6/14/2010: Eric Kelderman of the Chronicle of Higher Education (or here) has an interesting, long, and thorough article on the recent unpleasantness, and more generally on UO and the tough job Lariviere has in front of him:
… what is clear is that Mr. Bellotti’s hiring was highly unusual and involved a number of questionable decisions by Mr. Lariviere’s predecessor, David B. Frohnmayer, and Mr. Kilkenny, who negotiated the salary for his successor but failed to produce anything in writing from that process. Mr. Kilkenny could not be reached for comment.
“I just cannot imagine a series of negotiations involving the athletic director and there not being something in writing somewhere,” said Raymond D. Cotton, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., who specializes in hiring and compensation in higher education.
Ironically, in 2007 Ray Cotton charged OUS $45,572 for a 10 page consulting report on presidents’ salaries, which Frohnmayer’s friends on the state OUS board then used to justify a series of large pay increases for him – mostly paid out UO Foundation funds. Which athletic boosters gave Frohnmayer this money? Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has recently ruled that the Foundation can keep that a secret – but presumably Kilkenny was one of them. He gave $240,000 to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi foundation, the year before Frohnmayer gave him the AD job – the very job from which Kilkenny then negotiated that verbal contract with Mike Bellotti.
Anyway, Frohnmayer then goes on to blame Grier and, get this – incoming President Richard Lariviere – for the Bellotti payoff:
Mr. Frohnmayer said that he had no communication with Mr. Bellotti or Mr. Kilkenny about the nature of the negotiations. But he also said he did not intend for the new athletic director to have a contract that would saddle the incoming president with a long-term financial obligation. “Both the incoming and outgoing president assumed that the contract would be completed by the incoming president,” he said.
Mr. Frohnmayer also said Ms. Grier was responsible for all of the athletics contracts. But Ms. Grier said she was not even told of Mr. Kilkenny’s role until after the negotiations were supposedly complete. Mr. Frohnmayer, a former Orgeon attorney general, personally handled all of the contracts of people who reported to him, Ms. Grier said, and she would be involved only if the president asked her. He never asked her to assist with Mr. Bellotti’s contract, she said.
That last part sure rings true. For example, here’s the golden parachute contract Frohnmayer wrote for former Provost John Moseley – still getting $120K a year. He wrote a similar one for Lorraine Davis – now UO’s interim AD, at $30,000 per month. Frohnmayer loved writing contracts giving away public money to his cronies.
The article includes some blunt talk about how bad things are at UO:
Although the amount of money received by faculty members here from federal research grants has grown significantly in recent years, from more than $36-million in 2003 to $55-million in 2008, the institution still ranks near the bottom compared with other members of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a select group of 63 research institutions. The university brings in less than half the $114-million brought in by Oregon State University, which is not a member of the AAU.
… A full professor at Oregon earned, on average, $103,000 this academic year, about 79 percent of the average annual salary for full professors at eight peer institutions, including the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, according to the Oregon chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
And then a bit of optimism:
The university plans to spend $15-million over the next three to five years to raise salaries with dollars from tuition increases, administrative cuts, and delaying some maintenance on campus buildings
My take is that the faculty is much more positive about Lariviere than Kelderman’s article suggests. A solid B+, according to our tracking poll. High expectations …