) (TAB F)

4. Discussion Items
a. Annual Compliance & Ethics Program Report (Snopkowski, Gose,
) (TAB G)
b. Office of General Counsel Annual Report FY2017 (Gose) (TAB H)
c. All Hazard Planning (including Risk Management Report) (Green,
) (TAB I)

5. Adjournment

Whoops, my bad. The above was the agenda for OSU Trustees committee meeting in October, not for the upcoming meeting of the UO Trustees committee, this Thursday.

While the Oregon State University Trustees receive, post, and review an annual report from their GC as part of their Audit Committee’s due diligence and fiduciary responsibilities, the UO administration and Board have received nothing of the sort from our General Counsel – or if they have, they’re keeping it a secret. Here’s the brief agenda for the slacker UO Board committee:

– Call to order, roll call

– Approval of September 2017 EAC minutes (Action)

1. Status of Information Technology at the UO: Jessie Minton, Chief Information Officer

2. Quarterly Audit Report: Trisha Burnett, Chief Auditor [Not posted, and only distributed to the trustees at the meeting.]

Meeting Adjourns

I think their previous meeting lasted about 40 minutes. More on the UO Board meetings for Dec 7 & 8  here.