Administrators gone wild

11/2/2011: Greg Bolt’s story 2 weeks ago in the RG gave the short version of the last 10 years of UO spending priorities: 26% more students, 9% more faculty, 36% more administrators.

Today Bolt has a detailed story about the recent UO raises. The short version? The money for the raises comes from all the new students the faculty are teaching. But nearly 40% of the $5 million in raises went to administrators. Apparently the next story will deal with the DPS budget, also now bloated with another million or so in new tuition money.

Today’s story includes lists of those faculty and administrators getting the largest raises. Fun reading. (And probably not completely accurate – though the table labels are now corrected.). A surprisingly large amount of the money went to a select group of administrators – or maybe not so surprising, given that those administrators make the rules:

In the documents, the UO listed special equity raises for 743 active faculty members and 417 administrators. Faculty received almost $3.1 million in total raises compared to almost $1.8 million for administrators.

Jim Bean is at the top. Dude just couldn’t keep his hand out of the cookie jar. Think how much easier this would have been if Lariviere could have said “Our top administrator believed this was so important for the faculty and the future of UO that he did not take an increase for himself.” Bolt discusses Lariviere’s report to Pernsteiner:

In that report, Lariviere said UO faculty pay was about 23 percent below the average for peer universities despite a decade-long effort to raise them. Following the equity raises, faculty pay was only about 3 percent below average, the report said.

But the average faculty raise was 7%. Explain that math again, Russ Tomlin? Then there’s this:

The report made a similar case for administrative raises, saying the UO was losing some of its best managers to other schools. But it did not say how far behind average administrator pay was before the raises nor how much of the gap was erased after them.

They don’t say that because the UO administrators were already at or above their comparators. Case in point, our new $270,000 a year CFO Jamie Moffit. The Chronicle database reports the median salary for CFO’s at doctoral institutions (for 2008-09) was $191,981. We top that by $78,000 for someone without a day of experience in the job?

UO is, of course, still a member of the prestigious AAU, but we have no Med school or engineering, and our budget is about 25% of most other public AAU’s. Go down the list of UO administrators and compare them to the Doctoral column from the Chronicle database:

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8 Responses to Administrators gone wild

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m worried more about inequities across different faculty departments. I look at this list and I’m kicking myself for not becoming an economics or business professor. A lot of really talented folks in far less lucrative fields got *percentage* raises that didn’t even come close to the 7% average, not to mention absolute raises that were so insultingly meager as to be worse than no raise at all.

    “Equity” seems to have been defined purely with reference to our comparator institutions, not to inequalities within this one. That means the rich got significantly richer and the poor got marginally less poor. We don’t know, of course, whether the most lucrative disciplines have statistically pulled even further ahead of the less lucrative ones as a result of Tomlin’s formula. But every signal that this administration sends — whether hiring coaches and administrators or faculty and staff — is that when it comes to compensation, one’s value on the open market is everything and one’s dedication and service to the institution itself means nothing. With no merit or COLA increases likely in the foreseeable future, or perhaps ever, I’m wondering why I even bother.

    I am seriously thinking about teaching my students that a university is nothing more and nothing less than a place where labor markets for distinct kinds of “talent” happen to intersect. But then again, why should I go out of my way teach my students anything? After all, I can only increase my market value by publishing more research.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The list in the Register Guard of “Largest Faculty Raises by Amount” is incorrect. Several people on this list had raises of roughly $5000, which was exceeded by the raises given to many faculty not on this list. A quick scan of the quarterly report salary lists compiled by the Office of Institutional Research will verify this.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dog replies to anon 1 above

    “is that when it comes to compensation, one’s value on the open market is everything and one’s dedication and service to the institution itself means nothing”

    this is not a recent development at all; faculty
    certainly should be aware of this. A full professor of English will never make as much
    as the equivalent of a law professor anywhere.
    A computer scientist will make much more than a science professor – the department of economics will always have the largest average salaries within a CAS.

    This problem is not at all unique to the UO nor
    do I think the UO is abhorrent in this regard.

    To Anon 2 – correct, the published list is mostly bullshit. This dog got a raise (I assume it was entirely a clerical error) that
    exceeded 5K but fortunately the dog is not on the list – or are they?

  4. UO Matters says:

    The list was titled incorrectly – the online version has been corrected to “Highest paid faculty who received raises”. Besides, I’m not sure the RG counted Dogs.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Anon 1 to Dog: No one expects an English prof to make anywhere near what a law prof makes. My point was rather that since merit and COLA increases are banned by the state for who knows how long, and equity raises are therefore the only shot we’ve got, it creates morale problems to define equity so narrowly around field-to-field comparisons with competitors and to ignore intra-institutional disparities. Most faculty, after all, are not going anywhere, and those who do get offers at other universities can still be compensated with conventional retention deals. So why not spread the wealth a bit, Obama-style? It’s not like law profs are twice as smart or twice as hard-working as English profs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Dog responds to Anon

    I don’t necessarily disagree with the sentiment – I just don’t see any way in hell you can come up with a plan to address this traditional imbalance. I don’t think a proposal to give faculty in the “lowest paid departments” a disproportional equity raise would fly nor do I see any actual fair way to do this.

    I also don’t know what Obama’s style is.

    And thanks to UOmatters for pointing out
    the correction.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Could UO Matters or someone else explain why some members of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics got the recent raises if the funds for these salary increases came from tuition charged to students.

    I thought pay for all persons in the Athletic Department came from money not generated by the academic side of the university. Is this another case of Athletics not being self-sufficient, despite Mullens repeated claims that they are?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Someone should also ask why new business school dean got a raise if the reason for the raises was to retain key admins. Wasn’t he just hired at market value? And, it certainly can’t be a performance raise because things in the business school are a mess since his arrival. (By the way, he was clearly the only choice by pres and provost. After his first failed visit with LCB faculty in which he was resoundly rejected, he was sent back for a second try after some serious coaching to get the answers right.)