Back in 2007 University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer’s friends on the Oregon University System Board wanted to give him a raise. So they hired Ray Cotton of the higher ed consulting firm ML Strategies to prepare a report comparing Frohnmayer’s pay with that of his peers.
The report is 11 pages long, including the cover. It’s almost entirely cribbed from data available online to any subscriber from the Chronicle.com online reports on presidential salaries. Mr. Cotton’s report is here. Mr. Cotton and ML Strategies charged Oregon an incredible $45,572.03 for this report. The invoices are at the end of the pdf.
The OUS system was so embarrassed by this episode that their legal counsel Ryan Hagemann spent months trying to hide the report from public view, and months more trying to hide how much they had paid for it. In the end the Oregon Department of Justice ruled they had to make both public, and then that they had to pay the DOJ another $3,000 or so to cover the DOJ’s expenses in making the report public.
Ironically, the information in the report suggests that Frohnmayer was actually overpaid, to the tune of $100,000 or so. But, of course, his buddies went ahead and gave him another $150,000 anyway.