Former IAC chair Brian McWhorter (Music) composes Track & Field march

Former RG reporter Greg Bolt has the story in “Around the 0”, here. Pretty cool. I’m having a hard time maintaining my usual cynicism on this one, which certainly raises the bar for Gottfredson’s hand-picked IAC-lite replacement committee. Check out Professor McWhorter’s youtube videos here. Mostly safe for work, except the RNC theme song, here (McW’s on the left).

Update: Mary Pilon has a great story on Professor McWhorter in the NYT, here. Ms Pilon has a track record of interesting stories on IAC members. Her 2011 piece on Professor Glen Waddell’s study showing how football wins lower student grades is here.

UO Athletics Committee member arrested after posting video of meeting.

Video and interview with the recently released perp here.

Oh wait, that was at the Supreme Court last Wednesday – apparently it’s the first time in history that anyone has managed to get video from inside the court. The SCOTUS arrested the protestor, then according to this NYU law blog, deleted all references to the protest and arrest from the minutes of their proceedings. (Thanks to UO Journalism Prof and First Amendment Chair Kyu Ho Youm’s excellent twitter feed for the link.)

So, what about UO’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee? At its most recent meeting Chair Rob Illig (Law) and Senate President Margie Paris (Law) launched an attack on IAC member Bill Harbaugh (me), claiming I was responsible for the Athletic Department’s lack of trust in the committee’s willingness to keep the Ducks peculiar finances and activities as secret as they would like them to be.

The minutes of the meeting detailing this attack and the objections to it raised by myself and other IAC members, which were kept by an athletic department employee, are supposed to be made public. So I asked Illig for a copy. No answer. Other IAC members also asked. Eventually Illig sent his response: He will not release the minutes of any IAC meetings.

OK Professor Illig, let’s go there:

Dear UO Public Records Officer Thornton:

It seems strange that the member of a Senate committee should have to make a public records request in order to see the minutes of a meeting of that committee, but that seems to be the message Professor Illig is sending in his email below.

Therefore, this is a public records request for a copy of the any notes taken by AD employee Colleen Morgan during IAC meetings this academic year.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

As IAC chair, Illig’s charge is to report on the following to the UO Senate in writing by Monday, and then answer questions on Wednesday, in public and on video:

a) issues related to student athlete welfare;

b) priorities for the athletics department (and the relation of these priorities to the university mission);

c) the financial status of the athletics department;

d) planned expansion, remodeling or removal of athletics facilities;

e) changes in the status of sports teams;

f) changes in facilities management that might affect the university community;

g) any major violations by the athletics department, and their resolutions;

h) possible roles for faculty governing bodies to assure that academic policies and practices are consistent with supporting the intellectual growth and academic success of student athletes and the viability of athletics as an integral part of campus life;

i) any others topics the athletics director deems relevant to the university community.

(2) The chair of the IAC shall provide an annual report to the University Senate during spring term.  This report should cover IAC involvement on the issues stated above and an assessment of the consistency of athletic policies and practices with the academic mission of the university.

Illig hasn’t pursued any of these matters, so it should be a short report.

What do we need to do to make the IAC chair do his job? Legislation. On Wednesday the Senate will vote on the following motion:

The Senate Directs the IAC to Report on UO’s Academic Support for Student Athletes

1.1 WHEREAS, the issue of the academic opportunities and outcomes of student-athletes is of longstanding concern, dating to a 1905 White House meeting by (U.S.) President Theodore Roosevelt that led to the creation of the NCAA’s predecessor organization[i], and as most recently demonstrated at the University of North Carolina, where a professor has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of  providing sham courses to student-athletes[ii]; and

1.2 WHEREAS the University of Oregon’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee’s charge includes the duty to

“Promote and safeguard opportunities for student athletes to excel in academics and protect and ensure the academic integrity of student athletes”[iii]

; and

1.3 WHEREAS the UO Athletic Department and/or the Jaqua Center have required that UO student-athletes take classes taught and graded by Athletic Department employees, which from the syllabus do not appear to meet UO’s regular academic standards[iv], which were not submitted to the Senate’s Committee on Courses according to the regular 2-year timeline for new courses, and which were rejected when finally submitted for review[v]; and

1.4 WHEREAS the UO Athletic Department and/or the Jaqua Center have also steered student-athletes into at least one course offered only to student-athletes, in which all those taking the course for a grade were given a grade of A+; and

1.5 WHEREAS this fall the IAC interviewed several former UO student-athletes about their concerns about the academic and career support services they had received from the Jaqua Center, but did not pursue their concerns, or make any report to the Senate, or make any proposals for improvements[vi]; and

1.6 WHEREAS other universities have conducted outside reviews of their academic support for student-athletes, including statistical information on qualifications, academic performance, responses of student-athletes to survey questions, and recommendations for improvements[vii] ; and

1.7 WHEREAS in contrast the UO’s most recent review of support for student-athletes is an internal review, conducted in 2012 by an administrator who (as near as can be determined from the redacted response to a public records request made by the Register Guard[viii]) is not independent of the athletic department, and whose review does not include any analysis of academic qualifications, performance, or career outcomes, or any interviews with student-athletes, or any recommendations for improvements[ix].

Section II:

2.1 BE IT HEREBY MOVED that the University Senate establishes an ad hoc “Student-Athlete Success Committee” comprised of IAC members and other Senate constituents, charged with conducting a review of UO’s academic services for student-athletes, with a focus on how to improve these services, and the academic and career outcomes of student-athletes; and

2.2 BE IT FURTHERMORE MOVED that this committee’s report shall include:

1) an analysis of the academic qualifications and educational and career outcomes of student-athletes,

2) surveys and interviews of current and former student-athletes, including questions about their academic experience at UO, the academic support services they have received at the Jaqua Center including questions about academic advising and support, support for post-graduation job searches, and outcomes,

3) surveys of current and former UO admissions employees and Jaqua Center staff and tutors about these matters,


2.3 BE IT FURTHERMORE MOVED that the Senate requests that the UO Administration provide any necessary assistance for these analyses and surveys; and

2.4 BE IT FURTHERMORE MOVED that the Senate President form the membership of this committee, to be approved by vote of the Senate by the end of its current term, with a report to follow at the first meeting of the winter session of the 2014-2015 academic year.




[iv] Syllabus 2012.docx


[vi] This year’s IAC minutes are missing or were never taken, according to an email to the IAC from chair Rob Illig (Law).

[vii]  E.g. the University of Washington report at


[ix] Report  2- 2012 _ Final.docx

William Harbaugh (Economics), Senator

Randy Geller says Senate IAC can hold closed meetings


Also see related docs:

From: Randy Geller <[email protected]>
Date: November 7, 2013 8:22:48 AM PST
To: Robert Illig <[email protected]>
Cc: Margaret Paris <[email protected]>, Michael Gottfredson <[email protected]>, Rob Mullens <[email protected]>
Subject: Public Meetings Law and the IAC

Dear Rob:

I appreciate your patience as we have worked through this issue. I am happy to try to clear up the confusion around the applicability of the Oregon Public Meetings Law (OPML) to meetings of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC). The IAC is a committee acting under the authority of the “statutory faculty.” Although not used in Oregon law, “statutory faculty” is a term that is used in the UO Constitution and intended to provide definition to the phrase “president and professors” used in ORS 352.010.

Margie Paris has explained to me that it is your preference and hers that IAC meetings be closed. However, Margie indicated that some members of the IAC desire that meetings be open. I have previously advised you and your predecessor as chair, Brian McWhorter, that nothing precludes the IAC from following the requirements of the OPML. Compliance with the OPML involves a fairly detailed list of obligations (in addition to making certain kinds of meetings open to the public), and you are free to meet these obligations. My advice is simply that the IAC is not legally required to comply with the OPML. Short of full compliance with the OPML, the IAC may choose to open some or all of its meeting time to the public or portions thereof, but Margie explained to me that her concern is that open meetings may narrow the scope of the discussion and the practical ability of the IAC to consider certain matters.

The narrow question at issue, then, is whether the IAC is required to comply with the OPML. This question is answered by determining whether the IAC has the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public “body.” In my view, the answer to that question is “no.” This email does not provide, and should not be construed as providing, advice about any other issue.  Specifically, I stress that this discussion is narrowly addressed to the applicability of the OPML to the IAC. It should not be understood to address the scope of the faculty’s authority or the relationship of that authority to the authority of the State Board of Higher Education (SBHE), the Chancellor, or an institutional president.

The OPML applies to all meetings of a governing body of a public body for which a quorum is required in order to make a decision or to deliberate toward a decision on any matter. ORS 192.610(5); 192.630(1). The term “[g]overning body means the members of any public body which consists of two or more members, with the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public body on policy or administration.” ORS 192.610(3) (underlining added). The term “[p]ublic body means the state, any regional council, county, city or district, or any municipal or public corporation, or any board, department, commission, council, bureau, committee or subcommittee or advisory group or any other agency thereof.” ORS 192.610. While not binding, the Oregon Department of Justice has opined that an individual official is not a public body. 42 Op Atty Gen 187, 189 (1981); 44 Op Atty Gen 69 (1984). I find the Department’s views to be persuasive on this issue because the use of the term “body” in this context would clearly mean a number of individuals regarded as a single entity (e.g., the “student body”).

Whether the IAC has the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public body must be determined by reference to the legislatively-established roles of the SBHE, Chancellor, presidents of the seven public universities, and the professors at each of the seven public universities. The Oregon University System (OUS) was established as a public university system by ORS 351.011. OUS consists of the Chancellor’s Office, the public universities listed in ORS 352.002 and any related offices, departments or activities. The University of Oregon is one of the public universities listed in ORS 352.002 as a public university under the jurisdiction of the SBHE.

Under ORS 352.011, the SBHE, on behalf of the Oregon University System, “shall exercise and carry out all of the powers, rights and duties that are expressly conferred upon the board or that are implied by law or incident to such powers, rights and duties.” Another statute, ORS 351.070, lists some of the SBHE’s authorities. More specifically, ORS 351.070(4)(a) and (b) provide as follows:

(4) Subject to such delegation as the board may decide to make to the public universities and offices, departments and activities under its control, the board, for each public university, office, department or activity under its control:

(a) Shall supervise the general course of instruction therein, and the research, extension, educational and other activities thereof.

(b) Shall adopt rules and bylaws for the government thereof, including the faculty, teachers, students and employees therein. (underlining added).

ORS 351.085 describes the duties and powers of the Chancellor. Subsections (1) and (2) provide as follows:

The Chancellor of the Oregon University System shall exercise, under the direction of the State Board of Higher Education, the administrative and management authority necessary to carry out the policies and directives of the board with respect to the public universities and offices, departments and activities under the control of the board. In carrying out the duties of the chancellor, the chancellor shall:

(1) Serve as chief executive officer of the Oregon University System and administrative officer of the State Board of Higher Education.

(2) Supervise the presidents of the public universities listed in ORS 352.002 and recommend the terms and conditions of their employment to the board, including but not limited to appointment, compensation and termination.

ORS 352.004 describes the role and authority of the president of each of the public universities within the Oregon University System:

The president of each public university within the Oregon University System is also president of the faculty. The president is also the executive and governing officer of the public university, except as otherwise provided by statute or action of the State Board of Higher Education. Subject to the supervision of the board, the president of the public university has authority to control and give general directions to the practical affairs of the public university. (underlining added).

Similarly, ORS 352.010 describes the composition of the faculty and its role:

The president and professors constitute the faculty of each of the public universities listed in ORS 352.002 and as such have the immediate government and discipline of the public university and the students therein, except as otherwise provided by statute or action of the State Board of Higher Education. The faculty may, subject to the supervision of the board under ORS 351.070, prescribe the course of study to be pursued in the public university and the textbooks to be used. (underlining added).

These statutes establish the Legislature’s intended framework for the respective roles of the SBHE, the Chancellor, each institutional president as the executive and governing officer and the president of the faculty of his or her institution, and the “president and professors” as the “faculty” of each institution governed by the SBHE.

Much of intercollegiate athletics would seem to be a “practical affair” of the University, see ORS 352.004, and thus the president’s responsibility, subject to supervision by the SBHE and the Chancellor.

Further, the SBHE has adopted numerous rules and bylaws for the government of each of the public universities, including their faculty, teachers, students, and employees. The SBHE’s policy on Executive Leadership can be found here: Parts (F)(1), (6) and (7) are the relevant parts.

The SBHE has also enacted OUS Internal Management Directive Section 8. While somewhat dated, this IMD is still in effect and sets forth the role of the institutional presidents in relation to intercollegiate athletics in a variety of ways. Another IMD is Section 1.130, which designates the president as responsible for the development and administration of institutional policies and rules governing the role of students (which would seem to include intercollegiate athletics) and to “take into account” the views of students, faculty, and others.  The Internal Management Directives are found here:

To the extent that the SBHE has acted so as to delegate authority regarding intercollegiate athletics to the institutional presidents (and the directors of athletics), the IAC’s role is to advise the presidents and the directors. Presidents and directors are individual officials and not public bodies. Thus, the IAC is not subject to the OPML because it does not have authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public body.

Further, to the extent that the faculty have a role relative to intercollegiate athletics, the SBHE’s actions and the UO Constitution both appear to provide that the president, an individual official, is the ultimate decision-maker via a presidential veto that may not be overridden by the professors.

I want to reiterate that the narrow question at issue is whether the IAC is required to comply with the OPML. This question is answered by determining whether the IAC has the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a “public body.” In my view, the answer to that question is “no.” The answer turns on the word “body” in the OPML. This email does not provide, and should not be construed as providing, advice about any other issue.  Specifically, I stress that this discussion is narrowly addressed to the applicability of the OPML to the IAC. It should not be understood to address the scope of the faculty’s authority or the relationship of that authority to the authority of the State Board of Higher Education (SBHE), the Chancellor, or an institutional president.

I hope that this is helpful.


Randy Geller

General Counsel

University of Oregon

Intercollegiate Athletics Committee retreat and Open Meetings

10/28/13: Intercollegiate Athletics Committee retreat:

In the absence of formal minutes from the meeting, I’m posting a brief summary. The agenda for the retreat, held Tuesday 10/22, was set by IAC Chair Rob Illig (Law) as follows:

3:00 – 3:15 – IAC Chair Rob Illig leads introductions
3:15 – 3:30 – Senate President Margie Paris introduces our official charge
3:30 – 4:30 – AD Rob Mullens and members of his staff, as appropriate, present information about the athletic department and address recent email questions
4:30 – 4:45 – short break
4:45 – 5:30 – Faculty Athletics Rep Jim O’Fallon discusses the relationship between the UO and the NCAA
5:30 – 5:45 – General Counsel Randy Geller presents information about the Open Meetings Law
5:45 – 6:00 – IAC discusses and approves confidentiality policy
6:00 – 6:30 – break-out sessions for working groups (please bring your calendars)
6:30 – 7:00 – for anyone interested, wine and cheese and easy socializing

Randy Geller didn’t show. In his absence the Chair read an email from him, opining that Oregon’s Open Meeting Law did not apply to IAC meetings, and another saying that UO would defend the faculty, if we were sued for not following that law.

At least that’s what I think Geller’s emails said. Illig first said he thought he had already forwarded the emails to the IAC. Then he wrote several times to say that he would forward them. Now he is refusing to share them with committee members. He says that Geller has decided to write another opinion on these matters, and that he will share this he receives it from the General Counsel.

9/19/2013 update: Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee meets to discuss transparency, confidentiality, e rispetto

The IAC met today to elect a chair. Professors Harbaugh (Economics) and Karduna (Human Phys) gave stirring speeches, but were crushed by Rob Illig (Law), who got 9 of 16 votes cast. Illig is the presumptive contender to replace Jim O’Fallon (Law, emeritus, 24 years as FAR, still without a review) as UO’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative next year. So this will be something of a baptism by fire, and provide some valuable information on his suitability for that important job. We’ll keep you updated, with respect, and within the limits of whatever confidentiality policy the IAC adopts.

9/17/2013: UO’s IAC met this afternoon in a mediated session, moderated by noted dispute resolution expert Eric Lindauer. Lindauer was brought in by Senate President Margie Paris. The objective was to help make the committee, which deals with many contentious high-stakes issues, function more effectively.

Almost all faculty, staff, and student members were present, along with AD Rob Mullens, AAD Lisa Peterson, AAD for Finance Eric Roedl, AAD for Strategic Communications Craig Pintens, the new AAD for NCAA compliance Jody Sykes, and UO’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon. Lorraine Davis was absent.

We discussed many things, most notably:

  1. Civil/respectful/professional/productive meetings and communication.
  2. Mechanisms to ensure the athletics department regularly provides the IAC with information related to its charge, which includes academic issues involving student-athletes, financial information, large donations, adding or dropping sports, new athletic facilities, and hiring of coaches.
  3. A confidentiality agreement for IAC members. The initial draft language for this is below.
Some related documents include:

Draft UO IAC Confidentiality Agreement, from today’s meeting.

For reference, the FAC’s confidentiality policy states:

The Faculty Advisory Council is responsible for providing the President and other Administration officials with faculty opinion and counsel on the wide range of university affairs. In its relations with the President, the Administration, and with the faculty, the Faculty Advisory Council shall act either on request or on its own initiative. To fulfill its mission, members of the Council recognize that its deliberations must remain confidential. The quality and the effectiveness of the advice we give depend on a free and frank discussion of issues, in which all participants can voice their opinions without fear that their positions will be divulged or attributed to them outside of the Council. Furthermore, the FAC often treats issues that are in the public domain. Any information presented at a FAC meeting that is not in the public record will remain confidential. All discussion about information that is in the public record will also remain confidential. Participants in the FAC will not refer to or divulge Council deliberations and comments with specificity in discharging their obligations as faculty, administrators, or staff. By pledging to adhere to the confidentiality of its proceedings, participants in the FAC commit to fulfilling their legislative charge. The Council shall be the forum where the President and other Administration officials seek faculty advice on all important decisions that affect the university before they are implemented, and where the issues that inform these decisions will be considered thoroughly and with mutual respect.