Violate the standard assumptions

11/17/2011: Here at UO Matters our sports editors focus on the highly effective strategies that UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens and his “Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Finance and Administration” Jamie Moffitt have been using to squeeze every last dime from UO students and the academic side, to pay for the coach’s salaries and their own free cars.

But the Ducks are more than just a fast moving violation of generally accepted accounting principles. Coach Kelly has also been breaking many of the old assumptions of college football. And to understand that part of the athletics game, you really can’t do better than the analysis at the amazing website:

Who will pay UO’s NCAA fine?

11/11/2011: The NCAA investigation of the Kelly / Lyles deal is winding down. Many people expect a settlement this month. Maybe. One likely outcome is self-punishment: UO agrees to limits on players, gives up a bowl game, and pays a fine. Where would the money come from? Kelly’s contract is here, with this clause:

So, Rob Mullens could fine Kelly for the NCAA violations, etc. A day’s pay would be about $20,000, but there’s no upper limit and Kelly would not seem to have much recourse. Will Mullens do this? Probably not his best career move. I’m guessing the athletic department will announce they will pay, and then Jamie Moffitt will find some way to pass the cost off to the academic side.

sorry, more athletics overhead subsidy

10/18/2011: I’m tired of this too, but there’s big money at stake: About $3.2 million a year. More than the $2.8 million faculty raises will cost, more than the $2.4 million Frances Dyke spent remodeling Johnson Hall, more than the $2 million we spend on the Jock Box, more than the $1 million extra we’re now spending on the campus police.

Thanks to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, I’ve now pinned the date for the decision to give athletics this $ multi-million break to sometime between Dec 2010 and Oct 2011. The old rate plan is described at while the new plan, with the special athletic department only discount, is at The special deal for athletics is the only big change. Yesterday I asked VPFA Frances Dyke, whose office is in charge of setting these rates, if she had any documents explaining this. Her response:

This switch was made sometime after April 2010, when Jamie Moffitt was appointed to clean up the athletic department’s finances. It looks to me like she cleaned them up by passing costs off to the rest of the university.

Given the OUS rule that the procedure used to set these rates must be “Auditable – recalcuable based on documented principles and procedures” I’m guessing that somewhere there is an explanation better than “I do not.” So I’ve asked Ms Moffitt to search her files for the documents. We’ll see what comes up.

"loss of institutional control" of athletic budget

10/17/2011: (revised) Two weeks ago we wrote how Duck athletics pays just half what other UO units pay towards UO’s administrative costs. How did this happen? In late 2007 a UO task force chaired by AVP Laura Hubbard recommended all “Auxiliary” units (a term which is explicitly defined to include athletics) pay according to this schedule: (Full report here.)

This policy was announced and posted on the BAO website. Then suddenly the numbers got changed. They added two new categories, one for incidental fees students pay to fund the EMU, etc. The new policy is here, and the chart below from it makes it explicit the students will pay the 7% rate as other auxiliaries. 

The other new category is Athletics. They get a permanent 3% rate. This one special subsidy for athletics costs the rest of UO about $3.2 million a year. For comparison, the recent faculty raises cost $2.8 million. 

We started digging into this after hearing Jamie Moffitt and Rob Mullens claim that the athletic department is “self-supporting” – and then finding out their math depended on sticking the academic side with the bill for the Jock Box and the NCAA lawyers. Made me wonder what other crawly things are hiding under that rock.  
As it turns out there’s an OUS policy on overhead rates. A very specific policy, which I’m guessing came down because of some IRS ruling:

Allocation of indirect costs should be based on a process that is reasonable relative to the activity and the related costs. OUS institutions will each develop their own methodologies for allocating indirect costs within the guiding principles listed below:

  • Reasonable – costs which are applicable to the overall operation of the activity
  • Properly allocable – costs are allocated in accordance with the relative benefits received by the auxiliary enterprise
  • Simple and easy to understand
  • Auditable – recalcuable based on documented principles and procedures
  • Objective – Based on relevant and reliable financial and other information …
I love that word “Auditable”. As usual, we got the brushoff from the athletic department’s Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt when we asked for an explanation for why athletics gets a break. The administration is claiming there are no public records explaining the change from 7% to 3%. This could only be true if it was some sort of verbal backroom tit-for-tat deal. Between whom, and for what?
We’ll keep poking around, and post whatever comes crawling out. Probably not going to be pretty though.

$270,000 salary for CFO Jamie Moffitt

10/11/2011: That’s the word from Greg Bolt’s RG article today. Seems more than a bit high for an internal hire with no direct experience in the job. Plus we’ll have to keep paying Dyke to job shadow for 6 months. The Chronicle database reports the median salary for CFO’s at doctoral institutions (for 2008-09) was $191,000. UO is, of course, a member of the prestigious AAU, but we have no Med school or engineering, and our budget is about 25% of most other public AAU’s.

Rumor control

has it that Jamie Moffitt, currently Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Finance and Administration, will replace Frances Dyke as (interim) UO Vice President for Finance and Obfuscation, effective soon 1/1/2012. 

Now verified, with an email from President Lariviere:


I am announcing the reassignment of Jamie Moffitt as the University of Oregon’s Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA), effective Jan. 1, 2012. Below is the public announcement the university will release.

Frances Dyke announced in February that she will retire June 30, 2012. As a result, we launched a search for a chief financial officer. That search did not result in a hire. Considering the broad and crucial portfolio of the VPFA, and the failed CFO search, I determined that we cannot afford a pause in leadership in finance and administration. I asked Jamie to serve, and I’m glad she accepted. She will begin in her role as VPFA on Jan. 1, allowing a smooth transition to Frances’ retirement.

I look forward to welcoming Jamie in her new role.

– Richard

Jamie Moffitt, the University of Oregon administrator who currently oversees all financial aspects of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, has been selected by UO President Richard Lariviere to serve as vice president for Finance and Administration. The reassignment will begin Jan. 1, 2012.

The vice president for finance and administration is a key member of the university leadership team and is responsible for campus operations, human resources, affirmative action and equal opportunity, campus planning, risk management, public safety, budgeting and finance, institutional research and emergency management.

The current vice president for finance and administration, Frances Dyke, announced in February that she plans to retire in June after 21 years at the university. The overlap will allow for a smooth transition of responsibilities as Dyke becomes an advisor to acting Provost Lorraine Davis.

“The vice president for finance and administration is at the operational core of the institution,” said Lariviere. “I appreciate the accomplishments and improvements during the past six years of leadership from Frances Dyke. The university is well-positioned to continue this trajectory with Jamie Moffitt’s expertise and determination.”

Moffitt has been the executive senior associate athletic director for finance and administration since May 2010. She was previously the associate dean for finance and operations at the UO School of Law from 2003 to 2010. In both positions, she reorganized budgeting and financial reporting processes and managed human resources and infrastructure improvements.

“I am looking forward to working more closely with the broader university community,” said Moffitt. “I am excited about the opportunity to strengthen and further align our central administrative and financial functions with the university’s core mission of teaching, research and service.”

The Athletics Department will begin immediately a search to fill the position being vacated by Moffitt. Athletics Director Rob Mullens expects to attract a strong pool of national candidates to the search process.

Before coming to UO, Moffitt was a senior executive at a venture-backed technology company in Boston and a consultant with McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm.

Moffitt received her Bachelor of Arts degree (economics) from Harvard, her Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy degree (international business) from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.

Easy lesson on Oregon’s diversity:

10/8/2011: From Bill Graves in the Oregonian, on the recent court ruling that people with a concealed carry permit can bring their piece to campus:

Portland State University President Wim Wiewel said the universities should take administrative measures immediately, such as requiring students to sign contracts and not to carry guns.

Eastern Oregon University President Bob Davies said the ruling is less of an issue in La Grande, where many students hunt.

The article also covers the OUS board’s split 9 – 3 decision to allow UO to have its own sworn police force. With this priceless quote from UO VP Frances Dyke – who earlier claimed that this would save UO money:

UO Vice President Frances Dyke  said costs would be minimal because the university already has invested in upgrading its public safety force, and it is working on an oversight plan.

A million dollars that could have been spent educating our students, or cutting their tuition. Fire Ms Dyke now, President Lariviere. I can think of at least 2 people who could take over her job Monday.

UO’s "self-supporting" athletics department

pays half what other UO activities pay towards UO’s administrative costs:

Guess who has to pay the rest of these costs for them. And what do they do with this ~$3 million subsidy? First thing, everybody gets a car! Then more fat raises. 10/6/2011.  
As someone pointed out, the assessment on the student government ASUO expenditures (Incidental Fees) is increasing from 2% to 7%. Athletics pays 3%, and apparently always will. Why do the students pay more than Rob Mullens?

Athletic dept to pay some costs

7/9/2011: Not the legal costs of the NCAA investigations – Randy Geller is still refusing to disclose that info to the faculty. But they will pay for rerouting the utilities for the new Football museum and complex. From Greg Bolt in the RG:

The $227 million Knight Arena has put particular stress on the budget because it was financed entirely by state-backed bonds that must be repaid from department revenues. Those debt payments will cost $16.3 million a year beginning next year. But the department has its Legacy Fund to cover those payments. Begun with a $100 million gift from the Knights, the fund now has $130 million in pledges and will be used to pay off the bonds.
Although the fund can be used for other athletic department needs — if UO President Richard Lariviere agrees — Moffitt said it won’t be necessary to tap the fund for the new football building.

Right. Our “sulf supporting” athletic department can pay for this and their own inflated salaries, so long as the academic side picks up the jock box costs, parking, legal, etc. What a scam.

CFO search committee

Email sent to faculty 5/4/2011. Note the lack of faculty.


I am pleased to share with you the individuals listed below have agreed to serve on the search committee for the university’s CFO. We have chosen Issacson, Miller as the search firm to assist the UO in recruiting our next Chief Financial Officer. Isaacson, Miller has supported several recent searches for the university, including the vice provost for enrollment management and dean of the School of Law.

We will communicate more on timelines and format as we move forward.
Please let me know if you have any questions.

All the best,

Richard Lariviere

Search Committee:

Jim Bean, Senior Vice President and Provost, Chair

Tom Donohue, Student Head, UO Investment Group

Tim Gleason, Dean, School of Journalism and Communication

Gary Malone, Co-Generation Engineer, Campus Operations and Chief Steward SEIU

Jamie Moffitt, Executive Senior Athletic Director for Finance and Administration, Intercollegiate Athletics

Jay Namyet, Chief Investment Officer, UO Foundation

Marianne Nichols, Senior Associate Dean and Chief of Operations, College of Arts and Sciences

Michael Redding, Vice President for University Relations

Phil Romero, Professor of Business, Lundquist College of Business

Brad Shelton, Vice Provost for Budget and Resource

Stacey Squires, UO Foundation Trustee and President, Artisan Hedge Management, Inc.

Not very well coordinated bullshit:

4/26/2010: Jamie Moffitt has been put in charge of the Athletic Department’s finances. Excellent move. But read the bullshit in the RG story, from our new Interim AD Lorraine Davis:

“The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has experienced a period of rapid growth and success. This new position will help the department to develop and implement the necessary budgeting, financial, human resource, and contractual practices to support this expansion,” she said. “A key element of Jamie’s role will be assessing the department’s ongoing needs,” Davis said.  “Jamie and her team of financial and human resource professionals will ensure that the organizational structure, staffing, and financial resources are in place to achieve department priorities.”

“I felt there needed to be a high-level finance and administration person to coordinate all the functions of budgets, finances, human resources, strategic planning and contracts,” Davis said. “It’s not as coordinated as it needs to be.”

No kidding. Not very well coordinated, that’s the biggest problem with our athletic department? Compare this with what President Lariviere said:

“In the past this university has not followed acceptable business practices. That will not continue under my administration.” 

Here’s hoping he can quickly hire an AD that isn’t entirely beholden to the old guard, and that Lorraine can go back to proctoring exams for athletes and arranging the recruit / sorority girl mixers, while paid out of of the Tenure Reduction Program budget on the golden parachute contract she got from Frohnmayer. Not that we’re jealous.