Video captures UNC students in sensible act of vandalism

InsideHigherEd report here.

… The move came after years of debate. As many other colleges and universities removed Confederate statues and symbols, UNC officials said that they lacked the power to remove the statue, with the campus deferring to the system, and the system board last month saying that any decision needed to come from a state agency, and that the system had no plans to ask that agency to act. …

Video here:

This post is not in any way meant to encourage UO students to drag the Pioneer Mother and Father statues over to the graveyard, nor am I being paid to endorse this Harbor Freight winch with a series-wound motor to endure long pulls, and discrete remote control:

No, for maximum safety we need a committee.

UO late again with Affirmative Action Plan

The most recently available plan is here. The data is from 2016. Under federal regulations UO must prepare these annually. The new plan, explaining how UO is complying with federal AA law and giving the latest slice and dice of UO’s employees by gender and race, was supposed to be signed by President Schill by March 1, 2018. But instead, there’s just this announcement from AAEO:

On an annual basis, as required by federal regulations, UO produces Affirmative Action Plans (AAPs).  As of the 2018-19 AAP Year, UO has engaged Biddle Consulting Group to assist in the preparation of our plans.  Biddle has recommended some process changes to better align our reporting dates and incorporate the most current, complete and accurate set of data (snapshot date) with which to generate the AAPs. The effective date of the plans will remain March 1 with a new snapshot date of February 28, resulting in a later release of plan information on the AAEO website.

UO is spending millions on the VPEI’s office, thousands of hours of faculty time on “Diversity Action Plans”, is requiring search committee members to take questionable Implicit Bias training, is being sued for gender discrimination, and is spending millions more on the Under-represented Minority Recruitment Plan – but we can’t even file a basic federally required breakdown of employee race and gender on time without hiring a consultant.

FWIW here’s the sort of data the plans show:




Equity and Inclusion Office in crisis mode as intellectual diversity falls to new lows

Just kidding, they don’t care about that kind of diversity. The Office of Equity and Inclusion has spent millions encouraging UO to hire faculty who look different but think the same. Apparently they’ve been very effective.

Back in 2006 I matched the list of UO tenure track faculty with the Lane County voter rolls, and was able to find 25 registered Republicans. Daily Emerald reporter Braedon Kwiecien has an analysis out today that suggests UO’s political diversity is, if anything, narrowing:

… Of the 27 faculty members in [Political Science], 14 are registered Democrats, two are registered with the Pacific Green Party, two are unaffiliated, one is independent and one is a registered Republican. Seven couldn’t be identified as being registered to vote in Oregon. At a minimum, over 50 percent of faculty in the department are registered Democrats, and a greater percent register with liberal-leaning parties.

At the law school, political diversity is even more skewed. Of the 44 law faculty, 30 are registered Democrats, meaning at least 68 percent of the law faculty are Democrats. Three are non-affiliated, one is independent, one is a registered Republican and nine couldn’t be accounted for in the registration data. …

CAS Dean Andrew Marcus to step down at end of year

August 17, 2018

Dear University of Oregon community members,

I write today to let you know that W. Andrew Marcus, Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences, has notified me that he intends to step down as dean at the end of the calendar year.

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is in many ways the heart and soul of the University of Oregon, serving as the academic home to more than 60 percent of the student body and offering more than 40 fields of study in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Andrew has led this vast and complex college with incredible distinction and honor for more than five years, stepping in as acting dean in 2012 and ultimately being named dean in 2016.

President Schill and I are deeply grateful to Andrew for his exceptional leadership of the university’s largest and most academically diverse college through a period of great transformation and challenge within both CAS and the broader university. Andrew has been a principled and visionary leader, a voice of reason, and a tireless advocate for the faculty and students of CAS. With more than 15 years of experience at the UO as a faculty member, University Senate president, department head, associate dean, and dean, Andrew’s wealth of institutional knowledge will be greatly missed from the academic leadership ranks.

Even as Andrew steps away from his leadership role, his legacy as dean will last far into the future. The most enduring symbol of that legacy is Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall, a new college and careers building that is under construction in the heart of campus and set to open in the fall of 2019. Andrew’s vision is to create a place where students can navigate their academic experience at the UO in a holistic and innovative space that combines academic advising, career guidance, and portfolio-building opportunities in one location. More than just a beautiful building, Tykeson Hall will be a place where generations of UO students will set themselves on a path to a more meaningful future. It couldn’t have happened without Andrew’s leadership, vision, and tenacious fundraising efforts.

During his time as dean, Andrew has deftly realigned the college’s budget with transparency and fairness. He has helped recruit and hire amazing new faculty members as well as retain standout professors and researchers, efforts that have helped the UO solidify and strengthen its academic foundation in a wide range of disciplines. Andrew also launched new degrees and programs to serve the evolving demands and needs of students, including the Center for Environmental Futures and the new Black Studies initiative. In addition, he has made significant contributions to the broader UO community, serving on the president’s Senior Leadership Team, the Academic Leadership Team, the Space Advisory Group, and the Budget Advisory Group.

In the coming weeks, President Schill and I will consult with the college’s leadership team and members of the CAS faculty about how best to move forward when Andrew steps down at the end of the year. Having strong, capable leadership within the College of Arts and Sciences is a top priority, and we will develop and share a search plan in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition in CAS.

In the meantime, please join me in thanking Andrew for his wonderful service as dean to the College of Arts and Sciences and the entire University of Oregon.

Jayanth Banavar
Provost and Senior Vice President

HECC sends Gov proposal for 25% increase for universities, 73% for tuition aid

Nothing on Kyle Henley’s expensive Around the O, and if you check Libby Batlan and Hans Bernard’s UO’Government Relations website you just get a bunch of Duck pictures. But OSU’s Jock Mills’s very transparent Government Relations Office at Oregon State has the information on their excellent blog here. On the capital side, UO would get $54M to redo Huestis Hall, or just 15% of the total proposal for the seven publics:

Apparently Knight Campus vacuumed up UO’s share of state bonding last biennium – $70 million of it. But remember, the Knight Campus is going to benefit all of UO.

More on the HECC proposal, from the OSU blog:

HECC recommends capital and operating budgets for the 2019-21 biennium

On Thursday, August 2, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) approved recommendations for capital and operating budgets for community colleges and universities, as well as for financial aid programs for the 2019-21 biennium. The next play is in the Governor’s hands as she develops a comprehensive budget proposal due in late November/early December.

PUSF:   The HECC approved a base budget for the Public University Support Fund (PUSF) that does not reflect the Current Service Level (CSL) identified by universities but includes policy option packages (POPs) that would increase state spending for higher education from $737 million for the current biennium to $923 million, a 25% increase. University presidents have indicated that at least $867 million is needed to keep tuition increases below 5% for each of the next two years. The HECC proposal would enable much-needed investments in student success and retention at all seven universities.

Oregon Opportunity Grants:   The HECC also recommended a whopping $107 million (73%) increase in funding for the Oregon Opportunity Grant program — the primary source of state-funded financial aid for university students administered by the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC). While still focused on providing aid to those students with the highest need, the increase will open the program to serve an estimated 16,150 Pell-eligible students currently attending universities and community colleges. Under this funding level, OSAC will be able to maintain a grant amount that is approximately equal to 15% of the average cost of attendance at a 2- or 4- year public college or university.

If the state doesn’t come through with the PUSF increases, there will be another round of high tuition increases. On the other hand the proposal to expand the OOG program would offset these for low-income Oregonians. Like.

Will UO’s insurers make Kevin Reed settle Prof Freyd’s gender disc lawsuit?

My post on the filing of this lawsuit back in March 2017 is at “Nevertheless she persisted“, with a link to this RegisterGuard report from Jack Moran:

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 post describing the innovative “blame it on the union” defense from UO’s lawyers Paula Barran and Shayda Le of Portland’s Barran Liebman is here:

Bullshit. The CBA sets floors, not ceilings. UO General Counsel Kevin Reed knows this. Where does he find these lawyers? Can they read a contract? Does Reed read what they write before they send it to the judge?

In any case, UO’s liability insurance policy with United Educators has a $500K deductible, and given Barran Liebman’s hourly rate and the likely damages if this goes to a jury, United Educators must be getting nervous right about now.

And while I’m no lawyer, UO’s objections to discovery have had a mixed reception from Judge McShane, and his “Joint Status Report” language in the docket suggests that some sort of settlement is in the works:

Scheduling Order by Judge Michael J. McShane. The Status Conference set for 7/19/2018 and all case deadlines are vacated. The parties are to file a Joint Status Report is due by 9/18/2018. Ordered by Judge Michael J. McShane. (cp) (Entered: 07/18/2018)

9/18/2018 was the original date for the jury trial to start. And here’s a news story about an insurer suing a university’s law firm for a botched defense attempt.

Thanks to the excellent for doing what the federal courts won’t, and making all these documents freely available.

Cross laminated timbers proposed for Hayward Field fail at OSU Forestry School

You’ll be shocked to hear that politics were involved. Jeff Manning has the story on OSU’s new School of Forestry building in the Oregonian here:

… The Peavy problem comes after years of efforts by state officials to promote a technology they view as an economic engine for rural Oregon. The state’s timber employment has fallen 62 percent since its 1980s heyday, from about 80,000 to 30,000.  In 2015, the state deemed the development of cross-laminated timber buildings “essential” to the state’s economic interests.

The panels were made by DR Johnson, a venerable Douglas County timber company and newly minted CLT manufacturer, whose president, Valerie Johnson, sits on the forestry school’s board of visitors.

OSU officials initially said they knew few details of the DR Johnson contract. It was actually a British Columbia-based subcontractor, StructureCraft, that signed that contract, they noted.

But documents obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive show that StructureCraft had no choice but to hire DR Johnson. Buried deep in a 1,300-page “spec book,” OSU included a requirement that the CLT panels used in Peavy Hall be manufactured within 300 miles of the job site. Only DR Johnson met that requirement. …

Of course Historified Hayward Field is being built by Phil Knight with no state or university oversight and isn’t subject to the Governor’s buy local obsession, so presumably Shlusher’s Schlong will use enough glue to keep the wood up.

UO settles tortuous, incomprehensible COI/C case over Ed School profs DIBELS

The docket is here. It started August 2014, with this:

DYNAMIC MEASUREMENT GROUP, INC., an Oregon corporation, PLAINTIFF, v. UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, a special governmental body as defined by ORS 174.117(1)(i); MIA TUAN, individually and in her official capacity; EDWARD J. KAME’ENUI, individually and in his official capacity; FRANCIS J. FIEN IV, a/k/a Hank Fein, individually and in his official capacity; BRAD SHELTON, individually and in his official capacity; and HOP SKIP TECHNOLOGIES INC., an Oregon corporation, DEFENDANTS.

Plaintiff Dynamic Measurement Group, Inc. by this action seeks injunctive relief to prevent continuing trademark infringement and unfair competition by the University of Oregon, and by a private corporation acting in concert with the University of Oregon, in connection with DMG’s registered marks DIBELS, DIBELS Next, and IDEL. It also seeks injunctive relief and statutory damages with respect to copyright infringement and misuse of copyright management information by those same parties in connection with an “app” containing the DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency assessment measures.

Actually it started before that, as Diane Dietz explained in the RG in 2014, here:

In a legal set-to, the University of Oregon, a UO associate professor and a former employee are fighting over who owns — and can profit from — a reading test used at 15,000 schools with 4 million students nationwide.

All sides agree that the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills — or DIBELS — had its origins at the university and has been used and tinkered on by many UO professors, graduate students and researchers.

The question is: Who does DIBELS (rhymes with dribbles) belong to now?

Associate Professor Roland Good and former graduate student and one-time UO employee Ruth Kaminski formed a company and took out a trademark and copyright on DIBELS in 2003.

One decade later, the UO asked the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel Good and Kaminski’s trademark.

“The university will defend its intellectual property rights, which are public property, to the fullest extent of the law,” UO spokeswoman Julie Brown said in a prepared statement.

At one point another group of Ed school professors sued the first group. Or maybe the university. Or maybe vice versa. Eventually the cases were combined. Or maybe dismissed. Lawyers came, lawyers left. Subpoenas were issued. Motions to suppress things were made. It all ended two days ago, after 4 years and 221 docket entries, with this:

221 Aug 8, 2018

60-DAY ORDER OF DISMISSAL: The Court having been informed by counsel for the parties that this action has been settled, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to LR 41-1, this action is dismissed with prejudice and without costs and with leave, upon good cause shown within sixty (60) days, to have this order of dismissal set aside and the action reinstated if the settlement is not consummated. Pending motions, if any, are denied as moot. All pretrial deadlines and any trial date are stricken. By Clerk of Court Mary L. Moran. (mja) (Entered: 08/08/2018)

If anyone can provide a cogent summary of this mess please post it. The UO administration is now working with the Senate to rewrite UO’s relevant COI/COC policies, after first claiming that they were “not an academic matter”.

University reins in athletic department fundraisers

That would be Vanderbilt University. Rick Seltzer in InsideHigherEd:

Long-running tensions between athletics and academics are on display once again at Vanderbilt University, with charges surfacing that the athletics side is being prevented from raising money from some donors courted by university fund-raisers.

Blocking certain donors is undercutting efforts to raise funds for a new football stadium project, The Tennessean reported last week. Citing multiple sources, the newspaper wrote that a lack of progress toward a new or renovated stadium “may be self-inflicted.”

In an accompanying piece, columnist Joe Rexrode recounted being told two years ago by a source that athletics fund-raisers have been “scolded away from top donors” and that coaches have been frustrated because they are unable to get money for “small things that would be considered essential” at other universities. …

“I think most people would say it’s not unusual to have some competition between athletics and academics, or even within academic units,” said David Bass, a senior director of research at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. …

Anecdotal evidence shows the divide between athletic and academic priorities surfaces frequently. Elizabeth King is the president and CEO of the Wichita State University Foundation. She isn’t familiar with the situation at Vanderbilt, but she recalled conversations she’s seen between fund-raising professionals on email distribution lists.

“This does seem to be problematic at a number of institutions,” she said. “It’s just the whole collaboration. Athletics has perks, many times, that the academic side can’t begin to provide.”

The story goes on to discuss crowding-out and crowding-in of academic donations by athletic fundraising.

Meanwhile, here at UO, our VP for Development has just hired Jim Bartko, a former Duck Associate Athletic Director who as AD at Fresno State doubled the subsidy that the academic side must pay athletics to $19M.

His new job? Ostensibly it’s to fundraise for UO’s academic side.

Meanwhile, the RG reports that UO’s fundraising results have been mixed:

UO fundraising attracts $131 million on heels of record gift — a 4-year low

…The UO reported receiving $131 million in gifts and other contributions, its lowest total since the 2013-14 fiscal year. It’s only the second time since the state agreed in 2013 to give the UO more independence with its own board of trustees that the university has failed to raise at least $200 million in donations in a year.

Still, the down year followed a blockbuster 2016-17 fiscal year, where the UO pulled in $695 million, thanks to the long-anticipated $500 million pledge from the Nike co-founder and his wife for the science campus, which is currently under construction.

1/3 of the $1.8B raised in this campaign has gone to the athletic department. Of the rest, most seems to be going to the Knight Campus:

The UO’s biggest donations over the last year were:

• $10 million from the Robert J. DeArmond Trust to provide permanent funding for the director of the under-construction Knight science campus through an endowment. Robert Guldberg, a biomedical engineer and college administrator from Georgia Tech, has been hired as the campus’s first executive director. His starting salary is $550,000 a year. Lumber executive Robert DeArmond and his wife Leona, now both deceased, were UO alumni and longtime donors to the school.

• $3.5 million from Dan and Peggy Neal to support entrepreneurship programs at the UO’s Lundquist College of Business. Dan Neal is a lawyer who has recently developed several student housing projects near the UO.

• $3 million from longtime UO donor Lorry Lokey for other endowed positions at the Knight campus. Lokey, who founded Business Wire, a leading international news release wire service, has been a big donor to higher education institutions throughout the state.

• $2 million anonymous gift for student advising support in the UO’s new Willie and Don Tykeson Hall and the school’s PathwayOregon scholarship program.

• $1 million from Timothy and Virginia Foo to endow a faculty position with the School of Music and Dance. Timothy Foo graduated from the UO’s music school and was a music professor at Drake University.

NCAA responds to FBI investigation by re-instating requirement Lananna and his ilk disclose outside income

But not to the public – just to the university. Brad Schmidt has the story in the Oregonian:

The NCAA approved a new rule Wednesday that decodes the financial influence of shoe companies in collegiate sports, eliminating a glaring shortcoming in disclosure requirements highlighted this spring by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

That change, coupled with other new rules about recruiting and player eligibility, marks the NCAA’s first actions in the wake of last year’s federal investigation alleging bribery and corruption in college basketball. At least eight people have been indicted, including coaches, sports agents and two representatives of Portland-based Adidas North America.

The NCAA touted its actions as swift and necessary, stating that the changes will improve investigations, increase penalties and provide more flexibility for top college athletes evaluating whether to declare for the NBA.

“Today was obviously a very important day for the NCAA and especially for men’s basketball,” Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters.

Among the most tangible changes toward transparency, the NCAA effective immediately will require athletics department officials, including coaches, to disclosure annually any athletically related outside income above $600.

That’s nearly identical to a long-standing rule the NCAA eliminated in 2016. The school that pushed for the elimination, the University of Texas at Austin, did so in part to “minimize” records that are subject to open records laws, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported in April. …

When I tried to get Lananna’s report back in 2015, UO GC Kevin Reed’s office claimed he was faculty, and refused to release it:

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 10.37.28 AM

Eventually Reed caved, as I recall it took the threat of a petition the DA. Diane Dietz had a report about Lananna’s outside income in the RG here. There’s a lot of it. His disclosures, on the other hand, were a bit perfunctory:

Paul Weinhold’s UO Foundation murky about money for Track Town / IAAF bid

Summer time, so here’s a rerun. FWIW the FBI is now on it:

12/13/2015 update: Jeff Manning’s new report in the Oregonian, here, lays out what is known so far, and quotes the French Ministry of Justice:

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.59.11 AM

“The object is to determine the conditions under which the hosting decision was taken,” said France’s Ministry of Justice said in a statement, “and whether corruption offenses, money laundering or a conspiracy to benefit from criminal association have been committed in France.”

If the Foundation threatens to sue the French for defamation over that “money laundering” phrase, as they once did to me, I can recommend several excellent lawyers who are not impressed by the blustery language of the Foundation’s attorney, Thomas Herrmann of  Gleaves Swearingen:

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 10.11.06 AM

That said there is no mention in the story indicating that the French are specifically investigating the secretive UO Foundation, although Manning shows they have been heavily involved in the bidding and the efforts to secure $30M-$40M in state money:

The University of Oregon Foundation is also throwing all its weight behind the championships. “On behalf of the University of Oregon Foundation, please accept this letter as our written guarantee that the UO Foundation will cover any potential shortfall of the future organizing committee budget of the IAAF World Championships in Eugene in 2021,” wrote Paul Weinhold, the foundation’s chief executive, in a letter to the track and field federation.

Weinhold insists the guarantee poses no risk for the non-profit.

The foundation is also playing a key role in a massive renovation of Hayward Field in time for the championships. The current plan calls for the foundation to manage a privately funded rebuild that will triple seating capacity to 30,000.

(Also see video below).

FWIW, the Oregonian comments are running heavily against state subsidies.

The UO Foundation’s 990 report for the FY ending June 30 2015 was due at the IRS on November 15th. These reports give some basic financial information. However, the Foundation typically runs out the 2 allowable 3 month extensions until the last possible day, meaning we won’t know have even this basic financial data until June 15th, nearly a year after the FY closes.

Oregonian sports reporter Ken Goe has more with Lananna, here:

At a meeting in February of 2015 in Monaco, Lananna and Fasulo said they told Diack they didn’t know if they could keep their coalition of public and private partners together if they had to draw up a new bid for 2021 and go through another formal process

They said Diack listened politely but made no commitment.

“He said he would reflect upon it,” Lananna said.

Lananna said they didn’t offer Diack anything that even could be interpreted as a bribe. Nor, he said, did Diack request anything.

“Absolutely not,” Lananna said. “Nothing, in any way, shape or form. Nothing was asked, implied or suggested. We did not. He did not. No.”

Not even a Rolex?

So now our university’s foundation is subsidizing a track meet and sinking money into yet another sports project, right in the middle of what is supposedly a $2B academic fundraising campaign. No surprises as to what our VP for Development is now spending his time on:

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 9.46.20 AM

And it looks like UO’s Director of State Affairs Hans Bernard is going to be spending his time this session lobbying the legislature for money for sports, rather than for academics:

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 9.51.21 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-13 at 9.51.34 AM

And who is paying Vin Lananna to organize all this? UO’s Public Records Office really doesn’t want to answer these kinds of questions, which are now coming in from the BBC among others:

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 9.56.47 AM

Meanwhile the RG, London Times, BBC, WSJ and the Oregonian are asking Gov. Kate Brown’s office for more, public records, including emails going back to Kitzhaber. Maybe Cylvia Hayes got a contract for making the IAAF sustainably carbon neutral?

12/10/2015: Update: UO public records office hid Lananna / Nike emails until RG petitioned DA

That’s the report from Diane Dietz in the Register Guard, here:

French prosecutors on Thursday confirmed they have opened an investigation into the decision to award the 2021 track world championships to Eugene without an open bidding process.

The financial prosecutors’ office in Paris said it aims to determine whether corruption, money laundering or other crimes may have been committed in the International Association of Athletics Federations’ decision and, if so, whether prosecuting them might fall within French jurisdiction.

The Eugene bid effort was led by Track Town USA, a Eugene nonprofit headed by Vin Lananna, who is also a top executive at the University of Oregon Athletic Department.

…  The January 2015 email, sent three months before the surprise IAAF vote to award the 2021 championships to Eugene, was from a Nike executive to Lananna on the subject of Lananna’s pitch for the 2021 championships. The Nike official said that the incoming chairman of the IAAF, Sebastian Coe, was in favor of the Eugene bid. In addition to his IAAF role, Coe was working for Nike at the time, and Nike Chairman Phil Knight favors Eugene for the IAAF meet.

The university released the document in October only after the newspaper filed an appeal the Lane County District Attorney’s Office.

Update: Ken Goe in the Oregonian:

“We presented the bid with complete transparency in 2019,” Lananna said. “The only thing different about the ’19 budget and the ’21 budget is that we crossed out the number on the top of the budget, and it went from ’19 to ’21.”

Complete transparency. Really? UO’s public records office still won’t release the bid information, or the NCAA report on who pays Lananna.

Update: French prosecutors probe Lananna  / Diack deal for Eugene’s 2021 IAAF championships

The RG has a story with the latest quotes from Lananna, here:

“We stand by our bid, we stand by the integrity of the bid and we are 100 percent confident that there has been nothing outside of what are the norms of the presentation of an IAAF bid,” Lananna said Wednesday during a news conference attended by Portland mayor Charlie Hales at the Oregon Convention Center, which will host the World Indoor meet March 17-20.

Given that past IAAF president Lamine Diack has been arrested over allegations that he took a $1M Russian bribe to cover up doping, among many other IAAF scandals, this doesn’t seem like a good time to be talking about IAAF norms. It also conflicts with the message new IAAF president Seb Coe must get out regarding his reform efforts, if he wants to keep his job. And Coe has already said that Diack’s decision was flawed:

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 6.53.21 PM

This video of Track Town CEO Mike Reilly promising Diack that Eugene will accommodate the “IAAF Family” in the kinds of luxurious hotels to which they have become accustomed is not going to help:

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 9.00.31 PM

I wonder who will pay for that? Oregon taxpayers, if UO’s Hans Bernard gets his way.

12/9/2015: The BBC’s Mark Daly has the latest, here:

The decision by the scandal-hit IAAF to award the 2021 World Athletics Championships to the American city of Eugene is being investigated by French prosecutors, the BBC has learned.

… Other emails seen by the BBC reveal that Lananna made at least one trip to Europe to visit Diack a few weeks after this email was written.

BBC sources have confirmed French investigators want to know more about how Diack arrived at the decision to give Eugene the event.

French police, instructed by lead financial prosecutor Elaine Houlette, have already arrested and questioned Lamine Diack, his legal adviser Habib Cisse and Gabriel Dolle, the former long-standing head of the IAAF’s anti-doping unit. …

Meanwhile UO’s State Affairs Director Hans Bernard plans to hit up the state legislature for ~$30M to renovate Hayward Field and subsidize the IAAF championships, while claiming this would not be a trade off for academically focused funding. Sure it wouldn’t:

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Other posts here. The RG’s Diane Dietz had an excellent series of reports on this last fall:

Bid for world track meet lined with cash:

By Diane Dietz
The Register-Guard

When the world track governing body last week turned down Eugene’s bid to host the world championships in 2019, it wasn’t for lack of multimillion-dollar promises made by officials from Oregon, the University of Oregon and the University of Oregon Foundation, newly available bid information shows.

Paul Weinhold, CEO of the UO Foundation, appeared before the international body as a man with wherewithal who “manages $1 billion worth of assets.”

Weinhold unequivocally pledged that the UO Foundation — keeper of the university’s donated scholarship, research and athletics funds — would provide financial guarantees against loss if Eugene-based TrackTown USA won the bid to bring the two-week athletics event to Eugene and the UO campus.

Weinhold also appeared to obligate university dollars.

“To be clear,” Weinhold told the 27 members of the international body, “the University of Oregon and the foundation are unified in our financial commitment to a successful World Championship in 2019.”

Meanwhile, Gov. John Kitzhaber, in a video played at the governing body’s meeting in Monaco, promised to ask the state Legislature to pony up $40 million to help fund the event. …

And UO board bars the public from ‘training’ event:

By Diane Dietz
The Register-Guard

The University of Oregon Board of Trustees excluded a newspaper reporter and a blogger from its Saturday morning meeting at the Hilton Eugene.

Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms said the board had convened for a “training” about the operations of TrackTown USA and the public — and its media representatives — were excluded.

Trustees need to understand the nonprofit TrackTown’s operations because, even though it’s not an official part of the university, TrackTown stages events at Hayward Field, Wilhelms said.

“It’s important to understand the interplay between the two,” she said.

Saturday marked a third day of meetings for the new UO board, which took charge of the university in July.

Board members and university administrators — many in yellow and green regalia — attended the 8:30 a.m. breakfast meeting it the Hilton Eugene’s 12th-floor Vista room, which has floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular views of the city.

The plan was to finish the board’s business in time for kickoff at Autzen Stadium. A quorum of the board planned to attend the game. The agenda emphasized the gathering was a “social event only,” according to the board’s agenda.

The nature of the Saturday morning meeting evolved daily through the board’s fall session. On Wednesday, the agenda posted on the trustees’ website said this: “Public Meeting, Eugene Hilton, Vista Room.”

On Thursday, the first day of the board’s fall meeting, Chairman Chuck Lillis began describing the Saturday meeting — and was interrupted by Wilhelms.

“There’s nothing like having a coach,” Lillis said, before continuing.

“We’re going to hear a discussion. It will be in a nonpublic environment about the possibility of the state of Oregon hosting, centered in Eugene, the world championships of track and field.” …

UO’s Public Records Office has repeatedly stalled the release of public records related to this bid.

RG editorial board: Cuts to public services will trim your mortgage 25%!

Worse schools for your kids, but more fees for Wall Street brokers and consultants who want PERS to fund its pension obligations with stock market investments, so they can get their cut. The RG editorial board regurgitates the latest PERS hysteria here, straight from the WSJ editorial page:

For a taxpayer, the obligation to fund Oregon’s public employee pension shortfall — the gap between what governments are paying into the pension system and the system’s projected needs — can seem abstract. The Public Employee Retirement System’s so-called unfunded liability is $22 billion, a staggering figure that is hard to grasp on a personal level.

But what if you calculated that liability as a mortgage that each property owner owes on her or his house, and cannot escape paying off? And what if you compared Oregon’s so-called “public pension stealth mortgage” to those of other states?

That’s what a New York City researcher and a Claremont McKenna College finance professor have done, for all 50 states, providing a unique and frightening set of data that, not surprisingly, highlights the severity of Oregon’s problem.

The PERS unfunded liability amounts to a mortgage of $106,952 on every Oregon home, found researcher Rob Arnott and professor Lisa Meulbroek. That’s the 9th highest per-home amount among all the states.

I’m no free-market economist, but when you buy a house the price tends to reflects both the cost and the benefits of the state’s public services. And Oregon’s housing market seems to think the benefits are worth the costs. Here’s Portland, where the “pension stealth mortgage” is even higher, since its police and firemen’s pensions are entirely funded by tax obligations, with no Wall Street invested reserve: