New Duck Asst coach McClendon to get only $360K because of pandemic clause

Mario Cristobal’s latest helper hire Bryan McClendon got a special exemption from the hiring freeze because, you know, sports. Coach Cristobal paid his previous employer $50K for the right to hire him. And of course he gets free tickets and travel for spouse/partner, car allowance, bonuses for this and that, etc.

But, in what I believe may be a first for athletic contracts, AD Mullens included a clause saying he can cut the bonuses and salary because of the pandemic:

Full porkalicious contract here.

Board of Trustees fires 97 faculty, keeps sports subsidies

That would be the University of Akron’s board, InsideHigherEd here:

“For years, the university has disinvested in academics while simultaneously losing millions on its athletics programs,” Akron’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors wrote in a position paper about proposed cuts earlier this month. “In the spirit of shared sacrifice, we believe that it’s time to move to a responsible and sustainable model of funding for athletics.”

While the vast majority of university revenue comes from academics in the form of student tuition and fees, the union wrote, its athletic programs are another story. According to the AAUP chapter’s accounting, Akron has been losing an average of $21.5 million per year on athletic programs for the last 10 years, topping $215 million in lost revenue during that time. Among other options, the AAUP advocates leaving Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Such losses, paired with the cuts of academics, are “no longer defensible,” the AAUP wrote in its report. This is “not fair to our students, who are subsidizing athletics at a higher rate than students at other Ohio public universities.”

Bargaining VI – 9AM 7/16/2020

You can register to watch  here, and will then receive a Zoom link via email. Liveblog, usual disclaimer: my thoughts on what people are saying, trying to say, trying to be thinking, etc. Nothing is a quote unless in ” ” ‘s.

10:00: Sorry, I’m tuning in late, trying to catch up.

Matella: Suppose we have a $1M state cut and a $10M tuition shortfall (projected from fall enrollment) and a $10M trigger/threshold. Faculty would be responsible for 39% of the $1M.

A 15% drop is about a $50-60M loss. So it’s very possible we get to the proposed $25M threshold. Pay cuts are a temporary solution to this temporary loss.

A state budget cut, however, will be assumed to be permanent. Pay cuts are not appropriate for dealing with permanent losses – instead we’ll need to cut baseball, close law school and CoD, etc. But we’ll need pay cuts in the short term. Also, permanent enrollment cuts will mean we’ll need fewer faculty (and fewer AVPs?)

In response to a comment, from here: 

State lobbyist Libby Batlan predicts that this year there will be no cut to state funding, and explains that they are working to make sure UO gets its share of the CARES act etc.

State lobbyist Hans Bernhard explains that they’ve been working very hard to get state funding for more construction.

Bernhard: I know people won’t believe this, but “I cannot remember the last time I had a conversation about funding for Knight Campus or the Track and Field championships”. [Bit late for that, really, the legislature still feels burned, and we still look like a rich big-time sports party school.]

Cecil: So, the people lobbying for Oregon 22 are not paid out of UO or Foundation funds? Batlan: No.

Back to bargaining:

Cecil: Suppose we accept one-time pay cut in fall. Are you going to come back to us in spring and give us another ultimatum offer threatening the career faculty?

Matella: She’s talking, and may answer the question some day. …. Answer is yes, they might have to do that.

Matella: You’re just going to have to trust us if you want a deal. And no, we’re not going to agree to rules that will prevent us from pissing away the savings on sports events, or subsidizing the law school.

Sinclair: Trust you? He goes on to share a few thoughts:

Lunch break until 12:45

Meanwhile here’s UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold promising to use the full faith and credit of the Foundation’s $1 Billion endowment to support the university’s teaching and research mission during this crisis.

Just kidding, he’s promising IAAF Pres Lamine Diack he’ll use it to make good on any losses from the Track and Field championships:

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Last month French prosecutors asked for a 4 year sentence for Diack on corruption charges.

1:05PM, Admin team is still caucusing.

1:24, they’re back. Cecil has some revised bullet points but he’s scrolling through them too fast to capture. Seems to be going well with Matella.

Union pulls back on plans for a buyout program to replace expensive, troublesome, deadwood TTF with younger, smarter, cheaper assistant profs:

Matella: Hmm, would like to get this done.

Matella: Today has been productive, helpful.

Cecil: Kumbaya, but verify.

Break until 3PM

3:25 – they’re back. Working on procedures to get specific language. Union e-team will work with admin’s on details of pay cut plan.

3:50 – that’s it. Back Tu at 9AM, getting closer to agreement.

UO Admin makes faculty give up IP rights before participating in on-line teaching improvement workshop – with a contract from UW?

The administration knows that the pandemic has put the faculty in a tough spot. So  they’re taking advantage of the situation to buy our intellectual property rights on the cheap, before the layoffs start. This is the agreement that faculty must sign before participating in this summer’s online teaching improvement workshop:

Thanks to an anonymous reader for the contract. Curiously, it appears to have come from the University of Washington. I wonder if UO’s General Counsel Kevin Reed paid UW for the right to reuse it?

New UO re-opening plan has no actual criteria

The gist is a list of “criteria” that includes no actual criteria, standards, numbers, trends, required first or second derivative signs, or any other metrics.

So it’s gonna be a judgement call, and Provost Phillips is not going to disclose what criteria actually need to be met to reopen in-person teaching at UO:

On or before August 26, the university will make a decision about whether to alter our plans and either more significantly reduce the number of in-person courses or transition to a fully remote model for the fall. This decision will be based on public health guidance and the following criteria:

  • Indications of increasing community spread
  • County reopening phase level
  • Rate of county rapid testing turnaround times, and capacity for UO to provide testing to help sustain county needs
  • Capacity of contact tracing and case management at health authority, for example Lane County Public Health (LCPH) in Eugene, including UO contact tracing resources assigned to support LCPH
  • Implementation of protocols for enforcement of behavioral interventions, especially face coverings
  • Capacity of on-campus self-isolation space for students living in University Housing
  • Access to and availability of personal protective equipment needed to remain operational
  • Ability to maintain proper levels of cleaning and sanitation
  • Status of local K-12 schools and impacts on university personnel

Meanwhile UO’s Public Records Office is still delaying the release of basic testing data:

Full text online here and below the break:

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Trump caves on Int’l students the day after UO files lawsuit

7/14/2020 update:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security rescinded a July 6 policy directive that would have required international students to take at least some in-person college coursework in order to remain in the U.S.

The government agreed to rescind the guidance to resolve a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The rescinding of the directive, and an associated FAQ released on July 7, means the government reverts back to a March guidance that allowed international students to remain in the U.S. while taking a fully online course load. …

7/13/2020: GC Kevin Reed hires outside lawyers to sue Homeland Security

The docket and complaint are here, courtesy of the Free Law Project. I’m no law professor but much of this seems to be cribbed from the Harvard and MIT complaint filed last week, here. Presumably Ted Olson – a founding member of the Federalist Society – and his firm are giving us a discount:

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Bargaining V – 9AM 7/14/2020

You can register to watch  here, and will then receive a Zoom link via email. Liveblog, usual disclaimer: my thoughts on what people are saying, trying to say, trying to be thinking, etc. Nothing is a quote unless in ” ” ‘s.

Matella starts with the pay cut proposal. The administration’s proposed changes are in red:

So no agreement yet on how big a revenue cut is needed before the cuts could be triggered.

The administration wants to only be required to mitigate the first $10M of revenue reductions before going after faculty salaries. One obvious question is how much they’ve already saved through the hiring freeze, salary freeze, CARES funding, job-share, early retirements, etc. Probably well over $10M. So would they need to make additional cuts, to say the bloated GC budget, before going after faculty pay?

After $35M is saved from pay & benefit reductions (over all employees paid from E&G fund) no additional pay cuts. Since (very roughly) about $500M of E&G is for pay and benefits, this would cap pay cuts at an average of about 5%. Is this right?

Long discussion of Foundation money ensues. Foundation boss Paul Weinhold has already expressed his willingness to use the Foundation’s $1B endowment to guarantee track and field championships – but would he do it for mere academic matters?

Above gives flexibility in assigning replacement work to the career faculty whose jobs would be saved.

Discussion moves on to layoffs:

Matella pitches this “functions and skills” language as a way to protect diversity hires without getting in trouble with SCOTUS rulings. I’m not sure if this is genuine or an attempt to give more administrative flexibility about using layoffs to get rid of particular faculty. Cecil goes after Matella on this vague language.

This new admin language at the bottom in red would appear to give the administration the ability to lower career instructors FTE *despite* the pay cut proposal. Strange, I thought the whole deal was pay cuts in exchange for job security. 

Matella now says that the admin doesn’t want pay cuts over 20% for high paid faculty and admins because it’s too disruptive to their lives. Cecil points out that the admin wants the ability to make larger than 20% reductions to career instructor FTE – that’s not disruptive?

Caucus until 11:15, 11:20 they’re back:

Complaint process. Speaking of complaints Matella is scrolling through this really slowly. Can’t she just share the doc? Speaking of sharing where are all of Brad’s “models” that the admin was going to share?

In the end everything is still up to the provost – i.e. Angela Wilhelms. Rules below provide no real protection, and Cecil gets Matella to admit:

Bottom line, the UO administration has blown through reserves on things like the law school, athletic subsidies, athlete villages, admin bloat. The pandemic made those mistakes clear and serious. Now they want the faculty, OAs, and staff to bail them out, without giving up their power to make similar mistakes in the future, and without promising any job security.

Cecil: So you want the union to agree to replace a neutral arbitrator with the provost? Matella: I think this will be better for the faculty. Honestly. That’s what they pay me to say. Cecil: Unlikely we’ll accept. Matella: I expect to be bargaining for a long time. 


Matella: Brad’s got his own retirement worked out pretty nicely, but still hasn’t done his homework on the TRP and buyouts for others, so we just have some general shit to throw out:

Cecil’s recap before lunch break: Seems like we started in April with the idea of using wage cuts to get job security. But this morning we heard from you that you want to retain the ability to cut career instructors.

Matella: We have always wanted to use temporary wage cuts to respond to immediate crises, instead of layoffs. But yes – we want to be able to respond to long term changes with layoffs for career instructors. We’re looking at 4-5 years of temporary enrollment decreases.

Cecil: Let me walk you through your optimal strategy regarding layoffs, were we to accept this proposal. … So, how about we agree to no FTE cuts unless we have actual enrollment decreases? In other words – make you cut somewhere besides career faculty?

Matella: No. Can we break for lunch?

Back at 1PM

Whalen: UO has great faculty at all ranks, TTF and Career. We’ve made many sacrifices for UO and our students during the pandemic. We are really worried about all the faculty, and at the moment in particular worried about the 225 career faculty facing 0.5 FTE cuts.

Boscha: For those of us investing our lives and careers at UO, what is the administration going to do to protect us, rather than treat us as budget flexibility?

Urbancic: Read the UO mission statement. Career faculty are integral to fulfilling it. University needs to respect that. We’re willing to talk about shared sacrifices – but you don’t want to share, you want to put all the risk on the career faculty.

Matella: I’m confused. With the pay cut plan we were trying to move in your direction, limiting the window. This would mean less sacrifice. I thought I was moving toward an agreement.

Cecil: What we thought we heard this morning from you was smaller wage cuts for one year, but with the possibility of permanent decreases to career FTE.

Woodruff-Borden:  We already have the power to cut FTE. We’re in no way additionally devaluing career faculty work with this new proposal. We’re simply struggling to find strategies to navigate through this.

Cecil: You said this morning you only wanted pay cuts to last 1 year because then “good faculty” will leave. You’ve taken fundraising off the table. You don’t want to talk about other ways to save money. So how is this shared? You’re putting it all on the career faculty.

Long discussion about committee on legitimate reasons, including a neutral third party, to replace arbitration.

Lots more back and forth. Sorry I’m not doing a good job blogging it.

Caucus til 2:35

They’re back. Cecil proposes meeting again Thursday at 9AM to go over newly discovered middle ground. Matella agrees. See you then.

Faculty Union bargaining update – next session this Tu 9AM til ?

From, all posted below:

United Academics and the administration reconvened last week to discuss potential salary cuts, the restoration of fall FTE for affected Career faculty, and a plan for expectation of continuing employment for all Career faculty.

The bargaining conversations have begun with each side presenting and discussing the principles that inform their thinking on the issues we’re bargaining. Our primary goals are to restore FTE for those who were renewed with low FTE in the spring and to institute an expectation of continued employment that would eliminate the administration’s ability to dramatically change career faculty FTE year to year. We have also been working to establish a fair threshold for a salary cut plan. While we agree with the administration that a salary cut might be a necessary part of addressing a major budget crisis, we maintain that employee wage cuts cannot be the only means of addressing difficulties.

We have made some progress on how to address both the expectation of continued employment and wage cuts. Both parties agree that FTE should be restored, although there is a remaining disagreement about whether all FTE be restored or whether the administration can still renew with lower FTE if cuts were planned “pre-COVID.” In addition, we have agreed that Career faculty who opted to pull their promotion case because of the threat of a lower FTE contract can choose to reinitiate the promotion process and have their promotion review finalized this summer.

Pay Cuts

United Academics recognizes that the university may not be in a position to meet all of its financial obligations due to changes in enrollment and state appropriations caused by COVID. We have agreed that in order for the university to continue to meet its instructional and research missions it may be necessary for faculty to take temporary pay cuts.

Still, questions remain: What is the scale of those cuts? How will any savings be used? What are the triggers for cuts? How are those cuts distributed across the university?

Both teams have been working toward answers to these questions, but our basic principle has been that the administration must look to use other resources before they ask employees for wage cuts. They have generally agreed with this principle, proposing that the administration be responsible for any deficit up to $10M and for all deficits over $35M, meaning that employees would need to take wage cuts to account for the remaining $25M. Of that $25M, the administration has tentatively estimated that cuts to bargaining unit faculty salaries would amount to $7.8M.

We have suggested that faculty would be more comfortable with a higher threshold, arguing that the savings the administration has derived through the hiring freeze, the salary freeze, and savings on travel will amount to more than $10M. We have suggested that a threshold of $25M and a cap of $50M seems more fair.

One of the main challenges in the conversation is the uncertainty we all face. It is very difficult to predict how deep the deficits we face will be. We have agreed that employee salary cuts will be used to cover deficits caused by tuition revenue decline this year and cuts to the state subsidy next year. Both sides seem to agree a two-year wage cut package is appropriate, but neither of us has a very good idea of how deep the cuts will go. Obviously, the administration would like a lower threshold before faculty salary cuts are triggered, hoping for smaller deficits that don’t reach the cap. We also hope for small deficits, wanting the threshold to be higher, hoping not to reach it at all.

When we do have an agreement on the triggers for the salary cuts and how much they might be, United Academics will have a progressive pay cut plan for the amount we will be facing developed by our Economics Team (E-Team). Although we have just begun discussing what kind of plan might be appropriate, we have agreed to work together to come up with a final model. We plan to share our E-Team’s model broadly. Suffice it to say it is a very standard “tax” plan with marginal tax rates that increase with income. It has been crafted to be progressive, to exempt as many lower-wage faculty as possible, and to minimize discontinuities in contributions (so that similar salaries are affected similarly).

Continuing Employment for Career Faculty

United Academics believes that the administration should abide by the collective bargaining agreement and that the 3-year contracts earned by promoted Career faculty should be real contracts that represent a commitment to those faculty. The administration, on the other hand, believes that it is proper to provide Career faculty with a contract where they guarantee full-time work for one year and then only 0.1 FTE in subsequent years. In most cases, the work in the out-years of a 3-year contract will still exist, and these contracts represent an administrator’s desire to feel better looking at future budget projections, as opposed to an assessment of the actual needs of the institution.

Our goal in negotiating expectation of continuing employment is to stop the administration from using Career faculty who happen to be up for renewal as flexibility to deal with temporary fluctuations in either enrollment or money, and thus to stop the administration from punishing faculty for their inability to plan for future enrollment needs or accumulate sufficient reserves.

Our current proposal is a system by which Career faculty cannot have their FTE reduced by more than 0.1 FTE in a given year, and in such a situation that FTE would be restored for the next academic year. Faculty could still be terminated for performance reasons or for academic or programmatic changes, but they could not have their FTE reduced slowly until they were out of a career. In the event of academic or programmatic reorganization that might eliminate the need for a position, we propose a committee that can verify the rationale for those possible position cuts.

The other part of this proposal would be a force majeure clause which would allow the university more flexibility in the event of a declared emergency. We are working through the details of what sorts of additional leeway they should have in such cases and what mechanisms will be put in place to keep such a system from being abused. Stay tuned for more information on this front!

Come to Bargaining

While we are making progress, we are still far apart on some issues. The more faculty are logging into our Zoom sessions, listening in, and providing feedback to our team, the stronger our position. Your participation shows the administration that the faculty are paying attention and sweeping changes will not come easily. Not for nothing, it buoys the Bargaining Team to see high numbers of participants in our Zoom session! Some faculty who have been attending the sessions report that it is the best time they have had in their lives. Others have lived more adventurous lives, but still report the conversations to be fascinating. Everyone agrees that you can have the conversation on in the background while you get other work done.

Bargaining sessions typically run several hours, so please feel free to “attend” for as little or as much as your schedule allows. You can register here, and will then receive a Zoom link via email. Please note that while all sessions are listed as a default 9am-5pm, the actual meeting times will vary – we’ll keep the UA bargaining page updated with that schedule.

PAC-12’s Larry Scott submits Orwell Prize application

Ken Goe has his entry in the Oregonian:

“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our No. 1 priority,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement released by the conference. “Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities.”

University pays professor $504K to leave

Universities do that for coaches all the time. For example, over the past 5 years UO has paid former coaches $13.5M. Universities also do it to get rid of bad presidents – e.g. the $940K we paid Gottfredson to go away. But this time a university bought out a tenured professor – and that’s unusual enough make it into InsideHigherEd news:

… [UNC-W chancellor Sartarelli], in a note to the campus, said he had three choices. “1) Have him continue as a faculty member and accept the ongoing disruption to our educational mission, the hurt and anger in the UNCW community, and the damage to the institution. 2) Attempt to terminate him, and face drawn out, very costly litigation, that we might not win, which was the case when Dr. Adams sued UNCW and won a First Amendment retaliation lawsuit in 2014. That legal process lasted 7 years and cost the university roughly $700,000, $615,000 of which was for Dr. Adams’ attorneys’ fees. Losing a similar lawsuit today could cost even more. 3) Negotiate a settlement when, as part of a conversation with me about his conduct and future at UNCW, I learned Dr. Adams was interested in retiring. This approach allows us to resolve the situation quickly, with certainty, and in the most fiscally responsible way. This is the best option for our university and our community.”

3:00 p.m. Finance and Facilities Committee

[reposted because of reserve and media contract stuff]

3:00 p.m. Finance and Facilities Committee

1. Audited Financial Statements: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO; Kelly Wolf, Associate Vice President and Controller; Scott Simpson, Partner, Moss Adams

Here’s one metric where UO is not at the bottom of the AAU – reserves:

2. Quarterly Financial Reports and Annual Treasury Report: Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO; Karen Levear, Director, Treasury Operations

All these business people on the board, and the only trustee who found the error in the report is the UO staff trustee, Jimmy Murray, a librarian. Controller Kelly Wolf thanks him.

As usual these reports do not include any information on the athletics budget, or the various tax changes affecting it, or their subsidies, or their debt obligations. This is despite the fact that in the past trustees have specifically asked to see this.

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Pac-12 meets Friday under Pres Schill to consider postponing football

Rumor down at the faculty club is that the PAC-12 board, which is chaired by President Schill as of July 1, will meet this Friday to discuss what to do about football. The Ivy League has already postponed or maybe cancelled it, that news is here.

Meanwhile USA Today reports that Learfield IMG College, the multimedia conglomerate that controls the marketing and sponsorship rights for the Ducks and many other universities has started delaying payments, and is threatening to activating force majeure clauses if the universities don’t renegotiate their contracts.  UO’s contract with IMG, first negotiated by GC Kevin Reed in 2016, has such a clause.

And, since there’s an MOU between the Ducks and the Academic side sharing these revenues, this could cost us all:

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