UO Trustees to meet Tu at 8AM to appoint Patrick Phillips as Interim Pres & give Rob Mullens and Dana Altman a shit-ton of money

Docs here. It appears Chair Ginevra Ralph has decided not to have a public discussion about how to hold what will almost certainly be a private, closed search for the next permanent president. That has been removed from the agenda announced previously and the trustees will presumably hash it out with phone calls, in violation of the spirit and perhaps the letter of Oregon’s Public Meetings Law.



Phillips: There is no contract in the materials for Phillips, since it’s presumably for less than $5M the Trustees can do it in secret. The last time they had to appoint an interim (after Gottfredson, you know, that Scott what’s his name guy) they forgot about money until someone asked. Lillis just looked blank then said something like “same terms as previous?” and it was done.

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20 Responses to UO Trustees to meet Tu at 8AM to appoint Patrick Phillips as Interim Pres & give Rob Mullens and Dana Altman a shit-ton of money

  1. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    kind of as expected — UO continues its sad falling apart.

    • Dog says:

      HUB, This is a continuing theme of yours that I might or might not
      agree with. It would be helpful if you would provide what you think
      is objective evidence of “falling apart” compared to say the UO of
      10 or 20 years ago? It’s possible that the UO has always been broken at more or less the same level since 1990. Perhaps I am
      just not clued into the obvious to see it directly myself.

      • Vinnie McFinch says:

        I agree. HUB, stop the lazy, gratuitous complaints and offer some specifics.

      • honest Uncle Bernie says:

        Since you are a nice Dog – a few thoughts come to mind – what are your thoughts? – I say “falling apart” more with thoughts of what might have been than with any imminent crisis known to me — Apart from the developing national problems of higher ed – the financial problems, growing public hostility, the DEI mania – some things kind of specific to UO – not all of it due to admin: in 1990, there was a real financial crisis at UO – but later on, UO seems to have had much more money, at least judging by fancy buildings and bloated admin. Some specific areas of decline: (1) big drop in enrollment over a dozen years or so – not just covid; (2) seems there was a serious attempt to raise faculty salaries out of the cellar about 20 years back – that seems to have completely died – odd given the union, or is it? (3) shared governance used to be vital at UO; now it seems non-existent. I’ve served on some “important” committees in recent years – it all seemed like window dressing; (4) the library has gone way downhill. Book orders abysmal. Maybe they think books are obsolete. Most of the time I get books through Summit, often from places like LCC and Mt Hood CC – pathetic; (5) advising has fallen into an abysmal state, especially since the great “addition” of Tykeson – pathetic! (6) academic standards have slipped, with easier and easier grading – is the jump in graduation rates due to anything other than grade inflation? I dunno. (7) UO seemed like a place that was positioned to make a big jump in research and graduate programs – but grad enrollments have stalled, doesn’t seem like the departments have grown in stature. There has been no concerted push that I can detect to improve the research campus-wide – certainly not fundraising – except of course for the off-campus “Knight Campus” and the Ballmer program in Portland. In the old days, UO had administration who were reputed to be real academics – Olum, Brand – even Dave Frohnmayer, who did his best. I haven’t see much since Lariviere got canned, not just for defying the state, but his obnoxious boorish behavior. Your thoughts?

        • Dog says:

          First, one more beer before responding.

          Ah, that is better

          Point by point response:

          “big” drop in enrollment. Well let’s look at the data from IR
          going back to 2010 for total headcount:

          2010/11 19534

          2011/12 20631

          2012/13 20929

          2013/2014 20808

          2014/15 20569

          2015/16 20552

          2016/17 20067

          2017/2018 19351

          2018/19 19122

          2019/2020 18903

          2020/2021 18054

          2021/2022 18604

          Personally I don’t see anything “big” about this decline (notice it went up at the end) – and much of this is due to loss of international students post 2018

          Faculty salaries

          a) as is well document the post 2015 union raises have been less than the west coast inflation rate

          b) the 2013-2014 union action resulted in significant raises 15-20% for most faculty

          c) over say the period of 2000-2012 faculty raises had a lot of positive momentum – much less so now

          Shared governance – yes I too have had a lot of committee history with this in various roles – many including technology. I agree this had gone downhill

          Yes the library sucks – not sure if that is any indicative of the
          general UO or not, other than the UO does not really value scholarship or professorial scholars for that matter. Things used to be better on this front.

          I think advising has always been bad here. The fact that we have an entire new building dedicated to this might just highlight this state.

          Academic standards have slipped – this requires objective measurement. Grade inflation is a national phenomena – its not
          higher at the UO compared to other places.

          Research and Graduate programs: lot’s to potentially say here but will be brief

          A little known fact (which can be found on IR) is that the PHD production rate since 2000 at the UO is terrible for a research University (used to be a called an R1 university). The UO phd production rate since 2000 has been 2.1%; the next lowest in the AAU is about 6.5%. Grad enrollments have essentially been flat for the last 20 years – this is a serious issue for a research university that has simply been ignored.

          b) If done correctly with the right programs of interest in relation to the real world, the principle value of the KC, I believe, is that we could triple our graduate student population and be more in line with a real research University (for the UW the phd production rate is 15-20% of all annual degrees awarded)

          c) There has been no concerted push that I can detect to improve the research campus-wide Yes, completely agree
          and this is where the BOT has fallen flat. Defacto – by most all
          measures the UO is not a research university anymore. I wonder
          what agenda that serves.

          Time for more beer; I hope all the html formatting works since I can’t preview this. In sum, I think items 3 and 7 are the most legitimate points.

          • Dog says:

            Little of the formatting came through in my response.

            so (1) – total undergraduate enrollment is what I posted and I don’t see a cause for alarm in those numbers given the pandemic and the lose of international ug students prior to the pandemic

            (3) – I agree that shared governance has become a joke at the UO and the words now only serve as buzz words

            (7) – The UO as a Research University is unrecognizable to me now compared to 20 years ago. Lots of blame to go around but
            mostly I don’t think any one in leadership really cares about being a premier Research University. I guess in those minds, the creation of the KC automatically now makes us a premier University, with no understanding of what a premier Research University (e.g Michigan or Washington) really is.

            • ODA says:

              The enrollment decline looks like a concern to me.

              It shows a systemic problem in the way we recruit and who wants to come here. As Dog states international students drop was pre-pandemic. The incentive of the higher profits from international students (and out of state or formerly called self support under OUS) is probably a driving factor in this. Anecdotally, I heard many an instructor imply that we were becoming the goto place for Californians who could not get into Cal State (much less UC), and so the grade inflation problem–perhaps not greater–is a sign/driver of the underlying problems at UO. If this is not reversed I fear for our institution. I like to think that true shared governance, with a strong faculty, is a way to a better future, but it only feels like there is apathy from not only the new hires but the old guard as well.

            • ODA says:

              Also, It looks to me that the only substantial raise for faculty was less a result of the bargaining team and more a result of that being the year Kitz and company (?Phil, Goldschmidt, et al.) were trying to gain support to finally kill off OUS after a decades long fight (about the time OUS gave Bend to OSU?) .

          • just different says:

            Wait, weren’t we overenrolled for undergrad in the early 2010s? I seem to remember that being the case. And didn’t we swap some in-state students for out-of-state and international students for the $$$?

            Which might be a problem by itself, but I don’t think it’s true that UO is hurting for applicants overall.

            • Anonymous says:

              We were “overenrolled” starting around 2012 by two kinds of measurements: (1) We had insufficient classroom space between
              9 and 5 to accommodate the total UG enrollment and (2) We had insufficient TTF for that many undergraduates. To alleviate some aspects of this problem while continuing the tuition revenue stream we starting admitting “unqualified” (in my opinion) international students. All of these are reasons why total UG enrollment is really not much of an indicator of anything.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Mullens and Altman can finally move out of those tents down by the river.

  3. IJustCant says:

    “ Adds one additional year of salary to current contract at
    an annual rate of $4,000,000 (equivalent to the final
    year of Altman’s current contract)”

    !?!? WTAF?!?!

    • uomatters says:

      Altman’s first contract gave him a cut of the gate, but he couldn’t sell enough tickets to meet the threshold so UO removed that clause and raised his pay. I wonder if the Trustees discussed his shitty graduation metrics before they gave him this latest extension.

      • Fishwrapper says:

        That’s crazy talk. Seriously: what do your fancy-pants “graduation metrics” have to do with the basketball entertainment enterprise? (For that matter, I’m still trying to find a connection between academics and the money sports…and don’t trot out that bovine fecal matter about “student athletes”…)

        • uomatters says:

          Sorry, my bad. Duck sports have nothing to do with UO except for the tax deductions.

  4. Mike says:

    $4 million a year base salary for Altman! First contest is against Jimmy McGill University…. Better Call Saul!

  5. moss defender says:

    can anyone describe for me what new boondoggle land trade UO is proposing near Autzen ? Eugene knucklegraggin media has not really explained

  6. The Interim Commenter says:

    Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.