Changes in UO expenditure authorizations from 2014 to 2020 budgets

Note: These data are from They show authorized expenditures – not actual expenditures. For example, the Law School is authorised to spend $10.8M this year, they probably spent more that $18M.

I’ve sorted these by the $ change from 2013-2014 to the 2019-2020 AY. Changes in accounting mean that direct comparisons should be done with care. My quick takeaway is that most of the units getting large increases are administrative units – not academic units.

Comments and interpretation welcome.

2014 2020
unit  Total Expenditure Budget Total Expenditure Budget2 % change $ change
400500 –  Budget and Finance Division $609,831 NA NA
410210-FASS Finance & Admn Shared Services $4,230,781 NA NA
410500 –  Campus Planning & Real Estate $1,523,420 NA NA
422111 –  VPSA Holden Center $590,395 NA NA
433300 –  Printing & Mailing Services $4,805,174 NA NA
440500 –  Affirmative Action $770,250 NA NA
460509 –  Parking and Transportation $1,961,731 NA NA
461000-Campus Services $19,066,396 NA NA
520200-University Communications $9,242,351 NA NA
900100-UO General / Budget Control $910,197 NA NA
910000-UO General Business Operations -$7,355,165 NA NA
912000-UO General Insurance $5,588,795 NA NA
913698-UO Building/Property Management $5,561,516 NA NA
430000 –  Business Affairs Office $5,962,728 $89,723,648 1405% $83,760,920
480000 –  Athletics $98,011,236 $139,080,843 42% $41,069,607
600000 –  Research $33,270,095 $65,152,481 96% $31,882,386
470000 –  University Housing $57,347,971 $86,978,680 52% $29,630,709
263000 –  Information Services $21,127,986 $44,556,899 111% $23,428,913
226000 –  Education, College of $32,825,094 $51,769,399 58% $18,944,305
450000 –  Campus Operations $45,666,314 $64,195,299 41% $18,528,985
262010 –  VP Student Affairs Administration $4,436,250 $20,270,005 357% $15,833,755
490000 –  University Health Center $18,680,905 $30,100,545 61% $11,419,640
225000 –  Business, College of $32,996,210 $44,336,069 34% $11,339,859
221000 –  Architecture & Allied Arts, School $21,365,273 $29,297,696 37% $7,932,423
262000 –  Enrollment Management $22,956,355 $30,704,252 34% $7,747,897
425000 –  Student Union, EMU $13,982,738 $20,026,783 43% $6,044,045
267000 –  Undergraduate Studies $5,817,332 $10,949,308 88% $5,131,976
229000 –  Music and Dance, School of $12,876,518 $16,694,166 30% $3,817,648
150001 –  Academic Extension $19,722,601 $23,397,158 19% $3,674,557
265000 –  Graduate School $2,644,944 $6,241,397 136% $3,596,453
410000 –  VP Fin & Admin Operations $3,219,494 $5,940,514 85% $2,721,020
410800 –  Enterprise Risk Services $2,897,358 $5,570,814 92% $2,673,456
440000 –  Human Resources $5,313,727 $7,700,330 45% $2,386,603
227000 –  Journalism & Communicatn, School of $23,811,816 $26,185,848 10% $2,374,032
460000 –  Police Department $5,684,545 $7,646,310 35% $1,961,765
224000 –  Honors College $4,354,598 $6,261,566 44% $1,906,968
100100 –  President Administrative Operations $3,544,927 $5,441,851 54% $1,896,924
266900 –  Physical Education and Recreation $10,683,956 $12,445,380 16% $1,761,424
120000 –  Senior VP and Provost Operations $7,660,326 $9,143,398 19% $1,483,072
264000 –  International Affairs $14,017,355 $15,412,721 10% $1,395,366
211000 –  VP for Equity & Inclusion $3,487,333 $4,851,098 39% $1,363,765
210325 –  UO Portland $4,494,486 $5,711,118 27% $1,216,632
267500 –  Counseling & Testing Center $4,333,012 $5,467,328 26% $1,134,316
432000 –  Purchasing & Contracting Services $1,212,868 $2,078,298 71% $865,430
410600 –  University Auditor $37,950 $759,515 1901% $721,565
102000 –  General Counsel $2,523,487 $3,128,404 24% $604,917
267600 –  Career Center $1,684,687 $2,241,144 33% $556,457
106000 –  UO Board of Trustees $172,912 $593,208 243% $420,296
410310 –  Institutional Research $616,030 $872,900 42% $256,870
212000 –  Vice Provost for Budget & Planning $1,137,671 $1,210,615 6% $72,944
420000 –  Budget and Resource Planning $908,143 $968,077 7% $59,934
250000 –  Library $28,032,268 $28,087,702 0% $55,434
200100 –  Academic Affairs $10,018,273 $7,048,971 -30% -$2,969,302
267900 –  Dean of Students & AVP Stdnt Affrs $8,771,136 $5,246,465 -40% -$3,524,671
222000 –  Arts & Sciences, College of $176,341,301 $169,805,544 -4% -$6,535,757
228000 –  Law, School of $19,621,847 $10,842,522 -45% -$8,779,325
500100 –  University Advancement $30,228,889 $20,004,888 -34% -$10,224,001
Grand Total $834,761,746 $1,181,386,029 42% $346,624,283

UO Foundation spends $13.5M on deadwood coaches – and GC Kevin Reed’s office continues to delay releasing public records

Severance payments to former coaches, from 2015 to present:

Presumably the money came from Duck boosters who couldn’t think of a way to support UO’s academic mission, or just don’t care. I wonder if the Foundation and UO Development exempted these donations from their usual administrative and fundraising charges, as they do for most big Duck boosters.

This is from a public records request I made at 10:40 AM on May 11, below. As you can see from the time stamp on the banner report, it took AAD Eric Roedl’s staff less than 5 hours to get around to pulling these records out of banner (which takes less than 5 minutes). UO General Counsel Kevin Reed’s Public Records Office then applied its usual methods to delay the release of public records to the public and subvert the clear intent of Oregon’s public records law, taking a full 22 days to get around to redacting the id numbers and sending me a fuzzy pdf. The full dump with monthly payments is here.

May 11, 2020 request:

From: Bill Harbaugh <[email protected]>
Subject: Public records request, Duck severance payments
Date: May 11, 2020 at 10:40:25 AM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <[email protected]>
Cc: Eric Roedl <[email protected]>

Dear Ms Thornton

This is a public records request for an itemized list of the “severance payments and applicable benefits” paid to past Duck Athletics coaches and administrative personnel, from July 1 2015 to the present. I attach an example of the sorts of expenses I am looking for, from the 2019 EADA report.

I am ccing Eric Roedl, as he should be able to easily supply these numbers from BANNER without your office’s usual fees and delays.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of expenditure of public funds.


Bill Harbaugh
[email protected]

June 2, 2020 response:

On Jun 2, 2020, at 3:50 PM, [email protected] wrote:

Dear Mr. Harbaugh,

Attached are the records responsive to your request made on 05/11/2020. Some information is exempt under ORS 192.355(2). You may seek review of the public body’s determination pursuant to ORS 192.411, 192.415, 192.418, 192.422, 192.427 and 192.431. The office considers these documents to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.


Office of Public Records
6207 University of Oregon | Eugene, OR 97403-6207
(541) 346-6823 | [email protected]

Pres Schill’s Track & Field Championship construction boom adds $15M a year to UO costs, UO credit rating goes negative

In June 2015 UO projected that debt expense payments for 2021 would be about $43M a year:

Now in June 2020 they are projecting debt expense payments for 2021 will be about $58M a year – a $15M increase:

Why the increase? Mostly for 30 year bonds sold to build new dorms, part of the “Athlete’s Village” that Phil Knight needed for the IAAF Track and Field Championships bids. We’ll be paying them off for a long time.

For perspective, the average student brings in about $20K a year in tuition, so it would take about 750 new students to cover this $15M in new debt.

Enrollment increases are unlikely, so the current plan from President Schill and Provost Phillips is to cut wages for faculty and staff to cover this debt expense increase and any revenue declines from cuts in state contributions and enrollment.

In any case the party is over. In March – before the impact of the coronavirus – Moody’s had already revised UO’s credit outlook to negative, citing the increased debt, spending, resistance to tuition increases, low reserves, etc. (Thanks to a helpful reader for sharing this public record, which took Kevin Reed’s office 3 weeks to provide. Full report here. So far as I can tell Angela Wilhelms and Chuck Lillis never showed it to the Trustees, nor was if discussed in their public meetings. Not exactly due diligence.)

The tables are from the back pages of the Trustees agenda materials. June 2015 here, 2020 here. It seems unlikely that the Trustees will do their due diligence on this at their June 4th meeting, given that they are the people who approved all the decisions that got us here.

Board of Trustees to consider unwinding Law school

5/28/2020: Actually the agenda for their June 4th meeting isn’t posted yet,  so it’s unclear if this will be among the cost-savings measures to be considered. Maybe they’ll cut baseball instead.

5/15/2020: UO Law School needs $250M to avoid financial exigency

It now costs UO’s law school about $170K to produce a law school graduate who can pass the bar exam. Over their three years they pay only about $60K in tuition – 50% off the list price. 75% of their students are from out of state.

The Law School started 2015 with a $3.3M positive carry-forward. As of March 2020 they were $5.7M in the red, on a heavily subsidized budget of $16M a year – they bring in only about $8M in tuition.

Our E&G bucket is on the hook for the $9M debt and pays for the continuing $8M deficit – including $390K for new Dean Marcilynn Burke and $290K for former Dean Michael Moffitt, who apparently knows something about contracts.

Closure can’t be far off without significant donor support. Back of the envelope it would take a $250M endowment gift, which would yield $9.5M a year after Paul Weinhold’s UO Foundation takes their cut.

Here are the numbers, from painfully drilling down into the docs on UO’s new transparency website, here.

President Michael Schill has been very, very good to his upper admins. Faculty & staff, not so much.

Relative to other “Very High Research” public universities. I think this is what is commonly called “administrative bloat” – though these are salaries, not numbers. 2018 means the 2018-19 FY.

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, here. (You may need to create a free login with your UO id). The data comes from federally required IPEDS data submissions. UO is in orange, the 4-year VHR public university average in teal:

Admin: Upper management salaries:

Admin: Comm/Legal/Media salaries:

Faculty: (Full profs.)

Faculty: (Asst Profs):


Regular OA’s:

Pres Schill: Looking ahead to fall term on campus

Some extracts from President Schill’s plans to address the financial fallout from the coronavirus. Everything in ” ” is a direct quote from his email to the university today. The translations are from google translate’s new “no bullshit” mode:

Pres Schill: “For a variety of reasons (low state support, high-cost mandatory benefits programs, and a recent drop in international enrollment) our reserves are lower than other peer institutions across the country.”

Translation: Our reserves are low because of other people’s decisions, not because I spent $2.15M wiring up The Phildo or $?M building our new Athletic Village.

Pres Schill: “We also do not think we can look to tuition increases to address major shortfalls the way we did following the last recession. Our nonresident students already pay market tuition, and the incomes of Oregon residents make paying more in tuition very difficult, particularly in a period of mass unemployment.”

Translation: We can’t increase tuition because we just started a very poorly timed tuition guarantee program which means 9% increases for freshmen and locks in low increases for current continuing students. We were told we’d need a substantial reserve to implement this, but we went ahead anyway.

Pres Schill: “A third revenue source would be our endowment, but those accounts are almost all restricted and their value has fallen as a result of the stock market decline.”

Translation: We can’t use our endowment because those are restricted funds, and we only break gift agreements when the money comes from a professor giving it to the academic bucket. Athletic donations are sacred, particularly the $12M Jumbotron.

Pres Schill:  “A fourth option would be to cut personnel costs, since almost 80 percent of our Education and General (E&G) budget is composed of salaries and benefits. This would be quite difficult since we operate at staffing ratios that are much lower than our peer schools and most salaries are set by collective bargaining agreements. … Last week Provost Phillips and Vice President Jamie Moffitt circulated a proposal for a progressive pay reduction (PPR) program that I realize may have surprised some of you.”

Translation: I threw Provost Banavar under the bus for last year’s budget crisis cuts. This time it’s worse, so I’m going to throw a Provost *and* a VP.

Pres Schill: “The reality is that we will need to do something to adjust expenses if enrollment declines significantly and/or we receive state budget cuts. Again, we are open to suggestions and collaborative approaches designed to solve the problem.”

Translation: Your opinions are not worth a damn thing, and whatever we do it will come from the secret meetings I’m now having with my Financial Continuity Team, just as the pay cut plan did.

Full letter below:

Dear University of Oregon community,

The COVID-19 crisis strikes at the heart of the University of Oregon’s mission. As a great residential university, we are grounded in the foundational notion that, by bringing people together in this amazing and special campus setting, we provide a world-class, transformative educational experience. That education takes place in our classrooms, labs, libraries, and studios. But it also takes place in serendipitous encounters in dining facilities, on our beautiful lawns, in our residence halls, and at our sporting events. In these various, unique settings our students learn what it means to be human in a society full of diverse people and perspectives. As we turn our attention to the fall and our long-term future we must always keep this mission in mind.

Continue reading

How many faculty jobs will UO’s Hearts & Minds consultants cost?

4/24/2020 update:

The median UO faculty makes about $70K a year. How many of them will have to lose their jobs to pay for these consultants? I don’t know, let’s find out:

From: Bill Harbaugh <[email protected]>
Subject: PR request for “Public Opinion Research”
Date: April 24, 2020 at 5:14:03 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <[email protected]>
Cc: Kyle Henley <[email protected]>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for a copy of the contract awarded under

RFP for Public Opinion Research RFP Number: PCS# 500100-00251-RFP, and for a copy of the contract for the successful bidder.

The PCS website says that this RFP was closed on Jan 22, and lists it under awarded contracts.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest. I’m ccing VP for Strategic Communications Kyle Henley, as he should have this document readily available and be able to provide it without your office’s usual fees and delays.


Bill Harbaugh
[email protected]

Johnson Hall & Trustees to rerun LBJ’s Hearts and Minds campaign 2/18/2020: Some well-paid UO administrators, presumably with the support of our puzzled Board of Trustees, want to hire a consultant to help them win “the battle”, even if it requires a “multi-year integrated public education and advertising initiative that uses emotional appeals, personal stories … to improve perception, mobilize support and a feeling of pride for the university amongst Oregonians …”

They need to pay a consultant ~$200K to tell them why the good citizens of Oregon don’t want to pay for Phil Knight’s football factory? Yes, apparently they do:

What are we paying the people involved in this?

AVP Ellen Herman has no records on status of Faculty Track Software


Another year, another budget crisis, more questions about where UO’s money is going. I emailed VP Herman, who is charge of this project, on March 25th:

Hi Ellen,

I’m heard a rumor that the administration has abandoned or perhaps just delayed this effort. I’m hoping that you can provide some details on where this proposal currently stands. Thanks,

Bill Harbaugh

She didn’t answer, so on April 1st I filed a public record request. Yesterday I got this response:

Dear Mr. Harbaugh,

The University has searched for, but was unable to locate, records responsive to your request for “…a public record showing the current status of the Faculty tracking / Insights project”, made 4/1/2020.

It is the office’s understanding that this project has been placed on hold, however there are no records documenting this decision.

The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.

Sincerely, Office of Public Records

5/8/2019 update: 

With the budget crisis, you’d think this proposal would be in the trash can. Apparently not.

3/18/2019 Faculty tracking software vendor explains time-suck & “thought leadership programming” junket

So why isn’t the provost’s office being clear about what this will cost?

Continue reading

$272K VP for Equity emails faculty about Love, Authenticity, Courage and Empathy

Sent out today. Full email here. More on the VP for EI’s excess cash problem here. The average faculty salary at UO is about $70K.

Dear Colleagues:

As a tenured faculty colleague who is currently teaching a course in our School of Law, I’ve experienced firsthand the panic of suddenly transitioning to the remote-teaching environment in mid-semester. I want to echo the messages of gratitude from President Schill and Provost Phillips, and offer my appreciation for all of the sacrifices that you are already making to ensure that all of our students continue to receive a high-quality education at the UO.

As you are aware, many of our students are in precarious situations, and as a result, the way that we show up in our classrooms will have a very real impact on their academic success and overall wellbeing. We therefore need to be exceptionally caring and present in interacting with our students, especially remotely. As a parent and a faculty colleague, I’m writing to raise awareness about some of the invisible challenges around equity and inclusion that many of our graduate and undergraduate students are facing, and to ask for your support in addressing them.

COVID-19 is axiomatically shining a “bright light” on what Gloria Ladson-Billings and other researchers refer to as the “education debt”; the idea that our students come to the university against the backdrop of historical, economic, socio-political, moral decisions and policies that characterize our unequal society. Consider the following situations that all too many of our UO graduate and undergraduate students continue to face:

    • Many of our students live in households as well as rural and tribal communities, where these services are either unavailable or not affordable.
    • Domestic violence has increased during the COVID-19 crisis and some of our students are now living in environments where verbal, physical and/or psychological abuse is a  daily reality.
    • According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 3.4 million American children live with parents between the ages of 18 and 24. Some of those parents are our students, and they are frequently parenting without a partner while studying, teaching and sharing technology with their own children.
    • For our African American and Native students in particular, as well as  other students of color as well, whose community members are reportedly dying disproportionately from COVID-19, many are currently studying under the cloud of both grief and uncertainty.
    • We have students with cognitive and physical disabilities whose overall successes depend on specific accommodations that are strained in the remote learning environment.
    • Asian American students and their families are experiencing blame and scapegoating for a virus for which they are not responsible, while harassment and discrimination against Jewish,  Muslim and other students of color is on the rise.
    • Our international students are contending with different time zones and varying levels of English proficiency.
    • Unemployment can add an additional layer of stress for first generation students students of color, and immigrant and DACA students whose employment is crucial for survival.

Despite these impediments, our students are doing their best to thrive. Following are five ways that we can actively support our students’ academic careers during this precarious time:

    1. Find additional ways and means of showing kindness, listen closely when students are asking for help, and respond to their needs with patience and resourcefulness. Assume good intent. Just as our Provost has offered faculty the opportunity to stop their tenure/promotion clocks, and suspended all non-critical service obligations, in turn let’s find creative ways to enhance learning and care for our students.
    2. If you are struggling to adapt your teaching to the remote environment, avail yourself of the resources of the Teaching and Engagement Program (TEP). Find ways to adjust workload expectations in ways that are reasonable for you and your students. TEP is committed to your success as a teacher, and hosts a wealth of resources and tools, timely news and workshops, personal consultations, and a blog where you can connect and share advice with your colleagues.
    3. Remember that students with technology and other access issues are bona fide students with legitimate needs that we must be willing to address. We should never ask them to drop our classes because of access issues.  Be proactive with communicating to your students, listen to understand their issues and adapt course materials so that they can be accessed via phone and other devices. Ensure that your assignments, assessments and workloads, under current circumstances, are reasonable.
    4. Attendance is not to be graded this term.  Our students are accessing our classrooms from time zones all over the world, and with differing levels of internet access. Some may be caregivers for sick relatives or children, or have unpredictable schedules, or be in a home with under-resourced or competing tech needs. Please make sure there are asychronous ways for students to engage with you as an instructor and access course content such as recorded class session/lectures, and office hours – both scheduled and by appointment.”
    5. Consider adopting relevant parts of the L.A.C.E. – Love, Authenticity, Courage and Empathy framework. L.A.C.E. is an aspect of my own research, and is not an official UO policy or framework. However, the concepts, when used in ways that are consistent with UO policies and practices, are helpful in facilitating engagement, active learning strategies and to diffusing “hot moments” in the classroom. You can learn more about L.A.C.E. here. Know that our Division of Equity and Inclusion team and I are available to talk through any equity-related concerns that you are dealing with in your classes. For prompt assistance or appointments, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Lastly, I want to stress that the UO’s anti-discrimination policies and our commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity are as important as ever in the online environment. These protections are for the protection of students and faculty alike.  Staff from DEI and our Center for Diversity and Community, as well as TEP, are available to discuss issues of equity and inclusion issues in the classroom. If you have questions about reporting instances of harassment or discrimination, please contact the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance. If you, as a faculty member, are experiencing harassment or forms of discrimination from students, please contact the Office of Conduct and Community Standards for support in addressing and resolving these issues. Self-care and self-empathy are important during these challenging times.

Every one of us has had to face enormous personal challenges in this uncertain environment, and we appreciate all that you have done to adapt in such a short period of time. As compassionate members of our faculty, we are best positioned to help our students to weather this storm and, in the process, ensure they continue to receive the very best education the UO has to offer. Let’s do our part in helping them to succeed.

Take good care,

Beaver coaches 7% pay cut is weaker than a decent Oregon IPA

The Duck’s Dana Altman now makes more than 3x as much as OSU’s basketball coach. John Canzano has the news on the 7% cut here. Details on Altman’s most recent raise, which Pres Schill and our Trustees gave him during the 2019 budget crisis, is here.

A snippet. This is contract year 4:

Thanks to a generally reliable source for the link.

Pres Schill promised AD Rob Mullens $2.5M in retention pay

From what I can tell,  Mullens is the only AD employee (except of course Lorraine Davis and the other Jock Box staff) paid out of UO’s E&G (or Education and General) budget bucket. Which means the academic side is on the hook for the $2.5M in retention bonuses Pres Schill promised Mullens last June:

Full contract amendment here: But wait, there’s more on the pork and perverse incentives in Mullens’s contract here.

Will he give up 10% of this June’s $200K retention and other bonuses? I don’t know, let’s ask him:

From: Bill Harbaugh <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: University of Oregon Office of Public Records 2020-PRR-350
Date: April 13, 2020 at 5:03:34 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <[email protected]>
Cc: Rob Mullens <[email protected]>

Thanks Ms Thornton, will he also take a 10% cut on his June 30 2020 $200,000 retention and other bonuses?

I’m ccing Mr. Mullens as he presumably can give a quick answer with making me use the public records process.


Bill Harbaugh


On Apr 13, 2020, at 2:37 PM, [email protected] wrote:


Dear Mr. Harbaugh,

Attached are records responsive to your 4/6/2020 request.

Please note that all senior leadership—vice presidents, school and college deans, and the athletic director—have taken a minimum six-month 10 percent pay reduction.

The office considers these documents to be fully responsive to your request and will now close this matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.