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VP Frances Dyke "retires" – in 16 months

2/21/2011 update. President Lariviere and Provost Bean must have got an earful about Frances Dyke’s announcement that she would stay on until summer 2012. Today Bean announces the search will get underway within a few weeks, and she will be replaced as soon as we can hire someone else.

Of course we’ll pay her $212,000 to not do some sinecure for 2011-2012. Cheap, and a very good decision by Bean/Lariviere. That bit at the end about a continuing relationship though? Please don’t. I’m no economist, but think about the long-run incentives: the more you screw up, the more we will pay you to leave.

The following message is forwarded on behalf of Senior Vice President and Provost Jim Bean –

Last week France Dyke announced her retirement on June 30, 2012 after 21 years of outstanding service to the University of Oregon.  We greatly appreciate the advance notice she has given us to find a successor.  In the near future, we will initiate a national search with the assistance of a search firm. President Lariviere has asked me to chair the search and we will announce the search committee membership within a few weeks.

Frances Dyke has a long and distinguished history with UO.  She received her MBA from the Lundquist College of Business in 1986, began working here as an analyst in the budget office in 1991, working her way up through several positions, leading to her appointment as Vice President for Finance and Administration in 2005.  She is highly respected by her colleagues nationally, within the OUS system, and on the campus.  Her portfolio is broad including campus operations, human resources, affirmative action and equal opportunity, campus planning, risk management, public safety, budgeting and finance, institutional research, and emergency management. Frances and her team have met the challenges of a growing and evolving campus and business environment with passion and commitment.  We thank her for her many significant contributions to our community.

We are pleased to benefit from Frances’ leadership until a successor is found.  We wish Frances and Tom the best for the next chapter of their lives and anticipate that it will include a continuing relationship with the University of Oregon.

2/15/2011: I stopped reading her resignation when I got to the part in bold. Richard Lariviere has been at UO almost 2 years. (His consulting contract started in May 2009). It’s unbelievable that he has let Frances Dyke run UO this long. Now he intends to let her do so for another 16 months.

As for her claim that *she* made this “very personal decision” and then informed Lariviere and Provost Bean about it. Either she is delusional, or she really is in charge of UO, to the point that she – not her supposed bosses – decide when and how she leaves. At this point, I’d say it’s 40/60 on that.

16 more months. The faculty will survive – but please join me in a prayer for the UO staff and the OAs. Here’s her 07-09 contract, the most recent I’ve got.

Subject: Campus message from VPFA
February 15, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you of my decision to retire from the university on June 30, 2012.  Once I made this very personal decision I informed the provost and the president in order to allow the university ample opportunity to conduct a search and provide time for overlap and a smooth transition for this large portfolio.

After joining the university in 1991, I served in a variety of positions and became vice president for finance and administration in 2005.  During these years the university has experienced significant growth in people, in infrastructure and in mission and is now poised at a moment of opportunity for new growth and transformation.  This is an ideal time for me to step aside and let the next generation of leadership pursue goals that support these new opportunities.

I am proud of the work that my fine colleagues and I have accomplished in all areas of administrative and financial infrastructure.  These creative and hard working individuals from both VPFA and other areas of the university have been instrumental in helping this university move forward and build a robust and flexible framework to support our instructional, research and public service goals.  I offer them my personal thanks for their dedication, ideas and support.  They have wonderful insight and important roles to play in the UO’s continued success.

Since so much of the work in this portfolio is behind the scenes it is important to provide acknowledgment with a few examples.  Professional development and training opportunities have been refocused and expanded; access to childcare has increased; advocacy for increased salaries and benefits has become more public; programming, staffing and policy development initiatives provide stronger support for our officers of administration.  The emergency management portfolio was created and public safety was restructured to ensure responsive services and collaborative programming.  Funding for campus facilities and campus planning has been stabilized, a strong capital construction unit was formed, a new power station is online and major capital and deferred maintenance projects are on time and on budget.  Stronger sustainable building practices are moving forward.  The UO is providing leadership in working with the Minority, Women and Emerging Small Business (MWESB) community. Business services have been redesigned and strengthened resulting in a university managed in a sound and fiscally responsible manner that is moving forward despite years of disinvestment from the state.  It has a network of task forces and advisory groups in place to ensure fully accountable and transparent management for all funds. These are but a few of the many initiatives which I have sponsored that demonstrate strong commitment to sustaining and strengthening this complex enterprise.

I cannot think of a better career than one in higher education.  Its mission provides the backbone for a strong and free society.  I look forward to my work through June 2012 and with enthusiasm to other opportunities that will present themselves to me after my retirement date.

With warm regards,

Frances Dyke
Vice President for Finance and Administration

From the comments: “other opportunities that will present themselves to me after my retirement date.” Yes, that probably does mean a Frohnmayer/Davis/Moseley type golden parachute: half pay for 5 years for doing jack-shit. She’s probably delaying her retirement so that she can get a July 2011 raise and pad her PERS a bit more, on top of that.

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