9/1/2009: Rumor is that Lariviere will soon decide if UO is going to pull the plug on its Bend programs, which graduate about 15 students a year, and run at loss to the Eugene campus of $1 million or so per year. (Update: actually 50 students, or a loss of $20,000 each). The Bend Bulletin reports on Lariviere’s visit to Bend today, without going into the history of UO’s operation there, which was set to give former UO Provost a retirement sinecure. You can find more by following the links at the bottom of this post.
The University of Oregon’s new president, Richard Lariviere, met with the Bend City Council on Monday afternoon to discuss city officials’ visions for higher education in Bend. Councilors told him that in the future they hope to have a larger university presence in Bend and just how important higher education will be to the city’s growth. … Lariviere says, “We’re now trying to get a better sense of Bend,” he said. “I want to get a better sense of how the university fits in.”
OPB reports that while in Bend Lariviere also announced his support for former OUS Board member John von Schlegell’s reform call to the governor:
In Bend, Lariviere spoke to local business leaders and told OPB that he supports a critical letter that former state higher education board members sent to the Governor.
That letter proposed turning the state university system into a public corporation. Lariviere says even though that idea may make waves, it should be considered.
Richard Lariviere: “The regulatory involvement in the state in higher education is way out of whack. And any time you layer on some set of regulatory constraints you’re debilitating the university from fulfilling its obligation to the state of Oregon.”
8/14/2009: The Oregonian has a story today about former Provost Moseley’s expense account abuse. The OUS audit report mentioned in the story is available here. In that audit report UO President Lariviere agrees to stop allowing Moseley to claim any more expenses – between Eugene and his vacation home in Bend or apparently anywhere at all – and to update Moseley’s original employment contract to reflect the fact that Moseley is now only fulfilling 1 of his 4 job responsibilities. The contract will be revised by Monday. Still unclear as to whether or not Moseley will be allowed to keep all of $124,000 0.5 FTE, and if so why in the hell he should. Either way, it looks likely that he will have to repay $9,000 or so in expenses to UO for last year, and given that there are 2 more years left on his contract, this should save UO about $27,000 total.
Our favorite part of the story:
Jim Bean, UO’s senior vice president and provost, said the audit identified a minor (sic) financial issue caused by a recent change in Moseley’s duties, which moved his main work location to Bend. “I’m glad someone pointed it out, and I’m glad we got it fixed,” Bean said.
No problem Jim, we at UO Matters are happy to help. Does this mean you are going to finally share the budget info for UO-Bend with your faculty?
The Oregonian has another, very pointed story about the OUS appointing State Rep. Larry Galizio as “Director of Strategery and Planning”. The story suggests this is a payoff for his vote in support of a pet Kulongoski bill.
In 2006 UO Provost John Moseley retired and was given a 1/2 time $124,000 a year sinecure as Director of UO’s Bend Programs. He wanted this because it allowed him to pad his PERS account and because he has a vacation home on the Deschutes. It turns out he’s been billing UO for his trips there – as these UO mileage reimbursements show. One reader pointed out that “Between June and Sept 08 JTM racked up $4441.75 reimbursable dollars for mileage, at about 50 cents per mile that’s 8800 miles. It’s about 125 miles one way from JTM (Eugene) to JTM (Bend) so that’s about 35 round trips in a 4 month period or 9 round trips a month.”
In the summer? Does UO-Bend even offer summer courses? Any OSU-Cascades meetings that Moseley actually attended? 9 per month? UO-Bend graduates 15 students a year. Moseley’s travel expenses alone are over $500 per graduate. Add in his salary and benefits and this one part of the administrative costs for Bend are already well over $10,000 per graduate. And Provost Bean claims this program is “in the black?”
From a UO administrator’s email:
Finally, there is a lot about the Bend campus that just does not “feel right”. For example, while no one really wants to put (too fine) a point on it, the fact that John Mosley is collecting a six figure salary while being retired in Bend (even if it is legit) does not look right and perceptions are important – particularly in economic hard times when you are asking faculty to give back.
Here is the 7/7/04 retirement contract signed by President Frohnmayer and Provost Moseley. It’s hard to read this without seeing it as an attempt to make an end run around the PERS rules so that Moseley can retire under the more generous pre-2005 contract – while still actually working for UO essentially full time and collecting full time pay.
This March 2008 story in the Oregonian describes how UO administrators have been taking advantage of a tenure reduction program that was originally set up to ease older teaching faculty into voluntary retirement.
Several administrators have been able to use the program to take home annual payments in the $300,000 range, by getting half pay from UO, full PERS benefits, and annual raises to sweeten the deal. While President Frohnmayer claims that these administrators are doing substantial work, he provides no evidence of this. Here’s a clip from former Provost John Moseley’s contract – he is “Special Assistant” to current Provost Jim Bean until 2011. His main job seems to be running UO’s program in Bend, from his retirement home on the Deschutes. UO’s Bend programs graduate about 15 people – and lose about $1 million – each year.
Maybe we’re naive about this stuff, but we’re a little surprised at how explicitly President Frohnmayer and former Provost Moseley lay out their attempt to exploit PERS rules, as you can see from the complete contract here.