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

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

Continue reading

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:

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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. …

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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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)  

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

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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:

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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:

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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)  

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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)

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.