Faculty pay

5/10/2010: The local AAUP (American Association of University Professors) chapter sent along these recent data on faculty salaries at UO relative to our “comparator” schools. Obviously we are not comparable. Compensation is 90%, 97%, 93%, and 85%, for instructors, assistants, associates, and fulls, respectively. It’s worse if you look at pay – arguably a better measure: 77%, 91%, 85, 79%.

UO’s scheme has been to hire assistants at the market rate, and then screw them on raises. But isn’t this because our cost of living is low? No, Eugene housing prices are 140% of the median college town. It’s because administrators like VP Frances Dyke spent the tuition money on their own perks. We hear that may change. A commenter gives one explanation for why: “… The unionization effort is alive and well. Why would they leave when just the threat of a union has caused Admin to suggest raises this fall?”

Another commenter asks about how med school salaries figure in to these comparisons: Here’s a link to the insanely long UO Matters comparison from last year, during the furlough debacle. Briefly, we posted this:

UO senior administrators are paid 120% of their peers. More, if you adjust for size and complexity.

UO full professors are paid 81% of their peers.

Comparison institutions are all public and private PhD granting institutions from the Chronicle of Higher Ed. This is the comparison group UO uses when setting administrator salaries: no senior UO administrators are paid less than 100% of the median in this peer group. Frohnmayer, Bean and Martinez (even without his second job) account for most of the excess above 100%. Go here for the Chronicle faculty data, here for administrators.

UO Provost Jim Bean challenged this conclusion in the UO Senate. He claimed that the comparison faculty salaries we posted included salaries for (very well paid) medical school faculty. They do not. We are making a fair comparison between like groups of non-med school faculty. Bean is comparing UO administrators with no med school to supervise with those with responsibility for medical schools, adding to the bias in his results.

Additionally, in Provost Bean’s data and analysis of administrator salaries he compares UO administrators to those at AAU schools which have on average 160% of the students, 370% of the faculty, and 440% of the budget of UO. Provost Bean is a case in point, even using the comparator group he selected himself. As an internal hire – with no experience and in his first year on the job – he is paid 96% of the salary of the average AAU public university provost, who is dealing with an institution that is 4 times as large as UO. 

Union survey

5/10/2010: Greg Bolt of the RG has a story on the Senate census of opinions on a union. Some people say this was “unscientific”. In this context this typically means a sample that is biased towards one group, therefore with results that are problematic for making unbiased estimates of population responses. But this poll was of the whole population of interest, not a sample, and therefore it is not unscientific in the sense used in the story. Responses, of course, could still be from a biased sample. With about a 50% response (higher for the faculty) this problem may be present but is much less severe than in most polls, many of which have 20% response rates or lower. Given the high response rate and how strong the results are against the union, the organizers have to take the results seriously. The union is not even close to having the level of support among faculty and OA’s needed to win an election and they will not try.

Sentiment on campus has changed. I think the faculty that brought this union effort to campus and worked very hard on it deserve a lot of credit for that change. I’m guessing Provost Bean is not going to credit it as “university service” when it comes time for raises, but he should! The administration realized that this was a serious organizing effort, and in response they cut down a bit on the lies and arrogance – we haven’t heard Bean’s 38% claim for a while – and they finally committed to a plan that will redirect some of our new tuition money away from themselves and back towards the faculty. Here’s hoping they don’t go right back to business as usual, now that this threat is removed.

University Foundations

5/10/2010: Pablo Eisenberg of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute writes about problems with university foundations. The UO Foundation suffers from many of the issues he raises, particularly excessive secrecy. Their IRS 990 form is due next week – we’ll be sure and post a copy. Here’s last year’s. The first time I asked the foundation for one of these, they “accidentally” left off the appendix showing a one time $152,536 bonus payment to their president.

Athletic antitrust

5/10/2010: David Moltz and Doug Lederman of Insidehighered.com write on the US DOJ anti-trust investigation of the NCAA and what it might mean for college athletes. Also see Libby Sanders in the Chronicle, here. Currently the NCAA acts as a hiring cartel to prevent athletes bargaining for a better deal – like, say, their coaches do. Did you know that UO’s scholarship offers are year by year, and that they can revoke a scholarship for a student who is doing well academically, but is injured and unable to perform athletically? Does anyone know if this has happened here? No 4 year guarantees for the players – not even on tuition – but the coach gets 7 years at $2 million per.

Ken DeBevoise

5/7/2010: Kaitlin Flanigan of the ODE has a story on Ken DeBevoise. FWIW, the rumor we hear is that most people agree it was a mistake to fire him, that the decision will be overturned, and that his students should get credit for a well run campaign. A recent shift in the supply of UO administrative leadership has also had an effect. Of course, Ken DeBevoise is paid $54,000 for a full load, while Dave Frohnmayer gets $245,7000 for co-teaching a course here and there – and is allowed to moonlight at Harrang Long et al and Umpqua Bank too. So leadership is still a rather scarce good.


5/4/2010: Lots of OSU visitors lately. Sorry, we got nothing for you, just UO stuff. Get your own blog! Wait, here’s a copy of the OSU Affirmative Action plan. Your Associate General Counsel Charles E. Fletcher tried to sell this to us, and said he didn’t want it posted online. We got it free, and here it is. Sorry Mr. Fletcher, you just don’t understand our business model. FWIW, it’s a much more professional job than the UO AA Plan and from what I can tell your AA budget is about half what Penny Daugherty charges UO. Let’s not even mention UO’s Vice President for Diversity Charles Martinez and his budget – it’s a crime. You should be proud. Go Beavers.

Conversion to semesters might happen

5/4/2010: The PSU student newspaper, the “Daily Vanguard”, reports on the OUS system’s consideration of a conversion to semesters. 89% of public universities are on semesters. There is extensive information about this on the OUS website, looks like it is under serious consideration. A reader pointed me to this survey on the issue, closes June 15th. http://www.ous.edu/qapp/sb442surveys/

Oregon DOJ orders UO to release public records

5/3/2010: To my knowledge this is the first time the Oregon DOJ has actually ordered UO public records officer Doug Park to produce public records. Often they will pressure UO, and you will get the records the day before the DOJ has to make a ruling (7 days from your petition.) Making a public ruling is a statement – either the DOJ is fed up with UO, or AG John Kroger thinks other people are and is trying to get some press.

A Union is not going to happen

5/3/2010: The results of the Senate survey on unionization are here. The comments on the survey are also posted and are worth reading. The response rate is higher than the previous UO Matters survey, and the results are very clear:

The tenure track faculty are opposed more than 2 to 1.
The OA’s are opposed more than 3 to 1.
The NTTIF (Instructors) are in favor more than 2 to 1. (but low response)

I’ll make a bold prediction: The AFT/AAUP organizers will leave campus soon. The Union idea is dead, except perhaps among the NTTIF’s. I would argue they are getting the shaft and probably should have a Union. But realistically are unlikely to benefit much because they have low bargaining power even as a group. So what happened? The union organization was not too good and there was some internal dissension. But mainly I think people decided Lariviere was not just all hat.

That said I think the union scared the shit out of the administration and has reduced the level of arrogance and contempt we’ve been getting from them. The faculty who worked long and hard on this had an effect, and they should be praised for getting involved and trying to improve UO.

Dave Frohnmayer shoves Melinda Grier under the bus:

5/1/2010: Greg Bolt of the RG finally gets Frohnmayer to talk about the Bellotti contract. Frohnmayer was waiting to see exactly how much the AG’s report unearthed before he went on the record with his version. And the report has just one mention of Frohnmayer – he delegated signing authority to Grier – and none of the $440,000 in donations from Pat Kilkenny, before and after Frohnmayer appointed Kilkenny AD and let him negotiate the Bellotti deal. This is a professional courtesy from the new AG to the old one. Neither wants anything in the papers that makes the office of Attorney General look bad.

So, now that the Oregon DOJ and the investigator David Leith have let Dave Frohnmayer off the hook, he shoves Melinda Grier under the bus:

“I assumed the contracts would be handled in due course,” he said.

“I think I reasonably relied on the usual course of business being followed by the general counsel’s office.”

“I wasn’t always happy with how the relationship worked,” he said.

“Even with direct reporting, I felt I wasn’t always getting direct reports.”

The attorney general’s report also was critical of Grier, saying she gave the university “deficient legal representation” and failed to report problems with Bellotti contract issues to the justice department.

Frohnmayer declined to comment on those issues but defended Grier’s dedication to the university.

“Melinda is a very hard-working person,” he said.

“I don’t know anyone whose car was in the parking lot on weekends and holidays more than Melinda Grier’s. There was no lacking of energy and devotion to her job.”

Nice job reference, Dave: “Ms Grier served as my loyal General Counsel for 12 years, covering my ass even when this led the Oregon Bar to start an ethics investigation of her. But in the end it turned out she was incompetent, made me look like a fool in the press, provided deficient legal representation and had to put in a lot of hours to accomplish even that. However, I did find her to be an excellent scapegoat.”

NY Times on UO Athletic Scandals

5/1/2010: Billy Witz of the NY Times has a long story on the recent troubles. No citation, but they do pick up the “Jock Box” phrase coined by UO Matters:

A new learning center — dubbed the Jock Box for its glass cube design — has been built for athletes only. If athletes at Oregon want a top-of-the-line laptop, all they have to do is ask — Knight donated 550 specially engraved Apple notebooks for their use. That twist, in the wake of Masoli’s arrest, has not been lost on many around campus. When guard Mark Asper, a sociology and Spanish major, has pulled his laptop out in class, he has had classmates admire it and then ask the inevitable question. “Is that one Jeremiah could have gotten?” Asper said. “And I say, yes. They want to know: What was he thinking? I just have to humbly apologize. People say, ‘Oh, you guys are a bunch of hooligans,’ and it’s tough because you don’t have any evidence to the contrary.”…

One person keeping a close eye will be Dr. Richard Lariviere, who last summer became the university’s president. One of his stated priorities was to figure out a way to raise professors’ salaries, which lag behind national standards, despite increasingly tight state funding. Lately, his focus has been on sports. Lariviere called the spate of off-the-field troubles “unacceptable” and acknowledged in a news conference that he pushed out Bellotti, who took a job last month with ESPN. Last week, after The Eugene Register-Guard reported that Kilkenny had also operated without a contract for more than a year, Lariviere reassigned the university counsel Melinda Grier to the campus law school and announced that her contract would not be renewed when it expired in 2011.

 The story also quotes Nathan Tublitz: “The athletic department is out of control here.” I’m guessing Nathan meant to say “was”. After recent events, it’s real clear Lariviere is cleaning this mess up.

More Bloat 2

4/29/2010: Diversity Vice President Charles Martinez is paid $146,537 by UO for his 0.75 FTE appointment at UO. (The stipend is really just extra salary, paid from a fund that was set up to compensate faculty for administrative work. The administration has been using these instead as a device to boost their own pay).

This would logically give Martinez 10 hours a week left over for outside work. But the IRS reports he actually works 25 hours off campus at OSLC:

The OSLC pay comes from federal grants, and if these were run through UO, Martinez would not be allowed to double dip like this. UO’s rules allow 1 day in 7 for outside work. Even adjusting for the 3/4 time appointment he’s way over. When he was hired by John Moseley in 2005, Moseley gave him a verbal promise the rule would not be enforced for him. Jim Bean apparently put that in writing last year. (Bean also put Martinez up for tenure, in a highly unusual last minute move, and then refused to show the faculty committee his letter explaining his decision.)

Given all this outside work – 25 hours a week – you might wonder how Martinez gets his job as UO Vice President done. He’s not on campus much. Try to set up a meeting, and he will want to meet at OSLC, or in a nearby coffee shop. He’s notorious for foisting all his duties off on his assistants.

Now Lariviere is letting him hire a new “Strategic Communications Specialist” to do more of his work for him. Amazing. Another $52,000-64,000 FTE, 0.5 time position.

At least they’re doing an affirmative action search. Now when are you going to do one for Martinez, President Lariviere? Are you sure the legal advice you got on his double-dipping and AA compliance – from Melinda Grier – was solid?

Have you found anyone on campus – other than Jim Bean and Charles Martinez – who thinks Charles Martinez is the best we can do as Vice President for Diversity? Regardless of what they think, shouldn’t we have an open, national, affirmative action compliant search for this position? Or at least a job description? Apparently Doug Park and Melinda Grier couldn’t find a written contract for Charles Martinez either:

From: “General Counsel”
Date: Sep 28, 2009 2:49:22 PDT
To: Professor X
Subject: RE: public records request, Martinez exemption letter

Dear Professor X:

The only public records we have been able to locate that are responsive to your request for documents “describing OIED VP Charles Martinez’s current job responsibilities” may be found at http://oied.uoregon.edu/staff/dr-charles-martinez-jr.  The University is waiving the costs associated with responding to this public records request.


University of Oregon
Office of the General Counsel

Kroger makes it official: Grier is the scapegoat for Frohnmayer and Kilkenny

4/30/2010 update: Greg Bolt has a story about this in the RG. Not much new except this:

Some attention also focused on former UO President Dave Frohnmayer, who in 2005 had assigned responsibility for personnel issues in the athletic department to Grier’s office. Frohnmayer was winding down his presidency when Bellotti announced that he would take over as athletic director. Frohnmayer couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Thursday. But in earlier comments he said that although he had asked Kilkenny to negotiate a contract with Bellotti he had no direct role in those talks. But without mentioning Frohnmayer, Lariviere made clear he wouldn’t have handled the situation that way. “No one negotiates the contract of his or her successor,” Lariviere said. “That’s just part of the culture. Everyone understands that.”

Still no explanation from Frohnmayer of his role, still no defense of Melinda Grier, who worked for him for 12 years. He has been waiting to see the AG’s report, so he’ll know exactly how much of the truth they unearthed, before he goes on the record with his version. “No criminal wrongdoing” is a big relief for Dave!

What’s Frohnmayer going to tell the first reporter who asks him about decision to give control of athletics to Kilkenny the year after Kilkenny started his $440,000 series of donations to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation?

4/29/2010: Ok, I was part wrong. The Oregon DOJ investigation report rips into Melinda Grier. This won’t get her disbarred – believe me, I’ve tried that – but it is a reasonably well-documented hatchet job and I can’t imagine anyone who reads it hiring her as an attorney. Ever. But of course Frohnmayer walks. For starters:

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today announced that a Department of Justice review found deficient legal representation, but no criminal wrongdoing in the handling of former University of Oregon Athletic Director Mike Bellotti’s contract.

Here’s the report. It is public because Lariviere insisted that Kroger make it public. Thanks. A key date in the events was April 20, 2009, when Grier was first asked about a written contract and when Frohnmayer was still President. Lariviere was obviously blindsided and had no responsibility for the lack of a contract. The report makes clear he did the best he could with a disaster.

The report does not mention the previous Oregon DOJ ethics investigation of Melinda Grier. That investigation was of false statements Grier made to the US DOJ Civil Rights Division, during their investigation of UO’s minority faculty recruiting procedures. Associate AG David Leith was in charge of that investigation (on which he spent well over $20,000), as well as of the report released today.

I’m surprised at the depth of this new investigation and the vehement tone of this report from Kroger. Somebody is pissed. My guess? David Leith and John Kroger went out on a limb for Melinda Grier, covering up the civil rights investigation and a raft of previous issues. Jean Stockard’s case would be another exmple – cost the state $500,000 plus fees. When this came up, they decided it was the last time she would make trouble for them.

UO’s Public Records Officer, Doug Park, gets off without a mention in the report. Oregon law gave Park responsibility for responding to the repeated public records requests for Bellotti’s contract. Presumably he passed them on the Grier, instead of doing his job. Lariviere has already announced he will take this responsibility away from Park. Good enough. We’ll see if the new GC will keep Park and the other longtime Grier assistant, Randy Geller.

There is not a word about Kilkenny. Dave Frohnmayer, of course, gets off untouched. Still no public word from Frohnmayer on his role in the Bellotti contract, on the firing of the woman who served as his principal legal advisor for 12 years, or on the AG’s judgment that she was incompetent.

Meanwhile Frohnmayer is still collecting his $245,700 in UO pay, still collecting a second paycheck at Harrang, Long, et al., and a third paycheck from Umpqua Bank. His former Provost, John Moseley, is still getting paid by UO on a questionable PERS retirement buyout deal, set up by Frohnmayer, while he runs a fishing retreat on the Deschutes. No kidding, you can rent a lodge from him here. The Oregon Government Ethics Board investigator wanted to pursue this, the board voted him down. The guy Frohnmayer appointed VP for Diversity 5 years ago, Charles Martinez, is still working for UO without any kind of affirmative action compliant search, and he’s still double dipping at another job off campus. Sleaze.

How many of these deals did Melinda Grier also have her fingers in? How much more is there? It’s going to be a while before the shit gets cleaned up, but this is a start.