Judge McShane dismisses Professor Freyd’s pay discrimination lawsuit

5/3/2019 update: The EW’s Camilla Mortenson has a brief report on the case here. The full opinion is at https://uomatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/093-19-05-02-Opinion-Order.pdf. The full docket is here.

4/11/2019 update. Arguments about to start. More later.

4/8/2019 update: UO’s attempts to dismiss Freyd lawsuit include redefining “Professor”

Full disclosure: I am not a lawyer.

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Oregon’s average income rose 2.7%, UO’s faculty fell 1.1%

2/5/2019:  After adjusting for cost of living increases, Oregonian’s average real income rose 2.7% last year:

The UO faculty, not so much:

1/18/2019: Provost announces 1.1% pay cut for UO faculty

I’m no economist, but I can subtract. Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the cost of living in the western US increased by 3.1% over the past year. And this week our Provost reported that UO faculty would get an average 2% raise:

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

I want to remind you that January is the month when fiscal year 2019 salary increases kick in for both represented and non-represented tenure-track faculty (TTF) and career non-tenure-track faculty (NTTF) at the University of Oregon.

The fiscal year salary increases are provided to faculty members who meet the eligibility criteria, which requires an appointment as of December 31, 2018.
Faculty members currently in the tenure-track classification received a 1.25 percent across-the-board increase on January 1, 2019, and that will appear on the January 31 paychecks. There’s an additional pool of 0.75 percent to address equity that will be distributed after an internal study currently underway is completed. Funds from this equity pool will be distributed as soon as they are available, consistent with the United Academics collective bargaining agreement and the related memorandum of understanding. For more information on the equity study, please refer to the Faculty Salary Equity Study webpage.

All increases provided from the equity pool will be retroactive to January 1, 2019. If there are funds remaining in the equity pool after equity decisions are made, those funds will be applied as an additional across-the-board increase to TTF.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, career NTTF members received a 2.0 percent across-the-board increase on January 1, 2019, with those increases appearing on the January 31 paychecks.

For more information on faculty salary increases, please refer to the Annual Salary Increases webpage. If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources by email at [email protected] or call 541-346-3159.

With warmest regards,
Jayanth Banavar
Provost and Senior Vice President

Next year the faculty union’s MOU with the adminstration calls for average raises of 2.125%: 1.625% for merit, and 0.5% for external equity, so exceptionally excellent faculty in departments that have been underpaid for years may actually get small increases in real pay. The rest will get another cut.

How are we doing in comparison to other universities? I don’t know, the annual update on UO’s IR page from the AAUDE data is now 4 months late, and Director JP Monroe has stopped responding to my emails.

UO and comparator faculty pay by rank & gender, and admin pay

Updated below with info from Marie Vitulli (Math Emerita).

The 2015-16 AAUP salary survey is now out, and I’ve posted it below after the 2014-15 IPEDS data from the Chronicle. These data are self-reported by universities to the DoE or the AAUP, and not always accurately or consistently across universities. The definitions also vary across the two surveys, as do the comparison groups they provide.

I was surprised to see that the gender gap at UO shrinks with faculty rank both in dollars and percentages, and almost disappears in the AAUP data. In contrast, for both sets of comparison universities the gap is pretty constant in percentages.

I wondered how much the gender gap varies across departments. For UO, you can get average pay by department and rank (but not gender) for 2014-15 from Institutional Research here. Or you can really drill down in the individual salaries – Feb 2016 is here. (When I looked for my department, I found some large errors in the IR summary data.) IR has also posted a “Faculty Equity & Inclusion Report” here, but it does not have any salary data. How odd.

For 2014-15, from the Chronicle (IPEDS):

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For 2015-16, from the AAUP:

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UO’s AAUP numbers are basically unchanged from last year, because during bargaining the administration insisted on delaying the raises until after the survey due date.  Marie Vitulli (Math Emerita) has sent in this, comparing UO to our 8 AAU comparators. There is more on her website here.

By gender:

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Overall, we’re dead last in pay, except we edge out Iowa for assistants. Because they know Uncle Bernie will ask, the AAUP also reports total compensation numbers, i.e. pay plus benefits. The ratio of benefits to salary for UO is higher than average, although the AAUP is careful to point out that total compensation measures the cost of benefits to the institution, not the value of the benefits to the faculty. I’m not getting a lot of benefit from Mike Bellotti’s $500K PERS deal, but it’s sure costing UO and other state employers a lot. For health insurance, UO pays the same rate as all state employers, even though UO workers are healthier than average.

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And for a comparison, overall in 2013-14:

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I don’t know why the salary numbers UO reports to the feds are so different from the numbers they report to the AAUP. Note that the AAU also uses a very different comparison group: public universities that grant a certain numbers of doctoral degrees. PSU, for example, is in the AAUP comparator group but not the Chronicle one. (The data on instructor/lecturer/NTTF/contingent pay is not very comprehensive, so I’ve omitted it.)

For non-academic employees, the Chronicle reports that average UO pay for those classified as Management for 2014-15 was $124,406 vs. $114,465 for all VHR universities. UO pay for Office/admin support was $41,417 vs. the VHR average of $44,090. I don’t think these cross-university comparisons are very reliable because of differences n the definitions, but the time trends for UO should be, and the pay increases for Management at UO have been remarkable:


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Faculty pay by rank, gender time-trends 2004-2014 (2014 means the 2014-15 AY):

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UO Institutional Research updates faculty, administrative, athletic pay

Normally they post this by the quarter, but, in my opinion, UO didn’t want to reveal the administrative and athletics spending during SEIU and faculty union bargaining (UAUO’s Unfair Labor Practices complaint is here) so this time it’s all in one pdf for the 2014-15 AY. Handy reverse-engineered excel spreadsheets, courtesy of a UOM friend who knows some bash and grep:

  • 2014-15 here
  • 4th quarter 2013-2014 (i.e. April-June 2014) here for comparison.

The original awkward PDF’s here. Presumably IR will post the pdf for July, Aug and Sept 2015 soon,at which point I’ll add that excel file above.

Union proposes 7% + 6% to get faculty to Lariviere target. Bargaining Session IV: Economics, Thursday 2/26 10AM.

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That’s Tobin Klinger in the back right, presumably he’ll have an “Around the 0” post up soon with the Duck view of the meeting.

2/26/2015 update: The union proposes raises of

July 2015:
2.5% ATB
2.0% Merit
1.0% Internal equity pool for each department
1.5% External equity pool, to be allocated across rank and dept. based on AAU public averages. No external equity raise from this pool to exceed 5%.

July 2016:
2.5% ATB
4.0% Merit

As before, 8% promotion raises, and 8% (exceeds expectations) or 4%(meets) 6th year review raises after promotion to full, and raises in the hiring floors for NTTFs.

My estimate is that this will get UO salaries to the AAU public peer averages by July 2016. The 2009 Lariviere/Coltrane/Bean plan would have done this by July 2013 or so, but that’s money under the bridge:

From: James Bean [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 12:26 PM
To: Deans Working Group
Subject: Faculty Salaries
The Missouri article stating that UO has the lowest salaries in the AAU has caused quite a stir (we have since verified that they were correct). Low salaries were always thought of as just Oregonian. But 34 out of 34 is a whole other thing. We cannot have this. Richard’s reaction was “this is job #1.” Richard will likely have an announcement on how we are attacking this when politically feasible (after last gavel). Please communicate to your faculty that the Missouri article really got our attention. This may require disruptive solutions.
Thanks, Jim
James C. Bean
Senior Vice President and Provost

Five days later, the Register Guard’s Editors essentially endorsed Lariviere’s plan to get UO faculty to the AAU medians:

The market for academic talent is national, even global. From a salary standpoint, Oregon has dropped out of the competition. The state is fortunate in having universities that continue to meet high standards, but Oregon’s advantages — a relatively low cost of living and a high quality of life — can only be relied upon to make up part of the salary deficit.

Richard Lariviere, who will become president of the UO in July, comes to Eugene from the University of Kansas, an AAU university with an average faculty salary of $91,400 — 25 percent higher than at the UO. He’s no doubt aware that higher education claimed 15.1 percent of Oregon’s general fund budget in 1987-89, but received only 6.4 percent in 2007-09. One of Lariviere’s continuing challenges will be to persuade Oregon’s governor and Legislature that underfunding higher education has consequences.

In March 2011 Scott Coltrane, at the time CAS Dean, announced his plans to implement this for CAS faculty:

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Russ Tomlin, then VP for Academic Affairs, released a detailed spreadsheet showing the plan for the entire UO, designed to get salaries to the AAU comparator averages by no later than 2014:

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But then Kitzhaber and Pernsteiner fired Lariviere, and Allyn Ford and the OUS Board replaced him with Bob Berdahl, then Mike Gottfredson. They devoted all their energies to fighting with the faculty over pay, and everything else.

Getting back to the present, Coltrane’s administration is hiding basic financial information from the union – which has been waiting for more than 3 months, and has paid $1700. Rumor has it that Moffitt and Shelton are also hiding this information from the Administration’s bargaining team, if that makes it any more excusable.

They will make their economic counterproposal on March 12.

(Jim Bean, of course, is still collecting his pork from the administration’s bloated budget.)

12:01 PM: Lots of talk now about national searches. This is all about faculty searches. The administration hires its own people without any search whatsoever, e.g. $130K AVP for Collaboration Chuck Triplett. So it’s pretty amusing to listen to Bill Brady talk about how such searches are needed to increase diversity.

12:30PM: Session IV ends. Session V, with the admins counterproposal on raises, will open with a presentation from Jamie Moffitt, explaining where she’s been spending all our money. In the Library Collaboration room, 10AM Thursday, March 12. Should be well worth attending.

2/15/2015: Some history: In 2013 the union opened with a proposal for 9% raises for each of the two years of the contract. Basically this was the Lariviere plan, to get UO salaries to the AAU medians. The University countered with, if I remember correctly, an offer of 2%, for one year. Rudnick, Gleason, and Blandy said this was all UO could afford, saying UO had already spent the Lariviere money on other things.

Months of bitter haggling ensued. VPFA Jamie Moffitt refused to give the union the documents showing UO’s budget projections:

The union brought in Howard Bunsis, a forensic accountant, to challenge those few budget numbers that Moffitt would provide. Bunsis showed that Moffitt had been building a large and increasing reserve – so large it broke OUS’s rules. Moffitt fled the room in tears. Literally.

The University then made a take it or leave it offer of, if I remember right, 5.5% spread over 2 years. More was impossible. Rudnick told us “The well is dry”.

The union ignored the threat. Eventually we got ~12% in raises, spread over two years. Plus Tim Gleason’s $350 in Goat money. What will happen this time? Show up Thursday and find out: Continue reading

UO faculty salaries $20K below AAU averages, whilst senior admins cash in

The bargaining for a new faculty union contract starts in January. UO’s IR department has just released the data from the AAU Data Exchange on UO faculty salaries, pasted below. Full data, by department, here. I’ve added a spreadsheet showing the salary and comparators for our Johnson Hall administrators below that. (Note that the figure and table use different comparator groups, and also that UO is now using all AAU publics rather than the OUS 8 as the comparator. I’m sorry for the lack of NTTF and GTF data, but the AAU doesn’t care enough about you to collect it in any reliable fashion.)

I don’t know if UO’s reported faculty salaries include the 2013-14 union negotiated ATB and Merit raises, or Tim Gleason’s $350 goat. But UO clearly is way behind Richard Lariviere’s plan to get UO faculty to the AAU averages – by fall 2014. (Note that Lariviere was talking about the 8 OUS comparators, not all AAU publics as UO is now using, but this does not matter much to the conclusions.) Meanwhile Jamie Moffitt’s reserves continue to grow. Lariviere’s plan is here, as described in his 2011 letter to Pernsteiner:

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It ain’t happening:

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But Johnson Hall is doing more than fine:

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Time series for the faculty?

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UO Senate to Gottfredson: “Asked, and answered”

5/12/2014 Update: By an accident of history, President Gottfredson’s Q&A about the latest athletic scandal at the upcoming Wednesday May 14 Senate meeting will come on the anniversary of his first sustained interaction with the UO faculty, the infamous 2013 “asked and answered” debacle. (Yes, he managed to wait almost 10 months after taking office to meet the UO faculty.)

Since then, it’s been all downhill. I know there are those counseling we wait for the UO Board to deal with this disastrous president, and maybe they’re right. (Although I doubt that’s the message the alumni and parents are sending.) But here’s a little history to support the argument that enough is enough, and that if we don’t get answers from Gottfredson on Wednesday, we should hold an immediate vote of no-confidence:

5/14/2013: President Gottfredson’s first talk with UO faculty goes very badly.

Update on the shared governance “conversation” with President Gottfredson:

Our president’s most common response to the faculty is now a curt “read my written remarks” or “asked and answered”, a phrase lawyers use to semi-politely insult each other, when objecting to a question in court.

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Good PERS returns to reduce faculty subsidy for Bellotti’s pension?

Good news on PERS. High investment earnings and Kitzhaber’s cuts mean that it’s now 87% funded. I think that’s the best of any state pension fund. Ted Sickinger has the report, here.

But let’s face it, no one reads this blog for the good news. And the bad news is that UO is still on the hook for the unfunded pension liability of people like former football coach Mike Bellotti. Sickinger’s investigative piece on how UO’s decision to funnel Bellotti’s Nike money through UO boosted the pension for him and his wife former wife wife to ~$500K a year, and how we have to pay for it, is here.

The other good news? If you are pre-1995 Tier 1 faculty and opted into the ORP plan in 1996, (typically TIAA-CREF) UO’s contribution rate to your account is determined in part by the need to pay PERS the unfunded liability for the payouts to Bellotti and his ilk. The more Bellotti gets, the more UO has to pay PERS, and the more they have to pay into your retirement account. And if you are not Tier 1, or stayed in PERS, you don’t need to worry much about further cuts.

The bad? The S&P 500 was up 30% last year, so Treasurer Ted Wheeler 16% PERS earnings are not very impressive, even after a healthy risk adjustment. He would have done much better for the State by simply buying the basket, and furloughing his expensive stock-pickers. Also bad: If you went into the ORP, it’s now even more likely you could have done better staying in PERS. Even if you didn’t get a sweetheart deal from former UO General Counsel Melinda Grier, like Bellotti’s:

The ugly? UO’s PERS costs are set for the next 2 years, and VPFA Jamie Moffitt will likely use the fact that UO still has to pay for Bellotti in the next round of union negotiations – which will start in December – to argue that faculty are overpaid and that UO can’t afford more merit and equity money, just as she did last time. The probability that these rates will soon fall has increased, but I’m guessing if the union presses that point, Moffitt will choke and leave the room, just as she did last time.

CAS gave lower raises than UO policy required

10/22/13: Short version: If you are a full professor in CAS and had a successful 6th year review between 2006 and 2013, your subsequent raise was considerably less than required by OUS – say $3,000 on average. Multiply that by the number of years since your review and we’re talking a lot of goats. If you were not in CAS, the same may be true but I don’t have the documentation.

Long version: In 1998 OUS told its universities to craft and adopt a policy on post-tenure reviews and raises. UO’s policy was adopted in 1999, and is in the policy library here: http://policies.uoregon.edu/policy/by/1/0201-personnel/post-tenure-review. It says:

1. The third-year substantive review. This review shall be an element of annual salary adjustment decisions. 
2. The sixth-year major review. A positive evaluation at the sixth-year major review of a faculty member holding the rank of Full Professor or Tenured Senior Instructor shall result in the recommendation to the Provost of an increase to the base salary of that faculty member comparable in amount and funding source to that given for promotion. 

In 2006 CAS started giving 8% for promotions, but for full professors having 6th year reviews, the raises were only $2,000 for a passing review, and $4,000 for exceeding expectations.

The dollar amount of the gap will vary with salary and the outcome of the review, but for a salary of say $80K, under UO policy the raise for passing should have been $6,400. If your review was in 2006 and was excellent, this difference would be $17,000 or so in lost salary, plus the compounding on subsequent raises. Not that there were many.

Because all this happened before the union contract, I think if you are in this boat your first recourse is to ask CAS to do the right thing and make you whole. That said, I’ve raised the question with CAS without a substantive response, and I’m not sure what the second option is.

I’ll post more as I learn more. I don’t know the situation before 2006, or what promotion and review raise practices were outside CAS. 

Cal Bears crush Ducks by 35 points!

9/28/2013: Faculty salary averages for Fall 2012, from the Chronicle/AAUP data:

Honestly, this was a closer game than I’d expected for the faculty, given Berkeley’s academic chops. 
On the other hand President Gottfredson does make 11% more than Chancellor Dirks.
Next week is Colorado. Be warned: the salary spread doesn’t look good for Oregon. And Colorado also has a housing assistance program for new faculty, and for the full profs, up to 2 years salary as a lump-sum no teaching required incentive for their tenure reduction program. 
For the nostalgic, or those thinking forward to the inevitable tax-exempt bond scheme for expanding Autzen, here’s a little bit on former President Bob Berdahl and the Bear’s new money losing stadium:
From the Cal Athletic department website, Jan. 7, 2004

BERKELEY, CALIF.- University of California, Berkeley Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl announced today that he will endorse an ambitious plan to renovate Memorial Stadium, the campus’ 81-year-old football venue. The project, which could cost as much as 140 million dollars, will be funded entirely by private donations.

And yesterday, April 17, 2012 in the WSJ, from no less than Rachel Bachman:

As state legislators shrink its appropriations, it’s hard enough for the University of California-Berkeley to maintain the nation’s highest academic ranking among public colleges. But there now looms a financial threat from another, somewhat unlikely quarter: the university’s football program.

Until now, the years-old effort to renovate the school’s football stadium, which sits on an earthquake fault line, never raised many alarms. Although its $321 million price tag would make it one of the most expensive renovations in college sports history, the university said the project would be funded privately, largely through long-term seat sales and naming rights.

But three years into the fund-raising effort, a projected $270 million from the sale of seats has failed to materialize. At the end of December, the school had collected only $31 million in the first three years of the sale. Now it has become clear that the university will have to borrow the vast majority of the money.

In recent interviews, university officials acknowledge that if revenue projections fall short and won’t cover the bond payments, the shortfall “would have to come from campus.”

Bad news on future pay

9/26/2013: As near as I can tell UO has been spending about $50K a month on Sharon Rudnick and Kate Grado from HLGR to do the negotiating with the union, and another $30K or so a month for lawyers and consultants to write Barbara Altmann’s “fact check” website. That’s a lot of money for the rather pathetic FAQ they’ve posted on the union contract, here.

Ignoring their rather interesting spin on the IP, computer files, and consulting issues, there’s some astonishingly deceptive stuff comparing tuition and salary increases. They ignore the 2012-13 tuition increases, when faculty got nothing, and the fact that the legislature paid UO the difference between the 5% and 3.5% tuition increases:

Whatever. The real news is that Gottfredson has abandoned the Lariviere goal to get faculty pay to our comparators:

Q. Won’t faculty salaries remain far below our peers and AAU comparators? 

A. The salary package — which includes across-the-board raises, merit increases, promotion raises and money for tenure track and tenured faculty equity and NTTF salary floors — will move faculty salaries in the right direction. It is also important to look at total faculty compensation (salary + benefits). When benefits are included the gap closes substantially between the University and our comparator universities.

Of course, when differences in summer money etc. are added in, the gap gets wider. The bottom line is that Gottfredson just doesn’t think the UO faculty are worth more money (although he’s got a nice $360K fallback salary as a sociology professor). Compare the above with the language from Coltrane’s 2011 (draft) CAS Equity proposal:

c. Step 3 (as early as FY 2012/13 and no later than FY 2013/2014), increases based on internal equity and merit.

The total amount of funding made available for salary increases by the College in Step 3 will be at least the amount necessary to increase the College’s average salaries to make up the remaining distance to the average salaries of the OUS 8 comparators. 

 So, it’s looking like I was excessively optimistic with this forecast that we’d catch up to the AAU public average by 2021:

But hey, what about that goat! Yes, Gottfredson is throwing the faculty a bone, in the form of a few thousand in one time catch-up payments, a month or so after we sign the union contract. Here’s the math:

Q: How long, Provost Coltrane, how long?

9/23/2013: A: Seven years and $70K, best case scenario.

Interim Provost Scott Coltrane’s email about the new faculty contract is here. He offers to answer questions. I’ve got a few, and I’ll keep you posted on the answers. You’ll have a chance to ask him yourself during the public presentation he will have to make as candidate for the permanent UO Provost job.

Meanwhile, here’s the math on how long it will take to get to comparators, and an estimate of what you’ll lose meanwhile – about $70,000, lower bound.

The faculty union did what it could. But while Gottfredson was happy to pay Sharon Rudnick and her consultants $1M, his word is that “the well is dry” when it comes to faculty pay, and Coltrane now seems just fine with that:

The original faculty union proposal, of 1.5%, 8%, 9% (which Gottfredson’s team laughed at) followed by a second contract at 6%, 6%, would have got us to the AAU average by 2016 – just 3 years later than the Lariviere proposal:

The next contract will need to be 10%, 10% to reach this goal, which the administration has purported to want to achieve since the 1998 Senate White paper.

In the scheme of a $800 million budget, we’re not talking about a lot of money. But it’s not going to happen unless we spend the next 18 months exposing Johnson Hall’s money wasting activities, and convince the new UO board that faculty are more important to their university’s future than more administrative bloat, sports subsidies, and expensive White Stag distractions.

Tennessee Vols beat Ducks by 10 points!

9/15/2013 benefits update – turns out we only lost by 9.75%.

For retirement, Tennessee gives new employees a choice, much like UO.

Tennessee pays the full cost of the defined contributions plan, like UO. It puts 10-11% into the employees defined contribution account – faculty pay nothing. UO puts 6.42% into its defined contribution plan, plus the 6% pickup, for 12.42% total
For defined contributions, cost is pretty much what you get, so UO’s ORP retirement for new faculty hires is worth just 2% more than Tennessee’s. And as a commenter notes you should adjust for the higher salaries going into the plan, and also for the fact that their 11% rate kicks in for most of the faculty. So, lets says it’s worth 0.25% less than UO’s.

For earlier hires and OPSRP, it’s way harder to compare. Uncle Bernie and me take stabs at trying to estimate the value of UO retirement benefits for pre-1996 hires here.

9/14/2013: Last week The Virginia Cavaliers crushed us by 19%.

Coach Gottfredson needs to make some big changes
in his game plan after these two losses. Next game is UC-Berkeley,
at home. The spread doesn’t look good, Duck fans.

Faculty salary averages for Fall 2012, from the Chronicle/AAUP data:

Great news for UO finances!

9/10/2013: The latest US News rankings are great news for UO’s finances:

The University of Oregon moved up in the rankings — jumping six rungs to No. 109 on the list of about 1,376 colleges nationally.

And Christian Whithol of the RG reports on still more good financial news for UO: Eugene’s latest city subsidized student rental – aimed at some pretty well off students:

The company, which has been promised a $4.55 million property tax break by the city, has submitted new and more detailed plans that show a wealth of upscale amenities for the 139-foot-high building. They include a pool and hot tub on the roof and, on a lower story, a fitness and leisure complex that would feature another hot tub, golf simulator, billards room, piano room, steam room, two tanning rooms, a sauna, yoga room and lounge.

According to Zillow, rents in Eugene are well below the levels in our competitor college towns such as Boulder, Seattle, Phoenix, and LA. In contrast to those towns, the increase in the supply has kept rents level in Eugene, despite the increase in the number of students. The new construction coming on line this fall should lead to rent decreases – judging by the reports of unhappy local landlords.

Because parents look at these rankings and at total cost of attendance, this means that UO has plenty of room to continue out-of-state tuition increases, while staying competitive for students.

So expect another round of raises for UO central administrators, as soon as the faculty and SEIU sign their contracts.