Duck coach Dana Altman tells UO GC Kevin Reed he was played by player

This guy always looks so angry. You’d think he’s trying to get appointed to the Supreme Court. At least this time it’s not about his unpaid student-athletes protesting for #blacklivesmatter. The Oregonian has the latest info on the University of Oregon’s second highest paid employee:

By Brad Schmidt and Jeff Manning | The Oregonian/OregonLive

University of Oregon basketball coach Dana Altman and assistant Tony Stubblefield denied offering any payments to land a top basketball recruit last year and contend their Nike-backed program got played to drive up the black-market price for Brian Bowen Jr., according to newly released documents stemming from an internal university investigation.

Altman and Stubblefield told the university’s top attorney in October that a middle-man for the Bowen family used a trip to Eugene to leverage more money from Adidas to ensure the five-star recruit played for one of its flagship programs, the University of Louisville.

“We were never going to get him,” Stubblefield told University of Oregon General Counsel Kevin Reed, according to a summary of facts from the investigation released to The Oregonian/OregonLive on Friday. “The kid wasn’t making the decisions.” …

Yeah, that must make it harder, when the kid you’re trying to exploit is getting advice from an adult.

And here’s an earlier Oregonian story on GC Reed’s lackadaisical earlier investigation of the possibility Altman and Stubblefield were attempting to violate the NCAA cartel’s rules and slip their players a little something on the side:

I wish Altman and his assistants the best of luck in avoiding any difficult questions about reconciling the above with this statement in the latest report:

Oregon entered the competition for Brian “Tugs” Bowen Jr. in the spring of 2017. Christian Dawkins, a longtime friend of the family and an aspiring agent, did much of the talking for the Bowen family.

Stubblefield told Reed on Oct. 3 that he spoke with Dawkins on the phone 15 to 20 times. Dawkins’ phone logs, introduced as evidence at the trial, showed those conversations totaled about two hours.

Big-time college sports brings more glory to university


11/7/2018: Faculty Senate votes to tell president who pushed disastrous big-time sports expansion to retire, calls for Trustee accountability:

The University of Maryland Senate passed resolutions Wednesday aimed at improving the way Board of Regents members are chosen and affirming the body’s support for President Wallace Loh’s retirement.

The senate voted 101-9-4 to “petition the Maryland General Assembly to reconsider the way in which the USM Board of Regents is appointed and held accountable in order to make it more responsive to the concerns of students, faculty, staff, and Marylanders.”

Pro-coach football players pummel player they suspect of talking to investigators about teammate’s death.
University Foundation trustees attacks University Board trustees for destroying fundraising campaign
Governor fires University Board Chair
Josh Hunt gets a new book idea

The story at UMD so far:

Football player dies after intense workout
Coach and trainers eventually suspended
Board of Trustees order President to keep coach, AD, trainers
Pres announces he’s retiring
Students and football players protest board’s decision to keep coach
Donor suspends $20M gift over trustees failure to support president
President fires coach
Coach walks off with $5.4 million buyout

UO to replace chief spokesperson Tobin Klinger

He’s out. He was given a difficult task with many difficult masters. I will delete any further comments about Mr. Klinger as moot.

That said I am happy to post comments on who might replace him, how the search should be conducted, and advice to the next UO spokesperson on how she or he might attempt to build some credibility for VP Kyle Henley’s office of communications, and for UO.

One obvious suggestion is to start by fixing General Counsel Kevin Reed’s broken UO Public Records Office.

Gov Relations Office posts info how state election will affect University

That would of course be Oregon State University, where the well-informed and influential Jock Mills regularly posts updates, and even lets UO professors subscribe to them by email. Good luck getting anything this useful from the equivalent office at UO, though they did eventually respond to a public records request for info on their efforts to hire a lobbying firm, here, and without charging GC Kevin Reed’s usual fees.

The OSU report:

This update provides a brief summary of the gubernatorial and state legislative races in Oregon with a forecast for the 2019 legislative session.

Governor’s Race

Governor Brown won the state’s most expensive gubernatorial race in history, with just under 50 percent of the vote, essentially the same percentage she captured in 2016 when she ran to complete the unfinished term of her successor, Governor John Kitzhaber.

Brown carried the same seven counties she carried in 2016 – led by Multnomah County where she captured a 50-point margin (74% to 22%) over State Rep. Knute Buehler, the Republican candidate.  For a map of the gubernatorial race results by county:

Legislative races

Voters provided Democrats in both chambers of the legislature with “super majorities” – enough votes to pass tax increases on a party line vote. It is important to remember that “party line” votes are not ideal in passing legislation, and can be elusive especially when tax increases are involved. Senate membership will change by only two members. Sen. Alan DeBoer (R-Medford) chose not to run after serving two years in the Senate, and will be replaced by Democrat Jeff Golden. Former State Rep. Shemia Fagan defeated fellow Democrat Rod Monroe (D-Portland) in the May primary and went on to be elected to fill his seat in the general election.

In the Oregon House, the Democratic majority grew by three members, from 35 to 38, with the defeat of incumbents – Reps. Julie Parrish (R-Tualatin/West Linn), Richard Vial (R-Scholls) and Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River). All of the seats vacated by Republicans who are retiring this year remained in Republican hands.

The resulting 38-22 margin is the largest Democratic majority in the House since 1975 when they held 39 seats. (While many of the Democrats “back then” were from the Willamette Valley and Portland, they also came from Roseburg, Heppner, and Lebanon.) Overall, with the retirement of seven incumbents, 17% of the House membership will turnover from the 2017 session. For a complete summary of legislative races:


The increased diversity and the large Democratic margin in the House will likely contribute to increased tension and differences between the two chambers even though Democrats control both chambers.

Oregon lawmakers will face significant, structural budget challenges as they enter the 2019 legislative session. At least three factors contribute to the structural imbalance: sustaining the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS), sustaining health benefit programs for state employees, and meeting increased Medicaid costs.

In a series of meetings and listening sessions across the state, the Joint Committee on Student Success has sought to build the case for increased revenues to support K-12 schools. While this effort may ultimately elicit the necessary 3/5 majority needed to pass a tax increase, it is unclear whether, or how, increased funding might flow to Oregon’s public universities.

In addition, the state’s continued heavy reliance on income taxes as the primary source of state revenues may leave Oregonians particularly vulnerable if/when the national economy falters.

What Happens Next

The House Leadership announced changes earlier this fall in some key committee line-ups, including naming Rep. Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) as Co-Chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee. The Senate has yet to name a replacement to chair the budget writing committee with last year’s departure of Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Lake Oswego).

We expect Governor Brown will issue a recommended budget for the 2019-21 biennium the last week of November. Over the last several months, University Presidents, students and faculty have urged the Governor to adopt the HECC’s recommendation for a $180 million increase in funding for the state’s public universities. These included letters from OSU student and faculty leaders, and student members of OSU budget committees.

Legislative committees will meet in Salem December 12-14 to consider issues that will likely arise during the 2019 session. Members will also be working the hallways in search of co-sponsors of bills they are proposing for the 2019 session. On Thursday, December 13, the Beaver Caucus will be holding a legislative advocacy day to begin to familiarize legislators with OSU’s legislative priorities.  More information can be found on the Beaver Caucus website.

Committees will meet again during the week of January 14. On Tuesday January 22, the legislature will convene for the 160-day session. We have established two lobby days during the session to promote OSU’s legislative agenda:

  • OSU Statewides Day: Monday, March 18, 2019
  • OSU Day: Wednesday, April 17, 2019

We anticipate many additional opportunities for stakeholders and advocates to meet with legislators throughout the session.

A Preview of OSU’s Legislative Priorities

Operating Budget

  • The seven public universities have sought at least a $130 million increase in operating funds from the current biennial appropriation of $737 million, for a total investment of $867 million. This request would enable tuition increases at all Oregon public universities to stay below 5% per year over the next two years. In August, the HECC recommended to the Governor a $186 million increase in operating funds, for a total of $923 million. The HECC recommendation is obviously a significant improvement and would enable meaningful investments in student success and access while keeping tuition affordable.
  • Yet to be determined amount increase in funding for the Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG), supported by all seven universities. The HECC recommended a 69% increase in the OOG, which provides need-based grants to Oregon students, from $146 million during the current biennium to $247million for the 2019-21 biennium. The HECC’s recommendation would increase the award amount by about $600 per student and increase the number of students served. This would allow OSU to offer the Bridge to Success full scholarship program to more students and enable increased institutional resources.
  • $30 million increase for the three Statewide Public Service Programs (Extension, Agricultural Experiment Station & Forest Research Laboratory). The OSU Board of Trustees supported this effort at their October meeting.
  • $17.3 million for University Innovation Research Fund ($10 million) and Oregon Corps Program ($7.3 million) proposed by the Oregon Business Development Department for its budget (supported by Oregon’s four major research universities)
  • $1.6 million in state match for the US Department of Energy marine energy grant (pending university, industry and philanthropy matches) to design and construct a wave energy testing facility off the Oregon coast. This is the second part of a $4.6 million state matching request. $3 million was allocated to the project in the 2018 session with a budget note that indicated $1.6 million in state contribution would be sought during the 2019 legislative session.

Capital Projects

  • Shared Capital Renewal Fund: $65 million in state bonds for deferred maintenance to be distributed among all seven universities based on a yet-to-be revised Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) formula (supported by all seven universities).
  • OSU-Cascades Student Success Center: $12 million in state bonds, matched by $5 million in student-approved fees.
  • Arts & Education Complex: $35 million in state bonds, matched by an additional $35 million in donor funds.
  • Cordley Capital Renewal: $28 million state bonds for Cordley Hall Renovation matched with $28 million in university funds (second phase).

Policy Issues

Oregon State University is not seeking any specific policy bills. We will be closely following the “Clean Energy and Jobs” bill, currently under development by the Governor’s Carbon Office and the Legislative Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction. While our primary interest in this bill is to ensure that legislative decisions are informed by science, we are also mindful that state carbon legislation may affect university costs or operations.

We will work with the six other public universities and community colleges to track and respond to legislation that may affect students and our academic, research, and outreach responsibilities and programs.

Chairman Harper: Faculty Club is a beacon of light in the darkness

Dear Colleagues,

Daylight Saving Time is upon us, and as the afternoons get darker the Faculty Club remains a beacon of light and cheer.

On Wednesday this week we are reserving the corner table for the Biology Faculty.  Bruce Bowerman (Chair) will be giving the Six-o-Clock toast.  Rumor has it that the bartenders are putting Thomas Dolby on the playlist and getting out the petri dishes to experiment with creating a bio-themed signature cocktail.

Thursday evening President Michael Schill has had to cancel (he’ll join us instead in a few weeks), so there’s an opening for a presidential impersonator to deliver the Six-o-Clock toast.  Auditions will be conducted in the cloakroom at 5:55.

Hope to see you, and any guests you’d like to bring, one or both nights!

Yours, James Harper
Chair of the Faculty Club Board

In other faculty news, Professor Malcolm Wilson (Classics) won election to the Upper Willamette Soil and Water Conservation Board:

I’m no soil scientist, but I believe they call that a landslide.

Are Josh Hunt’s claims about Knight and the Frohnmayer’s FARF false?

11/5/2018 second update:

Lynn Frohnmayer: ‘University of Nike’ exploits my family’s tragedy to support a false narrative:

To be clear, I think Frohnmayer was wrong to have UO join the WRC and I sent Knight a letter saying that at the time. To paraphrase Karl Marx, it’s capitalism and people like Phil Knight who have saved most of mankind from “the idiocy of rural life”, not knee-jerk liberal professors and their privileged students.

But here’s what I can document. In Saturday’s RG, Lynn Frohnmayer denies any link between the WRC fiasco and Knight’s Fanconi donations:

I am profoundly dismayed about the book “University of Nike” by Joshua Hunt, which was the subject of a column published Oct. 26 by The Register-Guard.

The book purports to be a deep-dive “investigation” into how corporate dollars have “bought American higher education,” but the truth is that it exploits my family’s tragedies in support of a sensational and patently false narrative.

I might ignore a writer’s careless disregard for the facts, but this book distresses me so deeply that I cannot overlook its glaring inaccuracies and shoddy reporting, at least as they pertain to my family and Phil Knight. …

Phil Knight, Nike’s founder and our family friend, first contributed to the fund in 1994. … Hunt has twisted Knight’s generosity into a work of fiction. It is well-documented that in April 2000, when UO joined the Workers’ Rights Consortium — an organization that criticized working conditions at Nike’s overseas factories — Knight halted planned gifts to UO. … This narrative could not be farther from the truth.

On Dec. 22, 2000, just eight months after UO joined the WRC, Knight wrote a check to FARF for one million dollars. On Dec. 18, 2001, he wrote a second million-dollar check to FARF. The Knights’ support of Fanconi anemia research was never affected by the WRC controversy.

The above seems at odds with what the FARF told the IRS in 2001, in several respects:

From what I can decipher, the FARF’s accountant had misclassified the $2M 1999 donation on their IRS filing and someone dropped a dime on them, perhaps because the IRS gives whistleblowers a cut.

This letter is pretty clearly about Knight’s donations. Ms Frohnmayer says in the RG that “Phil Knight, Nike’s founder and our family friend, first contributed to the fund in 1994.” But the FARF told the IRS in 2001 that “The Contributor has made no other donations.”

For that matter, even the donations and timing she reports in the RG are entirely consistent with Hunt’s argument and the timing of former UO General Counsel Melinda Grier’s successful Fall 2000 efforts to find Dave Frohnmayer an escape from his ill-considered move to join the WRC.

The above is page 15 in For those interested in checking dates and dollars, more FARF IRS 990’s, scraped from the web, are here:

10/24/2018 update: 

While Johnson Hall and its PR flacks have decided to bury their heads in the sand about this book, the Frohnmayer family is not afraid to publicly dispute some of Josh Hunt’s claims. Matthew Kish has the report in the Portland Business Journal here.

10/22/2018 updates:

OPR’s Think Out Loud has an interesting interview with author Josh Hunt here. I suggest getting to Josh Hunt’s 7PM Tu talk at Tsunami Books early, before the lawyers steal all the good seats.

You can buy the Kindle version of The University of Nike from Amazon now. Notable excerpts and your thoughts are welcome in the comments on this post. Please use a screen name.

Despite the claims of the Duck PR machine, this book is very relevant to UO’s future, and this Wed and Th should be interesting down at the faculty club.

Get Out the Vote

From the faculty union:

GOTV Rally
Today, Monday November 5
11:30-12:15 at the EMU amphitheater

Event information: “Join us on November 5 for our Get Out the Vote Rally with Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Jeff Merkley, Congressman Peter DeFazio, and a special guest! With only one day before the election, there is simply no time to waste to show visibility and help get out the vote! Bring signs, bring your friends, and get excited!

We will be located outside the EMU Amphitheater at the free speech plaza!”

Faculty Club halloween costume report

Faculty Club Chairman Jamie Harper (Art History) normally presents these awards. This year he skipped out and asked me to do it. Thanks Jamie.

One member was wearing a blazer, and claimed he was dressed as Jamie. I noted that there were no leather elbow patches. Fail.

Another professor showed a cell phone picture of themself and 2 identical triplets all dressed alike. Sorry, but all must be present to win.

So I gave the award to our 2 bartenders, who had made an effort. Since we have no budget for awards I slipped them the maximum tip on a colleague’s credit card while he was in the bathroom.

Immediately afterwards 2 people showed up with costumes that made me tremble in fear. But they’d missed Jamie’s 6PM submission deadline. Desk reject.

The Faculty Club provides a welcoming environment for all UO faculty and guests, Wed and Th from 5-8PM. Enter through the Art Museum’s front door.

Chip Kelly returns to Eugene to pay off $20K library fine

10/30/2018 update: I’ve always had a soft spot for Kelly, because he had the sense of humor to hide his $25K payoff to Willie Lyles where no reasonable person would ever have found it – in the UO libraries financial accounts:

Unfortunately for Kelly, sports reporters are not reasonable people. Kelly will be back in Eugene this Saturday for some sort of football event, and presumably UO’s General Counsel Kevin Reed will be waiting with an overdue notice:

10/12/2015: Can Chip Kelly return to the PAC-12 w/o repaying Ducks for $20K fine?

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.02.22 PM

10/12/2015: I’ve got no idea, but the sportswriters are starting to ask questions.

8/10/2013: UO tried to fine Chip Kelly $20K, but he skipped town – from a Paul Swangard tweet

From the NCAA report, here. Kelly’s contract included the clause below, but apparently he quit before UO could collect. Really. Randy Geller didn’t make any follow up efforts? Apparently not:

Contract here:

The funny part is I learned this from a Paul Swangard tweet:

Swangard is the director of UO’s Warsaw Sports Marketing program, and he’s now blocked me from his twitter feed. Let’s find out what’s going on here:

Dear Ms Thornton:

This is a public records request for any documents showing efforts by UO to collect funds from Coach Chip Kelly related to

a)  the “Termination by Kelly” clause requiring liquidated damages payments if Kelly left before the end of his contract term, and
b) the “Discipline” clause allowing UO to fine Kelly for, among other things, NCAA violations.

I’m ccing UO GC Randy Geller, AD Rob Mullens, AAD Eric Roedl, FAR Jim O’Fallon, and a few others who may have information and documents, in the hope this will reduce the time you need to spend looking for these documents.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of the public funds involved, the general public interest in the UO AD’s affairs, and the ability of the UO Matters blog to ensure these documents are quickly and efficiently distributed to other news media and the public.

“No responsive documents”? More here.

UO public records temp tells all

Among the many interesting parts of Josh Hunt’s “The University of Nike” book is this, which is even more relevant now that General Counsel Kevin Reed controls UO’s public records office:

Early in 2011, Lisa Thornton took a job as an assistant in the public-records office at the University of Oregon. A decade and a half earlier, Thomas Hager’s News Bureau had been the office responsible for answering many requests for public records, which public universities produce constantly—emails, contracts, budgets, and virtually anything else generated by university employees are considered public-records, which are subject to the Freedom of Information Act and Oregon’s generous open records laws.

Gradually, more and more public-records requests went through Melinda Grier’s office, earning her a reputation for keeping secret records that were meant to be public. In response to calls for greater transparency, a single public records office was created, with two full-time employees to handle all records requests, which mostly came from journalists. After just a few months on the job, Thornton was thrust into a leadership role when her boss suddenly quit, and she found herself in need of an assistant to do the job she’d been doing. The university called a local temporary work agency called Personnel Source, which sent a recent college graduate named Antonia Noori Farzan. Farzan was hired after a brief interview and began working in October 2011.

… The university’s public-relations department would sometimes instruct the public-records office not to release a record, or to delay its release until they said it was okay. Requests related to Nike, the NCAA, or the faculty union were among those automatically flagged for review by the public-relations department. …

“We agreed to let them know about any request that was related to a major scandal,” Farzan said. The university’s public-relations department would sometimes instruct the public-records office not to release a record, or to delay its release until they said it was okay.

Requests related to Nike, the NCAA, or the faculty union were among those automatically flagged for review by the public-relations department. Eventually, Thornton’s office became even more stingy with public records.

“If there was a request from a professional journalist asking for anything more detailed than someone’s salary or the contract for a new hire, Lisa just assumed that the topic was controversial and would flag it,” Farzan said. Controversial topics were also of special interest to Randy Geller and Douglas Park in the office of the general counsel. Thornton and Farzan cc’d Geller and Park on records requests that might prove harmful to the university’s image or upsetting to important donors or corporate partners.

When they didn’t want some public record to be released, they had ways of making sure that it wasn’t. One way of doing this was to take advantage of the fact that the school is allowed to charge requesters a fee for their records based on the cost of gathering and preparing them; by claiming the records required legal review, inflating the time it might take to conduct that review, and applying the same hourly fee they might charge a corporate client for their legal services, Geller and Park could offer to release a batch of records only if the requester was willing to pay some astronomical sum.

… More than making journalists pay, Farzan said, Thornton loved giving them nothing at all. “Lisa’s policy was not to give out information if she could find any reason to withhold it,” Farzan said.

I’d say this is a bit unfair to Ms Thornton. During the brief period when Richard Lariviere decided UO should be more transparent, she was quite able and willing to produce public records without fees or delays – for example Jim Bean’s employment contract, which she produced in 24 hours, just in time for the Senate Executive Committee meeting at which we told George Pernsteiner that Bean would not be an acceptable interim president.

Ms Grier was fired by UO President Lariviere, and Randy Geller was fired by President Gottfredson. But new UO President Schill’s General Counsel Kevin Reed has kept Doug Park on as his Senior Associate General Counsel, and Lisa Thornton as his Public Records officer. Under Kevin Reed, UO’s public records office is even worse than Ms Farzan describes above.

Ms Farzan went on to an award winning career as a journalist, and is now at the Washington Post. I recommend her fascinating story on how the Sears Roebuck Catalog and mail-order sales helped break the back of racist southern shopkeepers, here.

At Josh Hunt’s talk at Tsunami Books last week he read this passage and told how he’d met Farzan. The Columbia Journalism School had invited him to talk to  their incoming students about how he was turning a short assignment as an NY Times stringer on the 2014 basketball rape allegations into a book, and Farzan happened to be one of the new students. She came up to him after his talk and told him she had some information he might be interested in.

President Schill’s message to campus on Pittsburgh

Dear University of Oregon community,

Saturday’s horrific massacre of 11 innocent men and women in Pittsburgh, as they worshipped together, no doubt shocks each and every one of us. It should. The 11 souls whose lives were extinguished were targeted solely because of the god they worship. These killings follow on the heels of the murders of two African American shoppers at a grocery store in Kentucky last Wednesday and the attempted delivery of pipe bombs to a number of people who were selected apparently because of their political beliefs.

The events of last week did not come out of thin air. To say that our nation and our politics are polarized trivializes the problem. Civility and reasoned discourse seem to have given way to hate and the politics of distrust and division. Each day, we are assaulted by racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, misogyny, nativism, and homophobia, sometimes from the very people who have been elected to lead us.

In our bubble in Eugene and on the campus at the University of Oregon, we are not immune to hate.  Last year the number of bias-related crimes and incidents reported to the city nearly doubled over the prior year. On campus, we have seen fliers produced by white supremacist groups spewing the rhetoric of hate. And, sometimes in class, we have experienced difficult moments where empathy has given way to antipathy.

I want to express my solidarity with all of the groups on our campus who have been the victims of hate and all who share in my outrage at the horrible events of the last week and the current state of affairs in our country. But, there are two other important messages I would like to convey. First, we are part of an academic community, one dedicated to rationality over emotion. It is here, at the University of Oregon, where each and every one of us has the opportunity to explore our differences, gain understanding of each other’s perspectives, and, with that understanding, hopefully banish demonization and replace hate with empathy and respect. Please expand your usual group of friends and engage in those conversations in the classroom, over dinner, and in the residence halls. And seek out your advisors and professors, and other resources on campus if you need someone to speak with, or to find avenues to become more involved.

Secondly, please take seriously your opportunity to vote. As November 6 approaches, vote for candidates who model the behavior we want in our leaders. Regardless of party, vote for leaders who eschew hatred and bigotry. Vote for candidates who provide solutions to our problems and not just those who articulate our frustrations. And whatever the results of the election, get involved and engaged—embrace our shared democratic values. And as you engage and seek to fix some of the problems my generation has caused, model the type of civility and empathy that is so absent today.

Take care of yourselves and treat each other with respect. Thank you.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law