Friday night rumor report

Updated in real-time, as reports from the faculty parties roll in:

11/22/2013, 10:28 PM: University to axe economics, keep heavily subsidized athletics department.

11/22/2013, 5:23 PM: Brad Shelton is forming a secretive “Central Budgeting Committee” to provide a facade of faculty input into UO’s spending priorities and the 3.0 release of UO’s budget model.

11/9/2013, 3:34 PM: President and Interim Provost open their leadership meetings to press and faculty for presentation of university finances, building plans. Just kidding, that’s at UGA. At UO, Gottfredson won’t even let the Senate President attend.

11/8/2013, 9:57 PM: 2 years after George Pernsteiner got the OUS Board to fire Richard Lariviere without faculty input, new OUS Chancellor Melody Rose is recommending that outgoing board tie the hands of the incoming independent UO Board of Trustees by renewing Gottfredson’s contract through June 30, 2016. Current contract here. There was no input from UO Senate into this review, and Gottfredson hasn’t shared the results.

UO’s old friend Matt Donegan has it scheduled for a vote on Friday, 11/15.

11/8/2013, 9:34 PM: Coltrane not happy to learn that Blandy and Gleason agreed to contract language that puts him on the spot for approving or rejecting NTTF sabbaticals.

11/8/2013, 7:33 PM: VPFA Jamie Moffitt is planning on selling bonds to finance UO expansion to 28,000 students, from current 24,500.

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28 Responses to Friday night rumor report

  1. Anonymous says:

    This explains the continued construction of student apartment buildings. Developers know more about UO’s future direction than the faculty or the UO Senate.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Rumor confirmed in LCB faculty meeting today. The collective groan was hard to miss.

  3. awesome0 says:

    Does this mean….

    1. More TTF coming?
    2. New buildings coming?
    3. More GTF coming?

    Increased financial aid to recruit better/more students??

  4. UO Matters says:

    PAC-12 media deal requires UO deliver more student bodies to fill the expanded Autzen, for camera cutaways.

  5. Anonymous says:

    That’s easy to do without more students. Just lower student ticket prices which went up this year….

  6. Anonymous says:

    Seems like a speculator bubble. Fix the current finances by getting bonds to get more students with a delay in getting more faculty and infrastructure, rinse and repeat until the California schools get their act together again and the out-of-state exodus ends, end up with decades of bond obligations and no bonus tuition to pay it off.

  7. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Seems like a dubious plan to try to raise enrollment that much from its current level. After all, enrollment is down this year from earlier. If the recession ever really ends, it’s likely to go down further. The number of high school grads is slated to level off, then go down, at least nationally. There’s increasing resistance to tuition increases and doubt about the worth of a college education.

    Also, the University is limited in space and also the surrounding neighborhood has already lost much of its charm due to the building of high rises for students.

    Perhaps UO is really buying into the Governor’s absurd plan to have 40% of Oregon high school students get 4-year degrees. If so, they’re going to have to lower standards — as I’ve pointed out as much as anyone, SAT scores of UO students are not very impressive, especially compared to our AAU “peers.” My understanding is undergrad SAT scores is one thing AAU is watching.

    All in all, seems like a risky plan. A lot of investors have lost a lot of money assuming that the market will go up forever. Holds true for higher education too, I bet.

    Wouldn’t UO do better trying to upgrade itself for 24-25 thousand students? I’ll bet that would impress AAU more than an effort to make itself into a rather small, undistinguished “mega-university.” We’re never going to compete with Arizona State in that regard. At least, I hope not!

    • Anonymous says:

      As someone who teaches over 1000 SCH per year, I fully agree with the above comments. Four or five years ago we were asked to increase class size as much as possible. Of course we know the number of new faculty lines since then has been mediocre. Given that history, its astounding the “university” is planning significant new student growth without any dialog. Should this at least not wait until the new board is active? The new growth will have to come from the bottom of the pool. My classes have plenty from that pool already. So I certainly hope this is just a rumor.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not a rumor and it’s not a plan. According to one Dean, it has been floated by Moffitt. Given that, it’s just about revenue – not quality, not AAU, not strategy from an academic perspective. Just about making the dollars “work” from a non strategic, uncreative CFO.

    • UO Matters says:

      Get creative Jamie. Drop baseball and save enough to hire 20 new TTF.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or if you creativity isn’t your comparative advantage, get some feedback from many of our creative faculty.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who says the growth will be in Eugene? Other than the Giant out of state for profit developers buying up tracts of land around the U

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps the plan is to buy PSU, no wait it would have been cheaper to just merge the two under a single independent board. If the UO picks up SOU, OIT and WOU I think we would hit the magic 28, and have an expanded presence in Portland from OIT engineering for the board members to hand out at when visiting.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Another rumor: AAU has put UO on 4-year probation. Heard that at a faculty meeting from department head who said he heard it a dept heads meeting, but nobody else has confirmed it. Anybody know?

    Gottfredson’s “benchmarks” report would make sense in this context — not too late to stay in AAU, but urgent improvement needed.

  9. awesome0 says:

    I’m not worried about increasing enrollment further as long as they hire more rtf and grad students and build more buildings first.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the plan is to keep the pressure high on existing faculty and buildings to maximize profit for as long as possible.

  10. Anonymous says:

    And where does this profit end up, Admin?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the OUS docket link. Always good to see choice info in there.

    Page 50 — UO gets 10% of its revenue from the state, far less than the ~20% that PSU and OSU get. Doubt that’ll be fixed with our ineffective lobbying power.

    — 1% of all revenue for university this year is going to be taken and added to our reserves (to leave the stock at 16% of revenues)… OSU is 0.7… PSU is eating into their reserve.

    — We’re getting Chapman Hall renos and utility tunnel fixes if all goes well.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Whatever happened to the late, great senate budget committee?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I heard a rumor that today’s football game had been canceled. From a devoted reader of UOM, who notes that there is no comparison of faculty salaries, presidential size, acres per dollar, SAT scores, etc. for the previously schedule game with Arizona.

  14. Zach V. says:

    I hear the Eugene Historic Review Board is pressing UO for information about structures to be impacted by the 8.5 million
    dollar “central kitchen” project near 19th and Columbia. This is a big deal. UO used to control the HRB and they do not anymore. UO is stonewalling from what I have heard. Would uomatters please contact
    Eugene planning staff person Steve Ochs and let the campus know what is going on here. Just because it is not in all the papers does not mean it is not important news.