SEIU calls for more state funding for – and control of – universities

The UO boosters who broke up OUS with SB270 have not delivered on their promises. They know the legislature isn’t going to give them more taxpayer money without more control. Our SEIU staff union is now in the midst of negotiating a new contract with Oregon’s public universities, and they’ve responding to the shitty pay offer from the university with this white paper, which includes an analysis of university funding, and arguments like this:

Universities are not facing a bad economy, poor funding or—as some politicians have said—problems paying PERS debt. Rather, they have misplaced their priorities, choosing to focus on administrative bloat, athletics and capital construction projects over good jobs and affordable education. Oregon certainly isn’t the only state in which this is happening, but we do have an opportunity to do things differently.

… Four non-faculty employees of Oregon’s public universities — all coaches— have a base salary of $1 million or more. There are 70 people who are paid $400,000 or more per year, and 411 who make more than $200,000. About one-third of the coaches and administrators working for Oregon’s universities get paid more than $100,000 a year— more than Oregon’s governor is paid ($98,600 a year). University of Oregon had the highest salaries, with 64% of coaches and 42% of administrators paid over $100,000 a year. More than half of the classified workers at universities are paid less than $40,000 per year.

Universities used to be part of the Oregon University System, a state agency overseen by the State Board of Higher Education. In 2013 the Legislature passed Senate Bill 270, which scrapped the Board and allowed universities
to set up their own institutional governing boards instead. This arrangement came with less statewide scrutiny of governance decisions, and more authority for universities to borrow money for capital projects.

From what I’ve heard the legislature is likely to be very sympathetic to SEIU’s argument that the independent boards need to be reigned it.

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One Response to SEIU calls for more state funding for – and control of – universities

  1. K says:

    Reined in.