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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 28, 2011 9:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Guys after my own heart. The next post in this blog is Move it on over. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Move 'em? Or lay 'em off?

A flap is being raised about whether to consolidate the offices in which the 88 employees of the chancellor of the Oregon university system work. There are currently three sets of offices for these folks, in Eugene, Corvallis, and Portland. We recently blogged about the chancellor's hefty salary, to go along with the use of two nice houses paid for by the public; now there's some talk in the Legislature of settling him and his staff in Portland.

A more fundamental question is whether that office really needs 89 people. It's a block of bureaucracy over the individual universities, which already have multiple layers of administrators. Rather than move the 89 people around, we'd rather see somebody take a look at laying off half of them or more. What do these people do all day? As one of our readers conjectured, there must be "a lot of chancelling involved."

Comments (10)

Why Portland? The largest Universities are in Corvallis and Eugene.

One would think it would be more "green" and "sustainable" for the Chancellor's staff to live and work closer to where they are needed - thus, one of those two cities. If they need to get to Portland they can use one of the two state-subsidized Amtrak Cascades trains to get to Portland in the morning and return home in the evening (currently one cannot leave Portland and go to Eugene and back in the same day, it would require an overnight stay in Eugene). Both are geographically more central to the state's University system, and is also very close to Western Oregon University and the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Why Portland???? About the only benefit to Portland is having airline service to Medford to get to Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway headquarters "chancels" among 50 plus businesses from its Omaha, Nebraska office with a reported 19 employees. See,

http://www.cnbc.com/id/29490294/Berkshire_Hathaway_Subsidiaries_Will_Continue_to_Make_Job_Cuts

The amiable codger knows as well as anyone that you don't drive performance and accountability with layers of oversight.

I've long opined that the Chancellor's Office needs to be where it has the most responsibilities, and that is in Salem, where it needs to report to the Legislature, and, through the OSSSHE Board, to the Governor..

No part of the Chancellor's Office should be in any of Portland, Monmouth Corvallis, Klamath falls, LaGrande, Bend or Eugene.

Sited in any of those towns, the part of the Chancellor's office located there becomes in part "captured" by the institution located in that town.

Consolidate it all in Salem.

Those of us in higher education have always wondered why we had a chancellor and a very large staff to go with the office. As far as I can tell, the chancellor is nothing more than a lobbyist for higher education with the Legislature and the Governor, while the chancellor's office does nothing more than obstruct plans by one university to do something that *might* overlap with another university. This means that there is no oversight of the University of Oregon or Oregon State, but god forbid that one of the remaining schools wants to start a program that might compete with the boys and girls in Eugene and Corvallis, and you can bet the Chancellor's office will intervene and will throw every roadblock possible into the plans of the other schools. One of the reasons PSU doesn't have a really first rate engineering school is that it might draw students away from Cowvallis. PSU doesn't have many PhD programs either because they might draw students from both of the other schools. There is no insight at the Chancellor's Office. It never occurs to them that there might be an entirely different audience for these programs in Portland (or Ashland, for example) and people who are placebound will do nothing rather than go to Corvallis or Eugene for graduate studies.

If the Chancellor's Office were eliminated or reduced significantly in size and authority, higher education could be so much more efficient. Schools wouldn't have to spend so much money doing unnecessary studies to prove that they could care less about what is going on in Eugene or Corvallis. The Chancellor's Office could do something useful - continue its lobbying role, and stay busy working on ways for the schools to do what they do more efficiently.

mrf

Erik H.

Oregon's largest university in probably not in Eugene nor in Corvallis. Don't the Fall 2010 enrollment numbers show PSU exceeding OSU and UO?

Certainly the OSU and UO campuses are bigger, but campus sizw to me does not indicate "biggest" university. Total enrollment does, IMHO.

Nonny, aren't over 70% of the students at PSU part time students taking less than 12 credit hours, but they count all those in their "enrollment numbers". Correct comparisons have to be made.

That's a lot of dead wood that could be trimmed. A lot like the ESDs in this state.

I've long opined that the Chancellor's Office needs to be where it has the most responsibilities, and that is in Salem

Good point, still close to most of the schools, as well as to the bosses (state government).

I'd like to know why we don't just merge all of the universities, along with the largest community colleges, into one "University of Oregon" with a single administration for all. End the duplication of services among the schools - why do we need to offer teaching degrees at four different school? Why not focus them all at one school? Why not have the business school in Portland where the state's business center is? Environmental programs in one school. Athletic programs in one school...

re: Enrollment numbers for PSU. More than 50% of students are enrolled for 12 or more credits. Graduate students only have to be enrolled for 9 or more credits to be counted as full time. By these criteria, PSU is still slightly larger than either UO or OSU.

Here is a piece about how much it costs the State to furnish the Chancellor a beautiful home in Eugene.

http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/cityregion/25869291-41/chancellor-system-university-ous-state.csp


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