Hardworking Duck basketball players earn $25K for NCAA tournament bid!

$25K for Coach Dana Altman, that is. His players get nothing.

UO tops off Altman’s $1.8M salary with a $850K retention bonus, 2 cars, country club membership, away-game travel for his spouse etc, and also $25K for getting into the tournament plus more for getting into higher brackets. That new contract is here.

Altman’s old contract attempted to incentivise him to bring in some money for UO to help pay off the $235M in Matt Court bonds by giving him 15% of the gate after the first $4M:

But Dana Altman has never been able to sell even $3M in tickets – this year Eric Roedl’s budget prediction was for just $2.7M – so last fall Rob Mullens took out that embarrassing clause and just threw money at him lump sum:

Racial Resentment and White Opinion toward Paying College Athletes

Presumably naked self-interest on the part of college coaches and other athletic department employees getting rich off the labor of college football and basketball players is the main explanation for their opposition to the idea of paying their “student-athletes”. Racism also has some explanatory power:

Prejudice or Principled Conservatism? Racial Resentment and White Opinion toward Paying College Athletes

Kevin Wallsten, Tatishe M. Nteta, Lauren A. McCarthy, Melinda R. Tarsi

Political Research Quarterly 2017, Vol. 70(1) 209–222


Despite its widespread use in studies of race and ethnic politics, there exists a long-standing debate about whether
racial resentment primarily measures antiblack prejudice or ideological conservatism. In this paper, we attempt to
resolve this debate by examining racial resentment’s role in shaping white opinion on a “racialized” policy issue
that involves no federal action and no government redistribution of resources: “pay for play” in college athletics.
Using cross-sectional and experimental data from the 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study and Amazon’s
Mechanical Turk, we find evidence not only that racial resentment items tap racial predispositions but also that whites
rely on these predispositions when forming and expressing their views on paying college athletes. More specifically, we
demonstrate that racially resentful whites who were subtly primed to think about African Americans are more likely
to express opposition to paying college athletes when compared with similarly resentful whites who were primed
to think about whites. Because free-market conservatism, resistance to changes in the status quo, opposition to
expanding federal power, and reluctance to endorse government redistributive policies cannot possibly explain these
results, we conclude that racial resentment is a valid measure of antiblack prejudice.


Diane Dietz, the reporter who helped turn around UO, leaves the RG

This is a sad day for the University of Oregon.

Diane Dietz deserves more than a little credit for the turnaround in the honesty and competence of the UO administration that we’ve seen in the last few years. When I came to UO in 1995 the RG’s coverage of UO amounted to reprinted press releases about our wonderful administrators. You know, like what Tobin Klinger types up for “Around the O” every day.

When the RG gave Diane Dietz the UO beat, things started to change. She actually held UO’s administrators to the high standards they claimed they had. When they screwed up, she reported it on the front page. Eugene is a small enough town that your neighbors notice when you are on the front page. That pressure made the UO administration better – not that they’ll ever admit it.

Diane’s announcement is on her Facebook page here:

If you read The Register-Guard today, you may have seen my last byline. I was one of at least two reporters laid off in the latest round. It was a little sad to leave like this on a weepy, gray day. But this is journalism circa 2017 and there’s no one to blame. Quite the opposite. I was lucky to spend 30 years as one in the last generation of newspaper reporters — and to make a comfortable living doing so. I was paid to go out and pitch my heart and intellect against the rough edges of this era and to tell it as truly as I could. I saw much, learned so much and worked with spectacular people along the way.  We must do all we can to bolster and to comfort the young reporters who — while caught in the squeeze of news economics — must nonetheless provide us with the fruits of their work, the facts that we so desperately need.

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How to get Public Records from UO: Petition the Lane County DA

An anonymous reader has been trying for months to get some simple public records from UO. They filed the request with the UO Public Records Office, they eventually got an estimate of the costs, and they paid it. Their check was cashed by UO. Then they waited some more. Months more. They sent follow up emails to the PR Office. They waited more months. Nothing.

Finally they sent an email to Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow’s Office, petitioning the DA to order UO to produce the documents. A few days later the DA’s office emailed UO, ccing the requestor. They sent it on to me. I’ve redacted identifying info:

To: UO Public Records Office
From: Lane County District Attorney’s Office
CC: [redacted]
Date: February 25 2017

Attached you will find a scanned copy of an Appeal of a Public Records Request Denial filed by [redacted].  [Redacted] notes that the University has not explicitly denied [their] request, but because of the length of time that has transpired since [their] request and payment in full of the University’s cost estimate, [he/she] believes the University has effectively denied [their] request.  [He/She] notes [their] request was made [August 2016] with the University accepting her payment by cashing her supplied check [September 2016]. 

Could you please check in on the status of [their] request to determine if this is a matter that our office need issue an opinion?

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

UO then finally sent the documents.

I encourage others who have been frustrated by UO’s Public Records Office to use this petition process, which is described on the Oregon DOJ’s website here: http://www.doj.state.or.us/public_records/pages/orders.aspx

Petitions regarding the UO’s Public Records Office should be sent to the office of District Attorney Patty Perlow. This format seems to work fine:

Dear District Attorney Perlow:

On … I made a public records request to the University of Oregon Public Records Office. That request is appended below. 

On … I received a response from UO, also below, saying that they would charge me  $… for these documents. I sent payment on …, and according to my bank UO cashed that check.

On I sent UO a follow-up asking when I could expect the documents. I have not received any response. …

It has now been more than … weeks since I made this request.

As you know the Oregon DOJ believes that two weeks is normally sufficient time to produce public records. More than two weeks have now passed, and I therefore petition the DA to treat this delay as a denial, and order UO to produce these documents.

Thank you for your help with this matter, …

You can also petition UO’s refusal to waive fees in cases of public interest. The DA’s email is Patty.Perlow at co.lane.or.us 

Duck AD Rob Mullens paid Taggart’s assistant $60K to leave after DUI

That’s about 0.15 Gottfredsons, 0.005 Helfriches, or enough to pay a NTTF for a year and a half. Ryan Thorburn has the scoop in the RG here:

Oregon paid former football assistant coach David Reaves a total of $63,750 in compensation for his brief employment as Willie Taggart’s co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach.

Reaves, who resigned Feb. 3 after being arrested on DUII and other charges, received $3,750 for 26 hours of work, plus a payment of $60,000, according to UO documents obtained by The Register-Guard through a public records request. …

Announcing the UOM “UO’s best graffiti” contest:

I’ll get this contest started with entry #1, from Room 30 Pacific Hall. Most of the seat desks have been replaced with formica, but it appears the Facilities Services carpenters didn’t have the heart to rip out this motivational creation – from the back row, of course:

Entry #1, “Focus on Class”

Send your entries to uomatters at gmail. Your anonymity is guaranteed. Voting will start eventually. The winning entry gets some sort of a prize.

Faculty union president criticizes lack of governance input on AAD cuts

I first started writing about the Arts and Administration Program (AAD) and Doug Blandy’s $1M credit hour scam back in 2014:

1/23/2014: VPAA Doug Blandy pulls off daring $1M student credit hour heist

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 11.01.45 PM

… Starting somewhere around 2006, when Doug Blandy took over as Director of the Arts and Administration program in AAA, he started adding many new online versions of these classes, taught with underpaid NTTFs.

Let’s do some math: For 2011-12 they taught about 2100 students, 4 credits each. Under the Shelton/Bean budget model, AAA gets ~$112 per credit, maybe a bit more given all the “self-supporting” online and summer courses. Let’s call it $1,200,000 or so.  Gotta pay the adjuncts though. For the first one I checked, pay was $15,000, for 0.49 FTE. Slick – no benefits to worry about. Assume that’s for 4 courses, so labor costs are about $4000 a course. 44 courses or so a year, that’s $200,000 for labor, tops. So it looks like AAA and Blandy’s AAD program have been pulling down close to $1,000,000 a year, net, from this scheme.

But why would our undergrads go for these AAD courses? Wouldn’t they take art appreciation courses in the Art History department, from a professor with a respected research program, like, say, this one, or this one, or this one?

Well, no. The AAD courses satisfy both Arts and Letters *and* multicultural requirements. The legendary twofer. And even better, you can do the AAD courses online and get a friend to take the exams for you. [CAS requires proctored exams for on-line classes, AAD does not.] And regular Art History courses are hard. The average grade is 2.9. Less than a 3% chance of an A+.

But in the AAD courses, as of Fall 2011, the average undergraduate grade was 3.4. This is almost the highest for any UO department outside the Education school and Military Science. 19% of AAD students got an A+.  60% of the students got an A:


Rumor has it that President Schill and Provost Coltrane are now going to put an end to this by folding the AAD MA degree and its two TTF into PPPM, and laying off most of the NTTF  faculty.

Today UA Faculty Union President Michael Dreiling has an Op-Ed in the RG, defending the AAD program:

… There is no indication that these decisions are about budgets or finances. Enrollment in the major is strong, and the curriculum serves historically underrepresented students. More than 25 percent of recent majors are students of color and 10 percent are nontraditional students. Graduates of the program are leaders in the arts and nonprofit scenes throughout the country. The Arts and Administration program’s curriculum has roots that extend more than 40 years at the UO, and the faculty have given decades of their careers and lives to build this successful program.

In return, the university plans to give most of these faculty a pink slip.

The justification for eliminating up to 13 non-tenure-track faculty jobs was not budgetary, or based on poor faculty performance or low student demand: It was that the program has too many non-tenure track faculty teaching classes. Eliminating these faculty positions was an easy way for administrators to instantly improve metrics. Such an approach runs counter to academic shared governance. …

I’m with Dreiling on the faculty layoffs. UO should do everything possible to find other assignments for them, and at a minimum long term faculty should be given more than a few months to find a new job.

But as for the AAD program itself, it is a prime example of the race to the bottom created by the Bean/Shelton Budget model. It never should have been allowed to take so many undergraduate students away from core Gen Ed Humanities classes in CAS. As for the argument that AAD

“serves historically underrepresented students. More than 25 percent of recent majors are students of color …”

If you are into slicing and dicing our students by race, the IR website does a great job of it. 25.3% of UO’s students are now “Students of Color” while only 23.3% of AAA’s are (they don’t break it out by department.)

Interestingly, CAS Natural Sciences seems to have the highest ratio, with 28.6%. More here:


University hires Mike Glazier to clean-up latest jock tutoring scandal

Mike “The Cleaner” Glazier is the lawyer that UO’s Rob Mullens and Randy Geller hired to deal with the Chip Kelly/Willie Lyles recruiting scandal. The academic side got stuck with half his legal bills, Bob Berdahl used the fact that Nathan Tublitz and the Senate IAC tried to find out what was going on and who was paying Glazier as an excuse to try and shut down the IAC, and in the end Chip Kelly skipped town without even paying UO his $20K fine – or that’s what UO pro-tem journalism prof Paul Swangard tweeted at the time:

But this latest scandal is about the University of Missouri, here:

The University of Missouri has retained the services of prominent college sports attorney Mike Glazier to assist with its ongoing investigation into allegations of academic fraud brought by a former tutor in the Total Person Program.

Glazier — a managing member of the Overland Park-based law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King — is “the founder and chair of the firm’s college sports practice,” according to his bio on the firm’s website.

He is leading Mizzou’s joint investigation with the NCAA into former tutor Yolanda Kumar’s allegations that she performed or assisted with coursework for 15 student-athletes during a 16-month period, according to a Nov. 21 letter from interim MU Chancellor Hank Foley to Glazier obtained by the Columbia Daily Tribune.

The whistleblowing tutor now can’t get work in sports-obsessed Columbia, so she wants the university to waive her $3K in overdue tuition and issue her a transcript so she can apply to grad school. Glazier won’t pay, so she’s promising to turn her documentation on the cheating over to the first reporter who will. Lucky for Chip he didn’t need anything from UO to get a new job.

UO Board of Trustees posts skimpy agenda for March 2,3 meetings

BOT March 3 meetings: 30 month delay in internal audit of “significant risks” and “negative impact of unfortunate events in athletics”

Sorry, I’m skipping today. Looks like the livecast link below is now working, and Max Thornberry is tweeting here: https://twitter.com/Max_Thornberry

There’s an updated version of the BOT materials here, and I (and the Trustees) finally got a copy of the internal audit report, here. Not much meat:


The Board of Trustees first ordered the Athletics Risk Assessment back in September, 2014:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.52.36 PM

That athletics audit has been delayed for 30 months, so far. The previous auditor left, reportedly over a dispute about her independence from the VPFA’s office and her inability to get public records from the administration.

And the audit has now shrunk from 300 hours to 120. It’s almost as if the Trustees don’t really want to hear about the “significant risks” and “negative impact of unfortunate events in athletics”.

March 2 BOT meeting:

These are on the BOT page as pdf’s here, I’ve reposted them below in more user friendly form. The meetings will be livecast here. [NOTE: This is now the correct link, but last time I checked it didn’t work.] The proposed tuition increases are scheduled for 1:45 or so on Thursday. Live-blogging will be light to none Thursday, so I’ve done a little pre-blogging in italics below.

Compare the bare-bones information the UO Board is given with the extensive material the OSU Board receives before their considerably more substantive meetings, here.

Executive and Audit Committee – Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 9:00 am Ford Alumni Center, Giustina Ballroom  [Materials]

1. Quarterly Audit Report: Trisha Burnett, Chief Auditor  

This is due diligence? We wouldn’t want the trustees to be prepared to ask tough questions, would we:


2. University Tier III Investments Update: Ross Kari, Finance and Facilities Chair; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President and CFO  

No materials.

Compare this lack of audit materials with the extensive material the Oregon State Board Audit Committee gets, here. I’m going to have to make a public records request for the athletics stuff.

Finance and Facilities Committee Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 9:30 am Ford Alumni Center, Giustina Ballroom  [Materials]

1. Retention and Delegation of Authority – Amendment re Capital Project Budget Approvals (Action): Ross Kari, Finance and Facilities Committee Chair

Seems sensible. Leaves more day to day stuff to President.

2. Knight Campus Capital Project Preliminary Expenses (Action): Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration

Hell yes.

3. Quarterly Finance and Treasury Reports (Written Reports Only)

So, 10 minutes to review a $1B budget? that doesn’t even break out the $120M in athletics expenses? WTF? Any quick questions? No? Meeting adjourned.

Academic and Student Affairs Committee Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 10:00 am [Materials]

1. Reset the Code Campaign: Allen Hall Advertising representatives  

Will they throw free speech a bone this time?

2. Health Center / Counseling and Testing Center Expansion Overview: Roger Thompson, Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management  

Yes. Students need this.

3. University Accreditation: Ron Bramhall, Assoc. Vice Provost for Academic Excellence; Chuck Triplett, Asst. Vice President for University Initiatives and Collaboration and Accreditation Liaison Officer   

Chill, Ron’s got this covered.

4. Program Approval – Master of Arts in Language Teaching Studies: Scott Coltrane, Senior Vice President and Provost  


Meeting of the Board Thursday, March 2, 2017 – 1:30 pm Ford Alumni Center, Giustina Ballroom   Friday, March 3, 2017 – 10:00 am Ford Alumni Center, Giustina Ballroom [Materials]

THURSDAY, MARCH 2 – 1:30 pm (other times approximate) – Convene Public Meeting – Call to order, roll call, verification of quorum – Approval of December 2016 minutes (Action) – Public comment

1. Reports
‐‐ASUO President Quinn Haaga

Quinn gave her usual excellent presentation, with lucid commentary.

‐‐Senate President Bill Harbaugh

Harbaugh, not so much.

‐‐Provost Scott Coltrane
‐‐President Michael Schill

2. AY17‐18 Tuition and Fees (Action): Scott Coltrane, Senior Vice President and Provost; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President and CFO;  Brad Shelton, Senior Vice Provost for Budget and Strategy

3. Seconded Motions and Resolutions from Committee (pending March 2 committee action)
‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Delegation of Authority / Capital Project Approvals
‐‐Seconded Motion from FFC: Knight Campus Preliminary Capital Expenses
Meeting Recessed

FRIDAY, MARCH 3 – 10:00 am (other times approximate) – Re‐Convene Public Meeting

4. Federal Affairs: Issues and Trends: Dennis Galvan, Vice Provost for International Affairs; David Conover, Vice President for Research and Innovation; Betsy Boyd, Assoc. Vice President for Federal Affairs

5. Cluster of Excellence in Focus – Energy and Sustainable Materials: Jim Hutchison, Professor and Lokey Chair of the ONAMI Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Initiative

6. Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact: Patrick Phillips, Acting Executive Director 

Meeting Adjourned

Professor Rob Mullens gives Schill, faculty, & IAAC his “Athletics 101” lecture

This should be interesting. 9AM in Johnson Hall:

Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Committee (IAAC) Meeting 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Johnson Hall Conference Room, Room 105


Introductions and ground rules - Chair

Athletics 101 - Rob Mullens

Services for Student-Athletes - Steve Stolp

NCAA and PAC12 Governance issues - Tim Gleason 

Student-athlete travel - Tim Gleason and Steve Stolp

Phil and Penny Knight most generous US donors for 2016

Andrew Theen has  the story in the Oregonian, here:

Phil and Penny Knight, arguably Oregon’s most prominent couple, were recognized earlier this month as the leading philanthropists in the nation.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy listed the Nike co-founder and his wife as the top donors in its annual ranking of the 50 most charitable Americans. It marked the first time the Knights topped the list in the 17 years the news organization has been compiling the rankings. They have appeared on the list five other times.

Collectively, the top 50 donors gave $5.6 billion in 2016, with close to half of that figure going to academic causes. …

UO to lay off 75 non-tenure track faculty

Diane Dietz has the report in the RG here:

To save money, the University of Oregon is preparing to trim about 75 jobs from its non-tenured faculty, according to United Academics, the labor union representing the faculty.

Plans call for reductions of 25 positions from the College of Arts and Science, 25 from the College of Education and 25 from other university units, the union said it has learned.

The 75 faculty cuts are expected to come largely from the ranks of the career non-tenured faculty, which today number 934.

… UO spokesman Tobin Klinger said the UO has no detailed information to release at this point.

… Cuts are expected to land heavily on the Arts and Administration Department within the School of Architecture and Allied Arts.

… The non-tenured faculty had taken on a lot of the teaching load as the UO increased its student body by one-fifth between 2008 to 2012. Enrollment peaked at 24,600 and has since retreated to 23,600.

The cuts — and tuition increases — are necessary because the Legislature is providing an essentially flat budget for the state’s seven universities for the coming year.

… “Only four states in the nation provide less funding per student for higher education than Oregon, which has severely impacted the affordability and accessibility of a college degree in this state,” Schill said in a statement.

Disgraced GC Melinda Grier started claim that Duck coaches are professors

3/1/2017:  ESPN picks up the story, here:

The University of Oregon is writing a new policy that could make coaches’ disciplinary records inaccessible to the public under Freedom of Information Act laws.

According to The Register-Guard, the policy “explicitly says the personnel records of about 1,400 staff members, called ‘officers of administration,’ a classification that includes coaches, are to be treated like faculty personnel records and kept secret.”

2/27/2017: Lots of interesting stuff in the Oregon DOJ’s Public Records Opinions, here. The origin of UO’s claim that Duck coaches are UO faculty seems to have been former UO General Counsel Melinda Grier, who was fired by President Lariviere after the Oregon DOJ decided she had provided “deficient legal representation” in a case that came to light because of her and current Deputy GC Doug Park’s failure to respond to public records requests for Coach Mike Bellotti’s contract. Jeff Manning had the story:

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 9.52.17 PM

Or should that have been “Professor” Mike Bellotti?

Way back in 2001, Ms Grier established the precedent that Duck coaches were faculty for the purposes of public records requests. Here’s the DOJ ruling, which hinges on the fact that Basketball coach Judy Runge had been specifically appointed as a “professor” – something that I’m guessing was not the case with Reaves:

That opinion was a stretch even for AG “Hardly Matters”, who bent over backwards trying to gut Dave Frohnmayer’s public records law. Not that I’m a law professor.

2/26/2017: DA to rule on UO claim that drunk Duck coach deal is a secret “faculty record”

Diane Dietz has the long story here. Some snippets:

… But the original 1971 law that made faculty personnel records secret said only that “personal information” held by a university about faculty and students would not be subject to disclosure under public records law.

In subsequent iterations, lawmakers took students out of the law and dealt with their privacy elsewhere.

At no time in the law’s evolution to its current version as ORS 352.226 did lawmakers mention any category besides faculty and students. None of the hearing minutes or legislative records that survive mentions “administrators” or “coaches,” for example, as being covered by the law.

… On Feb. 15, the UO Public Records Office cited the faculty records policy to withhold Reaves’ disciplinary records.

Reaves came to Eugene to serve as co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach for new head coach Willie Taggart.

Reaves signed a two-year, $300,000-a-year contract with the UO.

Within a week, police stopped him at 2:12 a.m. on a Sunday at 10th Avenue and Willamette Street in downtown Eugene, ­according to the Eugene Police Department.

The charges stemming from the stop are: driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving and reckless endangerment. Associated violations included failing to maintain a lane, failing to obey a traffic control device, making an improper left turn and refusing to take a breath test for intoxicants.

The UO publicly said it would fire Reaves, but Reaves soon resigned. The Register-Guard’s record request sought “any separation agreement or financial settlement related to the resignation.”

In the past, the UO has paid big bucks to buy out coaches’ employment contracts. But the UO Public Records Office replied that the documents sought “are faculty records per University of Oregon policy, and as such are not ­public records.”

The RG is petitioning Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow, asking her to issue a public records order to UO and put a stop to this nonsense. Meanwhile I’m wondering how it is that UO’s GC made a public records request for all my emails with reporters about academic freedom, if faculty records are really exempt from the public records law.

UO grade inflation continues, after reform efforts fail

Will Campbell has an excellent data driven story with the history of UO’s failed efforts to fight grade inflation in the Emerald here:

… In 2009, when [CAS Associate Dean Ian McNeely] became chair of the Undergraduate Council, the university-wide body that oversees undergraduate education, he became familiar with grade inflation.

He decided to look into the grading culture at UO. He talked to at least five committees around campus, met with deans and the UO president, held town hall meetings and eventually published a blog in May 2010 to create a wider conversation for UO faculty about grading trends.

McNeely used a UO report from 2006 of the university’s grade statistics as evidence for grade inflation. The report found that between 1992 and 2004, the percentage of A’s awarded went up by about 10 percentage points — 31.3 percent to 41.6 percent— and the percentage of A’s and B’s together went up by seven points — from 65.6 percent to 72.6 percent.

McNeely published a report the next month with three proposals to take action against inflation. The report states that McNeely proposed each department develop specific grading standards, or “collaborate and decide on their own general description on an A, B, C grade, and so on,” he said.

He and the undergraduate council also wanted each department to evaluate the grading habits of its professors. That way department leaders would be able to safeguard against inflation. McNeely’s third proposal suggested that students’ transcripts show what percentage of the class received the same grade. “So that would almost be an incentive for professors not to inflate grades because then it might look bad on a student’s transcript,” he said.

The first proposal passed in the senate, but McNeely said that not every department complied. The other two proposals failed on the senate floor.

Currently, McNeely is unaware of any administrative initiatives to combat grade inflation, he wrote in an email to the Emerald. …

There’s much more, read it all.

The Emerald also has an interface that lets you look at grades by course and instructor here. For example,  here’s one of the infamous AAD 250 Gen Ed classes that VP for Academic Affairs Doug Blandy set up: