9/22/2014 update: Gottfredson’s last official act before skipping town with his $940K was to appoint former journalism dean Tim Gleason to replace longtime NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon (Law), after presumptive heir Rob Illig (Law) crashed and burned with his viral “I’m worth $1M, so screw you unemployed law grads” campaign. The FAR’s are having their national meeting in November in New Orleans. For more info about what the FAR is supposed to do to balance the interests of big-time Duck sports and its multi-million dollar employees with our academic mission, try here. Meanwhile the UO Senate needs to decide what to do about Gleason – specifically this proposed legislation from Pedro Garcia-Caro calling for a Senate role in appointing a new FAR.
This winter Gottfredson set up a search committee to find a replacement for Jim O’Fallon (Law), who has had the FAR job for 25 years and who been the subject of repeated Senate motions and reports calling for a review and replacement. The Senate will take this up again in the fall. Andy Karduna (Human Phys) agreed to chair the committee, despite Gottfredson’s secrecy requirements. Karduna reported to the IAC and the Senate that the secrecy (and presumably Gottfredson’s control-freak job description and the requirement of a year-long apprenticeship to O’Fallon) kept several qualified and interested faculty from applying. Rumor has it that Rob Illig (Law) wanted the job, but his $1 Million salary goal was a bit too steep. The appointment was supposed to be made in June, but apparently there are still no takers.
6/20/2014 update: Gottfredson appoints IAC-lite, to evade faculty oversight of athletics
The day after President Gottfredson got the EPD report on the basketball rape allegations he decided to dismantle the Senate Intercollegiate Athletic Committee and appoint his own handpicked group of faculty to a new “Advisory Group”. Still no word on who Gottfredson will appoint as FAR in training. At least a few qualified and interested faculty refused to apply under the terms of Gottfredson’s secret search. The Senate will vote on legislation for a new search in the Fall, in any case.
In the past the IAC has asked some tough questions about athletics, and occasionally got some answers. It seems that neither is acceptable to our President. This is an end run around the UO Constitution, faculty governance, the NCAA rules, all that is right and holy, and what UO has been telling its academic accreditors.
Meanwhile, as described below, the real IAC has held a successful, open meeting, elected a new chair, and is ready to do the real job of faculty governance. Gottfredson’s announcement on his IAC-lite advisory group, to be chaired by Kim Sheehan (Advertising) is here:
The President’s Advisory Group on Intercollegiate Athletics advises the president on University of Oregon Athletics Department policies and practices as they affect the academic progress, the academic performance, and the well-being of student athletes. The group will provide guidance and make recommendations to help ensure athletic department programs and practices operate consistent with the university’s academic mission and comply with NCAA and Pac-12 rules and expectations.
The PAGIA will meet regularly twice per term. The group will assemble for additional sessions at the request of the president. Membership will consist of six faculty members, two students, three administrators, three staff advisors as well as the athletic director, senior associate athletic director and faculty athletic representative.
Professor Kim Sheehan, School of Journalism and Communications, Chair
Professor Jenifer Craig, School of Music and Dance
Professor David Frank, Clark Honors College
Professor James Isenberg, Mathematics
Professor Lynn Kahle, Lindquist School of Business
One yet to be appointed
Jillian Alleyne, Communication Disorders and Science major, Basketball
David Spencer, Accounting major
Roger Thompson, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Lisa Freinkel, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies
Paul Shang, Dean of Students
Intercollegiate Athletic Director, Rob Mullens
Senior Associate Athletic Director, Senior Women’s Administrator, Lisa Peterson
Faculty Athletics Representative, Jim O’Fallon
FAR Designee, to be appointed
Jody Sykes, Senior Associate Athletic Director Compliance Officer
Sue Eveland, University Registrar
Steven Stolp, Executive Director, Services for Student Athletes
6/9/2014: Intercollegiate Athletics Committee elects Kurt Krueger as chair
Krueger is a longtime UO staff member in printing services, serving in his 5th year on the IAC. This afternoon he defeated Andy Karduna (Human Phys) in an election to be the 2014-15 chair.
Both candidates spoke to the need to deal with the threat to shared governance from President Gottfredson’s unilateral decision to take away the IAC’s oversight of athletics, get the athletic department back to the table, and generally repair the damage to the IAC’s credibility done by last year’s chair Rob Illig (Law), who came under heavy criticism at today’s meeting (which he skipped).
Krueger pledged to work with Senate President Kyr, President Gottfredson, and the AD to get the committee back to work. He also gave a strong endorsement of the Senate’s new open meetings policy. This year’s agenda will likely focus on student-athlete academic support, sexual assault prevention training for athletes, and the process for vetting special athletic admits, in addition to the other items in the IAC charge, here.
Karduna had been on Illig’s executive committee, and was Gottfredson’s choice to run his secret Faculty Athletics Representative search. The Senate has repudiated that search once already, and has legislation on the agenda for fall to reform the process. Karduna was asked some tough questions about his role in helping Illig run the IAC, and his agreement to chair the secret FAR search despite Senate opposition.
Apparently I wasn’t the only person left unsatisfied by Karduna’s answers. The committee voted 11 to 1 to elect Krueger.
6/5/2014 update: President Gottfredson dismantles faculty supervision of Duck athletics
After the rape allegations broke on May5th, it came out that President Gottfredson had known about them since March 9th. He got the final EPD investigation report on April 28. The next day he dismantled faculty supervision of Duck athletics. Too many tough questions? Timeline here.
4/30/2014: Troy Brynelson has the scoop in the Daily Emerald, here. Gottfredson’s email to Senate President Margie Paris is below. I don’t know of any previous UO President who has dismantled a Senate committee by fiat. I have the feeling there’s more of this coming from President Gottfredson.
This is clearly a bad decision for UO and for shared governance. For that matter I’m not sure it’s the right decision for Gottfredson, who – with his new hand-picked advisory committee – will now have responsibility for the Duck athletics program and all its problems. Frohnmayer would have looked for a way to spread the blame!
Back in 2001 President Frohnmayer dealt with the inherent conflicts between athletics and academics by working with Senate President Nathan Tublitz to establish a joint Administration/Senate Athletics Task Force. He made a point of including Jim Earl (English) and Tublitz (Biology), even though they were the strongest and most vociferous faculty critics of UO’s increasing emphasis on big-time sports.
That committee’s 2004 report called for a number of reforms, including an end to athletic subsidies. The Senate responded to this report by charging it’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee with keeping an eye on the athletic department’s finances, facilities, donations, and the academic outcomes of athletes.
In contrast, President Gottfredson has dealt with the conflicts by simply gutting the IAC, saying he will no longer even require athletic department administrators to meet with the committee, much less share the sorts of information that they are required to share by our Senate charge. He will replace it with a new administrative advisory group, staffed with his own appointees, and charged with doing whatever he wants them to do. Bob Berdahl tried to do something similar back in 2012 – emails here – but got scared off by worries the NCAA would see this as a “loss of institutional control“. But the NCAA’s got bigger things to deal with these days, like the O’Bannon lawsuit and player’s unions.
Gottfredson’s stated reason is a report from IAC Chair Rob Illig (Law) to the Senate, describing the IAC’s often contentious meetings, and specifically Bill Harbaugh’s role in them. (That’s me.) While Illig told the IAC he would consult with the IAC before submitting this report, he didn’t – it’s entirely his own work. Some on the committee agree with Illig’s conclusions, some do not. The Senate has not even considered Illig’s report, except for a statement of disapproval from Randy Sullivan (Chemistry) about it’s ad hominem nature, at the last meeting.
I was elected by the faculty to the Senate’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee in 2011, and re-elected in 2013. I’m pretty sure the people who voted for me knew that I would ask uncomfortable questions and push for more transparency and accountability. And I have, starting with questions about basic finances and academic subsidies for the Jaqua Center for Student Athletes, and continuing with questions about why the academic budget was subsidizing athletics overhead, the legal costs of the Chip Kelly/Willie Lyles investigation, the way that Rob Mullens imposed a new policy on drug testing, the bowl game junkets for the administrators who approved the athletic budget, the $235M in bonds for the Matt Court Arena, long overdue reviews for FAR Jim O’Fallon, the sham athletes only courses UO has set up, AD monitoring of athletes social media, etc.
The UO athletic department hates it when faculty ask these questions. They hate seeing the news stories and the increasing skepticism about the system that they’ve grown rich from, and the NYTimes laughing at their pretensions. They really hate it when the results cost them money, as with the arena financing deal and the overhead rates. They hated it when the Senate voted for my motion to move some of their profits from their own pay to academic scholarships. Naturally these IAC meetings get a little contentious, and there’s always pushback and legal threats from the administration:
Dear Rob [Kyr, Senate President] and Brian [McWhorter, IAC Chair;
I received your email of July 24, 2012, requesting a delay in the public hearing scheduled for August 23rd, 2012. The hearing will be rescheduled for September 13, 2012. Written comments will be accepted until noon on September 14, 2012. We will similarly postpone the date the rule will be filed with the Secretary of State and become final. The rule will be filed on September 21, 2012.
Your allegations about the University’s rulemaking processes are offensive and false , as are the comments made publicly by members of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. I ask that you apologize in writing to President Berdahl, Rob Mullens, and me. I also ask that you censure the members of the IAC who have published offensive and defamatory comments.
General Counsel, University of Oregon
And now that the Senate has voted to make IAC meetings public, well, the potential for embarrassment and expense has gone up quite a bit. So President Gottfredson has ended any pretense of faculty oversight of athletics – even when it comes to academic matters. If the Senate can come up with a new arrangement that suits the President, perhaps he will change this decision. Perhaps not.
From: President Gottfredson
To: Margaret Paris
Date: April 29, 2014 at 9:21 AM
Subject: Interim Athletic Advisory Group
April 29, 2014
President Margaret Paris
It has become necessary for me to appoint an advisory group to provide
advice and recommendations on intercollegiate athletic issues. As you
know, the chair of the University Senate’s Intercollegiate Athletics
Committee (IAC), has made this recommendation. It is critical that the
university have an advisory group, one that operates such that all
members can participate in an environment free of the numerous problems
the chair clearly identifies in his report to the senate.
To be effective, this committee must ask critical questions, participate in
rational and informed deliberations, have a clear mission, and must not be
regarded as hostile to individual members, staff, or students. The president
and athletic director need advice and independent perspectives, designed
to ensure that our programs operate consistent with our academic mission
and standards, and comply, at the highest levels, with NCAA and Pac-12
rules and expectations.
This new advisory group will have members from faculty, staff, students,
and administration. I invite your nominations of faculty members. I intend to
request that the athletic administrators, the Faculty Athletic
Representative, and other administrative staff work with this advisory
group, including providing appropriate information that the committee
deems necessary, in lieu of the IAC. This will be an interim measure, until
the senate appropriately addresses the issues raised in the chair’s report.
Michael R. Gottfredson
Rob Illig’s full report is here:
I wish to report my conclusion – and the conclusion of many of the members of the IAC –
that the committee is broken. Its acrimonious relationship with the President, the NCAA
Faculty Athletics Representative, and the Athletic Director makes it impossible for the
committee to achieve its stated goals. More fundamentally, the IAC’s functioning is
materially hampered by confusion among its members and the larger UO community
regarding its proper role and the extent of its powers. This is primarily a problem of
structure rather than a problem of personalities. Or, to put it differently, we can solve the
problem by changing the structure, but we cannot change the personalities.
Based on the foregoing conclusions, I will recommend that the President withdraw the
administration’s and athletics department’s involvement in the IAC, thereby making it
purely a creature of the Senate. Having done this, he should appoint – in consultation with
the FAR and AD – a small group of trusted faculty who can advise these individuals during
the process of their decisionmaking.
I further recommend that the Senate consider revising the IAC’s official charge to re-focus
the committee on student-athlete welfare, including by investigating the academic culture
in which UO student-athletes are immersed. Finally, I recommend that the Senate
investigate the impact of conflicts of interest on proper committee functioning.
Rob Illig photo courtesy of “Around the O”: