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AD Mullens buys out Duck basketball coach Don Altman for 12 Gottfredsons

11/29/2016 update: The RG’s Ryan Thornburn has the shocking details here.

Or at least I think it was the basketball coach – he’s about to drop out of the rankings too. But maybe his buyout is next year.

Meanwhile, Mullens, Altman, Helfrich and the other well-paid Athletic Department employees haven’t been giving much to the University’s Charitable Fund Drive for state and community charities:


11/28/2016 update: Matt Helfrich wins excellent $9.4M buyout with lousy 34-44 Civil War loss

Latest reports are that Mullens is having a hard time finding a replacement. Time for Kilkenny to fire up his jet. Every day they delay costs UO another $10,000 in pay for Halfrich, plus benefits like the DAC and country club memberships.

11/26/2016: Or at least that’s the Thanksgiving weekend rumor from the cousins. The players get nothing of course, this is the NCAA.

10/6/2016: Low enrollment for Professor Helfrich’s course in football excellence

Only 27 takers for his $60 Pass/No Pass course on intercollegiate football?


At its Feb 2015 special meeting of the Finance and Audit committee, our Board of Trustees voted to give AD Rob Mullens and Mark Helfrich some fat raises, after the unpaid Marcus Mariota took the Ducks to a second place finish in the football championship series. Well timed. Things have gone downhill ever since.

The Board Secretary kept the purpose of this meeting secret until the last minute, and even left the contracts off the docket of meeting materials. The board approved them with no discussion, after Interim President Scott Coltrane enthusiastically endorsed the raises:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.42.05 PM

The contracts were made public later. Helfrich. Along with many perks and bonuses the Trustees basically doubled these guys’ salaries:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 1.45.41 PM

Rob Mullens’ porkalicious deal is here.

And while the Chairman of the Board has railed against tenure for faculty, he’s a bit more generous with the athletic department. It will now cost about $15M to buy out Helfrich, although there’s a 50% discount if he doesn’t win at least six games in each of 2 consecutive seasons:

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 9.42.48 PM

Let’s compare coach Helfrich to a real professor. Averaging in and out-of state tuition our students pay about $2K per class. So one 450 student intro class in, say, sociology, brings in about $900K for UO. The professor and grad assistants get paid maybe $50K for their work:



    • honest Uncle Bernie 10/08/2016

      Maybe the jsma knows what people will come to see? Especially those who don’t usually go to art museums?

    • Anonymous 10/10/2016

      This has nothing to do with Athletics. The museum does this on their own. You’re just looking for reasons to be angry.

      • Dog 10/10/2016

        Anger, on this blog?

        Being unreasonable on this blog?

        Making targets on this blog?

        Nah, its all rainbows and unicorn farts

        • Fishwrapper 10/10/2016

          Redundant. Rainbows are unicorn farts.


      • uomatters Post author | 10/11/2016

        I apologize for this post. Duck athletic director Rob Mullens and his coaches are selflessly committed to helping our student-athletes achieve academic excellence, even if that reduces their bowl game bonuses. I deeply regret any contrary misconceptions that this allegedly defamatory post may have created.

        Go Ducks!

        • Fishwrapper 10/11/2016

          As sincere as the Duck’s win over the Huskies last weekend…

  1. honest Uncle Bernie 10/08/2016

    A couple of people named in the post might be looking for employment soon?

  2. Gus 10/12/2016

    It’s literally for football players to get 1 P.E. credit for going to practice. Jesus…

  3. UOGrad 11/26/2016

    The headline should say Mike.

    Odd that the newspapers reports say that two very large donors (one in particular) will determine the future of the football coach. A lot of power from rich, white guys over a public university.

    • uomatters Post author | 11/26/2016

      I think Mike is the wrestling coach. Could be wrong though.

  4. Anonymous 11/27/2016

    Keep the football coach. Offer the buyout to the law professor.

  5. anonymous 11/28/2016

    Let’s compare with a real professors salary? Let’s compare with *any* of the classified staff salaries! Helloooo reality.

  6. Dog 11/28/2016

    Okay why doesn’t the senate take this upon itself in a serious way.

    1. Add up all the revenue that students generate for the UO including tuition dollars and student tickets for athletic events. So that’s a number called X.

    2. Now what services for students: well classes and games + things like library, health center, IT, facilities

    3. Given what X is then how is that best proportioned
    to cover the services (e.g. y% for teachers, z% for
    athletic coaches and staff, zz% for libraries).

    4. In this way the Senate can form a reasonable expectation for what Student revenue dollars should
    pay for.

    It seems to me that this would be a step in an illuminating direction that cold supplant the rampant criticism (most of it justified) of various UO spending practices …

  7. SATs up with losing Ducks? 11/28/2016

    So the argument was that a winning football team increases applications.

    What’s happened now with a losing team? Thought I heard applications and average SATs were up.

  8. XDH 11/29/2016

    Well, he just got that golden parachute. Really, really pissed off at the waste of $$$$…..

  9. dog 11/30/2016

    Fearless predictions for UOmatters archive

    Next Duck Football coach:

    1. Lane Kiffin
    2. Chip Kelly returns
    3. PJ Fleck (current favorite)
    4. Greg Schiano (dark horse)

  10. honest Uncle Bernie 11/30/2016

    To all the PERS recipients out there — especially the Tier 1 people — who are pissed off about Helfrich’s buyout: Remember, a contract is a contract.

    You will need to remember that when the Legislature comes after your PERS after Gov. Brown releases her budget tomorrow. (And I bet you will not like how higher ed gets hosed in it.)

    I hope the Athletic Department pays for Helfrich’s buyout.

    Probably with a check from Uncle Phil.

    (I hope he does not insist on matching contributions from other donors or the Foundation general funds.)

  11. honest Uncle Bernie 11/30/2016

    Another thing — there are other matters at UO besides the constant athletics fiascoes, and the Halloween party business, and the new Faculty Lounge.

    Will UOM get back to talking about budget problems of the colleges — how much is CAS still in deficit? — the impact of the new Knight campus on the existing campus. Grade inflation, unsustainable tuition increases, falling enrollment, possible decline relative to OSU …… ?

  12. Dog 11/30/2016

    Start you own blog then

    • uomatters Post author | 11/30/2016

      Please don’t. I need the google ad revenue for my bar bill down at the Faculty Club.

  13. Moonman 11/30/2016

    Why can’t you make a deal with RG to post an occasional article for free? I realize the importance of a paywall, but the RG is not the WP, NYT, or WSJ. Jeesh.

    • uomatters Post author | 11/30/2016

      Stop free-riding off the people who subscribe, and pay the RG their money. They earn it.

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