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Anna Richter-Taylor and Gallatin Public Affairs bill UO $356,014 for what?

Last updated on 04/30/2015

This previous post explains that in March Coltrane told Clevenger to review expenditures, report back, and freeze hiring in the meantime.

Apparently UO is so short on strategic communicators that VP Tim Clevenger has spent $356,014 on help, just at Gallatin Public Affairs. What’s it buying, other than Oregonian editorials about UO’s “bumbling” leadership? Let’s ask him:

On ThursdayApr 30, 2015, at 8:15 AM, Bill Harbaugh <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Tim – I put up a post with the GPA invoices, at I’d appreciate it if you can send me some documentation on what they have been doing to earn this money.

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Some of it looks like efforts to deal with the bad publicity from HLGR’s negotiation’s with the faculty and student unions, but most of the invoices have no details whatsoever – just the billable totals.

Here’s one monthly payment, totals below, full doc dump here. It only took 5 weeks to get these from Dave Hubin’s public records office. I’m still waiting for documents describing what these people actually did to earn this money. No wonder Jamie Moffitt’s well is dry:

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4/27/2015: Coltrane and Angela Wilhems dump another $200K + on administrative bloat

The going rates in the AAU for new assistant professors, for Fall 2013:

Math: $83,000
Human Physiology: $72,300
English: $62,800
Economics $120,800
International Studies: $72,500
Business administration: $156,000
Journalism: $57,200
Special Education: $75,000

But why would the UO administration hire more troublesome faculty, when they can spend the money on an Associate Vice President for Public Affairs instead, and task them with the job of making the UO administration look good? A mission so impossible that you know it’s got to pay well. Add in support staff and the latest admin bloat is going to cost UO 2 to 3 faculty lines:

Title: Associate Vice President for Public Affairs Communication

Department: University Advancement

Reports To: Vice President for University Advancement

Term: 1.0 FTE for 12 months (renewable annually)

Salary Range: $150,000 – $200,000

Review Date: Search will remain open until filled. To ensure consideration, please submit application materials by May 26, 2015

Start Date: As soon as possible

General Responsibilities:
The University of Oregon seeks applications for the Associate Vice President (AVP) for Public Affairs Communication. The Office of Public Affairs Communications includes media relations, digital communications, internal communications, emergency communications, and counsel to university constituencies, including the Office of the President.

Reporting to the Vice President for University Advancement, the AVP serves as the chief communications officer of the university and will lead and manage internal and external communications strategy and execution. The AVP will provide strategic vision and leadership in the creation and implementation of communications initiatives, including fostering relationships with media, community leaders, external organizations, students, and other campus constituencies. This position will serve as a member of the President’s leadership team and will work closely with the President, the President’s Chief of Staff, the University Secretary, and the Associate Vice President for Marketing and Brand Management among other senior leadership on campus. …


  1. just different 04/27/2015

    Why the **** are they making these kinds of hires at T-minus 63 days to a new president?? Doesn’t he get something to say about what the org chart looks like?

  2. Anonymous 04/27/2015

    It’s official, this university is a joke.

  3. Buzz 04/27/2015

    I thought they were broke?

  4. omg 04/28/2015

    That’s what fraction of the proposed merit pay increase??

  5. Observer 04/28/2015

    Wasn’t the well supposed to be dry?

  6. if ever 04/28/2015

    Wake up UO board. Flames getting higher.

    Can I strike yet? Please, please?

  7. Outsider 04/28/2015

    An administration completely at odds with its faculty; more $$ to cover its ass and less for the actual academic mission. How can any of your colleagues defend this administration’s spite and paranoia?

  8. Makes you wanna shout 04/28/2015

    Just how many fresh bodies do you need to throw at a perceived problem that starts and stops with “just tell the truth” every chance you get?

  9. Pyramid schemers 04/28/2015

    If they can hire at $200K, Lillis can rationalize a fat raise for Wilhelms next.

  10. charlie 04/28/2015

    LSU in on the verge of bankruptcy. TPTB solution, fire tenured professors, and close departments.…bankruptcy-plan/article

    No mention of cutting administrative bloat, naww, the first thing they suggest, go after those folks who make up the Faculty Senate, because they’ll bring up the question of why does this here uni have so many people who neither teach, research, nor do much of anything, while the academic integrity of the flagship collapses?

    Point being, the current debt based, bigger fool theory of running American unis suits those that make money from that model quite well. LSU isn’t an anomaly, its pretty much administered in the same way as every other public uni. That school is the future of USAAmerican higher education. If so, then it makes sense why the U of Owe will lard up the admin overhead, and undermine academics.

    Truth to tell, I always thought it would be the public HBCUs and the directional unis that would go under long before flagships would. Man, what was I thinking…..

    • Thom Aquinas 04/28/2015

      In Biology I was told parasites usually DON’T kill their host … ???

  11. NTTF 04/28/2015

    Last week I re-read for the first time in many years the 1958 Dr. Seuss classic The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. Its plot eerily echoes our plight of ever-multiplying ranks of admins.

    I’m guessing this bends fair-use rules past the breaking point, but it’s too perfect not to share the relevant part, which starts with the exasperated narrator, Conrad (Sally’s brother):

    [Editor, if it would bring too much wrath from librarians, lawyers, or bureaucrats, feel free to trim or cut the quoted passage.]


    “But now we have rug spots!”
    I yelled. “What a day!
    Rug spots! What next?
    Can you take them away?”

    “Don’t ask me,” he laughed.
    “Why, you know that I can!”
    Then he picked up the rug and away the cat ran.

    “I can clean up these rug spots before you count three!
    No spots are too hard
    For a Hat Cat like me!”

    He ran into Dad’s bedroom
    And then the cat said,
    “It is good that your dad
    Has the right kind of bed.”

    Then he shook the rug!
    Now the bed had the spot!
    And all I could say was,
    “Now what, Cat?
    NOW what?”

    But the cat stood still.
    He just looked at the bed.
    “This is not the right kind of bed,” the cat said.
    “To take spots off THIS bed
    Will be hard,” said the cat.
    I can’t do it alone,”
    Said the Cat in the Hat.

    “it is good I have some one
    To help me” he said.
    “Right here in my hat
    On the top of my head!
    It is good that I have him
    Here with me today.
    He helps me a lot.
    This is Little Cat A.”

    And then Little Cat A
    Took the hat off HIS head.
    “It is good I have some one
    To help ME,” he said.
    “This is Little Cat B
    And I keep him about,
    and when I need help
    Then I let him out.”

    And then B said,
    “I think we need Little Cat C.
    That spot is too much
    For the A cat and me.
    But now, have no fear!
    We will clean it away!
    The three of us! Little Cats B, C, and A!”

    “Come on! Take it away!”
    Yelled Little Cat A.

    “I will hit that old spot
    With this broom! Do you see?
    It comes off the old bed!
    It goes on the T.V.”

    And then Little Cat B
    Cleaned up the T.V.

    He cleaned it with milk,
    Put the spot in a pan!
    And then C blew it out
    Of the house with a fan!

    “But look where it went!”
    I said. “Look where it blew!
    You blew the mess
    Out of the house. That is true.
    But now you made Snow Spots! You can’t let THEM stay!”

    “Let us think about that now,”
    Said C, B, and A.

    “With some help, we can do it!”
    Said Little Cat C.
    Then POP! On his head
    We saw Little Cat D!
    Then, POP! POP! POP!
    Little Cats E, F, and G!

    “We will clean up that snow
    If it takes us all day!
    If it takes us all night,
    We will clean it away!”
    Said Little Cats G, F, E, D, C, B, A.

    They ran out of the house then
    And we ran out, too.
    And the Big Cat laughed,
    “Now you will see something new!
    My cats are all clever.
    My cats are good shots
    My cats have good guns.
    They will kill all those spots!”

    But this did not look
    Very clever to me.
    Kill snow spots with pop guns?
    That just could not be.

    “All this does is make MORE spots!”
    We yelled at the cat.
    “Your cats are no good.
    Put them back in your hat.

    “Take your Little Cats G,
    F, E, D, C, B, A.
    Put them back in your hat
    And you take them away!“

    “Oh, no!” said the cat.
    “All they need is more help.
    Help is all that they need.
    So keep still and don’t yelp.”

    Then Little Cat G
    Took the hat off his head.
    “I have Little Cat H
    Here to help us” he said.

    “Little Cats H, I, J,
    K, L, and M.
    But our work is so hard
    We must have more than them.
    We need Little Cat N.
    We need O. We need P.
    We need Little Cats Q, R, S, T,
    U and V.”

    “Come on! Kill those spots!
    Kill the mess!” yelled the cats.
    And they jumped at the snow with long rakes and red bats.
    They put it in pails
    And they made high pink hills!
    Pink snow men! Pink snow balls! And little pink pills!

    Oh, the things that they did
    And they did them so hard.
    It was all one big spot now
    All over the yard!
    But the Big Cat stood there
    And he said, “This is good.
    This is what they should do
    And I knew that they would.

    With a little more help,
    All the work will be done,
    They need one more cat.
    And I know just the one.”


    Perhaps we can go
    Through the org chart and pick
    A Little Cat letter
    To each admin affix.

  12. charlie 04/29/2015

    Man, a lot of U of Owe student’s tuition is going for Gallatin headshots…..

  13. Plaque control 04/29/2015

    Teeth. Look at those teeth. They spent UO tuition money on dental hygiene. Weird how the Oregonian’s editorial board wasn’t impressed by all those smiles.

  14. searchlight 04/30/2015

    Please keep the pressure on. It would be fascinating to know what each line item stands for and buys. I suspect it is mostly about ass covering. If only people would do the right thing in the first place.

  15. SaveUofO 04/30/2015

    This is a shameful waste of student and tax payer money. The administration is completely out of control and needs to be taken back under the wing of the state. Scrap Johnson Hall and start all over. The bloat needs to go and so do the ridiculous salaries.
    The board isn’t fixing anything. The board is enabling this band of pirates to run our institution into the ground and write their own salaries, contracts, and perks. The administration has fired good people for doing the right thing. This administration has ensnared this institution in more lawsuits in a shorter amount of time than anyone can recall.
    We have been subjected to the worst possible decision making about suing victims, firing people over a botched process for records, humiliating good employees who have given years of service, good old boy contracting to law firms who happen to employ former UofO administrators, and hiring search firms that fail to deliver.
    The administration has sent a clear message that it doesn’t care about the employees and giving raises to faculty and staff takes second chair to paying yet another outside public affairs firm contract. The administration is okay bleeding this institution dry so long as they are getting their inflated pay, benefits, athletic junkets and whatever other perks they decide to bestow upon themselves.
    The administration furthers the destruction of this institution with their never ending parade of vice provosts of this, vice provosts of this, vice provosts of vice provosts, and the rest of the lunacy. There’s always plenty of money for more administrators and contracts. Always more money for attorneys and lawsuits, police, administration, junkets, perks, bonuses, stipends, out of state trainings, retreats, and the rest of it.
    I’m not sure what needs to happen to take control of this institution into responsible hands. I sadly do not see it happening and only see more waste ahead of us all. the ship is sinking and water is pouring into it faster than it ever has. I don’t see the leak being patched and it leaves me disheartened.

  16. Dr. Funkenstein 04/30/2015

    I’d say I was outraged, but I passed that several exits ago and am now hurtling towards the abyss with three flat tires, trailing a fountain of sparks and flame. Oh yeah, Go Ducks!

  17. Anonymous 04/30/2015

    Just a quick note – that $70k invoice you have from January 2014 seems to be a typo that increased the amount by a factor of ten. It’s the biggest invoice on the list, so it draws some attention.

    • Ben 04/30/2015

      Wasn’t there an invoice that was for $39,000, related to a survey? (I really am asking… I thought I saw one when reading them a few hours ago, but I’m too lazy to check again.)

    • uomatters Post author | 04/30/2015

      Thanks, fixed. The last thing I need is a defamation suit from a bunch of PR flacks ;)

      Dave Hubin’s PR office sent me a much cleaner pdf today, I’ve updated the link, so if anyone sees any other mistakes please let me know.

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