UO Foundation spends $43M to buy Portland White Stag building + sign

Updated with video below. Jon Bell has the report in the Portland Business Journal, here:

… The building was purchased through an entity called OFX White Stag LLC, whose registered agents include Paul Weinhold, president of the U of O Foundation, Erika Funk, COO of the foundation and Wendy Lee Laing, general counsel for the foundation. A call to Victoria Nguyen, public affairs and communications manager for the foundation, was not immediately returned.
However, Kelly said he sees the university’s purchase of the property as a sign of its long-term plans.

“I think it’s just a reaffirmation of their commitment to the Portland area and the market,” he said. “I expect that they’re looking to continue to expand their presence here, and I know they will be great stewards of the property.”

Are UO’s Portland programs a good strategic investment for the university’s new focus on AAU level research and faculty? Some links are here, but my impression is that it’s a very mixed bag.

And did we ever get the donations that Board Chair Chuck Lillis was sure would come through for the Sports Product Design programs, or are we still subsidizing it from the general fund? Diane Dietz in the RG, December 12 2014:

… Lillis, however, wasn’t prepared to let the subject of efficiency drop. His friend, retired UO business professor Roger Best, worked at General Electric when Lillis was an executive there, he said.

“He was a world class business school professor,” Lillis said. “In the ’80s he routinely turned down $10,000-a-day as a consultant. He was the executive of a big British firm when he lived in Eugene and he commuted on the Concorde. He has started two businesses and sold them both — and is a very large donor to the university,” Lillis said.

If the university is not going to trust someone like that, Lillis said, who will it trust. “We have this, like, superstar. …

Best was “beyond frustrated” by university processes, Lillis said.

The board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee this week examined the hoops that Best had to clear to get the sports management degree approved. The program went through the standard review cycle, which includes approvals from the department, the college, the Graduate Council, the University Senate and the Board of Trustees.

“The process was onerous,” Best told the committee, “It probably has to be that way. Some of it improved our product as well. I can’t say it was all bad.”

The biggest problem, he said, was scheduling. He would have to wait to get on the agenda of the various committees.

Board member Kurt Willcox, however, examined the timetable and found “the clog appeared to be right at the beginning within the department,” he said. That phase lasted almost two years.

The rest of the approvals took only seven months. “When you’re looking to develop a brand new program, April to December doesn’t look like a huge time line,” Willcox said.

Barbara Altmann, vice provost for academic affairs, said the various committees gauge the soundness and coherence of proposed programs and ensure that the proposers have a stable line up of courses to guarantee quality for students who pay a lot, especially for business graduate degrees.

“It sounds like I was just incorrect,” Lillis said, adding “I still think (efficiency is) a noteworthy objective.”

Best said he did hit a snag at the start of the process: “The business school was questioning this program. It was felt it would be sucking off resources that would be going to Portland. … It took us a year to convince the marketing department and the management department, the master’s committee, the college.” …

And for the nostalgic, here’s UO’s former interim Provost Jim Bean in 2009, asking the UO faculty to take unpaid furloughs while denying news accounts that UO was willing to pay $1M to buy the “White Stag”  sign and change it to say “University of Oregon”, and put a neon “O” on the watertower. One of the many WWeek stories on this bizarre episode is here. Not clear if UO ever paid the $100K for design work and permitting fees.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 7.37.18 PM

FWIW the Johnson Hall hypocrisy and smugness at this meeting was the reason I started this blog. That and the General Counsel’s use of fees and delays to hide public records from the public.

Does UO have a strategic plan for Portland yet?

5/24/2015 update: I don’t have anything new on this. Does anyone?

7/8/2013: The Lane County DA’s office has finally prodded UO into releasing the 269 page Canoe Group report on Portland. UO sent me a very low quality pdf, I’ve asked for something better and here it is, thanks! Full pdf here.

UO decided to completely redact the 2012 PWG report. If anyone has a copy of that pass it on and I’ll post it.

Continue reading

UO to start sports apparel management program?

11/3/13: Alan Brettman of the Oregonian has the story:

The University of Oregon is exploring the creation of a sporting goods product-management program at its Portland campus, addressing what officials believe is a glaring need for the footwear and apparel-dominated local industry. 

Ellen Schmidt-Devlin, who worked for nearly three decades at Nike and has been an adjunct instructor of sports business the past three years at UO’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, has been leading the effort to assess demand in Portland.

Seems like a natural for University of Nike Oregon, and perhaps a use for the White Stag building, the lease for which runs about $2.4M a year. This will have to go through the UO Senate CoC and Undergraduate Council for approval. Here’s hoping they ask some tough questions about the cost. Rumor has it that Jim Bean is working on this, which won’t be cheap.

Espy goes for transparency with new research dashboard website

8/15/2013: Refreshingly open, transparent, and even updated in real-time:

Oh wait, sorry, that’s for Oregon State. If you’re curious about research activity at UO, you’ll have to wade through a bunch of outdated pdf’s, here. Or you could make a public records request to UO for emails on our AAU status:

Organization: Oregon Daily Emerald
Initial Request Date: 05/23/2013
Status: Awaiting Payment 06/03/2013 

I am writing to request any emails and letters between AAU officials and University of Oregon Administration officials, Jim Bean or President Gottfredson, between September 1st, 2012 and May 20th, 2013 containing any of the key words: expulsion, suspension, revocation, disqualification, probation, cancellation or review.

but Dave Hubin is charging the student paper $96 for those, and they can’t afford it.

After reading today’s RG Op-Ed by Jim Reichman comparing UO research successes with athletics, and hearing AD Rob Mullens brag about his budget growing from $88M to $95M in one year, I wanted to update the Civil War information below. I’ll try again when Espy gets around to posting her numbers, because from what I hear she’s on the verge of driving a few more top PI’s away from UO.

12/29/2012. Diane Dietz has the story and data on UO here. I got the OSU data from their very complete Research Office data page, here. Both are “Federal Flow Through” totals, which are the easiest to find directly comparable data. They include spending on outreach and instruction, but it’s mostly research money and the trends look similar no matter how you cut it. That’s the table on the left. The table on the right shows athletic department spending, from USAToday. (Official UO and OSU numbers for 2012.)

The five years since Interim Provost Jim Bean took over have been a self-inflicted disaster for UO research. First there was Bean’s silly “five big ideas” effort. No disrespect to those who participated – but look at the funding sources data – that’s not where the money that might have kept UO in the AAU was to be found.

Then there was the large and continued diversion of funds from UO’s core academic mission to things like UO-Portland. Sure we need a presence there, but have you seen how expensive, and empty, the White Stag building is? Remember the Old Town sign? Like Bend, this all probably started before Bean – but why didn’t he have the guts, or the brains, to reign in Frohnmayer and Moseley?

Then there’s the millions UO has taken from the academic side to spend on sports. $1.83 million a year for athlete-only tutoring – straight out of the Provost’s budget. $467,000 a year to the athletic department for Mac Court – for the next 30 years. Millions of subverted overhead funds. Why didn’t you just say no, Jim?

On top of this all is the developing disaster that is Bean’s hire as VP for Research, Kimberly Espy. He got her straight from Nebraska – just after they got kicked out of the AAU. WTF? People ask me to try and keep track of how many PI’s Espy has chased off campus so far, and how many searches she’s blown. Sorry, I don’t have the time, gotta write a grant proposal. But the comments are open.

Harry B. Miller should ask for a refund

6/16/2013: Those who have heard Bean babble on about online-ed and MOOCs will love this proposal for MOOAs. (Thanks to commenter for link.)

And by popular demand here’s the budget for LCB: Instructional salary expenditures up 44% since 2008, administrative costs up 194%. And that’s before the $320K + OPE beamer is back on the payroll, and all the new hiring that Dean Kees gets into below. Oh wait, Bean will probably get most of his money from the instructional account. Hilarious.

6/15/2013. I’m speechless. I like the banjo though, even if it’s missing a string ;).

Harry B. “Ham” Miller James C. “Beamer” Bean C. “Kees” de Kluwyer

I’ll get Bean’s contract in July, but I’m guessing he will get $320K, and keep the JH parking spot for his beamer. President Gottfredson should be embarrassed. LCB Dean Kees de Kluyver is shameless. Ham Miller was a central Oregon lumberman, great history and photos of the family business here. Read the entire letter from de Kluwyer on how Bean will escape his teaching responsibilities, and other LCB news:

2.      Jim Bean returns to LCB. As you know, Jim Bean will return to LCB on July 1 as the Harry B. Miller Professor of Business. For this summer and the 2013-2014 academic year Jim will still have significant central administrative responsibilities related to (a) preparing  bylaws and staffing proposals for an independent UO board, (b) developing a systematic plan to enhance the presence at the UO of faculty in scientific and technical fields, especially those with research and teaching interests in transformational areas, (c) shaping UO capital campaign objectives, and (d) continuing the planning for the White Stag facility and development of campus interests in Portland.
Jim will also hold the title of Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Programs in LCB. In this (part-time) role he will lead the development of a proposal for a Portland-based UO interdisciplinary graduate (Masters) degree program in Sports Product Management. The proposal calls for this cutting edge program to be offered by LCB, in conjunction with faculty from A&AA, SoJC and the Law School. In the development of this proposal, Jim will be working with Ellen Devlin (consultant), Roger Best (Emeritus faculty) and the Warsaw Center faculty and staff on the design of the program, with UO Portland staff on issues of space and administrative support, and with myself, the Deans of A&AA and Journalism, and the UO’s Senior Vice Provost on issues of implementation, staffing and funding.
Full email:
From: Kees de Kluyver <kees@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Thank You for Another Great Year!
Date: June 14, 2013 4:24:13 PM P

Dear Colleagues:
With the academic year coming to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for an outstanding year of accomplishments and wish you a productive and restful summer. I hope to see you at one or more of our graduation ceremonies later today or on Monday. In the meantime, I ask you to carefully read the balance of this message for a few important announcements.  Please do not hesitate to call or visit if you have any questions.
1.      We have two “seniors” in the Dean’s office. Sergio Koreisha and Dave Boush will have the new title of Senior Associate Dean effective July 1. This change was made in view of recent and pending internal organizational changes (John Hull’s promotion to Assistant Dean for Center Operations, Jim Bean’s appointment as a part-time Associate Dean – see below) and to more closely resemble the most prevalent academic structures in peer business schools.  
2.      Jim Bean returns to LCB. As you know, Jim Bean will return to LCB on July 1 as the Harry B. Miller Professor of Business. For this summer and the 2013-2014 academic year Jim will still have significant central administrative responsibilities related to (a) preparing  bylaws and staffing proposals for an independent UO board, (b) developing a systematic plan to enhance the presence at the UO of faculty in scientific and technical fields, especially those with research and teaching interests in transformational areas, (c) shaping UO capital campaign objectives, and (d) continuing the planning for the White Stag facility and development of campus interests in Portland.
Jim will also hold the title of Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Programs in LCB. In this (part-time) role he will lead the development of a proposal for a Portland-based UO interdisciplinary graduate (Masters) degree program in Sports Product Management. The proposal calls for this cutting edge program to be offered by LCB, in conjunction with faculty from A&AA, SoJC and the Law School. In the development of this proposal, Jim will be working with Ellen Devlin (consultant), Roger Best (Emeritus faculty) and the Warsaw Center faculty and staff on the design of the program, with UO Portland staff on issues of space and administrative support, and with myself, the Deans of A&AA and Journalism, and the UO’s Senior Vice Provost on issues of implementation, staffing and funding.
3.      Two new additions to the BoA. I am pleased to announce two outstanding individuals have joined the BoA:
·         Ross J. Kari recently retired from the position of chief financial officer of Freddie Mac. He held this position since September 2009 and was responsible for the company’s financial controls, accounting, investor relations, financial planning and reporting, tax, capital oversight, and compliance with the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley. Additionally, he oversaw the Investment and Capital Markets division and management of Freddie Mac’s mortgage investment activities.
Ross is a veteran finance executive with broad experience in the mortgage business and financial services industry. Previously, he served as chief financial officer of Fifth Third Bancorp in Cincinnati, Ohio. Before joining Fifth Third, Ross served as executive vice president and CFO of Safeco Corporation in Seattle where he managed a team of 250 financial professionals and helped grow business line revenue while enhancing essential risk management processes. From 2002 to 2006, he served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for another housing government-sponsored enterprise, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.
Ross spent a large portion of his career at Wells Fargo from 1983 to 2001, during which time he rose from senior financial analyst to executive vice president and chief financial officer. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and earned his MBA in Finance, graduating first in his class, both from the University of Oregon.
·         Merritt Richardson leads NIKE Golf’s efforts to create premium apparel and footwear for modern, athletic golfers around the world.  She is responsible for providing strategic guidance and aligning the creative ideas and energy of a team of product managers, designers and merchandisers against the needs of athletes to drive profitable growth for the business.
Prior to this role, Merritt’s experiences have ranged from administering the annual budget process for the entire company to directing the teams that create footwear for women runners; from a special assignment with the CEO to a stint in NIKE’s renowned Innovation Kitchen to overseeing the Brand’s efforts related to the 2012 London Olympics.
A native Oregonian, Merritt received a B.S. in Business Administration from Oregon State University, but her sport allegiances lie firmly behind the University of Oregon Ducks.  She is currently serving as a board member for the UO Student-Athlete Mentoring Program and is a past board member of the Oregon Club of Portland, which raises awareness and funding for UO Athletics.  She and her family are long-time devoted Duck football supporters, travelling to all games, home and away.
4.      Branding for a capital campaign. Many of you heard the brand story presentation by Chris Van Dyke at our most recent faculty meeting. Chris and the other members of the Songlines team interviewed many of you and generated distinctive themes that can be developed into a compelling message for the college. 
We plan to carry this effort forward so that, with all deliberate speed, we can identify a single differentiating slogan. To this end I have appointed a task force (Dave Boush, John Hull, Jim Engelhardt, Rebecca Monro, Katie Rohrer) whose charge will be to continue the discussion over the summer and into the fall.  They will talk with many of you who were interviewed by Songlines and any of you who wish to weigh in for the first time.
Perhaps most importantly, they will coordinate with Tim Clevenger, the newly-appointed Associate Vice President for Communications, Marketing and Brand Management to align our branding with the University’s efforts. Once we land on a single message, the task force will develop a full marketing communications campaign that we can present to potential donors to roll out in early 2014.
5.      Building Issues. Work on the Chiles Exterior Renovation project will begin on Tuesday, June 18.  For the first week scaffolding and temporary fencing will be installed and other prep work will take place.  The demo work of the bricks is set to begin around June 27.  The Chiles Complex will be closed off during the project with the exception of the IS/IT Offices and Building Management on the 3rd floor of Chiles.  The demolition will be noisy and staff most impacted will be temporarily moved.  Classrooms in Peterson & Lillis that are most impacted have been closed for the summer. The work will continue through the first part of September.  As the project progresses, we will provide updates related to timelines.   
Please note:
o   293 Anstett will serve as the Technology Lab space for Summer 2013, with 30 computers and one printer available for student use.
o   262 Lillis will be the Technology Classroom (takes the place of 225 Chiles),with 30 computers available for student use.
o   The BRI is closed during the summer — We will keep Katie Mercurio & Ben Foster up to date if any opportunities open up for its use
o   Access to Building Management and the Information Services Staff can be gained through 3rd floor of Chiles; the Lab area will be closed off
o   Classrooms in Peterson, Lillis & Chiles that are closed for summer:  Peterson (101, 102, 103, 105, 107); Chiles (128, 225 & 1225A & 125B); Lillis (111, 211)
o   The bike lockers between Chiles & Lillis will not be accessible.  If you have one, the Parking & Transportation area either already has or will contact you with a new space for summer.
If you have any questions about any of these building issues, please contact Frank Sharpy at extension 6-4794, Shandon Bates at extension 6-3814, or me.  We look forward finishing the update of Chiles.  Your patience is appreciated.
            Cordially,
            Kees
Cornelis A. “Kees” de Kluyver, Dean
Rippey Distinguished Professor
Lundquist College of Business
1208 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403
(541) 346-3300

KdK/tab

Update: UO MBA’s and Kees de Kluyver

1/7/2013: If you believe the WSJ on these things, de Kluyver’s decision to increase UO’s MBA tuition by 50% may not have been totally prescient.

9/4/2012: Diane Dietz of the RG has a comprehensive story on UO’s MBA programs, with many interesting quotes from LCB Dean Kees de Kluyver, here:

They [University of Washington, the University of Arizona and the major California universities] were at tuition levels north of $65,000 or $70,000 (for two year degrees). We were lagging at levels half or less than that,” he said. “If you want to be taken seriously, you can not be priced half somebody else’s offering, because you simply will not be considered.” At half price, it’s impossible to sell the program as a Mercedes, he said. …

Meanwhile, the UO is planning to shift its Portland-based Executive MBA program out of stall. The Executive MBA program was ripe for a revamp last fall after de Kluyver hired a new director, Wes Balda, an academic with experience in creating graduate-level business education programs, including at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. … But after seven months, Balda resigned.

As of June, Balda was still on the payroll for $150K. de Kluyver gets $315K plus a $30K “overload”, but no beemer. Provost Bean has failed to deliver with the Portland programs, as with most everything else he’s touched. Lorraine Davis’s efforts to mop this one up are here.

Portland, Huron, Diversity

12/30/2011: Readers have asked me to get information on the cost and plans for UO – Portland, for the Huron consulting contracts, and for info on the VP for Diversity search. I’ve been asking VP for Portland Wendy Larson for the Portland info, and I’ve filed PR requests for Huron and Diversity.

Rumor has it that Portland is losing ~$3.5 million a year, that the Huron contracts are not shrinking, and that there are three finalists for the campus visits for the VP for diversity Let me know if you have any specific tips or questions on these issues.

UO is "Rogue of the Week"?

11/7/2009: When will we be rid of Frohnmayer’s inane plan for the White Stag sign? Not soon, unless Provost Bean pays $100,000. From the editors of Willamette Week:

The bizarre tale of the “Made in Oregon” sign’s fate just keeps getting weirder. Truth be told, the Rogue Desk would rather eat glass than revisit this topic. But time is not on our side. Only three weeks remain until the holiday season officially begins—when the sign’s owner traditionally turns on the red nose atop the leaping White Stag. This year would mark the 50th anniversary of Rudolph in Portland. But Ramsay Signs President Darryl Paulsen turned off the sign in October, and it now appears possible the sign may stay dark during the holiday season. Yet Paulsen isn’t the Rogue here. On behalf of all children and their kid-at-heart relatives, the Rogue Desk is singling out the University of Oregon for getting us into this mess. We’ll admit it’s difficult to ascribe blame in this situation. But it was the U of O that last winter took steps to put its moniker on the sign. Most everyone knows how this ended. By September, the university said it was walking away from the sign.

Meantime, Paulsen says the university now owes him about $100,000 for the design work and permitting fees his company generated during the two-year period it worked with the university to change the sign. (UO won’t acknowledge the amount of the bill, saying only that it’s negotiating.)… “We are actively working with Daryl Paulson [sic] and Ramsay sign to come to an arrangement,” Jim Bean, UO senior vice president and provost, wrote in an email to WW. Paulsen is more direct. “If they’re actively working on a solution, that’s good,” he says. “It will save them a lawsuit.”

Bean is on record (actually, video) as saying that the money for the sign would come from UO Foundation funds – presumably some anonymous donor will also pay for not changing the sign? Or will UO just use the student tuition surcharge for this?

10/1/09: The Daily Emerald explains that President Lariviere decided not to spend another dime of UO money on Frohnmayer’s “Old Town” sign craziness. The rumor is that Lariviere is also going to dump Moseley’s UO-Bend programs as soon as feasible. Lots of other good rumors. Early days, but it’s hard to avoid a strange and unfamiliar feeling of optimism about UO.

Old town sign

9/18/2009:

OK, we’re starting to like this Lariviere guy. First he ditched Frohnmayer’s weird plan to have students graduate first, then take exams. Now, from the Oregonian, it seems he is going to abandon Dave’s attempt to blow $1 million of UO money on the Portland Old Town sign – or maybe he’s just a better bargainer.

University President Richard Lariviere said today that the UO’s lease on the sign is up at the end of the month and he’s not sure that the university will renew it. … the university is questioning whether it’s worth paying $850,000 for the sign, plus $130,000 to $150,000 a year to light and maintain it.

For once there is none of the doublespeak Provost Bean has been giving the faculty about how the $1 million was an imaginary number, and it actually wasn’t going to cost us anything, really. We’ve got you on youtube Jim – and we’ve finally figured out how to make the video start right when the potential misrepresentation of the actual facts begins. Just click the image.

Anyway, what a change from back in May, when the RG editors had to take Frohnmayer to task for failing to defend Professor Sohlberg from the mob that was incited by this RG story on the Autzen O sign. Of course, signs are just signs. Here’s hoping Lariviere isn’t all hat, and gets to the substance soon. Like maybe a few administrative changes.

$1 million "Embarassment"

7/30/2009: The RG has an editorial about the Portland sign, mentioning the cost (over $1 million for the sign itself) and arguing that UO administrators should have better things to do with their time.

“The sign project is an eyebrow-raising expenditure in light of the state’s budget woes, which will mean significant tuition increases for universities across the state. And it does little to dispel criticism that the UO spends irresponsible sums on marketing and branding.”

It seems like it would be easy enough to pull the plug on this – why hasn’t President Larviviere spoken out on it?

Made in Oregon

7/14/2009: WWeek reports Portland’s Landmarks Commission has rejected UO’s proposal to change the White Stag sign and put a giant O on the building’s water tower. While Provost Jim Bean claimed the changes wouldn’t cost anything he – as usual – refused to document that, and most people thought UO would spend about $1 million on this. We hope Pres Lariviere will drop this effort, which was one of Frohnmayer’s pet “hot brand” projects, and spend the money on something academic.