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Campus Contrarian’s Cynicism Currently Canceled

Last updated on 03/01/2022

3/1/2022 update: Thanks to Connie Ballmer, and to Mike Schill for his successful efforts to bring in gift money to support UO’s mission. This is a huge gift targeted to an important issue. It appears to be a good combination of research, teaching, and service to the state. Just what a public university should be doing. I’m sure the Ballmer’s gave the money based in no small part on Ms Ballmer’s experience working with Pres Schill on the BoT, and her trust in his ability to manage this kind of money.

Regular UOM programming will resume after my chronic skepticism recovers from this shock and returns to base levels.

EUGENE, Ore. — Today, the University of Oregon officially launches The Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, a bold new approach to addressing the behavioral and mental health care needs of Oregon’s children. The Portland-based institute is made possible by a lead gift of more than $425 million from Connie and Steve Ballmer, co-founders of Ballmer Group Philanthropy.

The institute establishes a new national model for behavioral and mental health care by uniting the UO’s top-ranked research programs, Oregon public schools and families, and community support groups in the creation and delivery of intervention and treatment programs that can be part of the daily lives of K-12 students. The UO will propose a new degree program and launch a certificate program to empower a new workforce eager to meet children’s needs within schools and organizations. …

2/28/2022 Join us Tomorrow for an Important Announcement

Dear University of Oregon community,

I have exciting news to share about the future of the University of Oregon. The university is embarking on a new opportunity that will benefit our students, region, and Oregonians, while tackling one of society’s most pressing problems.

Please join us tomorrow, March 1 at 9:00 a.m., for a streamed video announcement. I invite you to join by following this link.

As always, thank you. We could not make this incredible leap forward without your support and dedication.I hope you will join us tomorrow!

Sincerely,Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law


  1. TreeLuvr 02/28/2022

    More money or more time off works for me.

  2. Compulsory Pessimist 02/28/2022

    Welp. Nice of him to give us a whole sixteen hours to work up a solid panic attack. What in the world does a rich white man think is “one of society’s most pressing problems”?

    • Heraclitus 02/28/2022

      The lack of an NFL franchise in Oregon. Bet that’s it. Either that or something to do with NFTs and Crypto. Excited!

    • ScienceDuck 03/01/2022

      I guess kids’ mental health?

  3. uomatters Post author | 02/28/2022

    We’re going to build a nuclear reactor and go carbon neutral?

  4. just different 02/28/2022

    “New opportunity” is the tell to not bother. It’s disappointing that he thinks we can’t suss out the obvious fundraising-speak.

  5. thedude 02/28/2022

    I hope it’s on

    1. Substance abuse disorders
    2. Housing and homelessness
    3. Both 1 and 2

  6. Predictalot 02/28/2022

    My guess is the peace health tear down is going to be a medical school.

  7. Anas clypeata 02/28/2022

    An Incredible Leap Forward? It is spring, after all, so a good time to let a hundred flowers bloom.

  8. New Year Cat 02/28/2022

    Mac Court will be converted to no-barrier homeless shelter?

    • anon and on and on 03/01/2022

      Wonderful! It’s about time we bought a university. Sure, it’s a campus that’s now (back) under a lis pendens, but whatevs!

  9. Sheesh 03/01/2022

    Only the president is allowed to be asynchronous and remote.

    • uomatters Post author | 03/01/2022

      Call me an economist, but Schill’s brought in $1.5B so far and I’m giving him a pass on this.

      • Dogmatic Ratios 03/01/2022

        I’d call you an economist if you’d measure something besides the size of donor-directed inputs.

        What are the effects? ‘Philanthropists’ leverage their money to move public assets in a certain direction. Gates says so, all the time. Knight and Ballmer are no different. So what are they pushing for, and how much will it cost society? Does this $1.5 B do what we really wanted, if we could choose?

      • Sheesh 03/01/2022

        Missed opportunity for a live event. As an economist, I imagine you’d wonder whether donation is an efficient mechanism.

  10. Pissed Programmer 03/01/2022

    I think it’s debatable whether this is “one of societies most pressing problems”… I’d rather us have a well-endowed “homelessness studies” program. That said, there is a real shortage of skilled children’s counselors/therapists. Doesn’t help that the job usually pays so little. If this leads to a larger workforce, with better training, and elicits more government $ to attract people to the field, then that’s a good thing.

    • just different 03/01/2022

      I’m glad, I guess, but as you point out, the shortage is caused by low pay and the herculean amount of crap you have to put up with from parents, voters, politicians, administrators, etc., just as in the case of K-12 teachers. And I can’t help but wonder how much of this “gift” UO is going to end up being on the hook for. How is this fundamentally different from the Knight Campus?

    • thedude 03/01/2022

      There’s way more evidence that problems emerge and also can be addressed while kids are in their youth than with people once they are older.

      This includes, crime, learning, substance abuse, mental health, etc.

      • homelessness too 03/02/2022

        That might be true, but it doesn’t negate the dire need to address homelessness right now. That growing population will affect kids currently gong through school no matter how much the kids’ coping skills get enhanced. And if we don’t understand all the sources, the nexus of mental health and economics, and establish data-informed programs, nothing will be done to stop the trajectory.

  11. honest Uncle Bernie 03/01/2022

    It is kind of what I sort of expected, a Ballmer effort. But wow, $425 million is a lot. (And there’s a lot more where that is coming from, if they want to use it for UO. Competition for you know who.)

    Maybe it will actually do some good for children. I’ve seen enough mental health problems at all ages. On the other hand, I have my own ideas about why so many people are increasingly fucked up in our society. I doubt that lack of therapy is the main cause, or that therapy is really the cure.

    But again, thanks to the Ballmers. I will even look more kindly on Mr. Ballmer the next time my wretched Microsoft software gives me a headache. It won’t be long!

  12. thedude 03/01/2022

    The need to randomize paying kids to stop using their smartphones/social media.

  13. Freud’s ghost 03/02/2022

    An expensive cathedral of bad science.

  14. moss defender 03/02/2022

    this reminds me of the Oregonian front page headline about Oregons newest meth cook…OHSU…they were getting into the meth effect on humans testing biz at that tine ..I am certain UO students and staff geniuses will know as much about this new proposal as the last half billion dollar UO mystery project PATHETIC!

  15. Mike 03/03/2022

    As an economist, would rather we taxed the Ballmers, Schills, Gates, Musks, et al at a reasonable marginal rate, use the money as we see fit.

    • Dog 03/03/2022

      Who is the “we” in the above? What criteria is used to identify
      that which is “fit”?

      • Mike 03/04/2022

        “We, the people”…sheesh, guys, the thinkpol of Phil and Ballmer control your every thought

        • Dog 03/04/2022

          no, “We the elite”

    • Thedude 03/03/2022

      Who’s the we? You? Or people who think like you?

    • just different 03/03/2022

      Looks like a couple of people are unclear on what a democracy is and how it works.

  16. Mike 03/06/2022

    Freedumb from taxes: oligarch dictionary

  17. moss defender 03/19/2022

    wow that was a creepy video link UO provided there…children are the future blah blah blah – I suspect the freakin devil is in the details…here we go again, a new UO surge into yet another academic pork barrel boondoggling partnership gone wild….reminds me of SCIENTOLOGY

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