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Duck athletic department punts to librarians on charitable giving

10/2/2014: Seems like a good time to repost this:

11/29/2013: Every year the state runs a Charitable Fund Drive for employees. You know the drill. You get a few emails from your department head, asking you to sign up for payroll deductions to support community groups like the United Way, the local food bank, and so on. This year’s drive is wrapping up, if you haven’t given you can do it here.

I’m no expert on charitable giving, but as it happens, the Oregon CFD publishes the data on gifts, by unit. It’s rather remarkable. Take, for example, the Duck Athletics Department. There are 6 men’s head coaches, with average pay of $1,062,690. Men’s assistant coaches numbered 21, with average pay of $278,066. Total payroll was about $35M. NCAA data here. And total pledges to the Oregon Charitable Fund Drive from Duck Athletics Department employees for this year? $11,321:

That works out to about 0.03% of income. For comparison, the average American gives almost 3% of their income to charity, and the average UO employee gives about 0.1% to the CFD, making the obscenely overpaid millionaire coaches in the athletic department about 1/3rd as generous as the average UO worker. [Thanks to Uncle Bernie for correction.]

Of course, the coaches are pretty good about pressuring their unpaid athletes to work for charity – and then getting as much good press for themselves as they can out of it. From UO’s Alumni magazine:


Wow, that’s almost another 0.01% of the coaches’ pay! I’ll have more about the O Heroes program later, but essentially the AD uses a points system to encourage players to show up at booster events and so on.

I’m not too sure what average pay for a UO librarian is, but I’m guessing it’s a bit shy of $1M. They seem to be the most generous:

The B-school’s pretty good too. What about the President’s office? There are a few hefty salaries there. But charitable gifts, not so much:

Thanks to an anonymous correspondent for the idea, the data and the links!


  1. Old Grey Mare 11/29/2013

    Then there are those of us who prefer not to give through our workplace or be solicited to give through our workplace. Giving from the faculty is higher than reported; but so might be giving from the coaches.

    • Anonymous 11/29/2013

      Agreed. Being pressured to give money by the person writing my reviews is unethical. That the giving or the not giving is not anonymous is also problematic.

    • Anonymous 11/30/2013

      I agree, too. Some people give carefully, vetting all the agencies they support, checking admin costs, looking into on-the-ground organization. They do not give at the grocery store or at work. That may look to others as if they don’t give.

    • UO Matters 11/30/2013

      I like the CFD because it minimizes the amount charities have to spend on fundraising. You can just check the box where you want the money to go, there are lots of options. Personally I give it all to Lane County United Way, because I’ve worked with them in the past on research projects and think they generally have a better handle on current community needs than I do. Also, that means the charities they allocate the money too don’t send me a lot of expensive glossy mailers, and I don’t have to keep track of a lot of receipts. This is not meant to dis people who give in other ways.

      On the other hand, the low rate of participation by JH and the coaches is absurd. People who are making $300K to $2M plus and live here should be big givers to the community fund drive, at a minimum, and the fact that they are not – while getting their unpaid athletes to deliver turkeys in their name – is pretty revealing.

    • Anonymous 11/30/2013

      As other people have said, it is up to each of use to chose the way to contribute that we think is best. Many people have concerns with the CFD. We don’t know what else people do in terms of contributing time and money; passing judgement on them here seems harsh.

  2. honest Uncle Bernie 11/29/2013

    “That works out to about 0.03% of income. For comparison, the average American gives almost 3% of their income to charity, and the average UO employee gives about 0.1% to the CFD, making the athletic department about 1/30th as generous as average UO worker.”

    Uh, I’m not an economist, or a mathematician, and I don’t count time very well, but doesn’t that make the athletic department 0.3 or about 1/3 as generous as the average UO worker?

    I know some people consider my methods too simple, but I’ll show how I figgered this:

    .03/.1 = 0.3 ~ 1/3.

    I’ll leave it to others to add in benefits.

  3. honest Uncle Bernie 11/29/2013

    by the way, still waiting with unmatched eagerness for the big game matchup at UOM!

  4. Old faculty fart 10/04/2014

    Posting data from the Charitable Fund Drive that is not public is beneath contempt. Who ever posted this data anonymously is also beneath contempt. And anyone who would post this data to criticize a particular department (intercollegiate athletics) is a worhless dirt bag. Truth be told, the pledge from intercollegiate athletics in the last Charitable Fund Drive were up by a factor of four. But then, what were the contributions from the Economics Department or the person who posts the Blog. What a fucking hypocrite !!!

    • uomatters Post author | 10/04/2014

      This is public data. It is posted on the web by the State of Oregon every year and has been for many years. It does not include individually identifying information – just work groups. The state posts it as an attempt to encourage charitable giving. Many other states and private employers post similar information, for the same reason.

      • faculty old fart 10/04/2014

        I stand corrected. This information which I previously thought only available to coordinators of the charitable fund drive is available on the web. But it begs the question of why we have failed to notice that pledges from the economics department (14 pledges for $4500) lagged intercollegiate athletics ( 28 pledges for $15,69). Truth be told I wish that intercollegiate athletic pledged more than they did. But I also wish that people in departments that are not holding up their part of the bargain (e.g., economics) didn’t feel do freely to criticize others. Maybe the person who posts this blog will step up and tell us what he pledged relative to the coaches he criticizes.

        • uomatters Post author | 10/04/2014

          Last year I gave .4% of my salary to the CFD. If the Duck’s two highest paid employees, Mark Helfrich and Dana Altman, had given a similar percentage, that would have been donations of about $8000 and $6000, respectively, for a total of $14,000. Obviously they didn’t.

          The entire Duck payroll is roughly $26M. The Economics department payroll is about 1/10 of that. If the Duck AD employees had given at the same rate as the economists, their giving would have been about $57,000, instead of just $11,321.

          (These numbers are based on the data as of when I wrote the original post – but you get the idea.)

        • old faculty fart 10/04/2014

          .4% of your salary? Sounds pretty miserly to me, at least to be criticizing for others what others give. And how do you know that the individual coaches gave? Step up to the plate on your own giving and then you can have a credible voice at the table.

          And lest we forget, it’s said that God put economists on earth to make astrologers look good. And it worked.

          • throne holder 10/04/2014

            WTF? You quote “God” ?!
            What percentage of your retirement (because I can’t imagine you’re still employed) do you give to anyone? Step up to the plate, old anonymous fart who has no credibility.

          • Fishwrapper 10/05/2014

            .4% may seem miserly to an old fart, faculty or otherwise, but it’s clearly less miserly than .03%. Even my math skills can see that. Plus, if UOMatters is anything like this fart (neither “old” by preference or “faculty” by rank, but still in need of Beano from time to time) he doesn’t put all of his charitable eggs in a single basket. In fact, I give a whopping 0.000&% through the campus charitable drive, and even less to organizations through United Way, preferring instead to cut out the middle man (in the latter) and get 100% of my giving to the intended organizations, and to offer my giving to numerous local organizations that I deem worthy, but that the campus giving program does not find room for under their umbrella (with regard to the former).

          • anon 10/06/2014

            But fishwrapper, neither is miserly on its own, since as both you and UOmatters point out, plenty of people chose to give elsewhere. So while I think the taxpayer-subsidized athletic salaries are egregious, it is petty to try to draw any conclusions about the miserliness of anyone based on the CFD.

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