Frohnmayer accuses Kroger’s investigator of defamation

1/4/2011: Somebody leaked this pissy letter from Dave Frohnmayer and William Gary to Gov. Kulongoski, regarding AG Kroger’s report on the DOJ investigation of energy contracts with Kitzhaber’s girlfriend:

As an experienced prosecutor, Mr. Riddell certainly must have understood that Mr. Long has a constitutional right to decline a request to interrogate him. It was not clear where or how Mr. Riddell intended to “document” Mr. Long’s supposed non-cooperation until this morning. However, public dissemination of such a statement is defamatory and exacerbates the damage that Mr Long already has sustained as a result of the State’s conduct of this investigation.

That’s a serious charge. Later in the letter they accuse Kroger’s investigator of lying. The Kafkaesque part – yes, Frohnmayer uses that word – is that Kroger decided *not* to investigate Long. Nigel Jaquiss of the Willamette Week has the story, which makes everyone involved look like total idiots.

Frohnmayer and Gary wrote the letter on Wednesday, and Jaquiss had the leaked pdf posted Monday at 1:5 PM. Friday was a holiday. Kroger’s transparency initiative is working!

What Dave Frohnmayer is up to now …

12/30/2010: … along with collecting $100K per year from UO, plus a secretary, GTF, 2 offices, and a $180K expense account budget. From Brent Walth in the Oregonian:

A top Kulongoski administration official has been put on leave following a criminal investigation into allegations that the Oregon Department of Energy tried to steer business to Gov.-elect John Kitzhaber’s girlfriend.

The official, Mark Long, was the interim director of the Energy Department when agency officials reportedly sought ways to give business to a firm owned by Cylvia Hayes, even though her firm had lost a bid for a consulting contract.

Long’s attorneys — former University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer and Eugene lawyer William F. Gary — met with Department of Justice investigators in November to learn why Long was a focus of the investigation.

Frohnmayer is also a former Oregon attorney general, and Long’s father, Stan Long, served as Frohnmayer’s deputy at the Justice Department.

Gary said that investigators wouldn’t say why Long was the subject of the investigation, and that he and Frohnmayer advised Long not to cooperate under those circumstances.

“It left Mark in a situation where he would essentially be shadowboxing,” Gary said.

Justice Department spokesman Tony Green said investigators used the best techniques they could to get to the truth.

“The purpose is to obtain information as part of the investigation,” Green said. “We felt this was the appropriate approach to take.”

Kitzhaber takes office on Jan. 10 and will inherit the issues created by the investigation into the Energy Department’s dealings with Hayes, who campaigned with him during the fall election.

The Oregonian reported in August that Hayes’ firm, 3EStrategies of Bend, lost in its bid to win a federal stimulus contract to help Oregon prepare its energy sources for major emergencies.

Seattle-based R.W. Beck won the $200,000 contract. Signed in June, it runs through May 2011.

An internal state document said that Energy Department officials sought to have R.W. Beck hire Hayes’ company as a subcontractor.

Her company later said that another firm owned by Hayes, Toward Energy Efficient Municipalities LLC, would work with R.W. Beck. Documents show that R.W. Beck formally proposed Hayes’ firm get part of the contract’s work. It’s not clear how much of the $200,000 contract went to Hayes’ company. 

Nice little deal the folks who run this state have got going. They do have to work at making it seem legal though.

Frohnmayer retires for real

8/12/2010: When John Moseley and Lorraine Davis retired, then President Dave Frohnmayer wrote them extraordinary golden parachute contracts to take advantage of the PERS system. UO paid them half time for 5 years – Moseley for running UO-Bend from his Deschutes fishing lodge, and Davis doing the odd administrative job, while flying to away games on a UO expense account – to proctor athlete’s exams. The contracts were arranged and paid for under the “Tenure Reduction Program” for faculty, but none of them ever taught a class.

When he defended these shams in the Oregonian, Frohnmayer was clearly laying the groundwork for a similar deal for himself. And last year it looked like OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner had given him one, with this sweetheart contract as “President Emeritus”.

Now that deal is off. 5 days after I asked to see his 2010 contract Frohnmayer signed one – backdated to be effective 5/15. His new contract is the standard TRP deal any retiring law professor would get – starting with a pay cut from $245,700 to 50% of $201,028. Presumably this means he will be paying UO back some summer salary.

There are still some weird parts to this. My recollection is that a real professor has to be at UO full time for a year after a sabbatical before taking TRP, or repay their sabbatical pay. And Frohnmayer worked a second job at Harrang, Long et al while taking his sabbatical pay – not allowed, unless he can document it was research related. And it’s not clear if he’s really going to teach his classes, or instead team up with real professors who will do the actual work, as he did with Barbara West in the Honors College. Also not clear if he keeps his assistant Carol Rydbom, his dual office suites in Law and the Honors College, and his $186,000 expense allowance. But what a huge step forward for UO – an administrator actually following some of the rules, more or less!

Of course Lorraine Davis and John Moseley can still kick back until 2012, under the special deals Frohnmayer wrote for them, collecting about $120,000 a year each. Meanwhile he will have to teach for his pay, which at a 0.5 FTE will work out to about $100,514. I’m no English professor, but I think they call that irony.

The DOJ did not question Frohnmayer

6/26/2010: Les Zaitz has a long story in the Oregonian today about AG John Kroger. Very mixed reviews, mostly involving his political ambitions. This part struck home:

… he also has refused to release the record of his agency’s examination of Mike Bellotti’s unwritten employment deal as the University of Oregon’s athletic director. When he resigned in March, Bellotti said he was owed millions under a verbal deal. He settled for $2.3 million, but news of the odd arrangement sparked public outcry.

Kroger put his agency to work on the case, and the Justice Department report issued last month said the review was meant to assess legal services provided to UO and “to determine whether there was any evidence of criminal conduct or other illegal behavior warranting criminal investigation.”

State lawyers racked up $44,000 in costs doing the review. “It required a significant amount of legal research. Contract issues are complicated,” said Tony Green, Kroger’s spokesman.

But Justice staff interviewed just one person: Melinda Grier, UO’s general counsel who also reported to the Justice Department. The review concluded Grier erred in not getting Bellotti’s employment deal on paper. She lost her job.

But no one questioned Pat Kilkenny, UO athletic director when the Bellotti deal was struck, or Dave Frohnmayer, former attorney general and past UO president.

That triggered the resignation of a third top Kroger aide. Jerry Lidz, who as solicitor general managed the state’s appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, resigned over the treatment of Grier, his wife.

Dave Leith and Keith Dubanevich, the DOJ attorneys who ran the investigation, didn’t even interview Frohnmayer, Kilkenny, or Bellotti. How can you investigate a verbal agreement, conclude UO did no wrong in paying $3 million to Bellotti, and not even interview the people who made the deal? It’s just not believable. As in I do not believe it. These people are not that incompetent.

The Portland police will give the Oregonian an mp3 of the recording of the masseuse’s allegations that Al Gore assaulted her. But try and find out what the Oregon DOJ investigators discovered about Dave Frohnmayer’s role in the $3 million Bellotti payoff? What about the $240,000 Kilkenny donated to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi foundation, the year before Frohnmayer appointed him AD? Did boosters give the money for Dave’s raises and bonuses too? The Oregon DOJ will reject your public records requests and tell you that’s none of your business. Move it along, punk.

Dave Frohnmayer is simply untouchable – at least as far as the Oregon DOJ, which he headed for 8 years, is concerned. I’m beginning to see why Jerry Lidz resigned over this investigation.

Frohnmayer blames Lariviere and Grier, Grier blames Frohnmayer, …

6/14/2010: Eric Kelderman of the Chronicle of Higher Education (or here) has an interesting, long, and thorough article on the recent unpleasantness, and more generally on UO and the tough job Lariviere has in front of him:

… what is clear is that Mr. Bellotti’s hiring was highly unusual and involved a number of questionable decisions by Mr. Lariviere’s predecessor, David B. Frohnmayer, and Mr. Kilkenny, who negotiated the salary for his successor but failed to produce anything in writing from that process. Mr. Kilkenny could not be reached for comment.

“I just cannot imagine a series of negotiations involving the athletic director and there not being something in writing somewhere,” said Raymond D. Cotton, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., who specializes in hiring and compensation in higher education.

Ironically, in 2007 Ray Cotton charged OUS $45,572 for a 10 page consulting report on presidents’ salaries, which Frohnmayer’s friends on the state OUS board then used to justify a series of large pay increases for him – mostly paid out UO Foundation funds. Which athletic boosters gave Frohnmayer this money? Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has recently ruled that the Foundation can keep that a secret – but presumably Kilkenny was one of them. He gave $240,000 to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi foundation, the year before Frohnmayer gave him the AD job – the very job from which Kilkenny then negotiated that verbal contract with Mike Bellotti.

Anyway, Frohnmayer then goes on to blame Grier and, get this – incoming President Richard Lariviere – for the Bellotti payoff:

Mr. Frohnmayer said that he had no communication with Mr. Bellotti or Mr. Kilkenny about the nature of the negotiations. But he also said he did not intend for the new athletic director to have a contract that would saddle the incoming president with a long-term financial obligation. “Both the incoming and outgoing president assumed that the contract would be completed by the incoming president,” he said.

Mr. Frohnmayer also said Ms. Grier was responsible for all of the athletics contracts. But Ms. Grier said she was not even told of Mr. Kilkenny’s role until after the negotiations were supposedly complete. Mr. Frohnmayer, a former Orgeon attorney general, personally handled all of the contracts of people who reported to him, Ms. Grier said, and she would be involved only if the president asked her. He never asked her to assist with Mr. Bellotti’s contract, she said.

That last part sure rings true. For example, here’s the golden parachute contract Frohnmayer wrote for former Provost John Moseley – still getting $120K a year. He wrote a similar one for Lorraine Davis – now UO’s interim AD, at $30,000 per month. Frohnmayer loved writing contracts giving away public money to his cronies.

The article includes some blunt talk about how bad things are at UO:

Although the amount of money received by faculty members here from federal research grants has grown significantly in recent years, from more than $36-million in 2003 to $55-million in 2008, the institution still ranks near the bottom compared with other members of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a select group of 63 research institutions. The university brings in less than half the $114-million brought in by Oregon State University, which is not a member of the AAU.

… A full professor at Oregon earned, on average, $103,000 this academic year, about 79 percent of the average annual salary for full professors at eight peer institutions, including the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, according to the Oregon chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

 And then a bit of optimism:

The university plans to spend $15-million over the next three to five years to raise salaries with dollars from tuition increases, administrative cuts, and delaying some maintenance on campus buildings

My take is that the faculty is much more positive about Lariviere than Kelderman’s article suggests. A solid B+, according to our tracking poll. High expectations …

Dave Frohnmayer shoves Melinda Grier under the bus:

5/1/2010: Greg Bolt of the RG finally gets Frohnmayer to talk about the Bellotti contract. Frohnmayer was waiting to see exactly how much the AG’s report unearthed before he went on the record with his version. And the report has just one mention of Frohnmayer – he delegated signing authority to Grier – and none of the $440,000 in donations from Pat Kilkenny, before and after Frohnmayer appointed Kilkenny AD and let him negotiate the Bellotti deal. This is a professional courtesy from the new AG to the old one. Neither wants anything in the papers that makes the office of Attorney General look bad.

So, now that the Oregon DOJ and the investigator David Leith have let Dave Frohnmayer off the hook, he shoves Melinda Grier under the bus:

“I assumed the contracts would be handled in due course,” he said.

“I think I reasonably relied on the usual course of business being followed by the general counsel’s office.”

“I wasn’t always happy with how the relationship worked,” he said.

“Even with direct reporting, I felt I wasn’t always getting direct reports.”

The attorney general’s report also was critical of Grier, saying she gave the university “deficient legal representation” and failed to report problems with Bellotti contract issues to the justice department.

Frohnmayer declined to comment on those issues but defended Grier’s dedication to the university.

“Melinda is a very hard-working person,” he said.

“I don’t know anyone whose car was in the parking lot on weekends and holidays more than Melinda Grier’s. There was no lacking of energy and devotion to her job.”

Nice job reference, Dave: “Ms Grier served as my loyal General Counsel for 12 years, covering my ass even when this led the Oregon Bar to start an ethics investigation of her. But in the end it turned out she was incompetent, made me look like a fool in the press, provided deficient legal representation and had to put in a lot of hours to accomplish even that. However, I did find her to be an excellent scapegoat.”

Kroger makes it official: Grier is the scapegoat for Frohnmayer and Kilkenny

4/30/2010 update: Greg Bolt has a story about this in the RG. Not much new except this:

Some attention also focused on former UO President Dave Frohnmayer, who in 2005 had assigned responsibility for personnel issues in the athletic department to Grier’s office. Frohnmayer was winding down his presidency when Bellotti announced that he would take over as athletic director. Frohnmayer couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Thursday. But in earlier comments he said that although he had asked Kilkenny to negotiate a contract with Bellotti he had no direct role in those talks. But without mentioning Frohnmayer, Lariviere made clear he wouldn’t have handled the situation that way. “No one negotiates the contract of his or her successor,” Lariviere said. “That’s just part of the culture. Everyone understands that.”

Still no explanation from Frohnmayer of his role, still no defense of Melinda Grier, who worked for him for 12 years. He has been waiting to see the AG’s report, so he’ll know exactly how much of the truth they unearthed, before he goes on the record with his version. “No criminal wrongdoing” is a big relief for Dave!

What’s Frohnmayer going to tell the first reporter who asks him about decision to give control of athletics to Kilkenny the year after Kilkenny started his $440,000 series of donations to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation?

4/29/2010: Ok, I was part wrong. The Oregon DOJ investigation report rips into Melinda Grier. This won’t get her disbarred – believe me, I’ve tried that – but it is a reasonably well-documented hatchet job and I can’t imagine anyone who reads it hiring her as an attorney. Ever. But of course Frohnmayer walks. For starters:

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today announced that a Department of Justice review found deficient legal representation, but no criminal wrongdoing in the handling of former University of Oregon Athletic Director Mike Bellotti’s contract.

Here’s the report. It is public because Lariviere insisted that Kroger make it public. Thanks. A key date in the events was April 20, 2009, when Grier was first asked about a written contract and when Frohnmayer was still President. Lariviere was obviously blindsided and had no responsibility for the lack of a contract. The report makes clear he did the best he could with a disaster.

The report does not mention the previous Oregon DOJ ethics investigation of Melinda Grier. That investigation was of false statements Grier made to the US DOJ Civil Rights Division, during their investigation of UO’s minority faculty recruiting procedures. Associate AG David Leith was in charge of that investigation (on which he spent well over $20,000), as well as of the report released today.

I’m surprised at the depth of this new investigation and the vehement tone of this report from Kroger. Somebody is pissed. My guess? David Leith and John Kroger went out on a limb for Melinda Grier, covering up the civil rights investigation and a raft of previous issues. Jean Stockard’s case would be another exmple – cost the state $500,000 plus fees. When this came up, they decided it was the last time she would make trouble for them.

UO’s Public Records Officer, Doug Park, gets off without a mention in the report. Oregon law gave Park responsibility for responding to the repeated public records requests for Bellotti’s contract. Presumably he passed them on the Grier, instead of doing his job. Lariviere has already announced he will take this responsibility away from Park. Good enough. We’ll see if the new GC will keep Park and the other longtime Grier assistant, Randy Geller.

There is not a word about Kilkenny. Dave Frohnmayer, of course, gets off untouched. Still no public word from Frohnmayer on his role in the Bellotti contract, on the firing of the woman who served as his principal legal advisor for 12 years, or on the AG’s judgment that she was incompetent.

Meanwhile Frohnmayer is still collecting his $245,700 in UO pay, still collecting a second paycheck at Harrang, Long, et al., and a third paycheck from Umpqua Bank. His former Provost, John Moseley, is still getting paid by UO on a questionable PERS retirement buyout deal, set up by Frohnmayer, while he runs a fishing retreat on the Deschutes. No kidding, you can rent a lodge from him here. The Oregon Government Ethics Board investigator wanted to pursue this, the board voted him down. The guy Frohnmayer appointed VP for Diversity 5 years ago, Charles Martinez, is still working for UO without any kind of affirmative action compliant search, and he’s still double dipping at another job off campus. Sleaze.

How many of these deals did Melinda Grier also have her fingers in? How much more is there? It’s going to be a while before the shit gets cleaned up, but this is a start.

Where’s Frohnmayer?

4/23/2010: The Daily Emerald, RG and the Oregonian have stories on the Grier firing. The RG includes a picture of the $2.3 million hug – thanks Greg!

Dave Frohnmayer has not yet said a word in public about the Bellotti scandal or about the firing of the woman who served as his legal advisor for 12 years. Obviously Frohnmayer was behind Grier’s many years of stonewalling public records requests, and he had ultimate responsibility for the Bellotti fiasco. So why no interviews with Frohnmayer?

Apparently he’s somewhere in the EU. Given that UO is paying him ~25,000 a month, I wonder if he filled out the required Sabbatical Travel form justifying his absence during the term – or if it is just a vacation? Regardless, the reporters have his (UO paid) cell phone number and his email address. You could also reach him through his second job at Harrang Long Gary Rudnick, Tel: 541.485.0220.

Dave loves to talk to the press, especially when it’s about him. Every story about the verbal agreement mentioned that Lariviere was in China and wouldn’t respond til he returned. But still not even a “no comment” or “unavailable” from man at the root of the fiasco, Dave Frohnmayer?

Wait until the law school prof’s hear about this:

4/22/2010: Rumor control Reports in the RG and Oregonian explain that Melinda Grier will be given a one year terminal contract at the Knight Law School, apparently at her full $183,00 salary. Under Brad Shelton’s new budget model it looks like the law school will have to pay her salary and benefits out of law school student tuition money. Or maybe we will all pay?

Frohnmayer’s emeritus deal ($245,700 in salary, $186,000 for expenses, $25,000 for assistants) also gives him an office in the law school. Maybe he and Melinda will co-teach a course on how to break Oregon’s public records law?

We are now paying over $1 million a year just in salary for the obvious administrative deadwood. It’s going to be hard to justify a tuition increase without some cuts in this.

Update: Brian Leiter of the University of Chicago law school thinks dumping Melinda on the law school is outrageous.

Where’s Frohnmayer?

4/1/2010: So far no reporter has been able to get Dave Frohnmayer to comment on the Bellotti payoff. Weird, because Dave obviously had a central role in the “verbal agreement,” and loves talking to reporters. But maybe he’s realized that since he’s still on the books as UO “President Emeritus” for $245,700 per year and has two other paying jobs on the side, he’s not the best person to talk about ethical employment practices at UO? Just in case, here’s his new contact info.

Frohnmayer on accomodating athletics at any price

3/10/2010: UO Journalism student Bob Rodgers has posted an interview with our President Emeritus Dave Frohnmayer here, about the BCS cartel. He makes some pretty interesting points about the importance of the current system to fundraising. Frohnmayer’s term was marked by the extraordinarily high percentage of that fundraising that went to athletics, and his willingness to accept money from those donors for his own salary, laundered through the UO Foundation. Then there’s this great quote at the end:

The issue that Frohnmayer believes politicians and fans ignore, which trumps even the business side of collegiate athletics, is the strain on the academic calendar.  “They disrespect and ignore our academic calendars.”  According to Frohnmayer, having a playoff start in the first few weeks of December interferes with academics on all levels.  Even if you send a handful of student athletes, many playoff advocates do not take into account the band, cheer squads, along with the student and faculty interest in attending the game.  The amount of fervor and distraction entering dead week and finals is, “an academic disaster.”

This from the man who moved UO’s graduation to the week before final exams, to accommodate a track meet. One of Richard Lariviere’s first acts as President was to move it back. The ODE reported:

Critics enfiladed the University for the original date change, saying it was an inconvenience to students that would cut into the hours available to take exams. Biology professor Nathan Tublitz went as far as to write a commentary in the Register-Guard saying the move evinced what he called then-University President Dave Frohnmayer’s commitment to athletics at the expense of academics.

“This decision to prioritize athletics over academics, inconveniencing thousands of students and their parents, might have been excusable were it not the latest in a long line of similar decisions,” Tublitz wrote, going on to question Frohnmayer’s salary and, by implication, his integrity in accepting $265,000 in payment from an unnamed donor through the UO Foundation.

Frohnmayer responded with an angry commentary of his own, accusing Tublitz of factual inaccuracies. “This is not just any track meet,” he wrote, “but the NCAA National Championships – an event that will pump millions of dollars into the local economy and is part and parcel of the rich track and field heritage of the UO.”

I know it takes a certain amount of disregard for the truth to be a successful politician …

Frohnmayer leaves UO for real?

1/29/2010: Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week reports:

Former University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer is rejoining his old law firm, Harrang Long Gary Rudnick, and opening a Salem office. Prior to leading the U of O from 1994 through 2009, Frohnmayer served as Oregon’s Attorney General from 1981 through 1991 and he ran for governor in 1990, losing to Democrat Barbara Roberts. Joining Frohnmayer, 69, at Harrang Long will be Pete Shepherd, the long-time top deputy to former AG Hardy Myers and former Oregon School Boards Association lobbyist Jim Green.

I’m not sure if this is really news or if Nigel is confused – Frohnmayer has been triple dipping at the Eugene office of Harrang Long since September, but a move to Salem would presumably be the end of his UO connection and save us about $400,000 in salaries and perks. Downside, we’d have to find someone to teach the 23 students in his PS 199 course, though from what the students say co-teacher Barbara West does most of the work anyway.

Theories of Leadership. This seminar investigates how theoretical concepts about interaction of personality, training, character, and environment help explain the principled or unprincipled exercise of power and influence. We’ll examine definitions of leadership and test insights of theorists.

Nah, Dave will never give it up – unless he’s figured out how to get a big PERS payoff at the same time. Hmm.

Diplomacy

1/11/2010: Frohnmayer’s special Poli Sci course on “Theoretical Leadership” appears to be the first UO course to use the new Jaqua Athletes Only Study Center. No word on whether Poli Sci is paying the athletic department for use of the space, as regular academic users must, or if free access was part of Dave’s deal with Phil. Apparently retired UO administrator Barbara West is being paid about $12,000 to help Dave teach the 23 students in this class and his 25 student Honors College class on the same basic stuff. Dave gets $245,000. Supposedly there’s a GTF too, and a full time secretary for Dave, and offices in the Law School and Honor’s College, and a large expense account.

Dave’s leadership course seems to involve having the students play Diplomacy. (Man, does that takes me back to Junior High School. Mr. Black, you were such a cool social studies teacher.)

No word on whether or not Dave also gives lectures on how to sell out to boosters for big salary supplements and contributions to your foundation (Kilkenny gave  $240,000, just before Dave hired him as AD, see page 6, and $100,000 the next), get a fat retirement deal from PERS before it goes bankrupt, and then go to the state legislature and deliver self-righteous testimony on how they aren’t doing enough to fund higher education. But maybe some things just can’t be taught.

Frohnmayer’s new state funding model for UO?

11/18/2009: (11/19/2009 update at bottom: Lariviere shoots down Frohnmayer, says he wants to consult with faculty first)

This summer OUS paid Dave Frohnmayer $30K plus expenses to prepare his report, “The Coming Crisis in College Completion: Oregon’s Challenge and a Proposal for First Steps”. Dave’s contract called for a report about enrollment and retention, but it ended up being about a new funding model for OUS schools.

The first 33 pages are a formulaic rehash of ideas and analysis about enrollments, demographics, and educational productivity cribbed from the usual academic papers and reports. We’ve all seen this many times. Dave’s usual style is a combination of pomposity and vacuity that is hard to miss, but we did run it through UO’s plagiarism detection software just in case – only a few hits. He’s more than a bit confused about the upward bias in the investment return estimate caused by unobserved heterogeneity, omitted variables, and selection effects – not that I’m an econometrician – but it’s still a reasonable effort for an undergrad research paper, and solid B work.

The substance starts at page 34, where he proposes incorporating the OUS schools as public corporations, like OHSU. He says that the articles of incorporation should exempt the institution from having to comply with large parts of Oregon law. Yes, that Public Records law sure can be inconvenient when you are using state money to pay off your buddies. And check out footnote 2:

… I am deeply grateful for the legal insights of former Deputy Attorney General Peter Shepherd and his present colleagues at Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick, who have special expertise dealing with the legal status of independent public corporations. …

If the legislature goes along with this plan, what do you think the chances are that Harrang, Long, etc. and their new “of Counsel” Dave Frohnmayer will get the contract for legal services to establish the corporation? Boy does this state need some new blood. And if you think I’m a cynic, check out Lewis and Clark Law Professor Jack Bogdanski’s post. He apparently has some familiarity with the reality of OHSU’s administrative structure. Not entirely promising, it seems:

Frohnmayer’s Folly:

We interrupt the relentless flow of stories of the financial disaster at OHSU with a flash from Dave Frohnmayer: He thinks the murky, semi-autonomous, nonaccountable “governance” model on Pill Hill is so wonderful that it ought to be extended to the state’s other big universities.

Yes, let’s replicate the kind of boondoggles perpetrated by Peter Kohler and the rest of the Goldschmidt crew systemwide. Let’s make the U of O public when it wants to be, and secretive when it wants to be, just like OHSU. It’s working so well.

And of course, the Scone, a Goldschmidt man from way back, thinks it’s a wonderful idea.

Just think: Maybe the U of O will soon be opening a research campus in Florida.

And this just in from Greg Bolt in the RG, POTUO Lariviere shoots down Frohnmayer:

UO President Richard Lariviere echoed that concern. He called many of Frohnmayer’s proposals “music to my ears” but said the university community has to be given an opportunity to discuss and debate the plan before deciding whether to support it.

“Many of his suggestions are extremely insightful and helpful,” Lariviere said. “But we’re not ready here at the University of Oregon to engage the Legislature on these issues simply because we have a great deal more consulting on this campus that we have to engage in.”

We are starting to like this guy.

Frohnmayer gets Architecture Prize

10/24/2009: The Architecture Foundation of Oregon has given President Emeritus Frohnmayer an award for “contributions to Oregon’s built environment”. Seems very appropriate – Dave spent a huge amount of energy improving campus buildings – almost as much as he spent on making sure he and his cronies would get fat PERS busting retirement … no wait … must control fingers … this is about bricks and concrete. Frohnmayer had a point: a great university is about more than faculty, students, teaching and research – appearances count too. Interestingly the award citation doesn’t mention Dave’s biggest projects – the $235 million Matt Court, or the $30 million “Athletes Only” class cube on Franklin. I sort of like the cube, but most of the architects on campus go ballistic about it as a gateway to UO, since it ignores UO’s Ellis Lawrence heritage.

This campus has some beautiful, subtle buildings, and Lawrence did most of them. And if you don’t who I’m talking about, follow the link and get the book on him at the bookstore. The Art Museum, Knight library, Mac Court, Chiles with all it’s details. Is there something arabic going on here? Walking through campus will be much more interesting after you read about Lawrence and his ideas and influence – you’ll see something new every day, and when you realize the seminar speaker you are spending the next three hours hosting has nothing interesting to say and apparently is not the anonymous reviewer of that revise and resubmit you have been sweating over, just take them on a walk and thank UO Matters.