UO Board of Trustees to give Mario Cristobal his Covid raise Th at 10AM

By doing this on the phone rather than Zoom, Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms has insured that we don’t have to look at Rob Mullens’s smug face, and that none of the reporters phoning in can understand a word the trustees are saying. I think I hear “budget deficit” and “raises for assistant coaches” though.

10AM update:

10:12: Avuncular UO Board of Trustees Chair Chuck Lillis, perhaps best known for his minor role as a board member of Washington Mutual during the largest financial bankruptcy in US history, brags he’s been betting on the Duck games, then calls the vote. It’s unanimous! Hearty round of “Go Ducks” and our Board has done its due diligence once again.


“Members of the media and public may listen to proceedings via teleconference by dialing 1-888-337-0215 and entering access code 6295684.”

The Board has posted Cristobal’s new contract here. On the one hand, the Board asserts, without providing any supporting evidence, that the raise “will be funded with secured private philanthropy”:

On the other hand, they write in the contract:

Here’s Cristobal’s previous contract.

12/16/2020: Ticket revenue is $0, student government has cut Duck athletics off from the usual $1.8M in student fee payments, and at the last board meeting VPFA Moffitt was concerned the Duck deficit might have to be financed from academic funds (about $5M of it already is). Uncle Phil is an old man, and I hope whatever promises President Schill has from him are in writing.

Chuck Lillis and Mike Schill will claim we need to pay coach this money because football builds the brand and brings in rich students who will pay high tuition. It’s not working:

From: Board of Trustees <[email protected]>
Subject: Board of Trustees Notification
Date: December 16, 2020 at 9:54:24 AM PST
To: Board of Trustees <[email protected]>

You received this email because you have signed up for UO Board of Trustees updates. If you wish to unsubscribe from this list, please reply to this email with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.


The Executive and Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees will hold a meeting at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time tomorrow, December 17. This is a single-item meeting for purposes regarding an employment contract for the head intercollegiate football coach. Members of the media and public may listen to proceedings via teleconference; that information will be available at https://trustees.uoregon.edu/meetings.  Meeting materials will be available by going to that URL and clicking the “Upcoming Meetings” button; they are not yet finalized.

The next quarterly meeting of the full Board of Trustees is scheduled for March 8-9, 2021.

Thank you.

Office of the University Secretary
University of Oregon Board of Trustees
[email protected]

Board Meetings

The Executive and Audit Committee will meet on Thursday, December 17th at 10:00 a.mPacific Time. This is a single-item meeting for purposes regarding an employment contract for the head intercollegiate football coach. Members of the media and public may listen to proceedings via teleconference by dialing 1-888-337-0215 and entering access code 6295684. Meeting materials will be available by clicking on the “Upcoming Meetings” button below.

Cristobal has the second most expensive staff among the 10 public PAC-12 programs, from USAToday:

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25 Responses to UO Board of Trustees to give Mario Cristobal his Covid raise Th at 10AM

  1. Kendall says:

    Great! Auburn was putting pressure so Oregon needed to lock him up. Excellent work. ScoDucks TheeNikeU

  2. Dr. Arrowsmith says:

    Any truth to the rumor his new contract promises him UO’s first vaccine dose?

  3. Environmental necessity says:

    Say what you will about the obscenity of the amount (and it is obscene) the man does his job quite well, especially recruiting, is paid market rates in a crazy market he did not create, works monster hours, far more than any prof, and is among the 20-30 best at what he does. Very, very, very few UO profs or admins can say the same.

    • Essential Worker says:

      Can you provide some proof of the value he has added to the University (the educational part)? All you did was highlight an industry of takers.

      An hourly break down comparing pay would be interesting to see the roi.

      • Environmental necessity says:

        Making no claim that he adds value to our educational mission. I said that he is better at his job than nearly any UO prof or admin. You seem to think he should be doing things that are not a part of his job. That’s fine but I hope you can imagine why he sticks to duties in his contract.

        • uomatters says:

          His job involves brain-damage for his unpaid recruits in order to provide tax-deductible amusement for rich alumni, and a socially acceptable excuse for undergrads to get black-out drunk. Why do we want someone who is good at this?

          • Craig says:

            If you don’t agree with College then perhaps you should leave and go work for another organization Harbaugh.

            • uomatters says:

              Now that you mention it, my bosses back in the oil fields were more ethical than the average university president. They paid us better too. But nah, I really like my students.

            • Dog says:

              I am not sure that “College” as defined as being the UO is really a very apt example of the purpose of the Institution, where as most oil fields really are probably all the same …

          • Environmental necessity says:

            UOM: I’d be fine dropping football. It is boring and I hear your point about brain damage and economic exploitation and student behaviors. But until dropping football is on the agenda I can still recognize that he is working within a given market, he is a good at what he does, and that it is a bit unfair to critique him for doing the job for which he was hired. To put a fine point on it: At least he does a good job for his market rate salary – would you say the same about the sprawling empire of administrators?

    • Monster says:

      “works monster hours, far more than any prof.” Citation needed. I know a lot of professors who work “monster hours.”

    • ScienceDuck says:

      I think he does a very good job and works hard. That said, there is no “market” so much as most schools are willing to take as much money from students as needed to keep their athletic department flush and that has created a bubble with students ultimately paying for the excess.
      He is nominally responsible for a significant chunk of revenue, but the truth is that UO and OSU both make around $100 million…most of the revenue is guaranteed.
      What is your comparison for “among the 20-30 best”? The 130 FBS teams? Quite a few UO faculty are in the top 20% of their field. They’d probably be happy to increase their working hours from “nearly every waking moment” to “almost completely every waking moment” for even a few extra hundred thousand!

  4. fun and games says:

    Yesterday’s email from the president regarding the annual canned food drive ends with “Thank you for your commitment to a more equitable Oregon.”

  5. Compulsory Pessimist says:

    It took eight minutes for a unanimous vote of approval.

    Eight. Minutes.

  6. Al says:

    It is not just the head coach, but the entire coaching staff is overpaid, significantly more than almost all professors. I guess they are working monster hours as well. Come on. Why should someone who is a conditioning coach make more than a full professor who had been at UO for 30 years and brings in $1M research finding per year. It is absurd. Do you think that person does their job well? Of course they do. It says something that a research institution pays a coach more in yearly retention than the salary of any professor. Ridiculous. Please stop trying to justify it by saying he works harder. If sports did not brring in any advertising funding, their salaries would be significantly lower no matter how hard they work, just like us.

    • Dog says:

      While I agree with the above, at some point, I wish that contributors to this forum would be more specific about salary

      a) Faculty are on a 9-month salary
      b) coaches, etc are on a 12-month salary

      so if you just cite annual salary then category b will be making more than category a

      c) Now for bringing in research dollars – in general that is its own reward as you can move out of category a into 9 mos plus some summer salary (possible 3 mos since the UO actually allows that unlike many other research universities).

      In my department, faculty salaries are strongly based on research dollars being brought in, despite the item C argument. Even worse, those faculty bringing in 1M per year perceive themselves (and often act that way) as being superior to non-grant generating revenue faculty. In many cases, those leeches (i.e. non-grant generating revenue faculty) are in fields that not a lot of funding is available. Most research universities really need to level the playing field on this issue.

  7. anon says:

    yawn. but what would UOM write about if college athletics went away? The classic book by Sperber does a better job, and its 30 yrs old:https://www.amazon.com/College-Sports-Inc-Department-University/dp/0805014454

    Might be interesting to know if anything has changed since 1990.
    I have read that sperber received death threats for writing the book.

  8. Observer says:

    Our latest meeting with the higher administration revealed that they’re expecting a minimum of a $20 million deficit and that there’s been a steep drop in enrollment between fall term and winter term. GE numbers are being slashed across the university. They’re figuring out how much money to take back from departments. Giving *anyone* a huge raise is a terrible look, let alone someone who’s out-earning everyone else at the university anyway.

    • uomatters says:

      And we now owe Cristobal another $250K, because his unpaid student-athletes beat USC’s unpaid student-athletes.

    • honest Uncle Bernie says:

      Observer, to what do they attribute the steep drop in enrollment from Fall to Winter?

      I have heard the students don’t care too much for remote or online. Anything faculty can do to make it more palatable? Or does it just suck?

      • Observer says:

        They didn’t say why they think so many students have dropped out after fall term, or whether the dropouts are mostly freshmen (who had already failed to enroll in some numbers), or what. The difficulties of being online have to have something to do with it, but whether those can be remedied quickly is unclear. One of the underlings pointed out that we shouldn’t cut too many things, because those students will be back when the pandemic abates — it’s very unlikely that they’ll never return to higher education. So next year or the year after, our class sizes will swell. But by then it seems some changes will have been made to the academic side that it will be hard to undo, so that we don’t have to cut back on the money provided to football. But the higher-ups were deaf to the idea that this might be temporary — it’s all about cutting and paring. Except for football.

  9. UO Grad says:

    It is nice that at least UO has this football thing that is their reputation. My diploma continues to lose value.