athletics success hurts academic side

2/14/2011: Stefan Verbano of the ODE quotes former UO Business School Dean and current marketing Prof Dennis Howard – strange, he doesn’t look like a revolutionary threat to the established order – on the link between athletic contributions and the real University of Oregon:

“It’s called a donation or a contribution … when, in fact, as we have discovered in our research … it’s a transaction,” Howard said. “It has nothing to do with giving back to the University or a philanthropic motive. It is purely and simply a commercial transaction in which the individual in paying for tangible benefits: better seat location, access to the Autzen Club amenities. All of those things are driving those transactions.”

A quirk in federal tax law makes 80% of those “donations” tax-deductible – meaning the federal and state government pays about 40% of them.

President Lariviere can do 2 simple things to fix this: require that AD Rob Mullens give academic donations full credit when he doles out perks, and/or tax the donations and give the revenue to the academic side. Both have been done at other schools, with good results.

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