Updated with video below. Jon Bell has the report in the Portland Business Journal, here:
… The building was purchased through an entity called OFX White Stag LLC, whose registered agents include Paul Weinhold, president of the U of O Foundation, Erika Funk, COO of the foundation and Wendy Lee Laing, general counsel for the foundation. A call to Victoria Nguyen, public affairs and communications manager for the foundation, was not immediately returned.
However, Kelly said he sees the university’s purchase of the property as a sign of its long-term plans.
“I think it’s just a reaffirmation of their commitment to the Portland area and the market,” he said. “I expect that they’re looking to continue to expand their presence here, and I know they will be great stewards of the property.”
Are UO’s Portland programs a good strategic investment for the university’s new focus on AAU level research and faculty? Some links are here, but my impression is that it’s a very mixed bag.
And did we ever get the donations that Board Chair Chuck Lillis was sure would come through for the Sports Product Design programs, or are we still subsidizing it from the general fund? Diane Dietz in the RG, December 12 2014:
… Lillis, however, wasn’t prepared to let the subject of efficiency drop. His friend, retired UO business professor Roger Best, worked at General Electric when Lillis was an executive there, he said.
“He was a world class business school professor,” Lillis said. “In the ’80s he routinely turned down $10,000-a-day as a consultant. He was the executive of a big British firm when he lived in Eugene and he commuted on the Concorde. He has started two businesses and sold them both — and is a very large donor to the university,” Lillis said.
If the university is not going to trust someone like that, Lillis said, who will it trust. “We have this, like, superstar. …
Best was “beyond frustrated” by university processes, Lillis said.
The board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee this week examined the hoops that Best had to clear to get the sports management degree approved. The program went through the standard review cycle, which includes approvals from the department, the college, the Graduate Council, the University Senate and the Board of Trustees.
“The process was onerous,” Best told the committee, “It probably has to be that way. Some of it improved our product as well. I can’t say it was all bad.”
The biggest problem, he said, was scheduling. He would have to wait to get on the agenda of the various committees.
Board member Kurt Willcox, however, examined the timetable and found “the clog appeared to be right at the beginning within the department,” he said. That phase lasted almost two years.
The rest of the approvals took only seven months. “When you’re looking to develop a brand new program, April to December doesn’t look like a huge time line,” Willcox said.
Barbara Altmann, vice provost for academic affairs, said the various committees gauge the soundness and coherence of proposed programs and ensure that the proposers have a stable line up of courses to guarantee quality for students who pay a lot, especially for business graduate degrees.
“It sounds like I was just incorrect,” Lillis said, adding “I still think (efficiency is) a noteworthy objective.”
Best said he did hit a snag at the start of the process: “The business school was questioning this program. It was felt it would be sucking off resources that would be going to Portland. … It took us a year to convince the marketing department and the management department, the master’s committee, the college.” …
And for the nostalgic, here’s UO’s former interim Provost Jim Bean in 2009, asking the UO faculty to take unpaid furloughs while denying news accounts that UO was willing to pay $1M to buy the “White Stag” sign and change it to say “University of Oregon”, and put a neon “O” on the watertower. One of the many WWeek stories on this bizarre episode is here. Not clear if UO ever paid the $100K for design work and permitting fees.
FWIW the Johnson Hall hypocrisy and smugness at this meeting was the reason I started this blog. That and the General Counsel’s use of fees and delays to hide public records from the public.