University hid reserves from legislature while hiking tuition

I’m not exactly shocked. Hiding the reserves from the legislature is, of course, Job #1 for any public university’s VP for Finance. If the university is unionized, they also have to hide the money from the unions and the AAUP’s forensic accountant Howard Bunsis.

Thanks to an anonymous reader for forwarding the latest exemplar, from the SacBee:

The California State University stashed away $1.5 billion in discretionary reserves while raising tuition and lobbying the Legislature for more funds, according to a report released Thursday by California State Auditor Elaine Howle.

CSU put the money, which came primarily from student tuition, in outside accounts rather than in the state Treasury, the report said.

The investigation mirrors Howle’s 2017 report on the University of California Chancellor’s Office, which charged that top UC brass kept a $175 million slush fund while hiking students’ tuition.

… The CSU Employees Union, which had asked Quirk-Silva to request the audit, noted that CSU had threatened to increase tuition in 2018 if it did not receive additional state funding. At the same time, the CSU Board of Trustees increased pay for the top administrators, including those in the Chancellor’s Office and CSU president, said union legislative director David Balla-Hawkins.

Daily Emerald editorial board rips back VPFA Jamie Moffitt’s curtain

and finds nought but a “scattered assortment of spreadsheets”, here.

Not to mention the $10M side payment to her husband’s law school. $2.4 million a year for the Duck athletic department’s Jock Box – her former employer. $2M in legal fees and damages for the behavior of UOPD Police Chief Carolyn McDermed, her direct report. Any more questions about the tuition increase?

Long overdue VPFA office shakeup over AAEO, UOPD, etc

Another positive move by President Schill to address longstanding problems in Johnson Hall. Announcement here:

Organizational Changes in Finance and Administration
December 10, 2015

Dear Colleagues–

I am very pleased to announce a number of changes within the Finance and Administration (VPFA) portfolio, all of which are aimed at improving service to our campus constituents and increasing opportunities for strategic planning and synergy. These changes are effective Monday, December 14. View the new VPFA organizational chart. Here are the highlights:

André Le Duc has been promoted to Chief Resilience Officer and Associate Vice President (AVP). The UO Police Department has been added to his portfolio, rounding out the safety and risk services area, which continues to include the areas of Emergency Management and Continuity, Fire Prevention, Risk Management, and Environmental Health and Safety.

André will also head up a new administrative services area, composed of Purchasing and Contracting Services, Printing and Mailing Services, and the Campus Geographic Information Systems (GIS) unit.
Nancy Resnick, the University’s Chief Human Resources Officer, will have responsibility for an expanded portfolio. Going forward in addition to the Human Resources department, her portfolio will include the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, as well as the Retirement Plans Management unit, which administers the five retirement plans used by all former OUS institutions.

As was announced in September, a search is underway for our new AVP for Campus Planning and Facilities Management to oversee the units currently comprising Campus Operations, Campus Planning, Design and Construction, and the Office of Sustainability. We look forward to visits in early January from our top candidates. Note that until the new AVP is in place, these units’ organizational structures will remain as-is.

Kassy Fisher will now serve permanently as Chief of Staff, a role she took on temporarily in July.
I will continue to directly oversee and work closely with our financial team, Kelly Wolf, University Controller and AVP of Business Affairs, and the directors of Budget and Resource Planning and Institutional Research.

I am excited about what I believe is a leadership structure that fosters integration and builds upon the strengths of our team.


Jamie Moffitt
Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.34.13 PM

UO Law Dean Michael Moffitt gives 5 year review talk

I couldn’t listen to it all, but it seems Knight Law School Dean Michael Moffitt managed to avoid any mention of the $10M subsidy from CAS tuition money that he was given – by the office of his wife, VPFA Jamie Moffitt – to pay for scholarships for law students, to keep UO law LSAT’s score and US News ranking out of the basement.

Also no honest discussion of Moffitt’s various failed attempts to exploit Brad Shelton’s budget model and siphon off enough undergrad credit hours from CAS to be able to repay the $10M debt he now owes CAS. Yes, I know that makes no sense, but here’s Moffitt trying to get some good press for himself in the NY Times:

“The problem is that we have been selling only one product,” Mr. Moffitt said. “But if you are getting a business degree, you need to know about contract law. City planners need to know about land-use law. So we at Oregon are educating not just J.D. students.

“Demand is through the roof,” he added. “I feel like I am living a business school case study.”

However, like so many business school case studies, Moffitt’s turned out to be a scam. He’d hid that from his faculty, but the Senate Curriculum Committee got to the truth and cancelled the classes.

Moffitt’s idea of a bright spot? Rob Illig’s summer sports law institute:

Law Dean Michael Moffitt to explain how he got $10M from general tuition fund

From: <[email protected]> on behalf of Kathy Warden <[email protected]>
Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 9:15 AM
To: “‘[email protected]'” <[email protected]>
Subject: deans-dirs: Reminder: Dean Moffitt’s 5-yr review presentation today

Dear colleagues,

This is a reminder that you are invited to Dean Michael Moffitt’s public presentation today at 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm in room 175 in the School of Law. Dean Moffitt’s presentation will include a retrospective of his past five years as dean of the School of Law, as well as a look ahead to the challenges, initiatives and accomplishments he envisions in the coming years.

If you are interested in providing feedback to the review committee, you may do so by completing the online survey at: To maintain confidentiality, providing your name on the survey is optional.

If you prefer, you may contact any of the members of the review committee to discuss the review. You will find the members listed here:

Scott Coltrane
Provost and Senior Vice President

Beavers to pay 1/3 of Duck’s Bowl of Dicks bills and damages

Reporter Noah McGraw has the scoop in the Daily Emerald here on the cost so far. Excellent reporting, read it all there, here’s a snippet:

… UO also has its own attorney fees. UO was represented by Eugene firm Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick. The total of all their approved fees is $394,925.70, according to the Office of the General Counsel. The university’s insurance policy has so far paid $281,867 to Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick.

UO has an insurance policy that will pay all $1.6 million. The Public Universities Risk Management and Insurance Trust, PURMIT, covers the seven public universities in Oregon.

“The University of Oregon has comprehensive insurance for situations involving University employees, officers and volunteers as well as the buildings, vehicles and other assets,” Julie Brown, the Campus Relations Director of Enterprise Risk Management, said. “The insurance program covers everything from earthquake damage to art collections.”

The PURMIT website, here, is not exactly a model of transparency regarding the expenditure of millions in public funds. Some minutes are posted, but apparently not all. No meeting materials are available. Budgets? Audits? Spending? Nope. They do have a list of who is responsible though:

Chair Eric Yahnke (WOU); Patrick Hughes (OSU); George Marlton (OIT); Brian Roy (PSU); Vice Chair Lara Moore (EOU); Craig Morris (SOU); Jamie Moffitt (UO)

From what I can figure out PURMIT is a risk-sharing pool for Oregon’s seven public universities, with outside reinsurance for losses beyond some threshold.

Which means that it is very likely that the costs of this case, and the Jane Doe lawsuit, and the James Fox settlement, etc., etc., are not being “paid by the insurance company” but instead are being spread out among UO, OSU, PSU, WOU, SOU, EOU, and OIT. Assuming the sharing is in proportion to budgets, this means UO is paying about 1/3 and the Beavers are covering about 1/3.

And this one’s not over yet. HLGR lawyer Andrea Coit has just filed a request with the Honorable Judge David O. Carter, asking him to set aside the jury’s decision:

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 4.11.38 PM

I’m no lawyer, but I’m thinking this is so not going to happen.

The US DOJ spent who knows how much money to bring in an out-of-state judge and run this trial. Not to mention the valuable time of 8 Jurors, for almost 2 weeks. From what I can tell Judge Carter was on top of things every step of the way. Coit agreed to the jury instructions. But she hears the jury’s verdict and *then* wants a do-over? That’s got to be a high bar.

I guess it’s worth a shot when you bill by the hour though. Her full request is here, attachments here, and more on the jury instructions etc. in the (free but incomplete) docket here.

Suck it up, Beavers.

Law School Dean Michael Moffitt up for mandatory 5-year review

It’s not going to go well. Moffitt was a compromise internal hire, after an external search went bad. His academic record was mediocre, and he has not been a success as dean. This 2013 NY Times story, in which he bragged about lucrative revenue from undergraduate courses and “living in a business school case study” turned sour within days, after this blog raised questions about what courses Moffitt was talking about. It turned out that most of the revenue was coming from iffy “Sports Conflict” courses, which the law school faculty had never heard about, much less reviewed. Whoops. The UO Senate’s Committee on Courses quickly shut Moffitt’s case study down.

While all US law schools have had a bad 5 year stretch UO has faired worse than most. Already running in the red, it was saved in 2014 only by an extraordinary $10M bailout package by none other than Dean Moffitt’s wife, UO VP for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt.

At least the Moffitt’s money is not going to inane branding campaigns. Instead, the law school is offering full scholarships to students with decent LSATs, in a so far successful effort to game the US News rankings. But this $10M will only last for another year or two, at which point Dean Moffitt is supposed to have prepared a plan to pay the money back to VPFA Moffitt. Sure he will:

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 12.56.53 AM

As might be expected, the law school faculty are skeptical of Moffitt’s leadership, while presumably grateful for his wife’s money. Last year they came within a vote or two of approving a “no confidence” motion. And it’s never good to have the million dollar Rob Illig on the other side. Adding to Moffitt’s troubles is this preliminary result from UO Psychology Professor Jennifer Freyd’s sexual assault prevention survey:

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 3.47.53 PM

Fortunately UO’s new president knows a thing or two about the job market for good law school deans.

Law school spent $4.6M on scholarships this year, up from $300K in 2011

From what I can tell this money came from the general fund, i.e. mostly undergraduate tuition money from CAS students. The scholarships go to law school students with decent LSATs. More than a few get a full ride.

For comparison, the UO Foundation spent roughly the same amount on academic scholarships for the entire university. (Albeit twice that on athletic scholarships). The law school has now shrunk to about 500 students, so the average law student is getting about $9K in tuition discounts each year.  Correction: An apparently well-informed correspondent reports that the law school now has only 360 law students, about 100 1L’s, and that more than half of new students are receiving promises of complete tuition remission for 3 years. Rob Illig won the fight against Michael Moffitt and Margie Paris’s plan to use faculty raise money to support public interest jobs for graduates, but Moffitt was able to convince the administration to support this far more expensive scholarship plan to game the US News ranking.

Rumor has it that these scholarships are 3-year promises, so the bleeding is not going to stop soon – in fact it may well increase.

How did propping up the law school’s US News ranking at the expense of UO’s other academic programs become such a priority for UO? From what I can tell it was a backroom deal – there was never a word of discussion about this shift in academic priorities in the UO Senate. And even then Law Dean Michael Moffitt spent $700K more than his wife, VPFA Jamie Moffitt, had budgeted:

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 10.26.50 AM

(Numbers from the Financial Transparency tool as of 5/24/2015. FY ends 6/30, so some expenses are still coming in.)

Bargaining VII: Economics. Admin proposes 1% for merit, no ATB, no equity, and $600 one-time to buy this sweet 1964 Chevy van – if you sign the contract now:

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 4.58.55 PM

Cocktail party version: Moffitt delivers on transparency – new docs reveal large increases in spending on Pres Admin Operations, Enrollment, Advancement, Police. No money left in the budget for faculty. Admin team then unveils their economic proposal, which is a one-time $600 and a 1% merit raise, delayed until 2017. That’s it. No COLA, no internal equity, no external equity.

Maybe it’s a classic bad-cop good-cop play. The unhappy looking admin functionaries sitting at the bargaining table got stuck with the bad-cop job. The faculty will get all riled up. Then in a few weeks the new President will come in, announce that she’s found the money for significant raises, get the credit for saving the university, and start off her tenure as UO’s Joan of Arc.

If not, I’ll forecast that the faculty will go on strike during week one of classes this fall. It’s been a tough year, and we don’t need any more shit from Johnson Hall and the Trustees.

Today, 2PM, Knight Library Collaboration Room. Be there.

VP for Finance Jamie Moffitt was supposed to present the administration’s counterproposal on raises March 9th. She bailed. But word is that, after paying JH thousands of dollars for public records on UO’s financial position, the union now has a firm commitment from Moffitt for an appearance. I expect the show and tell will start promptly at 2, get there early for a good seat.

Here’s the report on the union’s economic proposal:

Live-blog: Usual disclaimer. My impression of what people said, meant, or should have said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. If you don’t like my blog read Luebke’s.

Full house, including Diane Dietz from the RG. Standing room only.

As predicted, after stonewalling the union’s data requests for months, Moffitt now passes out 150 pages of financial data at the last minute, giving the union team no chance to digest any of it before she dives into her spiel. This is not the way to build trust. The spin begins.

Moffitt goes on through her spreadsheets – emphasizing state cuts, how they’ve “finally caught up with us”. All spin. Let’s cut to the chase, and the back of her packet, for the data I asked for months ago. In 2011 Richard Lariviere committed to getting UO faculty salaries to the midpoint of the AAU public universities. As of Fall 2014 (i.e. after incorporating all the raises from the 2013-15 union CBA), we’re here:

UO full professors earn 88.7% of the AAU average
UO associate professors earn 97.8% of the AAU average
UO assistant professors earn 94.6% of the AAU average

The average increase in pay over all ranks at other AAU publics last year was 3.2%. Assuming that continues, UO will need to increase wages by 3.2%, plus promotion increases, just to stay even in our current position towards the bottom of the AAU publics.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 2.23.06 PM

Strangely, this figure showing how raises for UO’s top administrators have far outpaced the rest of the university isn’t in Moffitt’s packet – so I made it myself from the data on UO’s Institutional Research website:

Meanwhile, Moffitt is still going through her spreadsheets, trying to impress everyone with how smart and hard working she is to be able to keep track of all the university’s costs and revenue.

Presumably the administrative team will get to the meat of the discussion soon. Meanwhile I’ve got a game theory paper to review, live blogging will be light.

“I’m not trying to scare you” but Moffitt is worried that FEMA and the State won’t bail us out if there’s an earthquake? Come on.

Now she’s getting into the 2016 projections – which include money for propping up her husband’s law school, but not for faculty raises.

Some good news, the new HECC funding model is outcomes based, gives money for graduation rates for state residents, and UO is at the top for that. If things hold in the legislature, UO will get $6.4M in new state-funding next year, followed by another $2M.

Some bad news, expect a 9% increase in PERS costs.

Health insurance – some big savings possible here if we get out of the state system.

Jamie’s not going to talk about all the new money going to the UOPD:

3:30PM: Now she’s getting into the athletic department budget. Gives shout out to Rob Mullens: “Excellent financial manager, cares deeply about UO”. He will have no problem coming up with the 3% of revenue for the academic side that the UO Senate legislation requires.

Cecil: Have there been discussions about getting the $2.2M academics spends on the jock box back? Moffitt: No.

Cecil: What the hell happened with the explosion in General Counsel costs? Moffitt: We hired HLGR at $300 an hour?

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 1.39.22 PM

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 1.38.08 PM

More on where the money is going:

Jamie doesn’t want to talk about the large increase in administrative hiring, relative to faculty. So she’s got some confusing spreadsheets. While she’s been talking, I’ve been getting data from UO’s IR department website.

Student enrollment has increased from about 20K to 24K over the period shown, or 20%. The number of officers of administration (FTE) increased by 55%. (The number of “senior administrators” decreased, because JH changed the definition to make themselves look good.) The number of faculty? Not so much. Staff? Student workers? GTF’s? Nope, nope, nope. Administrative bloat:

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 3.56.59 PM

4:10PM: Jamie wraps up.

UAUO’s David Cecil: Thank you Jamie, this was so much better than last time. And we recognize the the union and administration have made some progress on the goal of getting faculty salaries to the AAU averages.

Deb Green: Why don’t you include salary increases in your budget predictions?

Juanita Devereaux: Why are we faculty at the bottom of yout priority list?

Moffitt: It’s difficult. We want to invest in faculty and staff, but …. these are good questions.

Cecil: In the presentations you’ve made to the board, etc, you’ve said after all UO’s other priorities are met, there is only $1.2M left over for salary increases. Why is the faculty the leftover priority?

Moffitt backpedals.

Gina Psaki: Explains that the previous raises left faculty in the hole for years of salaries far below comparators, and still didn’t get faculty to the levels promised back in 2011. We see faculty leaving because of salary. We appreciate the information you’ve presented today on the budget, but we see many questionable expenditures – police, athletics, GC – we wonder what the administration’s real priorities are.

Cecil: So, you’re saying we’re running a little in the red – in the E&G fund – but over the length of the contract, reserves are still increasing?

Deb Green: So, does this university have a plan for investing in its faculty?

Moffitt: It’s challenging. We’re out there looking for funds from tuition, the state, donors – everywhere but athletics.

4:36 PM Cecil: Let’s caucus.

4:45: Bill Brady presents the administration’s economic counterproposal:

Faculty to get $600 up front – enough to buy a 1964 Chevy Van on Craigslist – and a 1% merit pool. One-time, over two years. No ATB, no internal equity, no external equity. (The $600 lump-sum is a classic management trick to try and split a union by driving a wedge between the low and high income members by tempting low income workers to take the offer. That said, the 64 had the 95 HP engine, and there’s a sick aftermarket blower.)

It’s a fuck-the-faculty offer:

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 4.47.23 PM

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 5.08.50 PM

The union team is not taking this well. Lots of tough questions for Bill Brady about why it took 6 weeks to come up with this junk proposal. The crowd is half pissed, half amused at the absurdity of this offer. Murmurs of “strike, strike”. Other people are walking out in disgust.

This offer pencils out at about $1M for each year of the contract. Coltrane and Bronet spend $2M a year subsidizing the athlete-only Jaqua Jock Box. UO’s priorities look pretty damn clear.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 8.22.35 PM

UO Law rises from #100 to #82 in US News after $1.5M bailout

“Above the Law” has the news about US News rankings, here. UO was #77 when we hired Michael Moffitt as Dean, and I believe #82 is as high as we’ve been since.

UO was helped by a change in the algorithm that reduced the weight on temporary jobs that law schools give to graduates to boost employment numbers. Lewis and Clark, for example, hired a remarkable 20% of its own graduates last year. They fell from #72 to #94 after the algorithm change. UO hired many fewer students, in part because Rob Illig went batshit crazy over Margie Paris’s plan to use his raise to pay for these jobs.

Instead, UO Law Dean Michael Moffitt figured out another way to play USNews. He got $1.5M in “Temporary Stabilization Funding” for scholarships to bring in high LSAT students. Where did this money come from, and how many years will it continue?

You’ll have to ask Dean Moffitt’s wife, VP for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt, for that info. And I expect the faculty union will, if she ever shows her face at the bargaining table.

University desperately seeking short-term relationship with a human

resources manager.

JH is in total meltdown. They could really do with taking a look at the article on which lists the 5 best PEO companies of 2021, as the services of a PEO company would be invaluable to them at this moment in time. Why? Because they have lost control of payroll, accounting, and basic human resources management, and they’ve put out an emergency bid for consultants. Deadline now extended to June 10. The last time this happened we paid Huron millions. The bid info is on the OUS website:

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 10.52.35 PM

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 10.52.57 PM

4/16/2014 Now verified, Mark Yuran gone as UO Chief HR Officer

Sent on behalf of Jamie Moffitt:

Continue reading

NCAA to share administrators’ perks and family junkets with the players?

4/24/2014: This is a stunning development from the NCAA, reported by Rachel Bachman in the WSJ. It must be bitter news for UO’s FAR Jim O’Fallon, who has spent his professional life taking away kids athletic scholarships for just this sort of thing:

Other changes that the five power conferences are likely to consider if their autonomy is affirmed by the board of directors in August include the following, according to an NCAA news release:

  • Enhanced insurance policies for athletes that protect future earnings
  • Greater academic support, particularly for at-risk athletes
  • Allowances for players’ families to travel to games
  • Free tickets to athletic events
  • Payment of expenses related to practice and competition such as parking fees.

1/16/2014 Alamo Bowl junket list drops admins with conflicts of interest:

Dave Hubin’s public records office is still hiding this year’s memo from President Gottfredson inviting his JH admin’s on UO paid Alamo Bowl junkets, but they’ve finally released the list itself, after a variety of sneaky delays.

It appears the Geller family was indeed left off the bus this year, consistent with the timing of Randy’s enraged “fully engaged” holiday letter to the faculty. Also missing are VP for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt and family, the Davises, strategic communicator Tim Gleason, and a number of other administrators with rather obvious conflicts of interest related to their responsibility for approving the athletic department budget, paying for its lawyers, approving employment contracts for Rob Mullens and his coaches, etc. Good for President Gottfredson on this one. Interim Provost Scott Coltrane and spouse got a trip, but after spending $2.2M for Jock Box tutoring, I suppose he wanted to see if what he’d bought was worth our money.

In totally unrelated news, U.S District Judge David Campbell has set the sentencing date for former Fiesta Bowl CEO and convicted felon John Junker for March 13. The aptly named Mr. Junker laundered Fiesta Bowl money for illegal political contributions, strip club parties, and presents for the UT admissions office when they admitted his daughter. It’s not clear how much if any money from the Duck’s 2002 appearance was involved. Meanwhile our Alamo Bowl is paying its CEO Derrick Fox well over $500K a year, while giving just $128K for scholarships. Latest IRS report here.

Given all the corruption in big-time college sports, it’s nice to see JH has finally come clean about “Faculty” Athletics Representative and emeritus law professor Jim O’Fallon, now frankly listed as athletic department staff. Of course the academic side is still paying his salary, but rumor has it he’s going to resign soon in the face of a Senate motion for a 25-year-overdue performance review. Not clear if he’ll also have to give up his NCAA infractions committee gig harassing unpaid athletes.

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 11.17.15 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 10.51.48 PM


1/22/2014 update: Correction from the Public Records Office on Jim O’Fallon:

On January 15, 2014 the office released documents in response to your public records request for documents released in response to the following public records request: “the names of all university employees who were invited to as well as those who actually attended the Valero Alamo Bowl for pre-game events in San Antonio, Texas. Second, if it is possible I would also like to request invoices for the costs of their trip that the University of Oregon paid for, in the form of a per diem or any comparable allowance”.

One of the documents you were given has Mr. James O’Fallon categorized as “Athletic Dept. Staff- Faculty Rep”. Mr. O’Fallon should have been categorized as “Faculty Athletics Representative”. This mistake has been corrected, and a corrected copy of this document is attached.

Central administration reserves grow, while Shelton starves CAS

2/21/2014 update: Speaking of bloat, here’s a nice benefit for money-losing UO basketball coach Dana Altman, to top off his $1.8M salary, bonuses, and “opportunities to earn outside income”:

During the Term of this Agreement while Altman is head men’s basketball coach, and upon presentation of proper receipts, Altman will be eligible to receive up to twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) per year to reimburse him for travel expenses incurred by his relatives and friends to attend University athletic events or for the purpose of visiting Altman.

Latest contract here:

2/20/2014 update:The news from CAS is all about how Brad Shelton’s budget model is going to hold back still more tuition for UO’s central administrators to play with next year. Meanwhile, UO’s latest report to OUS shows that UO’s reserve funds are steadily increasing, by about $12M in just one year according to the forecast. This is after payment of the first round of union raises. The next round starts July 1, and will cost ~$8M, while tuition increases and new state funding will bring in about $18M in new money. So expect further increases in reserves, and more of the same BS from the administrators about “the well is dry”.

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 5.29.48 PM

2/18/2014: VPFA Jamie Moffitt’s transparent reports reveal administrative bloat

Budget VP Brad Shelton is now hiding his Budget Model reports behind a password wall, presumably in response to me outing Doug Blandy’s $1M AAD 250-252 student credit hour heist. Reminds me of back when Frances Dyke was VPFA and took the excel spreadsheet explaining the accounting codes off her website, claiming it wasn’t a public record.

But new VPFA Jamie Moffitt has put that file back up, along with a plethora of simple summaries showing where Johnson Hall is spending UO’s money, and plenty more detailed spreadsheets. An admirable improvement from the obfuscation we got from her during union bargaining, presumably under orders from Randy Geller. Here are some highlights.
Continue reading

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.