BOT meets

Materials here – updated yesterday with rudimentary data on athletics and auxiliary unit budgets. I’m not sure I have the stomach to watch much of this, but I’ll try and check in now and then.

Board Chair Lillis is having internet problems, as usual.

Board of Trustees September 10, 2020 | 8:30 a.m. PT

  1. ASUO President and University Senate President Reports. Isaiah Boyd, ASUO President; Elliot Berkman, Professor of Psychology and University Senate President

Berkman ran for Senate President on a platform of increasing the Senate’s participation in UO’s budget setting process. Judging from his obsequious remarks to the board, his recent email to the Senate, and the truncated meeting schedule, he’s abandoned that idea in favor of sucking up to the BOT and building his resume for a future administrative job. From his remarks:

“We learned to work together last year during President Skowron’s tenure and the spirit of shared governance through faculty administration collaboration that she nurtured has only grown since then. We’ve developed mutual trust and have identified shared goals in each of the priority areas for the Senate’s work this year.”

Meanwhile, the Senate website – which Berkman had announced he would redo last year – will not even show who is on the Senate, or its committees:

2. President and Provost Reports. Michael Schill, President; Patrick Phillips, Provost and Senior Vice President

Usual platitudes from both. Phillips is excited about the new Senate collaborators. Phillips attempts to defend his appointment by fiat of Carol Stabile as interim HC Dean – and announces he doesn’t intend to start a search for a permanent dean any time soon.

3. COVID-19 Impacts, Planning and Operations. Andre Le Duc, Associate Vice President and Chief Resilience Officer

“Moving toward capability for saliva testing by mid October”

Le Duc does a great job explaining why UO is not going to test students’ shit.

Murray asks GC Reed about potential Covid legal liabilities. Reed successfully evades.

4. University Finances. Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

With the help of the pandemic, VP Moffitt has managed to decrease the E&G fund deficit by $3.3M over Q3 projections:

First column is what the Board authorized for this year, at the end of last:

So, bottom line, even with Covid UO’s deficit was less than what the board authorized before Covid.

Some projections, FWIW. Trustee asks about enrollment. No reliable estimates yet. Schill is pessimistic given our reliance on out-of-state students (and the huge tuition increase this year from the tuition guarantee scheme.)

Moffitt expects to not trigger pay-cuts for fall.

Thompson on enrollment: Admits are up 5%. Sign-ups for summer Duck Days were up, but were of course cancelled. Worried that the problems at the schools that started early will hurt us. Believes that first year enrollment will be at bottom of the range above, but that overall enrollment will be flat. (!)

Schill: Significant drop in enrollment after we went on-line. Thompson: Yes. Expect about 300 requests to defer enrollment for “gap-year”.

Trustee & Moffitt: These numbers are challenging but manageable. Schill: Unless we get a big state funding cut.

[57 people watching on youtube now.]

It appears that at least one of the Trustees asked Moffitt to breakout the projections for the auxiliary budgets – at the bottom of the pdf. It’s grim. Housing deposits down 25%, could get worse:

Thompson notes that housing started with very large reserves (omitted from these data) so he’s not as worried as you might think.

Even worse for athletics – fortunately they still have about $65M in the reserve account Mullens was supposed to be saving to pay off the Knight Arena bonds, which he and the coaches can use to pay themselves millions while laying off the SEIU staff.

Mullens: We did a 10% pay cut for all staff including coaches (but still paid them bonuses) laid-off a lot of lower-paid classified staff, and made the government pay for furloughs for other.

Moffitt: We’re doing everything possible to not use E&G funds to cover these losses. We’ve even talked to the Foundation about helping athletics still more. [Odd that there’s no mention of the Foundation helping the academic side.]

Q about handling the deficit. Moffitt: No liquidity problems. Sitting on a lot of cash. But we do need to worry about deficits. Borrowed a lot of money to pay for Athletic Village, (as tax-exempt revenue bonds!) but need to pay those back.

Q about how much Athletics has actually saved from cost-cutting to date. Mullens: I don’t have those exact numbers. Q: What’s the Legacy Fund balance? Mullens: I think $60M, I think we spent about $7M on debt per year. Moffitt: Legacy fund is restricted to use for funding arena debt. [But of course money’s fungible, and in practice this money goes to salaries, etc.]

[Taking a break, not sure if I’ll be back live-blogging.]

5. Student Crisis Funds. Kris Winter, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students; Jim Brooks, Associate Vice President and Director of Financial Aid

Meeting Recessed Until 1:00 p.m. PT

6. Student Mental Health and Services. Deb Beck, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director of University Health Services; Shelly Kerr, Director of the University Counseling Center; Kris Winter, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

7. Student Success Initiatives Semi-Annual Report. Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion; Sung-Woo Cho, Research Associate Professor, College of Education; Doneka Scott, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success

8. UOPD Budget and Operations. Matt Carmichael, Chief of Police

Wow – actual data on the increases in the UOPD budget – although it doesn’t go back far enough to show how much the decision to convert to sworn armed officers has cost:

9. Presidential Evaluation Summary Report. Chuck Lillis, Chair

Meeting Adjourned

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One Response to BOT meets

  1. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    They are going to be doing saliva testing by mid Oct? Great news if true. They may even be able to reopen by Jan if not sooner.

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