Students ace exam on prisoner’s dilemma

From Inside Higher Ed. Unfortunately the professor was teaching CS, not Econ. This appears to be history’s first recorded successful implementation of a strategy discussed in every economics class I’ve ever taken, or taught. Read it all, the students used a combination of social media and intimidation to enforce cooperation: they all got A’s without taking the final. 2/12/2013.

Michael Moffitt in NYT on UO’s new law courses

Main post with comments on the CNC problems is here.

In the NYT today: 

At the University of Oregon, Michael Moffitt, the law school’s dean, has started clinics on nonprofit groups, environmental policy and probate mediation. He has also set up law courses for students in other parts of the university, which brings revenue to the law school.

“The problem is that we have been selling only one product,” Mr. Moffitt said. “But if you are getting a business degree, you need to know about contract law. City planners need to know about land-use law. So we at Oregon are educating not just J.D. students.

“Demand is through the roof,” he added. “I feel like I am living a business school case study.”

Sounds great – but go to the list of classes the law school is offering to undergraduates, here. About 250 students are enrolled in the kinds of solid courses Moffitt tells the NYT about. But 300 are in Kilkenny’s sports conflict courses. Probably a good idea not telling the Times that little detail. (Thanks to Anon for tip in the comments.) 2/11/2013.

"Around the O" spam costs ~$107,000. Gottfredson’s calendar costs $103.

I sort of like UO’s official “Around the O” blog. Lots of endearing pictures of our UO administrators, and the occasional informative post about campus events. But I hear complaints about the weekly spam they send to everyone, offering coffee cups and iPads for answering trivia questions. So a couple of weeks ago I asked the blogger, Joe Mosley, for an estimate of the costs. Joe was happy to answer. But his boss, AVP for Strategic Communications Phil Weiler, wanted to make life a little harder for me. So he made me file a public records request. Today I got the reply:

Below, please find the information responsive to your request for “Personnel time spent on the Around the O blog, by person, for the last 3 months” and “$ spent on swag, itemized by item (don’t need to know who got it, just a list like 2 ipads @ 499, etc.)”, made on 1/31/2013.
In response to “Personnel time spent on the Around the O blog, by person, for the last 3 months”:
The university does not possess documents detailing the amount of time an employee spends on AroundtheO, however, the department has offered the following information in response to your request:
  • Joe Mosley  – approximately 50 percent of work time spent on AroundtheO
  • Matt Cooper  – approximately 30 percent of work time spent on AroundtheO
  • Aria Seligmann  –  approximately 25 percent of work time spent on AroundtheO
In response to “$ spent on swag, itemized by item (don’t need to know who got it, just a list like 2 ipads @ 499, etc.)”:
  • Stainless steel travel mugs (100) – $735
  • Three $100 Duck Store gift cards ($250 donated by Duck Store, as co-sponsor of scavenger hunt contest) – $50
  • Two iPads as scavenger hunt prizes – $998
Assuming swag will continue at the current rate, this works out to about $7,000 a year plus $100,000 or so for salaries and OPE.Johnson Hall is happy to spend this kind of money on keeping its employees informed about what JH thinks they should be informed about. But try and get some real info – like President Gottfredson’s official calendar – and they will make you pay $103 and wait a month. Or maybe longer. I asked for that on Jan 8, and I am still getting the run around from Dave Hubin. 2/8/2013.

From our Portland Correspondent, BoJack.

Guess who was in on Nike tax bullying We’ll give you a hint: His annual PERS check is $252,327.

And his partner Sharon Rudnick is negotiating for the administration with the union for $400 an hour. And UO won’t give up the invoices showing her total payments. See below for the bargaining live-blog. One of the many drafts of the agreement is here2/7/13.

From: “William F. Gary” <William.F.Gary@harrang.com>
Subject: NIKE: Project Impact: Revised Agreement
Date: December 18, 2012 5:29:19 PM PST
   Dear Keith,
   As we discussed this afternoon, attached is a revised draft agreement showing the revisions in track changes. I described the substantive changes in our telephone call. We think this agreement is ready for execution. If you would let me know as soon as possible that the draft is acceptable to your client, I will have NIKE sign it in duplicate and deliver the signed originals to the Governor for his signature. I am available at your convenience to discuss any issues you may have with the draft.  

Blog leaks documents, board reviews president

2/7/2013. That’s at Gustavus Adolphus University. The faculty and students are angry over lack of transparency and false promises of shared governance. Here at UO it’s been a month since I paid Dave Hubin $108 to see a printout of President Gottfredson’s official calendar – something many presidents just post on the web. Still nothing. Still nothing on information about who is writing “the university’s” union blog. And now Hubin and Gottfredson want me to pay them $193 for 4 pieces of paper showing how much we have paid Rudnick and the SF anti-union law firm that’s apparently been ghostwriting for Barbara Altmann, over the past 2 months. Help me out here:

$5 to pay UO’s public records fees

Bull Riding at Matt Court, Hockey, Westhead

Some great ODE photos here, by Nate Barrett, Michael Arellano, and Mason Trinca. Also – did anyone know UO has a hockey team? And has anyone been paying attention to how badly Paul Westhead is doing as Women’s BB coach?

Announced attendance for Friday’s loss to Stanford was 1,812. But like most home games this season, the actual attendance appeared to be no more than a few hundred.
Those fans who remain are by definition fiercely loyal, driven to show support for the players and armed with vivid memories of an era under Jody Runge when the Ducks averaged more than 5,000 fans over a three-season stretch from 1998 through 2001.

A little history from old posts:

George Schroeder in the RG had a good column on this: 

… But seriously, keep in mind the last three high-profile openings at Oregon were filled by white guys, and essentially without a search. Bellotti moved up to athletic director. Chip Kelly moved up to head football coach. Paul Westhead was hired as women’s basketball coach as a friend of Pat Kilkenny. Each hire was justifiable. Each guy was qualified, and might have been the best fit. But there wasn’t a traditional search, or much chance provided to any other qualified candidates. 

ESPN had a recent article on Jody Runge, former UO basketball coach, now unable to get a job. The current UO coach is Paul Westhead. His contract – an order of magnitude or so more lucrative than hers, and signed by Frohmayer and Kilkenny, is here.

2/3/2013.

Athletics and FAR hid info from faculty oversight committee

That’s the latest from the sham course scandal at UNC. The NCAA Infractions Committee decided it was an academic scandal, not an athletics one, and washed their hands of it. So did an investigation opened at request of the UNC president, and overseen by the Baker Tilly accounting firm.

But now the faculty on the UNC Faculty Committee on Athletics, who were kept out of the loop by the athletic department and their NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, are fighting back to clear their names. The firm that ran the investigation has already retracted one key claim – that the faculty committee knew of, and therefore implicitly approved of, the sham courses:

The only officials Baker Tilly has found who knew about the fraudulent classes, other than the department head and his assistant, were from the athletic department and the faculty representative to the NCAA.

“Sort of offline,” these athletic department officials “asked a question” – apparently so meekly that no faculty member remembers it.

To expose the fake classes, surely these athletic department officials sent an email to the chairman of the Faculty Committee on Athletics? Or wrote a memo to the chancellor? No such paper trail exists. Because there’s little evidence a serious warning was sounded.

Here at UO, our Faculty Athletics Representative is former law professor Jim O’Fallon. He has made it very clear he answers only to the UO President, and not to UO’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee or the faculty. Nine years now have passed since the UO Task Force on athletic reforms recommended a review for Jim. Still hasn’t happened. FWIW, O’Fallon’s name is on the NCAA’s UNC report. 2/2/2013.

"Student-Athletes" sue NCAA for their cut of football cash

Early days on this, but it certainly seems to threaten the current business model for big-time college sports, where all the profits go to the coach and athletic director – and where university administrators can charge off hundreds of thousands of dollars in bowl game junket expenses, while it’s an “impermissible benefit” to buy a plane ticket for a player’s Mom. 1/30/2013.

Carl Malamud on Aaron Swartz’s war

Aaron Swartz committed suicide because of the US DOJ’s persecution of him over the JSTOR journal articles. Carl Malamud is the man who persuaded the Oregon Legislature to stop trying to claim copyright to Oregon Law, and who helped me get the Oregon AG’s Public Records Manual online, despite legal threats from John Kroger’s Oregon DOJ.

There are a lot of moving obituaries and remembrances of Aaron here. Carl’s explains how much good this man did in his 13 incredibly effective years of fighting for the cause of transparency and open government:

But JSTOR was just one of many battles. They tried to paint Aaron as some kind of lone-wolf hacker, a young terrorist who went on a crazy IP killing spree that caused $92 million in damages.

Aaron wasn’t a lone wolf, he was part of an army, and I had the honor of serving with him for a decade. You have heard many things about his remarkable life, but I want to focus tonight on just one.

Aaron was part of an army of citizens that believes democracy only works when the citizenry are informed, when we know about our rights—and our obligations. An army that believes we must make justice and knowledge available to all—not just the well born or those that have grabbed the reigns of power—so that we may govern ourselves more wisely.

He was part of an army of citizens that rejects kings and generals and believes in rough consensus and running code.

Read it all, here. Thanks to Tim Young for the link. 1/26/2013.

Ducks celebrate MLK day with fake search for new bald white coach

1/20/2013. Mullens will announce the hire today. The RG editors called for UO to follow state law:

Turns out that promoting Helfrich without interviewing a qualified minority candidate — or at least making a good-faith attempt to find such a candidate — would violate Oregon law. Three years ago, the Oregon Legislature passed pioneering legislation that made Oregon the first state in the nation to require its public universities to interview a qualified minority candidate before hiring a head coach or athletic director. The bill had overwhelming support in both chambers of the Legislature, passing the Senate with all 29 senators present voting yes.

The intent of Mitch Greenlick’s law is pretty clear, but football trumps it. It seems AD Rob Mullens found a few minority candidates willing to play along with the pretense of an open search. But remember this is a university that doesn’t even hold open public searches for president or provost. 
Personally I’ve always preferred Malcolm X to King – maybe next year UO should honor him?