Duck athletics has $350M so far, expects another $430M from $2B fund drive. Remainder for academics.

10/19/2014: That’s half the $700M raised so far in this drive, plus 1/3 of the remaining $1.3B goal, based on the Andreasen quote below. Can anyone explain why the academic side is still subsidizing the athletic department’s bills?

The Daily Emerald’s Alexandra Wallachy has a good interview with VP for Advancement Mike Andreassen, here:

There were a lot of rumors last night that Phil Knight was going to donate a billion. Do you have any idea where those rumors started?

MA: “No idea. And you know, frankly I’m a little disappointed about that because our donors have been amazing, including Phil and Penny. They’ve given already, I know they will continue to give.”

And the RG’s Diane Dietz has more:

About half of the $700 million given to the University of Oregon toward its $2 billion fundraising goal — announced Friday — was earmarked for athletics rather than academics.

The tide is turning, UO Vice President for University Advancement Michael Andreasen said Saturday.

His rule of thumb is that the university should be two-thirds academically focused in its fundraising.

10/17/2014 10PM wrap-up: Coltrane announces $2B goal, $700M in hand, Knight doesn’t show.

About 1/2 of that $700M went to the jocks. Oregonian report here.

8:06PM update: Rumor is that Klinger and Clevenger got the RG reporters excluded as payback for The Bowl story. And apparently UO’s Strategic Communicators believe that the Oregon Daily Emerald news staff has been exposed to Ebola. They’ve got a pretty good report anyway, here.

But the Oregonian’s Allan Brettman is embedded in the big white tent: Follow him on Twitter, here.

Update: Reporter pours cold water on Knight donation rumors: Matt Kish in the Portland Business Journal, here.

Update: Chief Communicator Klinger incommunicado about contribution

Betsy Hammond posts the rumors about my rumors about EW rumors about the same rumors I heard, in the Oregonian here.

10/17/2014: Knight money to fund conversion of Mac Court to Academic Center?

Latest rumor is that Knight money will go in part toward converting Mac Court into a Student Academic Center. This would allow Rob Mullens and Tom Hart to continue to isolate the jocks from the general UO student population, while reducing the bad blood between academics and athletics over the millions in subsidies we’ve poured into the athletic department for the Jock Box and the Matt Court land over the past 5 years. See the upcoming UO Senate legislation here.

10/16/2014: Forklifts begin unloading pallets of Knight cash at Hayward Field

Looks like a billion from here, maybe a bit less after the jocks stepped on it:


The Eugene Weekly has a new rumor on my rumor, which was mostly based on their rumor, or a rumor I got from the same person they got it from, here. Maybe Chief Communicator Klinger will have something solid in the AM. Or maybe it’ll be another 14 years.

10/13/2014: Knight gift rumors range from $800M to $2B

One report says mostly for scholarships. I wouldn’t put much stock in the details at this point, but Friday does seem like the day for the announcement.

Update: UO’s Tobin Klinger reveals time and place of Phil Knight’s big gift

Friday Oct 17, breakfast. The report from Strategic Communicator Tobin Klinger is in “Around the 0”, here:

On Friday, Oct. 17, a breakfast will be held welcoming more than 300 members to campus, setting the stage for what is being described as “an historic day.”

The gift announcement will be made in the giant white tent being erected in Hayward Field. Presumably this will be the largest higher education donation in history, and a game changer for UO’s ability to perform its academic mission. Good for Uncle Phil.

10/9/2014: Knight to give UO $1B, with strings

That’s been the rumor since 1997. The Eugene Weekly reports the new rumor is that there will be an announcement this month. Gifts always come with strings, these have presumably been negotiated between Knight (or perhaps Kilkenny or Slusher) and Chuck Lillis. The BOT has to approve the deal for any gift over $5M, which presumably means the details will be public.

10/12/2014 update: UO Alum Marc Mooney asks “Did the U of O Become Faber College (with a really good football squad)?”, here.

10/11/2014 update: OC Register summarizes the UO academics/athletics divide, prior to big gift
Scott Reid has the story, here, with quotes from Bartko, Sinha, Harbaugh, Tublitz, and Freyd:

“Oregon just decided we’re a second-rate university that’s struggling to compete with other top universities in the country, so it was easier to grow in in athletics than academics,” … “The athletic enterprise here has become a monster, become the tail that wags the academic dog and no one here has the (guts) to stand up to them.”

Hint: That one’s not from Dev.

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68 Responses to Duck athletics has $350M so far, expects another $430M from $2B fund drive. Remainder for academics.

  1. F@&king Clueless says:

    Seems odd this would be picked up first by the Weekly. Wonder if they have a better source than some “National Sportscasters” or if they are just hoping a recycle of this old rumor will finally come true.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is this why they’re putting up that giant tent in Hayward Field – for the announcement party?

  3. how much says:

    How much for a parking lot that would allow faculty the same ability to park their fucking cars as the athletic department staff have?

    (Excuse me… got caught up hunting for a spot this morning.)

  4. anonymous says:

    I heard this a while back from people inside UO, faculty, it is not just from sportscasters.

  5. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Even my fans would not believe me if I blabbed the rumor I hear about who they might try to get for the next Pres!

    • not a notable alum says:

      Come on we all know that Lillis is going to crown himself president ;- )

      • honest Uncle Bernie says:

        It’s much more astounding than that!

        • Anonymous2 says:

          Go on…

          • not a notable alum says:

            He’s talking about pitching the job to a big sexy academic with significant ties to UO.

          • Anonymous says:

            Whoever it is, I bet they’ll be happy to come here for 85% of comparator presidents’ salary thanks to the excellent benefits.

            (Sorry hUB, couldn’t resist.)

          • uomatters says:

            I’d rather just have a competent manager, who is willing to knock some heads.

          • fat chance says:

            Administrators don’t have to come here for fractions of comparator salaries. Everyone else does, sure, but not the administrative class.

          • honest Uncle Bernie says:

            Anonymous — re the 85% — in the first place, I hope they will hire a Pres who understands the concept of total compensation and how comparisons of it may differ from salary comparisons.

            Second, a new Pres will come in as Tier 3 or something like that. So, their benefits are probably something like 3% better than at the average “comparator.” So, the new Pres will be wise to go for better than 85% of comparable salary.

            On the other hand, as hUB well understands, a Tier 1 ORP person is getting something like 12-13% better benefits than at the average comparator. So, 85% salary parity combined with that may actually not be such a rotten deal.

            • uomatters says:

              Careful, hUB. You are mixing the costs to UO with the benefits to faculty. As you know, some fraction of those high PERS Tier 1 costs benefit other people, such as Berdahl and Bellotti. And the state has just cut those Tier 1 benefits, if it holds up in court. As for the Tier 1 ORP people, PERS has just announced a cut in the payments they will make to their ORP accounts. And, additionally, many older faculty at our comparators are also grandfathered in to generous TIER 1 type programs. And finally, other AAU publics typically have generous programs for summer pay, pre-tenure sabbaticals, and research support. And finally, our TRP program is a pretty bad deal. Hard to make a direct comparison of the value of benefits, overall.

          • honest Uncle Bernie says:

            It would involve very interesting diversity considerations, plus probably thrill Uncle Phil, plus cause a stir at the State Department ….

          • anonec says:

            Condoleezza Rice?

          • not a notable alum says:

            hUB, would it be fair to say this person is a notable football nut too? If so, I think I know who it is.

          • honest Uncle Bernie says:

            Not Ali Bongo, bigger than that!

          • nobody says:

            Gotta be Espy coming back to take the job :S

          • ScienceDuck says:

            So that’s why Kim Jong-un has been missing the past weeks!

  6. Anonymous says:

    The rumor? Cyclic Cylvia was married to an Ethiopian who eventually became a runner attached to Nike. One thing led to another and not only were there major tax advantages given but keys to a certain university.

    There you go.

  7. ScienceDuck says:

    Is it “an ‘istoric” event or “a historic” event? Is Tobin Klinger from Yorkshire?

  8. Dr.Funkenstein says:

    When and if it happens, I’m sure the strings will include a thumbed nose at all those highfalutin professorial types who don’t properly worship Uncle Phil.

    • honest Uncle Bernie says:

      probably right on that, Doc. I will be very curious to see who all’s eyes get poked on Oct. 17.

  9. Max Powers says:

    hmmmm…maybe the strings are that the money be used to pay the University’s way out of being a “state” institution and the University goes private? The way I see it, the hurdle to going private is that it is likely the state could argue it owns the land the University sits on. Pay the state off, the state and the HECC puts the money in a fund to offset tuition around the rest of the state, offer scholarships and the U of O rides off into the private sunset?

    • Dave says:

      paranoia much?

    • 2MaxPowers says:

      Max the taxpayers and citizens of of Oregon own not only the land, but the buildings, the 130 years of tradition support in a word everything. If mr knight or any of the boosters want but purchase the UO and make it private I think the state would be more than happy to sell out–just look at the track record of our governors. Hopefully, the treasurer and secretary of state will put a far higher price tag than a a few billion dollars given to a trust fund that has less strings attached to the private foundation than to the benefactors.

      Perhaps huB or an economist could give the value of our University to take it private given the revenue picture and all assets. Heck, if the foundation is to be believed ONE BILLION DOLLARS!!!! is not even close to the amount needed to sell out. Supposedly there is ONE BILLION DOLLARS!!! in the foundation and if the foundation were doing its job there would be well over two billion in there. Then there is the fact that mr Knight will be adding to that pot for TWO BILLION DOLLARS and yes that two billion is for the State University. Then the university has annual revenue of around ONE BILLION DOLLARS! there is some formula for future earnings and good will I think (I am no economist). This should be worth something. And then there is that 40,000 student whisper noise backed up by all the private Dorms going up around our once fair city. If I calculate the revenue in 5 or 10 years based on that number and it is (think Carl Sagan) Billions and Billions.

      And being part of the AAU must have some small value. Plus in going private I bet you can leave the costs of the state retirement plans and medical coverage back at the state increasing PROFIT.

      Of course the AAU is nothing compared to the Athletic brand and franchise. Ask yourself when was the last time a top 10 college sports team was sold??? Hard to answer so how do you value that? well we could look at NFL teams:

      And NBA teams as well:

      And a new golf course, and baseball, and softball.

      This is not an academic question. There could be a real market selling out our university to the highest bidder. Condemn the old Peace Health Hillyard Camus and sell it along as a potential Medical Center or research institute.

  10. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    uomatters — you can quibble all you want — but show me one of our official OUS comparators with a deal like Tier 1 PERS — or even look at all the AAU public campuses — I think you’ll be hard pressed.

    Insofar as pension benefits can be compared, my fans tell me I’ve won every time here!

    And as for the Tier 1 ORP benefits — sure, they fluctuate with time — my best understanding right now is that they are actually going UP about 1% next biennium — the “cut” you are talking about is actually from an even higher projected benefit — that won’t be happening after all, because PERS is in better shape than it appeared the last time they projected contributions.

    • uomatters says:

      hUB, you’re talking about a COLA adjustment that is less than the actual cost of living increase.

      And check page 2 here:

      Because of various reforms the salary replacement ratio for new 30 year Tier 1 retirees has fallen from 100% of salary in 1999 to 70% last year. This is no longer the cadillac program it was.

      • honest Uncle Bernie says:

        I’m not talking about a COLA adjustment at all, I’m talking about — as I said — the Tier 1 ORP benefit aka contribution.

      • Hippo says:

        HUB: STFU about Tier I benefits. Yeah, you and your other Golden Oldies have that gravy train, but there are some of us who came here under Tier III, which is by comparison not so sweet at all.

        • allisduckie says:

          The different PERs tiers are a good argument for salary compression for sure, and more certain than trying to uncover all the benefits at comparators. I hope the union understands this and argues for salary increases to go to those with lower future total compensation.

          • Hippo says:

            I will also add that when it comes to “recruitment and retention” Tier 1 is irrelevant. If you are in Tier 1, odds are you are on the downward side of your career.

          • Old hippo says:

            You may be correct Hippo but the most depressing thought is that you young Hippos will never have a chance to have a worthwhile career at UO the way things are going. Many of your young colleagues are sending out resumes. I suggest the same if you want to make something of yourself because you will not be able to reach your potential here. How sad…

        • honest Uncle Bernie says:

          Hippo — I’m well aware of the lower Tier 3 pension benefits. (Still, with the 6% “pickup” they ‘re still pretty good.) But, the Tier 3 ranks generally have higher salaries (relative to comparators of same rank) than do Tier 1 and Tier 2. The total compensation comparisons work out to be surprisingly similar. I have always taken the much lower Tier 3 pension benefits into account, as anyone knows who reads and actually understands my posts.

  11. Nostradamus says:

    Headline one year from now:

    PrezBo Takes UO Private

  12. moosely says:

    Okay, let’s get some perspective.

    First, there aren’t any family members left to honor with some campus building. Someone suggested PK’s cat, but Ms. Puss wouldn’t be an appropriate entity for whom to name a campus structure — mammoth, mini or otherwise.

    More to the point, Track Town USA captained, by a UO athletic director, has offered a bid for the 2019 World T & F Championships to be hosted in Eugene. No realistic opinion would do anything but guffaw at such a proposal. BUT … what an opportunity a “failed bid” brings: a challenge bid for the City of Eugene, State of Oregon and other sports apparel companies to champion a “USA” bid by contributing matching dollars. Tidbits a failed bid brings to the UO campus? Some new dorms, repurposed classrooms and office space, new track and field facilities .. you get the idea. Academics, on their own, will always suck in the PK view.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The money is for a separate academic campus near Autzen Stadium for UO student-athletes so they don’t have to mix with regular students. That’s where all the trouble they get into comes from, anyway.

  14. OA Anon says:

    How much do we think it’s costing to construct this glamorous tent city on Hayward Field? Hundreds of thousands? I know a drop in the bucket for a $1Billion gift, but still . . .
    Any data? Best guesses?

  15. Gimme Some Money says:

    In preparation for the roll-out of funds, here’s what should be an anthem for the university – written and performed by a punk band comprised of UO sociologists.

  16. speaking of clueless says:

    Oh, go ahead and credit the EW on rumors. But then read the next entry that claims: ” … What happened in her life 17 years ago is between Cylvia and John. ..”

    Right. Total BS and typical “progressive” nonsense. Real Oregonians don’t have time for that shit.

  17. that effing Dog again says:

    I think the rumor about the Mac Court remodel is likely the closest to the truth and even makes some sense. A broader remodel plan
    would include the demolition of Esslinger and the have one complex directly related to the Rec Center – sort of a combined multipurpose space for students and this, to me, is actually sensible.

  18. Anonymous says:

    My guess is Uncle Phil is still not ready to give to support faculty or non-sports research. So yeah, student study center. Better than nothing, but not going to help with our AAU problem.

    • just the facts says:

      Maybe you should wait until all the facts are out in the open before you cast judgement on the matter.

      • uomatters says:

        Naah, it’s just a blog comment. Rumors, speculation and premature judgement are part of the charm.

        • Anon says:

          One of my students is working the event – says it’s $1B upfront and another $1B matching.

          • Anonymous says:

            Excited for the UOAA and other groups to spend $800 million on mailers and similar forms of begging.

      • Unpopular opinions 'r us says:

        Rumors, speculation and premature judgement are part of the charm? How can you possibly believe this blog is “news” when you admit that rumors, speculation, and premature judgement are part of the charm? I like you, Bill, and I appreciate your desire to to be a public muckraker but there’s no way this is “news”.

  19. The real price tag says:

    This talk of billions is blowing my mind, since my department does not have money for basic supplies and cannot afford to fix broken equipment.

  20. anon says:

    Does the $700 million figure represent total foundraising for the past 4 years, or is this amount somehow off the books?

  21. poverty stricken says:

    In our department, the dean has a padlock on the paper compartment of the copier to prevent faculty from ‘stealing’ the copy paper and using it in their office printers (that paper is supposed to come from our ASA budgets).

  22. A Kitzhaber quote says:

    “I look forward to partnering with our universities, including the University of Oregon, to reinvest in students and in our state.”

    Translation: “I look forward to private giving bailing out our universities”

  23. Hen says:

    Bit of a let down. Like being told you’ve won the lottery but you have to share it with a million other winners.

  24. birdie says:

    Phil wants not to be the lonely only contributing, so how’s about he needles Brooks and Bellotti — maybe Chip? — to commit some millions to academics in a good faith showing?

  25. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    Looks like Uncle Phil has been dangling the grapes, or holding the football, or something or other once again — or maybe the admins are just so practiced in self-deception that they can’t help themselves.

    Anyhow, the tent announcement was not what I had been told we would be hearing.

    • shazam says:

      We know he has a fondness for low-wage workers — maybe he was taking in the GTFF meeting and boycotting the elite tent.

    • Dog says:

      in retrospect, the whole tent thing seems pretty strange

      • ScienceDuck says:

        Less strange than the “Oregon Stars” theme of the last campaign, as guests entered (in tuxes and evening gowns) with ‘paparazzi’ snapping pictures and pretending to do red carpet interviews.

        • Still Blushing says:

          OMG I remember that. It was one of the most embarrassing moments in UO history, watching the cheerleaders practically do a lap dance for the donors. Sometimes things look less strange in retrospect, but some things just get weirder as the years pass.

  26. two timing us? says:

    I thought Phil was going to take us to the prom last night. We bought a new dress, got all gussied up and were hoping for a truly magical evening. But he didn’t show and I heard he was down at Taylor’s with a tall leggy blond named Stanford.

  27. birdie says:

    Don’t anyone get too excited about this campaign.

    Andreason says it’s a goal set for FOUR years from now. Not only will we have a new Pres and new Provost but some turnover on the vaunted Board. Oh .. an pretty sure the world will end before then.

  28. not a notable alum says:

    $2 B in four years would be an extraordinary accomplishment. If they end up being ahead of schedule in terms of $, that likely means more $ for UO. Remember, the last campaign was an eight year endeavor.

    • Anas Clypeata says:

      That’s $1.3 billion in four years. They claim to have raised $700 million in the last four years and are counting that toward the $2 billion.

      $1.3 billion in four years would still be very impressive.

  29. anonec says:

    How does the share of academics-athletics donations compare to other (AAU or PAC12) universities? In other words, what is realistic given alumni’s obsession with sports/reunions.