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Will UO’s new fundraising VP Joe Buck compete with the Ducks?

UO’s big-time college sports enterprise brings in a lot of donations – for the Duck Athletic Department and its coaches. Historically, at UO, those donations have come at the cost of reduced donations to the academic side. From a previous post:

Millions for jocks, not a cent for scholars:

1/18/2012: That’s the word on the $5 million Jock Box gift from John Jaqua’s widow. Greg Bolt explains the basics, here. Duck press release here. And now Rob Mullens has admitted that he is going to use all the proceeds to cover the small part of the maintenance and utilities that the athletic department must pay. Not a cent will go to help the academic side pay for the $1.83 million cost of running the athlete-only tutoring operations. Where was UO’s VP for Development Mike Andreasen while this gift was being negotiated? Not doing his job for the academic side. Where was UO Foundation President Paul Weinhold? Cashing his paycheck. What is the probability that the widowed 91-year-old donor, the generous and rather interesting Robin Jaqua, understood how UO’s athletic department would use her gift? ____%.

Meanwhile, the athletic department is continuing to play hardball with the students over football tickets and costs. Because they are that greedy. Emily Schiola has the story in the ODE.

Here’s the news on UO’s new VP for Development, and here’s hoping he’s willing to fight for us:

Dear University of Oregon colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that Joe Buck will be joining the University of Oregon as our new Vice President for Advancement. In this role, Joe will oversee our fundraising and alumni engagement programs, working closely with faculty leaders and senior administrators to support university priorities through philanthropy, relationship cultivation, and engagement with the UO’s transformational donors, alumni, and friends.

Joe is coming to the UO from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he is currently the vice president for development and alumni relations. During his twenty years of higher education fundraising and engagement leadership at Lehigh University, the University of Chicago, and other top universities, Joe has built incredibly successful teams and developed deep and lasting relationships. He has demonstrated a strong track record of success and at each institution he’s served he has helped to accelerate the achievement of the university’s mission.

Among his many achievements at Lehigh, Joe led a 130-person team, increased fundraising progress by 25 percent, and successfully launched a more than $1 billion campaign, among his many achievements. Previously, he served in several fundraising leadership roles at the University of Chicago for over nine years, including as the associate dean of advancement at the Booth School of Business where he doubled the school’s fundraising progress in just three years. He also worked as a major gifts fundraiser at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and at La Salle University. Joe earned both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Education at Saint Joseph’s University.
I thank Bob Shepard for his interim leadership and the entire advancement team for their dedication to supporting our mission during these interim months. I am also grateful to Tim Inman, university secretary and presidential adviser, for his continued leadership of Government and Community Relations.
Joe will officially join the UO on September 18. I am excited for his arrival and confident he will launch the next great era for fundraising at the University of Oregon.

Please join me in welcoming him to our university community.

Karl Scholz


  1. CSN 08/14/2023

    Sign that the comms are or are not generated by ChatGPT?

    “Among his many achievements at Lehigh, Joe led a 130-person team, increased fundraising progress by 25 percent, and successfully launched a more than $1 billion campaign, among his many achievements. “

    • UO Matters Post author | 08/14/2023

      many many

  2. Townie 08/14/2023

    UO’s capital campaigns have raised over $4B in the past 30 years.

    UO’s international reputation has dropped considerably in the same span.

    • Fishwrapper 08/14/2023

      More than a quarter of that came from one guy. The reputation of being just an Uncle Phil project to sell sneakers has risen considerably in the same span.

      • honest Uncle Bernie 08/15/2023

        Fish — why the snark about Phil? l would say that both UO and the state of Oregon failed to leverage the possibility that he might have helped build something academically outstanding. He threw himself behind efforts where he might succeed here. OK, the new “Hayward Field” may not be the key to unlock fusion energy. Not Stagg Field. But it looks pretty fine. Especially when the Phildo is lit up at night.

        • Fishwrapper 08/15/2023

          hUB, I sense a bit of snarcasm there…I see what you’re doing.
          The process of driving an institution of higher ed more and more down the road road of athletics as the identity and priority has been the calling card of Phil Knight over the years. I do acknowledge that he has made many gifts to the academic side, however, until the PKC gifts – which are huge – the bulk of the giving was done to promote the University of Nike, so as to sell the brand that paid for the facilities, uniforms, etc.
          Along the way, as has been chronicled in this blog and many other places, the University yielded to his advances, having been sold a bill of goods about how the football team can be the “front porch” of the institution. Questionable real value to the University in its dealing with Mr. Knight exist in the long-term financial obligations of the MKA.
          Well over a quarter-billion has been donated by Phil Knight strictly for the athletics enterprise over the years (and I’m not going to game the number by trying to adjust for inflation.) One could argue that the deal with Phil to sell shoes was not a bad deal considering the billion in PKC the University got out of – but so many of the projects that Phil’s led in recent years have left the University out of the planning and implementation phases, instead getting left holding the bag for Phil’s monument binge. Witness the Phildo, which everyone agrees is in line with the historic Hayward Field site.
          But I snark… Instead, witness the Athletic Legacy Fund, the legacy of which is that it’s being used before its time…leaving the folks with the building holding the bag.
          I concede: it’s his money, he can spend it as he sees fit. Others should concede that it’s the University’s dignity and status that he’s buying for his own ends – notice, it’s the Phil Knight Campus…not the UO Campus when you look for it on a map. And then, too, there is the lucre used to fund these baubly buildings. Remember when the “beneficiaries” of his largesse question the provenance of the pelf, and how quickly the notion of academic freedom was blithely ignored by JH toadies…all so they could keep the PK gravy train rolling?
          Look, he’s arguably done a lot of good with his loot. Ask OHSU. Ask Stanford. Ask around. That doesn’t make him a great guy, just a great big spender. It is worth asking, though: how much of his decades of spending went to reinforce UO’s standing and position within the AAU?
          And, as an academic, one might ask oneself: what’s so wrong with the UO that he couldn’t spend it on our (academic) campus, instead of naming his own?
          Failed to leverage? An understatement, and I like the way you put it.

  3. honest Uncle Bernie 08/16/2023

    Fish — at least perhaps we can agree on your last paragraph.

    • Fishwrapper 08/16/2023

      Fair enough.

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