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Blogger booted from BOT breakfast meeting on “legal training”

Last updated on 09/14/2014

9/14/2014 update: Diane Dietz of the RG – also booted by the board – explains what this secret meeting was really about. Sports. Of course.

9/13/2014 Brails update: I was politely evicted from our the Board of Trustees’ Saturday breakfast “legal training meeting” with Interim GC Doug Park. It was supposed to be a public session on new business, but they rearranged the schedule Friday afternoon and I missed the announcement. The breakfast sure smelled great, so I’m at Brails, waiting for the “Hangover Special”. Given Park’s patently false legal advice to the Trustees about how Oregon PM law limits public comments, I’m guessing it will be an interesting morning, and that Park may get some long overdue legal training. At 10AM the trustees take off to watch the Wyoming game from our $375K Autzen Skybox seats.

Here’s the RG report from Diane Dietz on yesterday’s meeting.

Update: Page down for the latest data comparing UO’s underpaid faculty with our overpaid senior administrators.

Live-blog of UO Board meetings, Friday 9/12/2014

Check the official “Around the 0” blog for the PR version of Thursday’s meeting, from Chief UO Strategic Communicator Tobin Klinger. We pay this flack $115K a year of our students’ tuition money? Why?

Reporter Diane Dietz of the RG has a considerably more informative story, here:

Saying the University of Oregon requires a different kind of presidential search this time, Board of Trustees Chairman Chuck Lillis has advanced a search plan that he wrote and that reserves broad powers for himself — and a select group of others.

Lillis gave himself the authority to conduct the search with an “assist” from a 14-member committee weighted with trustees and administrators.

A second 12-member committee that includes some UO students and office workers will be allowed to provide “relevant perspectives and insights,” according to Lillis’ plan, which he unveiled Thursday at a trustees meeting in Eugene.

… Lillis alone will be allowed to rank and even eliminate finalists, according to the plan he wrote.


Connie Ballmer: Chairwoman, UO alumnus, child welfare advocate
Peter Bragdon: General counsel Columbia Sportswear, UO Board of Trustees
Rudy Chapa: Investor and member of U.S.A. Track and Field Foundation board, UO Board of Trustees
Joe Gonyea III: Chief executive officer of Springfield’s Timber Products Co., UO Board of Trustees
Chris Maples: President of Oregon Institute of Technology
Joe Robertson: President of Oregon Health & Science University
Mariann Hyland: In-house legal counsel at Chemeketa Community College
Barbara Altmann: UO vice provost for academic affairs
Robin Holmes: UO vice president for student life
Jamie Moffitt: UO vice president for finance and administration
Michael Moffitt: dean of UO School of Law
Bill Cresko: UO geneticist and researcher
Leslie Leve: professor in College of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services
Paul Weinhold: president and CEO of University of Oregon Foundation


Jon Anderson: Publisher of Random Lengths and immediate past chairman of UO Foundation.
Derrick Deadwiler: President of UO Alumni Association
Angela Davis: UO associate professor of accounting
Robert Kyr: President of University Senate, music professor
Sandra McDonough: CEO of Portland Business Alliance
Oscar Arana: Director of strategic development and communications at Native American Youth and Family Center
Jeff Eager: Attorney at Balyeat and Eager
UO student: As yet unnamed
Beatriz Gutierrez: president of Associated Students of the U0
Kate Karfilis: UO graduate student
Carla McNelly: president of Service Employees International Union Local 085 executive committee
Teri Rowe: UO Office of Administration Council

Or read the raw UO Matters take, here. But Dietz has better quotes.

Meeting of the Board
September 11-13, 2014
Notice  |  Agenda  |  Summary  |  Minutes

Disclaimer: These are my opinions and interpretations, nothing is a quote unless in quotes.


• Roll call (Secretary)

Lillis: Connie Ballmer will chair Pres search. As Kurt Willcox noted in the RG, this is already underway.

8. University of Oregon’s Competitive Excellence
• Presentation by and discussion with Interim President Coltrane

Coltrane: The usual stuff. Moffitt: We’ve taken money back from the departments and are using it for strategic investments. Shelton: We took back $2M from the departments last years, spent about half on new administrators – recurring. We’ve budgeted $1.5M for the clusters, haven’t spent it yet.

Lillis: Are we efficient in comparison to other universities? Moffitt: We are very lean. 76% of peers for faculty. Same for staff. For administrators, only 42% of peers. She’s lumping in all OAs. Latest upper admin Org chart here.

Here’s the UO Matters administrative bloat chart. Not sure if the 2013-14 UO faculty data includes the union raises, but it sure looks like the UO faculty are underpaid, and the senior administrators are overpaid.

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 9.37.43 AM

• Discussion with university administrators regarding student success, funding and other key factors for implementing a strategic framework for competitive excellence

Coltrane goes through the brutal benchmarking report again. We’re way behind our AAU comparators on every dimension, including faculty/student ratio, research expenditures, PhD grads, etc.

Susan Gary speaks, gently mentions faculty criticism of cluster hire process.

Coltrane and Moffitt: Net increase in TT faculty last year? 11 or 12. 10 to 15 net new TTF over last 5 years. Continuing that pace will take new money, particularly for labs, GTF’s.

Lots of serious talk about new classrooms, research buildings, dorms. This transparency is quite an improvement from back when Frohnmayer and Frances Dyke blew $2.4M renovating their own Johnson Hall office building. But no talk about replacing PLC, where we’re dealing with what we’ve got:

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 10.39.00 AM

Mike Andreasen (Development and Fundraising): Now that we’ve dumped Gottfredson, we’re ready to go to our donors with the public phase of the fundraising drive, looking for money for cluster hires, Pathways Oregon, Colleges. Wants to emphasize that this is now a priority for the deans.

Curry: We have urgent needs, how do we balance this with desire to increase endowment?

Andreasen: Have to consider our needs and the giving goals of donors. Complex.

No discussion of the athletic department’s continuing unwillingess to share their donor info with the academic side.

Tim Clevenger (Chief Brander): Working on branding efforts, TV ads, yada yada. 5 year effort… The Development budget is now up to $27M, here’s where a bunch of it goes. Is it a good investment for UO, or just more money for Clevenger and his consultants?

Questions for Coltrane about reallocations of resources, evaluation of programs, faculty. He gives a nice shout out to the faculty union, praising their role in improving UO’s faculty evaluation and merit procedures.

Question for Shelton about processes for reallocating resources. Shelton: We have procedures, but we need to figure out our priorities.

Connie Ballmer: What about on-line education, to increase efficiency? Coltrane: It’s a challenge because we are a decentralized campus. We do have wonderful examples of using technology, but it’s hodgepodge. We’re hiring a Director of Extension. We’re a little bit behind.

The buzzwords fly. The apparition of these faces in the crowd; petals on a wet, black bough.

Moffitt: It all sounds wonderful, but as CFO I’m very worried about paying for existing programs.

Trustee makes a pitch for “zero based budgeting” in combination with strategic planning. (Because this worked out so well for Jimmy Carter?) Moffitt: We’ve done a similar process, lots of meetings.

Shelton: The rigorous review is for the admin budget, not academics, which are based on enrollment. Colleges are underwater, because central admin has been taking more of their money. They are in a bind.

Lillis: Lunch time. Come back and talk about student success.

12:15 pm – Recess

12:30 pm – Lunch and Training Training lunch with General Counsel – Ford Alumni Center, Room 403

2:00 pm – Public Meeting Reconvenes
• Roll call (Secretary)

9. Management of Student Access and Success (Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes, Vice President for Enrollment Management Roger Thompson, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Lisa Freinkel)
• A discussion with UO leadership regarding key factors of student success, how those factors fit into the UO’s strategy to improve competitive excellence, and what steps the Board of Trustees need to take to help advance them.

Lisa Freinkel give a report on excellent progress on low SES student retention from Pathway Oregon scholarships and advising support.

Robin Holmes talks about student retention, benefits of living on campus and enrichment data. No apparent awareness of selection effects.

Roger Thompson has more on Pathways, which he has been a big supporter of, and wants to expand further. Huge improvement in completion rates. Tragic to think of low income students taking on debt for school and not graduating. UO’s low SES completion rates were already the highest in the state, and are improving. Great stuff, and the emphasis here should alleviate the concerns in the comments that the business people now running UO are going to abandon our public mission.

Thompson on a new proposal to boost completion rates by students from middle income families who have trouble in their last year or two, because they’ve maxed out federal loans. He wants to keep them at UO, by providing UO aid to get them to graduation in four years. 400 students, $4.2 million. (we could fund half this by getting the athletic department to pay for academic support for their student-athletes, and the rest by cutting other subsidies.) Sorry for the gushing here, but I’m a sucker for a VP for enrollment who talks about the opportunity cost of a 5th year of college.

Lillis asks about grad students. Thompson: DOE has cut subsidized loans for grad school (which I got – 16 years at 1.25%, paid off 3 years ago), so yes, this is a problem for them too.

Freinkel: Argues for an integrated approach with scholarships, professional advisors, faculty mentors, enrichment programs.

Ginevra Ralph asks about residential advising for the students in all the new off-campus big box housing. Freinkel: New dorms include academic space, classes. So, not easy to replicate off campus.

Trustee asks about programs to help with employment. Holmes: We’re working with alumni center on a career network program for students with alumni, parents. Curry: Maybe targets for the number of students getting internships – important for employment. Lillis: How many new staff are we talking? Is new physical space important to this? Freinkel: Yes.

10. Other Business / New BusinessBoard of Trustees of the University of Oregon

No new business.

11. Recess

SATURDAY, SEPT. 13, 2014
8:30 am (other times approximate) PUBLIC MEETING, EUGENE HILTON, VISTA ROOM
• Roll Call (Secretary)

12. Board Breakfast and Discussion of Next Steps

13. Adjourn

10:00 am – Social Event Only
University of Oregon Football Game (vs. Wyoming) – Kick-off @ 11:00 AM
Transportation will be provided to Autzen Stadium for Trustees and guests from the hotel; parking available for trustees driving themselves.

The academic budget – mostly student tuition money – pays the Athletics Department $375K a year for the skybox the Trustees will watch the game from:

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 12.13.09 AM

Get your New Partnership commemorative coffee mug here. Redacted UO Nike t-shirts also available. All profits used to pay Doug Park for secret UO public records.

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 7.59.15 AM


  1. anon 09/12/2014


    $1.2 million is what stands in the way of a new GTF contract.

  2. Old Grey Mare 09/12/2014

    $375K was the payment through 2011. I can’t imagine it’s any less now.

  3. Anonymous 09/12/2014

    Does Kate Karfilis represent the GTFF? And if not, where is the GTFF rep on the Search Input Committee? There’s an SEIU rep, after all…

    • Anon 09/12/2014

      Is Susan Gary going to do anything to make the board understand the interests of thee UO faculty? She screwed us on the delegation of authority policy, and she didn’t make a peep about the under-representation of faculty on these search committees.

      • sigh 09/12/2014

        Agreed. I find this list VERY heavy on JH-level administrators, very light on faculty. There’s only Senate Pres Rob Kyr and a Cresko–called here a “geneticist and researcher”, as if faculty were a dirty word and researcher is somehow better, as if all faculty weren’t researchers, as if research was our exclusive mission and not teaching.

        And I ask again: why do we need BOTH Moffitts–one of whom is the quasi-discredited dean of our downwardly-mobile Law School?

  4. Duckdude 09/12/2014

    Welcome to the corporate university. The power elite and associated corporate sycophants are now in charge. You asked for the Board of Trustees, now you’ve got it and are experiencing the consequences.

  5. Nobody 09/12/2014

    Real leaders and people with real ethics would buy their own tickets instead of writing one for themselves. The glimmer of hope that was the board and the interim pres is just more of the historic self back patting and padding that has plagued this school for the near 20 years I have been here. I wonder if anyone is getting taxed on this game ticket perk?

  6. Where's CAS? 09/12/2014

    CAS makes up about 75% of the university and there aren’t any professors (save Barbara, who is now an Admin) on the team. I agree completely on the Little Miss Moffits as well: The new pres might have to get rid of one or two of them…are they ensuring they’ll stay on their “toffits” by being on the committee? I’ve got some curds and whey you can eat right here.

    • anon 09/12/2014

      Bill Cresko is an Associate Professor of Biology (a CAS department) and a member of the Institute for Ecology and Evolution.

  7. Here we go 09/12/2014

    Pay very close attention to words like these:

    “What about on-line education, to increase efficiency? Coltrane: It’s a challenge because we are a decentralized campus.”

    First, if “efficiency” (Lillis also likes that word) is the primary reason for doing something, that necessarily means that education and excellence take a back seat. Very troublesome.

    Second, when corporate folks talk of efficiency and online “education” in the same sentence, they are thinking about “classes” without faculty. This is how much of corporate training works (just like our Sexual Assault Awareness “training”).

    Real online education is not more efficient – it is less efficient if done well. It can, maybe, reach more students, but it doesn’t cost less.

    Faculty, wake up, because this is the first salvo in making us irrelevant.

    • uomatters Post author | 09/12/2014

      There was also talk about excellence and how online was not it.

      • Here we go 09/12/2014

        That is good – who made that point? It’ll come back up – the more financially squeezed we are, the more they will push it.

        • uomatters Post author | 09/12/2014

          maybe Coltrane

    • Double Duck 09/12/2014

      When a professor can suck a pension of $250,000 out of the system ( a pension!), the professors are well on the way to making themselves obsolete.

      The loud sucking sound you hear is the last of the gravy going down the drain.

      • uomatters Post author | 09/12/2014

        I don’t have the data but my guess is that faculty retiring now are getting about 2/3 of their final pay in pensions. So yes, $250K was outrageous, it was a state pension plan problem, and it’s mostly now been fixed. So please stop posted the same comment about it over and over, until you have some actual data to share.

  8. Max Powers 09/12/2014

    What did you use for comparitor pay on the salary amounts on the spreadsheet? Where did the data come from? Is it a Median amount, an Average, a certain percentile?

    • uomatters Post author | 09/12/2014

      see the links at bottom. Faculty are averages, admins are medians

      • Anonymous 09/12/2014

        So, the faculty are underpaid relative to comparators, and the JH denizens who set those salaries are overpaid. Nice to see some data on that, too bad it’s so ugly.

        What about the grad students, staff, and the regular OAs?

  9. Cheshire Cat 09/13/2014

    All this makes for very depressing reading.
    –As has been pointed out earlier on this blog the ‘higher than average ‘ salaries for admins might be justified if they were actually competent, but that is hardly the case.
    –that faculty ‘enjoy’ lower than average pay at UO while admins enjoy higher than average pay explains the significant level of alienation that outsiders find here. Until this trend changes / indeed reverses, there is little hope for the UO.
    –what can Lillis be thinking appointing both Moffits to his ‘advisory’ body? Her record on the search that ended in her appointment was very questionable. The foxes guarding the hen house? Will Moffit become president?
    –and for a university that wants that relies so heavily on tuition the lack of teaching faculty [TTF and NTTF] among those selected for input is very troubling.
    –in sum: this whole setup looks like a scheme to promote the survival of the status quo. And that is hardly a recipe for the kind of change needed.

  10. channeling Mr. Big 09/13/2014

    UOM you do know about the rumored high alert for October announcement of a $1billion range donation?

    • uomatters Post author | 09/13/2014

      Phil it up.

  11. northwest passage 09/13/2014

    Autzen phase 3?

  12. Curry Anti-Journalist? 09/15/2014

    Why does supposed journalist Ann Curry go along with illegally booting journalists out of public meetings?

    Too bad the UO isn’t subject to state AG rulings anymore.

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