Duck Sports Performance Center tastefully honors modest Marcus Mariota

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Video here. I’d comment, but the Duck PR flacks have said everything that needs to be said:

EUGENE, Ore. – In the latest cutting-edge facility to open at the University of Oregon, science and sport converge to put student-athlete wellness first.

In uniquely Oregon style, the recently opened Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Center combines sports performance, sports science, sports medicine and technology in one efficiently designed space on the ground floor of the Casanova Center. Another part of the project, the overhaul of the equipment room, is a testament to style and function.

Entering from the west, student-athletes walk into a trophy lobby that is a stunning tribute to the Sports Performance Center’s namesake. Trophies for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Maxwell Award and Manning Award reside in the lobby. One wall has a remarkable transparent LED flat screen television that alternately shows highlights of Marcus Mariota, and then reveals a shadowbox with memorabilia of his from Hawaii. There is also a playful illustration of a Pacific Ocean scene, complete with the Duck on a surfboard.

This inspiring entrance leads to the junction under a new skylight at the heart of the MMSPC, where innovations and applied science truly become the focus for Oregon’s student-athletes. Remarkable technology and efficiency of space in the 30,000 square-foot renovation are two of the most impressive byproducts of the MMSPC construction.

“The goal of this project was to create one space where we could utilize the most state-of-the-art technology to improve student-athlete wellness and emphasize our commitment to the health and safety of our student-athletes,” said Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens. “Thanks to the incredible generosity of Phil and Penny Knight, we now have a world-class facility that is going to take the student-athlete experience at the University of Oregon to a level not previously seen anywhere on the collegiate level.”From that central hub off the trophy lobby, student-athletes will be just steps away from the new sport science and equipment areas, as well as the preexisting sports medicine facility and weight room.

“We focused on creating a space that would allow us to objectively measure a student-athlete’s development and readiness,” said UO director of athletic medicine Dr. Greg Skaggs, who was a part of two fact-finding trips to research the MMSPC construction, including one that took him to NASA as well as Australia. “This data will give us the best opportunity to individualize training to maximize performance and prevent injury.

“Unlike other university performance centers, this facility is designed to make real-time interventions into a student-athlete’s training program and well-being,” said Skaggs.

Sports Science

The sports science unit of the MMSPC contains a number of areas where the technology of the new facility truly shines. Motion capture cameras and force plates are located throughout the space. The cameras are used to capture a subject while performing virtually any movement, ranging from sport specific drills to more traditional weightlifting. Utilizing force plates, the MMSPC staff can perform strength diagnostic tests to profile and identify areas of opportunities for each student-athlete.

“The facility is up there with the best in the world and will help us support our teams with better preparation and recovery for our student-athletes,” said UO’s new director of performance and sport science, Andrew Murray. “I look forward to having conversations with coaches and student-athletes around their performance questions and where we can support and impact their preparation with data-driven decision making.”

There are three main components to the sports science unit, recovery, physiology and movement.


The recovery area is a multipurpose space, with a gray Mondo floor inlayed with Oregon’s well-known feather pattern, that focuses on recovery following a game or practice, be that via stretching or foam rolling. In addition, baseline measurements will be taken via a marker-less motion capture system to identify any deviations from a subject’s normal range, which can help identify where intervention needs to occur prior to injury.


The physiology area is the most eye-catching with a small boxing ring for shadow boxing, complete with overhead ring lighting in the shape of a glowing yellow “O.” It is important to note that no sparring is allowed in the boxing ring; it is for exercise purposes only. The area also features heavy punch bags, speed bags, exercise bikes, antigravity treadmills and strength diagnostic areas in the form of instrumented platforms. The physiology area also contains a bone density scanner and an examination room, as well as a neurocognitive center, which in part will help diagnose and treat concussion symptoms.


The movement area has an open space with 16 motion capture cameras mounted in a square around the 19-foot ceiling. It is also equipped to accommodate mobile tripod-based motion capture cameras. There is also a 40-yard running track, which has its own set of motion capture cameras and force plates.

Perhaps the most critical component of the entire sports science area is that all of the information captured by the cameras and force plates will be fed into a computerized athlete management system that will provide data and feedback to staff and student-athletes on their progress. Using touchscreen technology located throughout the MMSPC, student-athletes will be able to track their workouts and see their results in real time.

Also located within the sports science space is a passive recovery area, where athletes can rest on recovery tables and utilize the popular pneumatic compression units, which assist the body’s circulation in order to speed recovery and decrease muscle soreness following a competition or practice.

The most unique room in the sports science area is a small, warmly lit room with five sleep pods where student-athletes can come and rest in between practices or meetings. Recent studies involving members of the athletic department have highlighted the crucial role that sleep plays in performance.

New Equipment Room

The Ducks’ rebuilt equipment room utilizes space in a way not previously done in college athletics, while at the same time providing visual fireworks that will catch the eye of student-athletes and fans alike.

The ingenious helmet wall, located in a room called the Armory, has the ability to display numerous helmets worn by the UO football team. But the hidden treasure is that the wall opens up into shelving that has room to store several hundred helmets, as well as facemasks and other parts. The Armory is also a helmet construction workshop with overhead pneumatic drills and easily accessible components, meaning a NASCAR-like repair or rebuild of a helmet is now possible.

Overall, the new equipment room has 2.5 miles of shelving, and makes the most of the area’s 19-foot ceilings through the use of a customized shelving system built by Spacesaver Specialists, Inc. The 16-foot shelves that slide on a system of rails are the tallest, most distinctive customized system Spacesaver Specialists, Inc. has ever built for an athletic equipment room.

The new equipment room not only houses football gear, but also baseball, lacrosse, soccer and acrobatics and tumbling.

There are also lift systems for the storage of the equipment room’s laundry baskets, as well as for the trunks that the equipment staff pack for each road football game. The laundry facility, called the Pond, has also been upgraded to allow equipment staff to complete up to 500 pounds of laundry at once.

“Previously, our staff was working out of multiple storage locations,” said director of equipment operationsAaron Wasson. “This new space will streamline our equipment operation, allowing us to service the student-athletes and staff in a much more efficient way, while also highlighting the unique Nike product Oregon is known for.”

The sizzle of the equipment room is a display area that features a wall of shoes, gloves and uniforms. Student-athletes can step into a sunken alcove where a one-of-kind mirror will digitally display their likeness in a variety of Oregon uniforms. Down the hall in the Haberdashery, there is an oversized armchair, complete with web foot legs – an Oregon spin on the traditional claw foot legs – with “fighting Ducks” attached to the ends of the arms, where student-athletes can test out the latest footwear offerings from the equipment room.

“Our hope was to recreate a Niketown-like atmosphere, with bright lighting and a lot of energy to showcase all of the unique features of our uniforms and other equipment,” Wasson said.

As with the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, DAF donors and season ticket holders will have access to tours in the future.

Vanderbilt denames Confederate Hall, and what I learned about my 7th grade Virginia history textbook

Vanderbilt University has just repaid the Daughters of the Confederacy their $50K 1935 donation, plus $1.15M in interest, and has denamed their “Confederate Hall”.

On the topic of what denaming controversies like UO’s over Deady Hall teach us, here’s what I’ve learned, starting with an illustration and quote from my 7th grade Virginia history textbook:

A feeling of strong affection existed between masters and slaves in a majority of Virginia homes . . . The house servants became almost as much a part of the planter’s family circle as its white members . . . The Negroes were always present at family weddings. They were allowed to look on at dances and other entertainments . . . A strong tie existed between slave and master because each was dependent on the other …  The slave system demanded that the master care for the slave in childhood, in sickness, and in old age. The regard that master and slaves had for each other made plantation life happy and prosperous.  Life among the Negroes of Virginia in slavery times was generally happy. The Negroes went about in a cheerful manner making a living for themselves and for those for whom they worked . . . But they were not worried by the furious arguments going on between Northerners and Southerners over what should be done with them. In fact, they paid little attention to these arguments.

Virginia: History, Government, Geography by Francis B. Simkins, Spotswood H. Jones, and Sidman P. Poole

In 1972, when I was 13 and in 7th grade at Buford Junior High School in Charlottesville, Virginia, we had a year of Virginia history. Every 7th grade class in Virginia used the same textbook, provided by the state.

This was only nine years after Charlottesville’s public schools finally reopened after Governor Harry Byrd and his Democratic machine’s “massive resistance” had closed them in response to court ordered integration. Byrd’s followers had replaced them with private all-white “segregation academies” housed in churches and private buildings, sometimes supported by public funds. One of the segregated Charlottesville academies was the Rock Hill Academy:

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From a 2013 C’ville news story:

Lane was Charlottesville’s public high school. Rock Hill was a private school created to avoid integration….

“We were not racist. We were not violent. We just were ignorant. We didn’t know better and we didn’t realize that we were the start of history in the Virginia area,” said Pat Jensen, a graduate of Rock Hill’s class of 1963.

“We did what Mom and Daddy told us to do,” added Helen Hatzenbeler, Lane Class of ’63 Graduate and chair of the reunion. “Most of us grew up in ‘Leave it to Beaver’ homes.”

Students scattered to different places when their school closed. In addition to private schools, some students attended schools in counties relatives lived in or other situations. Before going to Rock Hill, Jensen attended classes held in churches for a period.

The Byrd machine was finally defeated by Republican Linwood Holton, who pointedly bused his children – including Anne Holton, now the wife of Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine – to the newly integrated Richmond public schools. Yes, Republicans were once on the right side of fights like this, and Democrats were on the wrong side.

Our teacher was new in town. He made us read the official textbook, but along the way he taught us that plantation life was not “happy and prosperous” for everyone, and that not everyone called the Civil War the “War for State’s Rights”. He used books he brought in himself, and magazine and newspaper articles he’d retyped and duplicated in blue with a mimeograph.

I still remember the smell, and I think I had an understanding of how careful he had to be. He knew many of his white students would have gone to the segregated academies, and that many of their parents had supported Byrd. So while we read about Brown v. Topeka, he said nothing about Charlottesville’s own recent history. Looking back I can just imagine how badly he must have wanted to teach it.

Ours was the last year that textbook was used. I don’t know what replaced it, but I wonder if the students afterwards learned as much as we did – about Virginia’s history, and about how badly some people want to control what you learn and how you think.

I never knew the textbook’s own history. This excellent story in The Daily Beast, inspired by the Vanderbilt controversy, and from which the illustration and the quote above are taken, explains the role of the Daughters of the Confederacy in whitewashing the South’s racial history by encouraging the writing and the state government’s adoption of my 7th grade history textbook. Too bad they got their money back.

UO student Emily Olson writes sensible op-ed on Deady and Dunn denaming

In the Daily Emerald:

… There are plenty of people who disagree with me, and that’s fine — as long as they did their civic duty to research, debate and weigh the facts. It’s one thing to respond with a personal decision about Dunn and Deady’s morality; I personally felt conflicted about Deady’s racist actions after reading how they tied to his jurisprudential views as a judge upholding the constitution.

But it’s another thing to skirt around the question using arguments that lack legitimacy, relevancy or evidence. These weak arguments are floating around, and it’s time someone pointed them out: …

Read it all here.

New VPRI David Conover arrives, wants more communications

The recent history of UO’s Office of Research is a troubled one, as has been true of most of the UO administration. Who can forget Interim Provost Jim Bean’s hire, VPRI Kimberly Espy? It took the threat of a Senate vote of no confidence and an investigation led by Bruce Blonigen to get her to leave.

In contrast, President Schill’s new VPRI David Conover seems to be off to a good start:

A Message to the UO Research Community
David O. Conover

Last week I was honored to begin my new role as the University of Oregon’s Vice President for Research and Innovation. This is an outstanding institution with amazing faculty and committed leaders who are accelerating the trajectory of the institution during a transformational time in its history. The VPRI’s office will play a critical role in fulfilling President Schill’s vision to enhance and expand UO’s research portfolio. I very much look forward to working alongside all of you in fulfilling our mission of discovery, teaching, and service.

I’d like to thank Brad Shelton, who took on the role of Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation for two very critical years. Brad’s service to the university has been exemplary, and I thank him for the advice and support he’s provided to me during the transition.

What most inspires me about this position is the opportunity to be immersed in the exciting research and creative activity taking place across so many disciplines — from the social sciences to the natural sciences to the humanities. I’m excited to learn more about your work, and I’ll be doing so while thinking about how we can leverage our strengths. Given the competitiveness of the research funding environment, it’s important that we work collaboratively to broaden and strengthen our research impact. I aim to create even more partnerships across disciplines, schools, colleges, and other institutions so that we can work together to accelerate the advancement of knowledge and technological innovation.

Communication will be key to our future success. It is crucial that we share the value and impact of our work with the local community, the state, the region, and the world. So it will be a priority of mine to help those faculty and students who wish to share their research and scholarship with a broader public audience. We simply cannot afford to keep our stories of discovery a secret.

I believe in the power of research and innovation to make a difference in people’s lives by improving human health, strengthening the economy, and addressing the grand challenges that society faces. I am thrilled to be leading this effort as your VPRI. Your accomplishments tell the story of research and innovation at the University of Oregon. Together, we can build upon UO’s proud tradition of excellence in research, scholarship, and creative expression.


David Conover
Vice President for Research and Innovation
(541) 346-2090

Sounds good. Here are Conover’s application materials:

Under Espy, every UO press release on research, scholarship, or creative expression had to include her name and title somewhere in the text. It drove the press office nuts. Someone even published a peer reviewed empirical piece about it:

Editor’s note: The research article below was recently received by our editorial office. After careful peer review and several rounds of revisions, I have accepted it for publication, and look forward to a press release about it soon in “Around the O”.

Title: VP Kimberly Espy is the driving force behind UO’s scientific research output

Author: No way I’m telling, she controls their budget and their future.* (*The author would like to thank VPRI Espy for her invaluable role in this study.)

Abstract: UO VP for Research and Innovation Kimberly Espy has a key role in almost all of UO’s scientific research output.

Data: We obtained data by searching uo press releases for “espy”. In keeping with NSF data disclosure rules, primary data is below, and a complete data set is available at

Methods: We analyzed the most recent 12 months of UO’s press releases about research using standard textual analysis procedures.

Results: 98.6% of UO releases included references to or quotes from VP Espy. In a comparison group randomly drawn from other AAU public research universities, an average of 0.7% of press releases mentioned their VP for Research.

Conclusion: VP Espy has a key role in the vast majority of UO’s research. If President Gottfredson fires her, scientific research at UO, or at least self-promoting press releases funded by money that should have gone to scientific research, would quickly grind to a halt.

Oregon Law Review prints Frohnmayer festschrift

Say what you will about Dave Frohnmayer – I have – but his friends sure have written a nice series of stories about him for the Oregon Law Review:

Oregon Law Review

Volume 94, Number 3 (2016)

Tribute to President Emeritus Dave Frohnmayer

Tribute to President Emeritus Dave Frohnmayer

Oregon Law Review Editorial Board

94 Or. L. Rev. 491

Foreword on David Frohnmayer

President Michael H. Schill

94 Or. L. Rev. 493


Dave Frohnmayer: The Legacy of a Life of Leadership and Law

Michael Moffitt

94 Or. L. Rev. 505

Supremely Worthwhile: Two Decades of Dave Frohnmayer Teaching Leadership

Barbara West

94 Or. L. Rev. 509

Nominated by Both Parties

David R. Hubin, Ph.D.

94 Or. L. Rev. 531

Dave Frohnmayer and the Oregon Legislature

Hardy Myers

94 Or. L. Rev. 541

Reflections of Law, Family, and Brotherhood

John Frohnmayer

94 Or. L. Rev. 561

Legislator, Lawyer, Scholar, and Teacher: Dave Frohnmayer’s Contributions to Oregon Administrative Law

Hon. Jack L. Landau

94 Or. L. Rev. 565

A Tribute to Dave Frohnmayer

Ellen Rosenblum

94 Or. L. Rev. 585

The Frohnmayer Method: Advocacy, Legal Policy, and the United States Supreme Court

William F. Gary and Alison K. Gary

94 Or. L. Rev. 589

Dave: Student, Friend, and Hero

Jesse H. Choper

94 Or. L. Rev. 629

Dave Frohnmayer and the Apocalypse That Evaporated

Marion Goldman

94 Or. L. Rev. 633

Public Funding and the Road to Damascus: The Legacy of Employment Division v. Smith

Garrett Epps

94 Or. L. Rev. 659

Dave Frohnmayer – A Tribute

Hon. David Schuman

94 Or. L. Rev. 673

A Legacy of Expression: Dave Frohnmayer and the Humanities in Oregon

Michael J. Clark

94 Or. L. Rev. 677

Dave Frohnmayer: Legacy, Schmegacy

Marla Rae

94 Or. L. Rev. 699

Author Index. Volume 94

I gave it a quick read, and didn’t notice anything that would provoke HLGR’s William  F. Gary into claiming defamation per se and demanding a retraction.

Provost Search Committee named

Recent Provosts:

John Moseley
Linda Brady
Jim Bean (Interim)
Lorraine Davis (Interim)
Scott Coltrane
Frances Bronet (Interim)
Scott Coltrane (Interim)

Search Committee announcement:

Provost and Senior Vice President Search

The University of Oregon is embarking on a crucial leadership recruitment effort: the selection of a new Provost and Senior Vice President. As the chief academic officer of the institution, the new provost will lead the academic units, work with deans and department heads to shape our academic programs, and lead our efforts to retain and attract world-class faculty.

On August 19, 2016, President Schill named the following members of the Provost Search Committee:

  • Geraldine Richmond, search committee chair – Presidential Chair in Science and professor of chemistry
  • Yvette Alex–Assensoh – vice president for equity and inclusion
  • Bettina Cornwell – professor of marketing
  • Erica Daley – associate dean of finance and operations, School of Law
  • Andrew Dunn – undergraduate, ASUO external director of staff
  • Karen Guillemin – professor of biology
  • Dean Livelybrooks – senior instructor of physics
  • W. Andrew Marcus – dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Gabriela Martinez – associate professor of journalism and communications
  • Laura Lee McIntyre – professor of school psychology
  • Jamie Moffitt – vice president for finance and administration
  • Aaron Montoya – web communications specialist, College of Education
  • Paul Peppis – professor of English
  • Chris Sinclair – associate professor of mathematics
  • Eleanor Wakefield – graduate teaching fellow, English
  • Frances White – professor of anthropology
  • Keli Yerian – senior lecturer of linguistics

Sorry, Millennials just not that into Olympics or Duck sports

8/20/2016: Here at UO, our students are now more interested in the Urban Farm than big-time Duck sports. Bloomberg has the report on the Olympics here:

Back in June, Steve Burke described what he called his Olympics “nightmare.”

“We wake up someday and the ratings are down 20 percent,” the chief executive officer of NBCUniversal said at a conference. “If that happens, my prediction would be that millennials had been in a Facebook bubble or a Snapchat bubble and the Olympics have come, and they didn’t know it.”

He has escaped that with the Rio games this year — but not by much. Prime-time broadcast viewership has been down about 17 percent compared to the London games four years ago. And in the 18-to-49-year-old age group coveted by advertisers, it’s been even worse. That audience has been 25 percent smaller, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

… Because ratings fell short, the network had to give buyers free commercial time to make good on guarantees that a certain number of viewers would switch on television sets. The promise was for ratings equaling an average of about 21 million U.S. households and the reality, as of late last week, was roughly 18.2 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

NBC is “going to have to figure out the economics,” said Ian Schafer, founder of the Deep Focus ad agency. It has two years to do it, before the winter games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

8/15/2016: UO homepage all about Duck sports crap

Had enough? Bookmark the UO Matters “Crap-Free UO Homepage” here.

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UO GC orders Schnitzer Art Museum to take in sweaty PLC heat refugees

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8/19/2016: Faculty Union to sue university over cruel and inhumane lack of AC in PLC

The NYT has the story here. Just kidding about the faculty union, it’s about Louisiana inmates suing the State Department of Corrections. Interestingly, Texas law requires prisons be kept between 65 and 85 degrees. (Fahrenheit, I hope.)

Here in PLC, the administration has dealt with the heat problem with this list of helpful suggestions, including “sit forward in your chair instead of leaning against the backrest” and “wipe your face, neck and arms with cool water”:

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President Schill, GCO & Senate cooperate on interim Responsible Employee Policy

President Schill has, with the endorsement of the Senate Responsible Reporting Work Group, implemented an emergency policy on mandatory reporting. The new temporary policy is here. The Senate’s work group is here.

President Schill has approved emergency policy V.11.02 and associated changes to UO’s grievance policy and discrimination policy relating to the prohibition of discrimination and the process for responding to reports of prohibited discrimination. These temporary changes will be in effect for 180 days and provide needed clarification of who is a “responsible employee” and therefore required to report prohibited discrimination, including sexual harassment.

In summary, the emergency policy:

  • Reinforces the expectation that all employees are required to communicate reports of prohibited discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, to:
    • The Title IX Coordinator;
    • The Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services; or
    • The Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.
  • Clarifies that the following offices are “confidential resources” that can help connect students and employees with support services and help them navigate their options, without being required to report the alleged misconduct:
    • The Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services;
    • The University Health Center;
    • Ombudsperson; and
    • The University Counseling Center.
  • Provides clarification regarding when a report made in a privileged context does not trigger a duty to report, including:
    • Reports made to an attorney in the context of providing legal counsel (such as student legal services);
    • Reports made by unit members to a steward of their union;
    • Information shared in a public awareness event (such as “Take Back the Night”);
    • Information received during an IRB approved research project; and
    • Reports made by students in the context of an academic assignment.
    • Provides a pathway for certain faculty or staff to receive training and authorization from the Title IX Coordinator to be exempt from the reporting requirement.

This emergency policy reflects the input of the University Senate’s Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, and incorporates many thoughtful suggestions made by stakeholders in three separate meetings of the senate as it debated, but was unable to enact a permanent policy this past spring.

President Schill and I have asked the senate to return to the task and make modifications that reflect sound policy and remain compliant with our legal obligations under Title IX. To that end, University Senate leadership have appointed a working group, led by Knight Professor of Law, Merle Weiner, to seek broader consensus on a legally sufficient policy.

It is my hope that the senate can run an open and transparent process, one that relies on subject-matter experts and finds a careful balance between supporting a student’s control of whether to initiate a formal response to an incident of sexual harassment or prohibited discrimination and the university’s need to receive information necessary to stop and prevent discrimination. If the senate once again is unable to pass a policy, or if the policy it crafts does not meet minimum legal requirements, the president will be prepared to act at the end of the 180-day life of this emergency policy.


Kevin Reed
Vice President and General Counsel