UO Board of Trustees committee meetings March 3, with live-blog.

Diane Dietz is here, so expect some good RG reporting. I’ll blog what I can.

9AM: Finance and Facilities Committee — March 3, 2016 [Materials]

1PM: Academic and Student Affairs Committee — March 3, 2016 [Materials] (Page way down).

Tomorrow: Meeting of the Board — March 4, 2016 [Materials]


Convene – Call to order and roll call – Approval of December 2015 FFC minutes (Action) – Public comment  

No public comments –

1. Quarterly Treasury Report, Director of Treasury Operations Karen Levear

All is well, no questions.

2. Bond Issuance Authorization, Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO Jamie Moffitt and Director of Treasury Operations Karen Levear

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Ms Lavear is great. Asserts economists don’t know what will happen to rates – true enough! $50M 30 year debt, to pay for …

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Well, honestly this is a little vague, but sounds very plausible. I woder how much will go to the Jocks?

If you want more info on UO’s basic financial position, check out the report from AAUP forensic accountant Howard Bunsis, here. Plenty of water in the well, given the years of drought.

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3. Quarterly Financial Report and Update on State Budget Workgroup, Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO Jamie Moffitt

Jamie gives her usual presentation: We’re “run-rate even” but face future challenges from increasing wages to the faculty peons and PERS.

Again Bunsis has much more interesting info, here. The faculty union has had Bunsis out a few times to explain the UO budget – maybe the board should invite him next time. Bunsis:

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Kurt Wilcox asks where the $20M in reserves spent last year went. Moffitt says to recognize increased future PERS liabilities, and to labor and benefit costs.

And here’s a Bunsis graph that you will never see the UO administration put up in a meeting:

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4. Framework Vision Project Overview and Capital Planning Update, Consultant Robert Sabbatini AICP FASLA and Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO Jamie Moffitt

Lots of consultants, pretty presentation, totally illegible even on the screens.

Current UO land could support $34K students. (Undergrads? PhD students with associated labs?)

Here’s the meat – a new classroom/office building, and a new science lab building:

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Plus a lot of parking garages. Sabbatini has a plan for removing Collier House. Yippee!

The faculty member on the board, Susan Gary, who is always careful to explain that she doesn’t really speak as a faculty member, goes off for a while on the fact that Sabbatini hadn’t looked at how expansion would impact the local neighborhood, by increasing the number of student who “frolic” at night, and drive down property values. Is she speaking as a property owner?

1:00PM Academic and Student Affairs Committee. Materials here.

Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon Academic and Student Affairs Committee   Public Meeting 1:00 pm – March 3, 2016 Ford Alumni Center, Giustina Ballroom    Convene – Call to order and roll call –

Introductory comments and agenda review –

Approval of December 2015 ASAC minutes (Action)   – Public comment

1. Update on Vice President for Research and Dean Searches, Provost and Senior Vice President Scott Coltrane

Links here.

Vice President for Research and Innovation – Finalists campus visit schedule and information

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Dean of the Lundquist College of Business

Dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts

Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication

Coltrane says the usual things. Using search firms, talks, lots of Dean finalists will be out in early April

2. Program Development and Approval (Action), Provost and Senior Vice President Scott Coltrane and Assistant Vice Provost Ron Bramhall

– Approval for New Master’s Degree in Sports Product Design  

Ron Bramhall makes the pitch. Details here.

Allyn Ford asks what we’re going to trim to pay for this. What a great question. Read more on the dubious funding and Lillis’s past public statements here. Coltrane evades.

Ann Curry follows up about how this will be funded. Chuck Lillis doesn’t look like he likes this question. Coltrane evades.

– Approval for New Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Arts Management

The Arts Management major is controversial given VPAA Blandy’s use of online AAD 250-252 courses to take gen ed credits away from CAS humanities and finance AAA. These generally online courses have no proctored exams and give as many as 2/3 of their students A’s:

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Read more about Blandy’s $1M student credit hour heist here:

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He’s gotten even bolder:

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Isn’t this the sort of thing that Trustee Susan Gary (Law) should be paying attention too?

She’s not. no questions from Gary, everything passes unanimously. Maybe she’s worried people might start asking about law’s $10M deal.

3. Resource Alignment Initiative, President Michael Schill, Provost and Senior Vice President Scott Coltrane, and Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Andrew Marcus

Schill: Every unit is being asked to make a 2% cut, to contribute to our larger academic strategic objectives. 3% next year.

Does “every unit” include athletics? Make Rob Mullens start paying the $2.4M Jock Box costs? Of course not. Perhaps one of the trustees will ask? Of course not.

Coltrane: We’re using the savings to grow the tenure track faculty. Some CoE hires, some cluster hire offers going out.

Marcus does a very good job with the nuts and bolts, sorry I’ve heard this before and won’t blog much.

He also gives a very nice shout-out to the faculty union. Careful to say they don’t endorse this, but credits them with helping him mitigate the impact – at least to some extent.

Then puts up this figure:

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Which is useful, but note that the base for NTTF is about 100 – so all that green growth is not very much in numbers. But check this:

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Marcus’s predecessors spent all the science start up money on other things. Like the $2.4M a year for the Jock Box. Or the $467,538 a year the academic side is still paying Rob Mullens for the right to use Mac Court for academic purposes:

Painful cuts. If Coltrane had had the guts to make tough choices as CAS Dean, Marcus would have been in much better place.

Notes that CAS has actually authorized 13 new career-track NTTF hires.

Curry: Why the 2012 drop in credit hours per students in Humanities?

Marcus: Children of the recession – all wanted to go to business school.

Curry: What about UO taking core classes at other universities to save money?

Marcus: We’ve heard that, don’t have good data yet.

Coltrane: We’re trying to figure this out. Students are *not* taking enough UO credits. [Sorry, *not* was missing in original.]

Curry: Could it be cost per credit?

Schill nods.

Lillis: “There’s an issue with tenure protecting some non-productive faculty”.

Schill: As a tenured professor, let me answer that. I’m a defender of tenure. Important for academic freedom. Bedrock of the universities ability to encourage faculty to ask unpopular questions. Protects faculty from retaliation.

Schill goes on: “Faculty do this job, often at financial cost, because they love it.”

Lillis: “I agree with everything Mike said.”

Schill asks Coltrane to explain the evaluation / promotion / referee incentives UO uses.

Rudy Chapas: It’s easy to see how hard these cuts have been for Marcus – you can see it on his face. The board knows this was necessary and thanks you.

Curry: Pretty clear that business, journalism, maybe AAA have a strong student advising system. I understand that is not true of the 40+ CAS departments. Is this fixable?

[Me: I went through 5 or so majors. Very bad advising. Not that I would have listened. I learned a lot dropping courses. Students try things, change their minds, try something new, it’s great.]

Coltrane: We got some state money for improving advising, Lisa Freinkel is in charge.

Susan Gary (Law) goes back to the tenure thing, says something about push for stronger tenure standards from Coltrane? Hard to hear her, sorry.

Paustian: Back to advising, problem with students filling up courses they don’t really need.

Kurt Wilcox: Steps in and does Susan Gary’s job for her. Not advocating for the faculty, but explaining to the trustees that there are legitimate questions about how the realignment is being handled in terms of timing, course coverage. Does Gary not know this? Is she afraid to explain it? Probably a bit of both.

Ginevra Ralph: Would like to hear more about the history of the budget model. Can we have a tutoring session on that? [She should talk to former CA Joe Stone or former CAS finance dean Marianne Nicols].

4. University Libraries, Dean of Libraries Adriene Lim Meeting Adjourns Following adjournment, trustees will do a site visit of the Knight Library with Dean of Libraries Adriene Lim.

Reads from slides. Come on.

Very proud of the university archives: Le Guin, Kesey, that zip drive she told Doug Park that Harbaugh had stolen, …

Banner year for fundraising. First unit to reach our $36M target. Still need science library etc.

Does a good job answering questions.

Meeting adjourns for a visit to the library.

Board holds emergency session, gives jocks what they want when they want it

2/18/2016: There are some good people on the UO board. You know they’re hoping the day will come when they can announce they’ve done something important for UO’s academic side. But that day is not today. Today Diane Dietz has yet another story on the effort and expense that UO’s leaders are willing to lavish on the jocks, here.

2/14/2016: What would Scalia say about using eminent domain for IAAF championships?

The UO Board of Trustees will attempt to use eminent domain to condemn a cell phone tower that’s in the way of the plan to tart-up Hayward Field for the 2021 IAAF Championships. They’ve called an emergency meeting for February 18th: http://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/meeting_agenda_and_materials_021816_updated.pdf

“The UO is at a point in time where further delay would cause significant delay in the overarching project, the completion of which is currently timed for events next spring critical to the local economy.”

Whereas, the University of Oregon (“University”) desires to expand certain campus facilities, including Hayward Field, to improve the University’s ability to provide educational and athletic opportunities for its students; to support the University’s ability to host significant state, national, and international events that promote the University and it students; to bring economic opportunities and benefits to the community and the State of Oregon; and to enhance spectating and training (“Project”); …

NOW, THEREFORE, the Board hereby:

1. RESOLVES that acquiring SBA 2012 TC Assets, LLC’s (“SBA”), its subtenants’, and any other parties’ interests in a lease of real property located at the southwest corner of Hayward Field is necessary and required to complete the Project.  The particular interests that are necessary to the Project, and that the University will acquire, are specifically described in the attached Exhibit A (“Property”), which is incorporated herein by reference as if fully set forth herein;

2. FURTHER RESOLVES that the Project is necessary for the public interest, and has been planned, designed, located and will be constructed in a manner that will be the most compatible with the greatest public good and the least injury to private parties; …

Paul Weinhold’s UO Foundation will, of course, pay for the expenses associated with the latest athletic distraction from UO’s academic mission:

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It appears UO had already proposed substantial concessions – I wonder if the foundation was going to cover those too, and out of which pot of money?:

Ground lease amendment and construction agreement are still not executed.   An amendment to the existing ground lease is needed to reflect the new location and any modified terms agreed upon as a result of this relocation.  Also needed is a construction agreement for the new site.  Thus, the university engaged SBA’s counsel in mid‐October to accomplish both.   Early on, the UO agreed to amend the lease to include the following provisions, which are favorable to SBA: The new tower would be taller and larger (approximately 160 feet tall and 5 feet in diameter), not only to adjust for differences in elevation and clearance at the new site, but also to accommodate an additional tenant provider; the lease would be extended for 10 additional years; and, SBA would receive a 50% reduction in rent for five years if the current tower is vacated by August 1, 2016.

Two of the four emergency or unscheduled meetings of the UO Board or committees have revolved around sports:

August 2014: Buy out Mike Gottfredson: http://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/minutes_bot_aug2014_approved.pdf

February 2015: Give emergency raises to Athletic Director Rob Mullens and Football Coach Mark Helfrich: http://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/eacagendameetingmaterial_020515.pdf

April 2015: Appoint Michael Schill as President: http://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/minutes_-_bot_-_april2015_-_final.pdf

One extra year of college costs students more than a 100% tuition increase

Updated with a letter in the ODE from a variety of student groups raising questions about the administration’s seriousness in consulting them about the tuition increases, here:

University of Oregon campus community,

On Jan. 4, a new term began for most students at the UO, and with that began another round of weekly talks about tuition with the Tuition & Fees Advisory Board. This board is comprised primarily of administrators and faculty, with two students appointed by students and two students appointed by the administration. At the start of the term, guaranteed tuition was off the table for 2016-2017, and administrators presented an increase of 4.7 percent for in-state students and 4.46 percent for out-of-state students. Over the course of the year, if a student were to take an average of 15 credits per term — the required amount for graduation in four years — than this would amount to an increase of about $484 for in-state students and $1,428 for out-of state students per year. Factor in the duration of loan payment and interest rates, and students will be paying this increase back for many years to come.

The student representatives, including the ASUO President Helena Schlegel, opposed this increase and looked forward to negotiating ways to adjust the budget in order to reduce the proposed tuition and fee increases. During the week of Jan. 25, the student participants left the meeting a few minutes early in order to make it to class. The rest of the group came to a consensus about the 4.7 percent increase after the student representatives left.

Both student-nominated representatives were informed on Monday, Feb. 1 that this decision had been made, as well as that all remaining TFAB meetings for the year would be canceled as they were no longer deemed necessary. …

2/7/2016: In response to popular demand I’m posting some info about the tuition increase debate.

The feds make UO post this cost of attendance information:

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But these numbers ignore the biggest component of college costs: the wages students give up by not working. Even for the lowest earning group of college majors – Humanities – the median starting salary was $36,237 last year, according to the NACE:

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So when a student takes 5 instead of 4 years to graduate, it costs them more than would a 100% increase in UO’s out-of-state tuition, or a 300% increase in in-state tuition.

This is the argument Mike Schill made to the Eugene City Club on Friday: let’s make UO cheaper by getting students graduated more quickly, rather than fighting over a 4.7% tuition increase. KVAL has video, here:

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Last year UO’s students shut down the Trustees meeting with a demonstration over tuition increases. Lillis and Coltrane looked like deer in the headlights. But this year we’ve got a President who is talking sense.

Will the students listen, or demonstrate and shut down the March 3-4 Trustee’s meeting too? Here’s the Daily Emerald’s report, more here. It turns out our students are talking sense too:

Schlegel demanded “The Three Asks,” including a 3.5 percent tuition increase for both resident and non-resident students, University’s support for the corporate tax measure and funding for the Oregon Opportunity Grant.

The “corporate tax measure” is the Better Oregon ballot initiative for a 2.5% tax on corporate sales, which would apparently increase state tax revenue by 25%. The legislature is considering a watered down version, which would still lead to significant increases in state revenue and the likelihood of more state higher education funding.

So surely this legislation is a priority for the UO Board of Trustees? Nope, not even on their list. The only tax increase that UO’s Board of Trustees want is a 1 percentage point increase in the hotel tax, to subsidize a track meet:

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So it should be an interesting Board meeting.

Dec 3 UO Board meeting live-blog

Some highlights so far:

UO has a lobbying effort underway to support Track Town’s efforts to get ~$30M in state money for the scandal-ridden 2021 IAAF track championships. To put this in perspective, UO gets about $60M a year from the state for academics. The claim is made that this $30M will not dilute efforts to increase state funding for UO’s academic efforts. I don’t believe it.

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The NYT is now on the IAAF corruption problems, with a long story here:

In that same vein, the I.A.A.F. ethics committee revealed on Monday that Isaiah Kiplagat, the president of Athletics Kenya, had been accused of receiving two motor vehicles as a gift from the Qatar Association of Athletics Federation in 2014 and 2015. David Okeyo, vice president of Athletics Kenya and an I.A.A.F. Council member, and Joseph Kinyua, the former treasurer of Athletics Kenya and Kenya’s team leader at the 2015 world championships in Beijing, were also suspended.

Doha, Qatar, successfully bid for the 2019 world track and field championships in November 2014. The I.A.A.F. ethics committee statement, which made no correlation between the alleged gift and the 2019 bidding process, did not make clear whether the vehicles in question had been given to Kiplagat personally or to the Kenyan federation.

… It also would have been more convincing if Sebastian Coe, the new president of the I.A.A.F., had decided to end his long-term paid association with Nike before public pressure turned into an outcry. But at least Coe finally acted last week to announce the end an apparent conflict of interest that was apparent to everyone but him.

… There is also the issue of the 2021 World Championships, awarded to Eugene, Ore., without formal bidding in April, with Diack the driving force behind the unusual approach.

There were strong arguments for Eugene, a rare track hotbed in the United States, which has never staged a world outdoor championships despite being the sport’s leading nation. Eugene had lost to Doha in the bidding for 2019.

But with Diack’s credibility at an all-time low and with Nike headquarters in nearby Beaverton, Ore., the I.A.A.F. and the bidding committee are, at best, in another awkward position, even if TrackTown officials in Eugene have said that Nike played no formal role in the process and that the bid adhered to all legal and ethical norms.

12/3/2015: For the Dec 2 committee meetings, go here, Diane Dietz has a story here, focusing on the rape prevention discussion.

The RG’s Diane Dietz has a good prequel, here:

A proposal to offer students guaranteed tuition for four years, a plan for upgrading residence halls and a roundtable discussion on race relations are on the agenda when the University of Oregon Board of Trustees meets Wednesday and Thursday in Eugene.

… The UO appears to be ready to meet its pledge to build or extensively renovate three residence halls before the 2021 World Championship track event comes to campus.

… In the wake of campus protests — and concerted efforts to hash out solutions — the UO Board will sit down Thursday with students, invited by UO President Michael Schill, to share their experiences at the UO and talk about current issues.

The UO Board is coming under increased pressure from the HECC, as explained here. Presumably there will be some amendments to SB 270 in the 2017 session to try and get more transparency and make the boards more responsive.

Live Blog disclaimer: My thoughts on what I think people said, meant, should have said, or should have meant. Noting is a quote unless in quotes.

Meeting of the Board — December 3, 2015 [Materials]

8:00 am (other times approximate) – Convene Public Meeting

1. Roundtable Discussions with Students on Race‐Related Issues (Bean, East Conference Room). President Schill has invited a group of students, in coordination from staff in CMAE, to participate in small group conversations about their experiences at the UO and current issues and events.

Reports from the Trustees are that these conversations went well and were informative for the board.

Trustee Allyn Ford gives thanks to UO and particularly Andre LeDuc  for their support in the aftermath of the Umpqua CC shooting, which he thinks should serve as a model for pooling state resources in other disaster situation.

3. Public Comment: Those wishing to provide comment must sign up advance and review the public comment guidelines either online (http://trustees.uoregon.edu/meetings) or at the check‐in table at the meeting.

James West (student) gives a cogent explanation of the financial risks to the university of the guaranteed tuition plan. Also concerned about the initial jump in tuition required by the plan, which he pegs at 10-15%, and thinks will discourage enrollment.

Shawn Stevenson (student). I’m guessing Shawn is an econ major given how logical his presentation is.  He is on the TFAB committee and doesn’t see how the numbers pencil out. He explains the particular disadvantage this creates for students coming in with AP credits. Also the notch effect, and how it will mean that the incentive for 4 year graduation is smaller than expected. Argues that this plan is all show, when what UO really needs is a board working on the substantive problems. Lillis asks Moffitt if she is really having good communication with the students, given the informed opposition the students are providing. Moffitt says yes. Stevenson argues for waiting, and making it voluntary.

Why is the board pushing this? Partly because Roger Thompson thinks it will be a good marketing gimmick, and partly because the Board freaked out over last year’s tuition demonstration and realizes that with the guarantee, current students will have less incentive to protest increases, since they will only fall on students who have not yet enrolled.

Joe Lowndes (Poli Sci professor, speaking for faculty union). Brief statement on how union is working for academic excellence.

Helena Schlegel (Econ student, ASUO President, and former BOT student member until she quit after Lillis cracked down on dissent.) Give the ASUO report. Concerned about tuition guarantee, ADA access, campus safety in the aftermath of UCC shootings.

Max Burns (student): Low income Oregon resident, working as Resident Assistant in dorms, on ASUO and UO Senate. Concerned about how tuition guarantee and mandatory requirement that freshmen students live in dorms (to be implemented soon). Will raise cost of UO, make us less competitive for Oregon residents in comparison to PSU, OSU. Pathway Oregon does not support transfer students, or pay for living expenses.

Scott Bartlett (alumni): He worked on the successful effort to rename Centennial after Martin Luther King. Concerned about the effort to rename Deady Hall. Doesn’t deny Deady’s racist failings, but goes through the history of all the good that he did, including writing prohibitions for race and religious discrimination into the UO charter, and his support for Chinese immigrants when doing so was a dangerous thing to do. Very effective speech, trustees listening carefully.

4.   President’s Report

Talks about efforts to hire more faculty. Four Dean searches underway plus VP for Research. Airport interviews in February, it will be a busy spring. Schill’s opportunity to rebuild UO’s academic leadership.

Affordability and access: Maybe tuition guarantee proposal for March meeting. UO has put the new legislative money into increasing access for low income Oregonians, will go back and ask for more. Oregon Commitment plan will include predictive analytics to identify struggling students, advisors to help them, money to help them complete and graduate. All ruled over by a retention czar.

Hayward Field tart-up is on schedule. Gives shout out to football team, but avoids saying “Go Ducks”.

Concerned about fraternities and sororities. Has a consulting report coming. Wants to support them while getting some control and minimizing the risks.

Campus needs diversity of all kinds, because we learn from different people and ideas. Issues facing Black students are particularly difficult, and he is engaged with the students, listening, engaged on working on solutions. (He’s pointedly calling the student’s demands “requests”). Has set up a committee to examine process for de-naming buildings and looking at Deady and Dunn. Chaired by Charise Cheney from Ethnic Studies, will include alumni. Impressed by the students he’s been meeting with.

Talks about sexual violence, watched the Hunting Ground, acknowledges UO’s problems. Mentions the climate surveys and the disturbingly high rates of non-consensual contact, rape. Particularly disturbed by the large number of students who report they don’t trust UO to deal with rape and assault. (After the Doug Park / Shelly Kerr counseling records seizure, who would?)

As the 160over90 branding effort comes to a merciful end, we’ll be trying some other ways to try and compensate for the influence of Duck athletics on people’s perception of what UO is really about.

Funding campaign moving along, but while there’s plenty more athletic pork in the pipeline, no new big gifts for the academic side to report.

Curry asks about faculty diversity. For those interested in slicing and dicing people by race and ethnicity, Coltrane points to the IR website, here: http://ir.uoregon.edu/sites/ir.uoregon.edu/files/FacultyDemographicsPublicVersion20140724.pdf

5.   Resolutions from Committee

‐‐Seconded Motion from ASAC:  Student conduct code – repeal of outdated IMD and consolidation of policies (pending December 2 committee action)

‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Repeal of SBHE policy #9 (pending December 2 committee action)

‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Approval of Bean Hall renovation project (pending December 2 committee action)

‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Naming of certain university facilities (pending December 2 committee action)

Nothing controversial. Dorm renovations are part of UO’s efforts for the 2021 Track Town proposal.  Passes unanimously.


6. Government Affairs Updates

6.1 State Affairs: AVP for State and Community Affairs Hans Bernard will provide trustees
with an update on state affairs, including an overview of the University of Oregon’s priorities
for the 2016 legislative session.

Hans Bernard is not here? New staffer Libby Batlan gives report. The news here is that UO is saying that it is pushing back against the HECC’s efforts to enforce limits on the UO Board’s power, and that UO has a lobbying effort underway to support Track Town’s efforts to get ~$30M in state money for the 2021 IAAF track championships.

To put this in perspective, UO gets about $60M a year from the state for athletics. The claim is made that this will not dilute efforts to increase state funding for UO’s academic efforts. I don’t believe it.

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6.2 Federal Affairs: AVP for Federal Affairs Betsy Boyd will provide an update on federal
government legislation and agency activities relating to higher education and the University
of Oregon.  

Betsy Boyd presents. Talks about federal support for UO and trends. Pell grant money is crucial to Pathway Oregon. Handout shows UO students got $175M in financial aid in 2013-14. $22M in Pell grant money, $30M in federal subsidized student loans, $56M in federal unsubsidized loans, $62M in graduate/professional school loans. Compare that to $7M in state aid and $40M in UO aid (includes tuition discounts, probably also athletic scholarships).

Public Meeting Recessed

12:30 pm Small Group Lunches with Faculty

Public Meeting Reconvenes

7.   Tuition guarantee concept – update, Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt and Vice President for Enrollment Management Roger Thompson

Sorry, I had to miss this.


UO Board to meet Dec 2, 3. I’ll do some live blogging.

The RG’s Diane Dietz has a good prequel, here:

A proposal to offer students guaranteed tuition for four years, a plan for upgrading residence halls and a roundtable discussion on race relations are on the agenda when the University of Oregon Board of Trustees meets Wednesday and Thursday in Eugene.

… The UO appears to be ready to meet its pledge to build or extensively renovate three residence halls before the 2021 World Championship track event comes to campus.

… In the wake of campus protests — and concerted efforts to hash out solutions — the UO Board will sit down Thursday with students, invited by UO President Michael Schill, to share their experiences at the UO and talk about current issues.

The UO Board is coming under increased pressure from the HECC, as explained here. Presumably there will be some amendments to SB 270 in the 2017 session to try and get more transparency and make the boards more responsive.

Live Blog disclaimer: My thoughts on what I think people said, meant, should have said, or should have meant. Noting is a quote unless in quotes.


Academic and Student Affairs Committee — December 2, 2015 [Materials]

December 2, 2015 9:00 am: Public Meeting Ford Alumni Center, Room 403

1. Student Conduct Code – repeal of outdated policies (Action), University Secretary Angela Wilhelms

Having seized control of these policies from the faculty under the midnight delegation of authority power-grab, the trustees now realize they don’t understand what they’ve gotten themselves into. It appears no one has read the policies, but they vote unanimously to move these repeals forward to the full board on the advice of Secretary Wilhelms.

2. Sexual Assault Prevention, Education and Awareness Updates, Vice President for Student Life Robin Holmes

Board Secretary Wilhelms and VPFA Holmes didn’t invite anyone from the Senate Committee on Gender and Sexual Based Violence to speak to the board? Not very collegial.

Robin Holmes leads with the mantra “this is a problem at every campus, not just at UO”. (Yes, but only at UO do we sue the survivor, grab her counseling records, and retaliate against the whistleblowers.)

Holmes then wisely turns things over to the sexual assault prevention staff, who do a good job explaining what UO has been doing on the prevention front.

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Frazee does a good job explaining the new “Get Explicit 101” peer program, which they tried out in the residence halls and on the athletes. “This program teaches students what a sexual assault is and how to report it.”

Get Explicit 101 will empower students to be intentional with boundaries, direct with communication, explicit with consent, and engaged as a community member to prevent sexual violence. As Ducks, we cannot simply desire that issues of sexual violence go away—we need to act intentionally and engage explicitly in prevention, which begins with understanding the context of the issue. By participating in these workshops, students contribute to the University of Oregon’s goal for a safer and healthier campus community when it comes to issues of sexual violence.

Special modules for the problematic fraternity and sorority life groups and athletes. Working with the new health class for athletes. (Hmm, is this the AD’s latest FHS 199 scam?)

Ann Curry: Link to alcohol? Frazee starts to explain the research, Holmes interrupts. Curry goes back to Frazee: What % of these assaults are really preventable? Holmes says the 1 in 5 number has not changed in 20 years. (Across campus variation)?.

Will Paustian to Eyster: Where does your research on effectiveness come from? Eyster: We work with UO’s Prevention Science Institute, since this is not rocket science. We work more with men, more so than other universities.

UO is currently trying to hire a new AVP for Sexual Violence Prevention who will presumably also replace the problematic AAEO Director Penny Daugherty.

Chuck Lillis: Are students aware of how to report? Holmes: Not as much as they should be, but reports have more than doubled since all the publicity from the basketball rape allegations.

Leeder: During orientation we have them put the reporting website and number on their phones.

Curry: What can we do about the drinking? Eyster: We’re hiring a second person to work on substance abuse prevention. [Anyone seen research showing that switching from alcohol to pot will reduce sexual assaults, as it has for traffic accidents?]

Lillis: Board should go through the assault and alcohol training, to get more informed.

Will Paustian (student member): As an incoming freshmen, the only education I received was alcohol.edu, which is a joke.

Frazee: the vendor is trying to fix it so students can’t just click through. Frazee: We have multiple points of inoculation, not just the web course. (But Get Explicit is not mandatory?)

Susan Gary speaks: I recently went through the bystander program at the law school. Very effective. Very small student turnout, we’re trying to make it required.

Holmes argues that part of the FSL problem is that the fraternities and sororities are too large to be managed, claims this is part of the reason UO is adding new fraternities and sororities. (So she’s going to then shrink the large ones. Sure she is.)

President Schill: Hard to control the frats, their houses are dry so they rent “party houses” on the side. [True, and let’s not talk about the party buses.]

Ginevra Ralph: I’d be interested to hear from a male member of your staff on how they reach out to the men. [See the comments.]

Lillis to Holmes: Is there adult supervision in the frats? (As is often the case, Holmes has no real answer).

3. Department of International Affairs – overview and discussion, Vice Provost for
International Affairs Dennis Galvan

I’ll go out on a limb and predict that Dennis is not going to be making a big announcement to the board that Gabonese President Ali Bongo has finally delivered the rest of his $15M gift to UO. The initial $5M is pretty much gone, so it’s not clear what will happen to the “Twin Edens” program.

That aside UO seems to be doing a very good job with study abroad, less so with international students, though they are working on it.

Connie Ballmer: What do I tell someone who asks me why there are so many international students at UO, when we should be educating Oregon students? Galvan: Diversity. Good for our students to learn about the rest of the world. [And, of course, we use their money to pay for Oregon students.] Talks about efforts to improve mixing between Chinese and other students.

UO is increasing efforts to recruit grad students from new Indian universities, Brazil, Indonesia.

Study abroad: All kinds of benefits for our students from a *good* study abroad program. UO is well above average for this, and also for getting funding to low income students.  About 60% of this is summer experiences, as Kurt Wilcox points out.

Galvan reports on a study showing benefits for GPA and retention from study abroad – but a few skeptical questions from the board reveal it’s bullshit study that apparently doesn’t even control for all the observables, much less deal with unobserved heterogeneity. Bummer.

Galvan is building an endowment for funds to give more scholarships for study-abroad.

Galvan explains another innovative program – exchange between UO and a historically black college in the south. Great idea.

Under Jim Bean UO was losing money on these programs, but Lorraine Davis cleaned it up and Galvan hopes to make a modest amount from them.

Galvan finishes up by mentioning the Gabon program – so did that money come through? I doubt it.

But wait, there’s more. Program to get Pell eligible students a passport, make it easier for them to travel and think about exchange. And more and more. Very interesting presentation. Committee was full engaged.

4. College & Careers Building – programmatic components, Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Andrew Marcus

Marcus is going to have a tough time convincing me that new offices for CAS administrators should really be such a high priority.

Marcus: It’s going to be a “Jaqua Center for all the students”.

OK, sorry, I’m tuning this out for a while. Marcus is very competent, I’m sure this is all well thought out.

Board seems very happy with it all.

5. Access and Opportunity Initiative, President Michael Schill and Provost Scott Coltrane

President Schill: Emphasis on low tuition is a mistake. Focus should be on scholarships for low income students and increasing completion speed and graduation rates. “Oregon Commitment”: Increase graduate rate by 20% by 2020. More details in the RG story and editorial, links here: http://uomatters.com/2015/11/rgs-diane-dietz-details-schills-oregon-commitment-plan-editors-endorse.html

Trustees very engaged, good questions.

Adjourn at 11:54.

Executive and Audit Committee — December 2, 2015 [Materials12:30 pm: Public Meeting, Ford Alumni Center, Room 403

1. Roles and responsibilities relating to financial integrity, Board Chair Chuck Lillis

The big news here is the board trying to grapple with the sudden resignation of their Chief Internal Auditor, Brenda Muirhead. More on that here:

This is really bad news for trust and transparency at UO. Muirhead was a professional with an impeccable record. Her job was to set up procedures to enhance UO’s minimal internal controls and conduct internal audits. For example, her office confirmed that UO had never done an open affirmative action compatible search for $130K VP for Collaboration Chuck Triplett. They are currently conducting a regularly scheduled audit of the athletics department, etc.

In the corporate world, the resignation of an auditor (external) is the best single predictor of internal control deficiencies, because auditors compare the revenue they earn with the reputational costs of being associated with a company with problems, and they bail when that equation becomes negative. See for example Ashbaugh-Skaife et al (2007) at https://tippie.uiowa.edu/accounting/phd/publications/collins_discovery.pdf.

A few board members ask why she left, the explanation offered by Chair Lillis is vague. The claim is made that she felt fully supported. That’s not what I’ve heard.

2. Quarterly audit report, Interim Chief Auditor Trisha Burnett

There’s a handout but apparently just for board members. Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms didn’t put it in the meeting materials. Wouldn’t want to make it too easy for people to find out what’s going on:

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 12.44.38 PM

Update: After I emailed her, Wilhelms provided an updated pdf with this and the IT audit, here: http://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/a0196579-1abe-4b68-a828-887a65927d07agenda_and_materials_-_eac_-_120215.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 1.21.51 PM

Kurt Willcox asks the due diligence question: Do audit reports normally come to the board? Wilhelms: In summary. I can make them available.

3. IT risk assessment report, Mike Cullen, Baker Tilly LLP

Also not in the online materials. Again, the handouts are only for the board members.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 12.50.33 PM

And of course the Baker Tilly consulting presentation is completely unreadable:

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 12.58.26 PM

No one on the audit committee has seen this report until now? How can they possibly do their due diligence on this?

Schill asks the obvious question: How does UO compare to comparators? Right amount of resources in the wrong areas? Not enough resources? Baker Tilly guy can’t answer this. Isn’t that his job? Why do we hire these consultants?

After and email, Board Secretary Wilhelms provides a link to a new set of materials, with these reports, here: http://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees2.uoregon.edu/files/a0196579-1abe-4b68-a828-887a65927d07agenda_and_materials_-_eac_-_120215.pdf (Page down).

Highest risk: No university policy on securing data and systems. They note the emergency IT policy, but it’s apparently not sufficient. Same with data classification policy – need procedures to implement.

Conclusion: UO is wide open to a Cylon attack. Need top leadership to create a case for change and move things forward in order to address these risks. Presumably Baker Tilly can explain that if we hire them to do another consulting report.

Lillis to Coltrane: This is part of the strategic plan? Coltrane: we expect to have a report by March.

Lillis to BT: Suppose instead of asking you about risk, we’d asked you how to match IT to our academic goals. Do you do that sort of work? BT: No. (That’s surprising.)

Finance and Facilities Committee — December 2, 2015 [Materials1:30 pm: Public Meeting Ford Alumni Center, Room 403

1. Q1 and FY15 Annual Treasury Report, Director of Treasury Operations Karen Levear

Very clear presentation. Board very into bonds. Levear is one of the few people who will break athletics out separately:

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 2.02.36 PM

Good luck getting Jamie Moffitt to do this in her report!

2. FY2015 Audited Financial Statements

Again, how can the board do its due diligence when they don’t even get these before the meeting? Wilhelms has just emailed the presentation about them, here. And after another request, she provides the audit report itself, here.

Very nice production values. Not a word about UO’s athletic budget, Jock Box subsidies, etc:

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 12.34.12 AM

2.1 Management report, Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO Jamie Moffitt, Controller Kelly Wolf

Lots of stuff about the effect of PERS on UO – not good. While people retiring now will get pretty standard pensions (60% of final salary) UO and the state are still on the hook for bloated pas pensions, e.g. Bellotti.

[I had to leave for the Senate meeting. More later.]

2.2 Independent auditors’ report, Scott Simpson – Moss Adams LLP

3. Q1 FY16 Financial Report, VPFA/CFO Jamie Moffitt

4. OUS Policy Repeal (SBHE Policy #9 – Budgeted Operations Fund Balances) (Action),
VPFA/CFO Jamie Moffitt

5. Naming of Facilities – Jane Sanders Stadium and Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall (Action),
President Michael Schill

6. Campus Housing, Vice President for Student Life Robin Holmes and Director of Housing
Michael Griffel

6.1 Housing renovation plan overview

6.2 Bean Hall renovation project (Action)

Meeting of the Board — December 3, 2015 [Materials]

8:00 am (other times approximate) – Convene Public Meeting

1. Roundtable Discussions with Students on Race‐Related Issues (Bean, East Conference Room)

President Schill has invited a group of students, in coordination from staff in CMAE, to participate in small group conversations about their experiences at the UO and current issues and events.

Public Meeting Recesses and Reconvenes in Giustina Ballroom (approximately 9:00 am)

2. Approval of Minutes from September 2015 Meeting (Action)

3. Public Comment: Those wishing to provide comment must sign up advance and review the public comment guidelines either online (http://trustees.uoregon.edu/meetings) or at the check‐in table at the meeting.

4.   President’s Report

5.   Resolutions from Committee

  ‐‐Seconded Motion from ASAC:  Student conduct code – repeal of outdated IMD and consolidation of policies (pending December 2 committee action)

  ‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Repeal of SBHE policy #9 (pending December 2 committee action)

‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Approval of Bean Hall renovation project (pending December 2 committee action)

‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Naming of certain university facilities (pending December 2 committee action)


6. Government Affairs Updates

6.1 State Affairs: AVP for State and Community Affairs Hans Bernard will provide trustees
with an update on state affairs, including an overview of the University of Oregon’s priorities
for the 2016 legislative session.

6.2 Federal Affairs: AVP for Federal Affairs Betsy Boyd will provide an update on federal
government legislation and agency activities relating to higher education and the University
of Oregon.  Public Meeting Recessed

12:30 pm Small Group Lunches with Faculty

Public Meeting Reconvenes

7.   Tuition guarantee concept – update, Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt and Vice President for Enrollment Management Roger Thompson

Legislature pushes back against Board secrecy, closed meetings, 40-40-20 goals

InsideHigherEd has the full report, here. Worth reading it all:

How transparent should a public university governing board be?

Politicians in a number of states, who often say they’re responding to concerns from constituents, have been calling for appointed or elected governing boards of their public colleges, universities and systems to be more open, particularly when it comes to public meetings.

“There seems to be little trust in the trustees today,” said Thomas Harnisch, director of state relations at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. “There are calls for governing board members to show their work and how they came up with the conclusion, instead of just showing up with their outcome.”

Suspicion of public officials is nothing new, but, in the case of board members, it’s ramping up as more and more people are concerned with hotly contested issues like college affordability and presidential compensation, says Michael Poliakoff, vice president of policy at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, an organization that is often critical of college leaders and supports board activism. “It’s a natural and somewhat tempered response to the failings of the institutions themselves,” he said. …

Most of the article is about UNC. Here at UO, our new Board has got off to a rocky start under Chair Chuck Lillis. The most serious part has been a failure, so far, to deliver on the tit-for-tat: the UO boosters got independence, in exchange for raising lots of money to substitute for declining state funding. Instead it’s been the state that has increased its funding, while too much of the donor money has gone to sports facilities such as a new $16M softball stadium complete with jumbotron.

Missteps have ranged from holding meetings when school was not in session, sudden power-grab over academic policies, last-minute distribution of dockets, decisions about presidential buyouts, hiring, and athletic raises that were apparently made before the public meetings, a big push for an irrelevant “sports product design program” in the midst of a crisis over our status as an AAU research university, and then most recently a clampdown on public dissent from other board members, and an unusual parliamentary move that extended Lillis’s own term by a year without an explicit vote. The student member of the board, Helena Schlegel, resigned on principle after that meeting. See video of her testifying at the legislature below.

Meanwhile the Faculty representative, Susan Gary (Law) who was apparently nominated by Kitzhaber on the basis of her friendship with Dave Frohnmayer, took off to Hong Kong for a year’s sabbatical last year in the middle of her term. The UO Senate voted unanimously to have an open process for recommending replacement faculty candidates to the governor, but in the chaos over the Kitzhaber resignation she slipped through with another 2 year term. Interim President Coltrane and BOT Chair Chuck Lillis recommended her reappointment without even telling the faculty.

Now the HECC and Ben Cannon have stepped up their pressure on the independent boards over transparency, and the Legislature held a hearing a few weeks ago. Docket here.

It’s clear that the boards, and the UO Board in particular, have gotten the message that there are many concerns about their performance. This is the context for the “chats” Trustee Susan Gary has tried to arrange with faculty (last I heard attendance was zero – maybe she did better the second time) and the more useful meetings between faculty and the other trustees that Angela Wilhelms has been organizing. It’s still to be seen if this is just window-dressing, or if some board members are beginning to realize that they are not going to make UO better without cooperating with the faculty, or if they’ve got the message from the HECC and Kate Brown that the State is not going to put up with a board that picks pointless fights with its faculty and students. Here’s UO Senate President Randy Sullivan’s message to the Trustees, full text on page 39-40 here:

 Lastly, many of our colleagues were deeply disappointed to hear of the resignation of student Trustee Helena Schlegel in protest from the Board of Trustees.   Many of us worked long and hard to ensure that students, faculty, and staff would have an effective voice in the governance of this public university and we are chagrined to learn that that system does not appear to be being honored.

Video of the legislative hearing here, with UO Poli Sci Prof Joe Lowndes explaining how the board has isolated itself from students and faculty:

and here’s former UO student trustee Helena Schlegel, giving a very balanced perspective explaining what’s good about independent boards in general, and areas that need to be improved, such as add a graduate/professional school student seat. She’s very professional, and only after being asked about the news reports does she explain why she resigned: a struggle to get heard, not treated equitably and listened to by some trustees, frustrated to see the board not follow its own procedures.


The RG’s Diane Dietz has a preview of the Dec 2-3 Board meetings, here:

A proposal to offer students guaranteed tuition for four years, a plan for upgrading residence halls and a roundtable discussion on race relations are on the agenda when the University of Oregon Board of Trustees meets Wednesday and Thursday in Eugene. …

Governor Kate Brown appoints new student trustee to UO board

10/26/2015: Noah McGraw has the news in the Emerald, here. The process was considerably more open than that which led to the appointment and reappointment of the faculty trustee, Susan Gary. Good for ASUO. Not sure if the legislature has confirmed this yet.

9/25/2015: UO Student Trustee Helena Schlegel resigns from Board on principle

Continue reading

Helfrich & Mullens give Lillis expensive lesson on regression to the mean

10/10/2015: Apparently unaware of a basic statistical principle, Chuck Lillis and the BOT gave Mark Helfrich and AD Ron Mullens fat new contracts in February, just after the #2 BCS outcome.

It will now cost about $15M to buy out Helfrich, although there’s a 50% discount if he doesn’t win at least six games in each of 2 consecutive seasons:

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 9.42.48 PM

Which explains why UO paid EWU and GSU $1.5M to come to campus and lose this year. Even with those two body-bag games, six wins is looking iffy for Helfrich,  Presumably a buy-out will be too embarrassing for the BOT and Mullens, so instead they’ll give him more money, to hire some smart assistant coaches.

Expect Mullens to pay for the Ducks to go to some easy low-ranked bowl game if needed to get Helfrich to six. And expect Helfrich to bring some risky recruits to campus next year – although hopefully not as risky as Dana Altman’s.

9/22/2015: Helfrich picked perfect time to hit up UO Trustees for fat contract renewal

Cousins Jim and John are the football experts, not me. But the betting markets now give Helfrich’s Ducks a 1% probability of winning the BCS championship, without the unpaid labor of Marcus Mariota:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.18.34 PM

That’s less than the probability that Donald Trump will be the next POTUS:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.56.41 PM

In February the UO Board of Trustees gave big raises to Duck AD Rob Mullens and football coach Mark Helfrich, after a second place finish in last year’s championship. Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms kept the purpose of the meeting secret until the last minute, and even left the contracts off the docket of meeting materials. The board approved them with no discussion after then Interim President Scott Coltrane enthusiastically endorsed the raises:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.42.05 PM

The contracts were made public later, and along with many perks and bonuses the Trustees basically doubled Helfrich’s base salary, which had been a mere $1.8M:

 Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.45.41 PM

Board meetings continue with Gov. Kate Brown. Sept 11 live blog

The September 10th live-blog is here. Live-video feed here. Noah McGraw’s ODE live-blog is here. Board docket is here.

Summary of the Th and Fr board meetings: 

The good: The board is obviously very happy with President Schill, as they should be. There were no sneak attacks on faculty governance (except a minor glitch with the student conduct code, which the board took off the agenda when they realized it was an issue). Governor Brown showed up and seemed very supportive of the Board and their efforts and desire to maintain independence.

The bad: The state gave UO independence because of promises that this would bring in private support for research and for teaching Oregon students. Some of that happened last year with Connie Ballmer’s gifts. But at this meeting all the news was about still more money for the Ducks: the Mariota complex, and the Hayward field tart-up (which will include some space for human phys research.) In contrast, the board had no announcements about new private money to support UO’s academic mission.

Ironically it was the state, not the board, that came through for academics, with $19M in new general fund money and the potential for more, as well as bond money to build and renovate three buildings (matched with some private gifts but with more needed to hit the targets). Three academic buildings. The state also paid for the Straub renovation and new space.

The weird: Lots of time was spent on changes to the board’s bylaws designed to keep trustees following the party line, and giving Lillis another year as Chair without having to run for chair. I don’t see any reason for either of these changes. Maybe they were just about him demonstrating he’s in control of the board and won’t tolerate dissent.


Usual live-blog disclaimer: My opinion of what people said, meant to say, should have said, or were really thinking when they were saying something else. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes, and given that Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms has stopped providing coffee to the visitors, while making us watch the trustees eat what looks from here to be a Full English, which she probably paid for with our students’ tuition money, you can expect this live-blog to be a bit more testy than usual. In other words, coffee for everyone would be a Pareto improvement, OK?

9:00 am – Meeting Re‐Convenes – Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum

8.   State Priorities in Higher Education: Governor Kate Brown
Governor Kate Brown will discuss her vision for higher education in Oregon with trustees.

This should be interesting. Here’s the video of Governor Brown delivering a promise of $30M in state funds. But it’s not for higher education, it’s a promise to the notoriously corrupt IAAF, for a track meet:

The Diane Dietz story in the RG is here. UO is still refusing to release the public records. What happens in Doha stays in Doha? I doubt it. The Manchester Guardian report on how Eugene won the 2021 bid is here. More from the Guardian on new IAAF Chairman Sebastian Coe’s ethical issues here.

It’s silly to think the records on this can be kept hidden for long. Thanks to an anonymous professor for forwarding this standard public relations advice:

1) Acknowledge the problem (i.e. admit fault)
2) Appoint CEO as the spokesperson
3) Over-correct.

Governor Brown: Praises UO’s Pathways Oregon program for low income Oregon students. Add-on to Pell grants that covers full tuition, but not living costs. Happy to have ended a long period of state disinvestment. 19% year over year increase UO, and an expansion in the Oregon Opportunity Grant. Also invested in UO’s path to research excellence. Pleased with collaboration between UO and TRUs.

Brown and Lillis have some well scripted Q&A:

On UO’s opportunities and challenges: Lillis: Members have little higher-ed experience, steep learning curve. Everyone was suspicious of our motives.

Brown: Could HECC help? Lillis: We want to stay independent. HECC is a balancing act, if their role is to facilitate cooperation, good. But we don’t want any regulation.

Brown: HECC coordinates, boards govern.

Susan Gary: Decision was made to put faculty on the board (her) and I think this has been helpful. [Gary was picked by her law school colleague Margie Paris, not by the faculty. She has limited support, has kept faculty out of the loop, left for sabbatical in the middle of her term as trustee, and the UO Senate has already voted, unanimously, for a process make sure the next faculty appointment is done transparently and with full faculty participation.]

Ralph: What does student success mean, given wide variation in student ability. Brown: I also am concerned about this, uses her son as an example. Didn’t finish college, works for FS. Student need different sorts of education.

Schill: Thank you for the state’s support for UO. When I was deciding to take this job, some people told me they didn’t think Oregon wanted a world class university. All the people in this room want this. What are your aspirations for UO? Brown: Yes, look forward to partnering with you. Oregon needs you.

Kurt Willcox: When boards were created people worried if we would stay public. Heartened state has provided more funding, but it’s still a small percentage. Do you have plans to increase public funding? Brown: I’m concerned about access for Oregon students. Wants to provide more support, will work with business and the labor community to increase taxes.

Lillis: Do you have any suggestions for us as a new board? Brown: Help kids from Coos Bay get a good education and then go back to Coos Bay to help it thrive. Do a better job training k-12 teachers. [Needless to say, this is not what a top-tier research institution wants to hear].

Peter Bragdon: What do the 5 year trends in reinvestment look like? Brown: I wish I were an economist. Good blue-collar jobs are gone, we need to invest in higher-ed (and community colleges). Need to make it affordable. On revenue, things look stable – for now.

Curry: What do you see as Oregon’s growth industries? Brown: We want to “grow our own”, so to speak. Help existing Oregon business. Can we steal business from other states? More sports retail businesses – tells trustees to read “Men of Oregon”. Schill: I’ve got 5 copies. Brown: Advanced manufacturing, e.g. Precision Castparts.

Lillis: What do you think about Oregon’s pathetic HS graduation rate? Brown: We’re putting money into this, e.g. full-day kindergarten.

Brown: How can the state best support you? Keep up conversation.

Break for photo-op.

9.   Resolutions from Committee
9.1 Executive and Audit Committee Referrals
‐‐Referrals:  Internal board policies (2) (pending September 10 committee action)

Lillis: Do we have the revised text? Wilhelm: We emailed it.

[These revisions are basically an effort to slap down Ginevra Ralph, Ann Curry, Kurt Wilcox, Helena Schlegel, (and the faculty trustee, if we ever get a good one) in line. It seems pretty petty.]

Board approves these changes.

Second resolution is to allow Lillis to be chair for another year without an election.

If I read the current bylaws correctly the board should have an election for chair at this meeting. Instead, they are going to vote for a change in the bylaws that would automatically give Chuck Lillis, the current chair, another year in office. Normally a change in terms would take effect after the current office holder’s term expires, but I don’t see any such qualifier here:

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.28.02 PM

Pretty tough to vote against this with Lillis calling the vote and looking people in the eye, and it’s predictably unanimous.

9.2 Academic and Student Affairs Committee Seconded Motions
‐‐Seconded Motion:  Policy repeal and technical conduct code amendment (pending September 10
committee action)

Faculty Trustee Susan Gary provided no advance warning of this motion, which had not gone through normal University processes nor been shared with relevant faculty. John Bonine (Law) managed to persuade the board to drop it until he and the Senate Executive have a chance to review it.

9.3 Finance and Facilities Committee Report and Seconded Motions
‐‐ Seconded Motion:  AY15‐16 budget (pending September 10 committee action)
‐‐ Seconded Motions: Capital project agreements (2) (pending September 10 committee action)
‐‐ Seconded Motion: Academic building capital projects (pending September 10 committee action)
‐‐ Seconded Motion:  Earlier student input in tuition process (pending September 10 committee action)

Wilcox: Process questions – given accelerated schedule, members don’t have time to digest committee reports before voting. We get them by email, at night and then vote in the AM. This is not a good process.

Curry: Agrees, suggests committee chairs should report before full board votes.

Schlegel: Are you sure the Mariota plan will have no impact on the academic budget?

Moffitt: Athletics will be responsible for operating costs. That won’t affect the general fund, because they are self-supported. [Sure they are Jamie. You know better than this. See here for overhead. And this is exactly how we got screwed on the Jock Box budget. And the pressure on the athletics budget means it will be even longer – as in never – before the Ducks start paying something back to UO.]

Board approves motions, with no serious informed debate in either committee or by the full board. Amazing.

10.  Sponsored Activities Presentation and Discussion
Vice President for Research and Innovation Brad Shelton, AVP for Research and Innovation Cass
Moseley, and Professor Karen Guillemin will engage trustees in a high level discussion about
sponsored research at the UO.

Page 131 of docket, here.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 10.30.51 AM

Shelton: Our federal support is roughly in line with total federal support, lagged a bit. Federal support is crucial to staying in the AAU. Sorry, but sports product design research money from industry is not going to help us stay in the AAU.

Lillis: Isn’t industry money as good as federal money? Shelton: No. Not peer reviewed, not basic research, not aimed at the public good.

Still gotta update this one – the Duck budget is now ~$105M:

Shelton: Basic research is very expensive. For space, we’ve already outgrown the LISB that Lorry Lokey paid for a few years ago. Equipment is expensive. We cobble the money together from various sources including philanthropy. We need a new DNA sequencer – $750K.

Lillis: Is it true that even federal grant money needs private support? Shelton: Yes. We always lose money on research.

Research is very competitive. Funding is flat, number of submitted proposal is soaring, UO success rates are relatively good:

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 10.47.51 AM

Curry and Ralph: If research always loses money, where do we make it up? Shelton: E&G fund, usually.

Shelton: Explains F&A/ICC basics. UO’s is now just 45%, we are (still) trying to negotiate it higher. Why so low? We don’t have enough private research support.

Brad is doing a good job explaining the nuts and bolts of research to the trustees. Really getting into the weeds, which is good. Sorry I’m not blogging it all.

Susan Gary speaks. [You know, if we’re trying to emphasize research, maybe we should have a faculty member on the board who is a PI, instead of a law school prof?]

Board adjourns, followed by exec session.

Lillis gives Kurt Wilcox the floor, since as an SEIU member he’ll be out of the exec meeting.

Wilcox: Glad there’s been a settlement, it’s a good one, expects members will support it. Calls for the board to try and make a new beginning with the classified staff, who are dedicated to the university and the students. However they feel the institution does not respect them, and this feeling is reinforced every two years when the administration’s bargaining teams start with aggressive takeaways. Not hard bargaining, it’s disrespect, as Dorothy Attneave explained so well yesterday.

12:15 pm – Executive Session

11. Update on current collective bargaining
This session is closed to the public and the media pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(d) and 192.660(4).
Lunch will be provided for trustees and required participants.

Meeting Adjourned

UO Board and committee meetings live-blog, Sept 10th

This is a work in progress. If you see anything interesting in the meeting material please post a comment. Live-blog for Sept 11th here.

Also see Reporter Noah McGraw’s post on the upcoming meetings in the Daily Emerald, here, and check his live-blog here.

Great news! The trustees are now live-streaming their meetings, here. Now if Kevin Reed will just fix the public records office, I can finally end this damn blog. 

Highlights from Sept 10th:

As of 10:30, not much. The Exec committee agreed to tone down their counter-attack on free-speech on cheerleaders.

Slusher talks about Mariota center. Board tries to connect this to research, Slusher doesn’t bite – it’s about applying existing knowledge to winning games.

No serious questions about Hayward field tart-up.

OUS settles with SEIU, and Moffitt presents budget for 2015-16. Turns out she did have the money for faculty raises after all. What a surprise. She’s worried about 2016-17. What a surprise.

1:00PM, full board meeting. They’ve rearranged the room so as to keep the unwashed as far back as possible.

In public comments, students not excited about tuition guarantee idea.

More on how to deal with HECC, faculty hiring plans at bottom.

Page down for schedule and live-blog.

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Board to slap down Ginevra Ralph over cheerleader comments, Don Kahle proposes spinning off Ducks as taxable LLC

RG columnist Don Kahle is no economist, so he usually makes sense. Here’s his modest proposal on what to do about UO’s Duck problem – spin them off as an entertainment LLC.

We trust unfettered economics to produce outcomes that are optimized. We want nothing more for our Ducks than optimized outcomes.

We’re not uncomfortable with the market’s invisible hand controlling our football team’s fate. We only ask the invisible hand to stop shielding our eyes.

Here’s Kahle in the RG on Trustee Ginevra Ralph’s March 2015 comments on the Duck’s cheerleaders:

Suggestive moves are by definition not declarative. And so, University of Oregon Trustee Ginevra Ralph should be commended for asking what certain cheerleading moves are meant to convey. As one of the new leaders of Oregon’s flagship university, she demonstrated educational excellence on multiple levels.

Universities across the country have been embroiled in a constellation of issues that point toward sexual predation. This is a nettlesome issue everywhere but it’s more complicated on campuses, where all sorts of expression and freedom are being explored. Creating a single “student body” monolith doesn’t help.

There can be no single standard for student body behavior when half its population is striving to become young adults and the other half is choosing to act like children. …

This “teachable moment” is a new one. Never in the UO’s history has its leadership been both local and collective. Ralph spoke as one-of-many, not as one-of-one. She led with a question, carefully posed — not a dictate.

Most important decisions that most of us will make in life are products of just the sort of give-and-take that Ralph invited her colleagues to undertake. … Intelligence is good, but it cannot match the power of open dialogue, shared intent, and community values. Again, Ralph has shown the way. Asking hard questions is where it all begins, and the university should be the best place for that beginning to occur.

As it turns out it appears that some members of the UO Board of Trustees were not happy about Ginevra Ralph saying something that diverged from their “rah-rah big-time sports are great” party line. Next week’s board agenda includes a proposal to change their own code of conduct:

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 8.21.33 AM

Yes, we wouldn’t want to confuse the public with differing views on how to implement the mission of a public university.

It’s hard to read this as anything other than a slap at Ginevra Ralph, and a sign that at least some Trustees should read Kahle, and try to understand what it really means to “advance the mission of the UO”.

Here’s Diane Dietz’s March 2015 report on Ralph’s cheerleader questions, and the interesting public discussion they started:

Ginevra Ralph hesitated when she brought up the subject to fellow members of the University of Oregon Board of Trustees recently.

She could imagine the reaction before she spoke: She’s a prude. She’s an enemy of free speech. Or she is the type of person who would blame the victim in a sexual assault.

But Ralph, who besides being a trustee is a prominent Eugene arts administrator, plunged ahead:

“I have watched people be incredibly uncomfortable with the U of O cheerleaders,” she told the trustees, “and they actually leave the basketball (arena) during intermission because of the overt sexual dancing, or whatever you want to call it.”

UO cheerleaders perform traditional straight-arm leaps and cheers with pom pom shaking, but they also shimmy their shoulders and chests, roll their hips and pop out their bottoms.

The cheerleaders perform to overtly sexual lyrics, such as Jessie J’s “Bang Bang,” which goes:

“Back, back seat of my car — I’ll let ya have it.

Wait a minute lemme take you there — ah

Wait a minute till ya — ah.”

Cheerleaders serve as “official ambassadors for the University of Oregon,” according to the UO athletic department’s Web page.

“It’s one thing if someone is doing any of that on their own,” Ralph told the trustees, “but we are making a public statement. … I’d like to see us analyze it a little bit.”

No other trustee commented on the topic. …