9/25/2012: The RG’s Diane Dietz digs into the student debt situation, with a focus on UO. Some tidbits:
The prisons’ share is $1.36 billion in the current two-year budget, compared with the $691 million for the entire, seven-school Oregon University System.
Not clear if that includes direct state aid to students, a common way of understating higher ed spending.
Eckstein, formerly the UO student body president, said it’s too easy for universities to turn to students and require them to make up the shortfall. “What is the university doing as an institution to shoulder the burden of some of the state funding cuts? There were no specific answers on how the university made an effort to reduce costs before turning to tuition increases,” he said.
Jock Box, Mac court payments, rigged overhead rates, UO Police, administrative bloat have all been problems, here PERS gets its share of the blame for costs:
Mike Bellotti, former UO football coach and athletic director, is the top PERS beneficiary, receiving $496,000 annually. Former UO President Dave Frohnmayer; Frank Anderson, a longtime UO mathematics professor; and Peter Von Hippel, a UO professor of biophysical chemistry and molecular biology for 36 years, rank among the state’s top 10 PERS beneficiaries, each receiving well over $200,000 a year. [Much of these payments are essentially paid by PERS out of current contributions from state agencies like UO.]
Faculty and administrators got raises, too:
Last year, Lariviere handed out $5 million in special raises to 1,100 faculty members and administrators. “It was an effort to close the gap between where we were and our comparator institutions. We are now at 88 percent of the average,” said Berdahl, who temporarily took over after the state fired Lariviere, in part, because the raises flew in the face of Gov. John Kitzhaber’s directive that state agencies curb personnel costs. Again, this July, the university spent $2.6 million in a 3.5 percent across-the-board salary increase for 900 administrators, mostly middle managers and professional staff.
This is a long article covering many contentious issues. It’s good to see the RG taking a skeptical look at UO’s decisions.