$100,000 a month for Huron ORSA consultants?

4/4/2011: There are rumors that ORSA’s contract with Huron consulting is costing UO $250 an hour plus expenses for each of two consultants. Supposedly this includes round-trips back to their home base in Chicago on weekends. $100,000 a month by one account, or close to $1 million total so far. This is for jobs that typically pay about $7,500 a month plus benefits.

True? The only way to cleanup the Paula Roberts situation? Who knows. But a fair number of faculty are wondering if this is where our ICC money has been going. So Wednesday before last I filed a public records request for the contracts and invoices.

Today, after a nag email or two, I finally got a reply from UO’s public records officer Liz Denecke. Instead of sending the documents – which I have the feeling are already sitting on her desk – she sent a denial of my request for a fee waiver, and an offer to sell them to me for $48.94.

I paid her, and I’ll post them as soon as she delivers. FWIW, I am guessing it’s more like $35,000 a month. Still, that’s a fair chunk of money that really should be going to support research. Regardless, why go through this elaborate bullshit to hide what’s going on from the faculty? Not the way for UO’s administrators to build trust.

Dear (UO Matters):

The University of Oregon, Office of Public Records received the above-referenced public records request you sent on March 23, 2011 (below). The university is the custodian of at least some of the records you have requested. The office is now providing an estimate to respond to your request.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding your request to be $48.94. Upon receiving a check made payable to the University of Oregon in that amount at your earliest opportunity, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure.  Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207.

The university has received your request for a fee waiver for these records.  The decision to waive or reduce fees is discretionary with the public body.  After considering your request below, the office does not consider that the totality of the circumstances you presented meets the standard for a fee waiver.

The office assumes you will accept the requested documents in electronic format to save the 25 cent charge per page for copies. The office also charges for the actual cost of making public records available.  The charge includes, but is not limited to, staff costs for locating, gathering, summarizing, compiling, reviewing, tailoring or redacting the public records to respond to a request.  The charge may also include the cost of time spent by an attorney in reviewing the public records, redacting material from the public records, or segregating the public records into exempt and nonexempt records.

The cost of time for each employee is calculated by multiplying the employee’s hourly wage calculation (including benefits expenses) by the hours or portions thereof necessary to locate, gather, summarize, compile, tailor, review, redact, segregate, certify or attend the inspection of the public records requested.

Thank you for contacting the Office of Public Records with your request.


Liz Denecke

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