UO Foundation’s endowment strategies pay off – but where does money go?

Diane Dietz has the good news here:

The University of Oregon Foundation proved itself among the best in the country for shepherding university endowment cash in 2016 — and far better than Harvard or Princeton.

The overall UO endowment grew 5.5 percent last year compared with an average loss of 2.2 percent for peer endowments, according to the annual survey by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the money manager Commonfund.

About 2.4 percent of the UO’s gains came from investment returns, placing the UO in the top 5 percent of its peers. The rest of the growth came from donations. …

Not bad, considering that the S&P returned about 1.4% for the FY, with dividends reinvested. But we’ll have to wait for the Foundation to get around to releasing its tax return to see their expenses. Their IRS 990 was due Nov 15, but they typically ask for the maximum allowed extension – 6 months.

And the Foundation is not required to release much information about where their money goes. They dropped the athletic breakout from their audited financial statements years ago, and threatened to sue me for defamation when I pointed that out publicly, and released the data I could find:

UO Divest sit-in wins the day, as Foundation’s Jay Namyet joins CO2 boycott

9/12/2016: The Emerald has the story here, and it’s on the UO Divest facebook page here. Back in April, Foundation CFO Jay Namyet was writing nastygrams like this to our students about their efforts to get the secretive UO Foundation to join the CO2 divestment movement:

Subject: RE: follow up meeting
Date: 2016/03/30 14:14
From: Jay Namyet <jnamyet@uofoundation.org>
To: [UO Divest undergraduate student]

[UO Divest undergraduate student],
No, indeed we did not. As I told you, based on your conduct, our dialogue was over. I hope in years to come you will appreciate a life’s lesson in this affair. That is what a university experience is all about.
Regards,
Jay

From: [UO Divest undergraduate student]
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 2:11 PM
To: Jay Namyet <jnamyet@uofoundation.org>
Subject: RE: follow up meeting

Hi Jay,
I know we didn’t end our last meeting on the best note, but we’d be happy to try and get a fresh start and meet again to discuss divestment sometime this term if you’re willing. Let me know.
Sincerely,
[UO Divest undergraduate student]

On 2015/04/09 18:30, Jay Namyet wrote:
Great, we are in agreement then, no more dialogue.
Sent from Outlook [1]

And

On 2015/04/09 10:05, Jay Namyet wrote:

[UO Divest undergraduate student],

When I asked you all why you were meeting with the president, the response I got was to learn his personal thoughts about this issue.

Turns out, not really.

As is indicated by [UO Divest undergraduate student] below in [pronoun redacted] email to the president’s office, and just as you three did with me this morning, this is about pressing your argument for divestment even though you have already received responses from all parties involved.

I offered an olive branch to you all last meeting and was the basis for today’s meeting. You all chose to ignore that and continue to beat the same drum of divestment.

I don’t appreciate being lied to about your intent of meeting with the president and I don’t appreciate your not honoring the reason for meeting today with me.

As a result, you have now lost the opportunity for further dialogue with me.

Jay

I’m mystified as to why Namyet didn’t want the students to talk to the President of their university, but whatever.

After a Johnson Hall sit-in, a free-speech controversy that sucked in FIRE, and some outraged letters from UO donors he and Weinhold came back to the table, and are now true believers:

Investment Management Statement

The University of Oregon Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that exists for the sole purpose of supporting the academic mission of the university. We carry out our mission through prudent investment management, maximizing the value of private gifts for the benefit of the university and honoring donor intent.
Our strategy is to invest in a diverse set of smart, longer-term investments. This approach has created a well-diversified, progressive portfolio whose performance ranks in the top 10 percent nationally of all university endowments. Our philosophy and approach are guided by making prudent, socially and environmentally responsible investments that advance the financial objectives needed to support the university’s academic mission.
We are proud to lead the Pac-12 in adopting the first ever environmental, social and governance considerations to help inform our investment decisions. We believe that green energy initiatives, such as solar and wind power, sustainable forestry, and organic farming will steadily replace investments in carbon-based fuel sources, and we do not have any investments in coal. We intend to let those carbon-based investments –which were initiated many years ago– expire without renewal, ending our investment in carbon-based fuel sources.
Our responsibility is to balance financial support for today’s students, faculty and staff, with those of future generations at the university. We are currently providing more than $45 million each year in direct student, academic and operational funding to support the academic growth of our university and students. We are pleased that with our approach, we continue to successfully deliver on that mission.
Jay Namyet
Chief Investment Officer

 

4/22/2016:  Students arrange marriage of Duck & CO2, mock secretive UO Foundation

Continue reading

The UO Foundation’s IRS 990 was due Nov 15. They’ve taken 2 extensions.

Their final deadline is May 15th. The IRS 990 form  is one of the few sources of information the secretive foundation will now reveal, other than a bare-bones state required independent audit. The Foundation used to also publish an annual report with data on how much money went to athletics, etc. But since Paul Weinhold took over as CEO, that has been stopped.

Why the filing delays? I don’t know, the OSU Foundation always manages to get theirs in on time. Here is the UOFs 990 for last year, filed on the last possible day. These delays mean that the data on salaries and perqs for the Foundation’s top officials is almost 2 years old by the time it’s public. A few years ago, in response to complaints, the IRS tightened the rules on second extensions and required non-profits give an explanation for the delay. As you can see there’s there’s not much teeth behind that:

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 9.12.34 PM

NYT: UO Foundation’s Namyet and Weinhold agree to divest from coal!

The New York Times has the wonderful news here.

Sorry, the sad truth is that Namyet and Weinhold are still fighting our students’ calls for divestment. So Wall Street is doing it for them. JH banner or no JH banner. Or, as the libertarians would say, Free Minds and Free Markets. Too bad the Foundation didn’t listen to our students and get out in 2013:

The world’s largest coal company, the Peabody Energy Corporation, warned on Wednesday that it might have to file for bankruptcy protection as it struggles to keep up with its debt payments.

In a securities filing, Peabody said waning demand for coal around the world and stiffer regulations had raised “substantial doubt” about whether the company could continue to operate outside bankruptcy.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 11.03.12 AM

Paul Weinhold’s UO Foundation murky about money for Track Town / IAAF bid

12/13/2015 update: Jeff Manning’s new report in the Oregonian, here, lays out what is known so far, and quotes the French Ministry of Justice:

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 9.59.11 AM

“The object is to determine the conditions under which the hosting decision was taken,” said France’s Ministry of Justice said in a statement, “and whether corruption offenses, money laundering or a conspiracy to benefit from criminal association have been committed in France.”

If the Foundation threatens to sue the French for defamation over that “money laundering” phrase, as they once did to me, I can recommend several excellent lawyers who are not impressed by the blustery language of the Foundation’s attorney, Thomas Herrmann of  Gleaves Swearingen:

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 10.11.06 AM

That said there is no mention in the story indicating that the French are specifically investigating the secretive UO Foundation, although Manning shows they have been heavily involved in the bidding and the efforts to secure $30M-$40M in state money:

The University of Oregon Foundation is also throwing all its weight behind the championships. “On behalf of the University of Oregon Foundation, please accept this letter as our written guarantee that the UO Foundation will cover any potential shortfall of the future organizing committee budget of the IAAF World Championships in Eugene in 2021,” wrote Paul Weinhold, the foundation’s chief executive, in a letter to the track and field federation.

Weinhold insists the guarantee poses no risk for the non-profit.

The foundation is also playing a key role in a massive renovation of Hayward Field in time for the championships. The current plan calls for the foundation to manage a privately funded rebuild that will triple seating capacity to 30,000.

(Also see video below).

FWIW, the Oregonian comments are running heavily against state subsidies.

The UO Foundation’s 990 report for the FY ending June 30 2015 was due at the IRS on November 15th. These reports give some basic financial information. However, the Foundation typically runs out the 2 allowable 3 month extensions until the last possible day, meaning we won’t know have even this basic financial data until June 15th, nearly a year after the FY closes.

Oregonian sports reporter Ken Goe has more with Lananna, here:

At a meeting in February of 2015 in Monaco, Lananna and Fasulo said they told Diack they didn’t know if they could keep their coalition of public and private partners together if they had to draw up a new bid for 2021 and go through another formal process

They said Diack listened politely but made no commitment.

“He said he would reflect upon it,” Lananna said.

Lananna said they didn’t offer Diack anything that even could be interpreted as a bribe. Nor, he said, did Diack request anything.

“Absolutely not,” Lananna said. “Nothing, in any way, shape or form. Nothing was asked, implied or suggested. We did not. He did not. No.”

Not even a Rolex?

So now our university’s foundation is subsidizing a track meet and sinking money into yet another sports project, right in the middle of what is supposedly a $2B academic fundraising campaign. No surprises as to what our VP for Development is now spending his time on:

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 9.46.20 AM

And it looks like UO’s Director of State Affairs Hans Bernard is going to be spending his time this session lobbying the legislature for money for sports, rather than for academics:

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 9.51.21 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-13 at 9.51.34 AM

And who is paying Vin Lananna to organize all this? UO’s Public Records Office really doesn’t want to answer these kinds of questions, which are now coming in from the BBC among others:

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 9.56.47 AM

Meanwhile the RG, London Times, BBC, WSJ and the Oregonian are asking Gov. Kate Brown’s office for more, public records, including emails going back to Kitzhaber. Maybe Cylvia Hayes got a contract for making the IAAF sustainably carbon neutral?

12/10/2015: Update: UO public records office hid Lananna / Nike emails until RG petitioned DA

That’s the report from Diane Dietz in the Register Guard, here:

French prosecutors on Thursday confirmed they have opened an investigation into the decision to award the 2021 track world championships to Eugene without an open bidding process.

The financial prosecutors’ office in Paris said it aims to determine whether corruption, money laundering or other crimes may have been committed in the International Association of Athletics Federations’ decision and, if so, whether prosecuting them might fall within French jurisdiction.

The Eugene bid effort was led by Track Town USA, a Eugene nonprofit headed by Vin Lananna, who is also a top executive at the University of Oregon Athletic Department.

…  The January 2015 email, sent three months before the surprise IAAF vote to award the 2021 championships to Eugene, was from a Nike executive to Lananna on the subject of Lananna’s pitch for the 2021 championships. The Nike official said that the incoming chairman of the IAAF, Sebastian Coe, was in favor of the Eugene bid. In addition to his IAAF role, Coe was working for Nike at the time, and Nike Chairman Phil Knight favors Eugene for the IAAF meet.

The university released the document in October only after the newspaper filed an appeal the Lane County District Attorney’s Office.

Update: Ken Goe in the Oregonian:

“We presented the bid with complete transparency in 2019,” Lananna said. “The only thing different about the ’19 budget and the ’21 budget is that we crossed out the number on the top of the budget, and it went from ’19 to ’21.”

Complete transparency. Really? UO’s public records office still won’t release the bid information, or the NCAA report on who pays Lananna.

Update: French prosecutors probe Lananna  / Diack deal for Eugene’s 2021 IAAF championships

The RG has a story with the latest quotes from Lananna, here:

“We stand by our bid, we stand by the integrity of the bid and we are 100 percent confident that there has been nothing outside of what are the norms of the presentation of an IAAF bid,” Lananna said Wednesday during a news conference attended by Portland mayor Charlie Hales at the Oregon Convention Center, which will host the World Indoor meet March 17-20.

Given that past IAAF president Lamine Diack has been arrested over allegations that he took a $1M Russian bribe to cover up doping, among many other IAAF scandals, this doesn’t seem like a good time to be talking about IAAF norms. It also conflicts with the message new IAAF president Seb Coe must get out regarding his reform efforts, if he wants to keep his job. And Coe has already said that Diack’s decision was flawed:

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 6.53.21 PM

This video of Track Town CEO Mike Reilly promising Diack that Eugene will accommodate the “IAAF Family” in the kinds of luxurious hotels to which they have become accustomed is not going to help:

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 9.00.31 PM

I wonder who will pay for that? Oregon taxpayers, if UO’s Hans Bernard gets his way.

12/9/2015: The BBC’s Mark Daly has the latest, here:

The decision by the scandal-hit IAAF to award the 2021 World Athletics Championships to the American city of Eugene is being investigated by French prosecutors, the BBC has learned.

… Other emails seen by the BBC reveal that Lananna made at least one trip to Europe to visit Diack a few weeks after this email was written.

BBC sources have confirmed French investigators want to know more about how Diack arrived at the decision to give Eugene the event.

French police, instructed by lead financial prosecutor Elaine Houlette, have already arrested and questioned Lamine Diack, his legal adviser Habib Cisse and Gabriel Dolle, the former long-standing head of the IAAF’s anti-doping unit. …

Meanwhile UO’s State Affairs Director Hans Bernard plans to hit up the state legislature for ~$30M to renovate Hayward Field and subsidize the IAAF championships, while claiming this would not be a trade off for academically focused funding. Sure it wouldn’t:

 Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 11.30.52 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 11.31.04 AM

Other posts here. The RG’s Diane Dietz had an excellent series of reports on this last fall:

Bid for world track meet lined with cash:

By Diane Dietz
The Register-Guard
APPEARED IN PRINT: WEDNESDAY, NOV. 26, 2014, PAGE A1

When the world track governing body last week turned down Eugene’s bid to host the world championships in 2019, it wasn’t for lack of multimillion-dollar promises made by officials from Oregon, the University of Oregon and the University of Oregon Foundation, newly available bid information shows.

Paul Weinhold, CEO of the UO Foundation, appeared before the international body as a man with wherewithal who “manages $1 billion worth of assets.”

Weinhold unequivocally pledged that the UO Foundation — keeper of the university’s donated scholarship, research and athletics funds — would provide financial guarantees against loss if Eugene-based TrackTown USA won the bid to bring the two-week athletics event to Eugene and the UO campus.

Weinhold also appeared to obligate university dollars.

“To be clear,” Weinhold told the 27 members of the international body, “the University of Oregon and the foundation are unified in our financial commitment to a successful World Championship in 2019.”

Meanwhile, Gov. John Kitzhaber, in a video played at the governing body’s meeting in Monaco, promised to ask the state Legislature to pony up $40 million to help fund the event. …

And UO board bars the public from ‘training’ event:

By Diane Dietz
The Register-Guard
APPEARED IN PRINT: SUNDAY, SEPT. 14, 2014, PAGE B3

The University of Oregon Board of Trustees excluded a newspaper reporter and a blogger from its Saturday morning meeting at the Hilton Eugene.

Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms said the board had convened for a “training” about the operations of TrackTown USA and the public — and its media representatives — were excluded.

Trustees need to understand the nonprofit TrackTown’s operations because, even though it’s not an official part of the university, TrackTown stages events at Hayward Field, Wilhelms said.

“It’s important to understand the interplay between the two,” she said.

Saturday marked a third day of meetings for the new UO board, which took charge of the university in July.

Board members and university administrators — many in yellow and green regalia — attended the 8:30 a.m. breakfast meeting it the Hilton Eugene’s 12th-floor Vista room, which has floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular views of the city.

The plan was to finish the board’s business in time for kickoff at Autzen Stadium. A quorum of the board planned to attend the game. The agenda emphasized the gathering was a “social event only,” according to the board’s agenda.

The nature of the Saturday morning meeting evolved daily through the board’s fall session. On Wednesday, the agenda posted on the trustees’ website said this: “Public Meeting, Eugene Hilton, Vista Room.”

On Thursday, the first day of the board’s fall meeting, Chairman Chuck Lillis began describing the Saturday meeting — and was interrupted by Wilhelms.

“There’s nothing like having a coach,” Lillis said, before continuing.

“We’re going to hear a discussion. It will be in a nonpublic environment about the possibility of the state of Oregon hosting, centered in Eugene, the world championships of track and field.” …

UO’s Public Records Office has repeatedly stalled the release of public records related to this bid.

IAAF sells 2021 Track Championships to Eugene w/o public bidding

Update: UO’s public records office has been sitting on the RG’s request for documents about the championship bidding process since June 15. PR log here:

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 4.08.21 PM

4/16/2015 update: IAAF sells 2021 Track Championships to Eugene w/o public bidding

The BBC has the surprising news here:

The 2021 World Athletics Championships will be held in Eugene, Oregon, after the sport’s governing body bypassed the normal bidding process. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it was “a unique strategic opportunity” to hold the event in the United States for the first time. IAAF chief Lamine Diack said the decision was taken “in the interest of the global development of our sport”.

How much public money did the UO Foundation, Eugene, and the State secretly promise this time? I don’t know, but I expect there will be some reporters digging into this latest from the scandal ridden IAAF.

1/31/2015 update: UO Public Records office finally gives RG IAAF track bid documents – but what did the Presidential Archives show?

I’ll go out on a limb and guess that Dave Hubin’s office carefully scrubbed these records before deciding what to hand over to RG News Editor Christian Wihtol. Presumably the good stuff is in UO’s Presidential Archives though – or was, until Interim GC Doug Park got his hands on them:

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 12.25.15 PM

11/25/2014: Paul Weinhold was planning to mortgage UO for Track-Town’s losing IAAF bid

This latest athletics scandal is not going to help UO hire a new President – at least not the sort we need. Diane Dietz’s blockbuster story (in the RegisterGuard tomorrow, online tonight) seems to have made UO Foundation President Paul Weinhold very nervous:

The foundation’s financial guarantee to the IAAF set no upper limit on what the foundation would have been liable for if the Eugene event had turned into a money loser. …

Weinhold said the UO Foundation faced minimal risk in agreeing to cover meet losses because TrackTown USA’s budget was thoroughly vetted and reliable [Editor: Like the Knight Arena budget?]; Kitzhaber favored the legislation that would have provided millions in state support; and the foundation had confidential side deals meant to hold the foundation harmless, Weinhold said in the interview. Weinhold declined to disclose any specifics of those side deals.

“We do not believe we had any exposure, and we had agreements in place that eliminated our exposure. That should be enough for you,” he said.

He should be nervous, given Oregon’s public meetings law, and what he says about the role of the UO Board, which is subject to that law:

Weinhold said the foundation made sure the UO leadership was informed of financial guarantees being made to the IAAF.

“There was full knowledge from the (UO) board to the (UO) president of exactly what we were doing — providing this guarantee,” Weinhold said.

Weinhold said the foundation’s plan was not presented to the Board of Trustees as a whole, but rather in conversations with individuals.

“There was a review with various people at different times — the board leadership with the president with others involved.”

The Board of Trustees didn’t object, but that did not mean that the foundation had an implied approval from the board for the venture, Weinhold said.

“I didn’t say it was implied permission. We didn’t ever talk about permission. We talked about the vision, the benefit to the University of Oregon.”

And then:

“The foundation served this same role with the World Juniors this past summer,” Weinhold told the international body, “and is serving this role with the World Indoor Championships in Portland in 2016.”

The foundation describes its public mission to the Internal Revenue Service — which grants the foundation’s nonprofit status — as “supporting the University of Oregon’s mission of education, research and entrepreneurship…”

Weinhold initially said this week that the Portland meet — not at the UO and not a UO event — was a little far afield.

“That doesn’t help the university in much of any way,” he said. Then he added, “Let me back up. It doesn’t help the university in the way that the World Juniors did, or the World Championship (would have), but it was all part of a three-part series to host the World Championships.”

The foundation believed it would have a better chance of clinching the world championships if it agreed to guarantee all three events, Weinhold said.

The foundation made sure it wouldn’t violate IRS rules by backing the track event, he said. “This was reviewed by our legal counsel and our auditors,” he said.

But after 2016, the foundation has no plans to continue to be a guarantor — “not unless there’s some benefit to the University of Oregon,” Weinhold said. …

Perhaps Eugene lost because we didn’t offer IAAF President Lamine Diack a large enough bribe? I’m guessing the Foundation will try again for 2021, with still more of our money, and even less transparency.  Full disclosure: Last year the UO Foundation threatened to sue me for defamation, for posting that they were “Money laundering for the Duck Athletic Fund”. I really don’t know what to say about this latest, except to say that Milton Friedman was right about “spending other people’s money”.

UO Board Secretary Angela Wilhelm kicked Dietz and me out of the UO Board meeting about this proposal. So say what you will about the corrupt IAAF – at least they posted the video. Vin Lananna, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, Paul Weinhold, and others trying to spend UO’s money. The whole sad thing is worth watching, but I’ve set this to start with Kitzhaber promising to chip in $20 from every Oregon taxpayer (yep, Beavers too), to help out UO’s very high-maintenance Uncle Phil:

8/2/2015 update: More trouble for the notoriously corrupt IAAF, which will be bringing its championship to Eugene in 2021 thanks to a promised subsidy of $30M in Oregon tax money from John Kitzhaber (after he got a $250K campaign gift from Phil Knight) and an open ended promise of UO Foundation support from Paul Weinhold. Page down for the video. The NYT has the drug story here:

KUALA LUMPUR — Endurance runners suspected of doping have been winning a third of Olympic and world championship medals, two news organizations said on Sunday, after a leak of thousands of blood test results from 2001-2012 threw global athletics into chaos.

Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper and Germany’s ARD/WDR broadcaster said they had obtained the secret data from the vaults of the global athletics governing body, the IAAF, supplied by a whistleblower disgusted by the extent of doping.

The news organizations showed the data to two experts, who concluded distance running was in the same state as cycling had been when Lance Armstrong won the seven Tour de France victories of which he has since been stripped.

“Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values,” the Sunday Times quoted Australian doping expert Robin Parisotto, one of the two scientists, as saying.

“So many athletes appear to have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have sat idly by and let this happen,” said Parisotto, an inventor of the test used to detect the blood doping agent EPO. …

UO Foundation releases some good fundraising data

There’s some good news coming out of the UO Foundation regarding fundraising for the 2014-15 FY, now posted on “Around the 0”. While the secretive UO Foundation releases only the barest breakdown, gifts (or more accurately, a mix of gifts and pledges) to the academic side are way up:

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 1.25.13 PM

The 2013-14 numbers were grim, and nobody bought the happy face Gottfredson and his strategic communicators put on them, here. This time around Coltrane gets credit:

Of the total, $96 million is designated for the university’s endowment, which now totals more than $700 million. [UO Development VP Mike Andreasen] said an overarching objective of the campaign is to build the endowment to levels that will allow the UO to soundly plan and implement its priorities over time.

Schill, whose first day on the job was July 1, thanked former interim President Scott Coltrane for his leadership in the public launch of the campaign and looked ahead to meeting its next challenges.

“This is a tremendous effort,” he said. “Together, we will do amazing things to create opportunities for access and excellence across the university.

Andreasen says the branding campaign was also responsible in part. To the contrary, I’ve heard rumors that donors are skeptical of the money spent on this, and on UO communications, which might explain the various reports and reorganization efforts.

Most public universities have independent foundations that manage gifts to the university, invest the endowment, and so on. State public records laws vary on whether or not the records of these foundations are covered under public records laws. The trend – in response to a series of scandals – is towards more transparency, as explained in this Student Press Law Consortium article, here:

Courts and others have often — but not always — seen public university foundations for what they are: public bodies cloaked in a thin private veneer. And they have ruled that foundations, no matter how they describe themselves, must comply with a state’s public disclosure laws. Yet, in an attempt to maintain their veil of secrecy, foundations have become increasingly adept at devising organizational structures more likely to avoid public scrutiny.

As with all open-records battles, journalists should remember that their state’s disclosure laws almost always operate as a floor rather than a ceiling. Except in very limited situations, entities are always free to disclose more than the bare minimum required by law, and sometimes can be persuaded to do so. Even if your state has neither a statute nor a court ruling declaring foundation records to be open to public scrutiny, it is important to continue seeking access, because change comes only with pressure.

Unfortunately, back in 2010 UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold managed to get Attorney General John Kroger to agree that the UO Foundation could keep its records secret – request and opinion here. That ruling does *not* extend to foundation records held by UO itself, of course.

There is a little more fundraising detail available in the Foundation’s most recent IRS 990 report for the FY ending June 2014, here. These reports are due Nov 15, but the Foundation typically gets two three month extensions so they can delay releasing the information until May 15 of the following year.

Total contributions to the UO Foundation for 2013-14 were $83M. That includes about $30M in Duck Athletic Fund seat payments, a $10M gift for the new softball stadium, and other athletic and academic gifts. Most donations were for buildings or current expenses – as you can see contributions to the endowment have not been large. (The IRS data is actual contributions, not pledges.)

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.16.08 PM

Here’s a little info on how overall donations were spent. I assume the Legacy Fund payments for the Matt Court bonds are somewhere in that big $49M bucket:

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.21.13 PM

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.24.20 PM

Civic Stadium’s replacement, PK Park, will divert money from UO academics until 2021

Today’s devastating Civic Stadium fire prompted me to look at the agreements between UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold, UO Presidents Frohnmayer and Lariviere, and Duck Athletic Directors Bellotti and Mullens for the UO Foundation guaranteed loans that financed PK Park, which became the Eugene Emerald’s replacement field.

One interesting clause shows that UO is using general unrestricted gifts to the UO Foundation – i.e. gift money that could be used for academic purposes – to subsidize the Duck Athletic Fund. Furthermore, the agreement specifies that UO’s academic side can’t reduce those athletic subsidies until the PK Park balloon loan is repaid, in 2021.

The full MOUs – which UO kept secret until I made a public records petition to the Oregon DOJ – are here:

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 9.19.45 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 9.20.09 PM

 

I’ve made a public records request for the accounting records:

Date: June 29, 2015 at 11:19:25 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Eric Roedl <roedl@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for BANNER accounting statements showing how much in UO Foundation general unrestricted gift funds and gifts designated to general operations (as distinct from Duck Athletic Fund or other contributions specifically earmarked by the donors for athletic purposes) have been allocated to the UO Athletic Department, for each of the fiscal years from 2008 to 2015.

I attach a copy of the PK Park loan MOU’s for 2009 and 2011, which note the existence of these allocations.

I’m ccing Duck AAD Eric Roedl, as he should be able to easily produce these records.

Foundation releases IRS 990 showing assets, expenses, executive salaries

Not the UO Foundation. The OSU Foundation. Their helpful public records person sent me their 990 the day after I asked for it, here.

In comparison, as in past years, the University of Oregon Foundation seems determined to drag out the release of their IRS 990 non-profit reporting form until the last possible day – May 15. Their FY closed on June 30, and the report was due Nov 15. But they’ve applied for two consecutive 3-month extensions, meaning the data will be 10.5 months stale by the time it is public.

Why the delay? Perhaps they don’t want the public to learn more about their IAAF Championship bid, or the costs of their plan to develop the EWEB land. Or perhaps they’re just being shy about their executive salaries and expenses.

I emailed UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold and Compliance Officer Erica Funk last week, asking for the reasons for the delay, but they didn’t answer.

UO Senate calls on UO Foundation to divest from fossil fuels

Jane Cramer and John Davidson have an Op-Ed in the RG, here:

The resolution calls on the UO Foundation to:

Sell its current investments in fossil fuel extraction companies.

Refrain from any future investment in fossil fuel extraction companies.

Create a process for groups to put policy proposals to the foundation board.

Create new transparency and accountability mechanisms.

Include students and faculty in setting foundation policy.

The resolution also calls on the UO president to support these requests to the foundation.

PBS interviews Frohnmayer on Fanconi Foundation

12/31/2014 update:

The PBS News Hour uses the Frohnmayer family tragedy with Fanconi’s Anemia and the UO/FSU Rose Bowl game as a hook to examine the larger issue of research on rare diseases, here:

HARI SREENIVASAN: Dr. Summar, that attention, focus, there are 7,000-plus rare genetic disorders out there. And I’m going to feel a little callous saying this, but it’s almost the best thing that can happen is a celebrity gets it.

DR. MARSHALL SUMMAR, Children’s National Medical Center: In many ways, there’s some truth to that. …

HARI SREENIVASAN: Dr. Summar, what about these other 7,000 diseases? How do they gain kind of attention, especially from the pharmaceutical companies, right?

I mean, I hate to be a capitalist about it, too, but where’s the market? If it’s only 1,000 people or 500 people, do drug companies say, OK, we will take that risk and we will put in all that money into research and development and try to find a cure, vs. going after diabetes or cancer, right?

DR. MARSHALL SUMMAR: Well, that’s actually a great question, because, historically, they didn’t. They stayed away from the rare disease field. They figured there weren’t that many patients. There wasn’t much market. …

4/26/2010: What do gifts buy?

Greg Bolt of the RG will tell you that Pat Kilkenny has been working for UO without a written contract, just like Bellotti did. Not a surprise at this point. But why did Dave Frohnmayer ever put Kilkenny in charge of the UO athletics department, and let him decide how many millions of dollars – most of it public money, or tax deductible gifts – would be spent how, and on which coach?

These things are very complicated and involve lots of mutual respect and consideration of the public interest are usually about money.

Frohnmayer received $200,000 per year in pay from donors to the UO Foundation, and a special $150,000 bonus in 2009. These payments to Frohnmayer amounted to about 3% of the entire payout from the UO endowment that year.  Who gave this money? What were the terms of the gifts? The Oregon Attorney General has ruled that the UO Foundation can keep this a secret.

But the IRS has released the data on donations from Pat Kilkenny’s “Lucky Duck Foundation” to Dave Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation. Courtesy of the IRS and www.guidestar.org. Kilkenny gave $240,000 the year before Frohnmayer appointed him as Athletic Director, and another $100,000 each year since.

This is a sad story for everyone involved, in just about every possible sense. And no one would argue that Frohnmayer benefited financially from these donations to the Fanconi Foundation. But they create an obvious potential for a conflict of interest. Frohnmayer should have immediately made them public, and recused himself from any decisions involving Pat Kilkenny. Instead he kept quiet and then appointed him UO Athletic Director and gave him control of a budget of about $60 millon, mostly public funds. Not good, Mr. Frohnmayer.

2005:

nothing

2006:

2007:

 

2008:

2009:

Not available until 11/15/2010 – assuming they run out the IRS reporting extensions again.

Matthew Kish on UO’s $2B fund drive

I’ve got a bunch of new data on the UO Foundation from various sources, but haven’t had time to put it together. Fortunately Matthew Kish of the Portland Business Journal is on it, with several recent stories:

http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/print-edition/2014/10/31/cover-story-can-2b-help-uo-take-flight.html

http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/2014/11/woeful-endowments-oregon-universities.html

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 1.38.13 PM