Lorraine Davis’s brief unpaid stint as Professor Emerita ends

A month ago UO’s directory listed longtime UO administrator Lorraine Davis’s only current UO affiliation as Professor Emeritus [sic] – an unpaid honorific typically bestowed upon faculty who retire after long and distinguished careers as teachers and researchers:

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I was a little surprised to see this, since Davis’s recent work has been more focused on Duck sports than UO academics, and if not honorific has certainly been well paid:

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I’m sure these “Overload Alamo Bowl Duties” are essential to our academic mission – although I’ll be more sure after my obligatory tax deductible bowl game junket as Senate President – but has UO really sunk to the place where this crap gets you a Professor Emerita rank?

Not yet. Ms Davis’s position as Professor Emerita has now been removed from the UO directory, there is no mention of her on the Department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership’s website, and she’s now just listed on the UO website as a “Special Assistant” to our Athletic Director, President, and Provost:

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But I wonder who costs the academic budget more – Special Assistant Lorraine Davis, or “Faculty” Athletics Representative Tim Gleason?

“You could get killed for that!”: Where did Nike apparel money go?

3/5/2015: No, of course I’m not talking about the $30K that UO administrators get each year as part of the lousy apparel contract they signed with Nike. That seems like an interesting potential conflict of interest, but I’m sure UO’s Office of Internal Audit has carefully vetted it, just as they must have done with Vin Lananna, the UO Foundation, Track Town, and UO’s lobbying efforts.

I’m talking about this report by Jeffrey Gettleman in the NYT (thanks to a helpful reader for the link):

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… In the documents, Nike provided detailed instructions on how the $100,000 yearly honorarium was to be used (to cover travel costs and phone bills, among other things). No details were provided for the commitment bonus, though, even after the former employee, who worked as an administrative assistant and in other jobs at Athletics Kenya for more than 10 years, wrote to a Nike executive asking him.

In a sworn statement provided to Kenyan investigators, the former assistant said the $500,000 commitment bonus was “bribe money from Nike” so that the top officials could pay back the $200,000 from the scuttled deal with the Chinese company and then make even more by agreeing to sign up again with Nike.

The former administrative assistant requested that his name not be revealed, saying it was extremely dangerous to expose high-level corruption in Kenya — a sentiment shared by others.

“Put that away! You could get killed for that!” exclaimed a member of Athletics Kenya’s board, his eyes widening when a reporter pulled out the amended contract from Nike listing the $500,000 commitment bonus during an interview at a quiet Nairobi restaurant.

 

6/17/2015 update: The WSJ has a good summary of the apparel deal between Nike and the Brazilian soccer team, and the secret Swiss bank account side payment, here. (Gated, also try here.)

UO has its own apparel deal with Nike, some stories about that are below. The public records were heavily redacted by Dave Hubin’s public records office, so it’s unclear whether or not the same UO administrators who signed off on the deal – which doesn’t seem that good for UO –  get free shoes or other swag from the $185K annual “discretionary apparel” budget. And if they do, would that be illegal?

The UO / Nike contract and discretionary apparel list are here, and Matthew Kish’s excellent database on these deals is here.

12/18/2014 update: Athletic department ditches Nike for Adidas, gets twice the cash

Matthew Kish has the story in the Portland Business Journal, here.

McElroy was hired from the Dallas Cowboys in May and charged with increasing the department’s revenue. The Adidas deal does that. It’s worth $4.2 million annually through 2023, more than double the $2.1 million the university will receive from Nike this year.

That’s at Arizona State University. Nike’s contract with UO is far stingier – just $600K in cash. Doesn’t someone have a fiduciary responsibility to get a better deal on this?

12/9/2014 update: Which football championship team has the worst Nike contract? The Ducks.

From Matthew Kish in the Portland Business Journal:

Here’s a breakdown of Nike’s [athletic apparel] deal with each university in the playoffs. The terms cover the 2014-15 academic year [reordered in descending order of cash payment]:

– Ohio State: $2.5 million in equipment and apparel and nearly $1.5 million in cash. The university also gets $150,000 in discretionary apparel, typically for athletic department personnel.

– Florida State: $3 million in equipment and apparel and $1.4 million in cash.

– Alabama: $2.8 million in equipment and apparel, $780,000 in cash.

– Oregon: $2.2 million in equipment and apparel and $600,000 in cash. The university also gets $185,000 in discretionary apparel, typically for athletic department personnel.

But hey, we’re #1 in “discretionary apparel”!

From what I can tell from Dave Hubin’s redacted public records, $30K of that goes to our colleagues in Johnson Hall, presumably including some who signed off on the contract. So they’ll be looking good on their Jan 1 Rose Bowl junkets.

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2/3/2014 update: Under Armour pays Notre Dame $9M, Nike pays UO $600K

Nike just signed Tennessee to a new deal for $1M cash a year, plus $2M signing bonus.

1/23/2014: Our Uncle Phil drives a tough bargain. Nike’s merchandising deal with UO pays us just $600K a year. Meanwhile Notre Dame just closed on a 10 year deal with Nike competitor Under Armour for ~$9M a year. Bloomberg financial news has a report here:

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Adidas and Under Armour would love to get a marketing deal with the Ducks. Why won’t UO use this to negotiate with Nike for more money?

In part because a sweetheart deal for Nike is just part of the price the UO administration is willing to pay for the vague promise of $1B for the endowment, someday. It would pay off big in outside offers and raises for every admin involved. And perhaps also because Nike gives UO administrators $30K worth of free sneakers and clothes. Portland Business Journal reporter Matthew Kish has a thorough report on these deals, here.

Rob Mullens gets $50K for Alamo Bowl, players get $125 gift certificate

And how much did UO pay Lorraine Davis for her Alamo Bowl duties? Last year’s bowl overload was pretty lucrative:

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The NCAA’s unwritten rule is that “no black man shall make money off college football”. MLK biographer Taylor Branch’s expose is in the Atlantic, here:

The Washington Post reports on a new study on how racism drives opposition to paying college football players, here:

Racial prejudice is driving opposition to paying college athletes. Here’s the evidence.

… To find out whether racial prejudice influences white opinion on paying college athletes, we conducted a survey of opinions on “pay for play” policies using the 2014 CCES.

In a statistical analysis that controlled for a host of other influences, we found this: Negative racial views about blacks were the single most important predictor of white opposition to paying college athletes.

The more negatively a white respondent felt about blacks, the more they opposed paying college athletes.

UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens’s contract is here:

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While the Duck players get this:

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UO cuts Bowl of Ducks list to the bone

12/28/2015: Two and a half weeks after asking, UO’s Public Records office responds to a request for the Alamo Bowl junket list:

No University employees will be receiving paid “junkets” to the Valero Alamo Bowl on January 2nd. However, the following University employees will be travelling to the Alamo Bowl as a part of the official delegation, and will be expected to perform work on behalf of the University.

Mike Andreasen
Roger Thompson
Tim Gleason
Rob Mullens
Randy Sullivan

The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.

That’s going to save a lot of money from last year’s extravaganza, when Interim President Coltrane offered all-expense-paid trips to the Rose Bowl and the football championship game to everyone from Board of Trustees Secretary Angela Wilhelms to Library Dean Adrienne Lim, plus their spouses:

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Gottfredson was even willing to pay for Interim General Counsel Doug Park’s kids:

Lest you think those 5 names the Public Records office provided is really the complete list of Alamo Bowl junketeers, here’s the full dump of 2015 junketeers here, courtesy of a public records request by Nathan Tublitz: A snippet of those getting free tickets:

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I’m guessing this year’s list will be similar.

12/6/2015: This year’s Johnson Hall junket: The Alamo Bowl

I’ve sent in my traditional pre-Christmas public records request for the list of Johnson Hall bowl game junketeers:

Date: December 6, 2015 at 4:44:37 PM PST
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>

Subject: Re: PR request, Alamo Bowl junkets

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for the email, memo, or similar announcing which UO employees will get paid junkets, as they are commonly called, to the Jan 2, 2016 “Valero Alamo Bowl”.

Last time the Ducks went to the Alamo Bowl the president’s office got a bit pissy about me calling it a junket, and wouldn’t send the documents:

On MondayDec 23, 2013, at 5:37 PM, Office of Public Records <pubrec@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Mr. Harbaugh-

Your request was for a “copy of any email, memos, or similar announcing which UO employees will get paid junkets to this year’s ‘Valero Alamo Bowl’”. No UO employees will be attending the Valero Alamo Bowl on a junket.

Sincerely,

Lisa Thornton
Public Records Officer
University of Oregon
Office of the President

While we wait to see what happens this time, here’s some background info on the Alamo Bowl, CEO Derrick Fox, and UO’s efforts to claim this will help us recruit top students. According to their most recent IRS return, the “non-profit” San Antonio Bowl Association brought in $10M from the 2014 Alamo Bowl – about half from tickets, half from TV and sponsorships. Each team nominally gets ~$3M (maybe a bit more now) but the Ducks have to split that 12 ways with the rest of the PAC-12. Then there’s a travel allowance of about $1.5M. All in all UO will be lucky to come out even.

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The justification for the bowl’s IRS non-profit status is that the bowl gives out scholarships and help local charities. Here’s Alamo Bowl CEO Derrick Fox, explaining this to congress in 2009:

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Fox was lying, as the Arizona Republic reported in 2011:

Alamo Bowl Chief Executive Derrick Fox appeared before Congress in 2009 during hearings on bowl and BCS financial issues, saying bowls provide tens of millions of dollars to local communities annually.

“Since almost all the postseason bowl games are put on by charitable groups and since up to one-quarter of the proceeds from the games are dedicated to the community, local charities receive tens of millions of dollars every year,” Fox said.

The Republic’s examination of financial records for U.S.-based, non-profit organizations that ran 25 bowl games in 2008-09 and 24 bowl games in 2009-10 doesn’t support Fox’s claims.

The Republic found the non-profits that ran the bowls in 2008-09 generated about $216 million in revenue and gave away $6.4 million, roughly 3 percent of revenues. In 2009-10, the bowls generated about $202 million in revenue and gave away nearly $3.7 million, less than 2 percent.

For 2013, the Alamo Bowl gave a total of $200K for scholarships, or 2% of their revenue:

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Fox, on the other hand, got $550K, or 5.5% of the gross:

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But at least the Alamo Bowl’s Derrick Fox has managed to stay out of federal prison, unlike former Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker, who used bowl revenue for illegal political contributions and taking athletes to strip clubs:

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The Alamo Bowl is a minor bowl but the coaches will do OK. Under the contracts that Board Chair Chuck Lillis and the Trustees approved this spring, Helfrich gets $100K, and his assistants probably get another $200K or so.

No word how much AAD Eric Roedl paid Lloyd’s of London to insure the bonuses this year. Noah McGraw has the story on the last time Roedl tried this, in the Emerald here. It’s still in court. So at ~$300 per billable hours, you can add UO’s Harrang, Long, Gary, and Rudnick law firm to the list of Bowl game winners. And even the players will get some swag, thanks to a little known NCAA loophole. From SBNation’s swag report:

3. Valero Alamo Bowl

GoPro Hero4 Silver camera and 32MB memory card; Fossil watch; Oakley Works backpack; Schutt mini helmet; panoramic photo

There’s some meta-trolling going on when a bowl game gives you a GoPro camera. It’s like “Hey, you’re used to being filmed and not getting paid for it, so might as well do it yourself.”

Part of the cost of bowl games is travel for the swarm of administrators and their spouses and families, paid for by UO out of a travel allowance the conference provides. Some of this is totally legit. It’s a fundraising opportunity, and the president and deans need to be there to make sure Athletic Director Rob Mullens leaves a few scraps for the academic side. Likewise, it would be a violation of the AAUP’s principles of shared governance not to invite the president and vice president of the UO Senate and the Chair of the Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, assuming he’s playing along with Rob Mullens and not asking too many tough questions about UO’s low graduation rates for revenue athletes. And of course no big-time college sports team should travel without its general counsel, that’s just basic due diligence.

But this is not exactly an academic event, so to ensure that the IRS doesn’t treat the administrator’s junkets as taxable income, Roger Thompson typically has a enrollment recruiting event, which he videotapes just in case anyone gets audited. Here’s former Journalism Dean Tim Gleason at the Fiesta Bowl a few years back, earning his airfare and per-diem by trying to convince a student to transfer to UO:

And surely all the publicity about the big game will help bring in new students, as $115K Duck PR flack Tobin Klinger posted on “Around the 0” from his all-expense-paid Dallas junket:

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Of course when you recruit at football games, you don’t hear from the parents who don’t want to pay for their children to attend a football-factory party school. And apparently there are lots of them. Here’s a link to a recent working paper: College Football Success and the Quantity and Quality of Applicants: Evidence from the BCS.

In this paper, we use a panel data set of university funding, applications, enrollment and the quality of students at the university measured by percentile on entrance exams from 2002 to 2009 to examine the effects of various levels of success including: BCS national championships, conference championships and AP top 25 rankings. Our results indicate, individually, that national championships and AP top 25 rankings can lower the quantity and quality of applicants and enrollees, however, conference championships can positively impact the quantity and quality of applicants and enrollees. Yet, when the [football] success measures are combined, tests reveal that overall success negatively affects the quantity and quality of applicants and enrollees.

The negative academic effects of football continue after enrollment. UO Economist Glen Waddell’s 2012 paper, published in theAmerican Economic Review: Applied Economics, showed that football wins led to worse grades for current UO undergraduates – particularly for males. The effect is striking:

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Why? Just what you’d expect – after a win our students party, get drunk, and skip class:

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Not exactly a surprise to any parent who was once a student themselves, so they send their kids to a school without so many distractions. The only puzzle here is why the UO administration and its PR flacks are still pretending that big-time football is good for the academic side. Oh, right, junkets!

Washington Post calls for controls on big-time athletic pork

Columnist Sally Jenkins, here:

… For years, athletic directors have styled themselves as CEO-types and moaned about the difficulties of managing costs. But a Washington Post project published earlier this week shows that these so-called executives are about as fiscally responsible as Gabor sisters serving sevruga in chinchilla capes. The truth is, their deficits aren’t a necessity. They’re a choice.

Throughout The Post’s findings is the distinctly acrid smell of books cooking. The ledgers show that there is never enough money to fully comply with Title IX or cover the true cost of a scholarship but always enough to pay themselves more or to buy a new toy.

… The chair of an engineering department is not permitted to spend indiscriminately, so why should athletic directors be able to — especially when they siphon university money away from other departments to cover their overdrafts?

As matters stand, athletic departments aren’t answerable to anyone, budgeted separately from the university and almost completely unregulated. Their only real oversight comes from high-dollar donors. The reason for this is that years ago college presidents tried to wash their hands by allowing them to become stand-alone entities that raise and spend funds however they wish. Author Gilbert Gaul, in his new book “Billion Dollar Ball,” likens them to hedge funds or entertainment divisions rather than academic entities. As one Texas administrator put it to Gaul, “We eat what we kill.”

But that’s not enough, so they take from the academic side too.

Win over Cal costs UO $50K for Helfrich bonus + administrator junkets

11/7/2015: 

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Apparently this win means the Ducks are going to some bowl game, and Helfrich gets a $50K bonus for that. Then we have to pay for all the admins and their families to go along for the junket. Here’s Tim Gleason, then Journalism Dean, now Faculty Athletics Representative, at the 2013 Fiesta Bowl student recruiting event:

VP  for Enrollment Roger Thompson videotapes one or two humiliating events like this at every bowl game, so that the administrators can show the IRS there was a business purpose for their family’s holiday junket:

4/12/2015: Coach Helfrich’s raise totals more than all 1500 UO staff combined

UO has about 1500 staff workers, making an average wage of about $35,000 a year. Their SEIU local 503 is currently bargaining with OUS for a new contract. The OUS offer is an 0.5% COLA, or $175 each per year.

Meanwhile, the UO administration just found the money to give football coach Mark Helfrich a slightly larger raise:

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Here’s the message from the SEIU local:

Higher Ed Management Proposals Not Unified Across State, Return to the “Big Three,” Attack Health Care, Steps, and More Continue reading

Prediction markets give Helfrich’s Ducks 3% chance of championship

Here:

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This could save UO a lot of money. The athletic department’s report to the NCAA, here, says they lost $832K on last year’s bowl games, after you count the cost of the administrator’s junkets and the coach’s bonuses. That’s right, our coaches’ bowl game bonuses are so large that UO loses money when Ducks get into bowl games. What a scam:

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UO lost $1.5M on bowl games, and how many good students?

5/5/2015 update:

Jon Solomon of CBS Sports reports that, after accounting for the administrative junkets and $2.2M bonuses for AD Rob Mullens and the coaches, UO lost $1.5m on the Pac12 and BCS championship games:

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But surely all that publicity will help bring in new students? Actually, the latest research shows the opposite:

In this paper, we use a panel data set of university funding, applications, enrollment and the quality of students at the university measured by percentile on entrance exams from 2002 to 2009 to examine the effects of various levels of success including: BCS national championships, conference championships and AP top 25 rankings. Our results indicate, individually, that national championships and AP top 25 rankings can lower the quantity and quality of applicants and enrollees, however, conference championships can positively impact the quantity and quality of applicants and enrollees. Yet, when the [football] success measures are combined, tests reveal that overall success negatively affects the quantity and quality of applicants and enrollees.

Why? Parents are unlikely to want to pay for their children to attend a football-factory party school. Of course that’s not the message UO’s $115K Duck Advocate and PR flack Tobin Klinger posted on “Around the 0” from his all-expense-paid Dallas junket, but here’s a link to the working paper: College Football Success and the Quantity and Quality of Applicants: Evidence from the BCS.

The negative academic effects of football wins continues after enrollment. UO Economist Glen Waddell’s 2012 paper, published in the American Economic Review: Applied Economics, showed that football wins led to worse grades for current UO undergraduates – particularly for males. The effect is striking:

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Why? Just what you’d expect – after a win our students party, get drunk, and skip class:

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Not exactly a surprise to any parent who was once a student themselves, so they send their kids to a school without so many distractions. The only puzzle here is why the UO administration and its PR flacks are still pretending that big-time football is good for the academic side. Oh, right, they get a party too, and there aren’t any adults in JH to tell our administrators to get their act together.

1/9/2015: Coltrane leads Johnson Hall old guard on one more junket

Jeff Manning has the report in the Oregonian:

University President Scott Coltrane is bringing a delegation of 25, including the provost and deans of the law school, Honors College, journalism, music and dance and other academic departments. Spouses and partners are also among the delegation. All are required to participate in social events like the VIP tailgate.

Airfare and other travel costs alone will cost $50,000. The university was unable to provide an estimate of costs for food, lodging and other expenses.

… The Oregon athletic department is sending a much larger contingent to Dallas. About 570 players, cheerleaders, marching band members, coaches and administrators, as well as spouses, will be leaving Eugene Friday or Saturday, university officials said.

The euphoria over the big game can’t mask serious issues at Oregon.

There’s the revolving door in the president’s office. The UO has been through four presidents in five years. Michael Gottfredson lasted in the job just two years before he resigned in August amid a furor over the university’s handling of sexual abuse allegations against three UO basketball players.

The alleged victim sued the university on Thursday.

Instructors are disgruntled. UO graduate teaching assistants went on strike last year in a dispute over compensation and benefits. The professors also voted to unionize in 2013. Some of Oregon’s best researchers and professors have left for other institutions, a problem the administration admits has reached serious proportions.

… Oregon Law School Professor Margie Paris said the distrust and resentment between Oregon’s academic and athletic sides is nothing new. Fourteen years ago she helped lead a task force convened to examine athletic spending some deemed out of control.

Since then, athletics spending and revenue have exploded.

Paris share’s Dreiling’s misgivings about UO’s sports-centric culture. But she also believes you have to credit Knight and Nike for making Oregon relevant in the billion-dollar pop-culture industry that college sports have become.

“There’s already been a huge benefit,” Paris said. “We’re cool, we’re the Ducks.”

Yeah, that’s huge.

1/12/2015 update: Scott Greenstone has the story in the Emerald here, along with plenty of VP Roger Thompson’s usual protests that it’s all about recruiting new students, honest:

Officers of administration going include the deans of the Honors College, School of Journalism and Communications, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education. The money for travel, expenses and lodging comes out of the budgets of each of these departments, so it is each department head’s choice whether or not to go.

Our student tuition dollars at work play.

Hubin’s PR office finally gives Tublitz the BCS championship junket lists

3/31/2015 update: It took a month or so – presumably they were hoping people would forget about it. Full dump here. Check the manifests to see who actually went. Senate President Kyr didn’t. Presumably he understands that taking this sort of largess from the athletic department, while the Senate is taking up legislation to get some money back from the Ducks for the academic side, would be a conflict of interest. And indeed, state law forbids the UO Trustees, and their relatives and household members from taking these sorts of gifts from the Ducks:

But for our Johnson Hall colleagues, who are now considering whether or not to implement the Senate legislation, it’s a family vacation opportunity:

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12/4/2014 8:00 PM update: UO admins evacuate for family bowl-game junkets, as GTF strike mediation drags on

As mediated talks drag into Friday, a photographer captured the chaotic scene as Interim President Scott Coltrane’s executive assistant Dave Hubin packed UO’s top administrators, lawyers, consultants, and their family members into the last helicopter to leave Johnson Hall for Dec 5th’s PAC-12 Football Championship festivities at Levi Field in Santa Clara:

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The university, devastated by years of corrupt puppet governments and a series of coups d’etat orchestrated by athletic department extremists, faces a long, uncertain period of rebuilding, as collateral damage from infighting for the vacant presidency increases.

The careers of several administrators were last seen clinging to the Huey’s skids.

Continue reading

Tublitz: UO is still stalling release of bowl game junketeer names

I can’t imagine why they are stalling. With luck, Prof Tublitz will get these names in time for me to post them before the bargaining session with Jamie Moffitt starts:

On Mar 13, 2015, at 10:22 PM, tublitz <tublitz@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Dear Ms Joubran:

I submitted the following request over a month ago. Can you please tell me why your response is taking so long and when I will be supplied with the requested information? It is a simple request that should not take very long to fulfill.

Thanks very much,

N. Tublitz

On 2/13/2015 2:59 PM, pubrec@uoregon.edu wrote:

Dear Mr. Tublitz:

The University of Oregon, Office of Public Records has received your
public records request for”) a list of the names and titles of all
University employees and family members who received free tickets, free
transportation and/or free accommodations to the College Football
playoff semi-final game between Oregon and Florida State played on Jan
1, 2015 at the Rose Bowl, Los Angeles CA; and, 2) A separate list of the
names and titles of all University employees and family members who
received free tickets, free transportation and/or free accommodations to
the College Football playoff championship game between Oregon and Ohio
State played on Jan 12, 2015 at AT&T Stadium, Arlington TX. For each
person, please list whether they received free tickets, free
transportation and/or free accommodations,” on 02/13/2015, attached.

The university is uncertain whether it possesses the records you have
requested. However, the university will search for the records and make
a response to your request as soon as practicable.

If documents exist and may be provided, the office will provide the
documents electronically to avoid a copy fee of 25 cents per page. The
office also charges for the actual cost of making public records
available. The charge includes, but is not limited to, staff costs for
locating, gathering, summarizing, compiling, reviewing, tailoring or
redacting the public records to respond to a request. The charge may
also include the cost of time spent by an attorney in reviewing the
public records, redacting material from the public records, or
segregating the public records into exempt and nonexempt records.

The cost of time for each employee is calculated by multiplying the
employee’s hourly wage calculation (including benefits expenses) by the
hours or portions thereof necessary to locate, gather, summarize,
compile, tailor, review, redact, segregate, certify or attend the
inspection of the public records requested.

Thank you for contacting the University with your request.

Sincerely,

Daphne Joubran
Office of Public Records
University of OregonOffice of the President
6207 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-6207
(541) 346-6823
pubrec@uoregon.edu <mailto:pubrec@uoregon.edu>

Duck PR flack Tim Clevenger shows IRS proof of “business purpose” for junket

1/1/2015 junket update:

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It’s good to see he’s found some honest work as a limo driver. Meanwhile our Chief Strategic Communicator’s team is churning out the traditional “Around the 0” stories on the obligatory charity and student recruiting events:

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12/27/2014: Johnson Hall admins take off for semi-final bowl game junkets

Last year it was the storied Fiesta Alamo Bowl. (Assuming time off for good behavior, former Fiesta Bowl Director John Junkers should be out of federal prison any day now.)

This year the Ducks have been selected by a committee including former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to participate in the new College Football Championship semi-finals at the Rose Bowl. (Ms Rice is also a former Stanford Provost, and widely rumored to be the dream candidate of at least a few UO Board of Trustees members for new UO President.) I’ll wait to make the traditional public records request for the list of this year’s Johnson Hall junketeers and their travel receipts until we see if the Ducks will make it to the nationals.

Each of these bowl games typically includes a PR puff piece TV ad about the UO, with production and broadcast cost of $500K or so, a sham charity event where players and administrators put in an hour or two helping out at a food bank or similar for the TV cameras, and an undergraduate recruiting  event organized by VP for enrollment Roger Thompson.

The enrollment events typically include a few puzzled potential local undergraduates besieged by a horde of administrators desperate to get their talk with a potential undergraduate on video, just in case the IRS asks for proof that there was some business reason for deducting airfare game tickets, and per diem ($138 lodging, $71 food) for their whole family. For example, here’s former Dean of Journalism and current UO NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Tim Gleason giving it his best shot, from last year (or maybe the year before, I’ve lost track, check the comments):

If you want to see who else took this junket, there’s video here and photos here.

Coltrane to limit bowl junkets, tells admins to watch game at home

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This is part of Interim President Coltrane’s new effort to reduce athletic subsidies and shift money towards academic excellence. Breaking news here:

The biggest cost-cutting move is just limiting the number of people who go, which saves travel and hotel costs. In 2009, the Wolf Pack did not take its band to the Hawaii Bowl. Some schools will charter either a large jet, a second jet or take multiple trips, but Nevada has consistently gone with smaller, less-expensive jets and told some support staffers that they’ll have to watch the game on TV at home.

The school also saves money by taking the less-expensive team-meal options at the hotels and not splurging on expensive rings and watches in the event of a victory.

Brian Polian is headed to his first bowl game as a head coach, too. Hired three months before Knuth, Polian has extensive history in big bowl games as an assistant coach at Stanford, Notre Dame and Texas A&M, schools where the presumption is that money is handed out like athletic tape.

And while that’s a stretch, the comparison has legs. Schools with massive athletic budgets tend to be more free-wheeling with money, and big-money bowls tend to cost more — in some cases a lot more — which can lead to red-pencil accounting.

Oh wait, that story is about the University of Nevada. Never mind. Here at UO, all indications are that our Johnson Hall colleagues, and their families, are planning their usual all-expense-paid bowl-game junkets. The next one is to the historic Rose Bowl in sunny Pasadena, for the football championship semifinal extravaganza, Jan 1.

Fiesta Bowl chief starts 8 month prison term

6/21/2014 update: The Arizona Republic has the story here. No word on how much Duck money was involved.

2/1/2013: No Policy Update: Duck administrators fly south for Felony Bowl

UO has no policy on free tickets or travel – not exactly “best practices” when it comes to claiming it’s exempt income, folks.

From: “Thornton, Lisa”
Subject: Public Records Request 2013-PRR-185Date: February 1, 2013 12:28:59 PM PST
02/01/2013
Dear [UO Matters]-
The University does not possess records responsive to your request for ” a copy of UO’s policies and/or procedures on paying for travel and tickets to away games and/or postseason games”, made 1/28/2013.
Thank you for contacting the office with your request.
Sincerely,

Lisa Thornton
Office of Public Records

1/28/2013: Ever wonder how the Ducks get our administrators to look the other way about the accounting tricks that leave the academic side holding the bag for millions in athletic department costs? Free junkets are part of it. The Fiesta Bowl has a long history of corruption, see here.
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