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UO Admissions recruits top scholars

Diane Dietz has the story in the RG. Good to see Roger Thompson’s admissions office is doing more than organizing sham events to cover for our administrators’ bowl game junkets. Speaking of which, President Gottfredson’s office is now denying they have any public records showing which UO administrators and spouses got junkets “paid work related travel” to the San Antonio Bowl:

The university has searched for, but was unable to locate, records responsive to your request made 12/24/2013.  The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter.  Thank you for contacting the office with your request.

Sure. Last year’s Fiesta Bowl memo is here. I wonder why JH is so secretive about this year’s list?

1/6/2014: Ducks to lose money on Alamo Bowl after administrator junkets?
Now 3 weeks, and still no memo from the public records office. But Troy Brynelson has a great article in the ODE about our administration’s tortured efforts to justify their Alamo Bowl junkets as a worthwhile admissions recruiting trip, here.

12/30/13: More than two weeks since I made this request, and UO is still hiding the memo showing which administrators got Alamo bowl junkets.

12/27/2013 update from Lewis Kamb in the Seattle Times:

For the Alamo Bowl, which pays nearly $3.2 million to the conference, the conference pays a school $1.2 million, plus up to 500 charter seats and the ticket subsidy.

“The reimbursement usually does not cover the entire bowl game expense amount,” the UW’s Sasaki said.

True, but each university also controls the size of its travel party to a bowl game — a factor that largely determines whether it financially wins, loses or breaks even.

Then there’s the $50K bonus we have to pay Rob Mullens.

12/26/22013: Ducks cancel Alamo Bowl junkets over tax issues

Or maybe they just gave them a different name. On Dec 11 I made this public records request, after hearing rumors that President Gottfredson had cut back on the number of UO administrators and spouses getting all-expense-paid trips to this year’s bowl game:

12/11/2013: This is a public records request for a copy of any email, memos, or similar announcing which UO employees will get paid junkets to this year’s “Valero Alamo Bowl”. I ask for a fee-waiver on the basis of public interest.

These trips are a potential conflict of interest for UO administrators like VPFA Jamie Moffitt, who must make tough decisions about cutting athletics subsidies after getting a sweet free vacation from the Ducks. Just to make sure the public records office knew what I was asking for, I followed up with a link to last year’s announcement – which took a month or so to obtain, if memory serves me:

12/11/2013: if you need any clarification on this PR request about junkets, last year’s announcement from President Gottfredson is here:

Screen Shot 2013-12-26 at 8.38.48 PM

Eight days later, the Public Records Office sent me this:

12/19/2013: The University does not possess documents responsive to your request for “a copy of any email, memos, or similar announcing which UO employees will get paid junkets to this year’s ‘Valero Alamo Bowl'”, made 12/13/2013.

The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter.  Thank you for contacting the office with your request.

Really? No junkets? Surely last year’s vague threats of IRS audits can’t have saved UO that much money so quickly! So I followed up with a request for an explanation, and got this back:

12/23/2013: Your request was for a “copy of any email, memos, or similar announcing which UO employees will get paid junkets to this year’s ‘Valero Alamo Bowl’”.  No UO employees will be attending the Valero Alamo Bowl on a junket.

Sincerely, …

Ah, so they don’t like the word “junket”. Let’s revise that request and see what happens:

12/23/2013: Please send any responsive documents for this same request, but substituting “paid work related travel” for “paid junkets”.

So “work related travel” seems to be the preferred nomenclature. Here’s UO’s form letter response. But I’m still waiting for them to provide the 2013 Alamo Bowl memo and list of junketeers:

12/24/2013: The University of Oregon, Office of Public Records has received your public records request for copy of any email, memos, or similar announcing which UO employees will get paid work related travel to this year’s ‘Valero Alamo Bowl’ on 12/23/2013, attached.  The university is uncertain whether it possesses the records you have requested.  However, the university will search for the records and make a response to your request as soon as practicable.

If documents exist and may be provided the office will assume you would like to receive the documents electronically to avoid a copy fee of 25 cents per page.  The office also charges for the actual cost of making public records available.  The charge includes, but is not limited to, staff costs for locating, gathering, summarizing, compiling, reviewing, tailoring or redacting the public records to respond to a request.  The charge may also include the cost of time spent by an attorney in reviewing the public records, redacting material from the public records, or segregating the public records into exempt and nonexempt records.

The cost of time for each employee is calculated by multiplying the employee’s hourly wage calculation (including benefits expenses) by the hours or portions thereof necessary to locate, gather, summarize, compile, tailor, review, redact, segregate, certify or attend the inspection of the public records requested.

Thank you for contacting the University with your request.

Sincerely, …


  1. Whoops! 12/26/2013

    This nice invitation is mistake #1. You don’t ask your employees to show up at a work-related event, you tell them when and where.

  2. Anonymous 12/27/2013

    Will they never learn? Is a delay their only “win.” Why do they make themselves so objectionable, over and above the actual facts?

  3. Anas Clypeata 12/27/2013

    Junket, noun: a trip made by a government official and paid for by the public. (Merriam-Webster)

    I don’t see how they could deny your request based on that definition, but then again, I am not a lawyer.

  4. uomatters Post author | 12/30/2013

    They pull shit like this all the time. They have no shame.

  5. Prioritiesinplace 12/30/2013

    I’m sure that all of our academic junketeers can stand behind these academic values both in Texas and Eugene: “I love coming down here because football is such a big deal down here. Other places you have to wait in the principal’s office for 30 minutes while they go get a coach out of class. In Texas you drive straight to the fieldhouse and the coach is ready for you. They understand the importance of it down here.” Scott Frost, Offensive Coordinator (UO Faculty Salary ?)

  6. Substitution shmubstitution 01/07/2014

    From the ODE article: “We’ll probably spend five grand on this event,” Thompson said in the days leading up to the recruitment event. “Even if we spend 15 grand, one student at non-resident tuition is $28,000. It’ll have paid for the event and then some.”

    That is only true if (a) we increase our total enrollment to let in that additional student or (b) that student displaces an in-state student. Neither of those is a desirable outcome.

  7. OA Anon 01/07/2014

    Well if THIS doesn’t entice the teens, I don’t know WHAT will! LOL!!

    “They get to meet the university president. They’ll get to meet the leadership,” says Roger Thompson, the vice president of enrollment management. “That doesn’t happen for high school kids very often. There’s no question in my mind it’s a great event.”

  8. Hen 01/13/2014

    So does anyone know how many fee paying students now at UO were actually recruited at last year’s Bowl recruiting events? I hope we are not going to be told that not not only do we not know the costs, but we don’t know the benefits either.

  9. anonymous 01/13/2014

    Re the headline — about UO trying to recruit better undergraduate students — it would be good if Roger Thompson would present and publicize some serious data on UO SAT scores over a series of time.

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