Frohnmayer’s emeritus status revoked

5/8/2011: In 2009 OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner, PhD appointed Dave Frohnmayer as UO President Emeritus for Life, with this sweetheart contract.

Now it looks like the UO Senate is going to take that title away from him:

It’s a tough world: last summer Russ Tomlin cut Frohnmayer’s pay to $201,208 FTE – making him UO’s highest paid professor. Then Russ wrote Dave 2 special retroactive summer contracts, worth $35,000 or so. The state auditors are still trying to figure out what work Dave did for that money, since he’s been working at another job at Harrang Long et al since September 2009.

Many people have other objections to this new emeritus policy, which is explained in detail here. My understanding is that it has not yet been approved. But I’m willing to bet that the first thing that gets changed is a special exemption for Frohnmayer – or maybe they’ll just claim he’s grandfathered in.

This policy takes away a lot of the discretion about awarding emeritus status. I think that’s good – why should this be a perk that UO can use as a threat to stifle professors, as they did with Jean Stockard?

The requirement for 5 years as full has its pluses and minuses. On balance I think it’s reasonable unless the department votes for an exception.

I also question this part, which gives retired faculty in the TRP program voting rights. Personally, I don’t think short-timers should have a vote in hiring or running their department. Advice, sure. But then let the young turks decide to take it or not:

2. Faculty members who are retired or who hold also emeritus status, including those participating in the UO tenure reduction program, shall retain departmental voting rights during the academic terms they are on the University payroll and are serving on active duty in an instructional or research capacity in that department. A department may choose to extend voting rights to emeriti during those terms when emeriti are not on the University payroll.

P&L statements on Texas Professors

9/16/2010: From a report in the Chronicle by Katherine Margan:

Faculty members at Texas A&M University are, by and large, generating more money than they are costing the university, although some of the most prestigious professors would appear to be operating in the red, according to a controversial report prepared by the university system as a move toward greater accountability.

This is apparently stirring up a lot of anger among some professors. I’m not sure why, obviously this is just a small part of what we do but it is a part.

I did these calculations a while ago for President Emeritus Frohnmayer, on the argument that people should know exactly how much his golden parachute costs the rest of the faculty. I got some angry comments – presumably from Frohnmayer – on that post. Then this summer, I asked to see his current year contract. He hadn’t signed one, but he was still getting paid – in summer. That raised a few red flags, and Russ Tomlin quickly put him on the regular TRP retirement plan, cutting his cost to UO by about $200,000 a year. The power of information.

Frohnmayer teaches where?

8/24/2010: There are still some weird parts to Dave Frohnmayer’s retirement gig. While his new TRP contract is all about the law school, Frohnmayer is in the class schedule as teaching a mix of law and honors college courses.

Looks to me like he was planning to continue collecting his $245,700 emeritus paycheck, hoping no one would notice. Then when I made a public records request for a copy of his current contract, Academic Affairs realized they didn’t have anything in writing for him. Sound familiar? So they rushed together a new contract, using the template for regular law professor. The law term ended May 15, so they made this contract retroactive to then. They still haven’t figured out how to reconcile the teaching load.

Since Dave’s old contract was for 12 months, and now he’s just a regular professor, so they immediately cut 3/12s from his pay. Ouch. Additionally, by going on TRP immediately after sabbatical/leave, Dave is supposedly required to repay UO his sabbatical salary. Apparently no one thought of that wrinkle. Academic Affairs reports that there have been a few exceptions to that rule, but not of this sort. Do you think he is going to repay UO anything?

Frohnmayer did a lot of sleazy stuff over the years. He hired and promoted some real disasters, destroyed all sense of trust and respect between the faculty and the administration, ignored academics, sold us out to the Jocks and didn’t even get the market rate, and did everything he could to keep faculty salaries in the basement while padding his own pay with the assets of the UO Foundation.

Then, after retiring about 10 years too late, rather than just collect what will surely be the largest PERS pension in Oregon history, Frohnmayer had to use his last bit of influence at OUS to set up a special deal for himself as “President Emeritus”. Ryan Hagemann at OUS was so embarrassed by this contract he spent months trying to hide it from public records requests. And when that deal wasn’t enough Dave decided to get another job at Harrang Long et al. while on sabbatical. Then when that scam collapsed, he finally went on TRP – and even there apparently couldn’t resist trying to screw UO out of his sabbatical pay.

You sort of wish the guy had some sense of dignity and respect for his office. Too bad.

Frohnmayer retires for real

8/12/2010: When John Moseley and Lorraine Davis retired, then President Dave Frohnmayer wrote them extraordinary golden parachute contracts to take advantage of the PERS system. UO paid them half time for 5 years – Moseley for running UO-Bend from his Deschutes fishing lodge, and Davis doing the odd administrative job, while flying to away games on a UO expense account – to proctor athlete’s exams. The contracts were arranged and paid for under the “Tenure Reduction Program” for faculty, but none of them ever taught a class.

When he defended these shams in the Oregonian, Frohnmayer was clearly laying the groundwork for a similar deal for himself. And last year it looked like OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner had given him one, with this sweetheart contract as “President Emeritus”.

Now that deal is off. 5 days after I asked to see his 2010 contract Frohnmayer signed one – backdated to be effective 5/15. His new contract is the standard TRP deal any retiring law professor would get – starting with a pay cut from $245,700 to 50% of $201,028. Presumably this means he will be paying UO back some summer salary.

There are still some weird parts to this. My recollection is that a real professor has to be at UO full time for a year after a sabbatical before taking TRP, or repay their sabbatical pay. And Frohnmayer worked a second job at Harrang, Long et al while taking his sabbatical pay – not allowed, unless he can document it was research related. And it’s not clear if he’s really going to teach his classes, or instead team up with real professors who will do the actual work, as he did with Barbara West in the Honors College. Also not clear if he keeps his assistant Carol Rydbom, his dual office suites in Law and the Honors College, and his $186,000 expense allowance. But what a huge step forward for UO – an administrator actually following some of the rules, more or less!

Of course Lorraine Davis and John Moseley can still kick back until 2012, under the special deals Frohnmayer wrote for them, collecting about $120,000 a year each. Meanwhile he will have to teach for his pay, which at a 0.5 FTE will work out to about $100,514. I’m no English professor, but I think they call that irony.

Too much

Z4PRES –  President Emeritus ZGEN – Provost General 61 – Unclassified Salaries 10100 – Unclassified Salaries 245700
Z4PRES –  President Emeritus ZGEN – Provost General 66 – Grad Ast Resdnt Phys Dentist Cl Fel 10600 – Grad Asst/Res Phys/Dent/Clin Fellws 0
Z4PRES –  President Emeritus ZGEN – Provost General 69 – Other Payroll Expenses 10964 – OPE Uncl Health/Life 13500
Z4PRES –  President Emeritus ZGEN – Provost General 69 – Other Payroll Expenses 10967 – OPE Uncl Retirement 41450
Z4PRES –  President Emeritus ZGEN – Provost General 69 – Other Payroll Expenses 10968 – OPE Uncl Other 13750
Z4PRES –  President Emeritus ZGEN – Provost General 71 – Service & Supplies 20000 – Services & Supplies Expense 185600

Here’s the 2010 Budget for Frohnmayer’s “President Emeritus” office. He is paid $245,700 (notice he quit the voluntary furlough program) for co-teaching 2 small classes, gets a full time GTF and a secretary, and $185,600 for “Services and Supplies” – not bad compared to the $1000 ASA money real professors get.

This info is from the FY10 UO Operational Expenditure Budget by RU and Department files that the Budget and Resource Planning people have started posting. Very helpful stuff!

If you look at the Provost’s Office, spending has gone from
$1,436,434 in 2006 to
$4,890,764 in 2010.
I know Brady and Bean have been big spenders, but this almost seems implausible. Does anyone have an explanation? This makes Moseley look pretty good – or maybe he was just good at hiding things?

College President’s pay

11/2/2009: Stories in the Chronicle and the WSJ about high salaries for retired private university presidents. I think the Chronicle will release new data on publics soon. This story would suggest Frohnmayer’s golden parachute deal is unusually fat, however – only 20% of private schools pay ex-president’s more than $200,000. As a poor public – without a medical school, which is where the big money shows up – we pay Frohnmayer $245,000, plus expenses. (We hear a new rumor that Frohnmayer is now out soliciting UO donors to give to his proposed “Frohnmayer Leadership Center”. Wonderful.)

Frohnmayer’s 2009-2010 Teaching Schedule:

From what we can tell, this is UO President Emeritus Dave Frohnmayer’s entire 2009-2010 teaching load – two 10 week long, 25 student classes, co-taught with Barbara West, for Winter quarter only. For this he will be paid $245,000, and we pay another $25,000 or so for Ms West. (And still more for a secretary. And a GTF. And $186,000 for “supplies and expenses.)

Now, you naive new assistant professors might be asking where does an underfunded school like UO get $270,000 to pay 2 people to teach 50 students for 10 weeks? (Dave was on sabbatical for half the year, at full pay. Normal load for the rest of the year would therefore be 2 to 2.5 courses – not 1). I’m no economist, but here’s the math: The average student pays $1,000 or so a course. 50 students gets you $50,000 – so UO still has a $220,000 nut to make payday for these two.

No worries, we will assign you to teach a 250 student lecture course, filling up, say, 180 PLC. That’s $250,000 for UO. Take out $30,000 for prorated pay for you and your 3 GTFs, and you’ve just brought in enough to pay off our President Emeritus for this year. But wait – what about his benefits? No problem – you’ve still got a few more classes to teach.

And Dave is so grateful for your contribution – maybe he’ll even use you as an example of how “Advanced Leadership” works. Oh wait, here’s another idea – let’s cut pay for the university staff! Then we’ll have enough to redecorate Dave’s 2 new offices too: From the SEIU email:

Tier 1: Monthly base rate – $2,450 & below: Monthly Pay Reduction 2.051%
Tier 2 Monthly base rate – $2,451 to $3,105: Monthly Pay Reduction 3.077%
Tier 3 Monthly base rate $3,106 to $5,733: Monthly Pay Reduction 3.590%
Tier 4 Monthly base rate – $5,734 and above: Monthly Pay Reduction 4.103%

See? There’s really nothing to this leadership stuff – you just take whatever the fuck you can get away with.

Update: When he was selling this furlough program to the faculty and the staff, Frohnmayer said he would participate himself. He did – for about 3 months, and only with the part of his salary paid by the state, which was less than 50%. As soon as people stopped watching, he went back to taking his full salary.

Frohnmayer joins law firm

9/17/2009: Times are tough for UO faculty, what with salaries stuck at 80% of those at Missouri. Lots of us are looking around for something on the side, to make ends meet. Apparently former Pres Frohnmayer is now in the same boat. And his golden parachute contract – which pays $245,700 for co-teaching two 25 student classes – leaves Dave with a little more free time than most of us have. So, he’s now got a side gig working part time for Oregon law firm Harrang Long etc. (sic).

Dave does promise to follow UO COC rules – unlike VP Martinez. (But whoops – it seems Dave forgot to tell the reporter about his other second job as an Umpqua Bank Director, at $40,000 per year for about 20 days work. Proxy statement here.)

From today’s RG story by Sherri Buri McDonald. Kudos to her for asking some tough questions.

Former University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer has taken a job with the Eugene-based law firm of Harrang Long Gary Rudnick. As of Tuesday, Frohnmayer became “of counsel” to the firm, accepting select projects in legal, public policy and other matters,

Frohnmayer said he has joined the UO faculty and is on paid sabbatical leave through the end of the year, which will probably result in him writing a book or articles. While on sabbatical, he’ll develop the undergraduate leadership courses he will teach next year in the university’s Clark Honors College
Frohnmayer said his work for Harrang Long will be limited and comply with the “conflicts of interest” and “conflicts of commitment” rules that all university faculty must observe.

While Frohnmayer goes to work for Harrang Long, he remains a highly paid state employee. Under that contract, he is now on paid sabbatical through the end of the year, at $4,725 a week. From Jan. 1 through March 31, he will continue to be paid that salary while he teaches the undergraduate course at the Clark Honors College, according to the contract. Then, he will go on “study leave” through May 30, during which the UO will pay him $4,252 a week, according to the contract. … He said he plans to use his study leave to continue to study leadership theory.

Leadership theory? You are joking with us, right Dave? Very funny.

How rare is Frohnmayer’s sweet retirement deal?

8/14/2009: We’ve reported before on Frohnmayer’s amazing retirement contract. The OUS board created a new position for him, called “President Emeritus”. He keeps his $245,000 base salary plus whatever the Foundation gives him to top it off, (currently $50K as Knight chair) plus a secretary and a GTF, plus a full salary 1/2 year sabbatical, plus a 90% salary 2 month “study leave”, plus offices in the HC and the law school, plus expenses including travel. In return he agrees to teach one 20 person class per year. Furthermore, when he decides to really retire, UO still won’t be done shelling out the bucks – he will be eligible for the same golden parachute contract that he gave to his former Provost, John Moseley.

Frohnmayer’s retirement package is unusually generous even in the sycophantic world of university boards and administrators. For example, has a story on a renegotiation of the retirement contract for retired NC State Chancellor (President) James Oblinger. He was originally allowed to keep his Chancellor’s salary for 6 months, before going back to a regular faculty member’s pay (and duties!). If we read Dave’s contract correctly, his deal is good for as long as he wants it. I’m guessing that will be a really, really long time. Page one says “Further, at all times, Frohnmayer shall enjoy the privileges associated with serving as a tenured professor at the University of Oregon School of Law.” But the contract says absolutely nothing about any of the responsibilities. He can teach a class in the law school someday – if he chooses to do so.

Board Cuts Pay of Ex-Chancellor of N.C. State:

The board of the University of North Carolina System voted on Friday to immediately cut the pay of James Oblinger, the former chancellor of North Carolina State University, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. Oblinger resigned in June under an agreement in which he was promised to be paid his chancellor’s salary ($420,000) for six months, before returning to the faculty, where he would be paid as a professor. The board, amid some disagreement but facing statewide criticism over the exit packages given to administrators, voted to cut Oblinger immediately to $173,000, which is what he will earn as a professor of food science. Oblinger quit amid an escalating public debate over his university hiring the wife of the then-governor. As he quit, Oblinger stated that he did not believe he had done anything improper, but wanted the university to focus on other issues.

Oh yeah – who was NC State’s Dean when they hired the then-governor’s wife for $170,000? Linda Brady, who then left to become UO Provost.


7/12/2009: A commenter points us to this very on target Letter to the Register Guard Editor from a student. It will be quite fun to see what sort of book report Frohnmayer hands in to Pernsteiner, in return for $28,000 (plus expenses, of course.)

Frohnmayer should think for free

I appreciate Oregon University System Chancellor George Pernsteiner and other authorities’ concern about the low percentage of Oregonians holding a post-secondary educational credential (Register-Guard, July 7 and 8); however, as an American, an Oregonian and a Ph.D. student with two children who has experienced constant cuts of welfare support in my struggles to finish my program and feed my kids with no job (I have looked for employment for one year), I think former University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer’s stipend for his brainstorm to fix Oregonians’ lack of post-secondary education is inappropriate in these times of economic downturn in which the state should evaluate carefully how it is using its scarce sources.

Frohnmayer already has a permanent office where he could write down his suggestions and then mail them to the authorities or publish a white paper opening an academic debate about this important educational problem, and the $28,000 for his six-week appointment might have been saved for scholarship programs that empower Oregonians who are at risk of withdrawing from post-secondary education due to economic hardship.

The state already paid Frohnmayer $245,700 in salary in his final year as the UO president plus a retirement payment in addition to supplements from the UO Foundation for a total of $650,000 plus a state-supplied home and a vehicle allowance.

This is enough, and authorities and Oregonians now should feel free to ask him his opinions in common matters with no charge.

Maria X

More seriously, this sort of cronyism is exactly what we’ve come to expect from OUS, and it’s at the root of the Higher Ed problems in Oregon. Another example – the $45,000 OUS paid Ray Cotton at ML Strategies for this 12 page report, cribbed from the But the student above said it best.

Frohnmayer’s golden parachute

7/8/2009: Frohnmayer’s Retirement Contract. He keeps his $245,000 base salary plus whatever the Foundation gives him to top it off, (unknown as of yet, but he know gets around $50K as Knight chair) plus a secretary and a GTF, plus a full salary 1/2 year sabbatical, plus a 90% salary 2 month “study leave”, plus offices in the HC and the law school, plus expenses including travel.

In return he agrees to teach one 20 person class per year – and that with GTF support?

UO will never be able to do enough for this man – and you can count on him to make sure of that.

A Modest Proposal

7/7/2009: From this Greg Bolt story in the RG today – apparently Frohnmayer is still being paid as if he were President, with the assignment of “brainstorming about how to increase the numbers of Oregonians who get college degrees.”

Frohnmayer will be paid a pro-rated portion of the state share of his salary as university president, or about $28,000 for the six-week appointment. The state paid Frohnmayer $245,700 in salary in his final year plus a retirement payment in addition to supplements from the UO Foundation that boosted his total pay to about $650,000, not including the value of a state-supplied home and a vehicle allowance.

How about giving the money back Dave – that’s enough to pay in state tuition for one student, for 4 years! Or at least you could agree to take one of those voluntary furloughs you’ve been pushing faculty to sign up for.

Frohnmayer pay and Ray Cotton’s ML Strategies Report

Back in 2007 University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer’s friends on the Oregon University System Board wanted to give him a raise. So they hired Ray Cotton of the higher ed consulting firm ML Strategies to prepare a report comparing Frohnmayer’s pay with that of his peers.

The report is 11 pages long, including the cover. It’s almost entirely cribbed from data available online to any subscriber from the online reports on presidential salaries. Mr. Cotton’s report is here. Mr. Cotton and ML Strategies charged Oregon an incredible $45,572.03 for this report. The invoices are at the end of the pdf.

The OUS system was so embarrassed by this episode that their legal counsel Ryan Hagemann spent months trying to hide the report from public view, and months more trying to hide how much they had paid for it. In the end the Oregon Department of Justice ruled they had to make both public, and then that they had to pay the DOJ another $3,000 or so to cover the DOJ’s expenses in making the report public.

Ironically, the information in the report suggests that Frohnmayer was actually overpaid, to the tune of $100,000 or so. But, of course, his buddies went ahead and gave him another $150,000 anyway.

UO President Dave Frohnmayer’s extra-ordinary pay.

Comparator compensation, using equivalent definitions, is roughly $520,000 or $480,000 if you use “all public and private PhD granting”.

The President of UC-Berkeley is paid $467,556 plus a house.
Dave Frohnmayer gets $662,764 plus a house.

$195,208 more than the President of Berkeley?

Update 5/14/2009: At yesterday’s Senate meeting Provost Bean claimed that Frohnmayer was paid just slightly more than his peers. Bean’s numbers depart from the standard definition by not reporting the $206,000 Frohnmayer receives in 401K and retirement pay. Even without that extra 401K money, he will likely get the most expensive PERS payout in state history, by a very large margin.

Update 5/7/2009: Rumor has it that, after some pressure, the OUS board has told Frohnmayer that they are not interested in his golden parachute retirement proposal that they let him manage UO’s money losing Bend programs from his home at Mt. Batchelor. Instead he will be given an office suite in the UO Honors College, a secretary to help him put his papers in order, and an assistant to help him teach his class in “leadership”. His current TA Barbara West, who is paid $68,000 (for 0.5 FTE) and who apparently does most of the grading, student contact, and half the lectures for this course, which is pretty highly rated by the undergrads, is retiring.