Pat Kilkenny is an investor in Courtside and Center Court

1/6/2011: Pat Kilkenny was hired as UO Athletic Director by former UO Pesident Dave Frohnmayer to push Phil Knight’s basketball arena project through, after Kilkenny made a well-timed $240,000 donation to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation.

Kilkenny then got the OUS Chancellor and board to sell $237 million in state guaranteed bonds to build the arena, by lying to them, the faculty, and then to the state legislature about the revenue projections. Frohnmayer helped out by hiding a UO Foundation paid consultant’s report from the legislative fiscal analyst.

Now it turns out Kilkenny is part owner, with his brother, of 2 large apartment complexes built right next to the new arena. And UO has a special contract with the buildings to house students. And Kilkenny is still on the UO payroll – just enough to be eligible for our benefits package. Last year President Lariviere told us:

“This institution did not follow acceptable business practices in the past. That will not be repeated under my administration.

It is being repeated. Time to put our new General Counsel, Randy Geller, on the case. Unless he’s the one who wrote the contract, of course. Camilla Mortensen of the Eugene Weekly rakes through the muck:

Will Pat Kilkenny profit from developments next to the Matthew Knight Arena he pushed through when he was UO athletic director? Mega-donor Phil Knight has lauded Kilkenny for making the arena possible, and we heard from multiple reliable sources that Kilkenny is one of the unnamed partners in the costly Courtside apartments next door. Portland attorney Russell Kilkenny, agent for 1410 Orchard Street LLC, which bought the Courtside property in February 2010, confirmed via email, “Pat Kilkenny has an ownership interest related to 1410 Orchard Street, LLC.” …

According to the UO website, Pat Kilkenny is still a part of the university as the “Special Assistant to the Athletic Director,” and, according to the UO unclassified personnel list of March 1 to May 31 2010, his 12-month appointment is a 50 percent full-time equivalent (FTE), enough to be eligible for the state benefits package. His salary is $25,883.

As an employee of the UO, which is a public body, Kilkenny can be considered a public official. According to Oregon state law,  “A public official may not attempt to further or further the personal gain of the public official through the use of confidential information gained in the course of or by reason of holding position as a public official.”

One question still unresolved is why Pat Kilkenny chose to not publicly disclose his financial interest in this housing project from the beginning. — Camilla Mortensen

How did kilkenny get to be Athletic Director? The year before Frohnmayer put him on the UO payroll and gave him control of hundreds of millions in public bond money Kilkenny donated $240,000 to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation.

Everybody has a price – sad is not the only word that comes to mind here. Here are the clips from Kilkenny’s “Lucky Duck Foundation” IRS reports:

2006:

2007:

2008:

2009: The filing deadline has passed, but they are ignoring requests for the forms.

Should the jocks get credit for increasing enrollment?

12/30/2010: UO Prof Richard Sundt takes on the boosters. From the RG Letters:

Academic success has other causes

In his Dec. 27 guest viewpoint, Duck fan Alex Richanbach is mad at the University of Oregon Athletic Department for telling Glendale game-goers to wear yellow. He nevertheless celebrates the Ducks’ unbridled consumerism, which, among other things, means relentless changes of uniform style and color, all thanks to wealthy donors. Richanbach is equally enthusiastic about UO athletics, for its success “has directly influenced the success and popularity of our academic programs.”

As a moviemaker, he brings his Hollywood unreality to color his perception of what makes the UO attractive to many students, including those from California. He writes: “The growth of admissions, faculty and facilities is impressive, and … much of that has its roots in the innovative work done by the athletic department.”

Before engaging in such undocumented boosterism, of the sort also plied by the UO Foundation in its full-page ad last summer in The Register-Guard, he needs to explain why admissions are up at all public Oregon universities, including those that cannot match UO prowess in sports. Moreover, he should examine in detail whether other donations (besides those of Nike and its allies) have come to us because of athletics.

And if he digs deeper, he will learn that, in most cases, the quality and reputation of the faculty, particularly those holding the Knight-endowed chairs, long preceded Oregon’s current success on the playing field, and that their innovative research, and that of other UO faculty, has in many cases been made possible by funding won through national and international academic competitions.

Richard Sundt

Give to support UO Matters

12/22/2010: No, don’t. That would be insane. Not that I’m an expert on charitable giving. I do get asked if we accept donations though. We don’t, unless they are in bottles and aged at least 12 years. Google gives us most of what we need free. Dropbox does the rest. Every now and then we pay a little for public records, but mostly we prefer to fight the bastards for them – more sporting for us, and more of a lesson for them.

The NYT does have an interesting article on how to use donations to minimize AMT exposure, however. And given that Oregon’s high income taxes are not deductible for the AMT, while donations are, it might well make sense for some of our readers – I’m talking to you overpaid administrators, you know who you are – to give their money to a charity rather than the IRS.

But which charity? My favorite is the Duck Athletic Fund. Because Mike Bellotti and Rob Mullens really need your support, and those sons of bitches are going to get every dollar they can from UO anyway. Why fight it. Go Ducks.

Or you could give to the Sunlight Foundation or the EFF, and tell Cory and Larry that UO Matters sent you.

Pushing the ‘brand’ too far

The Dec. 18 article “UO’s retail revision” suggests a tone-deaf University of Oregon Athletic Department that has come to believe its own hype…. Joe Giansante’s bloated, mercenary vision of the university. He trills that “Oregon is a national brand. Serving fans around the world is our business.” No. His business is educating college students…. Surely there is a more serious person for Giansante’s position, someone who understands that without the university as an educational institution,…

Oregon Commentator to NY Times

12/16/2010: Former Oregon Commentator writer Ed Niedermeyer continues to make trouble, but now in the NY Times:

“In particular, what Mr. Obama called his “one goal” — having Detroit “lead the world in building the next generation of clean cars” — is nowhere near being achieved. While the idea of improving G.M.’s and Chrysler’s fuel efficiency was doubtless a politically popular justification for the bailout, American consumers have not embraced the goal with equal fervor. Sales of fuel-sipping compact and subcompact cars have actually dropped this year, while pickup and sport utility vehicle sales grew by double-digit percentages.”

ODE Opinion Editor Tyree Harris in Oregonian

12/8/2010: UO student and ODE Opinion Editor Tyree Harris has an extremely interesting Op-Ed in the Oregonian on black culture and his place in it. (Thanks to Tomchak for the link.)

Being called a sellout because I don’t accept the media-spun perceptions of blackness made me paranoid and uncomfortable. I was afraid to hang out with white people because I didn’t want to look like a sellout, and when I did my white “friends” would make snarky little race jokes to remind me I was different.

On the same note, I didn’t care to hang with a lot of black people because I felt insulted and betrayed by them, and when I did they would make fun of me for trying to be smart or for hanging out with white people.

warning signs of higher ed bubble

The parents are paying $50,000 plus for their kids to sit in a lecture that starts with “telegram” and ends with “kilobyte”. The random abuse from the prof in between is not the real story.

Parents are willing to pay this because other parents are willing to pay it. This will crash someday.

Just for the record, I draw the line at showing up for class in pajamas and then snoring. A sharp rap on the knuckles with my ruler generally wakes them up.

Then there’s this on people in non-college jobs, with college degrees. Interesting, but hardly damning. Doesn’t adjust for age, and there are many reasons to get a degree that have nothing to do with careerism. I do wonder what these people majored in though – has anyone seen data on that?

Worried

about voicing your opinion in the polls on the right or in the comments? Don’t be. The NY Times reports, tonight, on a new NLRB case involving an employee who criticized her boss on Facebook:

Lafe Solomon, the board’s acting general counsel, said, “This is a fairly straightforward case under the National Labor Relations Act — whether it takes place on Facebook or at the water cooler, it was employees talking jointly about working conditions, in this case about their supervisor, and they have a right to do that.”

11/8/2010. I’m no lawyer, and this does not constitute legal advice. Read the Bill of Rights for that.