UO Board meets Sept 10-11 on big Duck gifts, tuition guarantee, extending Chuck Lillis’s term, warnings on Trustee behavior and speech

I haven’t had time to dig through all the dockets, links below. If you see anything interesting please post a comment.

Executive and Audit Committee — September 10, 2015 [Materials]

Finance and Facilities Committee — September 10, 2015 [Materials]

Academic and Student Affairs Committee — September 10, 2015 [Materials]

Meeting of the Board — September 10-11, 2015 [Materials]

UO Pres Mike Schill’s pay and benefits will be 9th highest in nation

Diane Dietz has the story in the RG, here:

Incoming University of Oregon President Mike Schill negotiated a sweet deal from the UO Board of Trustees.

His pay and benefits will be the ninth highest of the 220 top public universities, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education annual report released today.

Trustees, during the presidential search, said they were willing to pay more to get a go-getter with talent, skill and judgement.

Schill’s compensation at $798,400 annually — when he starts on July 1 — is roughly 50 percent higher than his predecessor Michael Gottfredson, who resigned abruptly in August.

The UO’s new president has to remain on the job for the full five years of his contract to get the total compensation, because some of it is in the form of retention bonuses.

Schill is a longtime law dean at prestigious universities — UCLA and University of Chicago — although he’s never been a university president.

By contrast, Ed Ray has been president at Oregon State University for a dozen years, and his annual compensation at $558,739 is about 30 percent lower.

Earlier this year the Board of Trustees gave large raises to AD Rob Mullens and football coach Mark Helfrich and his assistants – while the UO administration is arguing the athletic department can’t afford to end the subsidies, and start making the payments for academic scholarships that would boost UO’s tuition discount rate, attract more top students, and improve our US News ranking.

Meanwhile the administration’s salary offer to the faculty amounts to a cut in real pay:

The UO faculty last received raises on July 1, 2014. Last week the admins proposed that we wait 18 months for this:

Jan 1 2016:
1% ATB
0% Merit
0% Equity

And then wait another 12 months for this:

Jan 1 2017:
0% ATB
1.5% Merit pool by unit (But up to 20% held back at Dean’s discretion.)
0% Equity

Bargaining resumes in July, after Schill takes office. The UO Trustees met in closed session on Friday to discuss the union bargaining proposals.

Rob Kyr’s remarks on completing 4 tough years of extraordinary university service.

Co-Creating Our University through Shared Governance

Remarks by Robert Kyr, Outgoing Senate President

Delivered on June 4, 2015 to the University of Oregon Board of Trustees

Thank you for the opportunity to offer my remarks to you today, as I complete my
most recent term as Senate President, having also held that office in 2011-2012 and
2012-2013. I want to begin by thanking each one of you, as members of the Board of
Trustees, for your devoted service to our university, and for working with the Senate in
a collaborative and productive manner in order to achieve the highest good for the
institution that we care about so deeply.

Please know that each one of you is greatly respected for your expertise, for your
wisdom, and for your leadership. We are grateful for all of the time and effort that you
are devoting to the ongoing task of furthering the academic excellence of the University
of Oregon and we are dedicated to working closely with you in order to fulfill our
obligations and responsibilities, and to achieve our goals through shared governance.
Yesterday, the Senate convened for its final meeting of the 2014-2015 academic year,
which was one of the most challenging and momentous periods in the history of our
university. At the beginning of the meeting, I made remarks as the outgoing Senate
President, which I would like to share with you now. The title of this set of remarks is
“Co-Creating Our University through Shared Governance.”

Remarks to the Senate at its final convening of the year (June 3, 2015)
“Today, we come to the end of a four-year journey, which began in November 2011
with the firing of President Richard Lariviere, and now, we begin a new journey that is
necessitated by the circumstances of our times. In those former days, that one decision
of the State Board of Higher Education triggered a series of events that changed our
university forever. And a host of other life-changing decisions and legislative initiatives
quickly followed:

• The decision of Richard Lariviere to sign both the University Constitution and Policy
on Policies prior to leaving office;
• The decision of the faculty to unionize;
• The decision of the state legislature to allow our university to have its own Board of
Trustees, a so-called independent governing board;
• The decision of a Provost and a President to step down;
• The decision to undertake an extensive policy realignment that is regulated in part by
our revised Policy on Policies.

And I could go on for quite a long time recounting our four-year history that at many
points along the way has felt like a twenty-year history. As a Senate that represents the
entire university—faculty, students, Officers of Administration, Officers of Research,
and Classified Staff—our role in the transformation of the university has been
demanding, at times overwhelming, and at times exhausting. However, it has always
been worth every ounce of effort that we have devoted to fulfilling our obligations and

For just a moment, let us reflect together on the actions of our University Senate since
2001. I’ve prepared two graphs that illustrate the course of our journey over a thirteen-
year period.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 12.10.51 AM

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 12.10.36 AM

The upper graph gives us a picture of our Senate activity since 2001 in regard to “Senate
Motions Carried per Year,” while the lower graph is a picture of “Senate Motions
Carried per Meeting,” which was calculated by dividing the number of motions
approved in one year by the number of meetings in that year.

These two pictures of our activity reveal a continual upward trend of Senate activity
since 2009, and particularly since 2011, during a period when our university has faced
the greatest challenges in its history. I think that the message is clear: our University
Senate has more than stepped up to meet the needs of our university and to face the
most significant challenges that continue to face us.

And we would be remiss not to list just a few of the major pieces of legislation that have
been passed since 2011, the “year of the firing”:

• Ratification of the University Constitution;
• Ratification of the Policy on Policies;
• Revision of the Student Conduct Code;
• Policy on Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech;
• Legislation on Open Committees;
• Legislation for the Creation of an Ombuds Program;
• Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support;
• The Policy Realignment with all of its dedicated workgroups;
• New Program Approvals;
• And too many other significant pieces of legislation to name during this brief set of

We have not merely been active and committed as a Senate, but we have focused our
attention on the very most important challenges that face our university. Together, we
have strived to find solutions through our system of shared governance for the
principal challenges that we face, and in many cases, that we continue to face. Our work
is ongoing, and given the upward trend of the energy and commitment of this
legislative body, it is not difficult to predict that we will continue to fulfill our
obligations to our institution, to each of our constituencies, to ourselves as individuals,
and most importantly, to our students.

As challenging as these past four years have been, as an eternal optimist, I see them as
an incredible gift to us. Through whatever inexplicable workings of fate, we have been
offered a series of amazing opportunities to co-create our institution in a way that
promises to be transformative and visionary. As I have often said, the Senate and its
committee structure, which provides 15,800 hours of service per year, is the engine of
the university.

The Senate is not some random collection of constituencies or merely a rag-tag assembly
of unrelated individuals. From year to year, it is an ever-evolving community, and a
family that faces all of the challenges that come with being a family. Above all, though,
we are a single body of individuals devoted to the work of attaining the highest good
for all concerned. In our common striving and seeking, we embody the spirit of change,
the spirit of transformation, and the spirit of that measure of devotion, which is
essential to reaching for the truth, for greater understanding, and for self-determination.
It is the last item—self-determination—that is perhaps at the heart of our journey. In
order to fully determine our own future, rather than taking the path that others might
force upon us, we must continually renew our commitment to shared governance.
Through this effort, we reinvigorate our will to to co-create this university that we love
so deeply.

I want to thank each and every one of you—and also those listening to the Senate
meeting today via web-streaming—for your efforts to work together through shared
governance to co-create the university of our hopes and of our most profound dreams.
In the coming year, we will certainly continue with the strategic planning process that
was initiated this year. The shape of our future will be determined by the degree to
which all of us participate in this endeavor. I strongly encourage everyone to join in this
ongoing process in collaboration with our new President and our returning Provost.
As the seat of shared governance, the Senate, which represents the entire university, is
stronger than ever and more than ready to address the remaining challenges that we
face during this time of great transformation. My deepest thanks to each one of you for
your devotion and dedication to fulfilling our obligations and responsibilities within
our system of shared governance. And beyond that, my gratitude for your willingness
to give the very best of yourselves on a daily basis to ensure that our university thrives
and truly achieves the highest good for all concerned. Given the dedication and
devotion that each of you has demonstrated so often in our work together, I have no
doubt that we will succeed in co-creating the university that is the truest realization of
our vision, our ideals, and our most deeply held values.”

With gratitude to the University of Oregon Board of Trustees
In closing, I want to thank each one of you, as Trustees of our university, for your
greatly appreciated service and for your commitment to co-creating the University of
Oregon as a truly exceptional institution of higher learning. The Senate looks forward
to working with you in a collaborative way in order to fulfill the educational mission
of our institution.

And a brief editorial: My thanks to Rob Kyr

Professor Rob Kyr (Music), who stepped down as UO Senate President on Wednesday, became UO Senate President in June 2011. I’d never heard of the man. When I googled him, I discovered he was a full professor of music composition and theory, and “one of the most prolific American composers of his generation”.  Hmm. I thought that would sure point to a quiet year in the Senate. But then George Pernsteiner and Matt Donegan decided to fire UO President Richard Lariviere.

It quickly became clear that Rob Kyr was also an adept politician, a great public speaker, an organizer with an bottomless willingness to work for a cause he believed in, and that he had a flexible and creative mind that could embrace both expedient compromises and unyielding principles.

Rob Kyr used all these skills to keep the UO faculty together during the 4 tumultuous years that have followed the Lariviere firing. No one else could have done it.

Thank you Rob, for your work, and your inspiration.

UO Board of Trustees to meet Wed, Thu, Fri this week.

Wednesday June 3: Committee meetings
Thursday June 4: Full Board
Friday June 5th: Executive session on union bargaining, board members meet with faculty and staff

I’m doing some spotty live-blogging below.

I’ve put the headings and some items of potential interest in bold in the agendas below, check the Agenda links for the official background reading and motions. Comments welcome, I haven’t had time to go through much of this yet. Obviously Jamie Moffitt’s finance report will be worth hearing, though I wouldn’t expect her to go into as much depth about some things as the AAUP’s Howard Bunsis did on Thursday. The Full Bunsis is now up for all to see here, video soon, here’s a teaser:

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 11.44.38 PM

These numbers are from the IPEDS data UO is required to report to the feds. Institutional Support Salary is mostly pay for upper level central administrators. I’m no forensic accountant, but it seems we spend a lot more on administrator pay than we should.

June 3, 2015 Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

1. Approval of March and May 2015 FFC meeting minutes (Action)

2. Public comment

3. Quarterly reports

3.1  Treasury report (Karen Levear, Director, Treasury Operations)

3.2 Financial report (Jamie Moffitt, CFO and VP for Finance and Administration)

Let me guess. The well is dry:

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 8.27.00 PM

4. Fiscal year 2016 budget and expenditure authorization (Jamie Moffitt, CFO and VP for
Finance and Administration) (Action)

It’s June 2. UO does not have a budget for the FY that starts July 1. VP Moffitt is going to show the Trustees that in September. Must be tough to be a dean at UO, trying to run a college with this sort of information:

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 8.28.56 PM

5. Adoption of legacy pension plans (Jamie Moffitt, CFO and VP for Finance and
Administration) (Action)

6. Student health insurance (Robin Holmes, VP for Student Life; Mike Eyster, Executive
Director, Student Health Center)

7. Campus physical presence

7.1 Overview of physical space planning, capital project prioritization and framework
visioning (Chris Ramey, AVP for Campus Planning and Real Estate)

7.2 Deferred maintenance (Darin Dehle, Director, Capital Construction)

UO has a detailed plan for dealing with deferred building maintenance:

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 8.40.33 PM

Deferred investments in the faculty, not so much. Moffitt clarifies that this $185.7M figure is low for universities. Last year the Budget Advisory Group that Gottfredson set up to circumvent the Senate Budget Committee devoted $500K of the entire $2M that Jamie Moffitt gave them to allocate for one time projects to maintenance. Meanwhile Moffitt sent ~$4M in new recurring funds to prop up Michael Moffitt’s Law School’s US News ranking, without faculty discussion.

Lillis: Asks about the Global Scholars cracks. Where is that financial factor captured in the balance sheets? Moffitt: Can’t say much given the lawsuit, but it’s not in these numbers.
Lillis and Ballmer note that UW, Stanford also have huge deferred maintenance.
UO’s most popular president ever, Paul Olum, cut UO’s maintenance to the bone during the 80’s recession, and spent the money keeping faculty from leaving. Here’s hoping President Schill will do the same.

8. Acceptance of a gift and approval of a related capital project (Chris Ramey, AVP for Campus Planning and Real Estate) (Action)

Building for Bach:

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 8.43.23 PM

Schlegel: asks if the students have been consulted about the building location and construction.
Wilhelms: Board rules require approval both because of the size of the Berwick’s generous gift, and the construction.

June 3, 2015 Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

12:30 pm – Public Meeting – Ford Alumni Center, Giustina Ballroom

1. Approval of March and May 2015 ASAC minutes (Action)

2. Public comment

3. 2015 student statistics (Roger Thompson, Vice President for Enrollment Management)  

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 9.09.57 PM

No worries, the AAUP’s Howard Bunsis has some:

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 9.12.03 PM

Well, actually, those data are pretty worrying. Why is enrollment falling when the Ducks are doing so well? Parents don’t want to send their kids to a football factory after all?


Roger Thompson, VP for Enrollment:

[This is extremely important to UO. Even after tuition discounts, 100 in state students bring in ~$1M, 100 out of state students bring in ~$3M in revenue. Last year were were down 260 students from the 2012-13 peak.]

F0r 2014: Projects outstanding entering class. Highest GPAs and test scores. Most diverse in race and SES. Record # of Oregon Pell eligible and Pathway Oregon students. 55% Oregon, 39% out of state, the rest international.

For 2013, 2014 not so good. Now has massive recruitment effort. Buying 130,000 names for recruiting, many events, school visits, etc. But he attributes success to bowl games? Not really, also attributes a tripling in enrollment from Texas in 3 years (from 18 to 60) to heavy recruiting efforts. We’re also up 20% in southern California in 3 years.

Then some more FERPA violating anecdotes, but no data. Fortunately the AAUP’s Howard Bunsis has provided some:

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 1.52.21 PM


Lillis: All these 5 are Stamp Scholars? Yes. Is that program endowed? No. So, what’s our discount rate? To be first tier we have to get 30-40 of these students, nationally. [Too bad we’re blowing that $20M on branding, not merit scholarships that would boost our US News rankings.] Ralph: What about Pathway Oregon? Thompson: Up from ~550 to +600 this coming year, I hope.

4. Proposed amendments to the Student Conduct Code (Robin Holmes, Vice President for
Student Life) (Actions)

I’m guessing the Board is already regretting the part of their Delegation of Authority power grab where they took control of this from the faculty:

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 9.24.01 PM

Maybe 100 pages of documentation here. But hey, kick back, Bonine has this covered.

Public Comment:

John Bonine (Law): (Written remarks to some soon). No draft of new changes was shown to the Senate until late last week. Senate was not consulted. Bonine responded over the weekend with suggested revisions, but was told it was too late to put these on the agenda. He has a memo with some of the problems in the proposal. In particular the use of journals as a sanction for sexual assault, and having students who have been found guilty of sexual assault being sentenced to community service at organizations that counsel rape victims. Under FERPA, the organizations cannot be told the student’s history. Bonine suggests revising the code to eliminate these sorts of sanctions.

Ibrahim Gassama (Law): (Written remarks to some soon). Has worked on the problem of sexual assault his whole life. Students who allege they have been victims of sexual assault must have the right to legal advice. (The alleged perpetrators get free advice from ASUO legal services). The proposal before the board does not do this, it treats these victims as second class citizens. Legal representation is crucial, given the stakes. The grant that provides such advice trough the Law School is currently expiring. University has an obligation to provide support to survivors, and this legal advice must come from a lawyer who does not have divided loyalties.

VP for Student Life Robin Holmes: Defends the process.

Helena Schlegel (Board Member and UO student): Proposes amendment to use Bonine’s language. remove journaling and community. Wants to work on getting legal representation for survivors. Not comfortable with amount of student input in these changes. There was a student committee, apparently it never met.

Sandy Weintraub (Director of Student Conduct): Despite the 2011 Dear Colleague letter, Holmes’s office did nothing on the code. Hired a consultant, sat on his recommendations. After the Basketball gang rape allegations finally became public, and Weintraub was hired, things picked up. Worked with the Senate and Bonine and Forrell on the revisions, they were discussed at 7-8 Senate meetings, which include students.

Kurt Wilcox asks Doug Park about how the student code would interact with the GTFF  CBA, for a graduate student. Hard to follow Park, but Sandy Weintraub seems to think he’s wrong.

Resolution to adopt existing changes passes.

Resolution to adopt existing changes with amendment passes.

5. Update on and discussion of UO’s Portland presence and initiatives (Frances Bronet, Acting Provost)  

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 9.25.52 PM

This is just weird. And scary. No one expected Johnson Hall to tell the faculty how much money we’re losing up there, but surely the board needs to know. Fortunately Diane Dietz is on it, here. Presumably the university will have to give the RG some information eventually.

Bronet: Lots of questions still have not been resolved. What are our Portland initiatives? What is the financial model? Bronet is leaving this to her replacement. [Sorry, live blogging is light and I have to go to the Senate meeting soon. Check the Canoe report, which I was able to get after a few public records requests and petitions, here.]

6. Update on and discussion of UO’s Clusters of Excellence initiative (Scott Coltrane, Interim President)

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 9.34.21 PM

7. Program approvals (Frances Bronet, Acting Provost)

7.1 Historic Preservation (location change)

7.2 Prevention Science (new programs)


June 3, 2015 Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

1. Approval of March 2015 Minutes

2. Audit Related Items (Brenda Muirhead, Chief Auditor)

2.1 External Audit overview (Scott Simpson, Moss Adams LLP)

2.2 Quarterly Audit Report

2.3 Approval of IT Audit contract (Action)

2.4 Amendment to Audit Charter (Action)

2.5 Approval of 2015‐2016 Audit Plan (Action)

3. White Stag Building – Lease Update and Authorization (Action) (Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for
Finance and Administration/CFO)  

4. UO Information Technology and Infrastructure (Frances Bronet, Acting Provost; Melissa Woo, Chief Information Officer)  



Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

8:30 am (other times approximate) – Convene Public Meeting
– Call to order and roll call/verification of quorum

1. Approval of Minutes from March and April 2015 Meetings

2.   Invited Academic Presentations
2.1 School of Architecture and Allied Arts – Brook Muller, Interim Dean
2.2 Natural Sciences (CAS) – Andrew Marcus, Interim Dean; Hal Sodofsky, Associate Dean
for Natural Sciences

3. Reports and Public Comment  
– Public Comment
– ASUO President’s Report
– Senate President’s Report
– President and Provost’s Report

12:00 pm – Recess for Small Group Lunches with UO Staff

1:45 pm – Reconvene Public Meeting (verification of quorum)

4. Committee Reports / Resolutions  

4.1 Executive and Audit Committee Report and Referrals

4.2   Academic and Student Affairs Committee Report and Seconded Motions  
‐‐Resolution:  Amendments to the Student Conduct Code (pending June 3 committee approval)

4.3 Finance and Facilities Committee Report and Seconded Motions 
‐‐Resolution:  AY15‐16 budget proposal (pending June 3 committee approval)
‐‐Resolution:  Adoption of legacy pension plans (pending June 3 committee approval)
‐‐Resolution:  Approval of a capital project (pending June 3 committee approval)

4.4 Presidential Factors Committee Report
(Public Meeting Recessed)

5.   AAA Design Reviews [4:00‐5:30]
Trustees will observe student design reviews in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts



Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

9:00 am – Reconvene Public Meeting (verification of quorum)

6. Update on current collective bargaining (Executive Session)   (Meeting Adjourned)

My take on the administration’s proposal to cut real faculty wages is here. The UAUO’s latest bargaining report is here – they think it’s going to be a long hot summer, and probably fall too:

We characterized the administration’s first proposal as “insulting” and “unacceptable.” This new offer is an improvement, but still woefully inadequate. While this proposal contains a 1% across-the-board raise in fiscal year 2016 and a 1.5% merit increase in fiscal year 2017, 1% across-the-board does not even keep pace with inflation, let alone the rate of increases among our peer institutions, and 1.5% for merit is a figure too small to recognize and reward excellent faculty. Moreover, the administration proposed no effort to address internal and external equity. This was no oversight: The administration’s team made it clear that they do not believe the UO has any equity problem, either internal or external.

Seriously? Have they looked at their own data? Because Bunsis has, for Fall 2014, after the previous union CBA raises:

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 8.27.17 PM

UO pays its full professors of economics 70% of the AAU public average, while full professors of educational methodology get 154%. That detailed data for 2013-14 is on UO’s Institutional Research website, here.

10:30 am ‐ 12:00 pm – Trustee‐Faculty small group discussions


March 6: Rob Mullens and Eric Roedl tell Board why Ducks won’t support UO


8:00 – Board members meet with faculty. Faculty Trustee Susan Gary (Law) gives her talking points and etiquette tips here.

I met with two board members and about 10 faculty. It was a very interesting meeting. Confidence inspiring really. They didn’t ask me too, but I said I wouldn’t blog about particulars, so I won’t. I can say nobody paid any attention to Susan Gary’s talking points, and we spent most of the 2 hours talking about classrooms, labs, and teaching technology, what to do about athletics, and how AAU membership drives resource allocation between the sciences and humanities.

10:00 am (other times approximate) – Reconvene Public Meeting – Verification of quorum
Invited Presentations:

Talks on Diversity, Innovation, and Athletics. While the other presenters and many students and faculty are in the room with the board, listening to each others talks and the board’s questions, AD Rob Mullens could give a rip about the academic side. He’s out in the hall, lounging about:

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 11.03.10 AM

8. University of Oregon Diversity Framework – Dr. Yvette Alex‐Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion

Go Yvette! She asks “What if” the university addressed racial, class, sexual diversity seriously… .

IR staff report here.

She’s got a long list of successful programs, student pipeline, dual-faculty hiring funds, etc.

Great report, well received by trustees.

9. Innovation, Tech Transfer and Economic Development – Dr. Brad Shelton, Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation; Dr. Chuck Williams, Associate Vice President for Research

This is dreadful. Shelton manages to wander between condescending and boring. And I’m a guy with a longstanding interest in nitrogen fixation. Coltrane jumps in to try and save Brad, or at least end this quickly. Chuck Williams seems on top of things though. Good presentation on licensing revenue, etc. Most of this has been coming from the College of Ed. Now Shelton’s taken over again. Manages to make some cool science pretty boring. Lillis tells him to wrap it up, but Shelton is still talking, and talking, and talking …

The board looked happier yesterday, when the students were screaming at them. Time for another emergency bathroom break?

Q from trustee, about EGI’s recent public offering. How much did UO get? A: Nothing.

10. Department of Intercollegiate Athletics – Rob Mullens, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics; Eric Roedl, Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Finance and Administration

Last week UO undergrad Andrew Lubash – the Truman Scholar that Andrew Marcus highlighted in his remarks to the board on Thursday – led UO’s student government in two votes to reject the Mullens and Roedl attempt to take 10% more in student fees for athletics:

Dear Students,

On Saturday, February 21st, the ASUO Senate will be allocating over $15 million of your student fee dollars to pay for programs, departments, contracted services, the EMU, and of course, football and basketball tickets from the Athletic Department.

Out of the $15 million ASUO budget, students spend $1,695,348 paying for the football and men’s basketball ticket lottery. This comes down to about $71 per year that students pay through their mandatory fees for the chance to go to our athletic events. We, the undersigned, think this is too high. …

And on Wednesday, the UO Senate voted unanimously to make the Duck Athletic Department make long overdue payments to UO’s academic side: 

Payments by Athletic Department for General Academic Purposes

Section I

1.1 WHEREAS in 2004, the UO Athletics Task Force, which included President Dave Frohnmayer, Athletic Director Bill Moos, NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon, the Senate President, and many Senate and faculty representatives, concluded a three-year study of UO athletics with a report that stated as recommendation #1,

“The Task Force and the Athletic Department recommend a voluntary financial contribution by
athletics to the Presidential Scholarship fund.”[1]; and …

1.10 WHEREAS during that time the athletic department has not made any such contributions and in fact has received increasing subsidies from the academic budget; and ….

Section II

2.1 BE IT HEREBY MOVED that the President shall provide the Senate with a budget and a schedule for implementation for payments from the Athletic Department budget for the support of general academic purposes no later than the first Senate meeting of May 2015, and that this schedule shall include a payment of no less than 0.5% of total Athletic Department revenue for the 2015-16 FY, and increasing to no less than 1% for the 2016-17 FY, and increasing in subsequent years by no less than 0.5 percentage points, until it reaches 3%.

Some might say that Rob Mullens, Eric Roedl, and Dana Altman are leeches, feasting on the blood of UO students:

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.20.05 PM

But I prefer to think that they are humans who face some really unfortunate incentives. Take Rob Mullens, for example:

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The UO Board of Trustees could have written incentives into his contract to reward him for reducing the athletic departments costs, or for making payments for academic scholarships.

Instead they wrote him a contract that rewards him for winning games, no matter what it costs. So is it any wonder that he’s bleeding UO dry? It’s what he’s paid to do.

A rational contract – the contract Chuck Lillis, or any other CEO on the UO board would have written if their own money was at stake – would reward Mullens for delivering profits that would help further UO’s academic mission.

But it’s not the board’s money at stake. It’s the students’ money. And the board wrote him a contract that rewards him for sucking more money out of UO and spending on sports. And he’s delivering, and we’re paying.

Mullens and Roedl will presumably come in with a slick powerpoint. They don’t want the board to see it first though, in case they might have time to think up some tough questions:

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 10.49.43 AM

Presentation: Yup, they’ve got the usual fancy powerpoint and a glossy, bound handout with a duck on it – but only for the trustees.

Mullens: Culture of excellence, yada yada. Usual puff stuff on student-athletes, mixing non-revenue students in to make the average look good.

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 12.07.39 PM

Mullens: We’ve used this success and leveraged social media to create a national, international brand. So when there’s a basketball gang rape allegation and we botch how it’s handled by putting the players in the NCAA tournament and failing to transfer them quietly before the sports reporters find out, it now damages the entire university, globally.

Mullens on NCAA governance changes: This was all about student-athlete welfare. Honestly. 65 power schools can now vote to give up to $2000 to players. This helps us protect the coaches multi-million salaries from congressional action such as the threatened loss of their lucrative tax exemption.

Fiscal challenges: We rely on football. 16th largest expenses of all NCAA programs.

Basketball revenue is in the shitter, and we’ve run up against price resistance for football tickets No increase this year for regular fans. So Eric Roedl tried to extort another 10% from the ASUO student government instead. But student Andrew Lubash told him to take a hike, and now Roedl’s got a tough choice.

Right on cue, Connie Ballmer asks Mullens about student tickets. Mullens gives pat answer, she doesn’t follow up.

Lillis asks about stadium expansion. Mullens waffles. Hard to justify, given their inability to raise prices now.

Kurt Wilcox asks about TV revenue and where the PAC-12 Network revenue goes.

We took a hit because we had to give back money to Comcast. So, no net revenue for UO. Check the San Jose Mercury for background.

Mullens: But just in case, we want to add some women’s sports to soak up any extra money before the academic side gets it.

Trustee asks about financial exposure to lawsuits. Is any money set aside in trust funds? Mullens: No, we spend all the money on our own salaries, plus of course free sandwiches for athletes in the Jock Box. There’s no follow up question? This counts as doing due diligence?

Ballmer asks about bowl game revenue. Mullens: All revenue is shared equally w/in conference whether we are in a bowl or not. We get expense money but after we pay the coaches we’re behind $100K or so.

Trustee: So compared to other schools, you take less money from academic side than most other schools? Mullens: Yes.

Faculty Trustee Susan Gary has no questions, of course.

And unfortunately Student Trustee Helena Schlegel had to leave for class.

Lillis: Meeting adjourned.

Full UO Board meetings, March 5-6

Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms has managed to arrange the room to keep the board and the UO community even farther apart than last time. Portable barriers are ready, in case the crowd gets restless:

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.28.32 AM

The live-blog of Wednesday’s committee meetings is here.

News reports: Scott Greenstone in the Emerald on Kurt Wilcox’s resolution to have the board discuss potential union strikes before everything goes to hell as with the GTFF, here. Diane Dietz in the RG on pay for the next UO president, here. She goes easy on clueless Mercer consultant Stephen Pollack. UCLA gave him an MBA and he can’t run a regression? Shame on them. Meanwhile Tobin Klinger has distortionary post on this on “Around the 0”. Why does UO pay Klinger $115K in student tuition money to do a bad imitation of Diane Dietz?

The Agenda/Docket for the full Thursday/Friday meetings is here.

I’ll live-blog what I can below, but best to show up yourself. Highlights should include Jamie Moffitt explaining why UO had plenty of money 6 months ago, but now that the board has to vote on tuition increases, and the faculty union wants Coltrane to follow through on getting pay to AAU peers, she’s been able to rearrange the estimates to make it look like the well is dry. I’m guessing Susan Gary (Law) won’t ask Jamie Moffitt about the extra $1.5M she just gave Michael Moffitt’s law school:

On Friday, Athletic Director Rob Mullens and AAD Eric Roedl will explain how they just spent all the Duck athletics surplus on their own raises, and still can’t pay anything to support the academic side so too bad, Senate. As for the ungrateful students that just voted to hold the line against Roedl’s attempt to extract another 10% for “free” tickets? The Ducks will cave.

Thursday March 5th, 8:00 am (other times approximate) – Convene Public Meeting – Call to order and roll call/verification of quorum

1. Approval of Minutes from December 2014 Meeting

2.   Invited Academic Presentations

2.1 School of Law – Michael Moffitt, Dean

Michael Moffitt has a lot of explaining to do. While times are tough for all law schools, UO has been in a rankings slide, falling from #77 when he started as Dean, to a 3 way tie for 100th place last year. The new USNews rankings come out March 10, and one more slip and the law school will be in the dread 3rd tier. Moffitt seems to have only the dimmest understanding of how the rankings work, as revealed in his letter to the law school alumni and students, here.

His wife, UO VPFA Jamie Moffitt, has been throwing scholarship money at law from the general fund, trying to entice students with decent LSATs to enroll and keep up the rankings. It’s been a losing battle so far, not helped by law professor Rob Illig’s “I”m worth $1M” viral rant, right in the middle of last year’s enrollment and hiring period:

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.31.51 AM
(Turns out Illig got a pay cut this year.)

We’ll see if Moffitt has a turnaround plan other than bitch about the rankings, pretend UO isn’t doing worse than other schools, and ask the wife for more money.

Live-blog: Yup, Moffitt puffs up envi law and CDR, then goes into national decline of law schools. He’s scrupulously avoiding responsibility for UO’s relative decline:

That said, Moffitt is actually cutting bloat. He’s cut 1 in 6 non-faculty positions (not clear if that’s staff or Assistant Dean types), spent the money on scholarships. And opening a satellite campus in Portland, trying to get his cut of the White-Stag pork. Clever strategy for law, but it will bleed still more money from UO’s general fund and undergrad tuition.

Then goes off on pitch for expanding undergrad law into business law. Seems reasonable, but he badly botched this last time, with the sports-conflict classes. The Portland project looks like a risky money-sink. Our money of course, not his. Should the trustees trust Moffitt to manage this? From what I hear his faculty don’t. He’s not doing a convincing job with some softball questions from the trustees.

2.2 College of Arts and Sciences – Dr. Andrew Marcus, Dean; Dr. Ian McNeely, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education; Dr. Bruce Blonigen, Associate Dean for Social Sciences

Marcus starts off with a strong defense of the humanities and the liberal arts as the foundation of higher education. Go Marcus!

Blonigen goes through the social science stats, strengths of the departments, explains the disciplines. Go Blonigen!

Sorry, I missed McNeely.

3.   Marketing and Branding Initiative Update – Tim Clevenger, Associate Vice President for Marketing, Communications & Brand Management

Once upon a time Oregonians knew how to brand things themselves:

Now we pay PR flacks like Tim Clevenger $209K to manage $20M campaigns by 160over90 to try and offset the damage big-time Duck sports have done to this place. Sorry, I don’t have the stomach to live-blog this crap.

I’ve got to go, I’ll resume live blogging at 1:30.

4. Reports and Public Comment

– Public Comment. My live blogging is light, try the UO student twitter hash tag, #UOCSPAN.

– Strategic Planning Report

Frances Bronet: Whole lot of planning going on. Will any of it matter to UO’s budgeting decisions, or will they continue to be driven by the preferences of UO’s Executive Leadership Team and UO’s donors? Does anyone know how we ended up with the current budget plan? Me neither.

– ASUO President’s Report

ASUO working on lobbying state legislature for more funds, cultural competency and campus change.

– Senate President’s Report

Rob Kyr: Senate has had a series of productive meetings dealing with:

1) Revising UO Policy on Policies. Done.
2) Approving, revising or appealing old OUS policies. Done with 30% of them. Senate and particularly Bonine has put together spreadsheet. Far more productive than Triplett
3) Fossil fuel divestment
4) Transparency award [Say, anyone got an administrator to nominate for this?]
5) Gender neutral bathrooms
6) “Not in our Name” response to Doug Park’s continued insults against Jane Doe
7) Legislation putting the Senate in charge of electing the FAR
8) Legislation requiring AD to pay some money to help out the academic budget

Senate committed to working with the Board.

Lillis: Congratulations on this work. Wants the Senate to work on the issues that are most critical to UO. [Which issues, who decides?]

– President’s Report

Jason Younker, UO Tribal Liaison, delivers a good talk about UO’s efforts to connect with the First Nations, along with Wendy Coltrane. Scott gets a Pendleton blanket.

12:00 pm – Recess for Small Group Lunches with Students

1:30 pm – Reconvene Public Meeting – Verification of quorum

Coltrane reports on sexual violence prevention. He’s got no credibility on this issue anymore. The buzzwords fly. Bronet talking about Gottfredson’s Review Panel: “the gravitas is extraordinary”.

Yes, gravitas would be one word for it.

5.   Committee Reports / Resolutions

VPFA Jamie Moffitt gets into the UO financial situation and proposed tuition and fee increases.

About 100 UO students file in, lining the sides of the room, holding signs, standing quietly.

Things are getting tense. Administrators tell students to move back. The students are busy texting, and ignore them. Triplett puts away his laptop and prepares for action, shushes student. Bad move Chuck, but Dana Rognlie smooths it over. Thanks Dana.

The signs call out the administrators and coaches for their bloated salaries:

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 2.05.57 PM

I’m looking for the economics student with a poster showing how UO should increase tuition and price discrimination, and use the revenue to subsidize low SES students.

Moffitt goes on. Lillis asks her a scripted question about health insurance costs. On cue she replies with data showing university employees cross-subsidize rates for other state employees. [$10-20M by UO per year, if I remember right.]

No mention from Moffitt of the extra cost the university now has to pay to make up things like Mike Bellotti’s $550K, mostly unfunded, pension.

Moffitt: Can’t get into labor negotiations, but I’m sure you can understand we’re looking at very significant issues for the budget.

Moffitt is much more subtle about trying to blame the unions for tuition increases than Rudnick was.

Meanwhile, more and more students file in. All very quiet, orderly, respectful.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 2.21.40 PM

Student trustee Helena Schlegel. Some students can cover these increases, perhaps with more debt. But, on the margin, this will lead to some students dropping out. Schlegel proposes amendment to cut the proposed increases by a modest 0.2 percentage points.

Moffitt: We did look at this. Tries to do math in head, fails. [It’s abut $1M]. Board waits patiently for Jamie and Brad to do the arithmetic. Schlegel helps them out, says it’s $900K.

Board asks what UO would cut if the tuition increase was cut. Moffitt – lots of unknown unknowns.

More and more students file in, many from the Chinese Students and Scholars Association. Interesting. Room is packed. “International Students Are Not Your ATM”. “Provost $360,000”. “Football Coach $3.35M”.

Kurt Wilcox: PEBB board predicts modest health insurance increases, way below Moffitt’s predictions. University has a history of exaggerating health insurance increases. Let’s use that to cut this proposed increase, just a bit, send a signal to the students that we care about costs.

Susan Gary speaks: I am listening to students. I’ve heard your pain. But the responsible thing to do is increase revenue.

Shelton: Amendment is to cut increase to 3.3% for Res, 3.4% for Non Res.

Roll call on amendment, it fails.

Back to the original resolution:

Roll call: Wilcox and Schlegel vote no, others yes.

Students start “Mike Check” shout out. “Admin pay continues to rise!” “And You Want More?” “We want an affordable education”. This goes on for a long time. “Students over Sports!”

It goes on longer.

“When our administration is overpaid what do we do? Stand up fight back.” The trustees look pretty miserable, who can blame them? This is going on too long.

It goes on longer.

A few trustees start using the opportunity to squeeze in a bathroom break. Now they’ve all left. Congrats students, you’ve succeeded in shutting down the debate, by shouting really loudly.

It goes on longer.

Now it’s “Where’s Scott Coltrane!”. Uh, he left because you were yelling in his face?

3:06 PM: Students start leaving.

Triplett busies himself cleaning up their posters. He and Brad Shelton share a “we survived the student uprising” moment of camaraderie.

Sorry to be so negative about this protest. I agree Moffitt and Shelton are hiding a lot of data, and I agree about the admin bloat, sports subsidies, etc. And obviously the students got the board’s attention. But the in their face shouting was out of control.

Of course, out of control often happens when you cut people out of the real decision process.

3:13PM. Lillis and a few other trustees file back in, Wilhelms starts looking for the rest of them.

3:21PM: Lillis gets a quorum back, restarts meeting.

Ralph asks if it will be possible to revisit the tuition increases if the legislature comes through?

Lillis asks if the board needs to revisit the process for setting tuition, given student outrage. Brad Shelton misses the point of the question, tries to justify how he did it.

‐‐Resolution:  Acceptance of Gift of Real Property (pending March 4 committee approval)


5.1 Executive and Audit Committee Report and Referrals

‐‐ Resolution:  Policy on University Policies

Lillis gives a shout out to the Senate, Wilhelms, Gary. Happy to see agreement on this process.

Wilhelms notes that the Board is “endorsing” this. The Senate and the President have already agreed to this, and it’s their business, not the board’s. Exactly. This is a big improvement in shared governance from where we were last year, when Susan Gary was hiding the delegation of authority and the pres search process from the faculty. I give Rob Kyr credit.

Unanimous yes.

‐‐ Resolution:  Board’s Role in Strike Situations (pending March 4 committee approval

Kurt Wilcox makes another pitch for this, as a reaction to Coltrane’s botched handling of the GTFF strike. Process to keep the board on top of things as backup. Susan Gary supports this, wants to make sure board is kept informed. Which did not happen with the GTFF.

Long discussion. Lillis lets everyone talk this one to death.

Gary, Wilcox, and Schlegel vote yes, rest no, fails.

‐‐ Resolution:  Committee Approval of HECC Submissions (pending March 4 committee approval)

Unanimous yes.

‐‐ Resolution:  Consent Calendar (pending March 4 committee approval)

Unanimous yes.

4:03 Recess

Moved to tomorrow.

5.4 Presidential Factors Committee Report

5.5 Presidential Search Committee Report

[Rescheduled for another meeting] 6.   Overview of the University Counseling and Testing Center and the University Health Center – Dr. Robin Holmes, Vice President for Student Life; Michael Eyster, Director of Administration, Health Center; Dr. Shelly Kerr, Director of the Counseling and Testing Center

(Public Meeting Recessed)

7.   Site visit(s)
Trustees will visit the Counseling and Testing Center and the University Health Center (co‐located) and the Oregon Humanities Center.


8:00 – Board members meet with faculty. Faculty Trustee Susan Gary (Law) gives her talking points and etiquette tips here.

10:00 am (other times approximate) – Reconvene Public Meeting – Verification of quorum

Invited Presentations

8. University of Oregon Diversity Framework – Dr. Yvette Alex‐Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion

9. Innovation, Tech Transfer and Economic Development – Dr. Brad Shelton, Interim Vice
President for Research and Innovation; Dr. Chuck Williams, Associate Vice President for Research

10.  Department of Intercollegiate Athletics – Rob Mullens, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics; Eric Roedl, Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Finance and Administration

UO Board committee meetings, Mar 4, some live-blog

3/4/2014: It appears the Chair of the Finance and Facilities Committee has called in two Conflict Resolution Center “Neutral Observers” to monitor the part of the meeting on proposed tuition increases. Seems a bit excessive?

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 2.28.31 PM

I’m adding a little live-blogging to the annotated agendas for the BOT’s spring meetings below. Committee meetings today, full BOT meetings Th and Friday. Don’t forget the Senate meets at 3PM today.

Usual disclaimer: My impression of what people said, meant to say, or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. The stuff below is very unorganized, sorry.

Continue reading

UO Board Trustee Susan Gary (Law) offers helpful tips for talking with UO Trustees

3/2/2015 update:  No word on whether or not BOT Secretary Angela Wilhelm will tear down that wall of PR flack tables separating the Trustees from the university community during this Thursday and Friday’s meetings, but it’s a good sign that 20 months into their term in office, the Board is willing to meet with faculty. I’m on the list, so Wilhelm’s assistant Amanda Hatch can’t have been screening people too carefully:


March 3, 2015

TO: Individuals Attending Faculty/Trustee Discussions

FROM: Susan Gary, Faculty Trustee

RE: Thoughts on the March 6 Discussions

Thank you for your willingness and interest in participating in the discussions with UO trustees this
Friday, March 6, at 8:00 AM.  These conversations will give the trustees a great opportunity to learn
more about the faculty – what we do, our strengths and the challenges we face.  I thought it would be
helpful to provide some ideas about conversation topics, although these are not restrictive.  You should
feel free to discuss any issues of concern to you, and the trustees may have questions they want to ask.
The conversations will evolve, as conversations do.

Our initial target size was 10 faculty members and three trustees per group.  Given the number of
people who expressed interest, we can accommodate everyone if we increase the group size to 11, so
that is what we have decided to do.  I think 11 should be fine; if you would prefer to wait until June (we
plan to have more discussions then), please let Amanda Hatch know and we can save your information.

The trustees will want to hear from everyone, so please be courteous with respect to time so that
everyone can have a chance to speak.  It’s a conversation, so multiple short comments will likely be
better than one long comment per person.

Here are suggested topics for discussion that I brainstormed.  I use “faculty” to include both TTF and
NTTF because most topics apply to both, although sometimes in different ways.

Faculty classifications.
– What do the classifications of faculty as TTF and NTTF – mean?  (and NTRF and Library faculty if
someone can speak to those categories)
– What roles do different faculty members play?

– What is the promotion process like for TTF and NTTF?

– What contributes to teaching excellence?
– How much work goes into preparing a class?
– How do teachers keep their classes fresh?
– How does the Teaching Effectiveness Program work with faculty to improve teaching? (Have you
taken advantage of TEP and what has been the benefit?)
– How does research contribute to teaching?
– What are classroom conditions like – technology, class size, and configuration of classrooms?
– How do negative factors hinder teaching excellence – increases in class size, increased teaching

– What kind of University and unit service do faculty do?
– What is the service work load and what types of service work do faculty do (admissions,
scholarships, curriculum, hiring, promotion and tenure, etc.)
– How does the level of service required affect teaching and scholarship?

– How do faculty mentor students?
– Undergraduates? What kind of mentoring do undergrads need?  What are the
challenges/rewards of mentoring undergrads?
– Graduate students?  What is the relationship between an advisor and a
candidate?  How does advising a grad student work?
– How do faculty help students think about career options?

– What is the role of research for a TTF?
– What is the grant writing process like?
– What is the publication process like?
Masters or Ph.D.
– What synergies exist among the research, teaching and service obligations of faculty members?
– (Note: There is a lot to say about research, but this is an area the trustees have already had
some exposure to, so it may be good to focus on other topics.)

Unit structure.
– How do TTF and NTTF interact within units?
– How do units govern themselves?

University Senate.
– What role does the Senate play?  What role should the Senate play?
– Do faculty feel engaged with the Senate?

Online education.
This probably deserves a separate discussion when issues can be discussed more thoroughly – there is a
lot of work needed to develop a strategy – but someone may have particular insights to share.

2/25/2015 update: Ron Bramhall (Business) and faculty union VP for NTTFs, persuades the BOT’s sole Faculty Trustee, Susan Gary (Law), to invite NTTFs to meetings with Board members:

Continue reading

Board of Trustees posts pre-redacted dockets for March 4-6 meetings.

While these are much more complete than in the past, and while the Board has helpfully abandoned its previous strategy of holding meetings when the students are away on break, Secretary Angela Wilhelms has pre-redacted some of the most potentially interesting info from the agenda (docket) links, saying it’s not ready yet, or will be passed out in dead-tree format at the meeting. In the past she’s done this because she didn’t want the public (or some board members) to find out what’s going on until the last minute when it’s too late to react. From http://trustees.uoregon.edu/meetings.

Alexandra Wallachly has some info in an Emerald story here, and I’ll post more later. Meanwhile if you see – or don’t see – something interesting, please post a comment.

Presidential Factors Committee Meeting
March 4, 2015
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting
March 4, 2015
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

Executive and Audit Committee Meeting
March 4, 2015
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

Academic and Student Affairs Committee Meeting
March 4, 2015
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

Meeting of the Board
March 5-6, 2015
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Minutes

Paul Omundson on UO Board’s failed search plan – endorses Coltrane

2/22/2015: Paul Omundson on UO Board’s failed search plan

An Op-Ed in the RG, here:

Despite spectacular success on the football field, these are hardly good times for the University of Oregon. … Donors gone amok in self-aggrandizement, with a growing cadre of campus development and donor relations personnel, is one cause. Lack of real leadership from the administration in Johnson Hall is another. And the state doesn’t help by reducing public funds for competitive teacher salaries.

In this poisonous cauldron of self interests, the fabric of the UO as an educational institution is being destroyed.

The school’s new Board of Trustees can help change all that with its power to select a new president. But right now the board is blowing it.

The solution, and probably the only lifeline that can rescue the university, is to select a new president who can truly lead and rise above the tumult. Because of the depth of the tumult, this individual must be someone internal — a person who knows the nuts and bolts of the institution and can stand up to campus piranhas; one who has gained respect of constituents; one who has survived the craziness that now prevails; and, most importantly, a healer who can restore the balance between academics and athletics.

There are such candidates. Start with Scott Coltrane, who is shackled by that “interim president” title and can only tread water right now. But there are other worthy internal candidates. Here’s why it’s so important to change course right now:

The current model for selecting a UO president doesn’t work. The same process was used to hire the last president, Michael Gottfredson. A national executive search committee selected him as best candidate, ran him through pretentious dog and pony shows on campus, and the UO hired him. He was shortly run out of town. No one wants a Twilight Zone experience like that again. …

2/15/2015: Nathan Tublitz on UO’s troubling times

An Op-Ed in the RG, here:

…The unusually high turnover rate of presidents and upper administrators has not helped our academic standing. Neither has the financial disinvestment by the state of Oregon. Also contributing to UO’s academic stagnation is the growing number of decision-makers who do not understand academia, because they have never been faculty members. The situation has been further exacerbated by a series of university scandals, poorly handled labor negotiations, decreased fiscal transparency, and retaliation against those who speak up.

The consequences have been a major decline in morale among faculty and staff and a loss of trust in the administration. This is not a good framework for positive change.

Enter the new UO Board of Trustees. Created by the state of Oregon, the board is mandated to oversee and improve the UO, something the state Board of Higher Education, with seven institutions to manage, could not provide. It is hoped a UO-specific board will reduce bureaucratic inefficiencies, stabilize finances and support strong leadership inside the university. Indeed, board members seem genuinely committed to improving the UO.

But what is their vision? What do they want the university to be? …

As an experiment, I’m not going to allow comments on this post – please add yours on the RG website instead. They have some thoughtful ones already.

UO Student Senate rejects Ducks’ attempt to raise mandatory ticket fee

2/21/2015 update: That’s the vote from today’s ASUO meeting.

Duck Athletic Director  Rob Mullens is now in the difficult position of having to choose between:

a) taking the same $1.6M as last year and being revealed as the sort of person who would try and bluff our students for money, or

b) cutting the ticket allotment and being revealed as the sort of person who would take revenge on the students over $50K, after getting a $250K raise himself.

Presumably he’ll figure out some way to take the offered 0% increase and try and save face. My guess is this will involve a donation from some Duck booster who suddenly finds it in his heart to give a little to UO students.

By rejecting the Duck try for a 10% increase, our students are leading the way to the March 4th meeting of the full UO Senate, which will consider legislation to hold the Athletic Department to its 2004 promise to start making payments to UO’s academic side for academic scholarships. The student vote is a hopeful sign that maybe UO can finally figure out how to balance the interests of the Duck’s big-time sports enterprise and its well paid coaches and AD’s with those of UO’s cash-strapped academic side.

2/21/2015 update: Meanwhile, the University of Akron is *paying* its students to go to basketball games, in an effort to build some buzz for TV. And in cash – not just Uncle Phil bobbleheads.

Ironically, as Fox Sports points out, if Akron were to give the *players* $5 for showing up for each game, they would swiftly bring down the wrath of UO’s Jim O’Fallon and his NCAA infractions committee.

2/20/2015: Lubash and ASUO Student Senators call out Eric Roedl out on his ticket threat

Letter to the Daily Emerald, written by UO undergrad and Truman Scholar Andrew Lubash, and signed by 13 other Senators and 3 ACFC members, here:

… Out of the $15 million ASUO budget, students spend $1,695,348 paying for the football and men’s basketball ticket lottery. This comes down to about $71 per year that students pay through their mandatory fees for the chance to go to our athletic events. We, the undersigned, think this is too high. …

However, when the ASUO began negotiating with the Athletics Department this year, we were surprised to find out that not only was there absolutely no chance they were going to give us more tickets, they were requesting $169,000 more from students than last year, for the same number of tickets. A 10% increase!

We were infuriated.

Now, they say that they will likely begin cutting student football tickets if we don’t give them at least a 3% increase (~$50,000). Their actions are greedy and deplorable. They’re acting like a business focused solely on profit, when they should be working towards supporting the academic side of this university. Why isn’t there an expectation on our campus that athletics give back to students? Students aren’t even guaranteed a ticket.

… After an article came out in the register Guard saying that the Athletic Director would fundraise millions in order to pay for his own salary increases ($700,000/year) and those of other Athletic department staff, we had had enough. We find it fundamentally unfair that the Athletic Department can find it within their hearts to fundraise for themselves, yet they resort to threatening to cut student tickets if the ASUO does not give them their requested increase. Is it actually that hard for them to raise $50,000 on top of the millions they already plan to raise? We don’t think so.

… At some point, someone needs to stand up and shine a light on the enormous difference that exists between what the Athletic Department deems as “necessary” and what students deem as excessive. Many of us struggle to afford our education as it is. We should not stand for our own Athletic Department to treat us as another lucrative source of funds to line their own pockets with. It’s time for them to start giving back and support students of all financial backgrounds.
We don’t understand how the ASUO, in good conscience, could increase the Athletic Department’s budget $1 unless we guarantee that students get more football ticket. If more tickets is not an option, we should not agree to charge students more for the same amount of tickets.

[Signed by 17 Student Senators, etc.]

2/19/2015 update: Duck’s Eric Roedl threatens to cut student tickets unless they pay 10% more:

Actually, our students have already talked him down to a 3% increase, and Roedl’s latest threat seems pretty unlikely, given that Scott Coltrane just told the UO Board that athletics would have no problem coming up with millions to pay for raises for Helfrich and Mullens.

But Roedl’s giving it a half-hearted effort anyway. Gotta try and cover his own $42K raise, I suppose:

From: Eric Roedl
Date:02/19/2015 4:05 PM (GMT-08:00)
To: [student name redacted]
Cc: Laura Jorgensen
Subject: Student Seating Options

[Student name redacted]

Attached ticket calculator contains two options:

1. Represents a 3% increase to I-Fee as discussed with no impact to student seat allocation.

2. Represents a 0% increase to I-Fee. Under this model we would likely [emphasis added] reduce the number of football seats per Pac 12 Game (Utah, Wash. St., Cal, USC, Oregon St.) by 300. We would then increase the number of Pac-12 Season Student Season Ticket Plans available for student purchase (at a price of $300 per package) by 300.

Please review and let me know if you have any questions or thoughts prior to submitting.

Thanks, Eric

Spreadsheet here.

2/10/2015 10:30 update: AAD Eric Roedl fails to talk students into paying more

The committee can’t agree, so the default recommendation of $0 goes to the ASUO Senate, for a Feb 24. vote. That’s a $1.6M cut from last year. Rob Mullens has two weeks to raise the money from donors, twist enough arms in the student senate to get a bailout, or convince Scott Coltrane to stick to the threat of a cut in tickets if the students don’t pay up.

The compromise plan should be to switch to a voluntary athletics fee. Roedl hates that idea because he wants to hide the true cost of “free” tickets from the students.

8:00 AM Tuesday, Now, in the EMU Rouge River room.

Lubash is giving Roedl a brutal beating. Roedel is trying to cram down a mandatory student fee increase, the day after the AD announced it had the funds to give $2M in raises to the coach and athletic director.


My guess is Roedl bails and leaves the money on the table, but who knows? Students will have to play hardball, and he’s spewing doubt and confusion.

Student asks what would happen if they cut the IFee? Roedl won’t say.

Lubash: You say you can raise money to pay for coach’s raises. Why not go out to you donors and ask for money to pay for cuts in student ticket prices.

Hansen: Notes that the AD estimate for ticket values assumes demand curves don’t slope down. Ben assigns failing grade.

Schlegel: Never a campaign among donors to get donations for student tickets? Roedl: Not to my knowledge.

I gotta go, sorry no more live-blog.

3:30 PM update: UO Board approves fat raises for Helfrich, Mullens. Ducks want more student cash.

Diane Dietz has the story, here.

It’s tough listening to Coltrane push this on the Board: “The cost of these contracts is borne entirely by athletics”. Sure, if you ignore the millions in hidden subsidies from student tuition money.

The brown-nosing at this meeting is pretty deep. The trustees did have some tough questions about the Falling Sky contract to sell beer to the students at the new EMU though.

2/9/2015 update: That’s what’s happening today, in 15 minutes, at the Board’s EAC meeting. Angela Wilhems is still hiding the contracts, but it looks like Mullens will get a $250k raise to $700K, while Helfrich will go from $1.5M (if I remember right) to ~$3.5M. Plus a plethora of bonuses, of course.

Well this certainly explains why Mullens has been trying to get more money out of the UO students. More on that below and here.

2/9/2015: With Matt Court attendance < 50%, Mullens wants to raise student fee

According to this new report from the OC Register’s Ryan Kartje, Oregon’s basketball attendance is down 24% from last year. Word is the student section was half empty tonight.

But apparently that’s not going to keep Duck Athletic Director Rob Mullens and his AAD Eric Roedl from trying to raise the mandatory fee they charge UO students for tickets. Kaylee Tornay has the report in the Daily Emerald, here:

The Feb. 6 budget hearing between the athletics department and the Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee, which determine annually the amount and price for student ticket distribution for football and men’s basketball games, led to yet another stalemate in reaching an agreement. The ACFC approved a proposal of an 18.9 percent decrease to the Athletics Department’s current ASUO budget. Later, this decision was overturned due to faulty voting processes, according to ACFC Chair Andrew Lubash.

The budget hearing was the second held this year to work out how much it will cost students next year, regardless of whether they attend athletic events or not, to receive the same amount of tickets to athletic events that they received in the 2014-2015 school year. Students pay for 5,448 tickets per regular season football game and 1,854 per basketball game. These are distributed via a lottery system (when you log onto goducks.com and watch the O spin for an hour hoping to get a ticket) that is funded by a percentage of the Incidental Fee, which each student pays every enrolled term.

This year the student body as a whole paid the Athletics Department $1,695,348 for the ticket lotteries for football and men’s basketball. The Athletics Department opened negotiations this fall requesting a 10 percent increase to provide the same amount of tickets for the 2015-2016 year. This would mean an additional $169,535 and would bring next year’s total to $1,864,883.

The ACFC met with Athletics on Jan. 16 and negotiated the request to a possible 3 percent increase rather than 10 percent. That would mean students would pay $50,860 more than they did this year. However, no official agreement was reached, and the ACFC discussed the athletics budget again in a meeting on Jan. 30. Ronnie Grenier-Hemphill, the chief liaison between the Athletics Department and ACFC, informed the Committee that Eric Roedl, Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director of Finance, had brought up the possibility of having to cut the amount of tickets, if anything less than the 3 percent increase were approved.

The Emerald followed up with Roedl on the matter and he delivered the following comment:

“Maybe we’d adjust the ticket allotment in some ways to more accurately reflect the value and the money that’s being transacted…we’d continue to have dialogue to find something that works for everybody.” Roedl said.

Funny, I don’t remember anything about falling attendance in Roedl’s powerpoint, when he was hitting up the students for a 10% increase.

If the students do pay this, where will the money go? To people like AD for Finance Eric Roedl, who’s already managed to scrape up the funds to give himself a $42K raise, to $212K, in just two years:


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Continue reading

Knight, Kilkenny and Lillis sit on their PAC money – while students, presidents, and Duck beg for state support.

The RG has a story on today’s higher education lobby day at the state capital, here:

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Meanwhile, the UO boosters who collected $450K in big donations for a PAC to persuade Kitzhaber and the Legislature to give UO an independent board managed to get their way without spending a dime. So they are now using that money to lobby for state funding for UO, right?

No. Why not? A cynic would say it might be because more state support would weaken their control over UO:

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State HECC to examine whether UO Board is transparent and accountable?

6/23/2015 update:

Oregon Law says:


      352.025 Legislative findings. (1) The Legislative Assembly finds that the State of Oregon will benefit from having public universities with governing boards that:

(a) Provide transparency, public accountability and support for the university.
(b) Are close to and closely focused on the individual university.
(c) Do not negatively impact public universities that do not have governing boards.
(d) Lead to greater access and affordability for Oregon residents and do not disadvantage Oregon students relative to out-of-state students.
(e) Act in the best interests of both the university and the State of Oregon as a whole.
(f) Promote the academic success of students in support of the mission of all education beyond high school as described in ORS 351.009.
(2) The Legislative Assembly also finds that:
(a) Even with universities with governing boards, there are economy-of-scale benefits to having a coordinated university system.
(b) Even with universities with governing boards, shared services may continue to be shared among universities.
(c) Legal title to all real property, whether acquired before or after the creation of a governing board, through state funding, revenue bonds or philanthropy, shall be taken and held in the name of the State of Oregon, acting by and through the governing board.
(d) The Legislative Assembly has a responsibility to monitor the success of governing boards at fulfilling their missions, their compacts and the principles stated in this section. [2013 c.768 §1]

The Legislature has passed that responsibility to the HECC. Executive Director Ben Cannon’s proposal for this is here, well worth reading it all:

Workgroup recommendations will be advisory to the Executive Director. HECC staff will make a
final recommendation to the Commission for an evaluation framework in summer, 2015. The
Commission-adopted framework will be employed in Fall 2015 for evaluations of the three
institutions whose boards assumed governance responsibility July 1, 2014 (UO, OSU, and PSU). All
seven public institutions will be evaluated annually using the framework starting in Fall 2016.

The work group will convene January 2015 – June 2015 and will use the following legislative
guidance to frame its work and outcomes:

ORS 352.061(2) stipulates that the HECC’s evaluations of universities must include:
 A report on the university’s achievement of outcomes, measures of progress, goals and
targets as described in the university’s achievement compact with the Oregon Education
Investment Board;
 An assessment of the university’s progress toward achieving the mission of all education
beyond high school as described in ORS 351.009 (the 40-40-20 goal); and
 An assessment as to how well the establishment of a governing board at the university
comports with the findings set forth in ORS 352.025.

ORS 352.061(2)(c) also requires that the HECC assess university governing boards against the
findings set forth in ORS 352.025, including that governing boards:

 Provide transparency, public accountability and support for the university.
 Are close to and closely focused on the individual university.
 Do not negatively impact public universities that do not have governing boards.
 Lead to greater access and affordability for Oregon residents and do not disadvantage
Oregon students relative to out-of-state students.
 Act in the best interests of both the university and the State of Oregon as a whole.
 Promote the academic success of students in support of the mission of all education beyond
high school as described in ORS 351.009 (the 40-40-20 goal).
ORS 352.025 notes four additional Legislative findings:
 Even with universities with governing boards, there are economy-of-scale benefits to having
a coordinated university system.
 Even with universities with governing boards, shared services may continue to be shared
among universities.
 Legal title to all real property, whether acquired before or after the creation of a governing
board, through state funding, revenue bonds or philanthropy, shall be taken and held in the
name of the State of Oregon, acting by and through the governing board.
 The Legislative Assembly has a responsibility to monitor the success of governing boards at
fulfilling their missions, their compacts and the principles stated in this section.

The HECC has now released its workplan, here:

10.0 a. University Evaluation Staff Summary
10.0 b. University Evaluation  and Academic Quality Framework
11.0 Informational Series: Workforce Training Programs in Oregon