Ducks project spending increase of $5.4M, will Coltrane still say no money for academics?

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Provost (now Interim President) Scott Coltrane objecting in April to still pending Senate legislation to eliminate hidden athletic subsidies and enforce the 2004 agreement to make athletics contribute to UO’s academic mission:

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An End to Subsidies for the UO Athletic Department



Date of Notice:

Wed, 11/13/2013

Legislation, Resolution, or Policy Adoption:


Current Status:

Postponed until October 2014



1.1 WHEREAS in 2004, the UO Athletics Task Force, which included President Dave Frohnmayer, Athletic Director Bill Moos, NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon, the Senate President, and many Senate and faculty representatives, concluded a three-year study of UO athletics with a report that stated as recommendation #1,

“The Task Force and the Athletic Department recommend a voluntary financial contribution by
athletics to the Presidential Scholarship fund.”[1]; and

1.2 WHEREAS in 2008 the Senate passed a resolution reiterating this recommendation[2]; and

1.3 WHEREAS in May 2012 the UO Senate passed another resolution (endorsed by four former Senate Presidents in its stronger form legislation) requesting that President direct the Athletic Department to end subsidies for athletics starting on 7/1/2013 and start making payments for academic purposes starting in 7/1/2014[3] [4]; and

1.4 WHEREAS two months after the 2012 resolution President Gottfredson wrote to Senate President Margie Paris that

“One intent of the resolution is to ensure that athletics is paying an appropriate share of the costs associated with tutoring and advising of student athletes and for the arena. This is clearly an appropriate aim and one with which I am fully supportive. More analysis needs to be undertaken to ascertain the nature of these obligations while preserving legitimate expectations derived from the existing agreements. We will expeditiously work to resolve these issues in collaboration with athletics.”[5]


1.4 WHEREAS the subsidies have not been ended, and to the contrary the payments from the Provost’s budget to support tutoring and advising at the Jaqua Center for Student-Athletes, services that are available only to student-athletes, have increased from $600K in 2008 to $1.8M for FY 2011-12 and then to $2.2M this year, after passage of the 2012 resolution. These services cost about $4,000 per student-athlete, while UO’s spending on similar services for non-athlete students averages only about $225[6]; and

1.5 WHEREAS the Athletic Department solicits donations and ticket surcharges for the Duck Athletic Fund, totaling ~$30M for 2012-13[7], with the statement that,

“The mission of the Duck Athletic Fund is to raise funds to offset the expenses of student-athletic scholarships and related athletic department support at the University of Oregon.”[8]

1.6 WHEREAS in the most recently available data, for 2011-12, the Athletic Department paid only $7 million from these DAF funds to the academic side for tuition, and did not pay any of the cost of student-athlete services other than a portion of the maintenance costs of the Jaqua building[9]; and

1.7 WHEREAS UO’s academic budget has been paying $467,538 a year since 2009 to repay the portion of bonds used to purchase the Knight Arena land representing the area of the Mac Court land[10]; and

1.8 WHEREAS nine years have now passed since the 2004 Task Force report calling for voluntary contributions from athletics toward academic scholarships, during which annual operating expenditures by the Athletic Department have increased from less than $40 million to more than $90 million[11]; and

1.9 WHEREAS during that time the athletic department has not made any such contributions and in fact has received increasing subsidies from the academic budget.


2.1 BE IT HEREBY MOVED that the subsidies to the Athletic Department for tutoring and academic support for student athletes be reduced on a per student basis to the same level as that of non-athlete student beginning in FY 2013-14, with the remainder of these funds directed to general academic purposes;  and

2.2 BE IT FURTHER MOVED that the Athletic Department shall pay from its budget the full cost of the bonds used to purchase the Knight Arena land, beginning in FY 2013-14 and that these funds should be directed to general academic purposes; and

2.3 BE IT FURTHER MOVED that these payments shall retroactively cover the full cost of Jaqua center services and bond payments from 7/1/2013 forward; and

[1] UO Task Force Report at

[2] 2008 motion at

[3] 2012 motion at

[4] Endorsements of former Senate Presidents at

[5] Letter from President Gottfredson to President Paris at Response to US2012-13_20.pdf

[6] UO Financial Transparency Report at payments to Jaqua Center 2012 to 2014.pdf and Register Guard story at

[7] Report at

[8] Report at

[9] UO Foundation report at

[10] Frohnmayer/Kilkenny MOU at

[11] AD budget at


Financial Impact:

Cost Neutral


William Harbaugh (Economics), Senator

Related Documents:

Documents from Professor Dev Sinha (Mathematics), distributed to the UO Senate on February 12, 2014:

Report and Proposals from the University of Oregon Athletics Task Force 2001 to 2004
Reports on services for student athletes

Legislative History:

This motion was amended on the floor of the University Senate on 11/13/2014. Attached is a redlined version of the original motion.

Furthermore, the Senate passed a motion to form an ad hoc committee to redraft the motion for submission and consideration by the Senate with the express intent of soliciting input from the Office of the President.

Professor Bill Harbaugh (Economics), Chair of the ad hoc committee created to examine this motion,gave a report to the University Senate on January 15, 2014. The report can be found online: Report on Athletics Subsidies Committee.

President Gottfredson replies to motion: Payments by the Athletics Department for Academic Purposes (US12/13-20)

This motion was amended on the floor of the University Senate on 02/12/2014. Attached is a redlined version of the original motion.

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8 Responses to Ducks project spending increase of $5.4M, will Coltrane still say no money for academics?

  1. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    How about posting the corresponding data for other segments of interest in UO, e.g. CAS or the entire UO budget? Then it might be possible to begin to make an intelligent judgment.

    • uomatters says:

      According to the FTR tool on duckweb, CAS spending was $128M last year (2014), and is budgeted for $122M this year (2015). That can’t be right though, I’ll dig into it a little more.

      • auntie says:

        Unless it is right: I’ve heard the CAS budget is pretty pinched, and slated to get worse.

  2. Dog says:

    To UOM

    The amounts listed on the FTR tool are correct. Total money on paper in established spending indexes is down in CAS relative to last year.

    As you may know, CAS has established a much different fiscal policy for departments as of FY 15. (Personally, I think its disastrous, but who cares what I think) – for example, departments will no longer be able to keep any faculty salary leave savings. Basically, the new policy removes any kind of financial flexibility for departments which sucks on all levels.

    One justification for CAS was that departments were keeping too much funds in “carryforward” status – well no shit, that’s how you can at least have some control and some flexibility within your own department. All of that has been gone.

    The amount of money “taken back” by these new policies is likely not part of the 122 Million figure in the FTR tool.

    • one eyed pinhead says:

      I say it again – there’s got to be some push back soon. Maybe the Senate can take on this bit of de-Espification?

  3. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    I have heard many of the statements made by other about changes in CAS practices, especially about a focus on micromanaging that has suddenly become somewhat obsessive. Dog notes if I understand correctly, that an apples to apples comparison may not be possible from the officially posted information.

    It would be good for CAS to post real figures, rather than letting the rumor mill grind away like it is here.

    Personally, I doubt (but have no inside info) that the CAS “real” budget could have decreased significantly, because personnel costs per employee (salary raises, steep increases in health insurance, etc.) have risen.

    Rather than steaming about the negative influence of UOMatters in stoking rumors (and worse) maybe it would behoove CAS to put out some real information so that interested people can look at it intelligently.

    • uomatters says:

      The numbers I gave include CAS faculty and personnel costs. That said, it would be great if CAS and UO would start giving out some real information, and drive me out of business. The sooner the better. Unfortunately it seems they would rather try and distract us with mission statement junk.

  4. Dog says:

    yes agreed – Its not clear if the actual *real* dollars is more or less although central admin has paid off several outstanding “obligations” this past year, thus possible reducing some of the real dollars. And some of the strategic initiative money (cluster hires, and actual initiatives) has reduced that which is going to the schools and colleges.

    The bottom line is that none of us peons/employees actually ever know what is really going on …

    If ever the practices of an institution enabled the UOM thing- the UO is certainly it.