Senate passes motion to make Athletic Department pay its debts

Motion to have the UO athletic department pay the costs of athlete only tutoring and the Knight Arena land, passed 19 to 4 with 4 abstentions on 5/8/2013.

President Gottfredson’s report to Senate due 7/8/2013.

Payments by the Athletics Department for Academic Purposes

Date of Notice: 
Wed, 02/13/2013
Legislation, Resolution, or Policy Adoption: 
Legislation (Passed as Resolution, vote 19 to 4).
Current Status: 
Notice Given
1.1 WHEREAS in 2004, the UO Athletics Task Force, which included President Frohnmayer, Athletic Director Bill Moos, NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon, the Senate President, and many Senate and faculty representatives, concluded a three-year study of UO athletics with a report that stated as recommendation #1,
“The Task Force and the Athletic Department recommend a voluntary financial contribution by athletics to the Presidential Scholarship fund.”[i]
1.2 AND, WHEREAS in 2008, the UO Senate passed a resolution titled “Revenue Sharing with the Athletic Department” which concluded,
“Be it moved that: The Athletic Department, Administration, and Faculty work together to outline a mechanism that, under the appropriate fiscal conditions, would allow the Athletic Department to provide a meaningful proportion of their yearly revenues to the general fund to aid the academic mission of the university.”[ii]
1.3 AND, WHEREAS nine years have now passed since the 2004 Task Force report, and 5 years since the 2008 Senate motion, during which annual operating expenditures by the athletic department have increased from less than $40 million to more than $90 million;[iii]
1.4 AND, WHEREAS the athletic department is still not making any direct financial contributions for the support of UO’s academic mission, beyond paying the tuition of its own students, and making a few small and intermittent donations to the library;
1.5 AND, WHEREAS UO’s academic side has been making a variety of new and increased payments in support of the athletic department, including since 2010 an estimated $1.8 million dollars per year for the tutoring services at the Jaqua Center for Student-Athletes that are available only to student-athletes;[iv]
1.6 AND, WHEREAS UO’s academic budget has been paying $467,538 a year since 2009 to help repay the bonds used to purchase the Knight Arena land;[v]
1.7 AND, WHEREAS the athletic department solicits donations and ticket surcharges for the Duck Athletic Fund, totaling ~$30M for 2012-13,[vi] with the statement,
“The mission of the Duck Athletic Fund is to raise funds to offset the expenses of student-athletic scholarships and related athletic department support at the University of Oregon.”[vii]
1.8 AND, WHEREAS in the most recently reported data, 2011-12, the athletic department paid only $7 million from these DAF funds to the academic side for student-athlete tuition.[viii]
2.1 BE IT HEREBY MOVED that the UO Senate requests that the UO President requires the UO Athletic Department to pay from its budget the full cost of providing tutoring and academic support for student-athletes, beginning in FY 2013-14;
2.2 BE IT FURTHER MOVED that the UO Senate requests that the UO President requires the UO Athletic Department to pay from its budget the full cost of the bonds used to purchase the Knight Arena land, beginning in FY 2013-14;
2.3 BE IT FURTHER MOVED that the UO Senate requests that the UO President requires that for each year beginning with FY 2014-15, the UO Athletics Department set aside from its budget a sum equal to 2% of the athletic department’s prior year spending on athletics, and redirect these funds toward UO’s academic purposes, including but not limited to scholarship and student support services for low-income Pathways Oregon students, and academic merit scholarships.

Financial Impact: 
Cost Neutral
Bill Harbaugh (Economics), UO Senator

Support from Past Senate Presidents:

Nathan Tublitz (Biology), Senate President Jan 2010-11:
I write this in strong support of Prof. Harbaugh’s motion on athletics up for debate today in the Senate and apologize for not being at the meeting in person however I am out of town.
As a former IAC chair, IAC member for over 10 years, University Senate Representative to the Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA; a national alliance of Division 1A faculty senates whose aim is to reform college athletics), and the University Senate President who co-established the 2001-04 Athletic Task Force, I have been aware for many years that the University Athletic Department has avoided following through with its promise to pay a fraction of its revenues to the President Scholarship Fund. This promise was made in the report from the 2001-04 Athletic Task Force Recommendation and agreed to by then Athletic Director Bill Moos and then University VP for Auxillaries Dan Williams who was representing the University President. The athletic department budget has grown in that time from ~$35 million to over $90 million yet there has been little attempt to fulfill the promise made to the Senate and to the University community. In a time when the University continues to maintain it has little or no funds for academic improvements such as faculty salaries or reducing class size and continues to raise student tuition and fees rate significantly each year, it is time to find new sources of funds to support academics, our primary mission. The current motion proposes several ways of achieving this goal without harming athletics. Please consider voting in favor of this motion.
Gordon Sayre (English), Senate President 2007-08:
“For a decade now the UO Athletic department has claimed to be financially independent and to not draw financial support from the University’s general funds. Those of us active in faculty governance realize, however, that accounting for the Athletic department’s $90,000,000 budget is complex and that such a claim to financial independence comes with many caveats, such as the expenses for student athlete academic tutoring, and the maintenance of the palatial Jaqua center.

“At the same time, the claim of financial independence has undergirded an assertion of management independence, whereby the athletic department operates without meaningful oversight by faculty governance. I witnessed this when I served on the Arena Financing sub-committee, and saw the Athletic department advertize revenue claims that were wildly overstated, demand tax-free bond financing backed by the University, and basically ignore well-informed faculty advice about the project, including revenue forecasts that have turned out to be very close to actual revenues from Matthew Knight Arena.

“The UO Athletic department, like those at other NCAA members, sorely needs a thorough reform that will empower the interests of athlete-students, from whose labor the spigots of revenue flow. A good first step is to make good on promises to support academic excellence and student success by funding scholarships for all needy students.

Peter Keyes (Architecture), Senate President 2005-2006:
I enthusiastically support this motion.
Jim Earl (English), Senate President 2000-2001:

It is in the interest of all parties that the Athletic Department dedicate a small stream of its profits to the academic enterprise. I recommend the support of presidential scholarships as a perfect means. Not only would the University benefit directly, but the Athletic Department could claim to have joined the small number of schools nationwide that help feed academics, rather than deplete them. In 2001 we brought the $2 million “subsidy” of the Athletic Department to an end; we have been waiting a long time for the other shoe to drop.

Tuition increases. Where’s the money?

5/3/2013: UO tuition increases. Diane Dietz reports in the RG on UO’s proposed 6% tuition and fee increase. That’s at least $15M in new tuition revenue on top of the the $29M or so from last year. The union wage proposal costs about $25M, but not until 2014-15. From OUS:

And on strange increases in the operating budget, 5/2/2013: I don’t understand this. UO’s reports to OUS show our operating revenue has doubled in 4 years, from $438M in 2008-09, to an estimated $866M for the year ending June 2013. The year over year is even stranger. Numbers from UO’s January report to OUS, here. UO’s estimated operating revenues increased from $735M last year to an estimated $866M this year. That’s an 18% increase:

  • $3M in new state funds. 
  • $29M in new E and G, which seems to be mostly new tuition. More than enough to fund the union’s raise proposals, which don’t even fully kick in until 2014-15.
  • $100M in “Other Funds”, on a base of $336M. That’s huge. OSU has an even bigger increase. PSU has a decrease.

Any ideas about where that new Other Funds money is coming from, where it’s going, and if it’s recurring? I assume the answer is hidden somewhere in the redacted parts of Jamie Moffitt’s secret budget slides, but that’s not much help.

And compare that $866M to the $560M in operating revenues for 2010-11. Or the $438M for 2008-09, from p 54, here:

Mullens charges $5 for ogling Duck cheerleaders

Call me old-fashioned. I thought it was a trifle déclassé for our athletic department to sell Duck women’s soccer shorts on the internet – complete with a certificate of authenticity. But it must have helped cover Kelly’s bonuses. Now they’re selling tickets to the cheerleader tryouts for $5:

I guess this is safe for work? An anonymous reader sent me the link, with many photos. I didn’t believe them, because when you look at the website for cheerleader tryouts, they promise a certain amount of discretion:

But that was back when Bill Moos was Athletic Director. Things have changed, and for AD Rob Mullens, money is money. The official Oregon Cheer twitter feed invites spectators to come down to Matt Court with their $5.

No verification yet to the rumor that senior JH administrators get in for free. 4/30/2013.

Quinnipiac to drop competitive cheerleading

4/29/2013: That’s my read of this AP story:

… The school had previously insisted it would continue to pursue acrobatics and tumbling despite the ruling. But on Friday, it backed away from that position.

“The court has ruled that acrobatics and tumbling is not in their view an approved NCAA sport for Title IX purposes, and as a result the university will have to review its status and continuation going forward,” Bushnell said in her statement. “The university currently sponsors only NCAA-approved intercollegiate sports and not club sports.”

The school is hosting the National Collegiate Athletics and Tumbling Association’s national championships this weekend.

 The  Ducks won. Adding this at UO was part of Kilkenny’s budget-busting scheme to add mens baseball without breaking Title IX rules.

Quality or quantity?

4/28/2013: Betsy Hammond of the Oregonian reports on the tradeoff:

Oregon operates the second-most-expensive public preschools in the nation, at a cost of more than $8,500 per child for a half-day, Head Start-like program, according to a study released Sunday night. Partly because of the high costs, the state has to limit the number of children who take part to about 7,200, or about 7 percent of all 3- and 4-year-olds in the state. When judged by the rate of 4-year-olds who get state-paid preschool, Oregon ranks 30th among the 40 states that offer programs.

Sign up for Senate shared governance

Monday 4/22/2013 is the last day to volunteer for appointments, and to run for the Senate and elected committees. List of who has volunteered so far is here.

To: Faculty, Officers of Administration, Classified Staff
From: Christopher Prosser, senate executive coordinator
Re: UO Senate Committee Service Preference Form 

Now is the time to sign up for an elected or appointed committee. To access the electronic form please click here

The electronic form will be active for two weeks starting today Monday, April 8, 2013.

Please note: If you click a box to run for an elected committee, your name will automatically be placed on the spring 2013 election ballot. 

The spring election will begin on Monday, April 29 and end at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 10.

In my opinion Rob Kyr has done a great job running the Senate for the past 2 years through some difficult times. We elected Margie Paris to be Senate President next year and I’m very optimistic. President Gottfredson has made the right noises about shared governance, but follow-through is going to require lots of participation. 

Oregon Commentator’s Hate Issue goes open-source

4/19/2013: From Editor Nick Ekblad, on the Commentator Blog:


So much that we made this hate document! 

Now is your chance to unleash your hatred at/for/via the Oregon Commentator! FREE SUDSY T-SHIRT FOR THE BEST HATE ESSAY 

Well-grounded hate is quintessential because its ugly alternatives are blind acceptance or forced compromise. This current trend in society to discourage or even denounce hate in its essence spells danger for the United States. We must not only keep in mind but assert the importance of upholding the right to hate, just as we have the right to free speech. As irrational or discomforting as it may sound, everyone has the right to feel how they feel. As a former Commentator once said: 

Sticking your head in the clouds and pretending the world is always a beautiful place may be appealing, but it is not reality.

The link goes to a google doc where students can help write the story. And don’t forget to check out the Journal of Hate Studies