No probable cause that Frohnmayer committed misconduct

Long story. The complaint to the bar’s ethics committee against Frohnmayer, Gary, and Pilliod was initiated by the wife of the Deschutes county DA, after they made an ethics complaint about him over some weird public records case involving the county. Frohnmayer collected quite a few billable hours from the Deschutes county taxpayers – about $55K total for HLGR – but his complaint was dismissed. Now the Bar has dismissed the counter-complaint against him, Gary, and Pilliod.

Full doc dump here and way too much more here. 2/25/13.

Frohnmayer takes umbrage, RG calls for PERS transparency

2/3/2013 update. Former UO President Frohnmayer sends the email below, correcting several points on the post below, and giving his opinion on others. The last email I got from Frohnmayer also vaguely threatened a defamation lawsuit, but he dropped that after the state Audits Division told him he really was under investigation. He had to repay UO some money. UO was told to stop writing people retroactive contracts with no job duties. Contracts and audit report here. Here’s Frohnmayer’s latest letter:

From: Dave [email protected]
Subject: UO Matters carelessness
Date: February 3, 2013 7:44:57 PM PST
To: “[email protected]
Cc: Dave FROHNMAYER , Michael Moffitt , David Frank , “[email protected], “[email protected]

Dear Professor Harbaugh:

Your most recent self-styled “rant” (and smear) of January 27, 2013 in UO Matters has just come to my attention. You say:

“We’re paying Dave $100,514 a year for co-teaching 2 small classes on “leadership”….[and] a week long one credit pass/fail course in the law school.”

You both understate and misrepresent my active teaching responsibilities and other duties in my .50 FTE appointment in the University’s Tenure Reduction Plan in this academic year.These responsibilities include:

1). A peer-reviewed and invited 4 unit colloquium for the Clark Honors College, which — as if you did not know this— imposes an enrollment ceiling to maintain high quality standards;

2). A peer-reviewed and invited 4 unit freshman seminar, which also imposes an enrollment ceiling.

My colleague and I always enroll or exceed the maximum to accommodate an invariable waiting list. The student evaluations over many years of these two offerings have been among the strongest in the university in any discipline, both in terms of difficulty and quality.

3). A School of Law J-Term intensive 15-hour 1 unit experimental course in early January that received outstanding student reviews.

4). A 2 unit semester long course on state administrative law this winter and spring that was requested both by students and by School of Law administration.

5). I am instructor of record for a 3 unit semester long course on legislation this winter and spring.

In addition to these responsibilities, on an ongoing basis since my retirement from the presidency, I have performed numerous special assignments for my respective deans, two successive university presidents and numerous other university constituencies.

It is common knowledge that you have secured volumes of documents (at great expense to the university budget) that would easily have revealed the truth of what I relate. Your continuing carelessness seems attributable to malice, negligence or, regrettably, both. Your lack of attention to the most basic norms of a social scientist is a very poor reflection on your academic integrity and competence.

Since you have claimed in the past that you have received academic service credit for your self-styled blog “rants” of this kind, I take the liberty of informing your department and college of this latest example of your behavior.

Dave Frohnmayer

Sent from my iPad

Last year Frohnmayer took umbrage over Oregon Daily Emerald publishing this story about the Oregon SPJ giving me their “First Freedom” Award. Apparently at the insistence of his lawyers, the ODE website later posted a “clarification“:

In the article, we paraphrased UO Matters’ Bill Harbaugh saying “former University president Dave Frohnmayer was proposing pay cuts for faculty and Harbaugh found public records showing he had negotiated a big raise for himself with Chancellor Pernsteiner not long before.” Documents provided to the Emerald indicate that while Frohnmayer did get a raise, it was nine months before he asked the faculty to take cuts and months before a serious economic downturn. 

Additionally, while he was asking staff to take paycuts, Frohnmayer himself took a 7.6 percent paycut, the largest of any administrator.

I’m a little puzzled by Frohnmayer’s math. If you pull the unclassified salary reports at you get this for him:
February 2009: (before furlough scheme)

$225,700 12 months FTE at 100%, president
$18,333 12 month FTE at 100%, chair pay
$20,000 12 month FTE at 100% expense allowance (taken as salary)
$111,627 12 month FTE at 100% supplemental pay
$69,300 12 month FTE at 100% recognition award/stipend
$130,000 12 month FTE at 100% law professor (on leave no pay) 

May 2009: (after furlough scheme)

$225,700 12 months FTE at 92%, president
$18,333 12 month FTE at 100%, chair pay
$20,000 12 month FTE at 100%, expense allowance (taken as salary)
$111,627 12 month FTE at 100%, supplemental pay
$69,300 12 month FTE at 100%, recognition award/stipend
$130,000 12 month FTE at 100% law professor (on leave no pay)  

August 2009 

$245,700 12 months FTE at 100%, president emeritus

So, if you include all the various pots of salary he was getting, he took a furlough cut from $37,080 a month to $35,575, or about 4% per month, for about three months. Call it about 1% for the year. His furlough plea was for faculty and OA’s to take 5% cuts.
I’m also a little confused by Frohnmayer’s dates. He did get one big raise from Pernsteiner in 2008, and that was indeed before the furlough scheme, as his clarification indicates. But his retirement contract also included a very nice raise, however you calculate it. And many other special emoluments as well. 
So, was Frohnmayer really negotiating with Pernsteiner for a nice retirement deal for himself at the same time he was trying to persuade the rest of us to take 5% furlough pay cuts? It sure looks that way to me. His contract is here. The Oregon Audits Division report on it is here. The furlough town hall was 4/14/2009, video of Frohnmayer pitching the furloughs to the faculty and OA’s is here. And here’s an email from OUS chief lawyer Ryan Hagemann, saying Frohnmayer’s contract had not been finalized as of 4/29/2009:
From: “Hagemann, Ryan” <[email protected]>
Subject: Public Records Requests
Date: April 24, 2009 11:16:29 AM PDT
To: “Bill Harbaugh” <[email protected]>

Professor Harbaugh:
I have returned from the road, and am in receipt of your two public records requests.  Generally, you have requested President Frohnmayers post-presidential agreements and the contract, and other agreements, for incoming President Larivere.  For your information, Professor Harbaugh, to my knowledge, neither of these agreements have been finalized.  I have a proposal for your consideration:  if you would be willing to withdraw these two requests, I would be willing, when I receive these finalized agreements in my office, to forward them to you at no cost.  That way, you would not need to make a new public records request; Id just forward to you when I receive. 
Would that work?  If not, I would be more than happy to process your request and get you an acknowledgement letter!
Thanks for your consideration,
R y a n   J a m e s   H a g e m a n n
Legal Counsel & Secretary to the Board
Oregon University System

After I raised questions about the legality of this $245,700 emeritus contract UO renegotiated it according to the standard rues, leaving Frohnmayer at $201K with an 0.5 FTE and with fully specified teaching and research responsibilities. Saved UO a good $145K, that did. Contracts here.

1/27/2013. It’s starting to seem like a movement. They even call out Frohnmayer, when discussing Kitzhaber’s plans to cap the COLA:

A number of prominent Oregonians found themselves the subjects of unwanted attention when Kroger raised the curtain two years ago. Among them was former University of Oregon athletic director Mike Bellotti, who received the biggest PERS pension of them all — $41,342 a month. No. 4 on the list was Steve Goldschmidt, who represented the Eugene School District during a 1987 teachers’ strike, whose monthly check was $21,517. Former UO President Dave Frohnmayer came in at No. 5, with $21,207.

From what I can tell from the UO salary data, we’re also paying Dave $100,514 a year for co-teaching 2 small classes on “leadership”, with his former special assistant Barbara West – not sure what she gets. Also can’t find any evidence that the Senate Curriculum Committee ever approved his courses. He also teaches a week long one credit pass/fail course in the law school – so he’s a “law professor” when he’s out soliciting clients for HLGR. To top it off he got a lot of deferred compensation from UO, so the PERS number is an underreport of his total state paid retirement income. Contracts here. OK, I’m done with this rant for a while, sorry.

Administrators gone bad

3/28/2012 Update: Link to Boston Globe story on Cotton here:

2/29/2012: Furloughs for faculty, big tuition raises for students, huge bonuses for administrators. At Howard University, from I like this quote:

Raymond D. Cotton, a Washington lawyer who specializes in presidential contracts, said the incentives Howard offered — often called “stay bonuses” – help keep top administrative talent at universities during transitions. While the value of the bonuses at Howard struck Cotton as perhaps somewhat high, Cotton recommends such stay bonuses to his own clients.

Back in 2007 George Pernsteiner wanted to give Dave Frohnmayer a raise. So he hired that same Ray Cotton and his 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. The report is here. They charged Oregon an incredible $45,572.03 for this report. The invoices are at the end of the pdf.

When I started asking questions about this Pernsteiner was so embarrassed that OUS 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 for the ruling.

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. By the end he was taking in more than the Chancellor (=President) of UC-Berkeley. And 2 years later, he tried to get the UO faculty to take furloughs.

UO Matters’s worst of 2011


Phil Barnhart discusses legislative opposition to a UO Board


Pernsteiner’s Treetops scam revealed in Register Guard

UO Professor Dennis Howard shows UO athletic success hurts giving to UO academics

Frances Dyke “decides to retire” – in September 2012


Frohnmayer’s golden parachute deal


Multi-million ORSA / Huron contract revealed, after public records petition to the Attorney General.

Larry Singell does a performance review of VP for Ac Aff Russ Tomlin.

Faculty pay sucks

Reasons for firing of Research VP Rich Linton come out


After a long fight, Lariviere compromises on ORI building

More students, more NTTF’s, no more faculty


Linton firing and Huron consulting contracts

Lariviere, Galvan, Manotti, make “Twin Edens” deal with Ali Bongo and Gabon

Early warning signs on Pernsteiner / Lariviere fight.

Legislative updates


Willie Lyles and Chip Kelly

UO public records officer Liz Denecke attempts to charge UO Matters $57.03 to see “The Cleaner’s” NCAA coverup invoices. (Ms Denecke was reassigned in October.)

Kitzhaber appoints Tim Nesbitt to run Oregon Higher Ed. 


We smoked it all


Lariviere appoints Lorraine Davis to replace Jim Bean

UO Matters predicts OUS board will not fire Lariviere

Bean tries to hide data on student teacher ratio

Geller makes academic side pay half the cost of NCAA investigation


Lariviere hires Berdahl to consult.

OUS reorganizes legal services

UO Foundation increases administrative spending by $2 million, cuts scholarships $1.5 million

Administrative bloat continues

Provost Jim Beans takes sabbatical to rest, visit old friends


UO give raises to faculty and administrators

One secret Frohnmayer Kilkenny deal revealed

UO Faculty Union does not hold card check election

OUS Board fires UO President Richard Lariviere. Video of OUS Board meeting


Video of UO Faculty Assembly with Rob Kyr and Dr. Pernsteiner

General Counsel Randy Geller sells UO out to the dark side

UO Students veto Robin Holmes’s EMU proposal and vote against against athletic subsidies

Mike Bellotti and Dave Frohnmayer make PERS top ten list

Senate Exec makes Pernsteiner appoint Berdahl as interim UO President

Phil Barnhart to introduce UO Board legislation

UO’s new "Diversity and Inclusion" hire

Update: How public will this search really be? The ad ends with

All communications will be treated confidentially.  Nominations, inquiries, and applications (including a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names of five references) should be directed electronically in confidence to [email protected].  For further information, please contact: Kim M. Morrisson, Ph.D. Managing Director and Practice Leader …

I’ve got a request in to find out if a state agency can really keep this stuff confidential. From what I read in Attorney General Kroger’s handy online public records manual, I don’t think so. The contract with the firm “Diversified Search” is here. From what I can see from the job posting archives, the only UO searches promising confidentiality are the ones they have ran. And then there’s this, from the contract appendix:

“Transparent nature of our search process?” Umm, whatever you say.

8/30/2011: The job ad is up for a replacement for OIED head Charles Martinez, who will have double-dipped his last as a UO VP as of Sept. 15. Now Mike Bullis and the Ed School will have to deal with him – enjoy!

The administration originally said his last day would be tomorrow, but then they gave him another 2 weeks, ostensibly to give him time to train Robin Holmes as interim VP. I’m not bitching, after the millions that Martinez has blown doing nothing, another $10K or so for doing more nothing is not going to be noticed.

When we get a new hire it will be the first time in 5 years that UO’s diversity efforts will be run by someone hired through an open, public affirmative action compliant search. Martinez was appointed on the quick by Frohnmayer and Moseley, to help cover up the discrimination lawsuit Moseley lost. This time, we are paying a search firm $100,000 to not screw this up. It took a year and many public records requests to get UO to actually write a job description for Martinez. Then it took another public records request to get the search committee head, CAS Dean Scott Coltrane, to release the hilariously overblown top-secret draft of the new position description:

This report has been prepared exclusively for the University of Oregon and includes sensitive information. The use of this report should therefore be controlled and limited to those concerned directly with this assignment.

Nice try, but the whole thing is currently posted online here. The job ad is considerably more concise:

The VPEI leads efforts to identify gaps in equity across the University, promoting access and equal opportunity for students, faculty and staff and equity in the policies and procedures that support them.  In addition, the VPEI plays a key role in the achievement of progress on key priorities: faculty recruitment and hiring; student recruitment and retention; strengthening of recruitment pipelines; and reorganizing the Equity and Inclusion Office to support faculty, school, department and unit diversity efforts across campus. 

No crap about pointless “5 year diversity action plans” for once. My suggestion? Don’t hire anyone. Charles Martinez’s OIED spent $903,587 last year – that’s just counting salaries and administrative overhead for his office, not program costs. For comparison, in 2009-10 UO awarded $1,706,250 in need-based financial aid, and another $2,086,425 in need-based tuition waivers. So we could dump the OIED administration (while keeping OMAS, the Longhouse, etc) and have enough money to increase UO’s support for low income students by 25%. 

Frohnmayer repays salary to UO

7/20/2011: When UO President Dave Frohnmayer retired he negotiated a very sweet retirement deal with OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner. Too sweet. A week after someone raised questions about the unusual salary Frohnmayer received last summer – no work expectations and 3 retroactive contracts – Frohnmayer had to write UO out a personal check, reimbursing us for a chunk of it. The SOS Audits division looked into this and wrote a report identifying some other issues as well.

He’s no longer on the UO payroll. I don’t think I’ll post the report. I suppose the photocopy of his check is a public record, but whatever. He is still listed as a law professor – helps get clients, I suppose – and he still has his office suite in Chapman. But he paid us back, and he’s off the payroll – good enough for me.