recruiting service rules ignored

7/16/2010: As part of it’s efforts to prevent “street agents” from sneaking off with any of the NCAA’s money the NCAA slapped a bunch of anti-competitive rules on recruiting services last year: Steve Andress of KEZI explains:

NCAA Bylaw 13.14.3 lays out the rules for contracting a recruiting service. The service must meet seven distinct requirements, in order for college football programs to subscribe to them. Here is the exact wording, amended January 1st, 2010, and why Lyles’ service was lacking, in particular, in the first three requirements.

An institution may subscribe to a recruiting or scouting service involving prospective student-athletes, provided the institution does not purchase more than one annual subscription to a particular service and the service:

(a) Is made available to all institutions desiring to subscribe and at the same fee rate for all subscribers;

Public records show Lyles’ incoice to Cal for the ‘2010 National Package’ at $5,000, with an almost identical invoice to Oregon at $25,000. The invoices came a year apart, but other than the fee, the packages are identical.

(b) Publicly identifies all applicable rates;

Lyles’ Complete Scouting Services website listed no fees back in March. One day after Yahoo’s initial story broke, one fee popped up – $25,000 for a national recruiting package.

(c) Disseminates information (e.g., reports, profiles) about prospective student-athletes at least four times per calendar year;

Public records requests show Oregon received no such documents from Lyles, until a year after the initial $25,000 payment, and that information was largely of old recruits and useless.

 There’s more in his story – the upshot is it Kelly’s claim he didn’t know that he was buying players with the $50,000 he promised Lyles looks preposterous. And on the NCAA’s scale of unforgiveable crimes, lying to the men that are trying to hold this cartel together is the top, even above the crime of paying your just debts to a guy who helped bring you a few players and is now working in a bakery for $8 an hour.

Kitzhaber did good:

7/8/2011: From the NBER‘s analysis of the “Oregon Health Plan” he started – I think in his first term:

In 2008, a group of uninsured low-income adults in Oregon was selected by lottery to be given the chance to apply for Medicaid. This lottery provides a unique opportunity to gauge the effects of expanding access to public health insurance on the health care use, financial strain, and health of low-income adults using a randomized controlled design. In the year after random assignment, the treatment group selected by the lottery was about 25 percentage points more likely to have insurance than the control group that was not selected. We find that in this first year, the treatment group had substantively and statistically significantly higher health care utilization (including primary and preventive care as well as hospitalizations), lower out-of-pocket medical expenditures and medical debt (including fewer bills sent to collection), and better self-reported physical and mental health than the control group. 

Movement on SB909

6/17/2011: Jeff Mapes reports progress with Kitzhaber’s K-16 reform bills, including SB909:

SALEM — Oregon legislators broke a session-long logjam over education policy Friday by beginning to move several bills that could eventually have a big impact on students and their schools.

The legislation includes Gov. John Kitzhaber’s proposal to create a new investment board that would coordinate funding for all levels of education, from pre-K to the universities, as well as measures providing a boost for both online and bricks-and-mortar charter schools.

Good news for UO, bad news for Pernsteiner’s meal plan.

Why humans are rational

6/14/2011: This NY Times piece on the work of Hugo Mercier is fascinating:

For centuries thinkers have assumed that the uniquely human capacity for reasoning has existed to let people reach beyond mere perception and reflex in the search for truth. Rationality allowed a solitary thinker to blaze a path to philosophical, moral and scientific enlightenment.

Now some researchers are suggesting that reason evolved for a completely different purpose: to win arguments. Rationality, by this yardstick (and irrationality too, but we’ll get to that) is nothing more or less than a servant of the hard-wired compulsion to triumph in the debating arena. According to this view, bias, lack of logic and other supposed flaws that pollute the stream of reason are instead social adaptations that enable one group to persuade (and defeat) another. Certitude works, however sharply it may depart from the truth. 

I’ve always been puzzled at how people with authority and power usually still feel the need to justify themselves on the basis of facts, logic, and argument. Rationality has a strange power of its own – for most humans.

Kitzhaber takes off hat

6/10/2011: Who knows where this will go next, I’m dizzy. But Kitzhaber is looking better. Kim Melton of the Oregonian seems to be on top of the legislative education circus. Put her in your RSS.

Meanwhile Stacia Kalinoski of KEZI reports on the Eugene 4J layoffs:

“It feels like a crime to me because it’s so fruitless. I think for the teachers leaving it’s great to feel appreciated, but it would feel a lot different to be appreciated by the district,” St. Cyr said.

“I don’t have seniority, and I’m watching a superintendent being hired in the district with a big, fat raise and that makes me angry,” said Whitson.

Not only did the 4J board give the new superintendent a fat salary, they gave retiring departing one a bonus, so he wouldn’t feel jealous. It’s fun spending other people’s money.

Higher Ed Legisislative update:

6/10/2011: Kimberley Melton of the Oregonian reports the Oregon Education Association has come out against Kitzhaber’s SB909 proposal for a new board Run by Nancy Golden, to replace OUS and coordinate policy K-16. Nigel Jaquiss has a WWeek piece on the fight between Kitzhaber and the union, which is doing everything possible to oppose K-12 reforms. Last I checked, the bill was still alive though. Saul Hubbard of the RG has a piece on UO Day  at the legislature, with status on the various higher ed bills:

Another UO priority is Senate Bill 242, which would allow the Oregon University System to no longer be classified as a state agency, thereby freeing public universities from countless state agency regulations and giving them more control over their funds and operations. That bill appears to have more traction in the Legislature and will soon be scheduled for a Senate floor vote.

University lobbyists, backed by many law enforcement agencies, have also been championing Senate Bill 405 this session, to allow public universities to establish their own police forces with comparable powers to any other sworn police department. SB 405 was approved on an 18-11 vote in the Senate in April and is scheduled to be voted on by the House today.

So it looks like Chancellor Pernsteiner wins this round, with his proposal to centralize authority for higher education in the hands of a careerist mid-level manager without a PhD who was appointed by a disgraced child molesting ex-governor without a public search, and then blow the state’s tax money on his own inflated salary, mansion, car, extra housing allowance, and undocumented expense accounts. 

UO DPS Director Doug Tripp also seems likely to get his proposal for guns and extra-fat PERS. Why did Michael Redding let Frances Dyke suck up the legislature’s limited UO attention span with this distraction? The most plausible story I’ve heard is from Art Robinson: President Lariviere wants first-strike capability to take out the Beaver Nation’s clandestine nuclear weapons program.

All in all a pretty disastrous session for education reform in Oregon. But it’s not over yet, maybe Kitzhaber will pull off a hat trick.

Well-paid UO Consultants


Those ingrates at Huron Higher Ed consultants have almost finished their $1.789 million consulting job, leaving behind this description of the UO administrators that hired them, and “The Oregon Way”:

UO Matters is running its own competition for the best definition of “The Oregon Way”. Enter yours in the comments. We can’t match Frances Dyke and Rich Linton’s $1.789 million prize, but the best entry gets a UO Matters coffee cup.

Who’s the boss here?

6/7/2011: Stanley Fish – former professor, former administrator, seldom a very interesting columnist – revisits an old question in the NYT:

If you’re a college or university teacher, whom do you work for?

… Academics want to have it both ways, and sometimes do. They want, that is, to work in an organization and enjoy its benefits and at the same time be their own bosses. The way they rationalize this condition of privilege (who wouldn’t want to enjoy it?) is to say that they work for no one or for everyone: they work for the common good. …

Does this mean, then, that members of the “wider public” get to monitor or even vote on what university teachers do? Far from it. The common good academics are pledged to advance is not common, they assert in the sense of being recognizable by just anyone. Only academics highly trained in complex techniques of inquiry are capable of understanding what the enterprise requires; the public should keep its hands off the good the academy is producing for it. So while academics don’t work for the dean or the president or the board of trustees, none of whom has the right to tell them what to do or constrain their ways of doing it, the public for whom they do work is not enlightened enough to appreciate their efforts and can’t tell them what to do either. What a deal! …