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Everybody gets a car!

6/3/2012: Bob Berdahl says UO can’t afford to give a few $200 fee waivers for public records requests anymore. And UO’s “self-supporting” athletics department can’t pay the $2 million a year that they are spending on athlete only Jock Box tutoring, so Jim Bean is taking it from the regular students. But there’s plenty of money in the UO budget to help Berdahl and a surprisingly large number of athletics department employees make their car payments:

Name  Title  2012 car stipend
Berdahl, Robert M Interim President $14,400
Mullens, Robert A  Dir Intercollegiate Athletics  $7,200
Westhead, Paul W  Head Women’s Basketball Coach  $7,200
Altman, Dana D  Head Men’s Basketball Coach  $6,000
Abrams, Harold J  Assoc AD – Dir of Dvpmt  $4,800
Beck, Jennifer L  Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach  $4,800
Duncan, Michael P  Sr Assc AD Facil Ops & Events  $4,800
Fincher, Shawn A  Regional Dir Dev Ptld/S Ca  $4,800
Larson, Thomas J  Assoc AD/CFO  $4,800
Moffitt, Jamie H  Exec Sr Assoc AD Finc & Admin, now VPFA $4,800
Mulkey, Felecia L  Head Coach Stunts & Gymnastics  $4,800
Peterson, Lisa L Senior Associate Athletic Dir $4,800
Scott, Ria Denise G  Head Women’s Golf Coach  $4,800
White, Michael C  Head Softball Coach  $4,800
Davis, Lorraine G  Special Assistant to AD  $4,650
Redding, Michael  Vice Pres University Relations $4,650
Andreasen, Michael C Vice Pres for Univ Development $4,500
Ancell, Joseph D  Group Sales Manager  $3,600
Campbell, Gary L  Assistant Football Coach  $3,600
Cohen, Jill A  Events Coordinator DAF  $3,600
Cook, James F  Asst Men’s & Women’s T&F Coach  $3,600
Frost, Scott A  Asst FB Coach – Wide Receivers  $3,600
Johnson, Robert A  Assoc Hd Coach M&W Track Field  $3,600
Lee, Shandrika T Asst Women’s Basketball Coach $3,600
Metro, Stacy A  Asst Volleyball Coach  $3,600
Muscatell, Daniel R  Asst Women’s Basketball Coach  $3,600
Neal, John C  Assistant Football Coach  $3,600
Osborne, Thomas S  Special Teams Coordinator  $3,600
Uhlman, Jason A Assistant Baseball Coach $3,600
Weir, Robert  Asst Men’s & Women’s T&F Coach  $3,600
Whittington, Keila A  Asst Women’s Basketball Coach  $3,600
Miller, Blake A  Assistant Softball Coach  $3,000


  1. Peter Keyes 06/04/2012

    Car stipends per se don’t worry me. It’s just another way to pay an employee, recognizing that these people probably drive a significant amount for work. I’m assuming that if this has positive tax ramifications, the amount of work-related driving has to be documented. If not, then this stipend is probably treated as income and taxed. So just add it into gross income and get over it – does it really matter what’s broken out as a stipend if the overall compensation is the same? What seems worth focussing on is this overall compensation.

    • Dev Sinha 06/05/2012

      Thanks for some sanity, Peter. Though I would suppose that this is more about saving some paperwork than a matter of compensation. The University reimburses me to drive to Portland, Seattle etc (out of my grant or ASA for research related matters, and though other funds if it is for administrative matters I am asked to be involved with). Getting reimbursement forms done has administrative costs and costs of my time. If I were to say drive to Portland on university business once a week, I’d be looking for a stipend instead of reimbursement as well, as should anyone who drives more than 5K per year on university business. It is a matter of saving time and energy and expense of processing paperwork. The question is how well and finely documented this is and needs to be. The university has audits, and the athletics department has additional audits, and because I imagine this stipend is not taxed (at least the reimbursed stuff ultimately isn’t so I imagine that the stipends wouldn’t be) then there are probably IRS guidelines to be followed. Is there any evidence that this is being abused?

      As for the Jaqua Center subsidy, UOMatters has consistently failed to recognize that the tuition money paid by the athletics department and student athletes (who are eligible for less student aid than other students) is well above what would be expected – likely to be $1-3M – and that the overhead paid while at a lower rate could very well (I would say is likely to) be more than their overhead costs. No firm numbers have been run on either of these. Overhead rate is in the process of review, but net tuition on student athletes probably won’t be. A fair accounting of non-operational (that is, not controlled by the athletics director) costs of running the athletics department would try to account for these. Given that the final number is likely to be relatively small (and might be positive or negative) and with large error bars, and that for good reasons (which I could elaborate) we are unlikely to change any policies around these non-operational costs (beyond the overhead rate), it doesn’t seem like a priority for the time and energy of the University to do a fine-grained analysis here. But the main point is that those who are speaking up most loudly about these numbers have not done such analysis.

  2. Anonymous 06/04/2012

    Car stipends bother ME! Isn’t this the university that wants to have a “sustainable” future? Let them take the bus or pay for their own gas the way the rest of us do…or better yet, bicycle. I mean, they are involved in athletics, right? and Chip could easily drop that little belly with a 12-speed….

    • Anonymous 06/04/2012

      A 12-speed? How seventies. I’m thinking a town bike, or maybe a fixie.

    • Anonymous 06/04/2012

      Ditto. That’s about $150K a year – enough for a faculty member. If we are in such dire straits, where is the shared sacrifice? Why aren’t luxuries like these the first thing on the chopping block? Hell, even if just for symbolic reasons, you’d think someone in JH would get that they could at least buy some decent PR with some symbolic cuts like these. Instead, we are raising tuition and class sizes without even a thought or an authentic attempt to scour every part of the budget before we put more strain on faculty or students.

      And people wonder why we can’t trust our admins to steward our finances.

  3. Anonymous 06/04/2012

    Funny how Kelly isn’t even on the list above…

    • Peter Keyes 06/04/2012

      Yes, I noticed that it’s not uniform that those above a certain level get a car stipend – some people get them while their bosses don’t. Perhaps they can choose the stipend or increased salary – similar to a summer research grant, where you can receive funds for expenses (untaxed) or as income (taxed). Which just reinforces my contention that it’s total compensation that matters, not the symbolism of a car stipend.

    • uomatters 06/04/2012

      The IRS uses a standard $0.51 rate per mile driven for expenses. Does anyone know what they do if you ride your bike? Walk? Sail?

    • awesome0 06/05/2012

      I wish I got tax credits for biking. I have logged about 1200 miles in the last year. But, I guess I don’t pay gas taxes so there ‘s that.

  4. Anonymous 06/05/2012

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Anonymous 06/05/2012

    Sorry Peter Keys that it doesn’t bother you. You suggest in one phrase that it’s part of “total compensation” and in another that some of these people have to “probably drive a significant amount” as part of their work? Which is it? I, for one, could use some funds to help replace my 1994 only car. (from a tenure-related faculty member)

    • Peter Keyes 06/05/2012

      It could be either. I’d probably have to look at contracts and tax returns to understand which. And I’m not sorry it doesn’t bother me, I’m glad – I’ve got more serious issues to worry about. This is a non-substantive issue, and the fact that people seem to be upset about the symbolism of this stipend, versus the substance of total compensation, worries me. Hey, can I get a little help from the Economics Department here? And it’s Keyes, not Keys, Anonymouse.

    • awesome0 06/05/2012

      Total comp should matter from most views. There are some situations where a car car credit is preferable. For instance, if agents have some sort time inconsistency with their preferences (differences between what they want in the short term vs. the long term) and the car stipend would help alleviate those differences to increase long term welfare. Or if the car stipend got around fed and state income taxes, it might be a way to increase effective salaries at a lower cost to the university. Or maybe these individuals have terrible credit, and a car stipend that helps them get a car they couldn’t access via traditional credit markets even with a slightly higher salary (at 14,000 a year, Berdahl must have terrible credit….:-), just kidding). Often stipends like this emerge during periods of wage freezes as a way to increase effective salary without giving formal raises. The biggest example of this is employer sponsored health care which emerged during World War II due to salary freezes. So maybe we should lobby for car credits as long as wage increases are frozen here at the U of O.

    • UO Matters 06/05/2012

      My guess is this started as an attempt to get around some wage freeze, then blew out of control. I wonder if it’s reported as taxable income? If not, I hope these people are keeping good records. As for the symbolism/serious issue, I take it has a serious symbol of how seriously out of touch JH and the AD are with the rest of the university, which is why I posted it. I think symbols matter to architects too, no?

    • Peter Keyes 06/05/2012

      Thanks for the economics exegesis, awesomeO. I think the wage-freeze runaround is a very plausible theory. But maybe for us south-of-the-river employees, we should think about bike stipends instead of car stipends. Or maybe they could allow us to park in the vacant bottling plant parking lot in lieu of raises.

      If the stipends are not income, you’re right that good record-keeping would be in order (unless they are under Chancellorian rules). And architects don’t care about symbolism anymore, just metaphors.

    • UO Matters 06/05/2012

      So, what are those solar cells on Lillis about?

    • Peter Keyes 06/05/2012


  6. Anonymous 06/05/2012

    Where is a car for me? Shit. Right. I’m a lowly classified asshole who has to buy his own car and pay for gas and insurance myself like (most) everyone else. There are others receiving stipends for some absurd shit on this campus. Perhaps the GAO should look into these. I think this upcoming tuition hike is set to be distributed as the hot tub at home stipend to make sure that our hard working administrators don;t get too stressed receiving stipends that amount to two or three months pay for some classified workers. Worse yet this money could be used to send a financially disadvantaged student to school. And there’s where the dream gets crushed by the greedy reality of that which is administration.

    • UO Matters 06/05/2012

      The normal UO Matters comment policy is one cuss word per comment. I’m letting this slide, because you are so totally fucking right on.

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