De-Budget Advisory Group (DBAG) needs your help on what to de-fund

A few years back VPFA Jamie Moffitt set up a “Budget Advisory Group” (BAG) to help her sort through the proposals for millions in dollars of urgently needed new funding – stuff like giving the library enough money to keep its book-buying budget from shrinking, upgrade the wifi, retention money for faculty, and so on. The BAG advises Moffitt on how to spend $1M or so – though of course JH gets the final call.

I think it was in 2013 that the BAG allocated $500K, plus $150K recurring, on a computer system to interface the newly armed UOPD with the EPD. I was on the BAG this year, I think all the money ended up going to wifi and IT consultants, except maybe a token amount to the libraries. Chump change when VPFA Moffitt is giving $10M to bail out Dean Moffitt’s law school.

Obviously the BAG needs more money to work with. Therefore I’m following up on today’s Senate Realignment Town Hall with a proposal for a De-Budget Advisory Group (DBAG) composed of faculty, OA’s, staff, and students. Its charge will be to search for things that UO really should stop spending money on. Membership will determined by the waste and irrelevance to UO’s core academic mission of the expenditures that self-nominees identify for de-funding.

The DBAG concept has already been enthusiastically endorsed by at least one senior UO administrator – but it’s up to all of us to make it work. Your suggestions are welcome in the comments.

4/26/2016: Senate Town Hall on Realignment, Wed at 3:30 in Straub 156:

University Senate Town Hall meeting

The University Senate will be hosting a Town Hall meeting to discuss the impact of the resource realignment process on academic units. All members of the university community are welcome to attend.

April 27, 2016 in Straub 156 from 3:30 P.M. to 5:30 P.M.

The forum will address the principles, goals, processes, and results of the realignment thus far—with an eye to our institutional future.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can access the live-stream here: Watch Live

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22 Responses to De-Budget Advisory Group (DBAG) needs your help on what to de-fund

  1. uomatters says:

    I’ll start off with a proposal to take away 1 of the UOPD’s new SUV’s. Enough to fund a year-long grad student research fellowship.

  2. Linkster says:

    But oh, please let them keep the militarized golf cart–it’s so cool we have one of those.

  3. OAsMatterToo says:

    I suggest we eliminate monthly printing and distribution of payroll information. I would suspect nearly all are on automatic deposit and receive a statement through DuckWeb.

    Is a printed statement with an envelope delivered to a UO mailbox every month necessary? Human and financial resources would be reduced or realigned.

    I would like to also suggest UO require everyone be on direct deposit but expect there may be backlash of some sort, infringement of someone’s rights. There are those who still prefer a “check” in their hand.

  4. Dysfunction says:

    Go get em DBAG’s!

  5. penny pincher says:

    Let’s stop using university money to buy lunch for people who can afford their own lunch. Catering is expensive!

    • uomatters says:

      A hungry committee is an angry committee.

      So how about just removing University Catering’s monopoly on catering, so that university groups can get food delivered on campus from cheaper alternative vendors, without having to apply for a special exception?

  6. Fact Check says:

    The UOPD dispatch system was in FY15.

    If you were on the BAG this year (meaning for FY17), you may need to reduce your pre-meeting scotch consumption because your event recall seems to be suffering.

    • uomatters says:

      Your accusation that I drink scotch before meetings is defamatory, and you’ve also got the causation reversed. And thanks for the links.

  7. Not too late says:

    The uo is planning to bring the Dali Lama again. Someone should check out the cost on that. The helicopter alone for that trip cost about $70k. And frankly he was pretty insulting to women. Well, up until the Trump opened his mouth.

    Someone should check out how much $ we could save by moving personnel & HR faculty issues back to HR from the provost office. Uhh, that would be moving those issues to the office that has people trained in those issues.

    Let’s see how much we could save in getting rid of anyone who suggests we do a survey of anything… And all the people who will write, send, and analyze the survey.

    Rather than building new buildings, lets ensure we have performed adequate earthquake remodeling on the buildings we use. A cost now that will save us a ton later — including on lawsuits from families of those who will die.

    STOP Hiring new admins without complete budget projections of what they and the staff they will hire will cost!!!!!

  8. Anon says:

    We should DBAG one of the two VPAA’s – the one whose last name starts with B. If necessary replace him with another AVPAA at half the price.

    Net savings would fund a new tenure track line.

  9. Anonymous classified says:

    DBAG the nightly cleanings of Johnson Hall offices. Once a week is good enough for everyone else.

    Net savings: None but we could spend more time cleaning classrooms.

  10. Anon OA says:

    Cut the number of Vice Presidents, Asst/Assoc Vice Presidents and their staff in half. That alone will save several million dollars.

  11. Inquiring Mind says:

    Stop paying consultants to ‘reinvision’ IT and reallocate it to helping with the IT maintenance and upgrade backlog. Ask the very smart, experienced, and motivated NTS managers and staff what they think is needed, then DO it.

    Also throughout campus stop paying for high level managers to go to as many conferences to “network with peers” while classified employees can’t get the technical and skills training they need.

  12. Old Man says:

    Re the President’s Realignment: Here are a few comments from the perspective of someone with 56 years on the scene.

    1. AAU membership: is it really important enough to justify the pain of a hasty realignment? I don’t think it is; Mike Schill feels differently. How come?
    My take on the AAU: UO was invited to join the AAU in 1969, about 12 years after the University, under the Presidency of O. Meredith Wilson, undertook to strengthen its graduate programs in the sciences. During this 12-year, pre-AAU period eight or more future members of the National Academy of Science were hired. Obviously, recruiting did not suffer from the University’s lack of AAU membership. The members of this group whom I knew best were attracted by the things that have attracted most of our faculty over the years, and these included the opportunity to participate in university life in an institution noted for vibrant departments in the humanities, the social sciences and the arts.
    Mike’s take on the AAU (obviously, I’m guessing): Mike doesn’t want to become known as the President who fiddled while the UO got kicked out of the AAU. That would be a Resume Killer.

    2. Is it possible to have regular, University-wide Town Hall Meetings? An overworked faculty will always be a severe depressant †o attendance. However, that doesn’t mean something shouldn’t be tried to improve understanding and cooperation. Meetings in which ideas are floated might work best on Monday, about noon time. The President and Provost have already reserved that time to meet for discussion with the Super Secret Faculty Advisory Council (FAC). Opening those meetings to observers would be helpful. Efforts to accomplish this have, so far, failed.

    3.Is the Senate a suitable place for University-wide discussions? On an occasional basis, It has been in the past and, I expect, will be again. For the last year or so, however, the Senate has been very busy with the important task of amending OUS policies prior to their placement in the University’s own Policy Library, and it will always have legislative issues to deal with.

    4. When I first arrived (1959), it was common practice for Biology TT faculty with research responsibilities to be deeply involved in the design and teaching of all lower division courses. This was compatible with a research program sufficiently vigorous to ensure continued funding from NSF or NIH. As funding became tighter, the time spent in the lab to ensure a competitive level of research output and the time spent at the desk preparing the multiple research grant applications required to “meet the payroll” was incompatible with the customary level of in-class teaching. Something had to give. The President’s Realignment now seeks both increased research and increased involvement of the TTF in undergraduate teaching. We hope there is a rabbit in his hat.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “DBAG” the VP for Equity and Inclusion’s budget for excess travel and for consultants and assistants and staff to try and cover for the work she was hired to do. She should at least be able to answer emails. Why so much turnover there?

    Savings? Enough to hire 2 minority faculty.

    • Dysfunction says:

      What does their office even do? DBAG all of equity and inclusion – it is just more overhead that adds very little value to the University as a whole.

  14. Dysfunction says:

    DBAG home internet and any unnecessary cell phone stipends.

    • home internet? cell phone stipends? says:

      home internet? cell phone stipends? who gets that? not this full professor!

  15. New Year Cat says:

    DBAG providing cars to certain high-level people. Everyone of stature to get one already has or had at least one car of their own. Let them use a motor pool vehicle if they have to.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Usually IT people who are on-call.