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Duck AD Rob Mullens looking to leave too

5/2/2019 update:

The Oregonian’s James Crepea has the scoop here:

Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens is a candidate for the recently vacated position at Texas A&M, according to a source with knowledge of the search. …

Which is sort of odd, because when he got his last raise he said he wanted to stay in Eugene and raise his family here.

7/7/2017: Rob Mullens’ secret $10M 8-year porkalicious contract & perverse incentives

8 months after the secret deal, President Schill tells the Oregonian’s Andrew Greif why he paid Duck AD Rob Mullens millions more at the same time UO was laying off faculty and hitting up our students for tuition increases:

“His contributions to UO have cemented a legacy of excellence that will have a lasting effect in the classroom and on the field. We were happy to extend his contract and are confident that he will continue to work for the benefit of the entire university.”

Sure. The most disturbing parts of this contract are the perverse incentives it gives Mullens to inflate spending and increase the amount of money he gets from ASUO and from UO’s academic side – many millions a year in subsidies – and the lack of any consequences for Mullens for additional damage to our “brand” from new scandals on his watch.

Instead of a bonus for the “Director’s Cup” Pres Schill should have paid Mullens a percentage of any money the athletic department transfers to the academic side to support UO’s academic mission. But Schill is going to just assume “that he will continue to work for the benefit of the entire university.” That’s unlikely. I predict Mullens will continue to do what he’s been incentivized to do – win games for the Ducks, regardless of what it takes and how much it costs the university in money and reputation.

Apparently the raise that the Trustees approved in 2015 was not enough for AD Rob Mullens. He came back for more, and President Schill gave it to him, in October.  $10M over 8 years, with retention bonuses and penalties for UO if we fire him, unless for cause. Apparently incessant scandals and millions in subsidies are not cause.

I don’t know why the Board of Trustees Executive and Audit committee did not meet in public to approve this, as they are supposed to do for contracts over $5M, and as they did for his last raise. I also don’t know why the contract was never posted on the UO Public Records website with the other athletics contracts, although I can imagine. Here’s the math:

Say, anyone know if we are still paying Helfrich? Full Mullens contract here. The money shots:


  1. Jo Mojo 07/07/2017

    Approve the snake Rob Mullens’ raise but fire faculty members due to budget cuts. Seems legit.

  2. schillionaires 07/07/2017

    It costs a lot of money for someone who knows how to play ball.

  3. New Year Cat 07/07/2017

    Extra payments of $25,000 and $50,000? You could hire a couple of classified staff or a REAL professor for that kind of money. Shame on UO.

  4. honest Uncle Bernie 07/07/2017

    Legacy in the classroom hardy haw haw haw!

    Still — long as uncle is paying — the incentive for UO is make uncle happy in hopes he will eventually unload a bil or two on the “regular” campus.

  5. Former Student 07/26/2017

    Mr. Mullens is paid more than CEO’s of publicly traded companies, when comparing base salaries and total salaries. Please note I’m not referring to small publicly traded companies, I’m referring to companies that generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

    • UO Matters Post author | 07/26/2017

      And many of those CEOs don’t just bring in revenue, they actually control costs and make money for the company, and they avoid repeatedly damaging the reputation of the stakeholders.

      • John 05/05/2019

        While I look in the mirror and question my own career choices because I can’t pay off my mortgage.

  6. CSN 07/26/2017

    Isn’t this consistent with academia versus corporate jobs, though? We accept lower salaries in exchange for lower variance?

  7. anonymous 07/29/2017

    Would this, alone, fund reasonable COLA’s for classified staff, keeping step increases, not increasing insurance percentage? Yeah, probably.

    • Niccolo M 10/15/2017

      And how about tuition increases? Staff and faculty have unions that will speak for them and might thereby indirectly, magically, limit unreasonably high spending on future AD contracts. (I know, I am so incredibly naive)
      But there are more contracts like this one. They all drive tuition up. Especially with golden parachutes like above. Note the progressive nature of retention incentives and retention incentives not yet paid in case of early contract termination. It is the cumulative perks that are frivolous.

  8. Suey! 10/15/2017

    Thanks for reporting on the outrageous duck pork. Keep up the good work. The board should be all over Rob’s robbery, but they’re AWOL. If only the overfed Ducks could be made into some academic fois gras.

  9. bah humbug 10/16/2017

    Good job Pres run this place into the ground one expensive Administrator at a time.

  10. Classified Staff 05/02/2019

    Laying off not only faculty, but STAFF AS WELL. (But don’t TELL anyone! Shhhhh!)

  11. Richard Bohloff 05/02/2019

    What is really going to sting is that UO would offer him another retention raise right now without hesitation. Any offer will be matched, and thanks for your shared sacrifices.

  12. Moonman 05/05/2019

    “Noisy tuition hike protest in front of Autzen Stadium draws several thousand angry students.”

    What will it take for that to happen?

  13. Colin 04/04/2020

    And while they are putting in a new 12 million dollar video board the crew that put the content into that board are all job less. The athletic department will not even allow us to use our accrued sick pay.

    • uomatters 04/04/2020

      What! They can’t do that, can they?

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