What do tuition freezes really do? What about tuition increases?

Of course they lower the listed tuition price which is paid by higher income students, but it turns out they reduce the amount of needs-based support that universities provide low-income students by twice as much. I wonder how strong the inverse effect is – do increases in listed tuition lead universities to decrease the tuition cost for low income students? Thanks to a reader for the working paper here:

STRATEGIC PLANNING CONSULTING – PROVOST’S INTEGRATIVE SPORT AND WELLNESS INITIATIVE

From UO’s business opportunities website here:

1.1. Purpose of this AP. The University of Oregon’s Office of the Provost
(University), is issuing this Alternative Procurement (AP) to procure strategic planning consultation services in support of the Provost’s Integrative Sport and Wellness Initiative as more specifically described in this solicitation. The University of Oregon is uniquely positioned to form a leading integrative sport and wellness academic program. Built upon a strong and broad-ranging academic foundation of innovative research coupled with professional education that touches on most schools and colleges within the University, this initiative provides the opportunity to
leverage a long history of success and a worldwide reputation in college athletics, as well as emerging prominence in hosting national and international competitions, to rapidly generate national and international attention in this area.

The sport and wellness initiative provides an interdisciplinary approach that positions the University as a multifaceted leader in the field.

Overall Project Scope: The successful Proposer will collaborate with the Office of the Provost and a faculty steering committee to identify and engage stakeholders, learn from their views, and create a comprehensive strategic plan for the University to successfully implement a nationally and internationally leading integrative sports and wellness program that meets the following objectives:
• Capitalize upon, integrate, and increase the impact of University strengths across a wide range of academic fields.
• Provide world-class experiences and novel educational opportunities that enhance recruitment of domestic and international undergraduate and graduate students.
• Continue to align the University with research and expertise on healthy living and environmental quality, while helping the citizens of the state live longer, healthier lives.
• Promote and help understand the social context and consequences of sports, wellness, and health disparities within society.
• Engage in influential, applied research leading to recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, students, and staff.
• Energize and firmly cement a connection to a leading economic engine for the state of Oregon.
• Provide clear and direct paths for industry partner engagement.
• Engage corporate and individual donor partners.
• Generate clear brand differentiation for the University of Oregon.

Thus far, the Provost has engaged, staff, and stakeholders to further define the goals and objectives of the initiative. Because there is such breadth of programming, research and involvement from external partners, a steering committee has been created to help shepherd campus-wide engagement, examine appropriate academic structures, and define strategic priorities and goals. That committee is tasked with developing a stakeholder engagement plan that will commence over the first three months of 2021.

Gov Brown’s budget proposes increasing state funding for higher ed

12/3/ update:

OSU’s version is here, UO’s almost identical take is below:

From: Hans Bernard <hbernard@uoregon.edu>
Date: December 3, 2020 at 08:55:20 PST
To: Hans Bernard <hbernard@uoregon.edu>
Subject:Governor’s Recommended Budget

Campus colleagues,

On Tuesday, Governor Kate Brown released her proposed budget for the 2021- 23 biennium. 

The Governor recommends balancing the $25.6 Billion general and lottery fund budget through a combination of one time funds, $310 million in new revenue, and makes some modest assumptions about continuation of federal Medicaid assistance programs. The budget recommends using $215 million of the Education Stability Fund, and raises $310 million in new revenue through eliminating some tax expenditures (pass through), disconnecting from portions of the federal tax code included in the CARES act, limiting the home interest mortgage deduction to first homes, increasing tax surcharges on distilled spirits, and increasing rural hospital assessment rates. Additionally, the budget also proposes the closure of three prisons and makes some targeted cuts to the Oregon Health Plan.

While individual institutions will see cuts from their FY 21 appropriation, the budget largely protects higher education from cuts in state funding.

The Public University Support Fund (PUSF) was held flat at $836,898,583. Because of the way the state splits biennial funding (49% in the first year, and 51% in the second) flat funding constitutes an estimated $3 million cut to UO for FY 22. 

In the Capital budget the Governor recommends includes $309.4 M in funding for universities. This includes $80 million for Capital Improvement and Renewal (CI&R) a fund that is distributed to campuses by formula, as well as $58.5 million for UO’s Heritage project. The Heritage project is a renovation of University and Villard Halls. The Governor recommended funding for projects at PSU, OSU, EOU, and UO.

Financial Aid Programs:

  • Funding for Sports lottery scholarships was increased slightly to a total of $15.1M. UO and OSU receive $1,030,000 of these funds for scholarships for student athletes and graduate students.
  • The Governor recommended increasing funding for the Oregon Opportunity Grant by $4.7 million, bringing the total amount to $114.2 million.  The University may see some financial relief in in PathwayOregon costs associated with this increase, but it will be small.
  • The Governor recommended increasing funding for the Oregon Promise by $1.26 million, bringing total funding for the program to $42.2 million.

State Programs: The Governor maintained current funding levels for University State Programs. These programs took a cut in the special session in August, and unfortunately that cut was not restored in the Governor’s Budget. (Engineering Technology Sustaining Funds, Tall Wood Design Institute, Oregon Office of Community Dispute Resolution, Signature Research Centers, Labor Education Research Center, and Clinical Legal Education.) 

Health Insurance Benefits for part-time faculty: The Governor’s Budget includes $10.0 million General Fund for health care for part-time faculty at public institutions who provide instruction at multiple institutions and who are eligible for health care benefits.

The Governor’s budget is based on the November 2020 revenue forecast, which continued to predict modest revenue growth and shows that state collections had largely recovered from the Covid-19 associated shutdowns that occurred during the spring of 2020. The November forecast however did not capture lost revenue associated with current Covid-19 restrictions.

The Legislature will convene on January 19, 2021 and are constitutionally required to adopt a balanced budget no later than June 28, 2021.The state economists will deliver three revenue forecasts before the legislature must conclude their work this summer. 

The Governor got a question about higher education funding in her press conference unveiling the budget. When asked, she stated: “I did not have the resources I wanted when building this budget…. My goal is to work with the legislature to find more resources for our universities and community colleges…..universities literally open up the world for our students and we need to work to increase funding.” 

The budget itself is over 500 pages, so it will take a few days to fully digest the document. In the meantime if you have specific questions please send them my way and Jamie and I will work to get answers to you as soon as possible.

Thanks, 

Hans

Hans Bernard

11/30/2020: In nominal not real dollars, of course.

I’m still waiting for UO lobbyist Hans Bernard to post something about this on his blog, but that’s the gist of the budget proposal here. While Governor Brown wants to hold the total PUSF bucket constant, she also proposes moving the $2.8M OSU gets for the Veterinary Diagnostics Lab into the mysterious and increasing PUSP budget – meaning more leftovers for the 7 state public universities to divy up from the PUSF.

That said this increase is a decrease if you consider inflation, which will eat up $36M of the proposed 2-year $837M PUSF, taking a guess at future cost increases.

UO Trustees meet Dec 3-4 at 8:30 AM, will not give Cristobal a raise or hear public comments

The meeting packets for these 2 days include an unprecedented level of detail on UO finances. I’ll be adding some snippets from them to the relevant selections below as the meetings progress, but in the meantime you can read the material for Dec 3 here and Dec 4 here.

From a quick read it seems UO has a plan in place to deal with the upcoming Duck Athletics and housing deficits, but Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms wants me to pay her $348.52 to see it.

Also our VP for Diversity and Inclusion has way too much time on her hands, or too many staff and consultants trying to look busy.

Agenda:

The Board meeting will be available via live stream.  Broadcasts available here for: Thursday, Dec. 3rd and Friday, Dec. 4th. No public comment period.

December 3, 2020 | 8:30 a.m. PT
December 4, 2020 | 8:30 a.m. PT

Convene Public Meeting

1 Approval of minutes from September 10, October 29, and November 13 full board meetings

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

3. University Finance and Treasury Reports. Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO

4. Audit Reports:

4.1 FY20 Audited Financial Statements. Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO; Kelly Wolf, Associate Vice President and Controller

4.2 FY20 External Auditor’s Report. Scott Simpson, Partner, Moss Adams

4.3 Quarterly Audit Report. Leah Ladley, Chief Auditor

5. Tuition-Setting Preview. Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life and TFAB Co-Chair; Jamie Moffitt, Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO and TFAB Co-Chair

Meeting recessed until December 4 at 8:30 a.m.

6. Program Approval: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance (Action). Brad Garner, Associate Professor and Department Head of Dance

7. Capital Planning and Sustainability Annual Report; Capital Project Approval – ZIRC (Action). Mike Harwood, Associate Vice President and University Architect

8. Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives. Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion; Patrick Phillips, Provost and Sr. Vice President; Mark Schmelz, Chief Human Resources Officer

9. Academic Area in Focus: Human Physiology. John Halliwill, Professor and Department Head of Human Physiology

Meeting Adjourned

Dana Altman promotes the assistant coach who helped him recruit alleged basketball rapists

The Oregonian has the story on Altman’s promotion yesterday of Tony Stubblefield here. The 2017 CBS Sports report on Stubblefield’s role recruiting Dominic ArtisDamyean Dotson and Brandon Austin is below the break. (Apparently Altman is crying because he lost a game, not over the alleged sexual assaults.)

Continue reading

Live – Blog: UO Senate to meet today 3-5PM on replacing Trustee, armed police, Dance

I’ll try and live blog it some. The zoom link is here – given past zoom-bombing you might want to sign in a little before 3.
https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/91780103621

3:00 P.M.  Call to Order

  • Land Acknowledgment; Michelle Wood
  • Introductory Remarks; Senate President Elliot Berkman, Senate VP Spike Gildea
  • Enrollment; TBD

Big-time sports not really paying off for UO enrollment:

  • ASUO updates; Claire O’Connor

Ella Meloy from ASUO Senate reads statement opposing President Schill’s statement in which he states he will not disarm UOPD. She presents data on the lack of violent crime on campus, and mentions PSU’s recent decision to begin the police disarmament process. Full statement here.

3:15 P.M. Approval of Minutes

  • November 4, 2020

3:15 P.M. State of the University

  • Provost Patrick Phillips

There was a question for Prov Phillips from the meeting on this United Academics statement:

Who Decides Whether You Will Be Promoted?

Starting in late spring and into the summer, the leadership of United Academics has grown increasingly concerned about a new area where the administration is asserting complete and total authority. For the first time in memory, the Provost’s Office has denied tenure or promotion to several faculty members against the recommendation of their department, their college, the Faculty Personnel Committee, and their external reviewers. The Provost’s Office has argued that the Provost, and the Provost alone, is the arbiter of unit-level and university standards for promotion and tenure, and in these cases all other levels of review were wrong. They have asserted this right while refusing to explain their rationale for their denials and arguing that they have the right to interpret the criteria for tenure and promotion in any way they see fit. 

United Academics has always supported the proposition that the university faculty and their peers at other universities are the people best able to judge their colleagues’ records, and it is the faculty who should take the lead in evaluating tenure and promotion cases. This is why unit-level policy is the foundation for evaluations. Shortly after our first collective bargaining agreement, the faculty in each unit wrote down the standards by which they assessed their colleagues. These standards were reviewed for fairness and excellence by the deans and reviewed again by the Provost before being posted as the official criteria for judging the records of faculty in a department or unit. This system relies on the judgment of the university faculty to create standards consistent with our campus commitment to excellence as well as the standards of the academy, and it is checked by leading experts in the field who help to evaluate and verify that our faculty meet those standards. While this system has not always worked perfectly, as no system does, it is the system that the faculty and administration agreed to based on a fundamental commitment to the process of peer review which underlies the success of the entire structure of higher education. 

Unfortunately, the Provost’s Office has decided to change the system of tenure and promotion and set aside peer review. Instead of relying on our tradition of shared governance and faculty-directed review, the Provost’s Office instead asserts that they must conduct an independent review of the file, and only the Provost’s review matters. …

Phillips mostly blew this question off, basically saying that it was too easy to get tenure and promotion at UO and he was tightening the requirements.

Senate President Berkman noted that tenure was a matter for the Senate and faculty, and promised to investigate.

3:30 P.M. New Business

UOM: Say what you will about Le Duc’s presentations, his results have been impressive:

Not nearly as impressive as OSU’s results, however:

Perhaps OSU does a better job controlling its fraternities and sororities than UO?

About half of Oregon’s college cases are UO students:

4:00 P.M. Open Discussion

  • UOPD; Chief Carmichael, Jamie Moffitt, Andre Le Duc
  • Faculty Trustee Endorsement Process; Laura Lee McIntyre (please see attachment)

[UOM: to see how Pres Schill and BoT Secretary Angela Wilhelms actually pick UO’s trustees read this email, provided at no charge by Gov Browns public records office]:

4:55 P.M. Reports
4:56 P.M. Notices of Motion

  • Ph.D. in Spanish, Cecilia Enjuto-Rangel
  • Bylaws updates; Randy Sullivan

4:58 P.M. Other Business
5:00 P.M. Adjourn


Topic: Senate – Dec 2020
Time: Dec 2, 2020 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/91780103621

UO searching for new Director of Labor Relations to deal with partisan ideologues on Board & in Johnson Hall

The complete job ad for a replacement for Missy Matella, whose last day was Nov 30, was posted the same day here. The remarkably transparent list of required Professional Competencies includes:

• Ability to work across partisan and ideological lines to build consensus for university and faculty issues.
• Ability to foster and maintain a strongly collaborative relationship with key institutional stakeholder groups including Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs and Office of General Counsel.

Translation: Do what you’re told even when Chuck Lillis, Angela Wilhelms, Mike Schill, Patrick Phillips and Kevin Reed tell you to do different things, your real boss is supposedly Jamie Moffitt, and you have to try and explain whatever you are told to do to the faculty union’s Dave Cecil in a way that makes it sound like it’s all part of a coherent plan to accomplish the university’s mission.

Salary: $135,000 – $165,000 per year, or about 3% of what all the people bossing you around are getting.

Will UO Board vote Friday to give Mario Cristobal a $2M raise?

11/30/2020 update: Still no agenda posted.

I don’t know. $205K UO Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms is late again posting the agenda for the meeting, and now she wants me to pay $348.52 for the emails she sends the trustees:

From: pubrec@uoregon.edu
Subject: University of Oregon Office of Public Records 2021-PRR-133
Date: November 17, 2020 at 1:32:31 PM PST
To: wtharbaugh@gmail.com

11/17/2020

Dear Mr. Harbaugh:

The University of Oregon, Office of Public Records has received your public records request for “Copies of emails and attachments sent from the Board Secretary’s office to the Trustees giving updates on UO and on Board business, from Jan 1 2019 to the present. Specifically… general emails sent to the entire board or to an entire committee(s), not emails to or from individual trustees”, made 10/20/2020.

On 11/12/2020, the office received your email agreeing to exclude logistical emails (i.e. scheduling) or simple forwards of UO announcements. Please be aware that, even with these restrictions, the volume of responsive records is still quite high. The Board Secretary’s office sends email to the Board every two to three weeks, with multiple attachments. The Board is also provided with any communication from the public, as well as any audits that have been completed. While the office expects the majority of the records to be non-exempt, the materials will need to be reviewed for personal privacy (192.355(2)), security measures (192.345(23)), or other such exemptions. 

The university has received your request for a fee waiver for these records. The decision to waive or reduce fees is discretionary with the public body. After considering your request, the office does not consider that the totality of the circumstances you presented meets the standard for a fee waiver. 

Given the above, the office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $348.52. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon in that amount, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure. Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207. Please note that if the cost of preparing the documents for you is less than the estimate, we will refund the difference. If the cost of preparing the records for you exceeds the estimate, however, you may be charged for the difference. Following is an outline of how costs are determined. The office charges a copy fee of 25 cents per page. The office also charges for the actual cost of making public records available. The charge includes, but is not limited to, staff costs for locating, gathering, summarizing, compiling, reviewing, tailoring or redacting the public records to respond to a request. The charge may also include the cost of time spent by an attorney in reviewing the public records, redacting material from the public records, or segregating the public records into exempt and nonexempt records. The cost of time for each employee is calculated by multiplying the employee’s hourly wage calculation (including benefits expenses) by the hours or portions thereof necessary to locate, gather, summarize, compile, tailor, review, redact, segregate, certify or attend the inspection of the public records requested. Thank you for contacting us with your request.

Sincerely,

cid:4B9B6C3F-95CC-44A6-9B03-D592F3AE51E2

Office of Public Records6207 University of Oregon | Eugene, OR 97403-6207(541) 346-6823 | pubrec@uoregon.edupublicrecords.uoregon.edu

Religious diversity among professors

While it’s hard pretty hard to find a UO professor who’s a registered Republican (back in 2006 I could only find 25, out of 506 matches to the Lane County voter file) there’s more religious diversity than you might expect, along with some interesting differences by field. From a 2006 national survey here, 63% of Accounting profs “know God really exists”, while only 13% of Psychology profs claim the same. Economics is among the fields with the largest diversity of religious beliefs with 23% total unbelievers and, on the other hand, 44% who are sure god exists (just one god?):

UO’s 2006 diversity plan included political and religious diversity:

For purposes of this Diversity Plan, the term diversity is given a broad meaning and includes, but is not limited to, differences based on race, ethnicity, national origin or citizenship, gender, religious affiliation or background, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic class or status, political affiliation or belief, and ability or disability.

And after Trump’s election in 2016, the NYT’s Nicholas Kristof, the son of two PSU professors, wrote this:

After Donald Trump’s election, some universities echoed with primal howls. Faculty members canceled classes for weeping, terrified students who asked: How could this possibly be happening?

I share apprehensions about President-elect Trump, but I also fear the reaction was evidence of how insular universities have become. When students inhabit liberal bubbles, they’re not learning much about their own country. To be fully educated, students should encounter not only Plato, but also Republicans.

We liberals are adept at pointing out the hypocrisies of Trump, but we should also address our own hypocrisy in terrain we govern, such as most universities: Too often, we embrace diversity of all kinds except for ideological. Repeated studies have found that about 10 percent of professors in the social sciences or the humanities are Republicans.

We champion tolerance, except for conservatives and evangelical Christians. We want to be inclusive of people who don’t look like us — so long as they think like us. …

Does anyone know what UO’s latest diversity plan says about diversity of thought?

PAC-12 to require basketball players to wear tracking devices

There’s no mystery to why a coach like Dana Altman wants to make sure “his” players are not doing the wrong thing at the wrong time and place.

Any restrictions on their un-paid athletes are acceptable to the coaches, so long as they keep getting their millions in pay and bonuses: From John Wilner in the Mercury:

“SafeZone uses ultra-wideband technology to accurately calculate the proximity between individuals by distance and length of time in order to perform quick and accurate contact tracing when someone is symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19.

“The contact data is logged in a secure system and can be accessed to contact trace in the event of an infection.

“The SafeTags can also be used to enforce physical distancing regulations by flashing a red warning light when people are within six feet of each other.”

12/10/2014: Coach Dana Altman thinks National Anthem is the wrong time to protest racism

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 11.03.11 PM

Our fool of a basketball coach thinks he owns those players. They shouldn’t protest when he’s trying to collect his $2M paycheck, off their free labor.

Fortunately we’ve still got people who can hear someone sing “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave” and actually understand what it means.

Want to ask the players what they think? No. Duck AD Rob Mullens and his PR flack Craig Pintens have a rule about players talking to reporters without permission, and “Benjamin and Bell have not been made available to comment.”

Thanksgiving message from President Schill

Dear University of Oregon colleagues,

As I think about Thanksgiving this year, I am flooded with conflicting emotions. Like many of you, my plans to visit family and friends have been canceled, one more unfortunate change in a difficult year. Since many, if not most, of our students will leave Eugene to return home, our campus and much of our university neighborhood will have an empty feeling that will carry through the winter break. I worry about our community and our nation and pray that the hopeful vaccine experimental results reported in the news over the past couple weeks will mean a safe and effective way for us to curb the pandemic and allow us to get back to some approximation of normalcy.

But most of all, I am grateful and full of optimism for our future. Our community has come together better than we could have hoped for back in March when the contours of the pandemic first became apparent. Our faculty members once again demonstrated their devotion to our students by turning on a dime to convert traditional in-person teaching into remote or online education. Our students rose to the challenge with resilience; the vast majority have stayed with us and those I have spoken with are making the best of a sometimes difficult situation. Our classified staff and officers of administration displayed flexibility, understanding, and courage as they kept our campus open and safe. Our administrators worked weeks and months without taking a day off to help us manage an ever-changing environment. And, our alumni and supporters gave generously to support our students, donating close to $1 million to our student hardship fund.

I am also optimistic for our nation. While the election results reflect a nation that remains very divided, I am buoyed by the early statements of President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris. While our university comprises people of all parties and ideological perspectives, we are united by our commitments to research and science, to equity and inclusion, and to honesty and the pursuit of knowledge. I am hopeful that our nation—and our university—will return to these ideals even as we may disagree about how to put them into practice. I am also incredibly optimistic about our university. Although I am biased, I believe that we have made tremendous progress over the past six to seven years and I believe that progress will only accelerate in the future. In the years before I came to Eugene, the UO successfully led the effort to disband the Oregon University System and establish our own institutional board, which effectively freed us to chart our own path toward excellence. Our faculty union and my predecessor negotiated our first collective bargaining agreement that gave our career faculty substantially greater job security and compensation. We launched an extraordinary and unprecedented fundraising campaign that, to date, has raised close to $2.5 billion to fund scholarships, academic initiatives, new buildings, endowed professorships, and much more. And most importantly, we reaffirmed our commitment to academic excellence by focusing our resources on research and student success, an effort that was recognized and praised last year by the Association of American Universities.

Next month, we will celebrate the opening of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, the biggest change to our academic and research program in decades. The Knight Campus is committed to the principle of science advancing society—transforming basic scientific knowledge into interventions, technologies, innovations, and cures to improve the human condition. The Knight’s $500 million gift remains the single largest donation ever to a public university and a wonderful vote of confidence in Phil’s beloved alma mater. I invite each of you to join us for the virtual opening on December 2.

Importantly, the Knight Campus didn’t just come out of the head of a donor or president. Instead, the concept was organically developed by and for our faculty, who had long viewed the absence of applied science as holding the university and our students back. Similarly, over the next year we will see groups of faculty work with Provost Patrick Phillips to develop ideas for other new academic initiatives that will propel us forward in spite of the pandemic and our uncertain budgetary climate. These initiatives will include broad interdisciplinary efforts on the environment, sports and human performance, racial disparities, and innovation. I anticipate that each will be fed by philanthropy. It is important to me that all parts of the university see themselves playing a role in these efforts.

I am also hopeful and confident that our progress in creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive campus will accelerate next year. We have already done a lot of work in this area in terms of increasing our representation of students of color and providing new and enhanced curricular and co-curricular opportunities. But we need to do more. We need to hire more faculty and staff of color, and we need to create an environment in which they can flourish. We need to continue to increase access to our university and we need to make sure that all groups of students—regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or other characteristic—feel a part of our university and succeed. This is the moment for us to make progress on all of these fronts: the nation is focused; our students demand it; our University Senate is committed to making progress; and so is our university administration and board of trustees. Shame on us if we don’t meet the challenge.

One thing I have learned from my time here at the University of Oregon is that we tend to be a skeptical bunch. I am sure some of you think I am blowing hot air. How can Mike talk about progress and new initiatives in the face of a pandemic that is sickening or killing our citizens, eviscerating our economy, and generating budgetary problems for the university that will take years for us to dig out of? The answer to that question is that we owe it to our students, to our state, and to posterity to continually strive to produce knowledge and transmit that knowledge to the next generation. That is why we are part of this community. That is why we work here. It isn’t just our job; it is our calling and mission. A university that stands still forsakes its mission, because knowledge doesn’t have a finite end and human progress knows no bounds.In closing, I want to wish each of you a good holiday. I am thankful that I am your president and that I am part of this community. While we might not engage with each other in the way I most like—face-to-face and arm-in-arm—I want each of you to know how grateful I am that you are part of our university family.

Sincerely, Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Big-time college sports corrupts everything and everyone

The latest example is from the Oregonian, regarding OSU’s new President F. King Alexander, who had apparently been hoping for a job in the Biden administration. The report:

Oregon State president F. King Alexander on Wednesday afternoon emailed a statement to the school’s staff, asking the campus to “contribute to a community free of sexual misconduct, harassment.”

The statement, later posted to the school’s website, comes two days after USA Today reported that Louisiana State ignored sexual assault complaints involving members of the football team during a period when Alexander was the school president.

The USA Today report’s lead author was Kenny Jacoby, who as a UO student reporter was the bête noire of UO General Counsel Kevin Reed and basketball coach Dana Altman, for his many reports on Duck athletic scandals. Some links here.

Duck booster Pat Kilkenny beats former UO trustee Connie Ballmer in CA bail bond referendum

This is an odd one.

Pat Kilkenny is well known for his friendship with Phil Knight and his brief tenure as Dave Frohnmayer’s Duck Athletic Director, during which he set up the peculiar financing scheme for the Knight Arena, which is still costing UO’s academic budget $450K a year.

Connie Ballmer was one of the original UO Board of Trustees members. She has donated many millions to UO and particularly Pathway Oregon, a UO program that ensures low-income Oregon residents can go to UO tuition free, and then provides academic support services. It’s led to graduation rates on par with those of kids from rich families. She unexpectedly resigned from the BoT in March.

Kilkenny is also one of the founders and owners of Aladdin Bail Bonds, dba as Two Jinn Inc, a CA based company that has made a lot of money under that state’s cash bail bonds laws. In 2018 the CA legislature outlawed the cash bail system, arguing that companies like his were using the system to exploit low-income families. Kilkenny and the other bail companies put up more than $10M to challenge this law with Proposition 25 in the 2020 election. They won, the reformers lost, cash bail remains, and Kilkenny is still in business.

Connie Ballmer and her husband Steve were the major donors opposing the cash bail system and the unsuccessful effort to defeat Kilkenny’s Prop 25, which spent $13M. The LA Times has the story here.

More on Kilkenny’s other sleazy business dealings civic-minded efforts to help PERS reduce its unfunded liability are in the Oregonian here, and copies of the email chain between Kilkenny, Gov Brown’s chief of staff Nik Blosser (now working for the Biden transition team), and John von Schlegell (his Endeavour Capital Fund is a big investor in Kilkenny’s bail bonds company) here.