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UO’s federal research funding barely tops Duck spending, after their subsidies

9/14/2015: UO announces $115M in research funding for 2014-15

Interim VP for Research Brad Shelton’s office has just released the 14-15 fact sheet here. $103.5M in federal grants:

The University of Oregon has more than doubled its research funding over the last twenty years to a total of $114.6 million in sponsored projects during the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2015. Buoyed by an uptick in federal awards, the university saw gains in its overall sponsored research funding and continued high proposal counts in 2014-2015.

Meanwhile Duck athletic spending for the 14-15 FY was projected at $98.4M. That official number excludes the $465K that Frohnmayer and Kilkenny stuck the academic side with for the cost of the Matt Court Arena land, and the $375K plus that they now make academics pay for the Presidential Skybox, and a large portion of the bonds for the Matt Court underground parking garage that the city of Eugene made UO build as a condition for allowing the arena development. These are born by regular UO parking permit holders instead of the athletics department. Then there’s the $2.1M for running the Jock Box, all paid by the academic side. Add that all up and you’ve got athletic spending of $101.5M for last year. I’m sure I’ve missed a few things, – maybe UO auditor Brenda Muirhead will find them with her new audit?

Interestingly, the original Matt Court Arena budget plan, as approved by the Senate Budget Committee’s Arena subcommittee, assumed that the Ducks would now be paying the academic side $450K for academic support services, out a total cost of $600K or so. That didn’t happen. Instead UO built the new Jock Box, which costs about $2.1M to run, and somehow the cost was switched from athletics to the Provost’s academic budget. Athletics has been paying $0. (See the “Academic Learning Center” revenue lines, in parens to indicate expenses. AD Rob Mullens and AAD for finance Eric Roedl now posts all these spreadsheets and MOU’s on, thanks to a few public records petitions I made to the Oregon DOJ and an audit by the Oregon Secretary of State. His files show the numbers for 14-15 as well, but the formatting is difficult so I’m just showing them through 13-14.)

So how did the academic side get stuck with that $2.1M for the Jock Box? I don’t know. No one even knew it was happening until Jamie Moffitt let it slip out, and Greg Bolt published it in the RG in May 2011. This is the first time I’ve noticed that UO once had a plan to shift the cost of tutoring athletes to the athletic department.

Former Provost Jim Bean claimed he had an MOU saying academics now had to pay, but he would never produce it. Here’s the 2010 Arena Budget plan, followed by the actual numbers as of August 2015. The athletic legacy fund balance now exceeds the 2010 prediction by about $6M – so maybe it’s time to revisit some of these Duck subsidies?

The updated 2010 Arena plan:

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.12.59 PM


The reality:

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.14.41 PM

9/8/2015: University announces record $308M in research funding for 2014-15

That would be Oregon State University, for the year ending June 30, 2015. Press release and links to data here. Thanks to a proud Beaver fan for the link:

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University research funding reached $308.9 million, its highest level ever, in the fiscal year that ended on June 30. A near doubling of revenues from licensing patented technologies and an 8.5 percent increase in competitive federal funding fueled OSU research on a range of projects including advanced ocean-going research vessels, the health impacts of pollution and sustainable materials for high-speed computing.

UO hasn’t released our new numbers yet, the old report is here. When it is updated I’ll add the last 2 years to the “Civil War that matters” chart.

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. Reported 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.

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.

One Comment

  1. anon 09/17/2015

    Very curious that the institute which brought in 27% of all grants in fy14 is completely absent from Brad’s report. Neuro must still be on the naughty list and still being punished eh?

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