2009 Furlough Town Hall and Followup

Update 4/2/2020: People have been asking about the voluntary furlough program from 2009. Here is the video of that Town Hall, with my post from back then below.

Update 5/11/2009: Nearly a month later, this furlough program seems to have vanished. A few hundred people signed up – many pressured into it by the senior administrators. Provost Bean has stopped answering email, and the administration website hasn’t posted any updates since the meeting. Meanwhile, those few faculty who, I’m sorry – got tricked into this – are still giving up their pay, and no one knows or will explain why.

On 4/14/2009 UO had a town hall meeting at which President Frohnmayer asked UO faculty to take voluntary pay cuts.

I am astonished he could do this with a straight face. He got a $150,000 raise last year, and his total compensation is now over $700,000. Plus he gets another $50,000 from Umpqua Bank, for going to their board meetings (on UO time.) His furlough will cost him maybe $10,000. He’ll still be $140,000 ahead of last year!

Here is the uomatters.com handout from that meeting. I have a lot of additional info on these issues, and will post it next week.

Tough times call for shared sacrifices. Shared sacrifices require shared information. Here is some information interested faculty been able to get on administrative expenses at UO.

Q: President Frohnmayer often says low faculty pay is “his highest priority.” How have President Frohnmayer’s recent compensation increases compared to pay raises for UO faculty?

A: See the chart. By the standard Chronicle of Higher Ed compensation measure President Frohnmayer has done very well. UO faculty have barely kept up with inflation.

Q: UO faculty pay is 83% of our peers. What’s President Frohnmayer’s?

A: In 2007 OUS paid a consultant $45,000 to answer this. His report said Frohnmayer got about $80,000 more than median compensation for president’s of peer institutions. The OUS board then gave Frohnmayer another $150,000.

Q: How much salary will Frohnmayer give up with his 6 day Furlough?

A: We don’t know. He hasn’t said if he will pro-rate his Foundation add-on, stipends, and $150,000 deferred comp. So, from about $6,000 to $12,000.

Q: I’ve heard salaries for other UO administrators are way below peers. Is this true?

A: You have been misinformed. Most UO senior administrative salaries match the Chronicle averages so closely that it is clear that UO policy is to pay administrators 100% of peers. Our General Counsel is paid $184,710, the average is $183,100. UO’s AA Director gets $99,814 vs. $99,908. Our VP for Students gets $181,125 vs. $180,262. Some exceptions are OIED VP Charles Martinez who gets $187,614 compared to the $130,050 average, (FTE basis – he also gets about $150,000 from another job) and UO’s Provost who gets $320,700 vs. $420,000 (but he gets to keep his salary if he goes back to the B-School) and our VP for Finance who gets $212,493 vs. $191,981. (Comparisons are to the mean for doctoral institutions and include the stipends mentioned below.)

Q: In October I got an email from the Provost announcing “… the University will be awarding a 4% raise for all eligible officers of instruction or research …, and a 3.5% raise for all eligible officers of administration … effective November 1, 2008.” Is it true that faculty got a bigger raise than OA’s in 2008?

A: No. This November raise was on top of another raise in July – which was only for OA’s.

Q: How big was that July raise?

A: The Provost will not tell us, and since the administration has pulled the old salary books out of the library we can’t figure it out. UO did offer to sell us the old books for $350 – only after we petitioned the Attorney General.
(see reverse)

Q: Many administrators receive “administrative stipends” on top of salary. For example, the OIED VP gets a $23,306 annual stipend. What are these stipends?

A: They are add-ons to salary, are paid and taken as salary.

Q: What’s the justification for these stipends?

A: We don’t know. The UO handbook says faculty can be paid stipends for taking on extra administrative work – e.g. FPC, FAC, DAC. This seldom if ever happens, and instead the money is going to administrators. It appears this started as an end run around the 2000 salary freeze and is now out of control. The state auditors have said this was technically legal.

Q: I heard retiring UO administrators are taking advantage of the “600 hours” program which was intended for retiring teaching faculty. Is this true?

A: Yes, UO is now paying more than $500,000 a year to a small group of administrators who have signed 5 year “golden parachute” contracts with President Frohnmayer, paying them half their salaries and giving regular raises in return for poorly specified administrative duties – including attending away games and proctoring athletes’ exams.

Q: Will more administrators be allowed to take advantage of this program this year? Will President Frohnmayer use it himself?

A: We don’t know. Ask him.

Q: Last year I taught a class of 30 students in a room with 20 desks. As I walked to class I noticed a lot of construction going on in Johnson Hall. What was that about?

A: UO spent more than $2 million last year renovating and remodeling Johnson Hall. This included new AC and new luxury wood paneled office suites.

Q: How much is UO spending on the Bend and Portland programs. Where does the money come from?

A: We don’t know. The Provost tells us we are making money on both, but he won’t provide detailed accounts. Some money comes through the UO Foundation, which will not tell us if the money (say for that infamous $1 million sign) comes from an earmarked gift, or from general fund donations that could have been used for other things.

Q: Where can I get more information?

A: If this were Oregon State, you could go to https://bfpsystems.oregonstate.edu/webreporting/ where any interested person can look at all university expenditures without charge. The University of Oregon not only refuses to do this, VP for Finance Francis Dyke has recently begun to remove what little public information is available at the UO site http://baowww.uoregon.edu/FinMgt/finmgtCOA.htm
This is probably illegal under the states public records laws, we have petitioned the Attorney General to tell her to stop it, and the legislature has a bill (House Bill 2500) which would require all state agencies to follow the Oregon State model by the end of the year.

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One Response to 2009 Furlough Town Hall and Followup

  1. Anonymous says:

    You make some decent points about accuracy of admin claims about pay. But you are still far from a complete picture – and I’m speaking as an under-paid tenured faculty. Total compensation, including benefits, is the real measure as you point out for Frohnmayer. Then if you’re talking about faculty pay and want to compare apples to apples, you’d need to know much better the age profiles of the departments you were comparing (much finer than asst/assoc/full breakdowns).

    I agree that more transparency from top to bottom is needed, and am duly outraged by the administration’s lack of frugality in some areas. But this kind of stone-throwing after a point becomes a distraction to addressing real issues we are facing.

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