Everybody gets a car!

6/3/2012: Bob Berdahl says UO can’t afford to give a few $200 fee waivers for public records requests anymore. And UO’s “self-supporting” athletics department can’t pay the $2 million a year that they are spending on athlete only Jock Box tutoring, so Jim Bean is taking it from the regular students. But there’s plenty of money in the UO budget to help Berdahl and a surprisingly large number of athletics department employees make their car payments:

Name  Title  2012 car stipend
Berdahl, Robert M Interim President $14,400
Mullens, Robert A  Dir Intercollegiate Athletics  $7,200
Westhead, Paul W  Head Women’s Basketball Coach  $7,200
Altman, Dana D  Head Men’s Basketball Coach  $6,000
Abrams, Harold J  Assoc AD – Dir of Dvpmt  $4,800
Beck, Jennifer L  Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach  $4,800
Duncan, Michael P  Sr Assc AD Facil Ops & Events  $4,800
Fincher, Shawn A  Regional Dir Dev Ptld/S Ca  $4,800
Larson, Thomas J  Assoc AD/CFO  $4,800
Moffitt, Jamie H  Exec Sr Assoc AD Finc & Admin, now VPFA $4,800
Mulkey, Felecia L  Head Coach Stunts & Gymnastics  $4,800
Peterson, Lisa L Senior Associate Athletic Dir $4,800
Scott, Ria Denise G  Head Women’s Golf Coach  $4,800
White, Michael C  Head Softball Coach  $4,800
Davis, Lorraine G  Special Assistant to AD  $4,650
Redding, Michael  Vice Pres University Relations $4,650
Andreasen, Michael C Vice Pres for Univ Development $4,500
Ancell, Joseph D  Group Sales Manager  $3,600
Campbell, Gary L  Assistant Football Coach  $3,600
Cohen, Jill A  Events Coordinator DAF  $3,600
Cook, James F  Asst Men’s & Women’s T&F Coach  $3,600
Frost, Scott A  Asst FB Coach – Wide Receivers  $3,600
Johnson, Robert A  Assoc Hd Coach M&W Track Field  $3,600
Lee, Shandrika T Asst Women’s Basketball Coach $3,600
Metro, Stacy A  Asst Volleyball Coach  $3,600
Muscatell, Daniel R  Asst Women’s Basketball Coach  $3,600
Neal, John C  Assistant Football Coach  $3,600
Osborne, Thomas S  Special Teams Coordinator  $3,600
Uhlman, Jason A Assistant Baseball Coach $3,600
Weir, Robert  Asst Men’s & Women’s T&F Coach  $3,600
Whittington, Keila A  Asst Women’s Basketball Coach  $3,600
Miller, Blake A  Assistant Softball Coach  $3,000

Senate election results, if it matters

5/19/2012: Bob Berdahl’s threats to veto faculty votes on who will chair our committees are getting more strident. And the administration has been setting up its own committees on important issues like policing, without even consulting the senate. But FWIW the senate and committee election results are now posted here.

Update: A comment posted by Pres Berdahl:

Once again, Bill Harbaugh tries to stir dissent with misinformation. I have NEVER threatened to veto Senate committee chairs. All I have ever said is that we could not bring to the Senate Transparency Committee a discussion of public records fee policy so long as the chair of that committee, Bill Harbaugh, has a conflict of interest about fee policy. This is not threatening to veto committee chair selections.

This comment raises still more questions – Berdahl is going to ignore the charge of a senate committee, purely on his own judgement about what constitutes a conflict of interest? Right.

On the veto issue, here’s an email from him to the IAC a few days ago, emphasis added. Berdahl is correct about his veto threat point, in that this is not an explicit threat to veto the faculty’s vote on who should be IAC chair.

On Fri, 18 May 2012 17:25:21 +0000, Bob Berdahl wrote:

This will be my last word on this matter.  I am not going to waste
any more time on it.  You asked that I publicly acknowledge that the
athletic department is not self- supporting, based on the USA piece. I
did so.  Although the USA data included revenue that may be
challenged, as I pointed out, I accepted the 2.8% as the number to be
compared to other universities.  By that number,  which is the only
apples to apples number we have, UO’s subsidy is lower than 212 out of
227 universities.

Now you seem to be rejecting the USA report because you think the
number is higher.  And you cite the other subsidies the university
provides.  My response is simply that everywhere i have been, the
universities provide similar services.  The UO is not unique in this
no matter what you may think.  And many of those services — general
counsel, public records, public safety, senior management,
parking–are provided all auxiliaries.

You reject the notion that athletic scholarships paid to the
university are a source of revenue for the university. Tuition is not
counted by USA, so it is not a part of that calculation.  However,
because non-resident tuition  subsidizes the education of residents —
non-residents pay more than the actual cost of education, the
difference between the cost of educating students and what the
athletic department pays is revenue to the university.

None of these calculations, of course, count the intangible benefits
— the visibility via television exposure, the enthusiasm of alumni,
the benefit to the city and local businesses that come from the
athletic program.  These intangible benefits can’t be measured, but
they are real.

Thus, I conclude that the only analysis of the institutional support
for athletics, the one you asked me to respond to, shows the UO to
look very good  compared with other Division  1 schools.

I do not think that an uncritical booster should be chair of the IAC, but neither do I believe a relentless and unfair critic should chair it either.

Please share this email with the entire committee.

Bob Berdahl 

Earlier correspondence between Berdahl and the IAC is here. There’s been a lot more lately, I’ll post when I get a chance in a day or two. For now I’ll just point out that Berdahl’s comments on athlete tuition (which originate with Jim Bean) would make sense, except for the fact that we don’t have a shortage of non-athlete out-of-staters willing to come to UO and pay the tuition.

And most of those are better students than the out-of-state athletes that the AD recruits. Many of those players (though certainly not all!) have academic records that require special dispensation from the admissions office. And they then require the $2 million in special jock box tutoring, subsidized by tuition money from the regular students.

It quacks like a subsidy, and it is a subsidy. I hope our next president will recognize that fact, and then move on to helping us reduce it, instead of trying to subvert the work of the IAC.

Rob Mullens and coaches pull new scam on UO and players

4/25/2012: I’ve written before about AD Rob Mullens’s perverse incentives. Now the word is that the athletic department is having a hard time coming up with the cash to pay for these, and for the coaches’ bonuses. So they are auctioning off the players’ game jerseys, and keeping all the money. There are some unhappy players student-athletes, now that they’ve figured out the scam. One pissed off LaMichael James broke this story on twitter. George Schroeder of the RG has the writeup, with great quotes:

You might remember Mark Asper. Big guy. Played very well. Saved a choking man’s life a few days before the Rose Bowl, which generated some fairly positive publicity for his school. Hey Mark, what do you think of the auction? “It’s just like another scheme, another wrinkle where the university, the football program and Nike are gonna make tons of money off me and my buddies,” Asper says.

How about using some of the money to help out with the $2 million bill for the Jaqua Jock Box tutoring – currently all paid by regular students? Nope, then Mullens wouldn’t get his cut.

Of course, nothing in Jim O’Fallon’s NCAA infractions committee’s rules prohibits a *coach* from profiting from memorabilia sales – though this one’s violations are now under investigation by a considerably higher authority. Thanks to a commenter for the meme.

jocks give back to UO students

Rob Mullens and his pals in the AD roll the students for $2 million a year to pay for the athlete-only Jock Box tutoring, $1.5 million for secret overhead subsidies, and even $75,000 for Chip Kelly’s lawyer.

But now they’re going to give away $25,000 in free student tickets to the LSU NIT game on Tuesday and try to call it even. Or that’s the latest rumor. (Now verified). Reminds me of this. 3/11/2012.

Students want more bread, fewer circuses

3/2/2012: Back of the envelope, each UO student pays $200-$500 per year in various subsidies for the jocks. In December the students voted 9 to 1 to start pressuring AD Rob Mullens to come clean about this, and fulfill longtime promises from past athletic directors to start making a contribution towards academic scholarships. At the November Senate Intercollegiate Committee meeting Jamie Moffitt (then AD finance person, now UO CFO) told the students that athletic director Rob Mullens has no plans to fulfill those promises:

The recommendation that the athletic department start contributing something for academic scholarships was made in 2004. AD Bill Moos and President Dave Frohnmayer agreed to it. Nothing has been done in seven years, and now Rob Mullens is telling the students he has no plans to even think about it for another six years. (Or until he gets another big subsidy for the Autzen expansion.) Meanwhile the costs to the student’s keep growing. Rob Mullens even has them paying half the cost of Chip Kelly’s NCAA investigation lawyer. Chutzpah.

The students are getting a little tired of this bullshit. So, now they’ve started picketing the games. ODE Story here. Photos here.

Smoke and mirrors

is not the same thing as transparency. New Greg Bolt story on athletic department budgeting, in the RG today, here. Story on Matt Court costs and wildly exaggerated revenue here. In defense of Jamie Moffitt, she did finally post a good chunk of financial info, here, but only after a lot of pressure from the Senate IAC and just before leaving the AD to become UO CFO.

But the administration is still in denial about the Jock Box costs, the secret Frohnmayer / Kilkenny deal to freeze athletics department overhead rates and use student money to pay for the skybox tickets for administrators, etc. For some reason that MOU is still not on the AD’s financial website. (Actually, it now is, under “debt service on purchase of land …”) I eventually got it with a public records request, as explained in this Steve Duin story in the Oregonian. I posted the memo here.) And given how much digging it took to discover these sorts of subsidies, any reasonable person would wonder what else is still being hidden. Maybe the new AAD for finance, Eric Roedl, will open the books, admit they are in the hole, and start himself off with a nice clean slate?

For the historically minded, here’s the key page from the 2004 report by Terry Moore and Econorthwest on Arena feasibility. Frohnmayer hid this from UO and the Senate Budget Committee arena task force for 4 years, because the numbers were too realistic, and therefore made it impossible for UO to sell tax-exempt bonds to finance the thing. My recollection is that it was the SBC and documents like this that forced Knight to establish the legacy fund to get OUS approval for the arena. (Bad memory. See the comments for the real tax arbitrage story. SBC report here, thanks). And without that we’d be $15 million in the hole, each year.

It took three months and two petitions to the DOJ to make Frohnmayer release this and give it to the SBC. He had UO spend thousands of dollars at the DOJ, trying to stall the release, as this Oregonian story explains.

In the end, it was a remarkably accurate forecast. So you can be damn sure UO will find a more pliable economic consultant and will try very hard to keep the Senate out of the loop, when they start trying to sell us on the Autzen expansion plans!


Oregon Commentator on Scrooge McDuck

2/4/2012: This paen to the Oregon Commentator was Dave Frohnmayer at his best:

Picking up a new issue of the Commentator is like acknowledging an unwelcome addictive behavior: It is done furtively, and with a self-loathing shudder. Once more, one can read the juvenile potty mouthed-rants of frustrated student politicos. You gape at the beery indifference to the law of defamation. …

Having been on the receiving end of a few of Frohnmayer’s late night “defamation per se” threats myself, I’m happy to see that the Commentator is back, and not just for the company in court. The latest issue includes Rebecca O’Neill’s “Scrooge McDuck” piece – an excellent summary of “Why the UO Athletic Department is One Big Greedy Mess”. Page 14, here.

Millions for jocks, not a cent for scholars

1/18/2012: That’s the word on the $5 million Jock Box gift from John Jaqua’s widow. Greg Bolt explains the basics, here. Duck press release here. And now Rob Mullens has admitted that he is going to use all the proceeds to cover the small part of the maintenance and utilities that the athletic department must pay. Not a cent will go to help the academic side pay for the $1.83 million cost of running the athlete-only tutoring operations. Where was UO’s VP for Development Mike Andreasenwhile this gift was being negotiated? Not doing his job for the academic side. Where was UO Foundation President Paul Weinhold? Cashing his paycheck. What is the probability that the widowed 91-year-old donor, the generous and rather interesting Robin Jaqua, understood how UO’s athletic department would use her gift? ____%. Meanwhile, the athletic department is continuing to play hardball with the students over football tickets and costs. Because they are that greedy. Emily Schiola has the story in the ODE.

$5 million Jock Box endowment

1/17/2012: Looks like B-School prof Dennis Howard is right about how athletic success increases athletic donations, not academic ones. The Rose Bowl win is paying off – for the athletic department. Colton Totland is reporting in the ODE that Robin Jaqua is establishing a $5 million endowment to help pay for the operating costs of the Jock Box. Under UO foundation rules this will produce about $200,000 a year. The latest data on the costs was reported by Greg Bolt in the RG back in May. UO spends about $4,000 in tutoring costs per athlete, versus about $225 for regular students. Regular students foot the bill for the athletes – about $1.83 million a year, total. Why do regular students have to pay for a building they can’t use? Ask Jim Bean, it makes perfect sense to him.

We gave the athletic department the land free, and the only thing they pay for is 2/3 of the operating costs of the building – maintenance and utilities. This endowment is just enough to cover those, so the cost to the academic side will be unchanged. Or maybe some of this money will actually be used to offset what the regular students must pay for the athlete’s tutoring. We’ll see.

Rose bowl cost, part II

1/1/12: Last week we wrote about how past athletic victories caused UO donors to give more to athletics, and less to academics. Today Sam Stites of the ODE writes on how much Chip Kelly and Rob Mullens will get from the Rose Bowl win etc: $295,000. Not clear if the assistant coaches also get bonuses. Naturally the players get jack. There is also no deduction for costs, leaving these two with every reason to continue spending more and more of the academic side’s money. Mullens won’t even make Chip Kelly pay for the $150,000 Willie Lyles investigation. I’m no economist, but I believe they call these “perverse incentives”.

Football coaches and power

12/29/2011: Review article From Steve Weiberg in USA Today discusses how the faculty and administration have lost control at many schools. It will be interesting to see if Bob Berdahl attempts to deal with this at UO, or passes it on to the permanent president. The article raises an interesting point: these programs are often money losers, but they are powerful anyway, because of the fans and boosters. They don’t want to pay the full costs of their fun, so they figure out pass these on to the institution – meaning the employees and students. This is a big problem at UO, aided by people like our interim provost Lorraine Davis, who apparently will do most anything for junkets to the away games.

Money, sports, rape

12/27/2011: You know you’ve got a problem when the journalists at Business Week start using your industry as the new example of how money corrupts, instead of Bernie Madoff. Their review article covers Penn State and explains how the academic side can become dependent on football money, then get co-opted by their corruption. Not a problem at UO, where we subsidize sports to the tune of about $5 million a year. Say Jamie, where are those baseball loan docs? What about the 3% overhead? Still working on your spin? Most UO relevant line:

“If you have a large stadium, you feel the need to fill it,” Etchemendy said. “Somehow the priorities have gotten distorted, if the football or basketball coach ends up having more influence or power than that president.”

And so naturally that is the number one priority for UO’s AD Rob Mullens. Warsaw Sports Marketing professors Dennis Howard and Paul Swangard tested the waters, January in the RG:

… But the real lift would come from the expansion of the north side of Autzen Stadium. This is not a new idea. The original 2002 plan was to expand Autzen on both sides to increase capacity to 70,000 seats.

If Oregon finds donor support to underwrite the cost of capital expansion, as it did in 2002, all incremental revenue would flow directly to the athletic department coffers to the tune of $10 million to $15 million per year.

This perpetual revenue stream would be critical to the department’s ability to be financially self-sustaining.

He can’t balance his budget now, but really, if they could just spend another $100 million on this, then they’d be able to stop taking tuition money from the students, honest. Sorry, I don’t trust you. Show us the books and figure out how to cut your costs. Start with the free cars and baseball.