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UO Matters cuts athletics subsidy by $555,227 a year

11/9/2012: Forgive me for bragging a bit: I want this in my service report for post-tenure review. Starting last fall I posted a series of stories on the UO athletic department’s overhead rate, using documents obtained with public records requests and petitions.

While athletics had originally been scheduled to pay 7%, instead they were only paying 3%. Eventually I traced this to a secret agreement between Dave Frohnmayer and his athletic director Pat Kilkenny, signed 2 weeks before Frohnmayer stepped down as Pres. Steve Duin had a good column about it in the Oregonian. Jamie Moffitt knew about this deal, but she and AD Rob Mullens kept the Senate IAC in the dark until the public records requests made her reveal it.

I started digging into overhead after hearing Mullens and Moffitt (at the time in charge of athletics finances) tell the IAC that the athletic department is “self-supporting” – and then finding out their math depended on sticking the academic side with the bill for the Jock Box and the NCAA lawyers. Made me wonder what other crawly things were hiding under that rock. Overhead turned out to be one, though there are plenty of others. 

Bob Berdahl tried to shut down the IAC over these sorts of questions. But now UO has a new president, Mike Gottfredson, who has as of today gone up several points in my book, though not a full letter grade. OUS rules forbid overhead subsidies and require that overhead rates be established using an “auditable” procedure. So Moffitt had no choice but to revisit the calculations – especially with a president who wouldn’t look the other way. Today her report came out, here:

Athletics will have to pay $555,227 in new money to UO every year – funds now available for the university’s other functions. Yippee. Of course, this means that they owe us $1,665,681 for the past three years. Not to mention the other millions in subsidies we have paid them and are still paying them. The Mac Court deal, for example, is costing us $467,000 a year. Jock Box tutoring $1,830,000. And there are some other expensive problems with how the new rates are calculated, and what they exclude – mostly things that benefit athletics and cost other units.

But this is a start. And a big payoff for UO’s academic side. So next time you hear Dave Hubin complaining about the $50,000 that my public records requests have supposedly cost UO – he still won’t let me see that list – ask him about the benefits. 


  1. marsupinator 11/10/2012


  2. Anonymous 11/10/2012

    What did Bean know,and when did he know it?

  3. Anonymous 11/10/2012

    Nice. Almost enough to pay the startup to replace one of the science profs Espy just chased off.

  4. Anonymous 11/10/2012

    Not to rain on your parade, but the $1.9 million they will now pay is barely enough to even cover Steve Stolps’s tutoring operation.

  5. Anonymous 11/10/2012

    Dude, where did I leave that 0.555 million?

  6. Anonymous 11/10/2012

    This is a good thing and congratulations due to everyone involved.

  7. Anonymous 11/10/2012

    What’s the deal on housing?

  8. Anonymous 11/10/2012

    Great work! Your 1% management fee is going to buy a lot of Lagavulin 16-year. (97 bottles to be exact.)

    • UO Matters 11/10/2012

      Thanks, I would indeed prefer to get my fee in liquid form, strictly for tax reasons of course.

  9. Anonymous 11/10/2012

    Much congrats to UO Matters! Continue the muckraking.

  10. Awesome0 11/10/2012

    That’s a lof of scotch!!! Great job!!

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