Feds question Duck coach & Tracktown head Vin Lananna over 2021 IAAF Championships

2/19/2018: Austin Meek in the RG today:

USA Track & Field says it has placed Vin Lananna on temporary administrative leave after learning that Lananna and Eugene-based TrackTown USA were contacted “months ago” by federal authorities investigating corruption in the sport. …

No word yet on how the UO administration and the Foundation will handle this.

2/14/2018: Eugene loses three NCAA championship meets over Tracktown’s 2021 IAAF extravaganza

This is getting interesting. I wonder what the truth is. The Oregonian:

By closing its iconic track stadium for all of 2019, Oregon would void a three-year contract with the NCAA to host the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Because the Hayward Field tart-up for the 2021 IAAF meet will take it out of commission. Or because the NCAA doesn’t want to go down with Lananna?

In any case this certainly cuts into the rationale for Governor Kate Brown’s endorsement of $40M in public subsidies for the IAAF.

2/8/2018: USA Track and Field strips Duck coach Vin Lananna of his powers, as millions in public money change hands over 2021 IAAF championships

Before the legislature passed SB 270 and created the UO Board of Trustees, the Oregon Secretary of State’s Audit Division had authority for investigating this sort of sleaze. Now it’s all up to UO’s Internal Auditor Trisha Burnett (whose audits are apparently exempt from public records requests) – and of course the FBI, federal prosecutors, the IRS, the French government, and USA Track and Field.

And the Oregonian’s Jeff Manning, who has a stunning report here:

Vin Lananna’s rapid rise to the pinnacle of U.S. track and field has been stalled by a divisive fight on the sport’s national governing board over his business interests.

Less than a year after being elected president of USA Track & Field, Lananna was quietly stripped of some of his authority. The board specifically cited his leadership of several companies and nonprofits – including Eugene-based TrackTown USA — that routinely bid on contracts to host and organize track meets.

The board passed a two-page resolution in October that, among other things, forces the former University of Oregon track and field coach to recuse himself from any matter that involves his companies or their competitors.

Millions of dollars have changed hands between the governing body and Lananna’s numerous outside interests. Most recently, the association pledged $6 million to Oregon 21, the organizing committee of the 2021 track and field world championships in Eugene.

“Vin has been engaged in complete conflict of interest,” said Steve Miller, the track and field association’s chair. “The outcome of the vote is that he has to recuse himself from the vast majority of what he does as president of USATF. Your effectiveness as leader is greatly diminished when you can’t be in the room.” …

Will Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum follow up on this?

Meanwhile Lananna is still on the UO payroll, at 0.69 FTE:

UO’s 100 most excellent faculty, from Google Scholar

https://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=view_org&hl=en&org=822421448073898796 ¹, ², ³


1: Some of these faculty are no longer at UO and many UO faculty have not yet claimed their pubs on Google (which is very easy to do).

2: This is a ridiculous way to measure “Research Excellence”, whatever that is. Of course if we added h-indexes, impact-factors, and grants llike Academic Analytics does, then these metrics would appear to be more credible – but would they be any more useful for deciding which department should get more faculty lines?

Rank of Excellence Name Citations Title/Afilliation
#1 David M Strom 150,153 Prof of Physics, UO
#2 Paul Slovic 147,893 Decision Research and UO
#3 Eric Torrence 136,713 UO
#4 Michael I. Posner 124,364 Prof Emeritus of psychology UO
#5 Mark Johnson 93,148 Philip H. Knight Prof of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UO
#6 Raymond Frey 82,964 Department of Physics, UO
#7 William H Starbuck 44,971 UO
#8 David A. McCormick 38,787 Prof, UO; Prof Emeritus, Yale University
#9 John Postlethwait 28,135 Prof of Biology, UO
#10 Alan D. Meyer 22,406 Prof of Management, UO
#11 Patrick J. Bartlein 21,006 Prof of Geography, UO
#12 Helen Neville 19,618 Prof, Psychology and Neuroscience, UO
#13 cq doe 18,471 Univ Oregon
#14 Dipongkar Talukder 17,694 Postdoctoral Research Scholar, UO
#15 Russell J. Donnelly 17,344 UO
#16 Linda Price 17,303 Prof of Marketing, UO
#17 Joan Acker 17,134 Sociology, UO
#18 John Bellamy Foster 16,757 Prof of Sociology, UO
#19 Jon Erlandson 15,562 Prof of Anthropology, Executive Director of the Museum of Natural & Cultural Historty …
#20 Lynn Kahle 15,535 Prof of Marketing, UO
#21 Gregory John Retallack 15,531 UO
#22 Judith H. Hibbard 14,650 Prof Emerita at the UO
#23 Sanjay Srivastava 14,642 Associate Prof of Psychology, UO
#24 Nicholas Allen 14,469 UO
#25 Brendan Bohannan 13,609 Prof of Environmental Studies and Biology, UO
#26 Greg Bothun 13,244 UO
#27 David O. Conover 12,695 UO
#28 Kraimer, Maria 12,670 UO
#29 Shannon Boettcher 12,148 Assoc. Prof. Chemistry, UO
#30 Scott Seibert 11,663 UO
#31 Jennifer Freyd 11,493 UO
#32 Michael G. Raymer 11,428 Prof of Physics, Department of Physics and Oregon Center for Optics, University of …
#33 James E. Hutchison 10,988 Lokey-Harrington Chair in Chemistry, UO
#34 Albert O. Edwards, MD, PhD 10,621 Oregon Retina, Oregon Health Sciences University, UO, Mayo Clinic …
#35 Bruce Bowerman 10,586 Institute of Molecular Biology, UO
#36 Douglas Hintzman 10,316 Emeritus Prof of Psychology, UO
#37 ulrich mayr 10,219 UO
#38 William Cresko 9,899 UO
#39 Bruce Blonigen 9,526 UO
#40 Jessica L. Green 9,371 UO
#41 Phil Fisher 9,308 UO
#42 Michael M. Haley 9,283 Richard M. & Patricia H. Noyes Prof of Chemistry, UO
#43 Christopher Minson 9,064 Prof of Human Physiology, UO
#44 T. Bettina Cornwell 9,032 Prof of Marketing, UO
#45 George W Evans 8,848 UO
#46 Gerard Saucier 8,390 Prof of Psychology, UO
#47 Louis Moses 8,232 Department of Psychology, UO
#48 Craig M. Young 8,143 Prof of Biology, UO
#49 Alice Barkan 8,123 UO
#50 Reza Rejaie 8,026 Prof of Computer and Information Science, UO
#51 Andrew Karduna 7,985 UO
#52 alan l shanks 7,793 UO
#53 Patrick C. Phillips 7,616 Prof of Biology, Institute for Ecology and Evolution, UO
#54 David C. Johnson 7,526 Prof of Chemistry, UO
#55 John R Halliwill, PhD 7,426 Department of Human Physiology, UO
#56 John Conery 7,380 Prof of Biology, UO
#57 Richard York 7,344 Prof of Sociology and Environmental Studies, UO
#58 Scott Bridgham 7,341 Prof of Biology and Environmental Studies, UO
#59 Nash Unsworth 7,336 UO
#60 Michael V. Russo 7,278 Lundquist Prof of Sustainable Management, UO
#61 Stephen Fickas 7,171 Prof of Computer and Information Science UO
#62 Trudy Ann Cameron 7,020 RF Mikesell Prof of Environmental and Resource Economics, UO
#63 Paul J. Wallace 6,853 UO
#64 Robert M. O’Brien 6,685 Prof of Sociology, UO
#65 Allen D. Malony 6,588 UO
#66 Eric A. Johnson 6,567 Associate Prof, Inst. of Molecular Biology, UO. Founder, SNPsaurus
#67 Jean Stockard 6,539 UO
#68 Ronald B. Mitchell 6,444 Prof of Political Science, UO
#69 Gordon C. Nagayama Hall 6,314 UO
#70 Leslie Leve 6,137 UO
#71 Marjorie Taylor 5,860 UO
#72 Hailin Wang 5,729 Prof, Department of Physics, UO, Eugene, Oregon, USA
#73 David Krinsley 5,614 Courtesy Prof of Earth Sciences, UO
#74 Ilya Bindeman 5,543 Prof of Geology, U of Oregon
#75 William T Harbaugh 5,457 Prof of Economics, UO
#76 Jennifer H. Pfeifer 5,456 Associate Prof, UO
#77 Yuan Xu 5,446 Prof of Mathematics, UO
#78 SJ van Enk 5,405 UO
#79 Karen Guillemin 5,343 Prof of Biology, UO
#80 Li-Shan Chou 5,294 UO
#81 Kim Sheehan 5,294 UO
#82 Ray Weldon 5,154 Prof of Geology, UO
#83 CJ Pascoe 5,082 Associate Prof of Sociology, UO
#84 Dietrich Belitz 4,982 UO
#85 Josh Roering 4,860 Prof, Department of Earth Sciences, UO
#86 Scott DeLancey 4,849 UO
#87 Sara D. Hodges 4,683 UO
#88 George von Dassow 4,658 UO
#89 Holly Arrow 4,554 Prof of Psychology, UO
#90 Douglas R. Toomey 4,448 UO
#91 Joe Stone 4,377 Prof of economics UO
#92 Daniel G. Gavin 4,328 Associate Prof, Department of Geography, UO
#93 Ken Prehoda 4,322 Prof of Chemistry, UO
#94 Jeremy Piger 4,184 Prof of Economics, UO
#95 Michael Pluth 4,126 Associate Prof, UO
#96 Victoria DeRose 4,038 Prof of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UO
#97 Elizabeth Stormshak 4,005 Prof, Counseling Psychology, UO
#98 Lynn Stephen 3,990 UO
#99 Sameer Shende 3,943 Director, Performance Research Laboratory, UO and President, ParaTools …
#100 Kryn Stankunas 3,898
Associate Prof of Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology, UO

3: Duck basketball coach Dana Altman’s RPI rank has now dropped to #89, after UO gave him a contract amendment in June that raised his buyout cost to $14M.

UO Board Trustee Rudy Chapa steps down


At-large positions on the governing board are volunteer posts with nominees selected by the governor. The governor will submit her choice to the Oregon Senate, which in turn votes on whether to confirm nominees.

Those interested in applying should contact University Secretary Angela Wilhelms, who can provide more detail on executive appointment processes and deadlines. She can be reached at wilhelms@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5561.

Perhaps Governor Brown will use this opportunity to appoint someone to the Board who knows something about higher education.

Shocking emails reveal Pres Schill wrote NYT op-ed without help from overpaid PR flacks

No one who has ever dealt with a journal editor or reviewers will be surprised by any of this. At least they didn’t ask Schill to cite their own work, to pump up their Academic Analytics metrics.

Eugene Weekly reporter Corrine Boyer has obtained the public records on the back and forth between President Michael Schill and the NYT editors, over the op-ed he wrote after whatever happened at his October 17 State of the University that sort of didn’t happen. Story and links here.

President Schill seems to have written it all without help from UO’s army of PR flacks. This is unusual. Dave Frohnmayer had a speech-writer on staff. Mike Gottfredson paid a rumored $30K to a consultant for advice on how to talk to his own faculty at Senate meetings. And Bob Berdahl would have been well advised to have paid someone to edit his comments before he posted them on this blog. (Hi Bob!)

The EW story has a fair amount on the NYT editors’ efforts to influence Schill’s interpretation of events. It was Ms Shutler who pushed Schill to compare our students to fascists:

Full disclosure: I’ve never had an editor write crap like that to me, but if one did I’d probably submit a revision along the requested lines too. A pub’s a pub.

Meanwhile, Ms Shutler’s copy editor is either extremely earnest, or has a wicked sense of humor and is on to her fascist obsession. I’m going to go with the latter:


Faculty has wasted $600K on unused metrics data that purport to measure and incentivise excellence in Johnson Hall administrators

Or do I have this backwards? Come to the March 16 Town-Hall meeting to find out:

Dear Colleagues,

I have now been here for several months and I’ve seen some tremendous activity and enthusiasm among members of the faculty. I am continually impressed with the terrific work underway from a variety of disciplines.

The University of Oregon has an institutional mission of excellence—in teaching, in research and scholarship, and in service. Our university is able to celebrate its strengths in a large variety of academic disciplines including the liberal and fine arts, the physical and social sciences, and the professional programs because of the outstanding contributions from members of our tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty. To aid in our mission, we are creating new systems and tools, such as a new resource allocation system and the Institutional Hiring Plan for the recruitment of tenure-track faculty members. But how should we measure excellence? How should we decide which areas to target for faculty recruitment? How should we know whether we are continuously improving?

At the UO, we are in the process of developing several types of metrics to help address these questions.

I know that there are a lot of questions about what this means, and I have heard concerns that the metrics will be used inappropriately for things such as “ranking” faculty members or departments. I have also heard rumors that we will be using metrics to establish some sort of threshold at which faculty members could be “cut” if they do not meet that threshold. I want to help allay some concerns and answer some questions. As a former dean and faculty member myself, I understand how questions and even some anxiety can arise when metrics are introduced into a conversation.

Before my arrival, the UO had established a work group of faculty and staff members to make recommendations on metrics. The members committed a great deal of time and insight into this process, and I’m grateful for their work.

It is also important that we learn lessons from other institutions which have employed—or tried to employ—metrics. Without going into a lot of detail, please be aware that I am committed to studying what has worked and what hasn’t worked at other universities. This not only makes sense but is the responsible thing to do.

It is now important to move forward in our discussion. I am sure not all of your questions will be answered below, but I hope it provides some important context. If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to reach out to my office at provost@uoregon.edu

We have organized our thinking around metrics in two overarching areas—operational and mission. Operational metrics objectively measure student demand and the capacity to accommodate this demand with existing instructors. This will provide initial information on capacity and need. Mission metrics help us understand how well we are collectively contributing to the university’s mission. Are we serving our students? Are we contributing to our professional fields? Are we expanding knowledge? They represent ways to understand our impact, hold ourselves accountable, and assist with allocating resources.

Mission metrics can be disaggregated into three components: undergraduate education, graduate education, and research. Some of these will look at activity and performance specific to the UO (e.g., time to degree, general participation in first-year programs) and others will look at discipline-specific information as articulated by schools and colleges (e.g., citations, publications, awards).

The process of defining local-level mission metrics must start with local units, where the disciplinary experts reside. The provost’s office will be coordinating this process with assistance from the deans of the schools and colleges. I appreciate the work being done within individual departments, schools, and colleges to develop these latter metrics. You, not I, know how best to assess quality in your area: how the College of Design assesses performance will vary from the natural sciences or law, and so forth.

We have the operational metrics in place and are currently in the process of defining the local mission metrics with input from the units. When developed, the metrics will help promote and measure excellence. A thoughtful, data-driven approach to managing investments is critical, especially in a time of constrained resources. There are terrific programs here at the UO, but there are also—as in any massive organization—pockets that may not be of the highest quality. Being able to identify both is critical for strong and effective management. It is imperative that we use not just good data but the right data to inform these decisions.

However, we of course must exercise caution in focusing singularly on certain indicators (and the movement thereof) without keeping in mind the larger reasons for which they were created. Typically, a unit that performs well across a range of metrics is likely to be excellent. But I recognize and appreciate there are a number of factors that go into that assessment, and thus I do not intend to have a prescribed set of “if-then” outcomes simply based on information gathered from metrics. While the conversation about metrics continues to unfold, I can emphatically state that these metrics cannot be used for individual personnel decisions unless they are added to the unit-level promotion and tenure and merit raise policies through the shared governance process established by the United Academics collective bargaining agreement.

As we continue our work on the development of these metrics, we welcome your advice and input. The goal is to have a mechanism for the transparent allocation of resources to maximally enhance the excellence of our university.

This is a new approach, and one that is likely to raise questions. I encourage you to share your thoughts, ideas, or questions with my office. You are also invited to an open town hall–style meeting on Friday, March 16, from 11:00 a.m. to noon in 156 Straub Hall. This town hall will be a two-way discussion on the purpose, value, and use of metrics as well as other topics, including the new academic allocation system, the Institutional Hiring Plan, and whatever else is on your mind.

Please, feel free to contact my office with any questions you may have. I look forward to seeing you at the forum.

Best Regards,

Jayanth Banavar

Provost and Senior Vice President

Campus planning wins award for euphemism of the month

2/14/2018: Over 2015-2016 UO hired outside consultants to run what was billed as an inclusive visioning process to work out how UO might grow to accommodate 34K students. Their report is here. The appendix, which includes minutes from many CPC etc. meetings is here.

The gist: UO went through a fairly extensive consulting and public outreach effort, which involved the Senate CPC and many other stakeholders, and which produced an elaborate  “Framework Vision” which concluded UO should not build anything substantial between the tracks and the Willamette, and which includes no mention of floodlights or astroturf (that I can find).

Now, less than two years later, after minimal additional public input, UO is going to the city to get a Conditional Use permit that will allow buildings on 18% of the land between the tracks and the river, astroturf over a large part of the rest, and floodlights.

And they are using the public process from the “Framework Vision”, which opposed building between the tracks and the Willamette, to try and convince the city to give them this permit.

Some excerpts from the Vision:


The 14-month planning process included four work sessions with the Campus Planning Committee and the Advisory Group that the university created for the UOCPFV. The four work sessions addressed

• Scope, Schedule, Products, Principles, Values and Themes, and Ecological and Sustainable Planning

• Analysis, Planning Considerations, Framework

• Refined alternatives

• Final Recommendations The university conducted an on-line survey and held open houses for the campus community and neighbors as well as five public outreach sessions with interested on-campus groups and campus neighbors.

Capacity Findings

• Infill opportunities exist in the established areas of the campus, achievable without compromising the campus’s beauty and function.

• Land north of the railroad tracks is only needed for playing fields. (emphasis added)

• While the university needs some of the area in North Design Area between the railroad tracks and Franklin Boulevard, a large portion of the land is not needed to meet the 34,000 student enrollment. This may offer a significant opportunity to the university for partnerships or as a land bank for unforeseen future program needs.

• Only a minor portion of the Walnut Station area (Romania etc.) is needed; it too offers a significant opportunity.

• Building north of Franklin Boulevard will initially challenge the culture within and among departments; this will be remedied over time as the area develops.

and also

Working with the City of Eugene it may be possible to create a city park at the river’s edge in exchange for city-owned land useful to the university.

And while the maps produced by the consultants are not always internally consistent, most show no buildings between the track and the Willamette:

They do show two large “outdoor classrooms”. Apparently that’s the latest euphemism for “astro-turfed flood-lit athletic field.


2/10/2018: UO wants permission from city for buildings, astro-turf and floodlights between railroad tracks and the Willamette River

That’s a lot of astro-turf. The Eugene Weekly’s Kelly Kenoyer had the story last month here:

The permit plan is a bit vague to allow for future changes to the development, but includes a few buildings near the 6th Avenue bike path and near the Frohnmayer Footbridge, numerous buildings between Franklin Boulevard and the train tracks, and synthetic turf fields lit by floodlights near the footbridge.

I wonder if the proposal is motivated by the 2021 IAAF extravaganza planning. The UO Senate voted against development between the tracks and the river back in 2010 or so, and will host a discussion between the administration’s Mike Harwood and opponents, this Wednesday sometime between 4 and 5PM, in the EMU Crater Lake rooms. Schedule here.

Senate to meet on Core Ed, AEI, tuition, astro-turf

DRAFT. Watch live here.

Location: EMU 145 & 146 (Crater Lake Rooms)
Wed Feb 14, 3:00 – 5:00 P.M.

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Chris Sinclair
  • Update from Johnson Hall

3:30 P.M. Approval of Minutes, January 31, 2018

3:35 P.M.   Business

4:50 P.M.   Open Discussion
4:50 P.M.   Reports
4:50 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion

  • ARC Colloquia; Chris Sinclair
  • Core Ed Learning Outcomes; Chris Sinclair

4:50 P.M.   Other Business
5:00 P.M.   Adjourn

Faculty Club to meet on Love & Dirt

Dear Colleagues,

This week the Faculty Club is open Wednesday and Thursday during the usual hours (5:00 to 8:00).  Wednesday, in honor of Valentine’s Day, campus legend Louise Bishop (Honors College) will deliver a brief “Discourse on Love” at Six-o-Clock Toast time.

On Thursday Allison Carter (Anthropology) is organizing a gathering of all the archaeologists on campus, including those in academic departments and in the UO’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History.  The Six-o-Clock Toast will thus have an archaeological theme—here’s to the diggers!

So whether you’d like to celebrate love, find love, or snicker at love on Wednesday, or whether you’d like to rub shoulders with our modern-day Indiana Joneses on Thursday, the Faculty Club is the place for you this week.  Hope to see you there!

Yours, James Harper

Chair of the Faculty Club Board

Provost seeks tuition increase feedback

The gist: 2.84% in-state, 2.49% out-of state, nothing new on increasing the discount rate for low-SES and high-achieving students, and only the sketchiest data on where the money is going:

To University of Oregon Community Members,

Pursuant to university policy, I have received tuition and fee recommendations for the 2018–19 academic year from the Tuition and Fee Advisory Board (TFAB), a campus body made up of students, administrators, and members of the faculty and staff. TFAB members conducted eight public meetings and participated in two student forums over a four-month period to arrive at this set of recommendations, which are based on detailed review and analysis of relevant university budget and financial data.

I want to express my deepest thanks to TFAB members for their hard work, transparent process, and commitment to both maintaining affordability and enhancing academic quality at the University of Oregon.

The committee’s recommendations include an increase in tuition of $6 per credit, or $270 per year, for in-state undergraduate students. Nonresident undergraduate students would see tuition rise by $18 per credit, or $810 annually. For the 2018–19 academic year, this equates to a 2.84 percent increase in undergraduate tuition for in-state students and a 2.49 percent increase for out-of-state students. The TFAB recommendations also include a $7 increase in the student health center service fee, which will help expand health and counseling services for students. 

I invite you to review TFAB’s full tuition proposal and to provide input using this online comment form by 8:00 p.m., Thursday, February 15. In addition, we will host a student forum at 5:30 p.m. this Thursday in the Alumni Lounge, Gerlinger Hall. I hope you can join me for the event.

After receiving input from the forum and online comments, I will provide that feedback to President Michael Schill, who will make a draft recommendation for additional public review. The president will then make a final tuition recommendation to the UO Board of Trustees for consideration at its next regular meeting on March 2.

Thank you.

Jayanth Banavar

Provost and Senior Vice President

UO Foundation took $535K from the Marion Ross Fund for expenses, then sent his Trustee a nastygram and ignored him

In 1991 UO professor Marion Dean Ross died and gave the bulk of his life savings, $1.2M, to the UO Foundation to manage for the purpose of buying books and photos on the history of architecture, as chosen by the Faculty of the Department of Art History (Now the History of Art and Architecture or HA&A).

As explained in this earlier post, last year Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold asked the Lane County Circuit Court to modify the terms of Ross’s bequest so as to take spending authority away from the faculty and give it to the dean of the College of Design (CoD), and expand the purposes of the fund to general research support for the department – of which the new Dean happens to be a member. I’ve received some additional public records on this, posted below.

First, let me explain how the UO Foundation works. (The amounts have changed a bit over time, but this is the gist). They take 5% off the top of endowment gifts to the University and then another 1% of the principle each year for their administrative expenses (additional amounts are subtracted annually by their investment partners). They allocate 4% per year of the Fund to be spent for the purposes of the gift each year. Their investment returns average about 7% per year, and the excess above the 4%+1% goes back into the gift fund, on the idea that this will keep it and the payouts growing somewhere close to the rate of inflation. The 4% payout is a bit conservative, but common. The UO Foundation’s fees, on the other hand, are arguably steep – some other university foundations just charge 1% per year, and others charge 10% up front, with no annual fees, which works out to far, far less over time.

For the Ross Fund, a back of the envelope calculation would be that the Foundation has earned $535K in fees since they established the fund in 1992: $60K up front, and another $435K from the annual 1% over 25 years, for an endowment which has now grown to about $2.4M. It now yields about $92K a year in spendable money for HA&A, and another $24K for the UO Foundation’s expenses, such as:

(That’s the IRS data for 2014-15 AY salaries, the Foundation will not release more recent numbers, but I’m sure none of their cut was wasted on books.)

Given that money from the Ross Fund and other donors pays the salary of Paul Weinhold, the bills of their lawyers, and the Foundation’s many other costs, you might expect them to be solicitous of the wishes of its donors and their representatives. Or at least not to abuse UO’s previous donors, so as not to discourage future donations.

You be the judge. Here is the letter the Foundation sent Thomas Price, Marion Ross’s only surviving trustee: We’re going to repurpose his money, and if you don’t like it get a lawyer:

She already knew Price didn’t like it:

But apparently he wasn’t willing to fight the Foundation’s lawyers – who, ironically, were being paid with Marion Ross’s money. So the Foundation got what it wanted.

Is this what the department wanted? It’s not clear if they were even told the whole truth. Here’s the only thing they voted on, at their Feb 8 2017 meeting:


I don’t see anything in that motion that comes close to approving the decision to ask the Judge to give the CoD Dean authority to spend the funds “at the discretion of the dean” for the department’s purposes. And note that the new dean is HA&A faculty, with a “Slow Lab” that he directs, and which presumably could use some funds – and he now controls some funds.

So, sometime between February and October 2017, the department’s actual vote got ignored, and the UO Foundation went to court asking for this:

As for the claim that the department was unable to spend the fund for the purposes for which the donor had intended, actually their spending seems seems to have tracked the available payouts quite well, while accumulating a prudent reserve for the purchase of extraordinary materials which might unexpectedly come on the market:

I’ll post additional information about this situation as it comes in.

Here are the public records from which the above info comes from:




Follow the Ross Fund tag below for other documents and info.

Latest Title IX scandal has nothing to do with Duck athletics or Bach Fest

This time it’s ice cream. The Emerald’s Jack Pitcher has an extensive report here:

Not long after opening in 2011 as a food cart serving homemade ice cream, Red Wagon Creamery exploded onto the Eugene food scene. The cart was replaced by a downtown store in 2013, and by 2016, the business had added a factory and a satellite store at the University of Oregon. Red Wagon’s ice cream was featured on Food Network and in the Washington Post and the Register-Guard.

Seven years later, the business is in disarray, according to an investigation conducted by the Emerald. Red Wagon is being sued by creditors, employees complain of unpaid wages, the owners owe back taxes, and multiple women, all employees of Red Wagon, have accused owner Stuart Phillips of sexual harassment.

And for some reason UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger, normally reticent when it comes to Title IX allegations, is eager to talk about this one:

UO spokesman Tobin Klinger confirmed that a Title IX complaint involving Red Wagon was filed with the school in January. The Title IX office investigates reports of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.UO received the report after it had made the decision to end Red Wagon’s lease. According to Klinger, the school wasn’t aware of sexual harassment allegations against Phillips before this and that the accusations did not play into the university’s decision to end the lease.

“We encourage any student who is feeling harassed to report it, regardless of whether the person is a university employee or not,” Klinger wrote in an email. “We want to ensure a harassment-free environment across campus and that includes anyone doing business on our campus.”

OBF’s Berwick Academy Director Marc Destrubé quits over Lintgate


The UO administration can’t even run a music festival, and they think we should trust them to pull off the 2021 IAAF Track and Field championships?

The Eugene Weekly’s Bob Keefer, who broke the story of the firing of Bach Festival Artistic Director Matthew Halls back in August over what UO spokespeople have variously insinuated to have been complaints of racial harassment, their preferences to mix up the music, sexual harassment, talking too bluntly to General Director Janelle McCoy at a meeting, and/or his well-documented failure to clean the dryer lint filter at his rented house, has the latest here:

The Oregon Bach Festival has lost the newly appointed program director of its student academy in the complicated aftermath of last summer’s firing of artistic director Matthew Halls.

Canadian violinist Marc Destrubé was appointed program director of the University of Oregon-run festival’s Berwick Academy in December to replace Halls, who ran the academy as part of his job as festival artistic director.

… Destrubé said he couldn’t continue as program director. “I have … relinquished my role as program director of the Berwick Academy,” he said by email. “As it was I who invited Jaap ter Linden, also at the suggestion of several of the other faculty members, and as the OBF/UO administration decided to un-invite him following your article, unjustifiably in my opinion, I felt that my position as program director was untenable. As simple as that.”

Destrubé made it clear he will participate in the festival this summer as a faculty member and performer. …

2/2/2018: EW’s Bob Keefer gets answers to questions OBF didn’t ask

Reporter Bob Keefer’s story on Oberlin’s firing of Dutch cellist and conductor Jaap ter Linden led UO’s Bach Festival Director Janelle McCoy to fire him too.

Keefer then reached out to and interviewed ter Linden in the Eugene Weekly here. Read it all. Still no response from McCoy or UO’s strategic communicators.

1/26/2018: Bach Festival hires guest conductor fired by Oberlin for racial slur

Bob Keefer has the latest on the Oregon Bach Festival in the Eugene Weekly here. The original report from the Oberlin student paper is the #1 hit from a simple google search for the conductor’s name and “racism complaint”. Perhaps the Festival’s screening process stopped when the search for “dryer lint complaint” came up clean?

EWEB Board votes against Tin-Hativists, for lower bills

When I moved to Eugene in 1995 I was surprised at the size of my first EWEB bill. Perhaps I was unduly influenced by the songs of Woody Guthrie, but I assumed that with lots of hydro and rain, electricity and water wouldn’t eat into my mortgage payments much.

Woody steered me wrong. EWEB was a classic government protected monopoly gone bad, and the bills were steep. I had an $863 mortgage on an 1100 sq ft house with oil heat, and EWEB was charging another $120 for water and lights. I couldn’t make it work without my parent’s help – and I knew lots of people didn’t have that kind of help.

Things have now changed. A few years ago the EWEB board hired a new manager, who has cut costs and your EWEB bill. Now he wants to increase the use of “smart meters” which use cell-phone technology to record electricity use and calculate bills, freeing up meter readers for more productive work, cutting your bill even more.

And yesterday the EWEB board voted in favor of this, despite the testimony of a small group of tin-hatters who thought the radio waves would harm their already iffy brain functionality. The RG has the story: http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/36419454-75/eweb-decides-customers-must-opt-out-if-they-oppose-smart-meters.html.csp

In celebration, a reader sent me this fabulous video, showing how to put those redundant old electricity meters to a higher valued use. Woody Guthrie would be proud: