Pres Gottfredson replies to Alum

9/2/2013: Another UO alum’s letter, with response from President Gottfredson – a month later. Note this predates the “University of Nike” piece in the NYT. I’m happy to post more of these, just email them to uomatters at

From: [ ]
Sent: Monday, July 01, 2013 5:01 PM
To: President Gottfredson
Subject: Trash Can Covers

President Gottfredson,

Referring to yesterday’s RG, was it really necessary for the athletic department to mock our sister university in Corvallis by portraying it as “trash” on the new garbage can covers at the la crosse field, of all places? I’m a UO alum who is concerned about the Athletic Department Tail wagging the University Dog, and this is yet another example of the lack of adult supervision readily apparent across the river. I urge you to remove those embarrassing covers. It is so juvenile and so unrepresentative of the kind of university from which I thought I graduated. The favor of your reply is requested. 

[ ]


From: President Gottfredson <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 9:47 AM
Subject: RE: Trash Can Covers
To: [ ]

Dear Mr. [ ]

Thank you for sharing your concerns about the inappropriate depiction of our rival mascot on some UO campus waste cans. I share your disappointment, and assure you that this does not represent the level of discourse and behavior we expect of our university. The images have been removed.

Athletic rivalries add to the spirit of our institutions, but they must never overshadow the collegiality, collaboration, and healthy competition that define our educational and research missions.

Michael Gottfredson
President, University of Oregon

8/31/2013: A UO alumnus shares his 8/2 letter to President Gottfredson, and Gottfredson’s response:

From: chuck desler
To: [email protected]
Sent: Friday, August 02, 2013 5:26 PM
Subject: u of o alum thinks you have lost your reason/way/marbles

NY Times, Oregon Football Complex is Glittering Monument to Ducks’ Ambition

One of the comment on NY Times site was simply “obscene” to which I would agree.

Knight recently built the Jaqua Center For Academic Studies for really stupid football players something we used to call a LIBRARY.

If this is what the University of Oregon stands for now, all I can say is you people are really sick.


charles desler architect california
BA Oregon 1968
BArch/MArch Tulane 1975

President Gottfredson’s response:


I’m guessing he got many hundreds of emails like this. More than 4 weeks later, with a major capital giving campaign on the horizon, and Gottfredson doesn’t even have a canned response to send out to angry alumns? Maybe Howard Slusher hasn’t signed off on it yet? Just how far down in the Johnson Hall administrative bunker is our president hiding?

8/31/2013: Phil Weiler was demoted for the “University of Nike” debacle? That’s the implication of the story in the RG today. Rearranging the deck chairs in the Strategic Communications Office is not exactly the sort of bold leadership Gottfredson needs to show, a year into the job. Apparently the only way to get Gottfredson to do anything is to embarrass him in public, and even then is all he does is demote a public relations flack.

8/30/2013: Brand backtracking: Diane Dietz reports in the RG that the Ducks have backed off rules that effectively excluded local firms from selling Duck t-shirts, after considerable pressure on Gottfredson. Meanwhile, University of Nike t-shirts are available here. Omnia Fumabamus.

8/24/2013: Pintens loses control of the Duck brand: This country needs a law against newspapers reporting what PR people don’t want reported. The call was from the ZGF architects of Nike’s new football Quack House, to Duck PR guy Craig Pintens. The subject was how the Register Guard had out-maneuvered UO’s efforts to control the media message:

8/24/2013: 2 Duck branding hires in 1 day, while OSU hires for Science:

While Gottfredson loads UO up with communications administrators to push the U of Nike Duck brand, those country hicks up at Oregon State are hiring for Science, Technology Engineering and Math:

Science/Education Research/Administration: Oregon State University seeks a skilled and visionary leader to direct and grow its Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning established in 2012 with a mission to enhance understanding of how individuals become lifelong STEM learners, practitioners and researchers. Unique among its counterparts, The OSU Center focuses on learning research across all settings (in and out of school) and across the lifespan. Ph.D., 5 years conducting STEM relevant learning research, and a track record of successful fund raising are required. For more information go to: For full consideration apply by October 21, 2013. Position #0011233.

We are so screwed.

8/23/2013 update #2: Must be time for the roundup. I’m no vaquero, but I bet the assistant gets the dirty wollies and the ass end of the job while the three VP types stand around looking important:

Title:  Executive Assistant to the Assoc. VP Communications, Marketing, & Brand Management
Department:  University Advancement
Reports To:  Assoc. VP Communications, Marketing, & Brand Management
Term:  1.0 FTE for 12 months (renewable annually)
Salary Range:  $40,000 – 50,000
Review Date:  Search will remain open until filled.  Search committee will begin reviewing applications Sept. 9, 2013
Start Date:  As soon as possible

8/23/2013: Another day, another branding administrator

Title:  Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communication
Department:  University Advancement
Reports To:  Associate Vice President, Communications, Marketing and Brand Management
Term:  1.0 FTE for 12 months (renewable annually)
Salary Range:  $100,000 to $120,000
Review Date:  Search will remain open until filled.  To ensure consideration, please submit an application by September 18, 2013
Start Date:  As soon as possible

8/22/2013: No money for the faculty, of course.

Title:  Associate Vice President, State and Community Affairs
Department:  University Advancement
Reports To:  Vice President for University Advancement
Term:  1.0 FTE for 12 months (renewable annually)
Salary Range:  $110,000+
Review Date:  Search will remain open until filled.  Search committee will begin reviewing applications Aug. 15, 2013

Tim Clevenger to leave Alumni Association to work on branding:

8/20/2013: News to me. Mike Andreasen promoted him in March. Because what the U of Nike needs most is more communications and branding administrators?

Tim Clevenger
I am pleased to announce that Tim has agreed to take on a new role in our Advancement organization as the Associate Vice President for Communications, Marketing and Brand Management.  In taking on the new role, Tim will lead, oversee and coordinate the university’s communications and branding efforts. He will work to consolidate and coordinate staff efforts across the Advancement team, and more comprehensively across campus.  Tim brings years of private sector experience in these fields and will lead our teams in this broad portfolio.  Additionally, while at the university he has developed an effective strategic and branding plan for the UOAA and as a member of the senior management team, he will continue to advance these important efforts.

He was hired in 2011, hiring announcement here. Job add for a replacement is here:

Title:  Associate Vice President (AVP) for Advancement/Executive Director (ED) UO Alumni Association
Department:  University Advancement
Reports To:  Vice President for University Advancement
Term:  1.0 FTE for 12 months (renewable annually)
Salary Range:  $150,000+
Review Date:  Search will remain open until filled.  Search committee will begin reviewing applications September 17, 2013.
Start Date:  As soon as possible

8/28/2013: That would be Craig Pintens, with the latest $5M koans from the Duck PR operation:

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31 Responses to Pres Gottfredson replies to Alum

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yet another salary well above that of faculty. Why, again, do we insist on keeping up with the market on admins and coaches but not on faculty?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Holy shit. Will it ever end?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Does Tim get a new Univ of Nike “Swoosh” Branding Iron to go with his new AVP position?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Branding Iron indeed. Bizarro world here at UO. Do the folks running this place think this will not come back and bite their ass? Or are they already branded?

    • Anonymous says:

      By the time it comes back to the JH people, they will be long gone with their golden parachutes. Its the UO faculty that are left dealing with the fall out.

  5. JustaPeon says:

    Speaking of admins…I hear all the upper level JH types took a tour of two or three labs in neuro & molbio yesterday morning…the gott, kimmy, moffit, jones etc. Wonder what they were looking for/at?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hopefully to see how crappy some of the labs/facilities are in Huestis, Klamath, Onyx, etc. If we are lucky, maybe some of that rumored money that will being coming in from donors now that we have an independent board will be used to upgrade science labs…..

    • Oryx says:

      Before you get pounced on too much, I’ll point out that in general, the science facilities at UO are in better shape than those of the Humanities. Note several shiny new buildings. Yes, Onyx and some other places are dumps, but let’s not lose perspective. (I’m in the sciences, by the way.)

    • Anonymous says:

      My guess… looking for excess. We can’t have that, you know.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Development is out of control. Andreason came in and raised development salaries by a lot, but the newly paid fundraisers have raised no more money than the previous group. Every 4 or 5 years ( or less) they go on a new branding initiative, hire a new guy, do polls, interviews. questionnaires, design new expensive booklets and magazines and then start all over again. Athletics and the academic side are completely separate in terms of development and there is no cooperation between the academic fundraisers and those working for athletics. It has always been thus. Andreason also raised the level for a “Major Gift” (allowing folks to pay over five years) from 25K to 100K. The boards are being decimated because the new rule is that any board member has to have the capacity and the willingness to give a major gift. We are not Harvard or Stanford and we don’t have a donor base that compares. He can change all of the rules, but it doesn’t change what can be raised from our alumni. $150,000 for the head of the ALUMNI ASSOCIATION?????

    • Anonymous says:

      The 2011-12 Foundation annual report shows $90M in contributions, down from $96M the year before.
      I completely about the lack of coordination and the continued poaching of academic donors by the DAF.

      But overall 2011-2012 gift commitments were 116.9M, while Gottfredson reports that the university received gift commitments totaling $200,054,995 in fiscal year 2013, the second highest one-year total in the UO’s history. Of the total, donors designated $85,772,471 specifically to support faculty and academic programing, research activity, and student aid and scholarships, representing a significant increase in giving in these key categories.

      So are you sure about the “no more money” part of your claim?

    • Anonymous says:

      The real issue isn’t a one year rise or dip but the pattern over time. The facts are that the academic side of the budget funds a development office whose budget has grown several hundred percent over the past five years. During that time, athletic donations have grown significantly and academic donations are relatively flat. Seems to me if we were serious about increasing academic giving, we would tie performance evaluations of development to that goal. The rest of us are held accountable to teaching/research standards – shouldn’t we do the same with fundraising?

      I’d also like to see the breakdown on where the new $85 million is being allocated. The administration sometimes has strange ideas about what fits under “academic”.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Pintens’s crew is finally getting the boosters to crank out pro Phil RG letters though. A few of them almost read as authentic.

    • Anonymous says:

      Classic. Anyone that doesn’t agree with you is a fake. Nice worldview.

    • Anonymous says:

      The boosters don’t need much prompting in my mind. Their blind acceptance is both scary and sad. Idiots, implying in the RG letters that our academic buildings falling down is a joke, and not worthy of complaint. They are fools.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not that they are fakes, but that they are dupes who repeat the same old tired praises and are unable to even acknowledge that values are radically out of kilter at the University of Oregon, that Phil Knight has had everything to do with it, and that most of his “giving” eventually adds to his bottom line while reducing his taxes that could support more crucial needs in this state. Let’s wait for the eventual complete story on Phil Knight, before making judgements about his psychological and ethical character.

    • Anonymous says:

      Asking us to not judge while being judgmental? Hmmm, is that an example of hypocrisy Professor?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not at all! I’m simply making the point that there is a difference between being a fake (although there is factual information about the University of Oregon administration supplying talking points to letter writers) and being a dupe, in my judgement, with a set of values that are alien to a university. Making judgements is part of living life with some core values. The facts are in about what has happened at the University of Oregon, at least in my judgement. However, while it is also apparent to me factually that Phil Nike is a classic narcissistic personality, what else his psychological profile might be will be revealed by history. This will be a factual basis on which people can make judgements about his moral and ethical character based on their values.

    • Anonymous says:

      Based on what you know about Phil Knight from the media, it’s apparent to you “factually” that he’s a “classic narcissistic personality”?

      Eugene is a trippy place, no doubt.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually it’s a bit more than just what’s in the media. You should get special permission some time to go in the the women’s restroom on the second floor of the Jaqua Center and see Phil Nike’s portrait behind mirrored glasses that is etched in a mirror over the wash basin, his obscured (sadistic) gaze looking straight into the toilet stall. A special, but revealing design touch, particularly when Penny Knight directs her gaze away from the men washing their hands and peeing in the room next door. Do it, and see where emotional experience directs your judgement. It’s more than a bit weird. I’m no psychiatrist, but just saying . . .

    • Anonymous says:

      ” .. Phil Nike’s portrait behind mirrored glasses that is etched in a mirror over the wash basin, his obscured (sadistic) gaze looking straight into the toilet stall.”

      This deserves serious follow-up. Seems like something the ODE staff should want to investigate.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Amazing how one public screw-up related to FOOTBALL and the U of Nike, and heads roll almost immediately. Too bad MG doesn’t seem to feel any urgency about the slow downward spiral of UO research and the approaching end of AAU status. It’s a sad statement about what the true priorities are at U Nike.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Phil Weiler has certainly goofed in the past. (Actually, I can think of a few screw ups.) His move reminds me of Gary Gray’s departure, though, which was used to deflect the NCAA trouble we were in at the time. Fire Jeff Hawkins. Fire Craig Pintens. FIre Rob Mullens.

    • Anonymous says:

      Check out Craig Pintens’ twitter… where he claims “Tweets sent actually reflect my employer.”

      On the Duck Star… “It is a an amazing space, such a great representation of the state of Oregon & Pacific Northwest.” Doesn’t jive with Knight avoiding Oregon resources and labor in building the craziness.

      That said, I’m not sure how it ranks alongside Mullens’ “People will complain, but this is not excessive.” I don’t remember Weiler saying anything so stupid.

      If it is not saying anything that matters, maybe Gottfredson should be demoted along side Weiler?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Chuck Desler… thank you for your implicit support of the faculty and of education at the university of oregon. The power brokers won’t appreciate it, but never underestimate how much we, the faculty, appreciate it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah Chuck Desler, Thanks for spending 15 seconds of your time to write a compelling and well reasoned email to the president of our University.

    • UO Matters says:

      I think this is a try at irony. What has the commenter done to address these problems at UO?

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s so fascinated by Phil Knight’s reflection in the bidets that he sees no problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sad… to date, Chuck Desier has done more than Rob Mullens. Maybe even more than the entire ELT.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Maybe MG can have PW respond to alums like Chuck Desler until PW’s current contract runs out. Might help PW bone up on his writing and public relations skills for his upcoming job interviews….

  12. Anonymous says:

    As another school year and college football season gets underway, Deford looks at the frustrations and challenges facing educators to keep student athletes eligible.