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Pres Gottfredson to watch Arkansas game?

If so he’ll do it from the “Presidential Skybox”, which costs UO’s academic side $375,000 a year. We pay the jocks because Dave Frohnmayer put his signature to this secret deal two weeks before he stepped down as UO President:

This was after Kilkenny had contributed some serious money to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation. A sad story in many ways. It took a petition to Attorney General Kroger to make UO give up the documentation on this, the complete file is here. After it came out, UO spokesperson Phil Weiler told KEZI reporter Kate Renner the $375,000 came from donations to the UO Foundation. It turns out that wasn’t true – it all comes directly from UO’s academic budget:

Weiler refused to correct his statement. I’ll go out on a limb and guess our current AD Rob Mullens is going claim those ungrateful students should be glad athletics gets their money, because the boosters in the box with the Pres are big donors to the academic side. That’s a nice story – but it’s not what the data show.  A few years back Stefan Verbano of the ODE had a great interview with former UO Business School Dean and current Warsaw Sports Marketing Prof Dennis Howard on the link between athletic contributions and the real University of Oregon:

“It’s called a donation or a contribution … when, in fact, as we have discovered in our research … it’s a transaction,” Howard said. “It has nothing to do with giving back to the University or a philanthropic motive. It is purely and simply a commercial transaction in which the individual in paying for tangible benefits: better seat location, access to the Autzen Club amenities. All of those things are driving those transactions.”

Howard’s paper, which uses data from UO donors, is brutal:

“Both alumni and non-alumni show an increasing preference toward directing their gifts to the intercollegiate athletics department-at the expense of the donations to academic programs. Sperber’s (2000) assertion that giving to athletics undermines academic giving is strongly supported.”

And here’s an update of the UO data on giving to the academic and athletic sides, showing that most of the growth in giving to UO over the past 11 years has indeed been to the athletic side – and this excludes most if not all of the Knight donations, which have all been to athletics since the WRC fiasco.

And last fall the UO Foundation’s annual report revealed a $1.4 million cut in the amount it provides for academic scholarships, and a $2 million increase in their own administrative expenses. 9/1/2012.


  1. Anonymous 09/01/2012

    That memo has some other astonishing clauses as well.

  2. Old Man 09/02/2012

    I recall one Prexy who hated football, but felt an obligation to host visitors in his box. Shortly after the game began, a young fellow appeared at the door and announced, just loud enough for all to hear, “Mr xxxx, you have a phone call,”, at which point Prexy excused himself and never returned. That might not work in the age of cell phones, but there are other ploys available to Mike.

  3. Angry old lady 09/06/2012

    I am of the belief that people who wear suits and set in the respected positions are the best crooks. There is no end to the shenanigans pulled at the UO by DF and his cronies. He and his friends did nothing more than enrich themselves and their friends the entire time. That was the “plan” Penny spoke about implementing as “quickly as possible” just days before I got fired. What ticks me off the most…they all walk away scott free and I’m still feeling like knocking the crap out of them for the damage they have done for self serving greed.

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