Changes in UO expenditure authorizations from 2014 to 2020 budgets

Note: These data are from They show authorized expenditures – not actual expenditures. For example, the Law School is authorised to spend $10.8M this year, they probably spent more that $18M.

I’ve sorted these by the $ change from 2013-2014 to the 2019-2020 AY. Changes in accounting mean that direct comparisons should be done with care. My quick takeaway is that most of the units getting large increases are administrative units – not academic units.

Comments and interpretation welcome.

2014 2020
unit  Total Expenditure Budget Total Expenditure Budget2 % change $ change
400500 –  Budget and Finance Division $609,831 NA NA
410210-FASS Finance & Admn Shared Services $4,230,781 NA NA
410500 –  Campus Planning & Real Estate $1,523,420 NA NA
422111 –  VPSA Holden Center $590,395 NA NA
433300 –  Printing & Mailing Services $4,805,174 NA NA
440500 –  Affirmative Action $770,250 NA NA
460509 –  Parking and Transportation $1,961,731 NA NA
461000-Campus Services $19,066,396 NA NA
520200-University Communications $9,242,351 NA NA
900100-UO General / Budget Control $910,197 NA NA
910000-UO General Business Operations -$7,355,165 NA NA
912000-UO General Insurance $5,588,795 NA NA
913698-UO Building/Property Management $5,561,516 NA NA
430000 –  Business Affairs Office $5,962,728 $89,723,648 1405% $83,760,920
480000 –  Athletics $98,011,236 $139,080,843 42% $41,069,607
600000 –  Research $33,270,095 $65,152,481 96% $31,882,386
470000 –  University Housing $57,347,971 $86,978,680 52% $29,630,709
263000 –  Information Services $21,127,986 $44,556,899 111% $23,428,913
226000 –  Education, College of $32,825,094 $51,769,399 58% $18,944,305
450000 –  Campus Operations $45,666,314 $64,195,299 41% $18,528,985
262010 –  VP Student Affairs Administration $4,436,250 $20,270,005 357% $15,833,755
490000 –  University Health Center $18,680,905 $30,100,545 61% $11,419,640
225000 –  Business, College of $32,996,210 $44,336,069 34% $11,339,859
221000 –  Architecture & Allied Arts, School $21,365,273 $29,297,696 37% $7,932,423
262000 –  Enrollment Management $22,956,355 $30,704,252 34% $7,747,897
425000 –  Student Union, EMU $13,982,738 $20,026,783 43% $6,044,045
267000 –  Undergraduate Studies $5,817,332 $10,949,308 88% $5,131,976
229000 –  Music and Dance, School of $12,876,518 $16,694,166 30% $3,817,648
150001 –  Academic Extension $19,722,601 $23,397,158 19% $3,674,557
265000 –  Graduate School $2,644,944 $6,241,397 136% $3,596,453
410000 –  VP Fin & Admin Operations $3,219,494 $5,940,514 85% $2,721,020
410800 –  Enterprise Risk Services $2,897,358 $5,570,814 92% $2,673,456
440000 –  Human Resources $5,313,727 $7,700,330 45% $2,386,603
227000 –  Journalism & Communicatn, School of $23,811,816 $26,185,848 10% $2,374,032
460000 –  Police Department $5,684,545 $7,646,310 35% $1,961,765
224000 –  Honors College $4,354,598 $6,261,566 44% $1,906,968
100100 –  President Administrative Operations $3,544,927 $5,441,851 54% $1,896,924
266900 –  Physical Education and Recreation $10,683,956 $12,445,380 16% $1,761,424
120000 –  Senior VP and Provost Operations $7,660,326 $9,143,398 19% $1,483,072
264000 –  International Affairs $14,017,355 $15,412,721 10% $1,395,366
211000 –  VP for Equity & Inclusion $3,487,333 $4,851,098 39% $1,363,765
210325 –  UO Portland $4,494,486 $5,711,118 27% $1,216,632
267500 –  Counseling & Testing Center $4,333,012 $5,467,328 26% $1,134,316
432000 –  Purchasing & Contracting Services $1,212,868 $2,078,298 71% $865,430
410600 –  University Auditor $37,950 $759,515 1901% $721,565
102000 –  General Counsel $2,523,487 $3,128,404 24% $604,917
267600 –  Career Center $1,684,687 $2,241,144 33% $556,457
106000 –  UO Board of Trustees $172,912 $593,208 243% $420,296
410310 –  Institutional Research $616,030 $872,900 42% $256,870
212000 –  Vice Provost for Budget & Planning $1,137,671 $1,210,615 6% $72,944
420000 –  Budget and Resource Planning $908,143 $968,077 7% $59,934
250000 –  Library $28,032,268 $28,087,702 0% $55,434
200100 –  Academic Affairs $10,018,273 $7,048,971 -30% -$2,969,302
267900 –  Dean of Students & AVP Stdnt Affrs $8,771,136 $5,246,465 -40% -$3,524,671
222000 –  Arts & Sciences, College of $176,341,301 $169,805,544 -4% -$6,535,757
228000 –  Law, School of $19,621,847 $10,842,522 -45% -$8,779,325
500100 –  University Advancement $30,228,889 $20,004,888 -34% -$10,224,001
Grand Total $834,761,746 $1,181,386,029 42% $346,624,283

Bargaining IV, 7/7/2020

Liveblog, usual disclaimer: my thoughts on what people are saying, trying to say, trying to be thinking, etc. Nothing is a quote unless in ” ” ‘s.

None of the usual chit-chat. Cecil sent in some written questions, Matella waited until just now to give him the answers. She claims that UO hasn’t really enacted any cost savings measure yet. Cecil calls caucus til 9:45. Union looks pissed. Matella promised two week a go to share Brad’s “models” – by which I think she meant spreadsheets. She hasn’t.

Meanwhile the Union’s discount branders have been busy:

They’re back. Sinclair: We’re trying to figure out how much money the university has or is likely to save and raise – before we get to faculty cuts.

Sinclair: Let’s cut to the chase. How much could we save by ditching Concur?

[UOM: Sorry, that’s it for live blogging today. I’ll have a recap tomorrow.]

University presidents make token cuts to bloated Pac-12

The Pac-12 is run by the 12 university presidents/chancellors. John Canzano has the story here:

Scott relayed the bad news to the staff via an email obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive. Scott wrote, “our CEO Group approved our conference budget for this coming year, which includes a 9 percent overall decrease in expenses along with salary reductions for employees making over $100,000 in annual salary.”

The salary reductions were effective immediately and will remain in effect for the next 12 months. Employees making six figures received pay reductions ranging from 5-10 percent. Scott, who makes $5.3 million, revealed in the email that he’d be taking a compensation reduction of 12 percent.

… I can’t blame the Pac-12 CEO Group for looking hard at the conference budget, seeing the cost of operations, and asking Scott to implement cost cuts. It’s a natural economic reaction. And it’s the same stuff being carried out on the Pac-12 university campuses. But what remains at the conference level are a series of vital questions.

Employees are left wondering why didn’t Scott assume an inspiring leadership stance and take a more significant pay reduction himself? It would have played well in all circles, internal and external.

Of course if Scott took a big cut then the university presidents would have to explain why they haven’t. Interesting that the Pac-12 cuts started at $100K. 2 months ago Pres Schill proposed pay cuts for faculty and OA’s that started at $30K – but he and the other university president’s weren’t willing to the same for the Pac-12, because it’s sports.

UO still hiding data on positive tests

7/5/2020: In the RG letters:

As an alumnus, I strongly object to the decision by the University of Oregon to hide any information about the number of athletes testing positive for coronavirus. Why?

One, the decision represents a disservice to, and potentially puts at risk, other members of the team as well as other students and the public. Clearly most Oregonians and other Americans are concerned about the pandemic and want to be fully informed about infection rates and potential risks.

Two, the decision runs counter to what some, though not all, Pac-12 schools, and many colleges outside the Pac-12, are doing. For example, the University of Colorado, Oregon State University and the University of Washington are reporting the number of athletes testing positive.

UO claims that this decision was made to protect the privacy of athletes per “federal and state law,” implying that other colleges, such as OSU, are violating those statutes by publishing the very type of non-identifiable information that the UO refuses to release.

Finally, the decision contradicts the university’s purported commitment to prioritize health and safety above all else, and to maintain transparency, during the pandemic. It clearly prioritizes athletic department finances over health and welfare of athletes, other students and the public.

Bob Weinstein, Portland

7/4/2020: Still no details from UO, while UW is even reporting fraternity cases:

(Thanks to a reader for the link).

7/3/2020: That would of course *not* be the University of Oregon, which posts only numbers, here. Other universities release more helpful info – e.g. UCLA, here.  Oregon State reports positive athlete tests, UO does not. Why not?

Even USC – never known for transparency, and as a private school exempt from public records laws – does a better job than UO. Here’s a tweet from one of their PR flacks:

Bargaining III, 7/2/2020

Liveblog: Usual disclaimer: My opinion of what people said, meant to say, or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. The link to register and watch is below.

Matella: Brad is working on budget projections now. He knows algebra! I’ll get you them soon.

Here’s what the faculty would get for accepting cuts:

Cecil: Need to pin down what you mean by pre-COVID levels. You mean the 0.1 contracts that were being give out then, e.g. to AEI? Also, people get lied to.

Matella: OK will take back to my team. I agree that heads and deans tell faculty things that are not true. This is why we need central control.

Matella: We want to keep flexibility to change FTE on the fly.

Cecil: We don’t want you to keep flexibility to change FTE on the fly. Reading this, you could have used the above to give *all* NTTF 0.1 contracts – and waited until September to do it.

Matella: But we’d have to write a memo justifying that.

Cecil: Right.

Matella: I don’t understand why you want to make it harder to reduce FTE than to lay people off.

Cecil: Nothing in your proposal keeps you from shifting all the risk from enrollment/funding problems to the NTTF/Career, as you did this spring. So, department could give you a three year contract at 1.0 FTE, then 90 days later reduce it to 0.1 FTE, after writing a memo.

Matella: OK, please come back to me with a counter.

Break til 11:15. They’re back.


Matella: What would UAUO’s position be on the one-time buy out figure? 33%? Cecil: Enough to get some faculty to retire. You think 33% is going to excite people?

[Lots going on here. Admin wants to end the TRP permanently. Replace it with 2 temporary early retirement/buyout plans – offered for a limited time only. The idea is to get a spike in retirements/tenure relinquishment now. Matella believes that the current TRP does not incentivize early retirement – it’s just a bonus for people who are planning on retiring anyway.]

Cecil: So, if it’s a bonus for old TTF, why would we bargain it away for 33%?

Matella: Current TRP is very expensive – just look at what Brad’s getting.

Cecil: We have a shared interest in encouraging COVID retirements. But not in ending TRP.

Matella: PERS Tier 1’s already have a robust retirement plan (not true of ORP faculty, sadly.)

Matella: How about an ongoing incentive program, tied to employee’s place in their career? (Not sure it’s legal to do this by age, but perhaps by years in rank or something.

Cecil: Will you share model you used to cost out our previous incentive program. Matella: Yes.

Cecil: Are you also looking at early retirement for non-faculty? Matella: Yes, but not sure it’s workable or a cost saver.

Moving back to layoffs:

Cecil: Are you willing to consider some mechanism for financial criteria that does not involve some administrator saying we’re in financial crisis?

Matella: N0t sure.

Cecil: How do we distinguish between a real crisis and a decision to spend university E&G money on, say, wiring up the Phildo?

Break, back at 12:45.

[Sorry, live-blogging suspended for an hour or so, had to run to Jerry’s. Back now, they’re caucusing]

They’re back.

Matella: For the “panel”, we’re ok with two admins, two faculty, one neutral. Triggered by a complaint by a faculty member about contract rights – not academic judgement. Panel would review w/in 15 days. What were you thinking re the provost’s role?

Cecil: The panel would have to agree before a senior instructor could be laid off for financial reasons.

Matella: Gotta take that part back to the provost.

Cecil: Back to the wage cut. We will need information on the hold harmless level. We don’t want to agree to wage cuts, then discover you’ve blown $1.5M on wiring up the Phildo, or faculty tracking software.


Continue reading

Students, or vectors?

Campus has been closed for almost 4 months. Classes, meetings, union bargaining, everything is online. Sorry, I mean virtual. Everything is closed, even Taylors.

Well, not everything. Uncle Phil’s unpaid Duck football players have been back on campus for a few weeks,  for “voluntary” workouts and practices. And no one wants to know what’s going on at the frats and sororities. Apparently a lot of partying. Shocking.

Here’s the latest data. Extrapolating this exponential trend, by the time classes start in October every surviving member of the UO community will have had at least 3 cases of COVID-19:

Information on Positive Tests

July 1, 2020: Nine positive tests. Nine University of Oregon students are determined to be positive for COVID-19 in Eugene.

June 29, 2020: Three positive tests. Three University of Oregon students tested positive for COVID-19 in Eugene.

June 26, 2020: Five positive tests. Five University of Oregon students tested positive for COVID-19 on June 26 in Eugene. The presumptive positive case reported on June 22 is now a confirmed positive.

June 22, 2020: Three positive tests. One presumptive positive. Three UO students tested positive for COVID-19 in Eugene. One additional student is a presumptive positive. They are all recovering in isolation. Public health officials are conducting contact tracing and monitoring for individuals associated with these cases.

June 12, 2020: One positive test. One UO student tested positive for COVID-19 in Eugene. They are recovering in isolation. Public health officials are conducting contact tracing and monitoring for individuals associated with this positive case. This individual had minimal contact with the campus community.

Faculty Union to continue bargaining with Admins, Tu and Th

Liveblog: Usual disclaimer: My opinion of what people said, meant to say, or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. The link to register and watch is below.

Matella: Shares marked up version of Union’s powerpoint on general principals from last week. Admin response is in red:

Cecil: So you want to use any failure to meet the pre-covid predictions from Roger Thompson of *increases* in enrollment as the trigger for pay cuts? Matella: Yes. [Also, Admin wants to use enrollment rather than tuition as part of the trigger?]

Cecil: So the union’s share would be based on the faculty’s current share of the UO budget? Matella: After a $10M hold harmless for the union. [Some back on forth – this is a framework not a real proposal yet.] Urbancic: Auxiliaries? Grants? [Unclear]

Matella: [I think she’s saying faculty are held harmless for a $10M loss. Losses above that the faculty give up a share proportionate to their current share of E&G budget. So, say $25M loss out of E&G, admin pays first $10M, the union pays their share of the remaining $15M, or ~5M.

Sinclair: UO’s enrollment projections are often aspirational, rather than fact based. Union will need to see the basis for the projections.

Matella: We’re just spit-balling here, conversation on principles. The powerpoint is just a starting point. Cecil: That helps, thanks.

Page 3 of powerpoint:

Questions about OPE calculations and savings. Not a linear function of salary. UO uses a “Blended OPE rate” but is willing to use actual savings if union wants.

Cecil: So, if we do this we’ll also be able to use actual OPE for course buy-outs etc?

Matella: We’re not tied to Brad’s weakly progressive plan. Cecil: That’s good, we know a few economists.

Matella: We hop to share our models next week. [She said the same thing last week.]

Slide 4:

Matella: Any cuts will temporary. Doesn’t think voluntary cuts are possible.

Cecil: Last time Admins asked faculty and OA’s to take cuts at the same time Senior Admins took raises. Then they got more raises later. Are they gonna pull that shit again? Board gives Schill more bonuses? An even sweeter retirement scam?

Matella: Don’t forget about giving senior admins overloads and stipends.

Cecil: OK. We want to continue looking at voluntary plans. OEPA is not really a problem.

Cecil: UO already got $8M from CARES. Such payments will mitigate pay-cuts, right? Matella: Fed money comes with lots of restrictions. Not promising it will be used as an offset. Maybe. Cecil: How interesting.

Cecil: We’ll want reverse triggers, to restore cuts if there’s good budget news. Matella: Also could be multiple triggers. Can we make it simpler?

Cecil: Simplest would be to wait til next June, do the math, make any cuts to offfset losses.

Matella: What principles do we still need to work on?

Cecil: How much money would it cost to restore career faculty FTE? Matella: $6-8M, I think. Cecil: How much has the hiring freeze saved? Suspension of travel? Wage freeze we’ve already agreed to? Matella: We also have losses, cost increases. Also losses in auxiliaries like housing, sports. We need to cover those. 

Cecil: I’m assuming that any savings from union salaries won’t go to athletics, right? Matella: It’s complicated. Can you give me questions by email?

Cecil: Ducks have a $120M budget, plus the $5M they already skim off the academic budget. You sure we’re not going to end up subsidizing them more when they can’t play football?

Back and forth about funding-contingent faculty and cuts.

Slide 5-6: Expectation of Continued Employment

Matella: Given the global pandemic, not sure we can afford to give a full year’s notice. Also other universities give less. Urbancic: Under the current 3-year contracts, on average career faculty have to be given 18-months of notice. So we’re giving you *more* flexibility by cutting that to 12. Also, if we cut a program these are one-time costs, not recurring, and not that expensive.

Matella: Thanks, that’s a helpful point. I will take that back to my team.

Green: Regarding the comparison to other universities, we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to non-unionized places, or places with lots of other academic employers.

Slide 7: Long term planning to close the law school:

Just kidding, Pres Schill has fall-back tenure rights in the Law School and a sweet teaching deal. We’re going to paying $8M a year to subsidize law for a long time.

Matella: Agree with the need for more accountability, concerned that this committee would actually make decisions.

Bramhall: What if legit shared governance process with the Senate leads to layoffs? Cecil: This committee would be a flea compared to the Senate.

Long back and forth about management flexibility and their prerogative to push enrollment risk and the cost of admin bloat off on the least well-paid faculty.

Time for a lunch Break? They’re back:

Matella: Proposed PPR could run for up to 2 years. All employees are in. Cecil: We have lots of questions about triggers, duration, enrollment vs tuition, etc. Your plan is to keep running it until you make up the money you’ve lost? Matella: We realize this is too complicate. Could we simplify it, like OSU? Cecil: OSU said they’d pick up first $35M, and anything over $65M. Matella: We can’t do that. Cecil: I’m concerned about basing this on projections. Obvious incentive for Thompson to over-estimate. Matella: I can get you information, but need to know where you’re going.

Cecil: Baseline for enrollment should be something like 5 year average, not an arbitrary target. Matella: It’s true Brad showed the Trustees some crazy-ass projections in the past, but those weren’t serious. That’s why they stopped inviting him to speak and invited that economist instead. We’re better at this now.  Cecil: If enrollment was up last year, why did you cut faculty? Matella: …

Cecil: You have a commitment from the union to take the cuts necessary to restore career FTE, conditional on you showing there’s no other way to find the money. So why don’t you restore that FTE now? Matella: I hear you. I’m trying to make a deal. I just can’t commit to anything. Especially not cutting the law school. Cecil: We’re not talking about cutting the law school. That’s UO Matters, and even he doesn’t want to cut it, he just wants you to not pay for it with undergrad tuition.

Cecil: Again, can you tell us how much you’ve saved and plan to save with the other cuts you’ve made? Matella: Not a mandatory subject for bargaining. We’re having those conversations with the Not-Senate sham committee. We want to explore these subjects with you. What’s the best next step? Should I put together another PPR plan? Cecil: If you don’t want to be transparent about where you’re spending and saving money, you can’t expect us to go along with big cuts. Small ones, maybe. Say 2-5M.

Matella: Why don’t I come back with some stuff on caps and thresholds? Then see if you want more info?

Cecil: Suppose you’ve already saved $20M from E&G. Then we’re less interested in giving you a $10M threshold. We’ll also want info on what’s coming next or should be – fundraising efforts for things besides sports, endowment assessments, more Jumbotrons, reserves, unrestricted foundation funds, etc.

[Sorry, missed some stuff. Apparently there was a caucus.]

Pratt: Here are some basic union principles for cuts:

1: Threshold and cap

2: limited to 20-21 AY for now.

3; Should be based on tuition and state appropriations, not enrollment numbers.

4: Need something more than a JH announcement that “here’s the deficit, pay cuts are now triggered”. Need real transparency.

Matella: Thanks. I’ll get you some more bullet points in response. Also some response on TRP.

2:40PM – sorry, I gotta go check on some wiring problems. See you Th at 9:30 AM.

TRP and buyouts slide:

Continue reading

“The best way to prevent infection of COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus.”

Who would have guessed. From today’s email from the University of Oregon, here. Also:

The university has approved a new self-check health regulation which outlines that students and employees should conduct a self-check daily and not come to campus if they are experiencing or have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the previous 72 hours. Additional information will be provided about implementation and procedures of this requirement as they are developed.

From what I can see this is about liability – presumably the Ducks can use this to tell their student-athletes that they didn’t fill out the tracking sheet, so they’re on their own:

Self-Check Procedures

Every day before coming on-campus, employees and students should assess whether in the last 72 hours, they have had any of the below symptoms that are different from their baseline:

Stay at home until 72 hours after any/all of the primary COVID symptoms below dissipate without the aid of fever-reducing medications, unless symptoms are within your baseline. Employees should contact their medical provider** and students should contact the University Health Center 541-346-2770 if any of these symptoms are present.

    • Cough (Employees and students who have a chronic or baseline cough that has worsened or is not well-controlled with medication should stay at their place of residence)
    • Shortness of breath
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Fever (>100 degree F)
    • Chills

Stay at home until 24 hours after any/all of the symptoms below dissipate without the aid of fever-reducing medications, unless symptoms are within your baseline:

    • Loss of smell and/or taste
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Headache
    • Runny nose
    • Sore throat
    • Muscle pain
    • Nasal congestion

 Campus community members who have other symptoms that are chronic or baseline symptoms are not restricted.

**If you do not have a primary care physician, urgent care or any of Lane County Public Health’s clinics can also be a resource.  Benefits eligible employees can also find a primary care physician by reviewing the options available through their UO health insurance plan. Information is available on the Human Resources website. Information about graduate employees’ health insurance is available on the GTFF website.

Recording Procedures

Employees and students do not need to submit their self-symptom-checks to the university but they should record that it was completed in their personal notes or download and print this tracking sheet for personal use so that they can verify that they completed the check upon request.

Tracking sheet – complete twice daily! This sheet was designed for people who’ve been exposed to the virus, I don’t know why UO is suggesting in a mass email that everyone coming to campus complete it. Doesn’t really work for that:

Oregon Supreme court to hold properly noticed public meeting on Bar exam, today

Elevator version: The Oregon Supreme Court tells the Oregon Board of Bar Examiners that they must add a new at-home bar exam for October, and give “diploma privilege” to all Oregon and most other law school 2020 grads, allowing them the right to practice law in Oregon if they can find a job.

Live-blog: It took a while, but I finally got connected to this meeting. The Court first voted in favor of allowing an October on-line (at home) exam as an optional substitute for the in-person one scheduled for July.

2:03 PM: – they’re now debating a motion from one of the judges to allow diploma privilege. But they don’t actually have a written motion. The other judges are throwing out questions, she’s saying things like “oh, right, the motion also would …, or maybe it should say….” Pretty amateur.

From what I can tell, the motion would give all those graduating this spring from Oregon law schools Bar admission without having to pass the bar exam. It would extend the same “privilege” to graduates of all ABA accredited schools with a first-time bar pass rate of 86% or better.

Why 86%? The judge says because the bar-pass rate is the best metric of law school quality, and the average national pass rate is 85%. The later is a mathematical fact, the former is nonsense. In 2017 Oregon lowered the cut-rate and the average pass rate for Oregon’s schools suddenly jumped from 60% to 84%. This improved the quality of an Oregon law school education?

As it happens, the ABA has recently released the latest pass data, and all three of Oregon’s law schools are below the judge’s magical 86% threshold:

UO: 85.86%

Willamette: 82.28%

Lewis and Clark:  80.98%

No one points this out. They do ask the Bar guy how many new lawyers this motion will produce – ones that would normally be screened out by the bar exam. His response doesn’t really makes sense to me. Maybe a hundred from Oregon, another hundred or so from other states? So maybe a 40-60% increase?

Still no written motion, but the court passes it anyway. So what did they pass? (They’re not sure either, so in the end they give it to their clerk to write up.)

Another judge then proposes a third motion – a lower cut rate for the July exam. Another surprisingly ill-informed and predictably innumerate discussion ensues. This also passes.

More confusion among the judges abut what exactly they did with motion 1.

Then UO’s Dean Burke asks the court to modify motion 2, to also extend the diploma privilege to students who have not yet graduated – i.e. summer 2020 grads. Still more confusion amongst the judges about what the motion originally said. They think it said Spring 2020, so they think they need to change it. Another dean tries to chime it. Eventually she figures out how to unmute herself. Asks about Winter 2020 grads. Why don’t they get privilege too? Sure, someone says – all 2020 graduates. Done.

Chief Justice Waters asks the court if they want to throw privilege at anyone else while they’re at it. Philosophers? Will no one move to give the PhD philosopher’s diploma privilege too?

Apparently not. Court adjourns.


In what may well be a first for the court:

WWeek’s 2017 story on the last time the Court met to goose the exam is here:

… UO Matters reports that Board of Bar Examiners held a closed door executive session to vote on whether it would recommend changing the passing bar exam number to the Oregon Supreme Court.

The board did not respond to UO Matters’ request for records of meeting material. It settled on a passing bar score of 276.

The deans’ letter, along with a letter of recommendation to change the bar score from the board’s chairman, Jeffrey Howes, was sent to Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Balmer.

On May 3, the Oregon Supreme Court accepted the request to change the requirement for becoming a practicing attorney.

The court voted on the score change during a 70-minute public meeting, where it was one of 30 agenda items. The Daily Emerald requested transcripts of the meeting and were provided a “non-specific page of minutes detailing the events of the meeting,” and no record of whether votes where cast.

It seems the Bar and the Court had no idea what they were doing, and increased the pass rate by far more than Oregon’s law deans had led them to expect. Which probably explains why the Bar is taking a hard line this time.

6/18/2020: Deans want to give law grads a free pass on bar exam, Bar objects

Back in 2017 the deans of Oregon Law Schools were upset by the fact that so few of their graduates were able to pass the bar exam. So they did what any business whose product failed to pass quality control would do – they asked the Oregon Bar and Supreme Court to make the exam easier.

After a bunch of meetings that probably violated Oregon’s public meetings and records laws, the bar and the court agreed to relax their standards, and the pass rate (for first time takers in the regular summer exam) has since jumped from 58% to 84%. (The UOM post on this, based on a series of public records requests, is here.)

Dumbing down the bar exam was good news for the deans, because the pass rate is part of the US News rankings they are evaluated on. It was also good news for the marginal students who otherwise would have failed, but bad news for the good students who could have passed the harder exams, because it devalues their credential and means more lawyers competing for the small pool of job openings. It was also bad news for the Oregon Bar’s current members, who don’t want competition from new lawyers driving down their earnings – but they went along anyway. (From what I could tell from the records the Bar eventually released they thought they were increasing the pass rate to about 68%, not 84%.)

Now the Deans are back, with a request that the Bar and the Oregon Supreme Court waive the bar exam requirement entirely this year, using the disruptions around the coronavirus and #BlackLivesMatter as justifications.

Nigel Jaquiss has the story in Willamette Week here, and a copy of the dean’s letter is here. Notable among the Law professors who did *not* sign on to it is UO President and Professor of Law Michael Schill.

The Oregon Board of Bar Examiner’s letter to the supreme’s is here. It’s pretty thorough, especially in comparison to the thin response the Deans put together, a month later, cited above. The Oregon Supreme Court has the final call, in what, this time, I expect will be a public meeting with minutes.

I feel sorry for all the law students – the good ones and the marginal ones – who have to deal with all the uncertainty this dispute over the exam has added to their lives.

OSU Pres Ray and UO Pres Schill agree to end athletic “Civil War”

About time. Hundreds of millions of donor dollars, and hundreds of “student-athlete” concussions will be saved by ending this annual battle and the football teams it requires.

Just kidding, they’re only going to rename it. The wasteful spending and blood will continue. Thanks to a reader for forwarding OSU’s statement. There’s discussion on the “Things overheard at OSU” facebook page here.

Members of OSU community,

I am writing to share that Oregon State University and the University of Oregon have agreed that effective immediately the term “Civil War” will no longer be used to promote any athletic competition between the universities.

As you likely know, “Civil War” has been used for football and basketball games — and other sports competition — between OSU and UO since the phrase was first referenced in the 1930’s.

Changing this name is overdue as it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery. While not intended as reference to the actual Civil War, OSU sports competition should not provide any misconstrued reference to this divisive episode in American history.

In recent years, some students, faculty, alumni, student-athletes, OSU stakeholders and community members have questioned the appropriateness of this term. That we did not act before to change the name was a mistake. We do so now, along with other important actions to advance equal opportunity and justice for all and in recognition that Black Lives Matter.

President-elect King Alexander and I are in full agreement with this decision. So is UO President Mike Schill, OSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes, and UO Athletics Director Rob Mullens, as well as numerous current and past student-athletes from both universities.

In the months ahead, OSU and the University of Oregon will engage collaboratively to involve their respective students, faculty, staff, student-athletes, alumni, donors, community partners and athletics sponsors to consider other, more appropriate names, if any, to call the athletics rivalry between our two great universities.

I encourage your support and engagement in this naming transition, as we work to identify other areas where our references, practices and norms do not represent our values of diversity and inclusivity.


Edward J. Ray, OSU President

Faculty Union & Admins restart bargaining, 1-5PM Friday on Zoom

Liveblog: Usual disclaimer: My opinion of what people said, meant to say, or should have said. Nothing is a quote if not in quotes. The link to register and watch is here.

Provost Phillips is here for the Admin side, which is new. He seems to be having a calming effect on both sides.

Cecil: Union feels that the current treatment of NTTF is a betrayal of that the Union has bargained with the Admins over the past 7 years – better job security for NTTFs. At the time neither party had discussed to possibility that the Administration would assign 0.1 FTE to career faculty who had previously had, say, 1.o FTE contracts. But this is what the Administration is now doing. We want to restore this – faculty who have been here for years, and  earned renewal and promotion contracts should not be jerked around like this. Also, they should not be put in a situation where they have to accept a promotion only at the risk of losing FTE.

Matella: It’s the Union’s fault, for not immediately accepting Brad Shelton’s weakly progressive pay reduction proposal.

Phillips: One shared principle is that we support all the faculty. We need to face the challenges together, as a community. (But the Admin won’t share budget info, won’t let faculty participate in budgeting. This is not the “respect” that Phillips is claiming to have.)

Phillips then trots out the talking point that salaries and benefits are 80% of UO’s budget. Faculty pay and benefits, however, are only about 15% of UO’s budget, or about 32% of the E&G budget. (And probably a decreasing percentage, from a quick look at the increases in administrative hiring and pay over the last 5 or so years.)

Cecil: Your previous ultimatum offer put all the cost of enrollment decreases/state cuts on employees. We want to look at ways to raise new funds, cut other spending. Some examples would be a temporary increase in the Foundation’s endowment fees, borrow from reserves, cut athletic subsidies, etc

Matella: We’re already considering ways to free up other money. We set up a sham committee with the Senate to look into this.

Cecil: So, say there’s a $100M shortfall. The administration would then make up some % from other sources – cuts and new assessments –  and it would be the faculty union’s job to cover the leftover amount?

Phillips: Seems to agree with Cecil. Willing to repackage some info, then share it with Union. Wants to make sure that the Union won’t butt into admin decisions about how to make up their share of cuts. Don’t mess with the Jumbotron or the Police! If the Admins want to cut museums and LERC, not the union’s business.

Also proposes trigger points for say enrollment, with the administration responsible for making some level of cuts before the trigger and faculty salary cuts take effect.

Cecil: Back in April we kept getting told that every proposal we came up with for new revenue or non-academic cuts was a non-starter. Are we going to go down that road again?

Matella: We have thoughts. We’re already doing modeling with other faculty groups. (Why are they excluding the Union from these meetings?)

Cecil: Why isn’t the union part of these groups?

Phillips: Not answering the question as to why the Union is not part of these groups. Announces that UO will be doing some borrowing – tough now that we’re so far in the hole for Duck stuff.

Sinclair: Wants very much to come to a quick agreement. But given what we’ve seen from you so far -.e.g your betrayal of the Careers – and the fact that you’re still excluding us from budget planning, it is going to take a while, and we’re going to need to make sure there are no more loopholes for you to use to screw us.

Cecil: We’re not going to bargain a plan with you where the faculty take the cuts and then you give the admins (and coaches?) raises, bonuses, sweet buy-out deals, etc.

Phillips: Agreed.

Matella: OK if you take a $10M cut and then we build the Jumbotron, right?

Phillips: Vast bulk of the higher wage people on campus are faculty – except of course senior administrators and coaches.

Matella: Expects same or pay cut schedule for faculty and OA’s, SEIU negotiation will be different.

Phillips: Intent of Brad’s continuous increasing average rate plan was to be progressive. (Result was weakly progressive). Open to alternatives. Had hoped to not have cuts below $70K, but that turned out to be too progressive on the top end.

Matella: Even though our plan’s ATR topped out at $200K, it was 20% which is pretty high relative to what other universities have done.

Cecil: We’d also like to talk about voluntary cuts / furloughs / early retirement. Lots of faculty have brought this up to us, as a way to save NTTF jobs.

Phillips: Hard to imagine a voluntary plan cutting costs enough, but can see using it as part of a pay cut plan. (Encouraging words.)

Matella: Concerned that a voluntary plan might exploit the community minded.

Cecil: We’ll need a mechanism to restore wages after the Democrats win a clean sweep and throw money at higher ed.

Phillips: Gotta go, hope we can work together in a positive way, appreciate your work on this. I view you all as my colleagues, sharing,. fairness, cooperation, thanks.

2:35, BREAK: Just kidding Cecil’s on a roll. Moving on to Car to eer Instructors and expectation of continued employment at same FTE. Limited reasons for non-renewal would include …. 90 days notice. This is complicated stuff, sorry I am not going blog it cause I’ll get some important things wrong.

Cecil: Wants a joint committee to handle non-renewals. The Union knows that there are faculty with performance issues, and we don’t want our other members to have to cover for them. We also know that academic and financial reasons can make it necessary to have layoffs. A joint committee will allow this to be done consistently and rationally. We want an earned seniority system – but we need to balance this with diversity goals.

Cecil: Early retirement incentives. Like TRP, but with an early buyout. Saves UO money on full prof pay and Tier 1. We have people on TRP who would take this deal now. We’re open to proposals from admin on this.

Matella: Wants some elaboration. Wants to talk it over with her team.

BREAK until ~3:30. They’re back.

Matella: Spitballing about trying out the expectation of continued employment and joint committee temporarily, to see how it goes.

Cecil: Temporary changes in enrollment and budget should not be balanced by firing Career Faculty – has to be some other way to handle it.

Matella: “80% of our budget is personnel” so if we have a shortfall it is going to fall on some employees – if not NTTF’s then SEUI or OAS.

Cecil:  The administration’s decisions over the past few years have cut the reserve fund, blown through our credit rating, pissed off the state legislature. Now you want the Career Faculty to pay for your mistakes.

Matella: No, we want to put the costs of our mistakes on *all* employees (except coaches) – that’s why we want Brad’s PPR.

Pratt: When we bargained this contract originally, the deal was that the university would have to take on the responsibility of job security for NTTF’s – while allowing for changes in student needs, etc. JH hasn’t done its job. We need to set up structures to do this. Put some of the risk on the administration – not all on Career faculty. This should be a shared principle on both sides, as it was when we bargained this. Set up this joint committee to do this.

Matella: She’s not writing the committee idea off. Needs to take it back to Pres Schill and Angela Wilhelms, of course. They’ll kill it.

Matella: I’m actually very optimistic in believing we have many points of agreement. And we have done lots of things to cut back on other spending.

Sinclair: We’re willing to take salary cuts, but in return you need to work with us on a system that brings us into the decisions about how the money we’re giving up gets spent.

Green: The mission of the university is teaching and research. The faculty you want to cut are the very people who accomplish our teaching mission.

Matella: I appreciate what you’re saying. I’m optimistic that we can address these problems together. What’s the best path forward? Can I take your powerpoint and get it back to you with comments?

Cecil: Please, yes, thank you! Meet again on Tu, maybe even get to an agreement by Thursday?

Matella: I might even be able to share some models.  Cecil: Today? Matella: No, but soon.

Cecil: We understand we’re not management – but when you come to us and ask for some of our wages back, you have to let us be involved in decision-making – and stop giving us ultimatums.

Epstein: Missy, did I hear you say that the pool of faculty wages from the cuts will become the new rainy day fund?

Matella: No, it’s to offset a short term revenue loss. We do believe the university does need to address long term problems like the law school though.

Cecil: So, our concern is that we give you back our wages to plug your budget hole, you blow it on more admin bloat.

Matella:  I have to say that we do not have administrative bloat.

Cecil: Currently you have 22 administrative positions posted, and zero faculty. How can we assure faculty that their wage cuts won’t go to hire more AVPlets?

Actually, I only see 21 now. They must have just hired another administrator:

Cecil: We’ll be back, Tuesday at 10.

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Ducks won’t report number of players testing positive for Covid-19

Ken Goe has the story in the Oregonian, here.

The UO website revealed Thursday that five members of the campus community have tested positive.

Some schools, among them Pac-12 rivals Colorado, Oregon State and Washington, have released information about the number of athletes to test positive this month. Colorado reported four, Washington two and OSU did not report a positive test in June, although the Beavers did have one positive in March.

None of the three schools identified the individuals who tested positive, nor the sports in which they participate.

There is not a uniform NCAA or Pac-12 policy. Arizona State and UCLA are among the Pac-12 schools that will not report the number of positive tests among athletes.

Replying by email, UO spokeswoman Kay Jarvis said the school feared reporting a distinct group of athletes could violate their privacy by allowing members of the public to figure who had been infected.

“These are students and they don’t want to be identified as sick,” Jarvis said. “In the interest of privacy expressed in federal and state law, the institution has chosen to err in favor of restricting the release of identifiable information.”

Jarvis did not cite the specific privacy laws upon which the university based its decision. …

UO pays PR flack Kay Jarvis $106K, and General Counsel Kevin Reed $370K. You’d think that would be enough to answer a reporter’s question.

Board takes 30 min to dename Deady

Live-blog: Really not that hard, was it? I thought the student trustee Katharine Wishnia had the best comments, here. Pres Schill promised some stuff, and maybe called out implicit bias training as the sort of window-dressing we could do without, but I wasn’t really listening, sorry.  If anyone brought up what to do about the Duck’s exploitation of mostly minority football players to pay for coaching, travel, and scholarships for mostly white non-revenue sport athletes I missed it.

Mostly this meeting is online – I mean virtual – but a few of the trustees are in JH:

One of them is wearing what appears to be an American flag mask. I’m no vexillologist who once got chewed out by my Boy Scout Troopmaster for wearing an American flag bandana on a canoe trip, but this is a violation of U.S. Code § 8. Respect for flag:

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(d)The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.

(e)The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

(i)The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. …

(j)No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

Also, the flag should be displayed so that the union (i.e. the stars) are on the observer’s left.

6/24/2020: This is either going to be the shortest board meeting since the one where they bought out Gottfredson, or an opportunity for Pres Schill and our Trustees to give long, heartfelt speeches about their newly acquired but deeply held beliefs about the symbolic importance of de-naming Deady.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for June 24 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time. This meeting will be limited to the topic of Deady Hall. The next regular, quarterly meeting of the Board is scheduled for September 10-11, 2020.

The June 24 meeting will be held remotely due to ongoing social distancing guidance. Members of the public or media may view a livestream feed at: or listen via audio only by dialing 1-888-337-0215 and entering Access Code: 9504541.

Those wishing to provide public comment to the Board for this meeting may do so in writing via  All comments will be shared with trustees, but only comments received by 8:00 a.m. on June 24 are guaranteed to be shared with trustees prior to the meeting. Thank you for understanding.

6/10/2020: Pres Schill’s response to Trustee Colas ignores exploitation of black student athletes, accepts denaming Deady

Pres Schill’s letter is below – he says he’s changed his mind on denaming Deady and the Board will meet on it soon. He ignores the exploitation issue.

Trustee Andrew Colas, speaking at last weeks Board meeting:

First he pointed out to Duck AD Rob Mullens that it’s the football players – mostly black – whose unpaid labor earns 75% of the AD budget and supports Mullens and the “non-revenue” sports, which are mostly white. So Black Lives should Matter to Mullens, if he wants to keep getting paid. Video of Colas’s response to AD Rob Mullens is here:

Then, in thoughtful and moving remarks, he called for the Board to vote – immediately – to dename Deady Hall, here:

President Schill’s letter:

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