Frohnmayer takes umbrage, RG calls for PERS transparency

2/3/2013 update. Former UO President Frohnmayer sends the email below, correcting several points on the post below, and giving his opinion on others. The last email I got from Frohnmayer also vaguely threatened a defamation lawsuit, but he dropped that after the state Audits Division told him he really was under investigation. He had to repay UO some money. UO was told to stop writing people retroactive contracts with no job duties. Contracts and audit report here. Here’s Frohnmayer’s latest letter:

From: Dave [email protected]
Subject: UO Matters carelessness
Date: February 3, 2013 7:44:57 PM PST
To: “[email protected]
Cc: Dave FROHNMAYER , Michael Moffitt , David Frank , “[email protected], “[email protected]

Dear Professor Harbaugh:

Your most recent self-styled “rant” (and smear) of January 27, 2013 in UO Matters has just come to my attention. You say:

“We’re paying Dave $100,514 a year for co-teaching 2 small classes on “leadership”….[and] a week long one credit pass/fail course in the law school.”

You both understate and misrepresent my active teaching responsibilities and other duties in my .50 FTE appointment in the University’s Tenure Reduction Plan in this academic year.These responsibilities include:

1). A peer-reviewed and invited 4 unit colloquium for the Clark Honors College, which — as if you did not know this— imposes an enrollment ceiling to maintain high quality standards;

2). A peer-reviewed and invited 4 unit freshman seminar, which also imposes an enrollment ceiling.

My colleague and I always enroll or exceed the maximum to accommodate an invariable waiting list. The student evaluations over many years of these two offerings have been among the strongest in the university in any discipline, both in terms of difficulty and quality.

3). A School of Law J-Term intensive 15-hour 1 unit experimental course in early January that received outstanding student reviews.

4). A 2 unit semester long course on state administrative law this winter and spring that was requested both by students and by School of Law administration.

5). I am instructor of record for a 3 unit semester long course on legislation this winter and spring.

In addition to these responsibilities, on an ongoing basis since my retirement from the presidency, I have performed numerous special assignments for my respective deans, two successive university presidents and numerous other university constituencies.

It is common knowledge that you have secured volumes of documents (at great expense to the university budget) that would easily have revealed the truth of what I relate. Your continuing carelessness seems attributable to malice, negligence or, regrettably, both. Your lack of attention to the most basic norms of a social scientist is a very poor reflection on your academic integrity and competence.

Since you have claimed in the past that you have received academic service credit for your self-styled blog “rants” of this kind, I take the liberty of informing your department and college of this latest example of your behavior.

Dave Frohnmayer

Sent from my iPad

Last year Frohnmayer took umbrage over Oregon Daily Emerald publishing this story about the Oregon SPJ giving me their “First Freedom” Award. Apparently at the insistence of his lawyers, the ODE website later posted a “clarification“:

In the article, we paraphrased UO Matters’ Bill Harbaugh saying “former University president Dave Frohnmayer was proposing pay cuts for faculty and Harbaugh found public records showing he had negotiated a big raise for himself with Chancellor Pernsteiner not long before.” Documents provided to the Emerald indicate that while Frohnmayer did get a raise, it was nine months before he asked the faculty to take cuts and months before a serious economic downturn. 

Additionally, while he was asking staff to take paycuts, Frohnmayer himself took a 7.6 percent paycut, the largest of any administrator.

I’m a little puzzled by Frohnmayer’s math. If you pull the unclassified salary reports at you get this for him:
February 2009: (before furlough scheme)

$225,700 12 months FTE at 100%, president
$18,333 12 month FTE at 100%, chair pay
$20,000 12 month FTE at 100% expense allowance (taken as salary)
$111,627 12 month FTE at 100% supplemental pay
$69,300 12 month FTE at 100% recognition award/stipend
$130,000 12 month FTE at 100% law professor (on leave no pay) 

May 2009: (after furlough scheme)

$225,700 12 months FTE at 92%, president
$18,333 12 month FTE at 100%, chair pay
$20,000 12 month FTE at 100%, expense allowance (taken as salary)
$111,627 12 month FTE at 100%, supplemental pay
$69,300 12 month FTE at 100%, recognition award/stipend
$130,000 12 month FTE at 100% law professor (on leave no pay)  

August 2009 

$245,700 12 months FTE at 100%, president emeritus

So, if you include all the various pots of salary he was getting, he took a furlough cut from $37,080 a month to $35,575, or about 4% per month, for about three months. Call it about 1% for the year. His furlough plea was for faculty and OA’s to take 5% cuts.
I’m also a little confused by Frohnmayer’s dates. He did get one big raise from Pernsteiner in 2008, and that was indeed before the furlough scheme, as his clarification indicates. But his retirement contract also included a very nice raise, however you calculate it. And many other special emoluments as well. 
So, was Frohnmayer really negotiating with Pernsteiner for a nice retirement deal for himself at the same time he was trying to persuade the rest of us to take 5% furlough pay cuts? It sure looks that way to me. His contract is here. The Oregon Audits Division report on it is here. The furlough town hall was 4/14/2009, video of Frohnmayer pitching the furloughs to the faculty and OA’s is here. And here’s an email from OUS chief lawyer Ryan Hagemann, saying Frohnmayer’s contract had not been finalized as of 4/29/2009:
From: “Hagemann, Ryan” <[email protected]>
Subject: Public Records Requests
Date: April 24, 2009 11:16:29 AM PDT
To: “Bill Harbaugh” <[email protected]>

Professor Harbaugh:
I have returned from the road, and am in receipt of your two public records requests.  Generally, you have requested President Frohnmayers post-presidential agreements and the contract, and other agreements, for incoming President Larivere.  For your information, Professor Harbaugh, to my knowledge, neither of these agreements have been finalized.  I have a proposal for your consideration:  if you would be willing to withdraw these two requests, I would be willing, when I receive these finalized agreements in my office, to forward them to you at no cost.  That way, you would not need to make a new public records request; Id just forward to you when I receive. 
Would that work?  If not, I would be more than happy to process your request and get you an acknowledgement letter!
Thanks for your consideration,
R y a n   J a m e s   H a g e m a n n
Legal Counsel & Secretary to the Board
Oregon University System

After I raised questions about the legality of this $245,700 emeritus contract UO renegotiated it according to the standard rues, leaving Frohnmayer at $201K with an 0.5 FTE and with fully specified teaching and research responsibilities. Saved UO a good $145K, that did. Contracts here.

1/27/2013. It’s starting to seem like a movement. They even call out Frohnmayer, when discussing Kitzhaber’s plans to cap the COLA:

A number of prominent Oregonians found themselves the subjects of unwanted attention when Kroger raised the curtain two years ago. Among them was former University of Oregon athletic director Mike Bellotti, who received the biggest PERS pension of them all — $41,342 a month. No. 4 on the list was Steve Goldschmidt, who represented the Eugene School District during a 1987 teachers’ strike, whose monthly check was $21,517. Former UO President Dave Frohnmayer came in at No. 5, with $21,207.

From what I can tell from the UO salary data, we’re also paying Dave $100,514 a year for co-teaching 2 small classes on “leadership”, with his former special assistant Barbara West – not sure what she gets. Also can’t find any evidence that the Senate Curriculum Committee ever approved his courses. He also teaches a week long one credit pass/fail course in the law school – so he’s a “law professor” when he’s out soliciting clients for HLGR. To top it off he got a lot of deferred compensation from UO, so the PERS number is an underreport of his total state paid retirement income. Contracts here. OK, I’m done with this rant for a while, sorry.

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8 Responses to Frohnmayer takes umbrage, RG calls for PERS transparency

  1. Anonymous says:

    The movement is called,’Cap-a-COLA.’

  2. Anonymous says:

    Belotti made off like a thief. Almost $500,000 a year pension for being a football coach???
    Did Chipper & the new coach get this same pension piece of the pie?
    Frohnmeyer is cashing in too.

    Hey! It’s a valid rant.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wait until Chip’s package hits PERS.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I fear Mr. Frohnmayer might be a little old and/or past expiration date, not understanding the dynamics of blogs and all. Time for some training, Dave? I take up the challenge. So, be on the lookout for a new revision to your wiki page over the next few weeks. When you see it, just hop on and correct it. It’s as easy as that. What’s true rises to the top, what’s not get’s refined over time. It’s not a big deal, really. (Don’t forget to stop counting your billable time when you check your wiki page. This could get expensive if it gets under your skin any more.)

    A past president questioning academic integrity, though? Really? I think you’re just scared of UOM being such a constructive advocate for reform and change.

    Did he just use student reviews to justify his six-figure salary?

  5. Big Brother says:

    He sent you that during the Harbaugh Bowl? Another disgruntled Jim fan.

  6. Anonymous says:

    That’s really Dave, you can tell by how he sidestepped the issue of UOCC review.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Geez, those academic knifes are sharp.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious. Except this Dave guy seems expensive, and dude, where’d they park the startup package money?