Pres Schill and Prov Phillips want to take away TRP, in exchange for an internal equity scheme they would control

I can picture them in the JH conference room chuckling over the divide-and-conquer possibilities. “This will teach them to bring up equity again!” Who do they pay to come up with these ideas? Brad Shelton? Kevin Reed? Jeff Chicoine? The latest bargaining news from your union:

The administration’s lawyer opened by explaining that the wage increases negotiated in December represented the totality of what the administration is willing to invest in faculty for this contract period, so any new costs would need to be funded by a reduction elsewhere. As such, they proposed a complete elimination of the TRP (where they would honor existing TRP arrangements but neither enter into new ones beyond June nor institute a new retirement incentive program), with the savings redirected to fund a pool of $250,000 for each of six years to address internal equity issues. The administration would have complete discretion over these funds and would allocate them as they see fit. The proposed elimination of TRP would be immediate, effective at the beginning of the next contract (presumably on July 1 this year) after which no new TRP agreements with individual faculty would be signed.

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11 Responses to Pres Schill and Prov Phillips want to take away TRP, in exchange for an internal equity scheme they would control

  1. merely classified, no skin in this game, but geez says:

    “The administration would have complete discretion over these funds and would allocate them as they see fit.” Oh, yeah, great. More slush fund for Jamie to mete out.

  2. where's the rest of it? says:

    Um, is it at all possible that TRP only costs $250K a year?

    • uomatters says:

      It will depend on what the counterfactual is. One possibility would be no incentives for early retirement. In this case tenured faculty would on average presumably keep working full-time for longer than they do now. This would mean paying expensive full profs and their Tier 1 PERS/ORP, instead of cheaper Asst Profs, and could easily cost more than the TRP does. So presumably this option would come with increased efforts to monitor output of senior profs and harass the deadwood into quitting early. Another possible counterfactual would be early retirement buyout offers such as the one we saw last year which give a lump sum with no subsequent teaching responsibilities. This is common at other universities (as are TRP like plans). The downside is that these offers are also attractive to productive faculty, who can take the money and then get another job. (Our Econ dept did very well with such a hire, a decade or so back). My guess is that none of these unintended consequences, or the many other possible ones, entered into that $250K guesstimate.

    • Anonymous says:

      I used to track this so I don’t remember that many of the details (and the actual data is now probably hard to find) – but in any term there were order 50-60 TRP appointments.

      So, say 100K before TRP so 50K after that

      Say 50 TRP so thats 50 x 50 per academic year or 2500K per year and I bet that is an underestimate

      • uomatters says:

        This sounds like the level of sophistication that goes into their decision-making. Perhaps Chicoine can find a consultant to help them develop a better estimate.

  3. where's the rest of it? says:

    What about this – reducing PTR raises across the board to fit in the career faculty?
    ‘The administration accepted the union’s demand that Career faculty in the highest rank also be eligible for periodic reviews and raises comparable to the Post-Tenure Review raises for tenure-related faculty. To fund these increases, they also proposed reducing raises associated with successful Sixth-Year Post-Tenure Reviews from the current 8% for exceeding expectations and 4% for meeting expectations to 6% for exceeding expectations and only 3% for meeting expectations. Career faculty members would also earn raises of 6% pr 3% upon a successful “Career Continuous Employment Review.”’

    • uomatters says:

      Of course they could always get the money by cutting back on consultants, but that would mean more work for them.

      • anon and on and on says:

        Oh heavens no, UOM, can’t do that. Those people aren’t fungible like the little ones who do all the heavy lifting are. Much more effective to cut staff and distribute work to OAs, remaining classified staff, and faculty under a scheme they could call ‘Shared Suffering Services’ or something.

        • uomatters says:

          Congratulations on your appointment as our new AVP of Shared Suffering.

          • Dog says:

            no that is Shared Suffering Services or S-cubed, something they might install at the KC.

  4. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Seems like this might be an ill-advised move that will crash on the law of unintended consequences. Oregon’s TRP has long been seen nationally as a creative way to gradually transition tenure track faculty out of their positions in a way that is constructive for the various parties. You don’t see many faculty here who continue full-time into their mid-seventies and eighties — unlike a lot of places. Stanford, Harvard come to mind. (Granted, being an 80 year old professor at Harvard is likely not like it would be at Oregon). The administration might find, if this ill-conceived plan goes through, that people will be hanging on full time considerably longer than they would under TRP. In which case, it will hamper efforts to save money and clear the decks. It seems like another bone-headed scheme like the shared services move in CAS.