Nevertheless, she persisted

Full disclosure: I know and work with many of the people on both sides of this lawsuit, and while I will try to keep my opinions to a minimum, I doubt I’ll be completely successful.

Jack Moran of the RG has the story on the lawsuit by Psychology professor Jennifer Freyd against UO, alleging gender discrimination in pay:

Psychology professor sues University of Oregon, says she’s paid ‘substantially less’ than male colleagues

The University of Oregon is being sued by a longtime psychology professor who alleges that she’s being paid substantially less than several less-experienced male colleagues, in violation of the federal Equal Pay Act.

Jennifer Freyd’s suit, filed Tuesday morning in U.S. District Court in Eugene, also includes claims alleging disparate treatment and impact, sex-based discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX violations.

“For years, I have tried to work within my department and the college to help the UO live up to its own policies of non-discrimination,” Freyd said in a statement issued by her attorneys. “Women all over the country and in all kinds of jobs earn less than their male counterparts. It’s past time for the UO to recognize and address this problem in its own salary practices.”

The suit asserts that professor salaries in the psychology department are supposed to be determined by seniority and merit, and alleges that UO officials are aware of pay differences between their male and female psychology professors.

University spokesman Tobin Klinger said UO officials are aware of Freyd’s allegation and plan to “look closely at the case in the coming days.”

“Although professor Freyd’s pay places her in the top 13 percent of all tenure track faculty at the UO, we are committed to paying our faculty commensurate with their achievements,” Klinger said.

Freyd’s current salary is $155,237 and she receives benefits totaling another $70,545, bringing her total compensation to $225,782, according to data provided by Klinger. …

Oh no, Mr. Klinger. A university that is currently paying its football coach $3.6M a year, its former football coach another $3.6M, ~$400K a pop to assistant coaches both drunk and sober, and which has a very well paid President, Provost, and Deans, etc., should probably avoid bringing up the fact that one of its most internationally known professors, in the midst of a long and very successful career of teaching and research at what is probably UO’s top ranked research department, with an admirable record of attracting top graduate students and placing them well, is paid only $155K.  This is not going to help the new Knight Campus recruit top faculty of either gender.

Perhaps Mr. Klinger is just following orders from higher-up, to try and poison the potential jury pool against Freyd by pandering to our state’s anti-education sentiments. Which makes me wonder just how high a price our administration is willing to pay – or should I say make our university pay – to try and win this. So let’s hope that this attack is just Klinger going off the farm.

The RG story goes on to note that Prof. Freyd has gone through many careful steps to demonstrate gender discrimination in her department and try and resolve this without a lawsuit. Her department head (a man, if that matters) has documented this discrimination with a regression that shows that psychology’s female full professors are paid an average of $22K less than males, when accounting for the sort of standard research productivity measure that our administration favors (the H-Index):

Yes it’s a small n, but it’s run on the entire relevant population, not a sample.

The department head’s full letter to the dean’s office is here. He goes on to explain the systematic reasons that gender differences in lives and careers mean that female professors are less likely to pursue outside offers and get retention raises from UO, and that UO has not implemented procedures to address the gender wage gap that can result. He asks the administration to therefore give Freyd the appropriate raise, or at least a fraction of it.

Apparently that request was ignored or rejected. The RG:

Meanwhile, the psychology department completed its own study during the spring of 2016 that addressed a range of topics and found male professors are paid an average of about $25,000 more per year than their female counterparts, according to the suit. That study was provided to deans in the UO’s College of Arts & Sciences.

The UO then appointed a committee to evaluate the psychology department. A report from the group noted gender pay disparities and recommended the department should continue “pressing for gender equity in terms of pay at the senior levels of the faculty,” the lawsuit says.

Ulrich Mayr, the psychology department’s head, emailed the College of Arts & Sciences’ deans in December requesting they address Freyd’s salary, which he characterized as “our most glaring inequity case,” according to the suit. Mayr asserted Freyd’s pay is as much as $50,000 below where it should be, the lawsuit says.

The College of Arts & Sciences announced raises in January. Freyd earned standard pay increases but no additional raise based on requests that she and Mayr had made, according to the suit.

Andrew Marcus, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and Hal Sadofsky, the associate dean, met with Freyd on Jan. 18. They told her that they would not address sex discrimination in her pay, and “belittled her comments” by saying that only three men in her department earned more than her, the lawsuit says.

There are those who will argue that this gender gap is simply the competitive market at work. Those people must have failed undergraduate microeconomics. Eugene’s labor market for research active PhD’s is not a competitive market. It’s a local monopsony in which the employer, UO, exercises considerable market power. We covered this in week 8, but if you skipped that lecture check the textbook for the implications for wage discrimination.

Other links: Professor Freyd’s law firm is the well known Johnson, Johnson, Lucas and Middleton of Eugene. They’ve posted the following:

Press Release


Timeline of events showing the efforts by Professor Freyd since 2014 to address the gender gap, without having to take UO to court.

Oregonian report: UO psychology professor accuses school of pay discrimination

Klinger repeats his ill-advised comments.

This UO professor has my vote for the Nobel prize in medicine

And for Peace too. Human Physiology Professor Chris Minson’s lab page is here. Discover Magazine describes the research here:

Soaking in a Hot Bath Yields Benefits Similar to Exercise

… The idea that passive heating can improve cardiovascular function received further support when the University of Oregon published a study the following year showing that regular hot baths can lower blood pressure.

In a second study, the same group looked at the mechanism responsible for these improvements. They found that passive heating raised levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. This has implications for treating high blood pressure and improving peripheral circulation in people with type 2 diabetes. As type 2 diabetes is associated with reductions in nitric oxide availability, passive heating may help re-establish a healthier nitric oxide level and reduce blood pressure.

In order to establish the effect of increasing body temperature passively, as opposed to through exertion, another study matched the intensity of heating from water immersion to that of running on a treadmill. Water immersion resulted in a greater increase in body temperature compared with exercise, as well as a greater reduction in average arterial blood pressure. This is important as a reduction in blood pressure is closely associated with a reduced risk of developing heart disease. This study points to the promising effect that may result from passive heating. It also suggests some of the cardiovascular effects of passive heating may be comparable with those of exercise.

Duck student-athletes not to talk to reporters without permission

Update: Reporter Jack Pitcher’s story on this is now up on the Emerald website, here.

3/20/2017: That has been the policy of the athletic department for years. Supposedly it will now change.

This post is related to UO General Counsel Kevin Reed’s investigation of the Duck Athletic Department’s efforts to intimidate student-reporters and prevent student-athletes from talking to the press. The UO Senate called for an investigation back in November, and President Schill commissioned it from the GCO. Jack Pitcher should have a story in the Emerald later today. Meanwhile here’s some history.

Back in 2011, Duck Football spokesperson Dave Williford took to the pages of the NYT to attack a research paper by 3 UO economists that showed a link between Duck football wins and declining grades for UO’s male students. President Lariviere made him apologize. Not clear how Pres Schill will discipline Williford over the Jacoby case.

Then of course there’s Coach Dana Altman’s successful effort to keep his players from talking to reporters after their #BlackLivesMatter protest. The GC’s report doesn’t investigate this. Odd.

Despite what the GC’s report claims, keeping control of the athlete’s ability to speak freely has been “a long-standing policy” for the athletic department for years. Below is a repost from 2012, back when the Senate was debating Randy Geller’s random drug testing policy for athletes. (Sorry the links are broken now, try the wayback machine.)

The GC’s office doesn’t seem to have obtained any emails or documents from the athletic department regarding those incidents that they do investigate – they simply rely on interviews (and one snippet from a Williford powerpoint). That’s a rather surprising lack of due diligence, given how eager the GC was to use the public records law to get copies of my emails with reporters about academic freedom.

That said, the GC’s report does make some helpful if milquetoast recommendations for improvements in the athletic department’s policies. It’s hard to believe they will be enforced however, given the GC report’s failure to hold the athletic department accountable for their efforts to intimidate Jacoby and other reporters – or even accurately describe the athletic department’s actual policies and practices.

10/9/2012 Teach your children well:

Posted yesterday on the UO athletic department’s website:

There is misinformation about the University of Oregon Athletic Department’s interview policy for student-athletes, coaches and administrators. To provide clarity to this long-standing policy, all interview requests are to be arranged through the Athletic Communications office.

The practice, which is the same at all Pac-12 member institutions, is in place to help manage the interview process for individuals. Student-athletes face the unique challenge of balancing extremely busy schedules involving class, studying, practice, training room and competition. Student-athlete welfare is paramount, and that includes eliminating potentially intrusive situations.

If contacted by a media member unaware of the policy or in blatant disregard for the policy, student-athletes and athletic department personnel are instructed to contact the Athletic Communications office to properly schedule the interview. In no way does the policy require student-athletes or department personnel to refrain from sharing their views or opinions on a topic.

It’s all about protecting the athletes from excessive talking. Orwell would love that last sentence – it doesn’t require they keep quiet, it just makes it real clear that the AD will know what they say and that there may be consequences. I’d interview some “student-athletes” what they think of having big brother Craig Pintens looking over their shoulder, but … .

From what I can tell Rob Mullens and his crew felt the need to re-iterate this policy after the recent public meeting on random duck drug testing, where the lone athlete present refused to speak with Register Guard reporter Diane Dietz:

University of Oregon tennis player Lena Macomson listened intently Wednesday at a sparsely attended public hearing on the university’s new policy to require drug tests on a random basis from student athletes.

And though she appeared to be the only athlete in the room — and so the only one potentially subject to the proposed requirement to give a urine sample — she didn’t take the floor to testify as to how she felt about the matter.

Macomson said afterward that she could not speak to a reporter without first getting the permission of Andy McNamara, assistant athletic director for media relations.

Dietz got one player to speak later on the phone, obviously he caught hell for it. I wonder who tells Craig and Andy what they can say to whom?

NCAA’s revenue “student-athletes” less and less likely to be first generation

It’s a well known fact that big-time college sports exploits the generally low SES minority football players who take the hits and concussions, and gives the money they earn to the generally white and rich golf and tennis players, who get fancy facilities and scholarships that actually leave them time to get an education.  After the coaches take their cut, of course.

But I was surprised to read that even the NCAA’s revenue sport athletes are less and less likely to be first generation students. Tom Farrey has the story here:

For March Madness this year, the NCAA is running a public service announcement called “Opportunity,” which includes images of some athletes from disadvantaged areas who will get to go to college by playing basketball. It underscores the notion that a core piece of the NCAA’s mission is providing athletic scholarships and college educations to student-athletes in need.

But here’s the stark, myth-busting truth: Fewer than 1 in 5 students playing Division 1 hoops, and 1 in 7 in all Division 1 sports, come from families in which neither parent went to college. And their numbers are declining.

Educators call such students “first gens,” or members of the first generation of their family to attend college. It is a closely tracked figure because it’s a key measure of socioeconomic opportunity. First gens are typically from poor and working-class families that have difficulty paying for college without scholarships. For first gen athletes who don’t go onto the pros — the vast majority – an athletic scholarship is their ticket not just to a degree, but also for entry into the middle class.

In 2010, the NCAA began asking college athletes whether they are first gens as part of its little-known GOALS Study, which captures the background and experience of those playing sports at all three levels of competition. In 2015, it did another survey of 21,000 athletes. The Undefeated asked the NCAA to break out a portion of the data on first gens to get a fuller understanding of who gets to play college sports.

Surprisingly, the data revealed that most Division 1 sports experienced steep drops in first gen students. The falloff was dramatic even in the sports most associated with tales of uplift: In men’s basketball, the sport that used to have the highest percentage of first gens, the number plummeted by a third in just five years. Women’s basketball experienced a similar drop. Football fell by more than 10 percent. …

“no need for panic”

(The WaPo has more detail on Trump’s budget proposal here.)

Dear Members of the UO Research Community,

Today the Trump Administration announced its plans for the FY2018 federal budget. The proposal is thin on details but calls for unprecedented funding reductions for numerous federal agencies, including those that our university depends on to support research. Of particular concern to us is the plan to reduce the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget by $5.8 billion, or 18 percent, and the US Department of Education budget by $9.2 billion, or 14 percent. Although the budget is silent on the future of the Institute of Education Sciences and holds harmless technical assistance programs for IDEA, the target for reduction suggests there will be impacts. Virtually all of the other science agencies except NASA are slated for similar reductions. The president’s budget also proposes to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Economic Development Administration and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Oddly, the announcement makes no mention of the budget allocation for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

While these proposed budget cuts are alarming and their impact should not be minimized, there is no need for panic. I urge to you remember that this is just the first step in what is likely to be a very long negotiation with Congress over the final terms of the FY2018 budget for the nation. In addition, there is very strong bipartisan support in Congress for research and development. For example, during the recent lame duck session, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act that authorizes increases in funding for NIH. Congress also passed the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA), which authorizes and sets policy for the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and various STEM education programs across the federal government. Keep in mind also that Congress must still act on the current FY2017 budget, which expires at the end of April.

Be assured that the UO will be vocal in our support of federal funding for research and scholarship across all disciplines. We will work closely with our colleagues through the AAU and APLU to amplify our voice. You may also find that your disciplinary societies are developing responses to this proposed budget.

The senior leadership of the UO remains steadfast in our conviction that research excellence is a core mission of this university, and we will be relentless in our efforts to remind our elected officials that federal investment in research is crucial to the economic growth and prosperity of the U.S.


David O. Conover

Vice President for Research and Innovation

UO’s non-tenure track faculty to take generous $45K buyout offer

Update: Sorry, there is no such offer for real UO faculty. UO is planning to lay off ~75 non-tenured and pro-tem faculty in RL, AAD, CoE, and the SOJC with no buyout at all.

But things are a little different over in Rob Mullens’ heavily subsidized Duck athletic empire. The Oregonian’s Andrew Greif has the follow-up to the Emerald report that the $175K volleyball coach (or, in the preferred nomenclature of our General Counsel’s office, the volleyball professor) was being fired for cause, here:

… When asked about the letter and the allegations of abusive behavior, senior associate athletic director Craig Pintens said Oregon wouldn’t comment. …

And it now seems that Mullens will pay the coach a few months salary to leave quietly – let’s call it $45K – and will also find alternative work for his assistant/spouse. Emerald reporter Jonathan Hawthorne spikes it:

The [shameless PR flack Craig Pintens press release] added that Moore will work remotely to craft a transition plan to ensure the the program’s success going forward.

Meanwhile, Provost Coltrane’s academic budget is still subsidizing the Jock Box to the tune of $2.4M a year, we’re paying Mullens $500K a year for Frohnmayer’s Mac Court land scam, and don’t get me started on the overhead.

Update: The Oregonian’s Andrew Greif has made a PR request for a list of self-reported NCAA infractions involving volleyball, here. At many schools these are posted on the web, but the Duck athletic department does its best to hide them. Not always successfully. Here’s the 1981 opinion from the Oregon DOJ, written when Dave Frohnmayer was AG, ordering a partial release of the report from some long forgotten 1979 scandal. Very interesting reading which bears on many current issues, including FERPA and the claim that coaches are faculty:

This opinion was very useful back when Gottfredson was President, and UO was trying to hide information about the Willie Lyles scandal.

3/13/2014: Two more UO faculty fired, apparently “for cause.”

The Daily Emerald has the scoop here.  But they’re only UO faculty in the alternative-fact world of our General Counsel’s Office, so that they can hide their personnel records from public records requests. They’re really Duck volleyball coaches.

Pres Schill sends out letter of support for UO transgender community

Dear members of the University of Oregon community,

The University of Oregon is proud to be a welcoming and inclusive campus that supports the rights of every member of our community, including people of all genders and gender identities. 

Recently, there have been events that have left many transgender students and members of the faculty and staff within our community feeling concerned and vulnerable. This is not acceptable, and I want everyone to know that the UO will continue to be a place where anyone can live and study in safety, with dignity, with authenticity, and in an environment that is free from discrimination. We remain committed to providing safe and equitable access to all of our programs, activities, and facilities regardless of gender identity or expression. 

The UO respects everyone’s right to self-determination and to live as their true selves, and in support of that commitment our institution continues to offer gender-neutral housing and bathroom options, gender-neutral support and education services, and programs that honor people’s pronoun and name preferences. As our Title IX coordinator recently stated in this message, our commitment to the fundamental protections of Title IX remain unwavering. I hope that those who need support will take advantage of the wealth of resources that are provided at the UO.

I want to reassure all of our students, the faculty and staff, and visitors to our campus that you are, and remain, welcome here at the University of Oregon and an important part of our community.

Best regards,

Michael H. Schill

President and Professor of Law

UO hires new Law Dean, Marcilynn Burke from Houston


It is my pleasure to announce that Marcilynn Burke will join the University of Oregon as dean of the School of Law. She will begin on July 1.

An outstanding scholar and leader, Burke currently serves as associate dean and associate professor of law at the University of Houston, where she joined the faculty in 2002. Her experience and legal expertise are a tremendous complement to the excellent work of our faculty. As our top candidate, Burke, I believe, will have an instant rapport with her colleagues that will inspire even greater achievements in environmental and natural resources law, dispute resolution, and other areas of emphasis across the school. 

Burke received her bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her law degree from Yale Law School. At Yale, she was an editor for both the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism and the Yale Journal of International Law.

After receiving tenure at UH in 2009, Burke took a leave of absence to serve at the US Department of the Interior as deputy director for programs and policy at the Bureau of Land Management. 

In 2011, President Barack Obama asked Burke to serve as acting assistant secretary for land and minerals management, where she helped develop the land use, resource management, and regulatory oversight policies that are administered by the BLM, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Collectively, these four agencies work to ensure appropriate management and use of federal lands and related resources.

Currently, Burke teaches courses in property law, land-use law, and federal natural resources law. Her research articles have been published in noted journals, such as the Notre Dame Law Review and the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum. Her teaching has earned accolades from students, who awarded her with Professor of the Year honors in 2013 from the University of Houston Law Center’s Black Law Students Association.

Previously, Burke clerked for the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson of the Eastern District of Virginia and spent nearly five years at the Washington, DC, office of the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, where her practice focused on environmental law, antitrust, and civil and criminal litigation.

Our School of Law is a great asset to this university’s incredible academic offerings, thanks in large part to the steady leadership of Michael Moffitt. We will miss Michael as dean, but we are pleased to welcome him back to the faculty resuming his role as a scholar and teacher. 

Please join me in welcoming Marcilynn Burke to the University of Oregon.


Scott Coltrane

Provost and Senior Vice President

Poli Sci professor dissects former Bio professor’s “false flag” letter

When I read this RG letter from retired UO Bio professor Frank Stahl I didn’t understand what the hell he was trying to say. UO Poli Sci professor Gerry Berk did, and he does us all a service by explaining how it fits into the history of anti-Semitic thought. In the RG here:

We find Frank Stahl’s letter chilling (“Anti-Semitism or false-flag setups?” March 12). Stahl seems to suggest that Zionists, people who believe in Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, are behind the bomb threats toward Jewish day schools and institutions, and the defacing of Jewish cemeteries, as a way to garner pro-Israeli sentiment here in the U.S.

As Jews, we experience these ideas as deeply threatening. The letter conflates reasoned debate over Israeli settlement policy with paranoid assumptions of powerful and immoral Jews secretly manipulating public opinion for their own nefarious ends, stereotypes that have always undergirded the anti-Semitic imagination.

Given the rise of anti-Semitic acts in Eugene and Portland, Stahl’s letter serves two purposes. First, like disturbing remarks emerging from the White House, it emboldens those who wish to perpetrate hate crimes. Second, it exacerbates the fear and insecurity that is now a fact of life for the local Jewish community.

We recognize The Register-Guard’s commitment to free speech in deciding to print professor Stahl’s letter. In addition, we call upon the editorial board to publicly condemn anti-Semitism and to express its commitment to combatting threats against the Jewish community of Eugene.

Toward that end, we also ask The Register-Guard to publicly condemn Stahl’s letter for perpetuating centuries-old stereotypes of Jews.

In a time when so many minority groups face violence and insecurity, it’s critical that The Register-Guard express publicly its commitment to balance free speech with its responsibility to guard the safety of all of Eugene’s citizens.


Response received 3/16/2017, from Frank Stahl:


You wrote:  “When I read this RG letter from retired UO Bio professor Frank Stahl I didn’t understand what the hell he was trying to say. UO Poli Sci professor Gerry Berk did, and he does us all a service by explaining how it fits into the history of anti-Semitic thought. In the RG here:”. When you did so,  you were clearly aiming to fill your role of service to the community.  If you really want to do it right , you will now publish the following:

Why I made that infamous suggestion:

By Franklin W Stahl

Preface: If I were to have written the infamous letter with what I know today and with the advice of my editor, this is how it would have read.

As readers know, this winter there was a wave of anti-Semitic incidents across North America. I want to know why that happened. Some have blamed it on “Trumpism”, and that makes some sense to me.  However, Trump’s lack of PC is not accompanied by overt anti-Semitic expressions. This contrasts with his explicit characterizations of Muslims as terrorists and Latins as rapists and murderers.  Furthermore, when I take note of Trump’s Jewish family connections, I wonder whether “Trumpism” is the best hypothesis. In these circumstances, the obvious thing (to a scientist) is to do some research.

         The oft-mentioned, and sometimes-denied, historic connections between Zionism and anti-Semitism seemed worth looking into. This is some of what I found:

A central problem for the Zionist movement when trying to establish a Jewish state was the convincing of European Jews that they should pull up their roots and transplant themselves to Palestine. It is very human (unfortunately) that when the carrot fails, a stick may be applied. In that regard, Joseph Massad of Columbia University, a highly-praised scholar, wrote:

 “Herzl [Austro-Hungarian journalist and ‘Father of Israel’] would conclude in his Diaries that ‘the anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies’. These were not slips or errors but indeed a long-term strategy that Zionism and Israel continue to deploy to this very day.”. ).

 A second reference is always desirable. This one is from a book by Israel Shahak, an Israeli holocaust survivor, professor of organic Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and highly regarded student of Judaic history:

 “In fact, close relations have always existed between zionists and antisemites: exactly like some of the European conservatives, the zionists thought they could ignore the ‘demonic’ character of antisemitism and use the antisemites for their own purposes. Many examples of such alliances are well known. Herzl allied himself with the notorious Count von Plehve, the antisemitic minister of Tsar Nicholas II;27 Jabotinsky made a pact with Petlyura, the reactionary Ukrainian leader whose forces massacred some 100,000 Jews in 1918–21; Ben-Gurion’s allies among the French extreme right during the Algerian war included some notorious antisemites who were, however, careful to explain that they were only against the Jews in France, not in Israel.” (Shahak, Israel. Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years)

 But, the need to attract Jews to Palestine did not end with the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948. “In light of the new post-war period that saw the end of state-sponsored antisemitism, the Zionists set out to attack Jews in a number of countries and to conjure up the specter of anti-Semitism in countries that opposed Zionism. In Iraq, the Israeli Mossad planted bombs in synagogues, libraries and cafes in the early 1950s, which killed and injured Iraqi Jews and spread panic amongst them that Iraqi Muslims and Christians were targeting them.”  (Joseph Massad)

 If the newly formed State were to achieve its Founders’ goal of conforming to the Kingdom of David and Solomon, many more Jews would be needed. This under-population problem was exacerbated by the greater birth rate of the Arab than of the Jewish population of Palestine. That fact not only stands in the way of today’s Israeli imperialist ambitions, but may soon threaten the very existence of the present Jewish state.

There is expectation in Israel that these antisemitic incidents will increase immigration:

. However, whether false flags have, in fact, been involved, I cannot personally assert. But we all know that governments will use false-flag operations to achieve their desired goals. That unpleasant fact of life was impressed on me by personal experience (no, Bill, not the sinking of the USS Maine):

In 2002-3, it was obvious (to some) that the threatened invasion of Iraq by America was being sold on a lie of Iraqi possession of world-threatening weapons of mass destruction. Of course, the idea that an American government would lie to Americans to justify an inevitable loss of American lives was inconceivable to many Americans. (But lie they did, at the DoD-estimated cost of 4,424 total deaths and 31,952 wounded as of June 29, 2016.)

Our efforts to alert the UO and Eugene to that impending disaster provoked some nasty responses. In making the suggestion that the recent wave of apparent antisemitism might also be a lie, I am well aware that I will upset many in the University, the town, and, possibly, among my own friends. I am also aware that I might be made uncomfortable, but that’s my problem. As a scientist, the search for truth can sometimes be uncomfortable to all concerned.

When the perpetrators of the recent anti-Semitic threats/acts are apprehended, as I hope they will be, we may gain a clearer picture. If, in fact, Israel is shown to have employed false-flag tactics to boost immigration from America or reduce emigration from Israel, we can all hope that the resulting anxiety will soon be allayed and be grateful that loss of life has apparently been nil.  

I hope very strongly that these anti-Semitic events do not indicate a rise in American anti-Semitism.  Such a rise would lead to an appalling disruption in the lives of Jewish citizens and an unimaginable loss to the entire country. In this regard I am heartened by recent reports,  based on information from the NYPD and federal investigators, that most, at least, of the telephoned threats were delivered by one person and this person was residing outside the United States and 

Apparently, the acts of antisemitism are less nationwide than first characterized and most may not be home-grown. This winter’s “wave” of American antisemitism may not even be a ripple.

Let’s pray for peace.


General Counsel Kevin Reed exaggerates cost of providing public records

Reporter Jack Pitcher has a good report on the bad UO Public Records situation, in the Emerald here:

Multiple University of Oregon students were arrested this year, an assistant football coach was paid over $60,000 for less than a week of work and one visit to campus by an author cost UO donors over $40,000. Public records requests help clarify the facts for stories like these.

…. [UO General Counsel Kevin Reed] estimates that it costs “in the neighborhood of $300,000 a year” to operate the public records office. UO isn’t required to operate a public records office, but incurs this expense to make the process of collecting and distributing records more streamlined, according to Reed.

Actually, the public records office’s overall spending (YTD Activity) was only $207,000 for the last full fiscal year (2015-16, amounts below are net). UO’s entire annual spending on public records was less than half of the $465,000 *increase* in what General Counsel Reed spent on operating his own office, in comparison to the prior year:

 The GC’s spending on admin salaries alone increased by $310,000 from the previous year, to $1,027,000. On the plus side, they do have a spiffy new website with nice photos.

Prosecutors investigating bribery allegations in 2021 IAAF Tracktown bid

USAToday has the latest:

The bidding process for the 2021 World Championships in Athletics — the first global track and field championships awarded to the United States —- remains under scrutiny as investigators continue to probe bribery allegations at several international events.

French prosecutors are investigating cash-for-vote allegations that may have played a role in Hayward Field at the University of Oregon’s selection as the site for the championships, Reuters reported on Friday.  Vin Lananna, who took over as the president of USA Track & Field in December, led a local group that secured the 2021 championships. …

In other news, Ken Goe reports that Tracktown may be having trouble raising money for the Hayward Field tart-up project.

Altman to lose NCAA tournament to Creighton in round 2, on academics

3/10/2017 update: InsideHigherEd has the bracket here:

A reminder that not all coaches exploit their players as much as the Ducks. This tongue-in-cheek bracket is based on the teams “Academic Progress Rate”, an easily scammed measure designed by the NCAA to make big-time college sports took good, and help their coaches get bigger bonuses. More on it here.

3/10/2017: Can Mike Schill and Andy Karduna’s new IAAC help UO’s student-athletes?

Kenny Jacoby had a long piece in the Emerald yesterday on the history of the IAC, PAGIA, and IAAC. The story starts with this:

Connor Johnson, a former longsnapper on the Oregon football team, said it’s a “bummer” how many athletes have to make decisions they don’t want to make due to conflicts with sports.

Almost all the time, he said — whether it’s being unable to enroll in certain majors or take classes that conflict with their practice schedules — athletes are asked to put sports above their education.

“It would be really nice to have the academic people looking out for the athletes so that they’re actually getting a decent education and what they were promised out of high school,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he would be in favor of some faculty oversight when it comes to how the athletic department spends its $120 million budget. Because all the athletic department’s decisions, he said, boil down to money.

It was the Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee’s attempt in the fall of 2013 to investigate similar complaints from student-athletes about UO’s Services for Student Athletes – including claims that revenue-sport minority athletes were particularly poorly treated – that was the immediate cause of former UO President Gottfredson’s decision to allow the athletic department and SSA Director Steve Stolp to stop coming to IAC meetings, and then to replace the IAC with the secret PAGIA – although the athletic department had been unhappy with the IAC for years.

I went to the first meeting of the new IAAC last week. AD Rob Mullens and SSA Director Steve Stolp gave the same canned presentations that they used to present to the IAC. I still remember the first time I heard Mullens brag about how graduation rates for UO student athletes were the same as for non-athletes at an IAC meeting. It’s well known that students in the non-revenue sports – particularly women in sports like tennis and soccer – have excellent graduation rates. The problem is the revenue sport athletes, who are pushed by their coaches to train more and study less. So I asked Mullens if he would break those graduation rates out by race, or gender, or for the revenue sports.

He wouldn’t, and he got mad when I pressed him on it. (I eventually got the numbers from Roger Thompson’s office, and now they are supposed to be posted on-line.) So we’ll see if Karduna’s IAAC is any more successful at dealing with the big-money people from the Duck athletics enterprise than the IAC was. It’s not off to a good start.

Hardworking Duck basketball players earn $25K for NCAA tournament bid!

$25K for Coach Dana Altman, that is. His players get nothing.

UO tops off Altman’s $1.8M salary with a $850K retention bonus, 2 cars, country club membership, away-game travel for his spouse etc, and also $25K for getting into the tournament plus more for getting into higher brackets. That new contract is here.

Altman’s old contract attempted to incentivise him to bring in some money for UO to help pay off the $235M in Matt Court bonds by giving him 15% of the gate after the first $4M:

But Dana Altman has never been able to sell even $3M in tickets – this year Eric Roedl’s budget prediction was for just $2.7M – so last fall Rob Mullens took out that embarrassing clause and just threw money at him lump sum: