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UO lobbies legislature for $100M in Knight Campus bonds

Keep your fingers crossed. Andrew Theen has the story in the Oregonian here.

More on OLIS here.


  1. UO Observer 03/23/2017

    Maybe it is best if the state takes a wait and see approach. This is a massive project and UO doesn’t have experience with anything comparable.

    • UO Matters Post author | 03/23/2017

      [Unprintable] you!

  2. Eugenenative 03/23/2017

    Knights “gifts” always seem to cost taxpayers $$. Some gift.

    • UO Matters Post author | 03/23/2017

      True, but that does not always mean that the cost to taxpayers exceeds the benefits.

      • eugenenative 03/23/2017

        My next anniversary gift to my wife I’ll ask her to match 50%.

        On second thought, I won’t.

        • UO Matters Post author | 03/23/2017

          Phil’s only asking for a 20% match, and this time it’s not for more Duck crap. What’s not to love?

      • Fishwrapper 03/23/2017

        True, but that does not always mean the benefits to taxpayers – or other involved parties – exceed the costs.

      • TiredofHearingHowWeNeedMoreMoney 03/24/2017

        How might we analyze the benefits, in this case, to the local taxpayers or the the taxpayers in other areas of the state who won’t benefit greatly from the boost in the local economy? I.e., how would you propose we prove a tangible benefit exists to the people who weren’t given a choice in the matter?

        Consider the ongoing cost to operate and maintain this new infrastructure. Our Facilities department is already underfunded to maintain the existing campus infrastructure. They will now have a larger footprint to maintain, with technical equipment maintenance requirements that the existing staff isn’t trained to handle. I don’t see an endowment being setup to fund these ongoing costs. These buildings will use more energy too. Who is going to pay for that over the next 10, 20, etc. years? Taxpayers and students.

        • UO Matters Post author | 03/24/2017

          My understanding is the $500M includes an endowment to pay maintenance, energy, etc., but I haven’t seen the gift letter.

    • UO Observer 03/23/2017

      UO fundraising people aren’t exactly making it easy to donate to this endeavor. I see no mention of information regarding the Knight Campus on the UO Giving site, nor do I see an option to make a gift.

      I get that most $$$ comes from a select group of donors. However, I think that well is dry, so they better look for other donors.

      • Big time donor 03/25/2017

        Yeah, I’ve heard on good authority that most major donors use the “give” button on the dev lopment site. Hopefully someone in IT gets on this soon or the Knight Campus is most certainly doomed.

        “You know we were thinking about making a multimillion dollar donation but we just didn’t see any way to pay by credit card on your website. So frustrating. We couldn’t even find an Apple Pay option.”

  3. Former Student 03/24/2017

    Anyone remember when UO asked for money to build that basketball stadium? Thank god we used public money to drive the University forward on that one.

    • Fishwrapper 03/24/2017

      So true. The state has only so many millions of dollars available in bonding authority. Fortunately, a very tiny percentage of the cost of the stadium encumbered that bonding authority, so other state projects fighting for resources as we headed into the recession didn’t have to wait additional budget cycles for bonds to free up in order to go forward.

      Lucky for all, it was a well-managed project, with lots of money attached to it, so UO only need to dip into state bonding to cover $27million for the site, plus only 100% of the $200million construction costs. With a packed house for Elton John every weekend, on top of the record-breaking attendance for basketball games since it opened for business, it’s writing cash to pay off the 30 year notes in half the time.


      Plus, being such a successful project, it just makes it that much easier to get state financing for anything else to be done on campus.

      • UO Matters Post author | 03/24/2017

        OK, so ticket sales might be a wee bit below Pat Kilkenny’s irrationally exuberant forecasts, but there’s still $60M left in the reserve, the Ducks are only burning through $10M a year, and after that they can always hit up student tuition a few more $M in hidden subsidies. In fact the bond sale legislation will require that we do so if necessary, to pay the bondholders. Oh yeah, and it was set it up so UO couldn’t refinance at a lower rate.

        • honest Uncle Bernie 03/25/2017

          Uh, the document you link to shows a healthy balance in the athletic fund for decades into the future. I don’t know if the projections are sensible or not, but that’s what they say. (Certainly Kilkenny was wildly exuberant in the original arena financial projections. My understanding is that that was corrected under The Hat. It was a very good thing that UO apparently insisted on something like the Legacy Fund, which kept the athletics operation including the arena solvent during the financial downturn and the times of lousy basketball attendance. But let’s not misrepresent or misunderstand current financial documents.)

    • honest Uncle Bernie 03/25/2017

      FS — the big difference is that UO had a plan to pay for the arena out of private funds. My understanding of this Knight Campus request is that they want the state to pay off the $100 million i.e. basically donate the money to UO. Which may or may not be a worthy request, but it is a lot different this time.

  4. honest Uncle Bernie 03/25/2017

    I can see why the state might not be in a rush to finance this project — the Governor wants to do it over three biennia, not one.

    A lot of competition for state bonding for higher ed these days — OSU wants its Bend campus, and PSU wants a new Public Health facility.

    Should the Knight Campus have equal or higher priority? Well, I wonder, how many classrooms for undergraduate programs will these new facilities house? Will it be like the beautiful Lewis building (LISB) which had, what, zero square feet of classroom space at a time when UO was and is in terrible need of more space? Will the Knight Campus be a net burden on the existing facilities on this side of Franklin? If I were in the Leg. or Gov. office, I’d certainly be asking questions like this.

    • Fishwrapper 03/25/2017


  5. no thanks 03/26/2017

    If UO wanted that money they shouldn’t be squandering the money they already had. 60 for a going away present for a DUI during a coach’s probation? UO can afford millions to fire a football coach, and millions more to hire a new one? Double the President’s salary, and give a million bonus to the outgoing President? The list goes on for so long. Those are not the actions of someone I would entrust money to. Truly needy Universities endure a bad football season because they can’t afford the same nonsense.

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