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Oregonians for Higher Education Excellence

5/23/2012 update. The list of supporters for this PAC is growing, and as a commenter reports it now includes a Lillis. Updates here. I don’t know that Bob Berdahl deserves credit, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

This is part of what it will take to move the independent UO board part of Lariviere’s New Partnership through the legislature. Last year the UO Foundation spent about $500,000 lobbying for it, near as I can tell.

The biggest problems with an independent board will be too much influence from sports boosters, too many of the governor’s political appointees, and too little transparency. But those problems could hardly be worse at UO than they now are, and there’s a lot of upside – so let’s roll the dice!

5/22/2012: A new PAC, formed by Tim Boyle and John von Schlegell. Secretary of State filings here. “To support measures and initiatives that enhance excellence, innovation and affordability at Oregon’s public universities” a.k.a. Lariviere’s New Partnership.

There’s big money behind this, most of it and not all of it from UO sports boosters:

5/22/2012: Click here for updates on the contributions. Thanks to Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week for the story, which I saw on And if you’re thinking of contributing, don’t neglect Sam Dotters-Katz’s SHEEN PAC, which has the same goal but slightly less cash on hand. 5/22/2012.


  1. Anonymous 05/22/2012

    This right here is the key to Oregon’s future.

  2. Anonymous 05/22/2012

    Any idea on what the combined net worth of these individuals is?

    • Anonymous 05/23/2012

      Probably at least $15.5 billion.

  3. Anonymous 05/22/2012

    So you’re saying that athletic boosters are interested in helping the academic side at UO?

    • Puppy 05/23/2012

      Of course , it says so right there in their “mission” statement (“excellence , innovation and affordability”)…just like all the initiatives at UO so clearly support the Mission…oh, wait…never mind.

  4. Old Man 05/23/2012

    Tim Boyle’s Aunt Hildegard was a visiting Research Scientist with George Streisinger and Frank Stahl in UO’s Institute of Molecular Biology. Hildegard, whose formal PhD training was in Protein Biochemistry, was a dear friend and valued colleague of the Instutute’s founders and of molecular biologists at the world’s leading research universities.

  5. Anonymous 05/24/2012

    Lillis is on board, is Lokey next?

  6. Anonymous 05/24/2012

    Given the choice between these guys and the SBHE/OUS/Kitz jokers, I’ll take the former any day. Nice to see UOMatters agrees we should Just Do It!

    • UO Matters 05/24/2012

      “Just Do it”?

      You’re really not going to make it easy for me to eat crow on this, are you? If only I had something peaty to wash it down with.

  7. Anonymous 05/24/2012

    You guys just don’t get what’s happening here, do you? C & A Consulting is operated by Bandon cranberry grower Carol Russell. Carol acts as Treasurer for dozens of political campaigns throughout Oregon — all of them for Republicans. She is also on the board of Oregonians for Food and Shelter, Oregon’s most conservative anti-environmental industry front group. Every one of the donors to this “Oregonians for Higher Education Excellence” PAC is a Republican.

    This initiative is all about Oregon’s business community (yes, including you, Lillis Business School Prof. Richards) grasping a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put the left-leaning, environmentally activist U of Oregon under its thumb, once and for all.

    You’re looking at your new “independent” board (Knight > $300,000 to Dudley, Boyle > $50,000 to Dudley, Maletis — same). Bought, paid for, and made up of Oregon’s leading Republican business leaders.

    I can’t think of a more appropriate response to UO’s fledgling labor movement than to bring in corporate America to run the campus. They know how to deal with unions. And with activist students. And with law school professors who promote environmental litigation. And with professors who protest American imperialism.

    The game is rigged, folks. You can be sure the guv is fully behind this take-over. And OSU is chortling, too, as its uppity (former) big brother gets taken to the outhouse for a spanking.

    • Anonymous 05/25/2012

      I’m not sure that it’s all too useful to think in terms of the Democratic/Republican dichotomy. Witness the fact that you denounce the (Democratatic) Governor as being “fully behind” the takeover of the “left-leaning” UO by the “conservative anti-environmental industry front group”. I guess the left-right divide isn’t what it used to be if everyone can come together, Democratic and Republican, to give us the spanking we so rightfully deserve!

  8. Anonymous 05/25/2012

    Roll the dice? An ‘upside’? Seriously hoping your cynicism meter is stuck at full tilt.

    Six months ago, some thought LaR’s firing had nothing to do with privatization. Some still think what he promoted then was ‘his deal’. Independent academic excellence as top priority, right? Hardly.

    It’s not about Dems or Repubs–it’s about men and women with a lot of money and, relatively speaking, even bigger egos. Scary, that. Results? Pain and suffering for those who find themselves servant to the opportunist, yet with a functioning will of their own. Suck-ups beware.

  9. Chicken 05/25/2012

    When you are in an inherently weak position, as UO is, the best you can hope for is to play two strong adversaries against one another: Kitz and the Dems, with their plan to convert higher ed into a souped up version of K-12, complete with bureaucracy and unions — and not a dime more money; and Republican boosters, with their corporate values, religious veneration of athletic prowess — and billions of dollars to throw around.

    In a way, the NP did exactly that, by proposing a synthesis of public and private. But it leapt ahead to an elegant solution that can instead only be arrived at through prolonged, messy political battle.

    One thing seems clear: in the future, our teaching and research will be measured, and our funding determined, by all manner of accountability metrics designed by wonks with no understanding of academic values. They will come in two flavors: Arne Duncan and Bain Capital.

    • Anonymous 05/29/2012

      Seriously, everyone here is in an inherently ‘weak’ position, meaning nobody has what they want.

      “The best you can hope for is to play two strong adversaries against another…”

      So .. you’re saying there’s a player position? Are you saying LaRiviere was playing the two sides while actually believing he was in the game and not a token player himself?? HA!

      The NP was a nice fantasy and actually possible in theory if, repeat IF, we had honest, non-bought servants in all the folds of power, including the prez office. We don’t.

  10. Puppy 05/25/2012

    Indeed. And we had better get busy figuring out how we “add value”, to borrow a Bain-type phrase. Cramming more and more students into classrooms led by more and more adjuncts and grad students is a losing proposition. Why would a student come and pay tens of thousands of dollars to sit in a class of 300 or 500 or more when they can take the same class from a world leading faculty member online for nothing?

    We laugh at that proposition at your own peril but the educational model we are operating under is going the way of bookstores and CD’s.

    We can only hope that our new president understands this and marshals the incredible talent on this campus to radically reimagine how we conduct research and educate our students.

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