Bean corrects beangram

or maybe he’s correcting his December Senate speech. Or his January one? Or maybe his old claim that UO spends 38% of what our peers do on administration. Anyone know? Anyone trust his math? Believe his grammar? Amazed at his confusion between levels and changes?

1-25-13 Provost’s Message
Several weeks ago I provided some statistics on our growth rate of faculty, staff and students. Since then, the Office of Institutional Research has provided some updated numbers that I want to share with you.
The following numbers include the rate of change in different employment classes from 2007 to 2012. The count is based upon the fall census, which is conducted the first week of November each year.
The five-year Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) shows that from 2007 to 2012:
  • Student FTE increased by 3.8 percent
  • Total faculty FTE increased by 3.4 percent
  • Tenure track faculty FTE increased by 2.3 percent
  • Non-tenure track faculty FTE increase by 4.2 percent
  • Librarian FTE increased by 3.5 percent
  • Classified staff FTE increased by 2.5 percent
  • Officers of Administration FTE (not including librarians) increased by 5.1 percent.
In looking at the increase in Officers of Administration, we discovered that within Schools and Colleges, OAs increased by 6.1 percent, and outside of Schools and Colleges, they increased by 4.8 percent.
We then compared the increase in the number of OAs to other public AAU institutions and discovered that the UO has only half (52.2 percent) as many OAs on a per student basis than the AAU average. (sic)
The number of OAs per student is significantly lower than comparative staffing levels for other employee groups. Faculty FTE per student ratios are at 74.5 percent of AAU peers and classified staff FTE per student ratios are at 79.2 percent of AAU peers, based upon fall 2011 data.
For a detailed list of employee FTE from 2007 to 2012, please see the chart on my website at
I look forward to your comments at [email protected]
James Bean
Senior Vice President and Provost,
University of Oregon
[email protected]

UO administrative bloat makes the Wall Street Journal

We’re the 4th highest of 72 public “high research category” universities in the percentage of total spending that goes to administration. See the data here, story here. “Administrative spending includes management of the university including human resources, legal, financial, purchasing and marketing operations, among others.”

UO spends 12% on this, the median university spends 7%. On the other hand, if you rank by dollars spent, we’re close to the median. See the Bunsis report for the time-series view. It’s increasing at a faster rate than instructional spending. And don’t get me started about research spending.

In a nutshell, we’re a poor university with a bloated administration. Bloated and in denial – click below to see our interim provost Jim Bean in 2009, claiming we spend 38% of what our peers spend on administration:

When I asked Bean for documentation for his claims, he ignored me. When I made a public records request, he tried to charge me to see his data:

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for a copy of memos, budget statements, and or forecasts that Provost Bean used as background for statements he made at the April 14, 2009 Town Hall meeting and at the May 13, 2009 Senate meeting.  The University is now providing an estimate.

The University estimates the actual cost of providing the documents responsive to your request to be $45.63.   Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon in the amount of $45.63, the University will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure.  Your check may be sent to the attention of the General Counsel’s office at 1226 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1226.  Your request for a fee waiver is respectfully denied. 

According to the WSJ data, we spend about $8 million more on administration than OSU does. That’s enough to fund 8% raises for the faculty. Thanks to several anon readers for the links, and the memories. 1/2/2013.

Oregon universities are hiring (administrators).

From a very good piece by Hannah Hoffman in the Statesman Journal (She also had a recent story on PERS, and is now running the excellent “State Worker’s Blog“).

The boom is consistent with enrollment growth. So, how much of the hiring is new faculty? You could ask our clueless provost Jim Bean, but the best data I’ve seen is from the AAUP’s Howard Bunsis and his February report to the UO faculty union organizers. Bean and Berdahl’s failure to give a credible response – or any response – to this report is a big part of the reason we are now unionized. (Whoops –  as a comment notes, Bean was actually on “sabbatical” when the vote occurred. Lorraine Davis was acting provost.)

The increase in FT Faculty is largely adjuncts. There’s been very little increase in tenure track numbers at UO:
From 1992 to 2012 the number of students has increased by more than 50% (data here) and the number of tenure track faculty by less than 20%.
Since 2008 the number of students has increased about 20%, the number of tenure track faculty about 10%. 

UO’s finances

2/17/2012: I wish that UO’s CFO would give the faculty a honest talk about UO’s current spending and that our Provost would give a consult with the faculty about UO’s future budgeting priorities. But Jim Bean and Frances Dyke have never given us a clear data-based presentation of where they are spending our money, and what they think UO’s future spending priorities should be. It’s almost like they’ve got something to hide.

Information abhors a vacuum. So yesterday Howard Bunsis of the AAUP came and did our administration’s job for them. His slides are here. Here’s one particularly damning one.

I assume the faculty union organizers will post a video of this presentation soon. Howard Bunsis’s talk is the best argument I’ve seen for signing the union card, aside from the pandering nonsense Jim Bean delivers, here.

Update: A commenter posts a link to the 2008 Senate Budget Committee report on faculty salaries, here, with this figure:

Which side are you on?

2/16/2012: From the union organizer’s website here:

How can faculty have a real voice in setting priorities?

Thursday, February 16th
115 Lawrence

Hear speakers address these critical areas:

Howard Bunsis, a professor of accounting at Eastern Michigan University and Secretary-Treasurer of the AAUP

Dr. Bunsis, an expert in the analysis of university budgets, previously presented his analysis of the UO’s financial condition in February 2011 ( This new presentation extends his analysis to budgetary developments during 2011-2012, some of which may have implications for the current legislative session. …

Or you can listen to our once and future beamer driving Provost Jim Bean brag about how UO spends only 38% of what our peers do on administration, here:

But don’t ask to see the public records – he’ll make you pay.

Administrative bloat, Delta Cost, Howard Bunsis

2/8/2012: Excellent story in the Chronicle on the Delta Cost Project on higher education, and their influence in the Obama administration and Congress.

I started this blog back in 2009, after the furlough town hall where the administration tried to convince the faculty to take voluntary pay cuts. (They took the cuts themselves too – but then offset them with raises. Provost Bean started 2009 with an annual salary of $295,000, took a few unpaid furlough days, then got a raise to $306,800. This was almost exactly enough to offset his furlough days. Actually it left him with an overall *gain* of some $246 for the year.) One striking part of the meeting was when Bean claimed UO’s administrative expenses were just 38% of our peers:

When I tried to get Bean to show me the documents supporting this assertion, I got the runaround for months. They eventually tried to charge me $75 to see the public records. Then it turned out Bean was using the wrong numbers. I got the right ones from The Delta Project and their online database of the federally required reports to IPEDS. Looking at UO’s spending per student FTE compared to Carnegie Public Research university averages, for 2008, they show UO spent:

  • $2,347 on Central administration. 96% of the average
  • $8,850 on Instruction. 91% of the average
  • $1,937 on Academic support: 70% of the average
  • $3,521 on Research. 63% of the average

Definitions here. These are the result of long trends. Since 2001 UO enrollment is up 26%, TT faculty up 9%, and administrators up 36%.

Now the faculty Union organizers will be staging a town hall of their own, Th Feb 16, 4-5:30 in 115 Lawrence. The first presenter:

Howard Bunsis, Ph.D., CPA, JD, an expert in the analysis of university budgets, previously presented his analysis of the UO’s financial condition in February 2011 (available online at–analysis-of-uo). This new presentation extends his analysis to budgetary developments during 2011-2012, some of which may have implications for the current legislative session.

His analysis from last year relied heavily on the Delta Cost data and was a welcome contrast to the distortions and confusion that our administration has put out on these issues. I’m looking forward to his update.

RG on UO hiring: 26% more students, 9% more faculty, 36% more administrators.

10/23/2011: Very interesting RG story by Greg Bolt, on UO’s role in Lane County employment:

Employment at the UO has grown across the board, with increases seen in nearly every job category. The university has more teachers, professors, administrators, clerical staff, laborers and technicians today than it did before the recession began.
But the growth hasn’t been even across those categories. For example, the number of faculty members who are tenured or on the tenure track grew by 9 percent between 2001 and 2010, while the UO sharply ramped up hiring of nontenured faculty, increasing it by 32.5 percent. …
The UO also has hired more administrators, whose ranks grew 36 percent over the past 10 years. Over the same time, the number of classified employees — front-line workers in clerical, technical and maintenance jobs — grew 22 percent and enrollment 26 percent.
The growth in administrative jobs has drawn criticism, from front-line classified workers and faculty who think the UO has bloated its managerial ranks at the expense of other needs. But Penny Daugherty, the UO’s affirmative action director who also coordinates non-classified hiring, said it’s more a matter of catching up. …

Enrollment up 26%, TT faculty up 9%, and administrators up 36%.

And Penny Daugherty is now the highest level UO administrator who will publicly comment on administrative bloat. That is what Harry Truman would call passing the buck, President Lariviere.


10/11/2011: I didn’t think so. The low point for UO was the April 2009 “Furlough Town Hall” where President Dave Frohnmayer, Provost Jim Bean, General Counsel Melinda Grier, and VPFA Frances Dyke tried to trick the faculty into agreeing to 5% pay reductions.

Frohnmayer had just taken a $100,000 raise himself, and was in the process of trying to spend $1 million on the neon “Old Town” sign in Portland. Inane. Bean claimed that UO was in the black on our Bend satellite and that we had a lean top administration, spending 38% of what our peer institutions spend. Wrong. Dyke revealed that she didn’t know how much faculty payroll was, and couldn’t divide.

All four of the people in this insulting dog and pony show are now gone or going. (Although Bean may be back). In addition, Diversity VP Charles Martinez is gone. VP for Research Rich Linton is gone. Lorraine Davis is back, but just for a bit. VP for AA Russ Tomlin is retiring. We have new VP’s for admissions and development and a new athletic director. The 5% cut in faculty pay that Frohnmayer’s administration proposed is history – replaced with raises. The staff furloughs have been mostly offset with overtime.

President Lariviere has engineered a nearly complete overall of UO’s central administration. Now we’ll see what they can do.

UO Police Force bloat begins

9/14/2011: Maybe UO needs a sworn armed police force. Maybe we don’t. Last year VP Frances Dyke and Chief Doug Tripp spent a lot of time destroying their credibility coming up with implausible reasons why we did – and telling us it would save UO $76,000 a year. Sure.

The legislature passed the bill, and now the hiring binge is starting. A new frontline position in, of course, public relations. Salary, $70,000-$80,000. OK Doug, we get it. You won, you’ve got the guns now. Go ahead, buy the puppy too.

Who approved this hire? Frances Dyke – the same person who told us this would save UO money. She’ll be gone soon, off to a fat golden parachute contract, like John Moseley and Lorraine Davis before her. Your tuition money at work. But wait – there’s more. Check the administrative job listing, here. I count 5 other open public safety administrative jobs. Anyone know how many are new?

SEIU local 503 on OUS priorities

9/12/2011: The local 503 has just released a whitepaper here. Some of the data is from the excellent Bunsis report on UO, here. They repeat the UO admin raise data, have some data on 2009-2010 raises at PSU, but nothing on OSU or OUS central. My read on this is that UO is getting punished for being the most transparent, thanks to Brad Shelton’s efforts back in 2009, after the furlough debacle. Not very fair! I certainly agree with their points about too many bosses and no enough workers though. Lots of new students, lots of new administrators, almost no new professors.

Administrative bloat. Job #1 for our new interim provost should be to drastically slow the hiring of new administrators.

And the summary (thanks Star)

Among its core findings are:

• There is one administrator for each 2.4 direct-service employees on the faculty and front-line staff across the university system, more than four times a ratio of one for every 11 front-line state agency workers targeted by the legislature.

• Staffing has shifted from instruction and support to administration. At Oregon State, for example, the ratio of administrators to students increased 11% from 1993 to 2007 while instruction, service and research dropped by 28% and clerical support dropped by 53%. On average in 2009-10, these administrators were paid 23% more than faculty and 90% more than front-line workers.

• While front-line workers endured pay freezes and furlough days in the past biennium, the University of Oregon and Portland State (the only campuses where data is readily available) handed highly paid administrators significant raises. These included 19 at PSU who were already earning over $130,000 a year and 35 at UO who were already earning over $100,000 a year.

• The university system made $457 million in capital improvements in FY 2010, a 25% increase in capital assets. Thus, $77 million that could have funded operations went instead to a growing debt service, exacerbating a disturbing trend. From 2004-2010, total revenue coming from student tuition and fees increased by 29%. Tuition alone has increased by more than double since 2001.

• As their workloads soar with increased enrollment, compensation for faculty and support workers stagnates or declines. Classified employees, for example, saw total compensation drop from 98.2% of market in 2008 to 92.6% in 2010.

• The OUS’ financial picture is not as bleak as OUS paints it. Total operating revenues rose by 11.9% in 2010, while operating expenses increased by only 2.4%, resulting in a savings of $189 million relative to budget. System-wide enrollment increased by 6% in 2010 and is expected to increase by over 3% in 2011. Also for FY 2010, OUS had a total of $252 million in unrestricted net assets.

• At a time when accountability takes on new urgency with the passage in laws giving Oregon’s public universities more autonomy and less oversight, OUS fails to make information readily and sufficiently accessible to allow for public oversight and scrutiny.

emphasis added.

University staff march, may strike

6/30/2011: Today the SEIU staff union hold a lunchtime rally about their bargaining situation.

UO is flush with money – read the Bunsis report for details. The state is broke. Unfortunately, the UO staff union bargains with the state, not with UO. So the contract they get is very likely to reduce their take home pay dramatically, via cuts in benefits, co-pays for insurance, furloughs, and so on.

For a staff worker making $35,000 a year, this is disastrous. The fact that their OA supervisors and the faculty will get raises makes the situation patently unfair.

Pres Lariviere has shown he’s willing to go out on a limb for the staff by offsetting furlough days with overtime. But so long as the union negotiates with the state, not UO, there’s not much he can do to deal with the fundamental problem.

My guess is that there’s a 50/50 chance of a strike by the staff, presumably right around the start of classes. One more reason UO needs to get out from under the state and Dr. Pernsteiner.

UO faculty pay sucks

4/19/2011: Stefan Verbano in the ODE has details. (Also see Bill Graves in the Oregonian. Read the comments if you dare.) One of the faculty union proponents, Anne McLucas, is quoted in the ODE:

According to OUS data, upper-level administrative costs have risen 63 percent from 2006 to 2010, while instructional expenses have increased by only 22 percent.

This seems ballpark from the data I’ve seen.

UO’s spending per student FTE compared to Carnegie Public Research university averages, for 2008.

  • $2,347 on Institutional support, aka Central administration. General administrative services, executive management, legal and fiscal operations, public relations and central operations for physical operation. 96% of the average
  • $8,850 on Instruction. Faculty salaries, academic departments: 91% of the average
  • $1,937 on Academic support. Libraries, academic computing, Dean’s Ofc: 70% of the average
  • $3,521 on Research. External grants and internal research support: 63% of the average

This is 2008 – before all of the increases in central administration that Linda Brady and Frances Dyke made kicked in. Yet UO administrators still stick to the claim that UO’s administrative expenses are 38% of our peers.

But as for the follow-up argument that Lariviere’s new partnership will make this worse: I disagree.

I’m a cynic when it comes to the UO administration. I know this shocks you. Frohnmayer let our administrators give themselves raises while faculty salaries were frozen, and he took every dime he could get for himself as well.

But Lariviere – already very well paid himself, so why worry – is telling the administrators that they will not get any more raises until after the faculty does. (With a few exceptions, like Randy, Scott and Michael.) This concentrates their minds wonderfully. On the other hand he does seem to be allowing the administrative bloat bubble to build, in terms of their overall budget share, if not individual salaries.