Press "Enter" to skip to content

UO President to revoke Institute of Neuroscience’s charter


10/31/13: State auditors ask UO to seek repayment from former Provost Bean, over $244K pay for a job with no job description or AA compliant search. 

Nah, just kidding. Those rules are for the little people. Former Interim Provost Jim Bean hasn’t had to repay anything – he’s getting more and more.

At the same time that UO was setting up the special sinecure for former provost Jim Bean described below, they asked the Oregon Audits Division to look at pay and overtime for a few low-paid Institute of Neuroscience employees. The gist is that ION had been letting some staff overreport their hours, in lieu of raises. The full audit is here. The RG’s summary:

One supervisor in the department authorized unearned overtime to an employee as a substitute for a raise. The “overtime raise” had been provided to the employee since 2004, the audit found. 

Another department employee was paid for working 34.4 hours a week but worked only 20 hours a week, the audit found. 

Thirteen employees recorded furlough days on days they actually worked. To offset the salary reduction of those recorded furlough days, the 13 employees recorded the same amount of overtime on their timesheets every month from April 2010 to March 2013, the audit found. …

Auditors recommend UO officials comply with state-mandated furlough directives, strengthen payroll controls and determine how much employees were paid for hours not worked and seek reimbursement. 

The Oregonian has more here. My advice, don’t read the comments. Ouch. UO is now supposed to attempt to recover the money from these staff. The basics of the overtime/furlough days swap for UO staff and OAs had been approved by Richard Lariviere, who took a lot of heat for it. Here is the 2010 memo from UO Human resources authorizing this, sent by a helpful staffer.

The deal for UO’s central administrators is a little more generous, and to my mind much harder to justify. Take, for example, former Provost Jim Bean. He announced his resignation in February, after the UO Senate voted 25 to 2 to ask President Gottfredson to conduct a long overdue review of his lack of performance as UO’s top academic officer.

President Gottfredson told the Senate that Bean would “return to the faculty”. Instead, B-School Dean Kees de Kluyver created a new $244,000 a year job for him, as “Associate Dean for Experiential Learning”, without conducting an affirmative action compliant search, or even posting a job ad, or even having a job description.

It also appears that his contract wasn’t signed until 2 months after he started getting paid for this new job. UO had done something similar for Dave Frohnmayer, and in 2011 was told by the same state auditors that did the ION report not to do that again. That full audit report is here. Frohnmayer had to repay a little money. UO promised to stop post-dating employment contracts.

So, what do you think the chances are that President Gottfredson will ask the Audits Division to look into the curious circumstances behind Bean’s hiring and pay?

Assoc Dean James C. Bean, who got the job without a search.
VP for Academic Affairs Doug Blandy, who signed off on Bean’s appointment letter.
B-School Dean C. “Kees” de Kluwyer, who decided this was a worthwhile use of UO money
UO President Michael Gottfredson, who said that Bean would “return to the faculty”, but didn’t follow through.

Here’s the public records request for Affirmative Action search documents, and the response showing there are none. More on this, with the contracts, here.

Subject: Re: Public Records Request 2014-PRR-077 

Date: October 16, 2013 at 8:48:05 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton , David Hubin
Cc: Doug Blandy , Penny Daugherty , Kees de Kluyver  

Dear Ms Thornton –  

This is a public records request for documents regarding the appointment of James Bean on 7/1/30 as LCB Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Programs. The appointment letter, signed by UO’s VP for Academic Administration Doug Blandy, is attached. 

Specifically, I ask for documents showing that an Affirmative Action compliant search was conducted, or that the UO’s AAEO Office waived the normal requirement for an AA compliant search. 

I’m ccing VPAA Doug Blandy, who signed Mr. Bean’s appointment letter, and Penny Daugherty, UO’s AAEO Director. They should be easily able to provide the requested documents. In the past UO has provided similar documentation at no charge. 

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest, as demonstrated by newspaper stories on past golden parachute appointments at UO, and investigations by the US OFCCP, US DOE, and the US District Court for Oregon, regarding past administrative hiring practices at UO. 


From: “Thornton, Lisa” Subject: Public Records Request 2014-PRR-110 

Date: October 25, 2013 at 4:36:49 PM PDT

Dear Mr. Harbaugh- 

The university has searched for, but was unable to locate, documents response to your request, made 10/16/2013,  The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter.  

Thank you for contacting the office with your request. 

Lisa Thornton
Office of Public Records
University of Oregon
Office of the President


  1. Anonymous 11/01/2013

    Any chance you could do a records request for the cost of the audit?

    • UO Matters 11/01/2013

      The audit itself cost the state, not UO. I’ll see what I can dredge up about the many helper lawyers that Randy reportedly needed to hold his hand. You know my fee.

  2. Sue Me 11/01/2013

    According to Jim’s LinkedIn page, he’s now the “Associated Dean for Interdisciplinary Programs”, not “Experiential Learning”

    Too bad, because no one needs a little experiential learning more than Jim Bean. He’s mostly hanging out at the White Stag building.

  3. Anonymous 11/01/2013

    Impressive, what used to be 8+ posts is now 4 – good job censoring UoM!!!!

    • UO Matters 11/01/2013

      You’re a troll. Get smarter, funnier, better informed, or start your own blog.

    • Anonymous 11/02/2013

      So Bill, you took the last option of those four?

    • Anonymous 11/03/2013

      Some of the initial posts did disappear, though. Don’t know why. One pointed out that the internal review is being paid by the university and thus this matter is to blame for our lack of higher raises, which seemed a stretch.

  4. Marcus Garvey 11/01/2013

    Get these shiny bald white foreheads out of my face! Johnson Hall needs some diversity. What’s happening with the search for a new provost?

    • Anonymous 11/01/2013

      White guy already in place, having spine removed as we speak.

  5. Anonymous 11/01/2013

    “Thirteen employees recorded furlough days on days they actually worked. To offset the salary reduction of those recorded furlough days, the 13 employees recorded the same amount of overtime on their timesheets every month from April 2010 to March 2013, the audit found. …

    Auditors recommend UO officials comply with state-mandated furlough directives, strengthen payroll controls and determine how much employees were paid for hours not worked and seek reimbursement. “

    Conveniently, lots of emphasis on the overtime pay, not much emphasis on employees being asked to work unpaid furlough days.

    Also, no discussion at all of having employees who are funded by federal grants being furloughed to save the state money. The state saves no money, the grant gets less work accomplished.

  6. Anonymous 11/01/2013

    Those 13 employees were told by the Institute of Neuroscience (ION) Directors it was perfectly legal to work those days. The ION Directors past and present knew perfectly well they were skirting the law when they dreamed up this plan. They then had the audacity to claim during the recent state auditors’ investigations that they knew “nuthin”. The legal basis for this denial came from R. Geller who attended the investigative sessions as their legal counsel and who advised them to claim ignorance, i.e. to lie.

    Who was fired? Not the ION bosses who conjured up and approved this patently illegal scheme. Not the people in the VP for Research office who signed off on this deal nor the higher ups in JH who also approved this method for getting around the furloughs. The only person fired was the hapless ION administrative assistant whose only “crime” was doing what she was told to do by the ION Directors. She now has to pay tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket for her own legal defense while the ION faculty receive free unlimited legal support from Geller’s office. The administrative assistant is gone, the 13 staff are scared shitless, and the ION Faculty who engineered this get off scott free. Something’s not right here.

    Perhaps there should be another investigation into the ION’s illegal movement of funds between grants which has been SOP for over a decade until the recent investigations put a temporary stop to this. And while they are at it, perhaps the investigators should look into accusations of extortion of grant monies by the ION directors and some ION faculty. If the investigators start to dig, they will likely find out some interesting reasons why ION is in the red to the tune of $4M. They will have to dig deep however as the ION directors and faculty are terrified their illegalities over the past 10-15 years will be uncovered and are under orders from Geller to say “nuthin” to nobody.

  7. Anonymous 11/01/2013

    Any truth to the rumor that Gottfredson is going to make the athletic department pay for half of the investigation?

  8. Anonymous 11/01/2013

    This is a crime called official misconduct and it should be thoroughly investigated by the state police. It is also a crime to cover up any criminal wrong doing. Isn’t misuse of federal funding a federal crime? We all know if a janitor or someone else lower on the UO ladder were to have don this they would be in jail and charged. Equal protection under the law my ass. Arrest them all and have the state police do it because we all know UO police are under the thumb of the administration.

    • Old Man 11/02/2013

      Many years ago, when I was doing research in microbiology, I flaunted the rules on a regular basis. According to UO interpretation of Federal Law, any materials purchased on one grant could be used only for research funded by that grant. The two grants I had at that time used the same growth media, and the same technician was employed part time on each of the grants. She was VERY efficient, often conducting experiments from both projects at the same time. Since the two projects used the same kind of growth media, and since growth media tends to get contaminated once it is open, she very sensibly dipped into the same bottle of broth for each of the experiments, Since that bottle of broth had been bought on one grant or the other, she routinely broke the law, as that law was interpreted by the UO. AND, she did not keep track of the actual minute-by-minute time spent on each of the projects, as she moved quickly and frequently from one to the other. Her remarkable productivity and publication record attests to the sensibility of our decision to ignore some rules. Go figure. Btw, no one knew we were doing this!

    • Helpful Harry 11/02/2013

      I don’t know what went on in ION, but I do know what can happen to research that depends on live animals if the staff takes days off.

    • Anonymous 11/02/2013

      The people receiving the extra pay were all “low” on the totem pole. This wasn’t faculty taking extra pay for themselves, this was faculty arrogantly thinking that state laws shouldn’t apply to federal grants. The federal grants had budgeted raises for the employees, so ION thought they should actually pay these budgeted raises, even if the state needed to make it illegal to give employees more money.`

    • Anonymous 11/02/2013

      The investigation focused on circumventing the Governor’s furlough mandate. The investigators found unequivocal evidence that the ION faculty paid employees when they were taking furlough days. The ION faculty may have had good intentions in paying their employees but they knew it was illegal. More egregious is that ION faculty also received raises during the statewide salary freeze. Even worse, funds were illegally transferred across grants to pay for inappropriate expenditures. The furlough issue is but the tip of the ION iceberg.

    • Anonymous 11/02/2013

      I can’t be too bothered about faculty trying to pay low-paid employees, although I know others are. It seems illegal, but not immoral. The rest of what you say isn’t in the report, despite the extensive audit performed, and sounds like sour grapes from someone with an axe to grind.

    • Old Man 11/02/2013

      The Old Man reads: “Even worse, funds were illegally transferred across grants to pay for inappropriate expenditures.” Could the writer tell us in what way the expenditures were “inappropriate” (besides being transferred).

    • Anonymous 11/03/2013

      Answer to Old Man: Lab A’s grant paid salaries in Lab B for projects not written into lab A’s grant; Lab’s C grant bought equipment for Lab D and never was used for the purpose written into the grant; Lab E paid for travel of students and post-docs in Lab F even though the work was completely different; Expenditures were frequently pre- or post-dated to appear to be spent within the grant period.

    • Anonymous 11/03/2013

      Answer to Anon above; the auditors report focused exclusively on the extra payments made to ION employees to circumvent the mandated furloughs. The auditors did not investigate any other irregularity/illegality. The heart of the matter is the audaciousness of some ION faculty who believe they are so important they have the right to ignore university rules and/or state laws at will.

    • UO Matters 11/03/2013

      UO has a long history of inattention to state and federal regulations – witness the Grier/Frohnmayer/Bellotti deal, Charles Martinez’s double dipping with NIH grants and UO pay (for years), John Moseley’s Bend contract and expenses, and Jim Bean’s sabbatical deal and hiring without any attention to AA compliance.

  9. Anonymous 11/02/2013

    To Old Man: What you did was not illegal and you would have never been prosecuted. You and I both know that. So stop being disingenuous and defending illegal activities. It is not up to your usual semi-conservative standards.

    To Helpful Harry: The 13 staffers were not animal caretakers. And anyway, all labs with animals hire sufficient personnel to care for the animals 24/7/365.

    ION directors and some ION faculty committed serious crimes. Why are they being protected instead of being prosecuted (and fired)? Because the University does not want the bad publicity. So they walk and continue to receive their high salaries while the poor administrative assistant gets the shaft. Gottfredson should get some cajones and start leading by example instead of hiding behind Geller. A complete audit of the ION books for the past 10 years and appropriate punishments for those who committed crimes would be a good first step.

    • Old Man 11/02/2013

      I’m pleased to hear that I broke no laws. When I signed time sheets for my technician, I had no idea whether the time allotments were accurate, since she did not keep any records. Perhaps there are no laws regarding inadequately documented expenditures of federal funds. If so, I’d be OK with respect to materials as well as times. Good to know. Since I have no idea what went on illegally in ION, could you tell me (and others) in terms concrete enough for us to appreciate the magnitude of the law-breaking?

    • Anonymous 11/02/2013

      I know some faculty from several departments and institutes were given notice of penalties without having any idea what they did wrong. Some were told “patterns” of overtime by their employees were found, as if overtime outside of some normal pattern was enough to assume wrongdoing. Others were told of overtime wrongdoing in their lab despite not having any hourly workers, so they were left baffled about what they had done wrong and how to not repeat it in the future.

    • Anonymous 11/02/2013

      Also: “patterns of overtime” are exactly what the Linda King memo were encouraging.

    • Anonymous 11/02/2013

      Dog says

      There is an important difference between “illegal” and “non compliance with federal guidelines”.
      It also makes a difference whether your have a grant (e.g. NIH/NSF) or actual contract (e.g. NASA) –
      the latter is far easier to get into compliance issues than the former. In general, however, if you
      pay the same technician/programmer/postdoc/summery salary/etc out of multiple grants then
      you do need to be more careful – more so now than 10-20 years ago.

    • Anonymous 11/02/2013

      What are the funding agency rules when it comes to furloughing an employee that is specified as 1.0 fte on a grant?

    • Anonymous 11/02/2013

      Dog says

      not sure but the furloughs were state money issues

  10. Anonymous 11/02/2013

    Circumvention of furlough through overtime was university policy.

    Memo from Linda King, March 9, 2010:

    3. Overtime: Although University of Oregon leadership has expressed its preference that no UO employees be required to take furlough days, it recognizes that the university must comply with the collective bargaining agreements. We have tried to identify strategies that would help mitigate the effect on classified employees’ paychecks consistent with the terms of the agreements and within departmental budgets.

    To that end, we wrote last fall that unit heads might permit classified staff to work overtime if justified by operating requirements. Given the UO’s low administrative staffing levels and coupled with growing enrollment numbers and limited resources, it is understandable and perhaps even expected that overtime may be needed to maintain operations and serve the institutional mission. In light of the reduction in pay stemming from the furloughs, it is likely that many classified employees will welcome the opportunity to supplement their incomes and supervisors are encouraged to provide this opportunity. I want to reiterate this institutional support for granting overtime to classified employees under appropriate circumstances.

    For units who have operational barriers to offering overtime, it is possible to allow classified employees overtime to take online training offered through the new eLearning (Skillport) available on the Human Resources website: The site offers a broad scope of course topics, including IT skills, desktop skills, business and writing skills, and others. Providing this opportunity to employees is consistent with the UO’s commitment to provide professional development and training for all staff. For more information on this opportunity, contact Pam Farmer, 6-3208 ([email protected]).

    • Anonymous 11/02/2013

      Dog thinks

      that the above referenced university “policy” was probably not “legal” in the eyes of the state and to me
      represents once again the (incompetent) arrogance of the UO as it thinks its above the rules.

      a) I certainly don’t see how its possible to do this on STATE money under the furlough conditions.
      b) Doing it on Federal money is a complete NO NO
      c) That means you need to do this on laundered money (foundation, departmental maybe) so that
      would make it all okay …

    • Anonymous 11/02/2013

      Were Lariviere’s raises for faculty and OAs “legal” in the eyes of the State?

      Since you’re faculty, there’s an 85% chance that you got a raise… Did you refuse it in order to scrupulously comply with the governor’s wishes?

    • UO Matters 11/02/2013

      Is Bean’s golden parachute “legal in the eyes of the state”? What would happen if UO were to ask for an audit of these many deals, which add up to many millions.

    • Peter Keyes 11/03/2013

      The Lariviere era raises were given in the spring of 2011 – after the Kulongoski pay freeze ended, and before Kitzhaber limited overall state agency budget growth. (Note that this was a limitation on overall budget growth over the biennium – not a pay freeze.) The raises were politically risky, but they were not at all illegal.

  11. Anonymous 11/02/2013


    What ION did was tell classified employees to do the furlough and overtime on paper, but that legally, ION had to let them take the furlough and do the overtime. That second choice meant getting 8 hours off and making up for it at time and a half for only 5.4 hours.

    There’s your situation. Do you follow the rules and get away with more pay for less work, or do you break the rules and work more than is required.

    Apparently that’s what the 13 staff members did. Fucking criminals.

  12. 7of13 11/03/2013

    The “pattern of overtime” stuff is a pattern due to the pattern of prorated furlough pay that was deducted from our pay checks. We were allowed to work up to the exact amount of overtime hours that would restore our measly-assed paychecks to where they were before the governator nailed us federally paid people with a state-imposed tariff on our wages.

    If we forgot to write down our furlough hours or our overtime hours, admin would pencil it in for us so they didn’t have to have a manual check cut.

    The whole .86 vs .50 stuff looks much worse than it is too. That worker, still employed btw, went back to work the day after quitting/getting fired for the exact same pay for the exact same amount of time as before. There was zero difference. No increase in bennies, no salary increase or decrease. Same same same.

    Kimmy has had a hard-on for neuro & molbio from the beginning of time. Seems like she’s getting her wish by singlehandedly destroying neuro. Seems she loves to see neuro run up debt hence the unneeded repayments.

    It’d be interesting to see stoneturn audit vpr to see if their skimming of 5% off the top before calculating indirects & skimming the projected grant money is illegal too or if because that’s official uo policy, it’s legit?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *