Craig Pintens still trying to get UO students to buy Duck tickets at a premium

Pintens was recently demoted from his job of Duck spokesperson and replaced by Jimmy Stanton. Then he failed to get the deputy AD job at Purdue. Now Mullens has put him in charge of selling football tickets.

I’m not sure he’s really got it figured out yet. Pintens is trying to sell our undergraduates $15 tickets to today’s Duck game against UC-Berkeley, but they’re only $13.50 on stubhub:


Federal Judge grants John Doe protective order against UO


Page down for more details.

9/6/2017: UO lawyers want to out anonymous plaintiff in sexual misconduct case

I’m posting this for the record, I don’t pretend to understand it all. Like many universities, UO’s GCO pulls out FERPA when they want to avoid disclosing unpleasant info, for example when athletes are accused of assaults. But in this case UO’s hired attorneys are in favor of transparency and naming names. Continue reading

Dennis Galvan is new VP or AVP or whatever of Undergraduate Studies

Dennis Galvan (Poli Sci) is the new head of Undergraduate Studies. I know I’ve said a few unkind things about Dennis in the past, but that was only because I knew he was a better man than Ali Bongo deserved. UGS is the right job for him. I’m not being sarcastic. If you don’t trust me and want to read some bullshit about this change in leadership, Tobin Klinger’s got it on Around the O.

Google Trends metrics show UO Matters is more excellent than Around the O

I’ve always said that the UO administration could end this muckraking website any time they wanted to, simply by being honest and transparent. A quick glance at the public records log will convince you that our Johnson Hall leadership is not there yet.

However, if current trends continue, UO M will have no readers by sometime in Dec 2018. On the other hand the administration’s official Around the O blog already has ~0 readers from the Eugene Metro Area, which of course includes UO:

I’m no econometrician, but I think I see some negative correlation too. Do people seek out UO M and avoid Around the O when there’s a scandal involving info the administration is trying to hide?

Fortunately Around the O does much better if you expand to the national data.

Lucia, deLuxe, Benson, Heathman – PDX hotels I won’t be staying at again

Thanks to The Oregonian for the lodging advice:

It’s unclear where Sondland would serve his diplomatic post, if nominated by Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Fifty of the 188 U.S. ambassadorships are vacant, according to the American Foreign Service Association. There are some plum openings, however, including vacant posts around Europe, Africa and South America and in Australia.

Sondland, the founder and chief executive of Provenance Hotels, could not be reached for comment. His company owns and manages the Westin Portland, Hotel Lucia, Hotel deLuxe, The Benson, Sentinel and The Heathman Hotel, along with several Portland restaurants. Sondland also co-founded the merchant capital bank Aspen Capital.

Everybody gets a car! Every Duck coach, that is. Or extra cash.

Kenny Jacoby in the Weekly:

Contracts between the UO athletic department and its employees often include a clause saying the department will provide the employee one or two courtesy cars to use during their employment. The clauses also state that if the athletic department is unable to provide a car, it will pay the employee a stipend instead of a car, usually between $300 and $600 a month.

Those stipends have added up to more than $1.1 million in the last decade, EW’s analysis shows. In the last two years, the athletic department has paid an average of more than $12,500 a month on stipends and $150,000 a year.

The athletic department promises employees far more cars than it actually has, so the majority of employees involved in the program receive monthly stipends in lieu of cars. The athletic department currently has 36 courtesy cars at its disposal, but as recently as August 2017, 42 employees collected stipends in lieu of cars. The athletic department declined to say whether all 36 cars were currently in use.

Many employees, including UO athletic director Rob Mullens, have collected tens of thousands of dollars in monthly stipends over several years. Mullens’ contract entitles him to two courtesy cars on top of his $700,000 base salary; he drives one and collects $600 per month in stipends in lieu of the other. …

Chris Sinclair, a math professor and president of the UO faculty senate, calls the program an “embarrassingly ridiculous” use of funds, which could be allocated to other purposes, such as reducing the cost of football tickets the athletic department charges to students. According to the athletic department’s projected 2018 budget, it expects to bring in $113 million in revenue and spend every dollar.

“It’s clearly just a way of getting some additional money into these people’s pockets,” Sinclair said. …

According to EW’s analysis, 104 different employees have received more than 3,200 monthly stipends in lieu of cars in the past 10 years. The courtesy car program started in November 2007, when then-athletic director Pat Kilkenny paid himself and four other employees stipends of between $300 and $500. The number of employees participating in the program grew to 17 in 2008, and by 2009, it reached 35. In 2017, 52 different employees have received stipends, including head coaches, assistant coaches and athletic department administrators.

Kilkenny. Of course.

How to help Puerto Ricans get water and electricity

I’m no former marine electrician, but it’s harder than you’d think. I asked a union friend and he sent me some links. The first one had a default of $9.99 a month and no way to change it. I’m guessing it’s a bit hard for them to update their website without electricity.

This one worked: In case your Spanish is as bad as mine, HAZ TU DONATIVO means exactly what you think it does. Paypal or credit card. If anyone has a better suggestion, please post it.

Winner! Free U of Nike coffee cup for guessing the cost of UOPD’s Go Ducks paint-job

Update: Chief Carmichael reported the cost as $3533.41. So the winner is longtime commenter “Fishwrapper” at $3768.79, runner up is Amy Adams at $3137. Congrats to you both, please contact our swag office with a mailing address, or if you prefer the location of a dead-drop site far from security cameras.

For the record it’s not actually paint, it’s some sort of peel off vinyl. Better than what once covered the roof of my 74 El Camino, I hope.

Update: UOPD Chief Matt Carmichael just called in to the UO M hotline with the answer, to the penny. I want to thank him for

a) Fixing the famously problematic UO police department, and in short order too.

b) Offering to explain why they pimped out their ride, and then just laughing and giving me the cost when I told him “thanks, I’ve already heard enough crap today”.

I don’t think I’m giving too much away by saying the cost (x100 to get rid of the decimal) is a prime number. Feel free to revise and resubmit your guesses. I’ll keep the contest open until Noon tomorrow. Sorry Matt you’re not eligible, and couldn’t they have thrown in some hubcaps?

9/26/2017: Submit your entries as pseudonymous comments. The winner will be whoever is closest to the number given by UOPD spokesperson Kelly McIver:

Hi Kelly, I’m writing as UO Matters guy, wondering if you can tell me how much the paint job for this truck cost:

Thanks, Bill Harbaugh

UO Employees with BANNER access or inside knowledge not eligible to win.

9/21/2017: UO Police Department’s bloated budget has money to burn on Duck crap.

Thanks to Dog for the evidence:

Wow did she take the wrong job

Daily Emerald reporter Logan Marks has the report on new AAEO Director Tracey Tsugawa:

New Affirmative Action Director has social justice in her genes

“[I want to] make sure that we have a campus that is as free as possible from forms of harassment and discrimination, and cultivate a campus that is truly inclusive and welcoming for everyone…” Tsugawa said. “I’m totally excited about coming to Oregon – totally excited about becoming a Duck.”

Tsugawa mentioned two overarching goals for the AAEO office. One is providing prevention education and training for office staff on how to address interpersonal conflict. The other is making processes more transparent so people know what their options are. She also emphasized the importance of protecting people instead of the university.

“Our job is to protect the students, staff and faculty of the campus, not to protect the university…We need to be independent and autonomous to a degree so that we can protect people.”

Which sounds admirable, but is either disingenuous or confused. UO will be not be paying her ~$150K to protect people. Her job is to protect the university. As UO’s Discrimination Complaint and Response Policy warns:

Employees should be aware that AAEO is tasked with ensuring compliance with this policy and state and federal law.  Therefore, while AAEO will work with employees, students and campus community members to ensure that they understand their complaint options, are protected from retaliation and are provided with interim measures as appropriate, AAEO employees are not advocates for individuals participating in the process.

This policy wording was approved by the UO General Counsel’s Office and has been implemented twice by the UO President – once as an emergency policy and once as an interim policy. It is still in effect, except for situations involving sexual harassment or violence against students. Those are now handled by UO’s Title IX Office, under UO’s new student-directed reporting policy.

MLK Jr’s life and words demonstrated the importance of free speech far beyond the power of that racist little pissant Jeff Sessions to add or subtract

Call me a cynic, but it’s as if Trump’s AG Jeff Sessions is trying his best to destroy support for free speech among college students. That can’t be his goal, can it? What evidence is there, other than his lifetime of efforts to deny people their voting rights?

The NYT on Trump’s AG Sessions speech on campus free speech, here:

Speaking at Georgetown University’s law school, Mr. Sessions condemned the designated free-speech zones that have popped up on campuses across the country and seized on the case of an evangelical Christian student who had been restricted from speaking about his religion. He also sided with provocative writers who have been shut out at the University of California, Berkeley, which has been at the center of the debate.

“A national recommitment to free speech on campus and to ensuring First Amendment rights is long overdue,” Mr. Sessions said, addressing an audience that included students wearing tape over their mouths in protest of the Trump administration. “Protesters are now routinely shutting down speeches and debates across the country in an effort to silence voices that insufficiently conform with their views.”

Here’s Coretta Scott King on Jeff Sessions 30 years ago, when he was trying unsuccessfully to become a federal judge, outing him for his efforts to deny voting rights to citizens of Alabama:

And here’s Martin Luther King’s last speech – on the importance of the First Amendment for what he was able to accomplish for America. He died for it the next day:

Pres Schill welcomes back campus community with a hearty “GO DUCKS!”

Dear University of Oregon campus community,

As I drove onto campus this week, I got a familiar feeling of excitement. New students were settling into their residence halls and beginning to navigate the campus. Returning students were greeting each other and catching up on what they did during the summer. In other words, the campus was coming alive. It reminded me how fortunate we are to live and learn in such a wonderful community.

As we embark on what I hope will be an amazing 2017–18 academic year, I want to write to you about the core values that are essential to our success as a great public research university. These values are part of the way we “throw our O” and make an impact that provides scientific, artistic, economic, and social benefit to the region, our state, the nation, and even the world.

First, every person on our campus is part of our UO family. You belong here. As I stated in a campus message this summer, we value every student and member of the faculty and staff, regardless of immigration status, race, religion, ethnic or national origin, political view, socio-economic status, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. The quality of the education and experiences we provide at the UO are enriched by our differences.

Second, as a community of scholars, we must look out for each other. This starts with having zero tolerance for sexual harassment and violence. It means respecting yourself and not abusing drugs or alcohol. It means standing up to hazing and other forms of bullying and harassment. We all have a responsibility to do something or say something if we see a fellow Duck in trouble or at risk. This weekend I sent a message to campus with Darci Heroy, associate vice president and Title IX coordinator, strongly affirming our commitment to addressing sexual harassment and violence, and letting our campus know that recent federal changes to Title IX will have little, if any, impact on our policies or practices.

The third value I want to talk about is our commitment to free expression and academic freedom. Free speech is the bedrock of higher education. Without the ability to speak out, question, and debate the tough issues of the day, we might as well not be a university. Free speech—peaceful, nonviolent expression of views—is essential for teaching and research, and for our ability to move our society forward in a positive direction. If you don’t like what you hear, do not shut that speech down. Instead, speak out yourself.

Finally, the University of Oregon values the pursuit of excellence in everything we do. This means striving to do your best, challenging the status quo, looking for new and better ways, and investing in the people and programs that exemplify these values. I get excited when I think of the incredible ideas, writings, experiments, performances, designs, and discoveries our faculty will generate in the coming year.

Each moment of insight or discovery that takes place at the University of Oregon adds up to a cascade of knowledge that prepares our students to lead, benefits our state, helps us understand our world, and makes an impact. This is our mission and how we improve society.

I will share more of my thoughts on the many ways we can support and encourage excellence in teaching, research, and service next week during my State of the University address. I invite you to join me on Friday, October 6, at 11:00 a.m. in the Erb Memorial Union Ballroom as I provide this university update. I hope you join me or watch the event as it is live-streamed on the UO Channel.

It is going to be an outstanding academic year. Again, welcome, and GO DUCKS!

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

New evidence on cost-effectiveness of Pell grants

ProPelled: The Effects of Grants on Graduation, Earnings, and Welfare

Jeffrey T. DenningBenjamin M. MarxLesley J. Turner

NBER Working Paper No. 23860
Issued in September 2017
NBER Program(s):   ED   LS   PE

We estimate the effect of grant aid on poor college students’ attainment and earnings using student-level administrative data from four-year public colleges in Texas. To identify these effects, we exploit a discontinuity in grant generosity as a function of family income. Eligibility for the maximum Pell Grant significantly increases degree receipt and earnings beginning four years after entry. Within ten years, imputed taxes on eligible students’ earnings gains fully recoup total government expenditures generated by initial eligibility. To clarify how these estimates relate to social welfare, we develop a general theoretical model and derive sufficient statistics for the welfare implications of changes in the price of college. Whether additional grant aid increases welfare depends on (1) net externalities from recipients’ behavioral responses and (2) a direct effect of mitigating credit constraints or other frictions that inflate students’ in-school marginal utility. Calibrating our model using nationally representative consumption data suggests that increasing grant aid for the average college student by $1 could generate negative externalities as high as $0.50 and still improve welfare. Applying our welfare formula and estimated direct effects to our setting and others suggests considerable welfare gains from grants that target low-income students.

Why is the FBI helping the NCAA cheat athletes out of their earnings?

The NYT reports the FBI will hold a press conference today:

A second indictment charges five people with paying high school athletes or their families to attend particular universities. Those indicted include James Gatto, identified as the head of global sports marketing, basketball for “Company-1.” Though it is not named, Gatto works for Adidas in that role.

The indictment says about $100,000 was paid to the family of “Player 10” to stear him to a particular college. It says press accounts described his college decision as a surprise.

Why does the FBI care that colleges are paying athletes to come play for them? I can see why it infuriates the NCAA cartel, but they should have to hire their own enforcers, or at least pay for federal assistance like the Sinaloa heroin cartel does.

In a normal world the FBI would not be indicting people for breaking the NCAA cartel’s prohibition against paying players, they’d be helping make sure the players don’t get cheated.

But that would mean less money for coaches like Dana Altman and Willie Taggart, AD’s like Rob Mullens and FAR’s like Tim Gleason – who gets to vote on the NCAA’s rules.

In order to maintain their cartel and keep up protection like this, last year the FBS AD’s, presumably including Mullens, formed a PAC. Story here:

The athletic directors at America’s major college football-playing universities are forming a political action committee. The group will be called LEAD1, and it’ll represent the ADs at 129 Football Bowl Subdivision schools. It was announced Thursday morning. The group was formerly the D1A Athletic Directors’ Association. It wasn’t a PAC.

This PAC is being formed to lobby members of Congress in Washington. PACs can give limited donations to specific candidates and parties, and because of the Citizens United decision, they can independently spend as much money as they want to help a given candidate or party win an election. They’re a huge part of this country’s political ecosystem, both at the federal and state level. This one appears to be a federal PAC, though it’s not clear if its members might look for ways to lobby states, too.

“With the PAC now approved, it further ensures that the concerns of the LEAD1 members will be heard by members of Congress, and other key decision makers in Washington, D.C. and across the country,” announced Tom McMillen, a former three-term congressman and Maryland basketball player who will serve as the PAC’s president and CEO.

What’s interesting about this PAC is who comprises it, and how its members could use it. It’s pretty hard to get 129 strong-minded college athletic directors to agree on policy goals. But if the ADs saw fit to start a PAC to lobby politicians independent of the broader NCAA, it suggests they’re prepared to rally around at least one cause.

Let’s not overthink what “concerns” these ADs might have.

This PAC is going to try to keep college athletes from getting paid. …

Daily Emerald explains ~$5M in Duck subsidies to new UO students

ODE reporter Kenny Jacoby is back from a summer internship at NBC TV in San Diego, and he’s wasting no time getting to work. Today the Emerald has the most comprehensive accounting I’ve seen yet of the ~$5M a year in subsidies that UO’s academic side pays to Rob Mullens and the Ducks:

It’s the beginning of another school year, which means another round of tuition hikes for UO students. The damage this year is a 6.6 percent increase for in-state students (about $810 per year) and a 3 percent increase for out-of-state (about $945). It was nearly 10.6 percent for in-state students, but a last-minute influx of state support helped mitigate the increase. Tuition has gone up for the fourth straight year and roughly doubled in the past decade.

The Oregon athletic department, meanwhile, continues to thrive. According to its projected 2018 budget, it expects to make $113 million in revenue, up from $110 million last year and $40 million a decade ago. Each year, however, it spends every dollar it brings in. It recently paid to buy former football coach Mark Helfrich and his coaching staff out of their contracts and hire Willie Taggart and 12 new assistant and strength coaches.

Of the $113 million in revenue in 2018, about $5 million will come directly out of UO students’ pockets. Students, through tuition and fees, foot the bill for tutoring and advising services for student-athletes, President Michael Schill’s luxury seats at Autzen Stadium and Matthew Knight Arena, student tickets to football and basketball games and debt service on the basketball arena and parking garage.

Over the summer, the Emerald asked Schill whether he would consider pulling any money from the athletic department budget to mitigate a tuition increase for students. The answer was a resounding no. He said athletics is going through its own budget issues, and that he is “comfortable” with the the current level of subsidy.

Some big ticket subsidies from Jacoby’s story:

Jaqua Academic Center – $2 million

UO students pay roughly $2 million per year on tutoring and advising services available exclusively to UO’s approximately 450 student-athletes, financial transparency reports show. By comparison, UO spends about the same amount each year on the Teaching and Learning Center in the fourth of the library or basement of PLC, which offers free group tutoring services and paid one-on-one sessions to 20,000 undergraduates.

Matthew Knight Arena – $502,000

The most expensive on-campus basketball arena in the U.S. costs UO students roughly $502,000 a year in debt service, plus the cost of using the arena for school events. A decade ago, when Knight pledged $100 million to build the $227 million arena, the athletic department scrambled to find funds to buy the land on which to build it, which at the time was owned by a bakery plant. So in 2009, then-athletic director Pat Kilkenny made a deal with then-President Dave Frohnmayer that ultimately left UO students paying roughly a quarter of of the $1.8-million-a-year land debt payment. …

In addition to land debt service, UO students also pay money to use Matthew Knight Arena. Financial records obtained by the Emerald show UO has paid athletics more than $230,000 in the past three years on expenses on 27 school events at Matthew Knight Arena, including rent, audio/video technology, janitors, ushers and changeover (changing the venue from a basketball facility to accommodate different types of events). Using Matthew Knight Arena for Ta-Nehisi Coates’ lecture in February, for example, cost UO nearly $40,000 — not including the $41,000 in donor money it paid to Coates.

Student Tickets – $1.7 million

UO students pay athletics nearly $1.7 million a year in student fees for tickets to UO sporting events.

President Schill’s Luxury Seats – $412,000

As part of the 2009 agreement between Frohnmayer and Kilkenny, UO agreed to pay the athletic department $375,000 a year for use of the presidential suite, 80 club level season tickets, eight reserved season tickets and 11 parking spaces at Autzen Stadium. UO also agreed to pay for 20 men’s basketball season tickets and four garage parking passes at Matthew Knight Arena, which amounted to $32,456 last year. The seats are used “for donor engagement and fundraising activities,” according to athletic department spokesman Craig Pintens.

Parking Garage and Parking Revenue – $625,000

Also part of the 2009 agreement, UO agreed to finance a portion of the debt service on the underground parking garage at Matthew Knight Arena and allow athletics to keep the parking revenue generated during games, as well as outside events managed by athletics, such as concerts. This amounts to $521,000 a year for debt service and between $250,000 and $270,000 in lost revenue — minus roughly $150,000 that the athletic department pays the City of Eugene for parking enforcement — during Matthew Knight Arena events.

President Trump joins Coach Altman in pressuring black athletes to keep quiet

9/24/2017: Apparently both share similarly grandiose views of their authority, and both lack an understanding of the First Amendment and American history. Of course the NCAA gives Altman considerably more power over “his” players than Trump has over Kaepernick, the NFL and the NBA, and so far Altman been able to keep them quiet. Trump, not so much:

12/10/2014: Coach Dana Altman thinks National Anthem is the wrong time to protest racism

Our fool of a basketball coach thinks he owns those players. They shouldn’t protest when he’s trying to collect his $2M paycheck, off their free labor.

Fortunately we’ve still got people who can hear someone sing “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave” and actually understand what it means.

Want to ask the players what they think? No. Duck AD Rob Mullens and his PR flack Craig Pintens have a rule about players talking to reporters without permission, and “Benjamin and Bell have not been made available to comment.”

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