Berdahl to ask Trustees to give Gottfredson another chance

4/10/2018 repost, for no particular reason.

6/8/2014: Rumor down at the faculty club is that Gottfredson and Berdahl are closeted in McMorran House, working on a strategy to convince the Trustees to give Gottfredson another chance. From the meeting packet here:

June 12, 12:00 pm: Trustees roundtable discussion with Bob Berdahl Ford Alumni Center, Room 403

Presumably Berdahl will be introduced to the board as former UC-Berkeley president, AAU, etc. A legendary leader in higher education. Then he will explain to the awestruck trustees that any more turnover in the UO presidency would be so disruptive, and the search for a replacement so difficult, that it’s better for the new Board to suffer an obvious incompetent, the last bit of baggage from OUS and Pernsteiner, rather than to do what most everyone hopes they will do: Replace Gottfredson with Scott Coltrane as interim, and get UO off to a fresh start.

Given Berdahl’s role in hiring Gottfredson (closed search, etc.) and the latest from FSU on closed searches and search firms, this all reminded me of an old post:

5/15/2012: Berdahl on his and my conflicts of interest and UO transparency crackdown. (See below for response from Pres Berdahl).


Legislation in Illinois would bar public universities from using state funds, tuition revenue or student fees for search firms, The News-Gazette reported. The University of Illinois has spent almost $6 million on search firms over the last nine years, including funds on some searches that did not work out well. Critics question whether the spending is necessary, while board members say that search firms have recruited top talent.

The News-Gazette story is very balanced. We could ask our interim President Berdahl what he thinks about the costs and benefits of presidential search firms, but he seems to have a conflict of interest:



He didn’t report this on his Oregon Government Ethics Commission Verified Statement of Economic Interest – must not have made the 10% income threshold, which I’m guessing would be about $100,000.

After I posted to above, interim President Berdahl emailed me asking that I add the following response from him:

The following is a comment that I tried to submit to UOMatters in response to your suggestion that I have conflicts of interest.  Since the comments are limited to 4,000 characters, UOMatters would not accept it.

Despite your campaign of innuendo, I have nothing to hide.


Berdhal’s comment:

At last week’s Senate meeting, I suggested that Professor Harbaugh had a conflict of interest because, as the largest single requester of public records, he also served as the chair of the Senate Transparency Committee, which has advised the administration on the university’s public records fee policy.  It is a straight-forward conflict of interest: the largest single user of a public service should not be in a position to try to influence the policy on fees for the provision of that public service.

Now, obviously irritated by the suggestion of his conflict of interest, Professor Harbaugh is responding by trying to suggest that I somehow have a conflict of interest. So, let me set out the facts for those readers of UOMatters who may be interested in facts.

Here is a summary of all of my activities and engagements since retiring from AAU, some of which have been compensated, others not.  All of these engagements involve commitments and obligations made prior to my becoming involved at UO, either as a consultant from mid-October to late December, or as interim president after December 28. I have undertaken no new commitments since becoming interim president.

In the summer of 2011, I was asked by AGB Search, an academic search firm associated with the Association of Governing Boards, to serve as a search consultant on their presidential search operations.  I agreed.  After coming to the UO in mid-October, I suspended that association.  I did not serve on any searches.  I received no compensation of any kind.  Because of a potential conflict of interest, I did not recommend that the UO presidential search committee even consider AGB Search to assist in the UO search.  These facts would have been easily determined had Professor Harbaugh been interested in them.

Because Professor Harbaugh has submitted a public record request of South Dakota State University for the details of my consulting there, let me shorten his wait by laying out the details here.  In September 2011, SDSU President Chicoine asked me to come to the campus to meet with faculty, students, administrators, and donors to assist in their strategic planning efforts leading up to a capital campaign.  He also asked that I deliver a public lecture.  In late November, I spent three days there.  I was paid $4,000. Knowing that I had graduated from Augustana College, President Chicoine arranged with Augustana President Oliver for me to spend two days there, again meeting with students and faculty and delivering a public lecture.  Augustana provided a $2,000 honorarium which I subsequently donated to the college.

In September 2011, I spent a week consulting with faculty and administrators at the University of Chile.  I received no compensation other than my expenses.

In my economic interest statement I also disclosed, as I had to Chancellor Pernsteiner and the OSBHE before accepting the interim presidency, that I have served as a member of the Board of Directors of Lam Research Corporation, a semi-conductor equipment company in Fremont, CA, since being elected to that board in 2001.  In 2011 I received a retainer of $60,000 and restricted units of stock.  I am the lead independent director and chair of the nominating and governance committee.  I was also elected to the Board of Directors of ACT, a non-profit academic testing service, in 2011.  I received $11,500 in 2011 for service on that board.

In April 2012 I spoke at the annual meeting of CASE, the organization of university foundation directors and development officers.  This was a commitment that I made last fall prior to my coming to UO.  I received no compensation for this address.

I am a member of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This commission has met three times since the summer of 2011, once, last month, since I became interim president.  I am also a member of the Policy and Global Affairs Commission of the National Academy of Sciences.  My schedule has not permitted me to attend the meeting of this group.  Neither of these assignments is compensated.

I do not believe any of these activities involve a conflict of interest.

[Interim President Bob Berdahl]

I’ve got nothing against people making money – far from it – but for completeness, the report on the LAM Directorship is here. The “restricted units of stock”mentioned by Berdahl above total about $800,000 from 2007-2010, total payments about $1 million, 2011 is not yet listed.

Berdahl says of my participation on the Senate Transparency Committee:

It is a straight-forward conflict of interest: the largest single user of a public service should not be in a position to try to influence the policy on fees for the provision of that public service.

But Berdahl has no problem with AD Rob Mullens and GC Randy Geller trying to influence this policy, just to mention a few people on the supply-side of UO public records. Yet one of the reasons President Lariviere removed responsibility for public records responses from the General Counsel’s office and set up a new office with direct reporting to the president was the conflict of interest between the job of making public records public and the job of providing legal advice and defense to the university. This conflict of interest led to the firing of Melinda Grier, and the $2.3 million Bellotti payoff, to provide one well documented and expensive example.

I don’t think making a lot of public records requests and posting the records online constitutes a conflict of interest. I’ve been transparent about explaining my role in those few public records complaints that have come before the STC. The STC’s policy recommendations on the $200 fee waiver were enthusiastically supported by Dave Hubin, the recording of the meeting is here. I’ll also add that I receive no compensation for running UO Matters, except for the all-to-rare bottle of donated scotch.

The real issue here is very simple. I’ve posted a lot of public records about UO and UO athletics, many of them pretty embarrassing to the central administration. Richard Lariviere’s September 2011 public records reforms made it easier for me to do that. Rob Mullens and Randy Geller want to make it harder, and they’ve found a helpful partner in Bob Berdahl.

Bob Berdahl joins faculty union in endorsing Measure 28 business tax increase

Let me be the first to congratulate former Interim UO President Bob Berdahl (left) on his courageous support for Better Oregon’s Measure 28 ballot initiative, which is the only proposal on the table that would increase tax revenues by enough to allow the sorts of increases in higher education funding that he calls for in his Oregonian Op-Ed here.

Although, on a closer read, Berdahl doesn’t actually come out in support of Measure 28, which does have some issues. So his op-ed has  a better substantive proposal for raising the money, and a plan to put it on the November ballot? Nope. Instead he starts with a bit of self-congratulation:

As one of the advocates for creating separate governing boards for Oregon’s universities, I was pleased to note the apparent success The Oregonian/OregonLive reported about the initial operation of these boards.

He then cites some well known numbers on how little support Oregon provides higher education, and makes this radical proposal:

Perhaps it is time we started asking candidates for the Legislature about their priorities.

Yes, perhaps it is. What a powerful idea. Perhaps. I do like Berdahl’s conclusion though:

Why do we cheer when one of our university athletic teams is ranked in the top 10 or contending for a national championship, but seem satisfied that “record” funding for higher education leaves us in 41st place?

AAAS Lincoln Project meets at UO for canned speeches and handwringing

10/22/2015: Just got back from this. It was the usual, with a large helping of self-congratulation on the side. I wonder how much the event cost, who paid for it, and how intelligent people can sit through this pablum. Oh, right, free lunch and an all-expense paid trip to Oregon. As my PhD advisor told me, “never go to a talk without a good paper to read”.

From what I can tell the American Academy is part of the retirement plan for a lot of overpaid academic administrators, with a dusting of faculty and a few rich patrons. Speaking of retirement plans, here’s a little more on how Berdahl is topping off his $146K  PERS payments:

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This is from the IRS 990 for American College Testing, the “non-profit” that runs the ACT. It’s quite unusual for a non-profit to pay its directors. Bloomberg News has a report on ACT’s high payments here, and the Des Moines Register has an investigative report here, which notes the potential for conflict of interest inherent in paying board members who also have jobs where they can influence efforts to require testing of the sort ACT sells. This, presumably, is exactly why the ACT wants them on their board:

How ACT’s new board members are plugged in to standardized testing

Since revamping its board of directors in 2002, ACT now has several board members who have led influential national organizations and furthered the push for more standardized testing:
Mark D. Musick, who has been paid at least $44,250 annually from ACT since 2003, served while he was also president of the Atlanta-based Southern Regional Education Board, a compact of 16 states that has embraced both the ACT and SAT.

Musick chaired the governing board of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which directs the program known as the Nation’s Report Card. In the 1980s, he directed a project that, for the first time, produced student achievement information that could be compared from one state to another. The project served as a model for the nationwide program that now is the key education accountability provision for the No Child Left Behind Act.

Board members Karen Holbrook and Charles Reed both served on the board of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, a group the federal government wants to develop new means of measuring student performance and hold American colleges and universities more accountable.

Both ACT and the U.S. Department of Education have been pushing for more standardized testing at colleges and universities, a move widely resisted by many college deans and faculty. …

The Iowa DOJ started an investigation, but it apparently went nowhere.

9/15/2015: Scandal ridden AAAS invites Bob Berdahl to speak at UO library

The once prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences, founded by John Adams (and not to be confused with the considerably more significant American Association for the Advancement of Science) has moved on from the multiple scandals involving their former President Leslie Berlowitz in true academic administrator fashion: by buying her off with $475K and a few years of health insurance.

Sort of like the $940K that Chuck Lillis had to pay to get rid of Bob Berdahl’s recommendation for UO president, Mike Gottfredson:

Or the $2M that Berdahl’s recommendation for president of the University of Hawaii MRC Greenwood wanted in return for her resignation.

Or the $950K that the UC system paid Berdahl, Greenwood, and Shank for “lucrative furloughs”, as reported in a long series of SF Chronicle investigative reports:

The AAAS pays their new president, Jonathan Fanton, $490K plus benefits. Not bad for running a non-profit with a mere $11M budget, $2.7M of which went for legal expenses last year. In October Fanton will travel from Boston to Eugene for lunch and a discussion on “The Role of Public Institutions in Higher Education”. Presumably Berdahl’s remarks will focus on the role of higher education presidents in wasting public money on perks and buyouts for top administrators:

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You can get a preview of the upcoming insipidity from this 2012 video of Berlowitz and Berdahl, here:

What economist could refuse a chance to live-blog a free lunch? Not me:

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Chair of board of trustees forced to resign after criticizing blogger

10/16/2015: No, of course I’m not talking about Chuck Lillis and his statement to Oregonian reporter Rich Read that he hoped the UO Senate could survive my election as president. Lillis will come around.

I’m talking about UBC board chair John Montalbano, who resigned today, 7 weeks after he called up UBC professor Jennifer Berdahl to complain about her blog post, which called his board’s decision to fire the UBC president racist and sexist. Berdahl’s chair was funded by a $2M donation from Montalbano.

The CBC has a report about the subsequent investigation and Montalbano’s resignation here, and Professor Berdahl is gleefully blogging about it here:

Two months ago I wrote about my experiences of reprimand at UBC after publishing a blog post that raised uncomfortable questions about organizational culture, diversity, and leadership. A fact-finding process was agreed to by the University of British Columbia’sFaculty Association and the UBC Administration into allegations of interference with my academic freedom. The findings of the third party investigator, the Honourable Lynn Smith, Q.C., led her to conclude that UBC failed in its obligation to support and protect my academic freedom.

The Smith Report notes that “The protections of academic freedom extend to the dissemination of scholarly research and opinion through these new electronic media” (p. 5) as well as to “commentary (whether positive or negative) by members of UBC on the extent to which the central functions of the University are being advanced or hindered by decisions or initiatives affecting the University” (p. 6). Some people did not understand that an academic blog, and comments about one’s university and its leadership, are protected by academic freedom. So is scholarly opinion and speculation; asking questions and proposing theories are crucial to the advancement of inquiry and knowledge.

Academic freedom is to a university what love is to a family….

8/26/2015: UBC Board’s John Montalbano defends self against blogger Berdahl

He comes off very well. I particularly liked the part where he explains that the UBC faculty *elects* several board members. Don’t tell that to UO Law Professor Susan Gary, who was first appointed on recommendation of UO Law Professor Margie Paris without faculty consultation, and then kept her position on the board last year without an election, despite UO Senate legislation to hold one for nominees.

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AAU taps another distinguished elderly retiree for presidential sinecure

Note: I’ve changed the headline of this post, in an effort to raise the tone of discourse and limit the slow drip of toxicity.

Recent AAU presidents are Bob Berdahl, Hunter Rawlings the IIIrd, and now Mary Sue Coleman.

Berdahl took in $619K as “past president” from this scam prestigious organization of publicly minded research universities:

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Hunter III had a few problems filing the IRS return, so I don’t know what his take was:

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Bob Berdahl forgave millions in athletic department debts, and tried to hide it. Coltrane?

At Berkeley. Full report from the UC-Berkeley faculty investigators, here.

Along with these challenges, Kasser had two more important issues to deal with: the completion of Haas Pavilion and reducing the athletic budget. When Tien stepped down in 1997, the cumulative deficit for the combined programs was over $8 million. By 1999, his replacement, Chancellor Robert Berdahl, forgave the total accumulated debt, which had reached more than $18 million. Increasing tuition as a result of the economic downturn during Tien’s term added substantial cost to the several hundred athletic scholarships. The department also needed to address Title IX compliance by adding three new women’s sports and improving facilities. Finally a central campus “tax” on all auxiliary programs called “full costing” and myriad problems associated with the completion of the Haas Pavilion all played some role in the generation of these deficits.

Then Berdahl tried to hide what he’d done from the Berkeley faculty:

The Coley report was such an eye-opener for the administration that Berdahl’s head of public affairs, Matt Lyon, insisted the report remain confidential for fear of a negative faculty reaction.

At UO, we’re probably close to $50M by now. What will Coltrane do?

Where are Mike Gottfredson and Bob Berdahl on the rape allegations now?

We all know Mike’s $940K richer, and that he’s technically on the books at UC-Irvine as a Criminology professor for $240K a year. But what’s he really doing?

My guess is that he’s topping off that $240K with some serious AAU money – in the spirit of his mentor Bob Berdahl – to help develop the AAU’s new “Campus Climate” survey on sexual assault. This apparently became an AAU priority at their meeting in April, a month or so after Gottfredson (and Berdahl?) learned of the UO basketball rape allegations.

Frankly, it’s hard to imagine anything that would do more to destroy the AAU’s credibility on this issue than getting Gottfredson and Berdahl involved. But here’s the report from AAU President Hunter Rawlings, apparently posted by mistake on Gottfredson’s website, here: (Yes, the yellow hilites are in the original.)

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Did Bob Berdahl double-dip with UO and the AAU?

7/26/2014 update:

The scandal about Bob Berdahl’s 2005 UC-Berkeley retirement payoff led to substantial UC-system reforms. Berdahl moved on to the Association of American Universities, at a healthy salary. He retired in June 2011 as AAU president, and in October 2011 The Chronicle of Higher Ed reported that UO President Lariviere had hired Berdahl as a “special advisor” for two days a week, for $96K a year. Boy did that work out badly.

Meanwhile, according to the AAU’s IRS 990 form, Berdahl was working 47 hours a week as the “Past President”, for $463,410 a year. Sweet gig.

47 hours was the average, for the calendar year ending Dec 2011. I suppose it’s possible he front loaded his hours, and cut back on the AAU money when he started working for UO. Doesn’t look likely though:

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At the same time Berdahl was pulling down $115K or so in PERS retirement money, according to the Oregonian.

6/9/2014: President, hired with Berdahl support, demands $2M buyout to resign

Like Mike Gottfredson, the (now former) President of the University of Hawaii M.R.C Greenwood seemed like a bad fit from day one:

Under Greenwood’s tenure, student tuition increased at a record pace – more than 100 percent in 5 years – and is set to rise another 29 percent, but lawmakers said the money appeared to be going to a bloated administration, not students and classrooms…. Rep. K. Mark Takai, another graduate of the University, was critical of Greenwood’s unwillingness to appear before lawmakers at hearings involving the University. He also introduced resolutions and bills to reduce excess spending at the University.

Relations between Greenwood, the regents and the Senate were so stressed in the fall of 2012, Greenwood sent the regents a letter demanding $2 million to leave the University ahead of her contract expiring. …

(Read it all for the Stevie Wonder connection). Greenwood was a controversial hire in 2009, but got a compelling endorsement from, interestingly enough, her fellow former colleague Bob Berdahl:

Tanoue added, “The committee spoke with numerous academic leaders who described Dr. Greenwood as an exceptional administrator and leader, with a strong record of working with federal, state and local officials and diverse communities. We note, for example, that individuals such as Dr. Robert Berdahl, president of the American Association of Universities, and Dr. Martha Kanter, President Obama‘s nominee to become undersecretary of education, provided compelling testimony about their high regard for Dr. Greenwood as one of the most talented, creative and effective leaders in higher education today.”

Apparently the search committee didn’t dig very hard into the connections between Berdahl and Greenwood, or they would have found a long series of San Francisco Chronicle stories on various scandals, like this:

As for Mike Gottfredson, the OUS board held a secret review of him in spring 2013, and renewed his contract through July 2016, without input from the UO faculty (excepting apparently, a few token insiders).

Gottfredson: Soft on vampire professors?

7/2/2014 update: The old post below now seems a bit more relevant, given that President Gottfredson apparently assumed he could keep the March 8-9 basketball rape allegations secret while the players potentially transferred to other schools. (The comment from Berdahl and replies are also interesting.)

And here’s another related case, from a reader. Apparently the standards for professors who want to transfer are tougher than for athletes:

“When Rutgers learned of allegations against Professor Ludlow at Northwestern, the university requested relevant information from Professor Ludlow and his attorney,” Greg Trevor, a Rutgers spokesman, said in a statement cited by the newspaper. “This information was not provided. As a result, Professor Ludlow will not be coming to Rutgers University.”

8/2/2012: When UO hired Lariviere this blog started a policy of giving new UO Presidents a mostly free pass for their first year. That was before I found out about this $350K ($355K, see comments) Beanesque scam by Bob Berdahl, 6 months after I’d been assured that he was without a hint of scandal, and a fighter for transparency and shared governance. Right.

So when Pernsteiner hired Gottfredson I spent hours combing through google news archives, PACER, EDGAR, California court records, and parking tickets, looking for the dirt. Finally a helpful tipster sent in this:

Alors qu’il n’y a eu aucune contrainte ou violence exercée à son encontre, ni d’atteinte (si improbable au demeurant!) à l’“innocence” présumée d’une femme de 27 ou 28 ans, où trouve-t-elle la ressource, comment peut-elle prétendre avoir le droit d’entamer une procédure aussi grave et de mettre en marche une bureaucratie juridico-académique aussi lourde contre un professeur respectable et respecté de tous?

Yeah, my French is pretty petite too – full translation here. It’s a letter from none other than Jaques Derrida, lambasting Mike Gottfredson and Irvine for their treatment of his friend, professor Dragan Kujundzić, an expert in vampire studies who had been accused of sexual harassment.

If you take Derrida’s view Gottfredson viciously hounded Kujundzić out of a job, over trumped up charges that prove Americans’ sexual naiveté. Or maybe Gottfredson compassionately settled a difficult situation by promising to keep the allegations confidential if Kujundzić left UCI, and then like a true idiot Derrida posted them on the internet. Anyway, Florida hired Kujundzić without knowing about his past. His alleged harassment past, that is, I assume his vampire work was on his vitae.

So, other than his arguably ambiguous position on vampire professors, I got nothing on Gottfredson. I even tried Microsoft BING, for christ’s sake. He’s clean. 8/1/2012.

Trustees post new delegation of authority policy, invite Berdahl to lunch

5/30/2014 update: Rumors prove false. The Trustees have now posted the June 12-13 meeting material, here. The delegation revisions start at page 55. At first glance this new draft seems to have addressed at least some of the Senate’s problems with Geller’s initial secret policy, but expect further review by the Senate’s ad hoc committee, chaired by President Rob Kyr (Music).

In other news, the board will host a public roundtable lunch discussion with former Interim UO President Bob Berdahl on Thursday, June 12. Berdahl’s brief presidency (and the hiring of Sharon Rudnick) was instrumental in persuading the UO faculty, including me, that a faculty union was needed to counterbalance the bat-shit craziness in Johnson Hall. As it has proved to be.

Among Berdahl’s last acts at UO were giving Jim Bean and Randy Geller three-year contract extensions, the dismantling of President Lariviere’s transparency initiative, and big raises for Rob Mullens and his coaches.

Highlights of his earlier career as UC-Berkeley President include committing the university to an unaffordable football stadium, quickly followed by a lucrative golden parachute buyout. Given the current situation with Mike Gottfredson and our Trustees, it is clear Berdahl’s expertise on buyouts will be invaluable.

5/30/2014 update: Gottfredson hiding new draft of “Delegation of Board Authority” policy from faculty?
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7/4/2013 update. Berdahl endorses expensive football stadium renovations

7/14/2013 update: The $140M UC-Berkeley stadium upgrade that Bob Berdahl approved as Berkeley’s chancellor back in 2004 has now ballooned to $321M, and it’s looking like it will be a long term drain on the academic budget. The SF Chronicle has the story:

Taking a grimmer view is Roger Noll, an emeritus professor (of economics) at Stanford and an expert in stadium financing.
He pointed to less ambitious efforts to finance new stadiums in Michigan and Texas, which aren’t going well.
“If Texas can’t raise the money, how the hell do you think Cal can?” Noll said with a rueful laugh.
“I hope they succeed, but the chances are not very high,” he said. “My guess is the incremental revenue from the stadium is not going to be even close to paying off the structural deficit.”

Here at UO, no word yet from President Gottfredson on the Senate resolution that passed two month ago, asking him to end the subsidies for the Knight Arena. We did end a $555K annual subsidy for athletics overhead – but VPFA Jamie Moffitt won’t answer questions about why she didn’t make it retroactive. Nothing to do with her bowl game junkets, I’m sure.


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. Upon completion, it will have to ensure that it complies with title 24 as California tries to reduce energy consumption.

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.”

So, are you wondering if Bob Berdahl, now interim UO president, is playing along with AD Rob Mullens’s plans to expand Autzen? Do you think maybe the UO Senate and its Inter-collegiate Athletic Committee should be kept in the loop on something like this?

Too bad. Berdahl has made it very clear what he thinks – this sort of thing should be worked out between the President and the Athletic Director, with no faculty oversight. Because that worked out so well at Berkeley?

Futile update #2: Provosts gone wild

2/17/2013: Time to get real. Gottfredson’s not going to fire Bean. He’s not even going to fire Geller. It’s up to us faculty. Sure, we could fight with conventional weapons, like Tublitz’s senate resolution. But that would take years. No, this requires a really stupid and futile gesture. And

So get to work. Post your list of our Provost’s five two greatest accomplishments, and suggested wording in the comments. I’ll add some fluff and a signature,

and send the letter off to academic headhunter firms. Surely there’s a Dental Hygienics College somewhere in Dubai that needs a leader.

2/16/2013: I thought I’d repost this classic, since it bears on both the never-ending Bean and public records issues. Note the part at the end, explaining Berdahl’s revocation of the fee-waiver policy which had been instituted by Lariviere after a year of hard work and perseverance (some have called it intimidation) by the Senate Transparency Committee.

5/4/2012: When Richard Lariviere found out about the secret Frohnmayer/Bellotti deal he wrote:

“This institution did not follow acceptable business practices in the past. That will not be repeated by my administration.”

Apparently that message didn’t get through to John Moseley, Jim Bean, and Lorraine Davis. I wrote a little about their latest deal here. All in all this involves maybe $60,000 in UO money, plus a bunch more from OSU. In addition to the questionable UO contract addition, there are some expense issues. In a nutshell, after a 2009 audit investigation raised a few issues with Moseley’s contracts and expenses – he was charging UO for his travel between his homes in Eugene and Bend – UO promised the auditor that Moseley would not receive any more reimbursements  … :

The auditor made it a point to cc James Bean on the report. Moseley and Bean broke that deal within 2 months:


The full document dump is here – many interesting expense charges and more info on the contract extension. It was obtained in response to this public records request:
Dear Ms Thornton –

In the documents you sent me last week in response to my 4/4/2012 request there was a letter from acting Provost Davis stating in part

 The March 2011 interagency agreement between OSU and U0 clearly articulated the percent of FTE necessary for you to oversee the transfer of undergraduate academic programs at OUS-Cascades from UO to OSU. OSU agreed to reimburse UO for your time from July 1 to December 31, 2011 at 0.5FTE and January 1 to June 30, 2012 at 0.25FTE. It is my understanding the time necessary to oversee the program transfer was underestimated and resulted in an agreement between you and Jim Bean to increase your FTE to 0.5 FTE for the time period of January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012.

This is a public records request for

a) a copy of that OSU/UO agreement

b) any letters, emails, notes, cocktail napkins, or other public records documenting the side agreement in which Jim Bean agreed to pay John Mosley an additional 0.25 FTE

c) any expense reports submitted by Moseley to UO or OSU or OUS from June 31 2009 to the present.

I ask for a fee waiver on the grounds of public interest. The golden parachute contracts between UO and Moseley involve the expenditure of a lot of UO and now apparently OSU money. They have been the subject of news stories in the Oregonian, Register Guard, and Bend Bulletin. In June 2009 OUS issued an audit report (attached) finding irregularities with Moseley’s previous contracts and travel expenses. The Oregon Politico database indicates that Moseley has been reimbursed for in-state travel since the agreement described in this audit report.

It turns out there is no written agreement between Moseley and Bean for the extra 0.25 FTE salary and benefits that Lorraine Davis is paying special assistant to the provost John Moseley – not even a cocktail napkin. (Davis did write out a contract to legitimize it, after Bean went on sabbatical.) These are acceptable business practices?

A few hours after getting these documents via a public records request, I got this email from Dave Hubin announcing that Interim President Berdahl was revoking the public interest fee-waiver arrangement which Richard Lariviere helped set up. Lisa Thornton of the Office of Public Records had been giving these waivers for the past 8 months, and I used one to obtain these documents.

Less transparency, less trust.

UO to post all faculty sabbatical proposals online?

8/7/2012: That’s the latest rumor from Dave Hubin. Apparently the proposal comes from Bob Berdahl, with support from unnamed other Johnson Hall dwellers. My guess is this is a reaction to my posting of the letters describing Interim Provost Jim Bean’s Berdahlesque sabbatical online last December, during the fight over whether Pernsteiner would appoint him as interim President. Perhaps related to Berdahl’s attack on the credibility of my research claim that other unnamed faculty are attacking the credibility of my research. That’ll teach the faculty what happens when they meddle in the affairs of administrators.

FWIW you can get a list of my publications and citations here, and some pretty random student comments at (The official UO course evaluations are now behind a firewall, anyone know why?) Anyone can do the same searches for any UO professor. But good luck trying to get any sort of information on our UO senior administrators, without using the public records law. They don’t even post their c.v.’s. Randy Geller wouldn’t give his up until I petitioned the Attorney General.