Daily Emerald explains ~$5M in Duck subsidies to new UO students

ODE reporter Kenny Jacoby is back from a summer internship at NBC TV in San Diego, and he’s wasting no time getting to work. Today the Emerald has the most comprehensive accounting I’ve seen yet of the ~$5M a year in subsidies that UO’s academic side pays to Rob Mullens and the Ducks:

It’s the beginning of another school year, which means another round of tuition hikes for UO students. The damage this year is a 6.6 percent increase for in-state students (about $810 per year) and a 3 percent increase for out-of-state (about $945). It was nearly 10.6 percent for in-state students, but a last-minute influx of state support helped mitigate the increase. Tuition has gone up for the fourth straight year and roughly doubled in the past decade.

The Oregon athletic department, meanwhile, continues to thrive. According to its projected 2018 budget, it expects to make $113 million in revenue, up from $110 million last year and $40 million a decade ago. Each year, however, it spends every dollar it brings in. It recently paid to buy former football coach Mark Helfrich and his coaching staff out of their contracts and hire Willie Taggart and 12 new assistant and strength coaches.

Of the $113 million in revenue in 2018, about $5 million will come directly out of UO students’ pockets. Students, through tuition and fees, foot the bill for tutoring and advising services for student-athletes, President Michael Schill’s luxury seats at Autzen Stadium and Matthew Knight Arena, student tickets to football and basketball games and debt service on the basketball arena and parking garage.

Over the summer, the Emerald asked Schill whether he would consider pulling any money from the athletic department budget to mitigate a tuition increase for students. The answer was a resounding no. He said athletics is going through its own budget issues, and that he is “comfortable” with the the current level of subsidy.

Some big ticket subsidies from Jacoby’s story:

Jaqua Academic Center – $2 million

UO students pay roughly $2 million per year on tutoring and advising services available exclusively to UO’s approximately 450 student-athletes, financial transparency reports show. By comparison, UO spends about the same amount each year on the Teaching and Learning Center in the fourth of the library or basement of PLC, which offers free group tutoring services and paid one-on-one sessions to 20,000 undergraduates.

Matthew Knight Arena – $502,000

The most expensive on-campus basketball arena in the U.S. costs UO students roughly $502,000 a year in debt service, plus the cost of using the arena for school events. A decade ago, when Knight pledged $100 million to build the $227 million arena, the athletic department scrambled to find funds to buy the land on which to build it, which at the time was owned by a bakery plant. So in 2009, then-athletic director Pat Kilkenny made a deal with then-President Dave Frohnmayer that ultimately left UO students paying roughly a quarter of of the $1.8-million-a-year land debt payment. …

In addition to land debt service, UO students also pay money to use Matthew Knight Arena. Financial records obtained by the Emerald show UO has paid athletics more than $230,000 in the past three years on expenses on 27 school events at Matthew Knight Arena, including rent, audio/video technology, janitors, ushers and changeover (changing the venue from a basketball facility to accommodate different types of events). Using Matthew Knight Arena for Ta-Nehisi Coates’ lecture in February, for example, cost UO nearly $40,000 — not including the $41,000 in donor money it paid to Coates.

Student Tickets – $1.7 million

UO students pay athletics nearly $1.7 million a year in student fees for tickets to UO sporting events.

President Schill’s Luxury Seats – $412,000

As part of the 2009 agreement between Frohnmayer and Kilkenny, UO agreed to pay the athletic department $375,000 a year for use of the presidential suite, 80 club level season tickets, eight reserved season tickets and 11 parking spaces at Autzen Stadium. UO also agreed to pay for 20 men’s basketball season tickets and four garage parking passes at Matthew Knight Arena, which amounted to $32,456 last year. The seats are used “for donor engagement and fundraising activities,” according to athletic department spokesman Craig Pintens.

Parking Garage and Parking Revenue – $625,000

Also part of the 2009 agreement, UO agreed to finance a portion of the debt service on the underground parking garage at Matthew Knight Arena and allow athletics to keep the parking revenue generated during games, as well as outside events managed by athletics, such as concerts. This amounts to $521,000 a year for debt service and between $250,000 and $270,000 in lost revenue — minus roughly $150,000 that the athletic department pays the City of Eugene for parking enforcement — during Matthew Knight Arena events.

President Trump joins Coach Altman in pressuring black athletes to keep quiet

9/24/2017: Apparently both share similarly grandiose views of their authority, and both lack an understanding of the First Amendment and American history. Of course the NCAA gives Altman considerably more power over “his” players than Trump has over Kaepernick, the NFL and the NBA, and so far Altman been able to keep them quiet. Trump, not so much:

12/10/2014: Coach Dana Altman thinks National Anthem is the wrong time to protest racism

Our fool of a basketball coach thinks he owns those players. They shouldn’t protest when he’s trying to collect his $2M paycheck, off their free labor.

Fortunately we’ve still got people who can hear someone sing “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave” and actually understand what it means.

Want to ask the players what they think? No. Duck AD Rob Mullens and his PR flack Craig Pintens have a rule about players talking to reporters without permission, and “Benjamin and Bell have not been made available to comment.”

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Senate Pres Chris Sinclair (Math) to wield ceremonial UO Mace at convocation

For some reason Around the O hasn’t announced this latest sign of the UO administration’s trust in shared governance, but the basics are at convocation.uoregon.edu:

Matthew Knight Arena | Sunday, September 24, 2017 | 3:30 P.M.

You’re invited to Convocation, an annual ceremony where all Ducks flock to welcome new students and faculty to the UO! Convocation calls together the whole campus community [except those who object to trying to build a campus community around concussions and Duck athletic crap] to celebrate the engaging, innovative, and intellectually curious environment in which our students, faculty, and staff thrive. It is one of the UO’s proudest traditions [along with the ritualistic ceremony for the firing and payoff of administrators] and the culminating event of Week of Welcome. …

We hope you will join us in this campus-wide celebration of academic excellence!

Or you will face its wrath:

Ojai Music Festival calls on Eugene Mayor to help OBF secede from UO

9/22/2017: Bob Keefer has the latest in the EW here:

Thomas W. Morris, artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival in California, has urged Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis to help the beleaguered Oregon Bach Festival secede from the University of Oregon and become an independent non-profit organization.

In a letter emailed today (Sept. 22), Morris wrote that the sudden and unexplained firing of OBF artistic director Matthew Halls on Aug. 24 harms not only the Oregon Bach Festival but hurts the image of Eugene itself. …

Uh, thanks for trying to help Mr. Morris, but the City of Eugene couldn’t even manage to keep the Jacobs Art Gallery open, or run the Mayor’s Art Show.

Also see this RG letter from longtime UO supporter Tom Bowerman:

I agree with the bulk of written commentary about the University of Oregon’s dismal explanation of Matthew Halls’ dismissal. My position began to solidify on reading UO’s written explanation, which seemingly explained nothing.

There is a pattern here and it has consequences, especially regarding some of the fiscal and reputational costs to the university. My thought in reading the UO’s explanation was: How much does the public relations team get paid for type of work? And the settlement costs?

Couldn’t these costs, across the broader pattern, in the millions, be better spent on education quality? …

And the UO PRO has now updated the PR log with some recent requests from journalists for more Bach docs.

9/18/2017: Did OBF’s Janelle McCoy run a harassment investigation on Matthew Halls?

If so it would probably be a violation of UO policy (see below), which requires that those receiving “credible information” of racial harassment report it to AAEO, which then decides on the investigation, etc. And yet the most likely interpretation of this new NYT report regarding the grits joke and the implications for the Bach Festival of the subsequent firing of Halls is that Ms McCoy decided to investigate Mr. Halls herself:

Mr. Mobley said he had thought no more of it until several days later, when he got an email from Ms. McCoy asking about the conversation, which had apparently been overheard and reported. “These insensitivities should not be tolerated,” she wrote in the email, which was obtained by The New York Times.

Mr. Mobley replied to her that while the broad outlines of the story were true — Mr. Halls had indeed spoken in a drawl — it was “not quite put together correctly.” He noted that he and Mr. Halls often teased one another.

“Trust me,” he added, “it’s been a couple patrons and audience members who’ve unknowingly said pretty insensitive things. Not Matt.”

The story was picked up by British media outlets. But Tobin Klinger, a spokesman for the university, said that the conversation with Mr. Mobley had not been a factor in Mr. Halls’s firing. And a lawyer for Mr. Halls, Charese Rohny, said that Mr. Halls “was never presented with anything that required a response” regarding any inquiry before he was fired.

Given Klinger’s truthiness record, his statements get a weight of 0.00, and reporters are making public records requests to try and find out what really happened. UO has not been listing these requests on the official log – a new low in official UO transparency, and one which perpetuates the selective leaks, official innuendo, and unofficial rumors which have characterized this mess.

The last OBF request was Bob Keefer’s, for the Halls contract and termination letter:

The relevant policy is here. Some excerpts (emphasis added):

III. Responsible Employees Reporting Obligations

Except as provided for in the Student Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Violence Complaint Response (Student Complaint Response Policy), Responsible Employees who receive Credible Evidence of Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment or Sexual Harassment involving an Employee, Student or Campus Community Member are required to promptly report that information as follows:

1. If the Credible Evidence relates to Sex Discrimination of a Student, Responsible Employees should report any information received to the Title IX Coordinator or to the Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services. (Note: The Student Complaint Response Policy applies to information disclosed by a student reporting sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual violence. That policy may provide for different reporting obligations depending on the status of the employee receiving the report. Employees who receive reports of sex discrimination (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) against a student should reference the Student Complaint and Response Policy in order to determine their reporting obligations.)

2. In all other instances, Responsible Employees should report any information received to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (AAEO).

Employees should be aware that AAEO is tasked with ensuring compliance with this policy and state and federal law.  Therefore, while AAEO will work with employees, students and campus community members to ensure that they understand their complaint options, are protected from retaliation and are provided with interim measures as appropriate, AAEO employees are not advocates for individuals participating in the process.

The relevant definitions in the policy are:

A. Prohibited Discrimination is defined as any act that either in form or operation, and whether intended or unintended, unreasonably discriminates among individuals on the basis of age, race, color, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, religion, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, disability, gender, perceived gender, gender identity, genetic information or the use of leave protected by state or federal law. “Unintentional discrimination” is a concept applicable only to situations where a policy, requirement, or regularized practice, although neutral on its face, can be shown to have disparately impacted members of a protected class. The concept is inapplicable to sexual or other forms of harassment which, by definition, result from volitional actions.

B. Discriminatory Harassment is defined as any conduct that either in form or operation unreasonably discriminates among individuals on the basis of age, race, color, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, religion, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, physical or mental disability, gender, perceived gender, gender identity, genetic information or the use of leave protected by state or federal law and that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it interferes with work or participation in any university program or activity, including academic activities because it creates an intimidating, hostile, or degrading working or university environment for the individual who is the subject of such conduct, and where the conduct would have such an effect on a reasonable person who is similarly situated.

H. Credible Evidence: Credible Evidence is evidence of the kind that prudent people would rely on in making personal or business decisions, which is not obtained: (1) during public awareness events (For example, “Take Back the Night,” and “survivor speak outs”);  (2) as part of an Institutional Review Board-approved human subjects research protocol focused on Prohibited Discrimination; or (3) in the context of a required classroom assignment. (Note: If a faculty member believes that a classroom assignment may illicit a disclosure that would trigger obligations under this policy, the faculty member should make clear to students that an account provided in response to a classroom assignment, without more information, will not result in the university taking any action in response to the disclosure. This means that the university will not investigate the incident, offer interim measures or otherwise take step to remediate the behavior.)

K. Campus Community Member: Campus Community Member means a person participating in a university-sponsored program or activity, attending or wanting to attend an event on university owned or leased property, an independent contractor or vendor, a volunteer, a person applying for admissions, a person applying for employment, or a campus visitor or a person living on university-owned property. The term Campus Community Member excludes Employees and Students.

9/15/2017: RG calls for UO Trustee Ann Curry to investigate Matthew Halls firing

“Bach Debacle”, here:

…  UO President Michael Schill could appease both groups of stakeholders by appointing a handful of university regents — perhaps headed by television journalist Ann Curry — to investigate. That, after all, is their job — to “supervise, coordinate, manage and regulate the UO,” a public university that, at least in this matter, is operating in a very private mode.

If, as the UO asserts, Halls’ firing had nothing to with the remark that he made to Mobley, the investigation can confirm as much. That would go a long way in restoring people’s lost faith in the UO.

Conversely, if it turns out Halls was fired because of the remark, the investigation would give the university the opportunity to come clean, hold accountable those who spun a different story and take the appropriate action to start anew with OBF.

Finally, if Halls — a private contractor, not a UO employee — was fired for crossing some ethical line, the investigation would bring that to light, too. …

And if the latter should be true, they could explain why whatever it is that Halls did was so bad he had to be fired immediately, but not so bad that UO could agree to keep it secret from his other current and potential employers.

9/13/2017: UO to pay Matthew Halls $90K for non-disparagement & gag-rule

The agreement is here. The RG’s Saul Hubbard has much more on this deal here.

It includes a promise by UO to give Halls 24 hours notice of public records requests. I’ve heard rumors of a request to UO for emails etc that might shed light on why whatever it was that Halls did was so bad he had to be fired immediately, but not so bad that UO had an obligation to warn his other employers and potential employers.

But so far there’s nothing in the Public Records Office log except the RG’s request for the contract and termination letter, which Hubbard posted earlier. So until new light has been shed on this, we’re stuck with the hypothesis that he was fired for disparaging comments about southern cuisine.

9/13/2017: UO to pay Matthew Halls $90K for non-disparagement agreement and 24-hour gag rule:

That’s from tweets from NY Times classical music and dance reporter Michael Cooper:

9/12/2017: Bach Festival’s fate passes from Blandy and the PR flacks to the lawyers

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Oregon Senate confirms Laura Lee McIntyre as “Faculty Trustee”, over objections of the UO Senate leadership and the UO faculty union

9/20/2017: Around the O has the puff piece here, from PR flack Tobin Klinger. You’d think UO’s $475K budget for “Executive Communications” would buy a few more facts – maybe even a link to the letters from the Senate and Union, which McIntyre got by making a public records request to the Governor? Or at least something about how Prof McIntyre’s research is financially supported by a donation from at least one of the UO trustees, which may present some interesting potential conflicts of interest. [9/21/2017 correction: I’ve been informed by a generally reliable source that McIntyre’s research is not supported by donations from trustees.] She has of course agreed to follow Oregon law on conflicts of interest, which is not particularly strong.

McIntyre follows Trustee Susan Gary from the Law School, who served two terms during which she refused to inform the faculty of such matters as Chuck Lillis’s Delegation of Authority power grab.

We’d probably be better off abolishing the Faculty Trustee position than continuing to help the Trustees believe that they are getting the faculty’s point of view on UO issues through these sorts of appointments.

6/16/2017: Gov. Brown to nominate passionate Gottfredson defender as faculty trustee

That’s the rumor down at the faculty club. Here’s video of Professor Laura Lee McIntyre (School Psychology) taking a courageous stand in the UO Senate in defense of President Gottfredson’s handling of the basketball rape allegations. Backup to hear Gottfredson’s remarks. The Board fired paid Gottfredson $940K cash to leave town less than three months later. The official UO channel has taken this video down (perhaps because of the lawsuit against him) but it’s on youtube:

 

Dallas removes R.E. Lee statue by UO Pioneer Mother and Father sculptor

The Pioneer, by Alexander Phimister Proctor, on the UO campus between Fenton and Friendly Halls:

Call me a Yankee, but I’d thought General Ulysses S. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln had settled matters with Robert E. Lee and his ilk at Appomattox in April 1865, far beyond our poor power to add or detract.

However some southerners need an occasional reminder of just what their great-grandpappy’s unconditional surrender to the government of the United States meant, and the NYT reports that the Federal courts recently gave them another:

But at a hearing on Thursday, Judge Sidney Fitzwater of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed the lawsuit, which was brought by a Dallas resident and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The plaintiffs argued that the City Council, which had voted earlier on Wednesday to immediately remove the statue, had violated their First Amendment rights.

And the Washington Post reports today that Lee is now gone:

City officials said in a statement that an art conservator monitored the proper handling of the statue, and police tactical officers with automatic rifles provided security.

The statue was lowered onto a flatbed trailer for transport to an abandoned naval air station owned by the city on its western outskirts. It’s expected to remain there until city officials decide the statue’s future.

As explained in this fascinating op-ed in the Dallas News, Lee’s sculptor, A. Phimister Proctor, was a mountain man who sold his Colorado gold claim to go to New York, and then Paris to study with St. Gaudens. He lived from 1860 to 1950, and became America’s foremost animalier, working from a NYC studio that Stanford White designed for him. The famous Polish pianist Jan Paderweski loved his animal sculptures, and told him “I interpret; you create.”

Proctor lived in Eugene in the 1910’s with his family while he worked on UO’s Pioneer Mother and Father statues. His daughter married the son of Campbell Church, the man whom the fierce UO supporter and remarkable person Irene Hazard Gerlingher later convinced to donate his Treetops mansion to the University.

Proctor’s sculpture of Lee was unique in that it included an anonymous man on horseback representing the millions of southern white “useful idiots” who were, and still often are, duped by the rich and powerful to fight against their own economic self-interest and basic human decency to help in the oppression of others. I’m no expert on Diversity, Power, and Agency, but Karl Marx sure got that part right.

Proctor had nothing to do with slavery, although he did name his car after Lee’s horse Traveler, who by all accounts was loyal and beautiful:

“Art of the Athlete” II – next spring in Aix-en-Provence!

The “Art of the Athlete” course was one of the more hilarious scams set up by the Duck Athletic department, presumably with the help of their academic liaison Lorraine Davis, although it’s often hard to get the administration to reveal exactly what it is that Ms Davis does:

The Art of the Athlete course was only open to athletes, taught in the Jock Box, and until the Senate’s IAC found out, every athlete got an A+, which certainly helped pump up the Duck’s academic excellence. As soon as we reported it to the NCAA it was changed to pass/no-pass, and supposedly opened up to unathletic students.

UO’s academic side currently spends about $2M a year subsidizing the athlete-only Jock Box operation, paid out of UO’s general fund: i.e. state support and tuition. This is roughly $4K per athlete. In contrast expenditures on regular students are about $400 per student. You’d think that the Ducks would be able to pay for the tutoring for their athletes themselves, with some of the Duck Athletic Fund donations they collect – but any money left over after paying tuition goes to the athletic department’s own expenses.

So has the athletic department made any effort to get the Duck boosters to cover some of this subsidy? Quite the opposite. A few years ago Robin Jaqua gave $5M to set up an endowment to help with this, but AD Rob Mullens got his hands on it before the Provost did, and he uses it to pay for the utility bill – the only part of the Jaqua Center operating costs that the athletic department is responsible for.

And now it’s getting crazier: instead of giving to help the academic side offset the $2M athletic tutoring subsidy, UO’s development office is letting a Duck donor give money for a second gut “Art of the Athlete” course:

The Art of the Athlete in Aix-en-Provence:

UO education & research top scandal-ridden Ducks 3 to 1 in $1.7B fund drive

Thanks to Phil and Penny Knight’s $500M Knight Campus pledge. An anonymous post on UO’s official Around the O blog has the data:

The UO’s funding campaign continues to be the most ambitious in the state’s history. The $1.7 billion to date doubles the total achieved during the UO’s last campaign, which concluded in 2009, and climbed to more than 85 percent of the university’s goal in just the third public year of the campaign.

To date, 74 percent of giving has been designated for academics and 26 percent for intercollegiate athletics.

Of course Rob Mullens, Mark Helfrich, and Dana Altman made out pretty well for themselves anyway, especially after the appropriate inexcellence adjustments.

UO holds at #103 in the U.S. News ranking criticized for hurting diversity

9/12 2017: From the RG, here: University of Oregon hangs onto spot at 103 in U.S. News & World Report rankings; OSU drops to 145

As explained below, colleges that are trying to pump up their U.S. News ranking have a strong incentive to cut back on enrollment of students from low-income families. The article blames this for part of the decline in intergenerational income mobility in the U.S. and the increase in inequality. (Although a similar pattern is apparent in, for example, Canada.) While the data is from 2013, and UO’s PathwaysOregon program has probably improved it, here is the comparison for UO and OUS (and other PAC-12 schools), on their impact on intergenerational income mobility:

Put simply, UO does not enroll enough low-SES students, and while it does raise the income of those who graduate substantially, it’s still not enough. The problem of where to find the money to do it is made worse by the fact that doing it would hurt our US News rank, and drive away the out-of-state high-SES students who help pay for low SES Oregonians.

9/11/2017: From Politico, here: How chasing U.S. News college rankings hurts economic diversity

America’s universities are getting two report cards this year. The first, from the Equality of Opportunity Project, brought the shocking revelation that many top universities, including Princeton and Yale, admit more students from the top 1 percent of earners than the bottom 60 percent combined. The second, from U.S. News and World Report, is due on Tuesday — with Princeton and Yale among the contenders for the top spot in the annual rankings.

The two are related: A POLITICO review shows that the criteria used in the U.S. News rankings — a measure so closely followed in the academic world that some colleges have built them into strategic plans — create incentives for schools to favor wealthier students over less wealthy applicants. …

Read it all. While the repeated attempts to make a Trump connection are a bit overwrought, the Georgia State story is really depressing – serving the middle class has cost them 30 points in US News.

8/7/2017: UO is failing on economic diversity. Where’s the “Economic Diversity Action Plan”?

UO is ranked #328 out of 377  selective public colleges for promoting income mobility. 56% of our students come from families in the top 20% of the income distribution (4.3% from the top 1%) and only 4.7% come from the bottom 20%:

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Secretive UO Foundation’s $68M Hayward Field tart-up delayed again

update: And now it seems that the IAAF’s Lamine Diack, who gave the 2021 IAAF meet to Lananna’s TrackTown and UO, is implicated in a vote buying scheme over the award of the 2016 Olympics to Rio. I’m shocked:

Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman was taken into custody last Tuesday (September 5) under suspicion of involvement in a vote-buying scheme in the Brazilian city’s successful bid for the event.

The Brazilian has not been charged with anything but is suspected by prosecutors of being the main link between Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho, a businessman nicknamed “King Arthur”, and Diack, the Senegalese who was President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) between 1999 and 2015.

9/11/2017: The Oregonian’s Ken Goe has a story here, but despite the $25M in state subsidies for the 2021 IAAF championship, no one will say anything substantive on the record. Perhaps that’s because Vin Lananna and Paul Weinhold want to hit up Governor Kate Brown and the taxpayers for more, and a construction start would make that harder?

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9/3/2015: UO Board of Trustees to approve glitzy Hayward Field makeover

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Christian Hill has the story in the RG here:

The University of Oregon is continuing to get all its Ducks in a row as it prepares for a major expansion and renovation of iconic Hayward Field.

The next step comes next Thursday, Sept. 10, when the UO Board’s Facilities and Finance Committee will be asked to give its blessing to an update of the historic stadium with flexibility to seat up to 30,000 fans.

More specifically, the committee will be asked to approve a resolution allowing UO President Michael Schill to enter into a lease with Hayward Field Enhancement LLC, a corporation created by the UO Foundation, for the duration of the renovation.

The corporation’s single person is not identified in a statement released by the foundation. A foundation spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking additional details. …

The renovation project is widely viewed as being put on a fast track — no pun intended — to prepare for the World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which Hayward will host in 2021. It’s the first time that the world championships have ever been awarded to a venue in the United States. …

More on UO’s negotiations with the famously corrupt IAAF here – including current Oregon Governor Kate Brown on video, delivering Kitzhaber’s promise of $30M in state tax money. Phil Knight had given Kitz’s campaign $250K. Not a bad ROI.

Today’s NYT has a report on the IAAF’s new chairman Sebastian Coe, here. Coe is a Nike consultant, and people are already raising questions about that dual role:

“He is definitely the man for the job,” said Mary Wittenberg, the former chief of the New York City Marathon. “It’s really important that he seizes the moment to lead, to step above all potential conflict. Ditch the Nike and any other consulting arrangements.”

At a moment of such clear importance for his sport, the last thing Coe and track and field need is for his own message to get clouded.

UO Board Secretary Angela Wilhems kicked me and the RG’s Diane Dietz out of the Board meeting on UO’s bid to host the IAAF championships, and UO’s public records office is still hiding the documents from the Register Guard:

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To add to the secrecy, the UO Foundation is hiring Hoffman Construction to build this grandstand. The UO is currently suing Hoffman for $8.5M, alleging they did shoddy work on UO’s newest dorm, the Global Scholars Hall. UO Daily Emerald reporter Gordon Friedman, now at the Statesman Journal, reported on this back in May. UO has said the building is safe, but won’t release the inspection reports. (Thanks to a commenter for this reminder.)

Betsy DeVos is getting a bum rap over campus sexual assault rule changes

Jeannie Suk Gerson in The New Yorker:

Over the summer, anticipation over what the Education Department might do about campus sexual assault heightened as the Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, held high-profile meetings with groups advocating for the interests of universities, sexual-assault victims, and accused students—including one men’s-rights group accused of harassing women online. DeVos’s civil-rights head, Candace Jackson, alarmingly, told the Times that “90 percent” of campus accusations are over drunk or breakup sex.

… The non-binding status of the Dear Colleague Letter meant that a new Administration could easily retract it with another letter, much in the same way that the Trump Administration retracted the guidance on transgender students earlier this year. But DeVos pointedly did not do this, declaring, “The era of ‘rule by letter’ is over.” Instead, she announced that the agency would engage in precisely the notice-and-comment rulemaking process that the Obama Administration chose to skip.

Judging by DeVos’s speech, what has been portrayed as a rollback of Title IX is really an embrace of a framework of compatibility: one in which Title IX seriously addresses sexual violence and also requires fairness to the accuser and the accused. (Disclosure: Last month, I joined three feminist law faculty at Harvard in submitting a comment to the Education Department urging policy revisions along these lines. I was also a signatory to an open letter from twenty-eight members of Harvard’s Law School faculty, published in 2014, that DeVos approvingly cited in Thursday’s speech.) DeVos drew on the stories of victims and accused students to reject the idea that the system could serve only one or the other. “Any school that refuses to take seriously a student who reports sexual misconduct is one that discriminates. And any school that uses a system biased toward finding a student responsible for sexual misconduct also commits discrimination.” Since 2011, dozens of courts have made clear that schools that do not give accused students a fair process may also be committing sex discrimination under Title IX. …

Faculty union, administration agree on contract extension raises

My understanding is that this will soon go to the membership for a vote. I vote yes. If you’re not a member yet, the info on joining is here. Bottom line is that faculty will get average 3% raises in Jan 2018 (old contract) and now 2% in Jan 2019, and 2.125% in Jan 2020, variously distributed as ATB, merit, gender equity and external equity. These raises and the continuing promotion raises will mean that UO faculty pay will likely decline relative to peer institutions. The union pushed for additional merit pay but obviously the UO budget is tight. Next time we should call it “excellence pay” – that might get more traction.

The gender equity raise is conditional on UO’s soon to be hired consultant finding something in the pay regressions that no one else has been able to find. Assuming they don’t, that will be distributed as ATB. The external equity raise will go to faculty in departments where pay by rank is 90% below peers, or about 1/3 of the TTF.

As the statement below explains, the agreement for an extension rather than a new round of contentious bargaining (which would have started in January) was a cooperative one between the union and the administration. The UO faculty have suffered from a long series of incompetent and transient administrations. That era is over, and the union has responded appropriately.

UAUO Statement on Tentative Agreement for Contract Extension

Late last week, we were able to reach a tentative agreement with the administration for a two-year extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. We will be holding a ratification vote later this month. The agreement will only be finalized upon approval of a majority of voting members. This email contains a short summary of the agreement, followed by a longer explanation and a link to the tentative agreement. This tentative agreement is not to be confused with the final 3% average raise from our current contract which consists of a 2.25% merit pool and 0.75% across-the-board raise and will take effect on January 01, 2018.

Short summary: We agreed to a raise package for the 2018-19 and 2019-2020 years. This tentative contract extension reflects our desire to sustain salary growth & stability and correct observed inequities, even amid a highly constrained state and university budget context. Our current contract expires on June 30, 2018, but still includes a 3% raise package that goes into effect this coming January 01, 2018. The tentative contract extension builds on UA’s consecutive five-years of salary increases and will provide two additional years of salary raises, which will take effect in January 2019 and January 2020.

1. In the first year (beginning January 2019), the agreement is for a pool of money equal to 2.0% of the total salaries for the tenure-track faculty. The pool will be split between a 1.25% across-the-board raise for all TTF, and a .75% pool of money to address observed salary inequities by protected classes.
2. For the NTTF in the first year, there will be a 2.0% across-the-board raise.
3. In the second year (beginning January 2020), the TTF will have a pool of money equivalent to 2.125% of TTF salaries. This pool will be split between a 1.625% merit pool, and a .5% external equity pool.
4. In the second year, NTTF will have a 2.125% merit pool.

The negotiations with the university over this extension took place throughout this summer. We engaged in a relatively quick and quiet negotiation process with the university because both parties thought that a contract extension made sense in our current unsettled university climate. The state of the university’s budget it still abysmal and the additional pressure from the state about PERS funding has not helped. Many of you may recall the proposed double-digit tuition hikes and the woeful support from the state to cover university operating costs. The failure to find new revenue at the state level threatens higher education with continued pressure to increase tuition, which is something we have stood against. Recall that Oregon sits near the bottom in spending for higher education in the U.S. and in corporate tax receipts. This bind will continue to pose challenges to the UO and public education in Oregon.

Additionally, volatility in US immigration policy (see how nicely we put that?) has lead to deep concerns about the numbers of international students who will attend the university in the next few years. We also wanted to give our new Provost a chance to get a handle on his job before we entered into full-fledged negotiations with the university. The University of Oregon is not the typical research university, we have a strong commitment to shared governance and a deep respect for the work of the NTTF. We wanted to give Provost Banavar time to learn who we are before we bargained over sometimes contentious issues.

We are very aware that there are pressing issues that need to be addressed. Job stability for NTTF, both in length of employment and in assignment, still needs to be improved. Support for faculty with children is woefully lacking. The service that all faculty do is still extremely undervalued. Before we agreed to negotiate an extension, the Provost’s Office pledged to work with us over the next two years on these issues and more. We are putting some faith in the Provost’s Office, but we believe that they are committed to finding solutions to help build a better university.

Details and tentative agreement here.