A step back towards former transparency on pay


Rumor has it that VPFA Jamie Moffitt has now said that she will release a version of the quarterly salary reports in late Feb, after some additional marginal product related compensation corrections have been made. Better late than never, and a step back towards what had been one of UO’s few bright spots for transparency.

1/6/2016: Update: Johnson Hall hides admin bloat data as it calls for faculty/staff/OA sacrifices

President Schill’s warning of the hardships that the effort to rebuild UO’s academic excellence will bring is here:

… In the spirit of transparency, I will not sugar coat this message. This is not business as usual. Not all departments or schools will be net winners. Some members of our campus community may encounter hardship as we become better stewards of our resources. As we move forward, we will do everything within our power to make the transition as humane and smooth as possible. But we must move forward. To do anything less would consign our great university to mediocrity. That is unacceptable to me. I am sure it is equally unacceptable to you.

But I’m not seeing much transparency. UO’s public records office has gotten slower and more expensive, and it’s not the only problem. For years UO made public reports of the salary of every employee, every quarter. Back in the day these were in the library reserve room on white and green computer paper. Since 2009 they’ve been posted on the IR website, here:

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These data were never perfect – for example they leave out the special retirement scheme for the coaches – but they were consistent, and invaluable. This is how I learned student tuition was helping former Provost Jim Bean make his beamer payments, and about his sabbatical deal. This info turned the ASUO student government against Bean, during his attempt to replace Richard Lariviere as UO President. Here’s a more recent page:

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Interesting stuff.

However, starting with Interim President Coltrane, JH stopped reporting this data quarterly. Now it’s only annual. And they are now allowing people to redact themselves. Not just their salary, but even their name and their job position. From page one of the 6/31/2015 report:

“Positions with incumbents who have requested confidentiality are not listed.”

Bizarre stuff, for a public university.

So what kind of money is President Schill paying his new senior administrators? How many new administrators are there? What kinds of raises did administrators get this year? This is the sort of information that a leader really should make public, when asking subordinates to make sacrifices for the good of the institution. I started this blog back in 2009, in reaction to former President Frohnmayer’s efforts to convince the faculty to take 5% furlough pay cuts at the same time as he was negotiating his own fat retirement deal with OUS. So, are UO’s new top administrators sharing in the sacrifice they’re asking of others? Here are some salary trends through 2013, from the data they used to release. I wonder what the new numbers would look like:

So I’ve put in a public records request for the full, unredacted data set, just as has been posted on the web in past years, every quarter:

Dear Ms Thornton – 

This is a public records request for a copy of the UO 8/31/2015 and 12/31/2015 quarterly salary reports, as have been traditionally posted on the IR website, without redactions. 

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest, as demonstrated for example by President Schill’s recent call for UO realignment, here: https://uomatters.com/2016/01/pres-schill-aligning-our-resources-to-achieve-academic-excellence.html

You can find an example of a quarterly salary report here: http://ir.uoregon.edu/sites/ir.uoregon.edu/files/Unclassified100114to123114.pdf

Please send these reports as pdfs or as any standard machine readable format containing the same information.

Here’s hoping President Schill will start reporting these data again, along with details about the UO budget, including such things as the $10M law school subsidy and the MOU describing how it will be repaid.

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8 Responses to A step back towards former transparency on pay

  1. Buzz says:

    And just as UO plans to ask the legislature for $40 mill for a 2 week big splash sporting event. Bullshit resumes from Johnson Hall.

    • Jack Straw Man says:

      Yeah! I’m not sure anything at this university has pissed me off as much as the notion that we’re supposed to just outright cancel classes so we can host this sporting event. Can there be a clearer demonstration that sports fundamentally conflicts with – threatens – our academic mission? Athletics has to go. Completely.

  2. transparency review says:

    To HECC with it. It just makes the case stronger that our University needs oversight beyond a handful of tracktown lobbyists.

  3. doh says:

    I think this used to be mandated by some oregon law or rule or other; however, http://www.oregon.gov/transparency/pages/state_workforce.aspx#Oregon_University_System:_Annual_Employee_Salary_Reports

    states that changes were made and you can check the OUS website for more info. Too bad the OUS website is gone. http://ous.edu/

  4. Outraged says:

    Now how am I supposed complain about people with the same position making more money than me? Let’s start a campaign to bring back the data.

    • Anas clypeata says:

      I hope you have some job protection before you do that. A UO employee I know was terminated without cause by someone who is now a senior administrator shortly after doing just this. HR had zero interest in pursuing either pay equity or asking the supervisor to justify the person’s termination. Not naming any names, since I’m a coward posting under a screen name.

  5. Observer says:

    I had also noticed the sudden absence of the quarterly salary data. With the raises negotiated by the union taking effect at odd times of the year, it would be even more useful to be able to check in on a quarterly basis. This is not heading in the right direction.

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