3/19/2012: Interim President Bob Berdahl thinks the UO Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee is asking too many hard questions about athletics, and he is going to rewrite the committee’s charge to make it easier for the athletic department to have their way with UO.
From what I can tell this is the first time in UO history a president has gone after a Senate committee like this. In addition, the administration now appears to be attempting to repudiate the 2004 Athletics Task force report, a 3 year joint effort of the UO administration, the athletic department and Senate that produced this 12 point blueprint for athletics reform at UO. This was commissioned by then President Dave Frohnmayer and signed off on by everyone from Jim Earl to Dan Williams to Bill Moos.
There is a series of recent emails between IAC chair Tublitz and Berdahl posted on the UO Senate website, here. Read them all to get the context. Here is an excerpt from Tublitz’s report to the IAC on his meeting with Interim President Berdahl last week.
He [Berdahl] gave several examples where this year’s IAC had improperly strayed into oversight:
a) Requesting information about NCAA violations;
b) Asking for financial information such as donations that had nothing to do with academic issues;
c) Making too many requests to the Athletic Director.
I [Tublitz] pointed out that these items are in our current charge to which the Interim President replied that he would not have approved the current charge if he was president at the time the current charge was adopted.
The Interim President also stated that other items in the current charge such as being involved in appointments of head coaches were also well outside the proper consultative role of the IAC.
We discussed the fact that the current charge and several issues discussed in the IAC this year came directly from the 2004 Athletic Task Force (ATF) report. I noted that the report had been submitted to the Senate by the entire ATF committee, including Mr O’Fallon as FAR, then Athletic Director Bill Moos and then VP for Administration Dan Williams speaking on behalf of then President Frohnmayer and the central administration. Jim O’Fallon strenuously objected to the commonly held notion that he, AD Bill Moos and the administration had approved the Task Force report even though their names were on the final report and the Senate adopted it. The Interim President said that he had consulted with former President Frohnmayer who said he did not “sign off” or approve the 2004 Task Force report.
The Interim President was adamant that the IAC should:
a) Not change its charge;
b) Not change its membership (refer to footnote 1 below);
c) Send all requests to his office; and,
d) Adhere to a more consultative approach.
He also said that he did not trust the committee to follow its charge, that he had full authority to regulate the charge and membership of the committee, and implied that he had considered dissolving the committee.
Current charge here. The IAC has indeed been asking a lot of questions, and it has dug up a lot of previously hidden information – including info on subsidies and secret agreements between Frohnmayer and former AD Kilkenny, now posted for all to see on the athletics department website here. The IAC’s most recent accomplishment has been to make the AD post a copy of UO’s 2006 NCAA certification review – or at least part of it – here. Interesting reading. And you can bet there will be more to come.