Kilkenny Towers

2/5/2016: Kilkenny Towers sold for $30M. Elon Glucklich has the story in the RG here.

2/21/2012: ODE reporter Deborah Bloom teams up with investigative reporter Jeff Manning from the Oregonian to produce a fascinating story on how UO’s former Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny developed the Courtside and Skybox apartments next to Matt Court, while he was on the UO payroll. He started working on the deal summer of 2009, and didn’t tell Lariviere until construction was well underway, summer of 2010. ODE link here, Oregonian here:

Cody and Kilkenny’s 2009 gamble now seems ahead of its time. Both Courtside and the larger, adjacent Skybox complex are 100 percent occupied, marketing themselves as “anchors of the up-and-coming Arena District.” Rents range from $625 to $1,250 per bedroom per month, making them some of the more expensive student housing units in the city. As 50 percent owner, Kilkenny figures that he could eventually earn $7 million to $10 million.

There’s nothing wrong or illegal about a public employee making a profitable investment, even a hugely profitable one. Ron Bersin, executive director of the Oregon Ethics Commission, said state law allows public employees to participate in private ventures. What would constitute a violation is if Kilkenny made decisions in his public role from which he benefited. Kilkenny was no longer athletic director when the buildings were erected. But he remained employed until March 2011 as special assistant to the athletic director.

Kilkenny stepped down as AD in July 2009, when Frohnmayer left. But then the string of new AD’s – Mike Belotti, Lorraine Davis, and Rob Mullens, all kept him on the payroll at 0.50 FTE. This let him get UO health insurance. Guy with a private jet gets the state to pay for his health insurance? Too bad UO won’t give that same deal to the 0.49 FTE NTTF’s getting paid $25,000. (By very rough count, about 100 NTTF’s are at exactly 49%, so no benefits.)

Meanwhile the athletic department is still stuck with a $10 million ten year balloon loan on the baseball park Kilkenny built for us. And we’re still stuck subsidizing athletics’s overhead, thanks to the secret deal Kilkenny cut with Frohnmayer.

We should note that the Courtside scandal was first brought to light by Camilla Mortensen in the Eugene Weekly last year, here. UO finally took Kilkenny off the payroll 2 months later. At the time we wrote a little bit about how Kilkenny came to be hired by Frohnmayer as AD, here. Apparently this is the first in a series of investigative stories that the Oregonian and Emerald will cooperate on. Great idea. Obviously there is plenty of material to work with.

UO’s stealth Track Town IAAF 2021 subsidy comes up in legislative committee Friday

Unfortunately the mandatory lobbying reports to the OGEC aren’t very detailed, and they don’t break out the lobbying UO’s Hans Bernhard and Paul Weinhold’s UO Foundation are doing for Track Town and athletics, from what they might be doing for the academic side:

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But obviously they’ve been busy, tearing up Vin Lananna’s plan to have Seb Coe and Ashton Eaton come and make a big show of asking the legislature for $40M. Now they’ve come back with a stealth plan for only $25M – and they’ve done it without mentioning the IAAF or Track Town once. You can follow the legislation and testimony on OLIS, here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2016R1/Measures/Overview/HB4146.

As Kate Brown’s economic advisor Vince Porter hints at in his less than wildly enthusiastic prepared remarks, questions have been raised about this whole scheme, why we are doing business with a group that apparently took hush money from Putin to cover up doping, who is really benefiting, what it’s going to cost UO, will it lead to war with Sweden, etc:

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Fortunately the RG’s Saul Hubbard is on the story, with a lengthy report here:

SALEM — Travel Oregon, the state’s small tourism marketing agency best known for its scenic TV and online ads, might soon be responsible for making an unprecedented decision on a $25 million state subsidy for the 2021 world track and field championships in Eugene.

… HB 4146 would double Travel Oregon’s annual budget, adding about $17 million a year in new revenues, with virtually no legislative direction as to how the new funds should be spent — which is highly unusual for a targeted tax increase.

Travel Oregon’s board has never considered a funding request like TrackTown’s. The board has typically allocated about six matching grants a year to other agencies for tourism marketing projects. Until this year, those grants were capped at a maximum of $20,000.

The board has received stand-alone requests for costlier “sponsorship” opportunities in the past. But it has funded only one large one since 2003: a five-year, $5 million advertising and sales campaign in Germany to help airline Lufthansa fill its new nonstop flights to Portland.

And what return did Oregon get from that $5M investment? $0. Lufthansa ended the flights in 2009 and hasn’t been back to PDX since. Not a good omen.

Oregon legislature considers bill making it illegal for university lawyers to do what Park and Hill did

2/4/2016 update: Legislation and testimony etc. here:

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This isn’t a hard one:

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Meanwhile, UO’s lawyers are getting nasty in their attacks on Stokes and Morlok, the UO Counseling Center employees who blew the whistle and brought the whole matter to state and national attention, and who have alleged that UO responded by retaliating against them:

1/26/2016: UO lawyers use Stokes and Morlok’s OA award against them. Updated below Continue reading

Johnson Hall calls in Duck AAD Eric Roedl’s $5M loan

Just kidding, it’s only UO’s colleges and academic departments that aren’t allowed to have negative carry forward balances:

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Cut Duck baseball, save CAS faculty:

Lets face it, baseball is the English Department of the Duck Athletic enterprise.

The Ducks make a lot of money on football, break even on basketball, and lose money on everything else. Women’s basketball once did OK, but Kilkenny trashed it, and the rebuilding is slow since the fans hate Matt Court and many would rather see a woman coach. In any case the NCAA makes us have Women’s basketball.

Baseball is the big money looser. When Duck booster Pat Kilkenny started a baseball team in 2009, he told us they’d turn a profit by 2014. He lied. Here are the latest numbers. After their share of central costs and a little – very little – TV revenue, it looks like they’re loosing roughly $4.5M a year, with no positive trend.

If baseball were an academic department, with 25 students, $360K in revenue, and $2.5M in direct costs, Andrew Marcus would be taking a knife to the place and reallocating the funds to save UO’s academic mission and keep us in the AAU.

But instead UO is cutting English faculty. Can anyone explain how this makes sense?

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Your comments wanted on yet another pointless strategic plan with no budget

Plenty of buzzwords though. The deadline to comment on UO’s “strategic framework” is today. In Around the O, here.

The document is meant to complement the UO’s mission statement and the 2009 Academic Plan, not replace either. Further, the framework is not written to be a “plan”—it does not contain metrics or specific tactics—and to be honest, we may not have the resources to fully execute each strategy. That will not, however, preclude us from striving to reach the important goals contained in the overall framework to enhance excellence at the University of Oregon.

Uh, no thanks.

The professor who thought he was a basketball player

Duck basketball coach Dana Altman isn’t the only employer who’s willing to look the other way for someone with a checkered past, if they’ll bring in some revenue. The NYT reports on the University of Chicago’s decision to hire a well-funded professor from UNC without asking too many questions about his history. It didn’t end well:

The professor, Jason Lieb, made unwelcome sexual advances to several female graduate students at an off-campus retreat of the molecular biosciences division, according to a university investigation letter obtained by The New York Times, and engaged in sexual activity with a student who was “incapacitated due to alcohol and therefore could not consent.”

Chicago then decided to fire him, but he resigned first.

Schill and Marcus lance Gottfredson and Coltrane’s festering CAS budget boil

Don’t blame the physicians.

Interim CAS Dean Andrew Marcus sent this blunt and prescient letter to then President Gottfredson and Provost Coltrane two years ago. I can’t remember where I got it – probably from my stash of presidential archives. PDF here.

In it Marcus lays out the budget problems that he’d inherited from former CAS Dean Coltrane, and that had been inflicted on CAS by the many changes in Brad Shelton’s budgeting model – including diversion of CAS tuition to other colleges – and the side deals, as well as by SCH declines and the faculty union’s successful bargaining efforts to move pay toward the AAU averages.

Marcus also puts Gottfredson on notice that money will have to be found to boost tenure track hiring and pay for science startups, or we can kiss the AAU goodbye. Gottfredson did raise money  – for a new softball stadium.  Coltrane raised money too – for 160over90. Here’s hoping Schill brings in something for the academic side soon. Meanwhile the bleeding will continue, at least in CAS.

 

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Marcus attempts to dispel rumors, but budget is still opaque

2/2/2016: I’ve pasted the only actual budget information that was in the budget memo at the bottom. Where are the numbers showing the trends in the CAS budget, and where is the info showing where the money taken out of CAS has been going and where it will go? The $4M CAS deficit noted below is the result of changes in how Brad Shelton’s budget model allocates money, and the many side transfers that have been made outside of that model. But that data is no longer being updated – and the old data seems to have been taken down.

Someone has these numbers. Why aren’t we being shown them?

February 1, 2016

To: CAS Faculty and Staff
From: W. Andrew Marcus
Interim Tykeson Dean

Re: The college budgeting process and rumors

Dear CAS Faculty and Staff,

I am writing to update you on the college-wide budgeting process and – I hope – to dispel some rumors that I am hearing from some quarters. As I noted in my memo of January 13, 2016 (https://casweb.uoregon.edu/budget-memo), CAS needs to reduce its $4M operating budget deficit while also aligning its resources to meet the strategic priorities outlined by President Schill (https://president.uoregon.edu/content/aligning-our-resources-support-academic-excellence).

In CAS, this has meant growing our Ph.D. numbers and
tenure track faculty lines (we have 22 searches underway to fill replacement and new lines), while reducing staffing in the dean’s office and seeking ways to align teaching resources in CAS departments with instructional needs. This last measure means that we are reducing the total number of non-tenure track faculty lines, which – of course – creates uncertainty for people in those positions.

To be clear, we are continuing to follow the process I outlined in the January 13 memo. This means we are having budget conversations with every department and program in the college. None of us is happy about reducing budgets, but they are necessary conversations. The way these meetings work is that we (the dean’s office) propose possible reductions based on student numbers and other pedagogical, departmental and college-wide considerations. Department heads and managers often provide alternatives to our proposals, which leads to a conversation (sometimes heated debate) about alternatives to achieve the results. I have been adamant that alternative solutions brought forward by a department must achieve the same on-going cost reductions – unless an argument can be made for a compelling institution-wide need that trumps the need to reduce the deficit and grow TTF numbers.

Regardless of the particulars of any one program, we are adhering to the same principles I outlined in the January 13 memo. But let me dispel a few things I’ve heard circulating:

 The dean’s office is still having conversations with departments about proposed cuts; nothing is finalized at this time. In most cases, these conversations have changed some of the outcomes we initially propose. In departments with dramatic enrollment declines, however, there may be few (if any) alternatives that a department can offer to our proposal to align instructional staffing with student demand. I acknowledge those conversations can feel one-sided to the department and we remain open to alternatives, if any can be found.

 Final decisions for all departments will be made only after review of our recommendations by central administration and a meeting with United Academics to ensure that our processes are in compliance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I hope – but cannot guarantee – that we will have final decisions by the end of February. It is my goal to give all affected employees as much time as possible to plan their future.

 Reductions in personnel numbers will be achieved only through contract non-renewals. We are not doing mid-term contract terminations or severing of MOUs.

 Also we are not terminating tenure-track faculty. Much of the reason for pursuing these painful budget decisions is to support growth of TTF lines, as evidenced by our ongoing searches.

 We are not terminating any departments, nor have we ever contemplated this measure.

 We are not reducing overall GTF numbers in the college, although some departments will see declines (and others will see increases) as we move instructional GTF support from low-enrollment to higher-enrollment units. Moreover, with the additional Ph.D. fellowships offered by the Graduate School, we hope to achieve growth in Ph.D. numbers in the year to come.

 All colleges, schools and administrative units within the university are being asked to go through a similar budget process. CAS is not being singled out in this process, although the process differs between units. For example, administrative units at UO have been asked to develop plans for a 2% budget reduction. In CAS, however, we have a specific monetary target, which is to eliminate our $4 million deficit. We are doing this by realigning instructional resources with instructional demand, which means that some units are taking a greater than 2% cut, while others are experiencing a smaller reduction. I know that times of uncertainty can be exceptionally difficult, both emotionally and professionally. This was my reason for detailing at the January 13 CAS heads and department managers meeting the financial history that has led us to this point and the specific principles for moving through this time, principles which include transparency and consistency. As you hear of “decisions that have been made” or “cuts that are happening,” please go back to the memo after the January 13 meeting and review its content (https://casweb.uoregon.edu/budget-memo). I pledge to adhere to the processes and principles outlined in that document; whatever else you hear is speculation at this time.

As a final note, I want to acknowledge the difficult work that our department and program heads are doing in this process. They have been articulate advocates for their programs, their employees, and their disciplines; it is clear they are willing to put themselves on the line for all of you. I hope you will give them the thanks and deep respect they deserve as we work through this process. I am proud to count them as colleagues.

From the budget memo:

Achieving our research and instructional goals has been complicated by the significant budget shortfall that CAS has carried for the last two years, something we have discussed many times in meetings with heads, faculty, and staff. At one point, our projected annual operating deficit exceeded $12 million. Thus far, we have been able to avoid major reductions by using carry forward funds. In addition, central administration has worked with the college to shift funds to CAS. In the past year alone, our central administration has authorized a permanent, recurring budget augmentation of $7 million per year, provided a one time transfer of $4M to our budget, altered the budget model to add SCH-based funds to all school and colleges, and helped CAS remove major costs centers (startups and high performance computing) from our budget. Even with these measures, however, we face a projected deficit of about $4 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year. We therefore need to implement cost-savings measures in order to balance the budget in future years.

Brad Shelton’s BRP website is even less informative:

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There used to be very clear data on the budget model and side payments:

 

But while CAS faculty are being laid off, Provost Coltrane is increasing the general fund subsidy for athletics – his budget for the Jock Box subsidy is up 39% since 2000, including  another 7% this year:

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(From Nathan Tublitz’s Financial Transparency Tool on Duckweb)

Around the O on Aisha Almana: Saudi, feminist, UO grad, donor

Very interesting story, here:

… A significant gift from Aisha Almana, a UO graduate, hospital executive and prominent feminist, will create new international opportunities in education and global health at the University of Oregon.

The Aisha Almana Global Health Program will provide scholarships for Saudi women to study global health at the UO, fund seed grants for faculty research, help implement an annual series of speakers and workshops, and support internships for UO students in the Saudi kingdom — the UO’s first fully funded international internships in global health.

Almana is her country’s leading activist for justice, equality and respect for women. In 1990, she led 46 women in a historic protest against her country’s ban on women driving. …

First UO’s new VP for communication Kyle Henley gave the branders the boot, and now Around the O no longer reads like the official organ of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Not bad – still no comments though. Also in Around the O, the new “DuckFunder” campaigns, link here:

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Daily Emerald reports students like Heroy as new Interim TIXC

2/1/2016: Scott Greenstone has the report in the ODE, here:

“I was really impressed,” Lusby said after Heroy’s appointment last week. Lusby has organized many protests against the administration in the past. “It is a really strong start to getting students involved in taking a role in administration.”

The university is already battling sexual assault on several fronts: Oregon Hall has a crisis and support staff to talk to survivors, UOPD has a detective sergeant who specializes in sexual violence and associate athletic director Lisa Peterson oversees gender equity within Oregon athletics. Heroy will be the person who connects them.

“[I have] the ability to take that 10,000-foot view, rather than being in the weeds all the time, doing the work on the ground,” Heroy said.

1/26/2016: UO hires Penny Daugherty staffer and consultant as interim AVP/TIXC without consulting faculty

This is the position that was created after pressure from Jennifer Freyd and Carol Stabile and the UO Senate, in reaction to the Altman basketball rape allegations and years of problems with UO’s AAEO Director Penny Daugherty. The first botched search was to fill a job titled “Assistant VP for Sexual Assault”. Strangely enough this did not attract as many applicants as JH had expected.

When Pres Schill arrived he renamed the position and the reporting, and rebooted the search, but it was months until three candidates were brought to campus. None were hired. Last month they brought in another. I went to some of the meetings, there were at least 2 very good prospects, but no hire. As the official Around the O post explains, lots of universities are hiring, and it is is very hard to get a qualified person.

So now Darci Heroy has now been given the job as interim. I wish I could say I’m optimistic about Ms Heroy’s chances of making a go at this, even temporarily, but in contrast to the permanent candidates the administration did not consult with the Senate and all I know about her is from what I’ve seen on her consulting website, her history with Daugherty from linkedin, and her report on the sexual assault reforms. None of it is promising.

Duck athletics transfers $4M of new revenue to support academics

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has the good news here:

Part of that money has gone to support the operations of the [Library]. It has also been used to establish faculty chairs in various colleges and to pay for art acquisitions and construction costs of an arts building. The athletic department has also given the university more than 20,000 square feet of office and meeting space that it no longer uses, helping the campus avoid millions of dollars in new construction costs.

The transfers to academics have remained consistent — about $8 million to $9 million a year in each of the past four years, …. The athletic department made those payments even in years, such as 2014, when it reported a deficit.

[The University President] believes that such transfers help connect the athletic department to the broader academic community.

“From the point of view of a president,” he says, “I want to make sure that athletics is an integral part of the university and represents our values.”

But of course this story is not about UO. It’s UT. The story lists 9 other universities that use athletics revenue to support academics.

Here at UO it’s the opposite, despite the surge in TV revenue. The UO administration uses a variety of stealth measures to extract ~$4M from the academic budget. See this UO Senate Legislation for details.

I did put an end to Frohnmayer and Kilkenny’s scheme to use UO money to pay the Ducks overhead costs, saving about $500K a year. That took quite a fight though. Steve Duin of the Oregonian helped, his report is here.

All Blackboard access to end Jan 31.

FINAL REMINDER: Blackboard access ends January 31, 2016

As you should be aware from earlier direct e-mail messages and notices on the Blackboard and Canvas home pages, Blackboard access ends after Sunday, January 31, 2016.

All instructional course content from Fall 2012 to present has been successfully migrated to Canvas. If you have not already done so, please check Canvas now to ensure that the materials you need were migrated successfully from Blackboard. If there is anything else you need from your Blackboard courses that was not moved to Canvas for you, log in to Blackboard now and download your materials before access is terminated after this weekend. If you need help, contact us immediately to assist you before Blackboard is retired.

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Partnering with the Office of the Registrar, we have contacted faculty who have students with incompletes. These faculty have been advised to encourage their students to complete their work before access to Bb is terminated or toexport the grade center and any materials they will require to complete the process.

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University administrators botch cluster-hire plan, faculty fights back

Jim Bean’s Five Big Ideas, Gottfredson’s clusters-of-excellence, interdisciplinary super-modularity, etc. UO’s administration has a long history of buzzword inspired efforts to take control of faculty hiring away from the faculty and academic departments. They get these ideas from the same bullshit conference powerpoint presentations and “talent management consultants” as every other university does. But now some faculty are fighting back.

Insidehighered.com has a report on the UC-Riverside Senate’s fight to replace their administration’s hubris with some straightforward academic rigor, here:

… While the first wave of clusters already has been approved, the recruitment process is still happening. Part intervention, part response to faculty concerns, the Riverside division of the Academic Senate recently surveyed its members on their views of the initiative thus far. The results were released to faculty members earlier this month, and Inside Higher Ed obtained a copy. A little less than half the faculty — some 330 professors — responded, indicating a high level of interest in the matter. The idea is that the body will use the responses to offer constructive feedback and guidance to the administration in the coming weeks.

Here’s what the survey found. First, most respondents — 82 percent — said their departments already had strategic hiring initiatives in place before the clusters. Some 49 percent of all departments have been able to fill all open positions on their own.

Most of the respondents either agreed that or were neutral as to whether there was sufficient time to prepare cluster proposals (41 percent of respondents were not involved in any proposal). But 72 percent of respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed that criteria for proposals were clear.

As to the proposal evaluation process, 76 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed that it was transparent. Just 14 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the feedback they received on their proposals was appropriate, compared to 45 percent who disagreed or strongly disagreed (the rest were neutral).

Some 46 percent of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that the provost’s appointed steering committee for the initiative did a good job, compared to the 14 percent who had a positive view (40 percent were neutral). Nearly half of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that members of the selection panel knew enough to properly assess proposals.

Perhaps most importantly, the overwhelming majority of respondents — 69 percent — disagreed (over half of them strongly) that the cluster-hiring strategy “is an innovative and appropriate replacement for the traditional departmental hiring strategy.” Most said their own departments’ hiring strategies were inconsistent with the cluster strategy; over half said the cluster strategy interfered with their departments’ strategies.

Sweden played clean and lost 2021, while Oregon got in bed with with Diack, Coe, Nike

1/31/2016:

Here’s the story on the $400K in well-timed Nike and UO donations, by Saul Hubbard in the RG:

Phil Knight, Nike poured cash into Gov. Kitzhaber’s campaign coffers as he weighed request for state money for Eugene world track championship

Knight, Nike, UO officials gave nearly $400,000 to Kitzhaber in six-week period; UO says no “quid pro quo”

The 2016 session of the Oregon Legislature starts Monday. Given the news about Putin’s hush money and brown envelopes, UO lobbyist Hans Bernard has dropped UO’s plan to ask for $40M to pay for the “IAAF Family’s” hotel rooms and meals – #3 on the list of legislative priorities Bernard showed to the UO Board in December:

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Instead he’s found some legislators willing to replace it with a stealth increase in the hotel tax that doesn’t mention the 2021 IAAF track meet. How’s that for transparency?

Meanwhile, the Swedes are calling out the IAAF’s Lord Sebastian Coe for refusing to fess up to the possibility that there was anything corrupt about awarding the 2021 championships to Eugene. Ian Herbert has the report in the British paper The Independent, here, complete with an interview with Camilla Nyman, chief executive of the Gothenburg tourism board:

Sebastian Coe will tell you, in that  articulate and erudite way of his, that it was perfectly acceptable to award the 2021 World Athletics Championships – his organisation’s blue riband event – to Eugene: the town synonymous with the sportswear company which until recently paid him £100,000 a year for a “social engagement” role which he has not been terribly specific about.

A new cache of emails made available through Freedom of Information legislation reveal what a catastrophe the decision was, though, and nowhere is the lack of rigour more visible than in the letter sent by the Oregon state Governor, Kate Brown, to the then International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president, Lamine Diack, in advance of Eugene, home of Nike, getting the nod. “I give you my personal commitment to apply all my powers and means to obtain the financial and legislative support in order to provide the funding necessary for the championships’ success in Oregon,” she writes.

… So Gothenburg carried on working and planning and waited on news from an IAAF conference for national federations. It was from there, “at just before midnight” on the eve of the event, as Nyman recalls it, that she received an email from a Swedish Athletic Federation representative to say that “something is going on,” that “the rules have changed” and Eugene may be gifted it. No one at the Swedish end knows whether money or personal connections brought the sudden change in the picture. None of the Swedes we have spoken to were asked to provide brown envelopes, though the bidding process had not even started at that stage.

Within 24 hours it was being announced that Eugene had been awarded the 2021 event and that there would, indeed, be no bidding process. Gothenburg were advised by some of their associates to find lawyers to prove that the IAAF’s actions had been constitutionally illegal but they decided against it, for fear of “making enemies everywhere”, as Nyman puts it. Ironic, in the light of what we now know about Diack.

The story notes that it was this email that broke open the 2021 scandal, obtained by the RG’s Diane Dietz from UO, but only after the Lane County DA ordered UO’s Public Records Office to release it:

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I’m guessing UO and the UO Foundation and Track Town have a lot more of this on their servers, and perhaps those emails will come to light eventually.

Meanwhile, although Gothenburg’s politicians seem relieved to wash their hands of the IAAF, the British press and Parliament are going after IAAF President and House of Lords member Seb Coe like a hound-dog goes after a tick. Reuters reports that Coe has put out a half-assed denial of reports that he knew about the cash filled envelopes used in the bidding for the 2017 championships.

“Sebastian Coe had no actual knowledge of bribes being offered or received linked to the 2017 World Championship,” the spokesman told Reuters.

Parliament may call him back to explain what he means by “actual knowledge”.

While organizing committee for the London 2017 games is reportedly considering taking the IAAF logo off all the publicity material, fearing that guilt by association with the IAAF and Putin will cut into ticket sales, here in Oregon the politicians are saying this will be “good for our brand”. Sure.

1/24/2016: IAAF too dirty for Adidas

Continue reading