Secret Frohnmayer deal on athletics subsidies

11/5/2011: Details in this Steve Duin column in the Oregonian, coming out in print Sunday:

The memo sets out the hoops the university jumps through to maintain the illusion (that athletics is self-supporting). The administration, for example, generously “allows” athletics to bank revenue from above-ground, off-street parking in designated lots during sporting events.

Yet the administration is required to pay athletics each year “for exclusive use of the presidential suite and 80 Club Level seats at Autzen Stadium for each home football event.” In the last three fiscal years, that cost the administration $375,000 annually.

The 3 percent assessment cap is buried at the bottom of the memo, and flies in the face of UO’s 2008 restructuring of assessment rates. As Laura Hubbard, associate VP for Budget & Finance, noted at the time, those changes were necessary to meet Oregon University System “guiding principles” in allowing indirect costs that are “reasonable, properly allocable, auditable and applied consistently across campus.”

The new rate schedule required auxiliaries — which include university housing and the health center (and athletics) — to pay overhead rates that escalate from 3 percent in 2009 to 7 percent in 2013. Less than a year later, however, Kilkenny and Frohnmayer signed off on a deal to cut athletics a break through 2012.

The secret agreement between then President Frohnmayer and Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny, signed two weeks before Frohnmayer retired, is here and is full of unusual things, amounting to several million dollars in subsidies for athletics. It was so secret even UO’s VP for Finance never saw it – or so she claims. And what did Kilkenny give Frohnmayer? About $500,000 for the Fanconi Foundation. It’s a very sad story on many dimensions.

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7 Responses to Secret Frohnmayer deal on athletics subsidies

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s always about parking. Read the history of Batista and Meyer Lansky in Cuba. A nickel at a time.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Kind of funny that Kilkenny a “volunteer” for AD basically pillages the academic side during his tenure. Cuts himself a sweet deal by secretly buying up land around the proposed arena site to build an upscale apartment building. Talk about conflicts of interest.

    This underlines the reason we should conduct searches for ALL appointments on this campus. This guy virtuously not paying himself a salary has cost the rest of us on the academic side.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone in the Attorney General’s Office investigated the possibility of a quid pro quo arrangement between Frohnmayer and Kilkenny?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone heard anything else about the Kilkenny Courtside apartments story ? The Weekly had one article about what seemed to be money laundering and then they never followed up on that story again.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    From the article, “Eckstein doesn’t buy the rationale that athletics uses less in the way of university services.”

    I agree. Did any of you need any work from Network Services last year? they were no where to be found. Seems they were exclusively busy making sure that the basketball arena got wired before it opened.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Secret tit-for-tat money deals sound bad. But hopefully they will not turn out to be Penn State bad.

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