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UO needs a new Provost

Read Interim Provost Jim Bean’s 2010 op-ed in the Oregonian, defending the decision to spend $1.83 million a year of regular students’s tuition money on the athlete only Jacqua Center for Student Athletes – or as the NY Times calls it, the Jock Box. Then read about how Duck AD Rob Mullens was allowed to use all the earnings from a $5 million donation to UO to replace the tiny bit the athletic department was paying – nothing toward the academic side’s costs.

Then read today’s Register Guard story on the crunch in classroom space for regular UO students. I’m no economist, but the $1.83 million per year the students are paying the athletic department would have financed a $35,599,612.29 classroom building, with 30 year tax exempt bonds at 3.125%.

UO needs a new provost. 8/12/2012.

Update: In the comments, The Dog analyzes Chris Ramey’s statement in the article:

However, over the past two decades, spending on academic buildings and sports facilities — not counting housing and other student-focused buildings — has been roughly equal, according to Ramey’s analysis, although it doesn’t include the football operations center that’s under construction. 

I don’t see how Ramey’s math works here either – and even if it does, is it really OK that 50% of all new construction over the past 20 years has been for the jocks? Amazing. UO needs to tax contributions to the Ducks.


  1. Anonymous 08/12/2012

    Dog Says

    Its about time the RG did this story! And, overall, its pretty decent, even from the quantitative point of view. Hopefully this will generate some action. But, in the mighty words of campus planning

    “The ratio of students to classrooms isn’t perfect”

    so I guess that makes it all okay, since we
    can’t ever achieve perfection.

  2. Anonymous 08/12/2012

    I’d always wondered about this too

    “However, over the past two decades, spending on academic buildings and sports facilities — not counting housing and other student-focused buildings — has been roughly equal, according to Ramey’s analysis, although it doesn’t include the football operations center that’s under construction.”

    • Anonymous 08/12/2012

      50/50 is now our baseline? Talk about misplaced priorities.

    • Anonymous 08/12/2012

      Unbelievable. That comment was offered as argument against the idea that things between athletics and academic spending are out of balance. The argument is both sloppy and indefensible.

    • Anonymous 08/12/2012

      Dog says

      Yes, roughly equal could mean many things – and I am not sure
      what “two decades” means but lets paint the most optimistic picture we can for New Academic Infrastructure:

      1. Science Complex completed in 1990 (Willamette, Heustis,
      Deschutes (also buildings with very few classrooms in them).

      2. Gilbert Hall destroyed (lots of classrooms in that building – LCB built and regained about 75% of the lost seats).

      3. New Law School – Grayson Hall open for classrooms – Grayson named changed to McKenzie – still the same number of classrooms.

      4. New Education and New Music buildings

      5. Renovated Allen Hall

      6. Throw in the Living Learning Center and call it academic … and maybe the new Residence Hall

      Now, do the above 6 balance:

      1. Autzen Expansion
      2. Cas Center
      3. Matt whatever ..
      4. Jock Box
      5. Alumni center
      6. upgrades to Hayward field (necessary tho’)
      7. PK Park
      8. Latest Autzen upgrades/monuments

      I am sure there are somethings I have forgotten (and others can add/correct) – but this doesn’t seem “roughly equal”

      Most noteworthy is, for the last 2 decades, the UO’s inability to just build one building that has nothing but classrooms in it (like for instance, Kane Hall on the UW campus). Where’ is the planning in that? That’s just stupid.

      Really, in this case, all Bean has done is to continue the tradition of Provosts not caring about classrooms …

  3. Anonymous 08/12/2012

    The information in the article cannot come as a surprise to anyone. And the provost has many times been informed of the crisis, perhaps not by the deans, but surely by faculty and the FAC.

    Can one really believe that this crisis has not been building for many years? Can one not but conclude that Johnson Hall has had it collective head in the sand? been in denial that reality would not catch up?

    I am no psychologist or even an economist, but it strikes me that too many calculate short term advantages; ‘advantages’ [aka more cash], that can quickly become burdens when the implicit promises made to students cannot be delivered.

    And I thought our provost had some business sense, alas.

    but then again this Canis Minor is not the brightest constellation in the heavens.

  4. Anonymous 08/13/2012

    I agree that spending on the jocks needs to slow down but in the meantime we need to offer many more evening courses.

  5. Anonymous 08/13/2012

    This must be why the Provost is so interested in online courses – more such offerings and JH can continue not to build classroom space.

  6. Anonymous 08/13/2012

    Time to renovate Mac Court into a huge classroom bldg! Or tear it down and build a huge new classroom bldg on the site… Probably never happen because once it is athletics space it will always be athletics space…

  7. Anonymous 08/13/2012

    Dog says

    moreover, JH can now outsource General Education classes and then call that technology enhanced education … don’t even have to pay faculty
    (TTF or NTTF) to teach them …

    don’t believe me? try this

  8. Anonymous 08/13/2012

    I hear these for-profit, mostly online schools pay huge salaries for administrators. Anyone know of one that needs a Provost?

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