Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as “Budget Buckets”

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.

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?

$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…