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Why Dave Frohnmayer is not an acceptable interim President

Update: Frohnmayer is now out and I’m not going to waste my time finishing this post. If you still care, links to all the documents mentioned below are available on this site, just click on the labels below. Email me if you want a copy of his email threatening me with a “defamation per se” lawsuit over the state audit of his contracts.

12/4/2011: Rumor is that Jim Bean has withdrawn his candidacy or will as soon as he checks his email. That leaves Frohnmayer as the Board’s leading potential insider alternative to Berdahl.

Here is Frohnmayer’s 2009 golden parachute sabbatical contract, negotiated with his pal George Pernsteiner. It took me three months and two petitions to the DOJ to force OUS lawyer Ryan Hagemann to produce this contract. It’s not hard to see why. Here’s a video clip of Frohnmayer trying to convince the UO faculty to go along with Pernsteiner’s plan for “voluntary furloughs.”

This was right after Pernsteiner had given Frohnmayer a $150,000 bonus, and taken a raise for himself – which OUS spokesperson Di Saunders then tried to hide from the Oregonian, just as they’d tried to hide Frohnmayer’s previous raises, and who paid for them.

Frohnmayer spent his sabbatical restarting his legal career, not doing the research he claimed he would do. Here’s the state audits division investigation report. He had to write a check refunding UO money.

He was paid for retroactive summer contracts Russ Tomlin set up for him, after the lack of written contracts had been reported. Shades of Mike Bellotti.

Frohnmayer never accepted responsibility for Bellotti, but blamed it all on his scapegoat, Melinda Grier. That’s leadership for you.

He appointed Pat Kilkenny AD, after Kilkenny started making large donations to his Fanconi Foundation. Two weeks before stepping down as President he signed a secret deal with Kilkenny, giving the athletic department half off on overhead and requiring the academic side to pay them $375,000 for using the Autzen skybox.

Here’s his current 600 hours contract with the Law School. Michael Moffitt is now keeping him on a short leash, spelling out what research he (or more likely his former special assistant, Jungian psychologist, and current “leadership” co-teacher Barbara West) must accomplish this year:
Dave’s first 5 years at UO were pretty good for UO. Then came the WRC, Pat Kilkenny, the post-heart-surgery personality changes, the anger, the contempt for the faculty, the sell-outs, and the special deals for his friends in the central administration: John Moseley, Lorraine Davis, Dan Williams.

Rumor is that Frohnmayer’s former secretary Carol Rydbom spent a year combing through his presidential papers (while on the UO payroll, of course) before transferring them to the UO archives. I wonder what was in the parts that didn’t make the cut? I wonder what she missed, and what is in those letters and emails that did make it into the archives.

No more of Frohnmayer’s old guard. No more Frohnmayer. Unacceptable.


  1. Anonymous 12/04/2011

    How about Michael Moffitt? Lots of conflict resolution coming down.

  2. Anonymous 12/04/2011

    Margie Paris.

  3. Anonymous 12/04/2011

    Let’s not forget Frohnmayer’s egregious removal of the Museum of Art from the Provost’s control because several donors very high in the last campaign threatened to make a highly public announcement of their withdrawal of all support from the UO if Frohnmayer did not follow their dictates. Luckily, the faculty refused to allow many of those dictates to be slavishly followed, avoiding an absolute disaster.

  4. Anonymous 12/05/2011

    UOM: You left Moseley off the unacceptable interimt president’s list, implying he’s acceptable?

  5. Anonymous 12/07/2011

    It’s called the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, not the “Fanconi Foundation,” as you repeatedly incorrectly refer to it. Attention to detail is not your strong suit.

    There was also no quid pro agreement; that proposition is preposterous. Even if there was, Oregon law expressly exempts nonprofit donations from creating conflicts of interest.

    You’re just wrong, plain and simple. Not that you care.

  6. UO Matters 12/07/2011

    Hi Dave, thanks for clarifying these points for our readers. Anything else you want to correct on this post? I’ve got the dates for the donations and your deals with Kilkenny correct, I hope?

  7. Anonymous 12/07/2011

    I’m not Dave, but I know him well. I have plenty more to correct–on this and many other issues–and will do so at a later time. The amount of damage that your false statements have caused is inexcusable and merits public acknowledgement and censure.

  8. UO Matters 12/07/2011

    Whenever – the internet is open most all the time.

  9. Anonymous 12/07/2011

    If “Anonymous” above really is a friend of Dave, he will drop this issue, walk away, and tell Dave to do the same. Follow the links. UOM has documents to support each of his claims. And in case you haven’t been reading his blog for long, he is absolutely unrelenting.

  10. Anonymous 12/08/2011

    Anonymous to Anonymous–you know not of which you speak. I am very familiar with this blog. It is only unrelenting in the sense that it is unrelentingly fallacious. That’s the honest truth and I’m sorry that you have been deceived.

  11. UO Matters 12/08/2011

    Give me an example – with the url and quoting the exact words – of a substantive, fallacious statement about Dave Frohnmayer on this blog.

  12. Anonymous 12/08/2011

    Happy to oblige.

    In this post, you write, “[Frohnmayer] appointed Pat Kilkenny AD, after Kilkenny started making large donations to his Fanconi Foundation.” You’ve made this type of statement many times before in an attempt to imply that there was a quid pro quo deal regarding the AD position. See also: (in that post, you also write, “But [the donations] create an obvious potential for a conflict of interest”).

    This insinuation is patently fallacious. Pat Kilkenny started making large donations to the FA Research Fund long before the position was even open (I’m precluded from giving the exact dates and amounts of these early donations because of confidentiality). In addition, Kilkenny has continued to be a significant contributor to the Fund after he left his position at the UO in the summer of 2009. According to the FA Research Fund 2011 Donor Newsletter, Kilkenny gave between $50,000-$99,999 between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.

    You have been told repeatedly that Kilkenny has very strong personal reasons for donating to the FA Research Fund that are wholly unrelated to his relationship to Dave Frohnmayer or the University of Oregon. One of his primary motivations was learning that his classmate at the U of O also has children afflicted with this disease. Yet, you continue to insinuate that his donations were related to his desire to be Athletic Director. This is completely baseless and untrue.

    I also want to respond to your statement in the earlier post alleging that the donations created a conflict of interest. As you’ve also been told repeatedly, Oregon law expressly exempts nonprofit donations from creating conflicts of interest. I have reproduced the relevant Oregon Code below.

    ORS 244.020

    (12) “Potential conflict of interest” means any action or any decision or recommendation by a person acting in a capacity as a public official . . . unless the pecuniary benefit or detriment arises out of the following:
    (c) Membership in or membership on the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation that is tax-exempt under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Frankly, many people find it reprehensible that you so shamelessly exploit a personal tragedy as part of your bizarre smear campaign.

  13. UO Matters 12/08/2011

    Thanks, Anon.

    I get it that you don’t like my interpretation of the facts regarding Frohnmayer, Kilkenny, and the Fanconi donations.

    I get it that you say you know other facts – which you won’t document – that you believe argue against my interpretation.

    But are any of my reported facts incorrect?

  14. Anonymous 12/08/2011

    (not sure if my previous post went up or not)

    Your facts are irrelevant. It’s your insinuation that is incorrect.

    To the extent you consider the statement about the donations creating a conflict of interest a “reported fact,” then yes, that is incorrect. As I showed.

    Also, I documented the donations Kilkenny made after leaving the UO. That argues against your interpretation. Ask the Fund for a copy of the donor newsletter and see for yourself. Also, make a donation.

    That’s all I have for the night and the next few weeks.

  15. UO Matters 12/08/2011

    My facts are irrelevant?

    Sleep well, gentle friend.

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