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Eckstein aces game theory, Holmes flunks.

12/7/2011: VP for students Robin Holmes gave the UO students an ultimatum: Vote for the administration’s version of your new student union, or you will get nothing:

Holmes also said the administration will respect the student vote. If the referendum is rejected, the projects will not be built and the facilities will remain as they are.

I’m no economist, but this is bullshit. Draw the game tree, do the backwards induction and find the unique pure strategy sub-game perfect Nash equilibrium. If the students vote against the administration’s plan, will it then really be in VP Holmes’ best interests to stop the EMU renovation? Of course not – that’s not going to get her a job as president somewhere. And ASUO President Ben Eckstein called her bluff. On Friday the students voted against her plan. Today VP Holmes folded and, via Greg Bolt in the RG, she told the students she would negotiate:

In voting that wrapped up Friday, 57 percent of students casting ballots disapproved of the EMU project and 52 percent rejected the recreation center. More than 4,600 students voted.
Holmes said everything will be on the table in talks with students, including scaling back the project to reduce the fee to pay for it.

UO students are getting a good education. Our administrators need a few more classes. Explain. 20 points possible.


  1. Anonymous 12/07/2011


  2. Anonymous 12/07/2011

    Given the pricey EMU and Student Rec Center project, almost the cost of the Arena, it seems that the UO adminisration is looking to make UO a pricey academic destination resort attractive to out-of-state students willing to pay big bucks. Sort of a “Stanford North.” What does tuition, room and board at Stanford cost these days? All these grandiose projects will make UO less and less affordable to Oregon students, essentially pricing lower paying Oregon students out of UO. Well, they can always go to OSU, PSU, community colleges, etc if they can’t afford the future UO.

    I think the UO administration needs to tone down their extravagant plans and/or put in more state and donor funding to reduce student costs on these projects. And they need to be more expandable down the road to accommodate future growth with minimal impact on existing facilities. Something they apparently didn’t do with the last Student Rec Center upgrade in the late 90’s.

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