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]

FORD ALUMNI CENTER, GIUSTINA BALLROOM (UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
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.

Break

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.

DECEMBER 2 COMMITTEE MEETINGS:

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:

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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

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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.

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

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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:

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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:

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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]

FORD ALUMNI CENTER, GIUSTINA BALLROOM (UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)
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)

Break

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

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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.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 PUBLIC MEETING – FORD ALUMNI CENTER, GIUSTINA BALLROOM

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:

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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:

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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
responsibilities.

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
remarks.

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

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

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

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

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

And a brief editorial: My thanks to Rob Kyr

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m doing some spotty live-blogging below.

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

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 11.44.38 PM

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

9:00 AM: FINANCE AND FACILITIES COMMITTEE MEETING
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.

12:30 PM: ACADEMIC AND STUDENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE MEETING
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?

Live-blog:

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)

 

3:30 PM: EXECUTIVE AND AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING
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)  

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 2015 PUBLIC MEETING, FORD ALUMNI CENTER, GIUSTINA BALLROOM

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

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2015    PUBLIC MEETING, FORD ALUMNI CENTER, ROOM 403

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

Adjourn