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State reviewing how it divvies up higher education money

From the RG’s Jordyn Brown, here.


  1. Overpaid Admin 08/26/2019

    Thanks for the tip, now I need to intercept more of that cheese before the greedy “labor” gets any.

  2. J.D. 08/26/2019

    Who will represent faculty interests? ?

    • uomatters Post author | 08/26/2019

      Some economist. We’re screwed.

  3. honest Uncle Bernie 08/26/2019

    UO has long been at or near the bottom among the Oregon campuses in state funding per student. This, for the “flagship.” Some flagship! Pathetic.

    There may be other states like this, but I’ll bet not many. Maybe Colorado.

    Here’s hoping that the UO admin can do something about this grossly inequitable situation.

    If our local legislators have ever tried to do anything about this, it has escaped my attention.

    • ODA 08/26/2019

      Many at OSU consider their school the “Flagship” what ever that means.

      As stated below. Blame your board. I do not know, perhaps some old timer can shed some light, but I think I heard that the old OUS model of funding following the student was proposed/desired by UO as they were the largest school at the time. They just failed to see the pie on the table or the possibilities of PSU enrollment bloat or that OSU may have a product that the customer would want, beyond 4H. Add in that UO turned its back on in-state students since as a side effect of that same bad model, out of state students could at times be worth more than Oregonians. Too bad that international students got spooked but hey they may be back after 2020^.

      • oldtimer 08/27/2019

        My recollections are that Myles brand negotiated retention of tuition funds by campuses, not because UO was larger, but because we had many more high paying non residents. The old OUS Board then began distributing state support for resident students based on national costs of different majors. oSU won big in two ways. First by getting more per resident because of their engineering programs and second by getting paid that higher amount for each additional resident student, even if the student majors in the cheapest major on their campus. Finally, there is the cascades campus thinning of the soup. Just my recollections

  4. eugenenative 08/26/2019

    I thought having an independent Board was supposed to unleash untapped funding sources so that the University wouldn’t have to be dependent on State funding, which OSU seems to compete for with more success. The Board was also empowered to create STEM programs that would be popular to in-state students.
    What happened?

    • Fishwrapper 08/26/2019

      Too busy finding more ways to pay more administrators more.

      Oh, and Duck gear.

    • charlie 08/26/2019

      The Hat’s notion of independence was premised on UO’s issuance of approximately $1 billion in bonds. Instead of having public oversight, the school was going to answer to Wall Street bond palaces. The idea that debt would create the capacity for the flagship to do what it wanted was an hallucination, and nothing more than a PR marketing scheme…

      • honest Uncle Gangsta 08/27/2019

        That is a ridiculous account of the UO/Phil Knight endowment plan, the issuing of bonds, how the finances would work.

        • eugenenative 08/28/2019

          It could be both “ridiculous” and essentially true.

          • Peter Keyes 08/28/2019

            The Senate Budget Committee Report of November 8, 2010, contained a simplified explanation of the proposed funding mechanism:

            “The financial strategy proposed is for the State to “capitalize its investment in the University of Oregon.” Under the proposal, the level of the current annual State general fund support for the University, approximately $62 million, would be locked in for the next 30 years. (This is a nominal dollar amount, and would presumably decline in real (inflation-adjusted) value, and as a percentage of the State budget, over that 30 years.) The State would issue bonds for an amount that could be supported by an annual payment of $62 million, approximately $800 million. Before the State committed any bond funding, the University would raise a matching amount from donors, and this combined $1.6 billion would constitute a greatly expanded endowment for the University. The income from this endowment would support University operations, in lieu of the annual support from the State general fund. The State would make payments on the bonds for 30 years, and would not be responsible for any other support of the University of Oregon.”

            • honest Uncle Bernie 08/28/2019

              An excellent summary of “the plan” that the Hat and Phil Knight had proposed. If the money had been invested in a stock index fund at about the time mentioned, then after subtracting out the returns needed to substitute for the state subsidy, the endowment would be worth around $2 billion today. (This would be in addition to the current UO endowment).

    • uomatters Post author | 08/27/2019

      Everyone pays – but UO pulled a scam with Mike Bellotti by not paying PERS on the money they passed-through to him from Nike, even though it counted for calculating his final salary and his $500K a year PERS benefits. Ted Sickinger at the Oregonian wrote some great stories about how they pulled this off – including a well-time quickie divorce and remarriage.

      • oldtimer 08/27/2019

        a much bigger problem than these was the financial malpractice of PERS and the legislature in handling the variable accounts. The earnings on variable accounts far exceeded the earnings on Pers investment accounts. pERS and the legislature should have recognized this problem and limited payouts to variable accounts to the earnings on a separate portfolio matching the portfolio used for earnings on variable returns. failure to do so meant obligations on the higher returning variable account assets far exceeded far exceeded the earnings on the person assets. This is a decades old overhang on the system, but it was caused by the system not the recipients.

      • honest Uncle Gangsta 08/27/2019

        You’ve said that before, I’ve looked at the news source from Sickinger that supposedly says that. It says no such thing. It was bullshit then what you were saying, and it’s bullshit now. The idea that UO could skirt the PERS contributions laws is just ridiculous.

        • uomatters Post author | 08/27/2019

          I’ve talked with Sickinger about it. UO did not pay PERS contributions for Bellotti’s Nike money, but that money was used to calculate his final salary and payout.

          • honest Uncle Gangsta 08/27/2019

            If you and Ted really have evidence that either UO or PERS defrauded the state in this way, you should publish it. Until then, I don’t believe a word of it.

            • uomatters Post author | 08/27/2019

              No one “defrauded” anyone in the legal sense. They simply interpreted the rules in place at the time to their advantage, and PERS chose not to raise questions.

          • Dog 08/27/2019

            there is a generic problem and I am part of that problem, much
            to my own benefit.

            For many years (e.g. about 20) I was able to generate 3 months of summer salary support from NASA and NSF (note: my experience has been that the concept of summer support based on research grants is still regarded as “fake news” by some sector of UO faculty and some sector of union leadership – thus the concept of the 12 month salary is quite real for some of us faculty)

            Note of that none of that money came from the State of Oregon, all of it, however, is included in my PERS benefit. This is wrong in principle, but I ain’t given the money back

            • uomatters Post author | 08/27/2019

              Assuming your grant pay went through UO, your grant paid for your salary and UO’s overhead, which included payments into PERS. However, if you ran the grant through an off campus institute like ORI or OSLC or the NBER, no PERS payments were made and of course that salary is not part of your UO salary from which your retirement payments are calculated.

              • dog 08/27/2019

                yes I understand that

                just pointing out that it is a huge advantage with respect to
                PERS tier one to get summer salary. Also, in genreal, I never
                could make real sense of my PERS earning statement, it
                was always 10-15 K *higher* than I can reconcile. This results in a FAS which, while quite good for me, is a number I really can’t reproduce.

                I have also had a quite inconsistent history of “overload” pay
                and whether not it got included.

                • uomatters Post author | 08/27/2019

                  Just have your attorney call the PERS hotline and demand “the full Bellotti”.

            • Retiring soon 08/28/2019

              What’s “wrong in principle” about paying OPE with grant funds?

              • Dog 08/29/2019

                to me, its unfair to other state employees who don’t have opportunities like this – its also unfair to the 9-month traditional faculty since this pay, again, is coming from the Feds – yes I understand its okay, you deserve it and all of that – simply stating the multiple lenses exist.

    • honest Uncle Gangsta 08/27/2019

      ODA — Anyone who has ever paid an employee off a grant knows that UO has been very diligent about charging for PERS contributions.

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