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Beavers crush Ducks in Civil War for research money and flagship status

Last updated on 11/30/2014

The figure on the left shows “Federal Flow Through” totals, which are the easiest to find directly comparable data. They include spending on outreach and instruction, but it’s mostly research money and the trends look similar no matter how you cut it. The figure on the right shows athletic department spending, from USAToday. (Official UO and OSU numbers for 2012.)

I know more recent data is now available. Duck athletic spending has increased to $98.4M for 2014-15. I don’t have the stomach just now to track down the rest and enter it. Maybe some proud Beaver would be willing to help with this one?

For more recent evidence on how UO is trying to divert money from academics to athletics, read the blockbuster report in the Register Guard about secret funding for UO’s failed 2019 International Track Championship bid. Link here.


    • Anonymous UO Alum 11/29/2014

      Geez, where have you been the last few years? Obviously, the
      University of Nike!

      • anon 11/29/2014

        Plainly, we (Lillis especially) are trying to be OSU.

  1. Miles 11/30/2014

    What does this have to do with flagship context. I have never heard OSU referred to as a flagship by any academic authority, but UO is constantly referred to as such.

  2. Andy 11/30/2014

    The athletic data is a red herring. Far more damaging to UO’s research capacity is its state-mandated lack of engineering, medical and agricultural schools.

    UO’s been ham-stringed by decades of higher education mismanagement at the state level., something the football team has nothing to do with.

  3. Old Man 11/30/2014

    Andy makes the point that the lack of Ag, Med, and Eng hurts the research capacity of the UO. That assertion deserves qualification from several points of view:
    1. In 1968, the UO was invited into the AAU despite a lack of Ag and Eng schools and at a time when the UO Medical school had no research distinction whatever. (The Med School separated from UO in 1974, without any palpable loss to the University’s reputation in research.). The University’s entry into AAU was a result of the high quality of research in its basic science departments.
    2. This high quality was, ironically, a result of the state “mismanagement of the educational system. The decision early in the last century to dedicate the UO to the Humanities and Arts while dedicating OSU to the Sciences prohibited the UO from developing graduate programs in the sciences. These prohibitions were lifted, in steps, as wiser heads recognized the importance of a Liberal Arts Education, which requires strong programs in Humanities, Arts, AND Sciences. By the 1950’s, the basic science programs at the UO had small PhD programs. Enter SPUTNIK. Money for graduate programs in science came pouring out of Washington. The lack of large science faculties vested in traditional approaches and attitudes made it easier for the UO to capture this money for the nascent field of molecular biology, doing so in a manner that impacted the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, raising the profiles of those departments high enough to be seen East of the Cascades.
    3. The idea of teaching at a University in which the Sciences are understood to be essential parts of a Liberal Arts curriculum was, and remains, attractive to many of the faculty recruited here.
    5. Can the University of Oregon survive as a research university if its research continues to be dedicated to an understanding of the human species, its artifacts, and the universe in which it has evolved? I hope so. Renewed focus on the quality of our basic science departments coupled with a clearly presented vision of the UO as a Liberal Arts Research University might just do it.
    6. OSU, with its Ag and Eng, and many other science departments, is not an AAU school.

    • Andy 11/30/2014

      How many other AAU members are without a medical and engineering school?

      It seems to be that we can either embrace the identity of a public LAC, or complain about lackluster research. Not both.

  4. dog 12/02/2014

    And don’t forget the upcoming Espy bowl this Saturday

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