NY Times reports President Schill lied to us about the money

Gosh, I wonder if this means Schill’s claims that big-time college football is about hope and fighting institutionalized racism also aren’t true? Shocking news from reporter Billy Witz in the Times sports pages today, who also seems unimpressed with the idea that Duck sports help UO’s national reputation, and gives a shout-out to the Jock Box:

“It was hard to remember as Michael Schill spoke on Thursday night that the school he runs as president, Nike U. (more formally known as the University of Oregon), has an athletic program that is all flash and sizzle: a glitzy basketball palace, slick mix-and-match football uniforms, and a glass study hall for athletes that is nicknamed the Jock Box.

If there is a school in the Pac-12 Conference — and really the nation — that best personifies the runaway commercial enterprise that college sports have become over the last quarter century, it would be an otherwise unremarkable university that, thanks to the munificence of Nike founder Phil Knight, has emerged from a remote, rainy college town to become a national brand.

But as Schill explained why the Pac-12 was making a hard pivot back toward football this fall, 45 days after saying in a 12-page document it was not safe to do so, he veered away from the science of the coronavirus pandemic to make an unprompted point.

“This has nothing to do with money,” Schill said, scolding anyone who would suggest otherwise. …”

In totally unrelated news, at their Sept 10 meeting President Schill and the UO Board of Trustees discussed the money:

Party on! Ducks to play football this year, adding Covid threat to usual harms

Update: President Trumps offers us his congratulations, and wants our thanks for making the Pac-12 do this:

9/24/2020: That’s the rumor from the staff who have already started cleaning the ash out of Autzen, and who were told sorry those antigen tests are not for you. The Pac-12 announcement will be at 5 tonight. Presumably they’ve got enough sense not to allow fans into the stadium or the parking lots, so all the good parties will be at the frats.

If the Pac-12 schools will release that testing data, this should lead to an easy new pub for UO economist Glen Waddell and a few grad students, following up on Glen’s earlier work on how home football games hurt academic performance:

Are Big-Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement?

Jason M. Lindo Isaac D. Swensen, Glen R. Waddell

We consider the relationship between collegiate football success and non-athlete student performance. We find that the team’s success significantly reduces male grades relative to female grades, and only in fall quarters, which coincides with the football season. Using survey data, we find that males are more likely than females to increase alcohol consumption, decrease studying, and increase partying in response to the success of the team. Yet, females also report that their behavior is affected by athletic success, suggesting that their performance is likely impaired but that this effect is masked by the practice of grade curving. (JEL I21, L83)

Or maybe Lindo (now at Texas A&M) will beat him to it with a follow up to this:

College Party Culture and Sexual Assault

By Jason M. Lindo, Peter Siminski, and Isaac D. Swensen*

This paper considers the degree to which events that intensify partying increase sexual assault. Estimates are based on panel data from campus and local law enforcement agencies and an identification strategy that exploits plausibly random variation in the timing of Division 1 football games. The estimates indicate that these events increase daily reports of rape with 17–24-year-old victims by 28 percent. The effects are driven largely by 17–24-year-old offenders and by offenders unknown to the victim, but we also find significant effects on incidents involving offenders of other ages and on incidents involving offenders known to the victim.

And here’s Pres Schill’s announcement, which he hopes you will construe as good news despite all the evidence that it’s not:

Dear University of Oregon community,

I am writing with what I hope is some good news during these challenging times. Earlier today, I and the other presidents of the Pac-12 universities voted to resume some collegiate athletic programs — specifically football, men’s and women’s basketball, and other winter sports. Practice can commence immediately, and the seasons will get started in November. Fans will not be permitted at games initially, but the conference will revisit that issue in early 2021.

I and the other presidents have insisted throughout the process that the health and safety of our student-athletes must be our top priority. [sic] That was the primary reason we voted unanimously to pause the season earlier this summer. At that time, our medical experts expressed a good deal of doubt about whether we could sufficiently protect student-athletes from both the short- and long-term effects of COVID-19. In the ensuing weeks, however, the conference has bolstered its testing capabilities so that all conference members can institute daily testing of student-athletes, paid for and provided by the Pac-12. That enhanced ability to test has shifted the balance and led medical experts to advise us that our programs can move forward with practice and competition consistent with our commitment to health and safety.

In addition, we have recently received new information [We heavily lobbied Gov. Brown who is term-limited and needs more of Uncle Phil’s money to advance her political career] from state officials in Oregon and California that opened the door for a return to competition under strict health and safety guidelines. I am grateful to Gov. Kate Brown, the Oregon Health Authority, and Lane County Public Health for looking closely at the issue, examining the rigorous health and safety plans that have been put in place, and clearing the way for the University of Oregon and Oregon State University to resume some collegiate sports.

Even though we will not be able to cheer the Ducks in person at Autzen Stadium or Matthew Knight Arena — at least for now — I am excited about what the resumption of athletics means for the Pac-12 and the University of Oregon. It’s certainly not about money; all of the Pac-12 programs, including Oregon, will still face multi-million-dollar shortfalls under this resumption plan. [He either thinks we are idiots or doesn’t care what we think. Probably both.]

No, it is about something bigger — hope. [My god who writes this crap.] As we all face the challenges posed by COVID-19, continue to wrestle with the scourge of systemic racism in our society, and face an incredibly polarized national election, I believe sport can help unite our community, be a boost in morale, and give us something to cheer for during some pretty dark days.

Our student-athletes are begging us to let them play, [in fact they’ll do it for nothing, given hat the NCAA cartel has destroyed their other options] our fans miss the excitement of game day, and this resumption plan is at least a small step toward a return to normalcy.

Over the last week, I have consulted with our shared governance partners [I held a secret meeting of the IAAC, despite the Senate legislation that promised their meetings would be public] as well as a broad set of UO faculty members, staff, and students. [And of course Rob Mullens, who reminded me his coaches need the money for baby shoes] I would like to thank them for their advice and counsel on this issue. It certainly helped shape my views on this decision. [Which again was all about hope and safety and had nothing to do with the money.]

Thank you.Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

UO Foundation CIO Jay Namyet’s bad investment streak costs UO ~$50M

But it’s been good for him of course. From 2015 to 2018 – the last year they’ve released pay data – the Foundation trustees have seen fit to increase Namyet’s total compensation from $417K to $572K. Taking logs that works out to a 34% increase over 3 years:

Unfortunately for UO, his investment metrics have not matched these pay increases:

That’s down roughly $50M over 3 years, relative to the benchmarks. And, in an unusual exhibition of transparency from Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold that can’t bode well for Namyet, the Foundation itself is now admitting this:

The Foundation’s benchmarks are also low, and poorly defined:

“Because the Foundation’s investment mission is to prudently maintain the purchasing power of the endowment over long periods of time, its benchmark is goal rather than index oriented.”

Compare this with, say UC-Boulder’s Foundation, which has explicit, higher benchmarks, and much better performance:

What went wrong at UO? I don’t know, but a guess would be that Namyet’s large investments in offshore private equity – including a long-term play in Alberta tar sands – finally started getting marked to actual market prices.

A previous post on Namyet’s nasty emails to the UO student CO2 divestment group is here. Given how much this has cost us, it seems trivial to cite The Three Amigos, but is it possible that Namyet was really angry about something else?

9/12/2016: The Emerald has the story here, and it’s on the UO Divest facebook page here. Back in April, Foundation CFO Jay Namyet was writing nastygrams like this to our students about their efforts to get the secretive UO Foundation to join the CO2 divestment movement:

Subject: RE: follow up meeting
Date: 2016/03/30 14:14
From: Jay Namyet <jnamyet@uofoundation.org>
To: [UO Divest undergraduate student]

[UO Divest undergraduate student],
No, indeed we did not. As I told you, based on your conduct, our dialogue was over. I hope in years to come you will appreciate a life’s lesson in this affair. That is what a university experience is all about.

From: [UO Divest undergraduate student]
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 2:11 PM
To: Jay Namyet <jnamyet@uofoundation.org>
Subject: RE: follow up meeting

Hi Jay,
I know we didn’t end our last meeting on the best note, but we’d be happy to try and get a fresh start and meet again to discuss divestment sometime this term if you’re willing. Let me know.
[UO Divest undergraduate student]

On 2015/04/09 18:30, Jay Namyet wrote:
Great, we are in agreement then, no more dialogue.
Sent from Outlook [1]

State Economist shocked by un-dismal revenue forecast

From OPB:

Oregon’s current budget will be nearly untouched by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and future budgets won’t be as hampered as initially thought, state economists announced Wednesday.

Those conclusions, which state economist Mark McMullen told lawmakers were “somewhat shocking,” turn on their head assumptions about how deeply Oregon has been harmed by record job losses brought on by the coronavirus. But while the impacts of the COVID shutdown are slower and weaker than expected, economists warn that they will not insulate the state from necessary cuts in the future.

“How can it be that [the pandemic is] not a state revenue event?” McMullen told lawmakers. “Obviously it will be … but it sure looks like it’s not going to happen in the current biennium — at least not to a significant extent.”

McMullen now predicts that Oregon will bring in $2 billion more in the current budget than he was anticipating in June. Combined with cost-saving actions lawmakers took in an August special session and recent vetoes by Gov. Kate Brown, that could leave Oregon with $1.7 billion more than it currently plans to spend this budget. …

How the Ducks got rapid antigen testing and the rest of us didn’t.

Jon Wilner is the best reporter covering the Pac-12’s shenanigans. He’s on twitter here. Today he’s got a report in the San Jose Mercury on how the Pac-12 got rapid antigen testing for Covid for players – but not for faculty and staff:

“… The access to rapid-result Covid-19 antigen tests that could be administered before practice and games solved the first of two daunting challenges (keeping the players safe) and provided vital momentum to eventually clearing the second (convincing officials in California and Oregon to ease health restrictions).

That evening, I mentioned the deal to my wife.

“That’s great,” she said, “but why is the Pac-12 getting those tests? Why aren’t they going to teachers and other essential workers?”

“You’re right,” I responded. “I’ve been wondering the same thing. I need to ask Quidel.”

On Monday, I did just that. …”

Meanwhile, reported positive tests at UO are rising quickly, as more students move back to town and into the dorms. 21 for the week that started Monday:

Meanwhile UO release of case information, here, vacillates between the minimum and the minimum plus epsilon. They don’t report buildings, athletes, frats, departments, parties. Sometimes they report that the students are living on campus, or if the case is related to a cluster, other times they don’t:

University Presidents let Larry Scott loot Pac-12

This report from John Canzano in the Oregonian gives the latest on how much money the presidents and chancellors who control the Pac-12 have thrown at Scott over the years. It’s outrageous.

I expect that Pres Schill, the new Pac-12 leader, will soon crack down on this so that he can spend UO’s cut of the savings on bigger raises and bonuses for Rob Mullens, Mario Cristobal, Dana Altman and the others of their ilk:

Thanks to an anonymous reader for the link.

NYT asks if PAC-12 cares about heath and safety

We all know they’re going to restart their program to give their unpaid “student-athletes” brain damage so people like Rob Mullens and Mario Cristobal can continue to cash in. This is about whether or not they’ll do so soon enough to also infect their students, families, and thousands in their communities with a deadly virus. Apparently this is a tough call for their governing board, which is chaired by UO Pres Schill:

Thanks to an anonymous reader for the link.

What passes for good news these days

Update: Count the number of seconds between lighting and thunder and divide by 5 to get distance in miles.

Live updates: Rain expected to suppress Oregon fires, could bring landslides, flooding and lightning to region

OPB (112.5K Twitter followers | 417,345 unique visitors per month): Josh Roering, professor of earth sciences at the University of Oregon, provides expert commentary.

Update: On, the other hand, there’s this:

Lamine Diack, who “gave” the 2021 (2022?) IAAF championships to Eugene, sentenced to 2 years

Diack in happier times, listening to UO Foundation head Paul Weinhold promise him the full faith and credit of UO’s $1B endowment, in exchange for a track meet:

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.33.15 PM

Today’s news from the BBC, here. Diack took money from Russian athletes to ignore their positive drug tests. His Treasurer was also convicted. Diack’s deputy, Lord Coe, who was on the Nike payroll and swore he knew nothing, is now in charge and has rebranded the IAAF as “World Athletics”.

Diack’s lawyers will appeal, but who knows what secrets a man might spill to get an early release from a French penitentiary?

GC Kevin Reed’s anti-free-speech work cited in law review article

The Nebraska Law Review, here. Always good to see a Johnson Hall administrator helping out with UO’s research metrics:

Reed also told me, during a public meeting of the UO Senate Executive Committee regarding his efforts to restrict free speech by students protesting the university foundation’s (money losing) investments in CO2 emitting industries, that he thought it might be a good idea if they faced the threat of jail time for their non-violent protests.

BOT meets

Materials here – updated yesterday with rudimentary data on athletics and auxiliary unit budgets. I’m not sure I have the stomach to watch much of this, but I’ll try and check in now and then.

Board Chair Lillis is having internet problems, as usual.

Board of Trustees September 10, 2020 | 8:30 a.m. PT

  1. ASUO President and University Senate President Reports. Isaiah Boyd, ASUO President; Elliot Berkman, Professor of Psychology and University Senate President

Berkman ran for Senate President on a platform of increasing the Senate’s participation in UO’s budget setting process. Judging from his obsequious remarks to the board, his recent email to the Senate, and the truncated meeting schedule, he’s abandoned that idea in favor of sucking up to the BOT and building his resume for a future administrative job. From his remarks:

“We learned to work together last year during President Skowron’s tenure and the spirit of shared governance through faculty administration collaboration that she nurtured has only grown since then. We’ve developed mutual trust and have identified shared goals in each of the priority areas for the Senate’s work this year.”

Meanwhile, the Senate website – which Berkman had announced he would redo last year – will not even show who is on the Senate, or its committees:

2. President and Provost Reports. Michael Schill, President; Patrick Phillips, Provost and Senior Vice President

Usual platitudes from both. Phillips is excited about the new Senate collaborators. Phillips attempts to defend his appointment by fiat of Carol Stabile as interim HC Dean – and announces he doesn’t intend to start a search for a permanent dean any time soon.

3. COVID-19 Impacts, Planning and Operations. Andre Le Duc, Associate Vice President and Chief Resilience Officer

“Moving toward capability for saliva testing by mid October”

Le Duc does a great job explaining why UO is not going to test students’ shit.

Murray asks GC Reed about potential Covid legal liabilities. Reed successfully evades.

4. University Finances. Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

With the help of the pandemic, VP Moffitt has managed to decrease the E&G fund deficit by $3.3M over Q3 projections:

First column is what the Board authorized for this year, at the end of last:

So, bottom line, even with Covid UO’s deficit was less than what the board authorized before Covid.

Some projections, FWIW. Trustee asks about enrollment. No reliable estimates yet. Schill is pessimistic given our reliance on out-of-state students (and the huge tuition increase this year from the tuition guarantee scheme.)

Moffitt expects to not trigger pay-cuts for fall.

Thompson on enrollment: Admits are up 5%. Sign-ups for summer Duck Days were up, but were of course cancelled. Worried that the problems at the schools that started early will hurt us. Believes that first year enrollment will be at bottom of the range above, but that overall enrollment will be flat. (!)

Schill: Significant drop in enrollment after we went on-line. Thompson: Yes. Expect about 300 requests to defer enrollment for “gap-year”.

Trustee & Moffitt: These numbers are challenging but manageable. Schill: Unless we get a big state funding cut.

[57 people watching on youtube now.]

It appears that at least one of the Trustees asked Moffitt to breakout the projections for the auxiliary budgets – at the bottom of the pdf. It’s grim. Housing deposits down 25%, could get worse:

Thompson notes that housing started with very large reserves (omitted from these data) so he’s not as worried as you might think.

Even worse for athletics – fortunately they still have about $65M in the reserve account Mullens was supposed to be saving to pay off the Knight Arena bonds, which he and the coaches can use to pay themselves millions while laying off the SEIU staff.

Mullens: We did a 10% pay cut for all staff including coaches (but still paid them bonuses) laid-off a lot of lower-paid classified staff, and made the government pay for furloughs for other.

Moffitt: We’re doing everything possible to not use E&G funds to cover these losses. We’ve even talked to the Foundation about helping athletics still more. [Odd that there’s no mention of the Foundation helping the academic side.]

Q about handling the deficit. Moffitt: No liquidity problems. Sitting on a lot of cash. But we do need to worry about deficits. Borrowed a lot of money to pay for Athletic Village, (as tax-exempt revenue bonds!) but need to pay those back.

Q about how much Athletics has actually saved from cost-cutting to date. Mullens: I don’t have those exact numbers. Q: What’s the Legacy Fund balance? Mullens: I think $60M, I think we spent about $7M on debt per year. Moffitt: Legacy fund is restricted to use for funding arena debt. [But of course money’s fungible, and in practice this money goes to salaries, etc.]

[Taking a break, not sure if I’ll be back live-blogging.]

5. Student Crisis Funds. Kris Winter, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students; Jim Brooks, Associate Vice President and Director of Financial Aid

Meeting Recessed Until 1:00 p.m. PT

6. Student Mental Health and Services. Deb Beck, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director of University Health Services; Shelly Kerr, Director of the University Counseling Center; Kris Winter, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

7. Student Success Initiatives Semi-Annual Report. Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion; Sung-Woo Cho, Research Associate Professor, College of Education; Doneka Scott, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success

8. UOPD Budget and Operations. Matt Carmichael, Chief of Police

Wow – actual data on the increases in the UOPD budget – although it doesn’t go back far enough to show how much the decision to convert to sworn armed officers has cost:

9. Presidential Evaluation Summary Report. Chuck Lillis, Chair

Meeting Adjourned