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RegisterGuard on UO Senate efforts to get Duck money for academics:

“Give it to the students: If UO has athletic surplus, approve a fee rebate”

3/12/2015, in the RG, here:

The financial divergence between the University of Ore­gon’s athletic department and the rest of the institution is galling to those on the wrong side of the gap, leading to demands that the sports enterprise share its wealth. The latest demand comes in the form of a vote by the University Senate in favor of diverting 3 percent of the athletic budget, or about $3 million a year, to academic programs. But if there’s extra money piling up in the athletic department’s till, students should be first in line to get it. …

3/7/2015 update: UO Senate legislation requires Ducks pay $500K to academics next year

3/6/2015: The students have already voted to freeze the amount they give the athletic department for tickets. Now the entire UO Senate has voted to require that athletic department start paying a dividend to the academic side.

Diane Dietz has the report in the RG. Read it all, here:

The University Senate — amid the three-day Board of Trustees meeting — voted unanimously to require the university to eventually collect 3 percent of the athletic department’s roughly $100 million annual budget, or roughly $3 million, for general education purposes. The education tax would be phased in ­gradually over five years.

… But the athletic department’s budget is an ongoing tender spot for many faculty members, who see their programs as suffering by comparison. One example they point to is the Jaqua Center.

The university spends $4,000 per student-athlete for tutoring services there, according to economics professor Bill Harbaugh, who sponsored the University Senate legislation. But the university has only $225 per student to spend for tutoring services for the general run of students.

… Susan Lesyk, director of the Teaching and Learning Center, which provides tutoring services for regular students in the basement of an old brick building across campus, said at first she was glad when the Jaqua Center went up in 2010. “I don’t resent what they have. Every student should have that,” she told the trustees.

She said she was sure it meant improvement was coming for her tutoring services. She showed trustees how the services significantly upped graduation rates for disadvantaged students.

“We need a Jaqua Center for all of us,” Lisa Freinkel, vice provost for undergraduate studies, told the trustees.

Mullens said he had no idea about the cost differential between the athlete and nonathlete tutoring services. “I can’t speak to those figures. I only live in the athletics figures,” he said.

Senate Motion:

Payments by Athletic Department for General Academic Purposes

Legislation, Resolution, or Policy Adoption: Legislation

Current Status: Approved on 03/04/15


Section I

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 as legislation) requesting that the 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]; and

1.5 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 now to $2.2M for the 2014-15 FY, 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

1.6 WHEREAS the Athletic Department solicits donations and ticket surcharges for the Duck Athletic Fund, totaling $28M for 2014-15[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];

1.7 WHEREAS in the most recently available data, for 2013-14, the Athletic Department paid only $10 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

1.8 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

1.9 WHEREAS eleven 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 $98 million[11]; and

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

1.11 WHEREAS the University Senate voted on February 12, 2014 that the motions on ending subsidies to the Athletic Department and payments by the Athletic Department for general academic purposes should be put forth as two separate motions;

Section II

2.1 BE IT HEREBY MOVED that the President shall provide the Senate with a budget and a schedule for implementation for payments from the Athletic Department budget for the support of general academic purposes no later than the first Senate meeting of May 2015, and that this schedule shall include a payment of no less than 0.5% of total Athletic Department revenue for the 2015-16 FY, and increasing to no less than 1% for the 2016-17 FY, and increasing in subsequent years by no less than 0.5 percentage points, until it reaches 3%.

Financial Impact:

Cost neutral


William Harbaugh (Economics), Senator

[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 referenced at

[7] Report at

[8] Report at

[9] UO Foundation report at

[10] Frohnmayer/Kilkenny MOU at

[11] AD budget at


  1. Friday 03/07/2015

    Go Senate!

  2. Angry Duck 03/07/2015

    “Mullens said he had no idea about the cost differential between the athlete and nonathlete tutoring services. “I can’t speak to those figures. I only live in the athletics figures,” he said.”

    Of course he doesn’t – because he does not care.

    We should start by making the Jaqua center accessible for all. How come there exists a building on campus that is subsidized by tuition money and the students cannot access it?

    • duckduckgo 03/07/2015

      Maybe it could be in the football ticket model. Every student pays nearly $100 per year to support the Jaqua center activities ($2.2 million/25,000 students), which is a not-insignificant sum. To recognize the contribution of students, the Jaqua center should have a lottery and allow 10 regular students a year to be tutored there, and perhaps up to 100 students per year to be allowed to enter the higher levels and breathe deeply once or twice before leaving.

    • IAC member 03/07/2015

      “Mullens said he had no idea about the cost differential between the athlete and nonathlete tutoring services. “I can’t speak to those figures. I only live in the athletics figures,” he said.”

      I recollect a lively discussion of this very issue at an IAC meeting, back in the day when Mullens still came to our meetings. I don’t think this is the first time his selective memory loss has manifested itself.

  3. Working GTF 03/07/2015

    When you see the tone deaf statements these admins feel emboldened enough to give to the press, you really start to wonder what kind of vitriol gets passed around behind closed doors.

  4. ay yi yi 03/07/2015

    “I only live in the athletics figures.”

    OK. Therein lies a problem.

    • just different 03/07/2015

      And the athletes themselves pick up on that too. How many UO faculty and GTFs have had student-athletes tell them that playing their sport is what they “came here to do”?

  5. anonec 03/07/2015

    New UOMatters coffee mug:
    “The well is dry – I only live in the athletics figures.”

    • uomatters Post author | 03/07/2015

      We’ll need the Latin for “Show us the money, Rob”

      • just different 03/07/2015

        OK, I’ll bite: it’s “Pecuniam nobis ostende.” No idea how to Latinize the Rob part. “Ruperte”?

      • anonec 03/07/2015

        Better hurry, the faculty bargaining team needs some new merchandise and uniforms. Every week another uniform with another quote.

        Tobin Klinger would probably like such PR.

  6. observer 03/07/2015

    The Eastern Washington football game will bring up more questions about UO athletics and recruiting tactics with transfer quarterback Vernon Adams. More bad PR. There’s ALOT riding on him being a successful Mariota replacement.

  7. Trickortreat 03/07/2015

    Athletics can pay another college football team nearly $800K to come here and get their asses kicked at Autzen Stadium but can’t pay $500K to the academic side where their players are being tutored by staff paid for by the academic side? There needs to be some serious reform in athletics and the claims of them being self supported. Stop giving PERS to athletics staff and start making them pay their share. Maybe Mullens and other admins at athletics need to take an economics class on business budgeting and figure it out like all the other departments on campus.

  8. charlie 03/08/2015

    $525k. Well, JH will claim the money is going to be used to pay for a couple more VP’s Of Some God Damn Thing…..

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