Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Telegraph Herald Article, II

On Wednesday, November 30, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald ran another article pertaining to the Jeffries lawsuit. According to the article, "the codefendants [the University and Dr. Bullock] acknowledge that Jeffries had a tenure-track contract but deny that the university granted him tenure."

A reader of this blog recently reported (see comments section) that "President Bullock acknowledged [Jeffries] tenure to various people on campus including the faculty." Whether this is true or not is a matter of factual significance (from our point of view). We have heard that Professor Jeffries was asked by John Stewart to present a case of academic misconduct against a fellow faculty member because he was the tenured ethics professor. Should it end up being the case that Drs. Stewart and Bullock did indeed make statements to the effect of (or explicitly stating that) Jeffries was tenured, there would seem to be a serious discrepency in the University's position.

We would be interested in hearing from faculty members on this issue. Did Dr. Bullock make statements to the effect that Jeffries had been granted tenure? While such a discrepency may not matter in court, it certainly raises concern among those of us interested in seeing the University fulfill its mission.

NOTE: We have attempted to pick up a copy of the University's answer to the Jeffries petition at the Dubuque County Courthouse. Unfortunately, we were told that the file has been checked out by the judge involved in the case. We will post the document on our download site as soon as possible.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Recent Developments and Upcoming Posts

First, according to the Iowa Courts website, on November 10 the University of Dubuque filed an answer to Jeffries' petition. We hope to have this document posted by the end of the week on our document site.

Second, we have received a number of requests to post a synopsis of (or response to) President Bullock's November 16 meeting with the faculty and staff. Unfortunately, as of yet we have not received enough information to make a confident and informed response to the president's statement. One thing that we have heard consistently from many sources is that Dr. Bullock is of the opinion that we are attempting to either personally attack him or create strife among the faculty by posting salary information. Whether this is Bullock's true opinion or not, it is a valid concern. In light of this, by the end of the week we hope to post a concise, yet thorough explanation of our interest in administration and faculty salaries on our methodology site.

Finally, we wanted to note that we will not be responding to any one particular point raised by Drs. Ebertz and Crandall in the comments section, though we appreciate the fact that they (and Dr. Lisk, et al) shared their thoughts with us. We agree that we should all take seriously what we write on this site; as a result, we want to urge those who will be posting comments to be thoughtful and considerate when choosing their words. As a matter of policy, we will not delete any existing comments, since they are not, strictly speaking, off-topic.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

It is About the Mission Statement

According to information from posts on the website, on Wednesday November 16 there will be a meeting for faculty led by the President that will discuss the Dr. Jeffries tenure revocation, the response of the UD community, and the intent of the editors of this website. With that in mind, the editors of this website want to clarify our intent in publishing this website and our hopes for the University of Dubuque.

It is important to note that our desire is not to denigrate or destroy the image of the school. In fact, the opposite is true, we want to see the university flourish and succeed in its mission of intellectual and moral education. We applaud the University for accepting the charge of trying to create a community that examines the moral and theological components of life. A person only has to look at the action plan for 1998-2008 to realize that there are successes at UD, and we share in the excitement and joy of the successes.

In January of 2004, President Jeffrey Bullock wrote a guest viewpoint for the Presbyterian magazine the Outlook regarding the Mission Statement at UD as well as its role as a Christian institution. The President eloquently describes the extreme importance that the mission statement plays in the life of the university:

I know that at the University of Dubuque, there are a variety of opinions about what our mission statement does and does not mean, and that is OK. But one thing is for sure: the mission, clearly stated, is a living, breathing part of our community life together, and for the mission to be real, to ring true, we must be a community in which a critical mass of people are practicing their Christian faith commitments on this campus day in and day out. If we are faithful in the realization of our Christian mission, there will be plenty of room in this community for people with different faith traditions, or for no faith commitments at all. Hospitality is key to the Reformed understanding of Christianity— and as a Christian school we will be hospitable to all those who see truth and live in love.

The editors of the website could not agree more with the President that the mission statement is an integral part of the university. We agree with the President's assertion that the mission statement must be part of the entire community. We also desire to see the school practice the mission statement in Christian love. It is because of the expressed mission of the University that we are upset, dismayed, and saddened at what has recently transpired. We desire nothing more than to see the school succeed in its lofty goal to help mold the character of all who dwell in it. That is why we are calling for repentance and reconciliation for the transgressions the school has made in handling the Jeffries tenure contract. It is a tragedy that two devout Christians cannot find a way to reconcile their differences. This situation shows the community of UD that we have a long way to go in seeing the mission statement instantiated, as we all truly desire it to be.

In his article, Dr. Bullock wrote that the “pursuit of truth through the testing and application of ideas is always best achieved when fully cognizant of our success as well as our failure…” We too urge the school community to be cognizant of our failure to live up to the mission statement. Moreover, we are urging the administration to hear our words not as bellicose agitators, but as members of the University of Dubuque family, earnestly desiring to see the University to continue to succeed and flourish. The university has grown in numerous ways the past few years, and we are proud of that. However, we have seen instances where the community has failed in its mission. The administration has urged the community at University of Dubuque to "have an opinion about what is right and what is wrong…”and we have voiced what we have seen as a state of affairs that is morally deficient at the school. We have declared what we have seen as inequities in the institution, and have called for reform. We have asked for transparency in the administration’s decisions. We have asked for an open environment where students and faculty feel safe in voicing concern over what we see as failure to live up to the mission statement. We urge the faculty and administration to address these issues in the meeting on Wednesday. We urge the administration to be aware of its failures and the dangers in unilateral decision-making. In short, during the life of this website, we have asked, and continue to ask, for the school to allow the complete UD community to take part in the fulfillment of the mission statement.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Regarding Our Recent Hiatus

On Thursday, November 10, we received a comment that stated, "The school is looking into filing an injunction to have this blog removed from the internet." After various readers questioned the legitimacy of this claim, we received yet another post which said, "The rumor about the injunction is a fact and the school['s] lawyers are going to argue that [this site is] making defamatory remarks about Jeff Bullock and the school's administration." (Read more...)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Facts Called into Question

An anonymous comment left in response to our post, Regarding the "Other Side" of the Story tipped us off that President Bullock has sent a response to the University's faculty members regarding some of the questions raised on this site. According to the reader, "The response does... call many of the so-called facts posted on this site into question such as Pres. Bullock's salary, and other 'misrepresented public information'."

We are very interested in hearing on what grounds our report of Dr. Bullock's salary could be called into question. To this end, we have sent a request to the president to provide us with his response and we have urged him to make an address to the student body. As we noted in our e-mail to him, we, the students, alums, and friends of the University, are the ones who have a primary stake in the institution's practices.

Although we have double-checked our reports of the president's salary against the latest IRS filing, we strongly urge all our readers to examine the University's IRS 990 forms for themselves. If a discrepancy is found, we ask that you please report it to us at:

Jeffries' Petition Available for Downloading

We have obtained a copy of Dr. Jeffries' petition (which lists the allegations against the Univeristy and President Bullock) from the Dubuque County courthouse, and we have posted it on our download site.

Some of the interesting allegations mentioned in the petition include:
  • The University sent a letter to Dr. Jeffries on May 17, 2005 notifying him that he had received tenure (p. 2)
  • Dr. John Stewart announced at a faculty orientation meeting that one reason Professor Jeffries had been terminated was because he questioned the University's contract provisions (p. 4).
  • "The University breached its contractual obligations to Dr. Jeffries by terminating him without just cause, by failing to give him notice of termination as required by the faculty handbook, by failing to follow the required procedures in the faculty handbook and by repudiating its tenure contract with Dr. Jeffries without just or adequate cause" (p. 3).
  • Dr. Stewart also "likened Dr. Jeffries' actions to discovering that he has an 'addiction,' or had been inappropriately altering numbers in the budget" (p. 4).

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

UD's 2005 IRS 990 Available for Viewing

We recently obtained a copy of UD's 2005 IRS 990 from the University, and we have posted it here for downloading (re-direct to our download site).

As we previously reported, Jeffrey Bullock's salary from May 2003-May 2004 increased by 54% to $225,896. According to the new 990 form, the president's compensation increased by $88,579 between May 2004 and May 2005 to a grand total of $314,475. Furthermore, Mr. Garfield's salary increased from $83,538 to $97,999 during that same period.

We will be posting a "Show Me the Money, Part III" entry in the next day or so, in which we will provide a detailed list of director and non-director raises as they compare to our prior reports.

For those who may be interested in expressing concern over Professor Jeffries' situation, pages 15-17 of the 2005 990 form contain the mailing addresses of the University's current trustees.

Show Me the Money, Part I (Corrected)

NOTE: We have made corrections to the dates associated with Alan Garfield, Richard Chesterman, and Tammy Walsh's reported salaries.

The University of Dubuque has worked hard to come back from a near financial death just a few years ago. The school has sacrificed programs, and according to their own statements, been financially cautious in many ways, including faculty and staff salaries and raises. The school has added teaching specialists instead of full-time tenured professors, has raised tuition, and has instituted a mandatory residence requirement for undergraduate students--all, one assumes, to create financial stability. This would lead one to conclude that salary increases in such an environment would be minimal. Look again:

Jeffrey Bullock (University President):
5/31/1999 - $115,000
5/31/2000 - $117,012
5/31/2001 - $140,000 (20% raise)
5/31/2002 - $140,000
5/31/2003 - $146,705 (5% raise)
5/31/2004 - $225,896 (54% raise)

John Stewart (VP for Academic Affairs):
5/31/2002 - $74,772
5/31/2003 - $92,721 (24% raise)
5/31/2004 - $98,749 (7% raise)

Tracy Wagner (VP of Finance and Auxiliary Services):
5/31/1999 - $85,000
5/31/2000 - $86,487
5/31/2001 - $93,500
5/31/2002 - $90,111
5/31/2003 - $92,583 (3% raise)
5/31/2004 - $109,633 (18% raise)

Brad Longfield (VP/Dean of the Seminary):
5/31/1999 - $72,150
5/31/2000 - $70,000
5/31/2001 - $74,100
5/31/2002 - $76,000
5/31/2003 - $85,000 (12% raise)
5/31/2004 - $90,333 (6% raise)

Alan Garfield (CGIM Faculty Member and Chair):
5/31/2002 - $70,087
5/31/2003 - $78,260 (12% raise)
5/31/2004 - $83,538 (7% raise)

Richard Chesterman (Physical Education Faculty and Chair):
5/31/2003 - $68,750
5/31/2004 - $81,393 (18% raise)

Tammy Walsh (former Dean of Student Life):
5/31/2002 - $66,298
5/31/2003 - $84,133 (27% raise)
5/31/2004 - $90,924 (8% raise)

This information was compiled from the University of Dubuque's publicly available 2004 federal 990 tax forms. We are in the process of double-checking the figures and percentages.

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Budget is a Moral Document

Sojourners President Jim Wallace asserts that one should recognize the country's budget as a moral document. It would seem equally true that an institution's budget, especially a Christian University's, would also be a moral document. A budget is a manifestation of the beliefs and ideals that an institution holds dear.

It is with this in mind, that the editors present the salaries of the Presidents from other colleges and universities of similar size and stature of the University of Dubuque. Given the tenuous financial history of the University of Dubuque, one wonders if the current allocation of salaries truly reflects a correct understanding of Christian values? If the goal of the Wendt initiative is to create an environment where strong moral character is cultivated, how does the asymmetrical budget of the University of Dubuque correspond to the Wendt initiative goal?

Area Schools and Salaries of Presidents:

$98,196 Blackburn University President Miriam R Pride
$151,524 Loras College President John Kerrigan
$165,000 Cornell College President Leslie H. Garner
$170,000 Central College President David Roe
$176,364 St. Ambrose College President Edward Rogalksi
$177,786 Coe College President John Phifer
$176,985 Simpson College President R Kevin Lagree
$177,043 Buena Vista University President Frederick Moore
$187,635 Luther College President Richard Toregerson
$225,896 University of Dubuque President Jeffrey Bullock

All of these salaries are from 2004 990 tax documents that are public records and readily available from Guidestar after an initial free signup. For more information on our sources and methodology please see our methodology page

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Show Me the Money, Part II (Updated)

We recently located and reviewed publicly available documents regarding Revenue Anticipation Notes (RANs) issued by the Iowa Higher Education Loan Authority to UD. This information is quite informative in regards to the financial situation of the University.

To explain...

In 1999, former UD math professor Dr. Julia K. McDonald noted that the University's administration had cited, at that time, a projected deficit for the 1998-1999 fiscal year of $1.35 million. This (in addition to other financial concerns) was used to justify reductions in salaries and the cutting of programs at the institution.

Interestingly, the 2004 RAN document contains a section in which the University projects a $1.9 million deficit for the 2004-2005 fiscal year. Additionally, UD's total liabilities dramatically increased from $15.6 million in 2003 to $28.3 million in 2004, as reported in a 2005 RAN document (see page 35). As we previously reported, Jeffrey Bullock, the president of UD, received a 54% raise between May 2003 and May 2004. As far as we can tell, it would have been during this timeframe that the University would have made their projection of a $1.9 million 2004-2005 deficit, while at the same time experiencing the dramatic leap in total liabilities.

The Pressing Questions

Rumor has it that faculty pay raises above the typical 2-3% "across the board" increase are non-negotiable due to the fact that the institution is still working through its financial problems. Why then was Bullock granted a 54% raise when the yearly deficit was expected to be over $1.9 million and the liabilities had skyrocketed? What could reasonably justify the president's raise? Furthermore, what could reasonably justify Associate Professor Alan Garfield's 12% raise between 2001 and 2002, and his 7% raise between 2002 and 2003?

It seems that some professors are exempt from the 2-3% "across the board" increase. What criterion is employed to determine who can negotiate a raise and who cannot?

For those of us concerned with Professor Jeffries' termination, this is a serious question, particularly since it is believed that one reason his tenure contract was revoked was due to the fact that he wanted to discuss the possibility of a pay raise.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Telegraph Herald Article

On Monday, October 31, the Telegraph Herald ran an article regarding Professor Jeffries' lawsuit. The brief article contains very little substanative information, although it is worth noting that John Stewart is credited with making the decision to withdraw Jeffries' tenure contract.
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