The DOJ did not question Frohnmayer

6/26/2010: Les Zaitz has a long story in the Oregonian today about AG John Kroger. Very mixed reviews, mostly involving his political ambitions. This part struck home:

… he also has refused to release the record of his agency’s examination of Mike Bellotti’s unwritten employment deal as the University of Oregon’s athletic director. When he resigned in March, Bellotti said he was owed millions under a verbal deal. He settled for $2.3 million, but news of the odd arrangement sparked public outcry.

Kroger put his agency to work on the case, and the Justice Department report issued last month said the review was meant to assess legal services provided to UO and “to determine whether there was any evidence of criminal conduct or other illegal behavior warranting criminal investigation.”

State lawyers racked up $44,000 in costs doing the review. “It required a significant amount of legal research. Contract issues are complicated,” said Tony Green, Kroger’s spokesman.

But Justice staff interviewed just one person: Melinda Grier, UO’s general counsel who also reported to the Justice Department. The review concluded Grier erred in not getting Bellotti’s employment deal on paper. She lost her job.

But no one questioned Pat Kilkenny, UO athletic director when the Bellotti deal was struck, or Dave Frohnmayer, former attorney general and past UO president.

That triggered the resignation of a third top Kroger aide. Jerry Lidz, who as solicitor general managed the state’s appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, resigned over the treatment of Grier, his wife.

Dave Leith and Keith Dubanevich, the DOJ attorneys who ran the investigation, didn’t even interview Frohnmayer, Kilkenny, or Bellotti. How can you investigate a verbal agreement, conclude UO did no wrong in paying $3 million to Bellotti, and not even interview the people who made the deal? It’s just not believable. As in I do not believe it. These people are not that incompetent.

The Portland police will give the Oregonian an mp3 of the recording of the masseuse’s allegations that Al Gore assaulted her. But try and find out what the Oregon DOJ investigators discovered about Dave Frohnmayer’s role in the $3 million Bellotti payoff? What about the $240,000 Kilkenny donated to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi foundation, the year before Frohnmayer appointed him AD? Did boosters give the money for Dave’s raises and bonuses too? The Oregon DOJ will reject your public records requests and tell you that’s none of your business. Move it along, punk.

Dave Frohnmayer is simply untouchable – at least as far as the Oregon DOJ, which he headed for 8 years, is concerned. I’m beginning to see why Jerry Lidz resigned over this investigation.

UO needs a lawyer

6/19/2010: UO has now posted a job announcement for the General Counsel job:

… at least fifteen years of law practice experience ….  To ensure full consideration, please submit a cover letter, resume, and the names of three professional references by July 8, 2010. … The committee will strongly prefer candidates who have substantial experience handling the legal work of a large organization, especially of a research-oriented university. The committee also will prefer candidates who are familiar with public law.

5/16/2010: The April 21 Jeff Manning story on the Melinda Grier firing said

Lariviere initially hoped to name Grier’s successor Friday. But it appears that won’t happen. … Kent Robinson, long-time federal prosecutor in Portland, has emerged as one candidate to replace Grier.

Nearly a month has passed, and there is still no post on the UO or the DOJ job websites for the UO General Counsel / Special Assistant AG position. Meanwhile Doug Park appears to be running things. This is not good, UO needs an outsider with a new perspective on the situation, and we need one quickly.

Frohnmayer blames Lariviere and Grier, Grier blames Frohnmayer, …

6/14/2010: Eric Kelderman of the Chronicle of Higher Education (or here) has an interesting, long, and thorough article on the recent unpleasantness, and more generally on UO and the tough job Lariviere has in front of him:

… what is clear is that Mr. Bellotti’s hiring was highly unusual and involved a number of questionable decisions by Mr. Lariviere’s predecessor, David B. Frohnmayer, and Mr. Kilkenny, who negotiated the salary for his successor but failed to produce anything in writing from that process. Mr. Kilkenny could not be reached for comment.

“I just cannot imagine a series of negotiations involving the athletic director and there not being something in writing somewhere,” said Raymond D. Cotton, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., who specializes in hiring and compensation in higher education.

Ironically, in 2007 Ray Cotton charged OUS $45,572 for a 10 page consulting report on presidents’ salaries, which Frohnmayer’s friends on the state OUS board then used to justify a series of large pay increases for him – mostly paid out UO Foundation funds. Which athletic boosters gave Frohnmayer this money? Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has recently ruled that the Foundation can keep that a secret – but presumably Kilkenny was one of them. He gave $240,000 to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi foundation, the year before Frohnmayer gave him the AD job – the very job from which Kilkenny then negotiated that verbal contract with Mike Bellotti.

Anyway, Frohnmayer then goes on to blame Grier and, get this – incoming President Richard Lariviere – for the Bellotti payoff:

Mr. Frohnmayer said that he had no communication with Mr. Bellotti or Mr. Kilkenny about the nature of the negotiations. But he also said he did not intend for the new athletic director to have a contract that would saddle the incoming president with a long-term financial obligation. “Both the incoming and outgoing president assumed that the contract would be completed by the incoming president,” he said.

Mr. Frohnmayer also said Ms. Grier was responsible for all of the athletics contracts. But Ms. Grier said she was not even told of Mr. Kilkenny’s role until after the negotiations were supposedly complete. Mr. Frohnmayer, a former Orgeon attorney general, personally handled all of the contracts of people who reported to him, Ms. Grier said, and she would be involved only if the president asked her. He never asked her to assist with Mr. Bellotti’s contract, she said.

That last part sure rings true. For example, here’s the golden parachute contract Frohnmayer wrote for former Provost John Moseley – still getting $120K a year. He wrote a similar one for Lorraine Davis – now UO’s interim AD, at $30,000 per month. Frohnmayer loved writing contracts giving away public money to his cronies.

The article includes some blunt talk about how bad things are at UO:

Although the amount of money received by faculty members here from federal research grants has grown significantly in recent years, from more than $36-million in 2003 to $55-million in 2008, the institution still ranks near the bottom compared with other members of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a select group of 63 research institutions. The university brings in less than half the $114-million brought in by Oregon State University, which is not a member of the AAU.

… A full professor at Oregon earned, on average, $103,000 this academic year, about 79 percent of the average annual salary for full professors at eight peer institutions, including the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, according to the Oregon chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

 And then a bit of optimism:

The university plans to spend $15-million over the next three to five years to raise salaries with dollars from tuition increases, administrative cuts, and delaying some maintenance on campus buildings

My take is that the faculty is much more positive about Lariviere than Kelderman’s article suggests. A solid B+, according to our tracking poll. High expectations …

Why did Lidz resign?

6/2/2010: Greg Bolt of the RG has a story on the Jerry Lidz resignation, here, suggesting Frohnmayer deserved more of the blame for the Bellotti payoff than he got. Which was none. Meanwhile the lawyers are in an uproar over Lidz – this is the third of AG Kroger’s top appointments to leave. Here are some of the questions:

  • Is Melinda Grier going to sue UO and/or the DOJ? By concluding she provided “deficient legal representation” the DOJ report makes her essentially unemployable. And DOJ spokesperson Tony Green will not release the details of the investigation, “Because there remains a risk of litigation around the underlying issues, …” Bellotti got $2.3 million from UO – and surely signed an agreement not to sue. So maybe Melinda is looking for hers?
  • In his resignation letter below, Lidz says “I’m sure it won’t surprise you that I disagreed strongly with the process and outcome of the “”Bellotti Investigation.”” Did Lidz obey the DOJ conflict of interest rules preventing his involvement in an investigation that included his wife?
  • What sort of outcome did Lidz expect? Former UO President Dave Frohnmayer, who is also a former Oregon Attorney General, obviously had a large role in the scandal. But he gets barely a mention in Kroger’s report. Frohnmayer is a quasi-religious figure among the old guard at the DOJ, and many state politicians still think very highly of him – or are in his debt. Did Lidz really expect that Kroger would give Frohnmayer some of the blame, rather than putting it all on Grier?
  • The investigation took 321.8 hours and cost the DOJ $44,086.60, not counting the time for David Leith and Keith Dubanevich, the DOJ attorneys in charge. The final summary report Kroger released was only 5 pages long. (For comparison, the DOJ spends about $60,000 preparing the ~400 page Public Records Manual every two years.) So what is in the rest of the material that was collected during this investigation?

    Melinda Grier’s husband Jerry Lidz quits as Oregon Solicitor General

    6/1/2010: This is stunning news from Nigel Jaquiss at Willamette Week. (Les Zaitz of the Oregonian has more here.) Oregon Solicitor General General Jerry Lidz has given AG John Kroger two weeks notice. This is fallout from Lariviere’s firing of Melinda Grier: Lidz is her husband.

    After the Bellotti verbal contract incident, UO President Lariviere insisted the AG’s office do an investigation and make the results public. Attorney General Kroger won’t release the details of his findings, but he did provide a summary which concluded UO’s General Counsel Melinda Grier had provided “deficient legal representation”. This is a possible violation of the Oregon Bar’s ethics rules and could conceivably lead to her disbarment. No wonder her husband is angry. President Lariviere has some serious political mojo to get this through the DOJ. Last year, when Frohnmayer was still President, Associate AG David Leith quashed an unrelated ethics investigation of Grier.

    Where was Jerome Lidz working when AG Kroger hired him as Solicitor General? Harrang, Long etc., the same law firm Dave Frohnmayer is now double-dipping at. I wonder if Lidz will go back there – he can’t be too happy with Dave, after he shoved Melinda under the bus on the Bellotti contract.

    Oregon Solicitor General Jerry Lidz, who was Attorney General John Kroger’s top appellate lawyer, resigned last week. Lidz’s resignation comes on the heels of departures by two other top Kroger lieutenants, environmental lawyer Brent Foster and elections law specialist Margaret Olney.

    Lidz, whose job is the state equivalent of what Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan does at the federal level, is collateral damage in fall-out from former University of Oregon athletic director Mike Bellotti’s contract.

    As The Oregonian reported, Bellotti never had a written contract with the university, an oversight that led to a multi-million settlement for Bellotti when Bellotti left for ESPN. More importantly to Lidz, that sequence led to the demotion of Lidz’s wife, former U of O general counsel Melinda Grier. In April, U of O president Richard Lariviere decided not to renew Grier’s contract and exiled her to the U of O law school.

    I like the “maybe you express your dissent” line in Lidz’s email. Because I’m guessing that getting involved in a DOJ decision about your wife would be a violation of some serious rules with some serious potential consequences for a lawyer. Stepping down was probably a smart move. No word yet on the rumors the UO law school will give Lidz an adjunct position co-teaching legal ethics with Grier and Frohnmayer.

    Denied: The full Bellotti

    5/22/2010: Normally when you make a request to the Oregon DOJ for public records, you get a reply from DOJ Attorney Michael Kron, the DOJ’s Government Transparency Czar.  So when I asked for the full report on the Bellotti investigation, I was a little surprised to get a denial from the DOJ’s political spokesperson instead. Tony Green simply says:

    We have determined that the records you requested are privileged as part of a legal review done for the Attorney General. Because there remains a risk of litigation around the underlying issues, the Attorney General does not intend to waive that privilege.

    Tony Green
    Director of Communications & Policy
    Oregon Department of Justice

    Interestingly, when we asked UO Assistant General Counsel Doug Park, he sent us a copy of the public records requests for the Bellotti contract (one is below, here’s the other one). These are the ignored PR requests for written contracts which led to the firing of Melinda Grier – so far as the public knows.

    Why did UO’s lawyer Doug Park release these documents – even though they also show that he was not doing his job as UO’s Public Records Officer? Because UO President Richard Lariviere made him release them.

    Why won’t the DOJ release their stash of similar documents? Because Melinda Grier is the wife of Solicitor General Jerry Lidz? Because they believe the documents will embarrass former AG Dave Frohnmayer? Because they are afraid it will set a precedent, and then they will have to release the details regarding the firing of former DOJ environmental counsel Brent Foster? Because they are afraid someone will take the details to the Oregon Bar and open a whole new can of worms?

    In any case, UO is now more transparent than the Oregon DOJ – at least with regard to the Bellotti payoff and Melinda Grier’s role in it.

    The Oregon House Committee on Education is having a hearing on this Monday at 8AM. See We will learn a little more then, maybe. The committee chair is Sara Gelser, [email protected], if you want to email her and ask her to encourage release of the full Bellotti report.

    The full Bellotti:

    5/17/2010: President Larivere fired Melinda Grier almost 4 weeks ago. He didn’t let her resign or give her a golden parachute. He fired her and immediately took away her job responsibilities. This is almost unheard of. She had been Dave Frohnmayer’s General Counsel for 12 years, and Lariviere’s for 10 months. From Greg Bolt’s RG article:

    Lariviere said the move is being made “without cause.” He declined to comment on whether the change is related to the dust-up surrounding former athletic director Mike Bellotti or complaints about the university’s handling of public records.

    Two weeks ago, Oregon Attorney General John Kroger released this 5 page report on Associate AG David Leith’s investigation of the Mike Bellotti payoff. It concludes Grier provided “deficient legal representation” to UO regarding the Bellotti contract, and raised other issues as well.

    As the cover letter below notes, this summary was released publicly at the request of Lariviere. We have asked Kroger to also release the details of the report, and the documents collected during the DOJ investigation. We’ve been told is that the investigation took 321.8 hours and cost the DOJ $44,086.60, not counting the time for David Leith and Keith Dubanevich, the DOJ attorneys in charge. Obviously there was a lot of work that is not reflected in the 5 page summary. This should be public.

    There are a lot of weird rumors flying around campus about why Grier was fired. Maybe the DOJ’s full report will give a definitive answer, maybe not. And maybe Kroger and Lariviere will decide we are just not worthy to know what really happened.

    Dave Frohnmayer shoves Melinda Grier under the bus:

    5/1/2010: Greg Bolt of the RG finally gets Frohnmayer to talk about the Bellotti contract. Frohnmayer was waiting to see exactly how much the AG’s report unearthed before he went on the record with his version. And the report has just one mention of Frohnmayer – he delegated signing authority to Grier – and none of the $440,000 in donations from Pat Kilkenny, before and after Frohnmayer appointed Kilkenny AD and let him negotiate the Bellotti deal. This is a professional courtesy from the new AG to the old one. Neither wants anything in the papers that makes the office of Attorney General look bad.

    So, now that the Oregon DOJ and the investigator David Leith have let Dave Frohnmayer off the hook, he shoves Melinda Grier under the bus:

    “I assumed the contracts would be handled in due course,” he said.

    “I think I reasonably relied on the usual course of business being followed by the general counsel’s office.”

    “I wasn’t always happy with how the relationship worked,” he said.

    “Even with direct reporting, I felt I wasn’t always getting direct reports.”

    The attorney general’s report also was critical of Grier, saying she gave the university “deficient legal representation” and failed to report problems with Bellotti contract issues to the justice department.

    Frohnmayer declined to comment on those issues but defended Grier’s dedication to the university.

    “Melinda is a very hard-working person,” he said.

    “I don’t know anyone whose car was in the parking lot on weekends and holidays more than Melinda Grier’s. There was no lacking of energy and devotion to her job.”

    Nice job reference, Dave: “Ms Grier served as my loyal General Counsel for 12 years, covering my ass even when this led the Oregon Bar to start an ethics investigation of her. But in the end it turned out she was incompetent, made me look like a fool in the press, provided deficient legal representation and had to put in a lot of hours to accomplish even that. However, I did find her to be an excellent scapegoat.”

    Kroger makes it official: Grier is the scapegoat for Frohnmayer and Kilkenny

    4/30/2010 update: Greg Bolt has a story about this in the RG. Not much new except this:

    Some attention also focused on former UO President Dave Frohnmayer, who in 2005 had assigned responsibility for personnel issues in the athletic department to Grier’s office. Frohnmayer was winding down his presidency when Bellotti announced that he would take over as athletic director. Frohnmayer couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Thursday. But in earlier comments he said that although he had asked Kilkenny to negotiate a contract with Bellotti he had no direct role in those talks. But without mentioning Frohnmayer, Lariviere made clear he wouldn’t have handled the situation that way. “No one negotiates the contract of his or her successor,” Lariviere said. “That’s just part of the culture. Everyone understands that.”

    Still no explanation from Frohnmayer of his role, still no defense of Melinda Grier, who worked for him for 12 years. He has been waiting to see the AG’s report, so he’ll know exactly how much of the truth they unearthed, before he goes on the record with his version. “No criminal wrongdoing” is a big relief for Dave!

    What’s Frohnmayer going to tell the first reporter who asks him about decision to give control of athletics to Kilkenny the year after Kilkenny started his $440,000 series of donations to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation?

    4/29/2010: Ok, I was part wrong. The Oregon DOJ investigation report rips into Melinda Grier. This won’t get her disbarred – believe me, I’ve tried that – but it is a reasonably well-documented hatchet job and I can’t imagine anyone who reads it hiring her as an attorney. Ever. But of course Frohnmayer walks. For starters:

    Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today announced that a Department of Justice review found deficient legal representation, but no criminal wrongdoing in the handling of former University of Oregon Athletic Director Mike Bellotti’s contract.

    Here’s the report. It is public because Lariviere insisted that Kroger make it public. Thanks. A key date in the events was April 20, 2009, when Grier was first asked about a written contract and when Frohnmayer was still President. Lariviere was obviously blindsided and had no responsibility for the lack of a contract. The report makes clear he did the best he could with a disaster.

    The report does not mention the previous Oregon DOJ ethics investigation of Melinda Grier. That investigation was of false statements Grier made to the US DOJ Civil Rights Division, during their investigation of UO’s minority faculty recruiting procedures. Associate AG David Leith was in charge of that investigation (on which he spent well over $20,000), as well as of the report released today.

    I’m surprised at the depth of this new investigation and the vehement tone of this report from Kroger. Somebody is pissed. My guess? David Leith and John Kroger went out on a limb for Melinda Grier, covering up the civil rights investigation and a raft of previous issues. Jean Stockard’s case would be another exmple – cost the state $500,000 plus fees. When this came up, they decided it was the last time she would make trouble for them.

    UO’s Public Records Officer, Doug Park, gets off without a mention in the report. Oregon law gave Park responsibility for responding to the repeated public records requests for Bellotti’s contract. Presumably he passed them on the Grier, instead of doing his job. Lariviere has already announced he will take this responsibility away from Park. Good enough. We’ll see if the new GC will keep Park and the other longtime Grier assistant, Randy Geller.

    There is not a word about Kilkenny. Dave Frohnmayer, of course, gets off untouched. Still no public word from Frohnmayer on his role in the Bellotti contract, on the firing of the woman who served as his principal legal advisor for 12 years, or on the AG’s judgment that she was incompetent.

    Meanwhile Frohnmayer is still collecting his $245,700 in UO pay, still collecting a second paycheck at Harrang, Long, et al., and a third paycheck from Umpqua Bank. His former Provost, John Moseley, is still getting paid by UO on a questionable PERS retirement buyout deal, set up by Frohnmayer, while he runs a fishing retreat on the Deschutes. No kidding, you can rent a lodge from him here. The Oregon Government Ethics Board investigator wanted to pursue this, the board voted him down. The guy Frohnmayer appointed VP for Diversity 5 years ago, Charles Martinez, is still working for UO without any kind of affirmative action compliant search, and he’s still double dipping at another job off campus. Sleaze.

    How many of these deals did Melinda Grier also have her fingers in? How much more is there? It’s going to be a while before the shit gets cleaned up, but this is a start.

    Audit and DOJ reports on Frohnmayer/Belotti deal

    At 11AM tomorrow the OUS Board meets and will hear a report from their auditor, Pat Snopkowski, on the Frohnmayer / Bellotti oral contract scandal – or as they call it in their docket, “A UO Athletics Matter.”

    I’m expecting a coverup, based on how the OUS Audit Division handled former UO Provost John Moseley’s golden parachute contract and expense account abuse. But things have changed around here recently, and maybe I’ll be surprised.

    In related news, Oregon DOJ spokesperson Tony Green assures me there will be a public report from the DOJ’s investigation of the situation. Though he’d really prefer that I don’t use that word “investigation”. Sorry Tony.

    Associate AG David Leith is in charge of this non-investigation. My wild guess is the DOJ will not find much from their non-investigation. A real investigation would likely implicate former UO General Counsel Melinda Grier (wife of Oregon Solicitor General Jerry Lidz), UO Assistant GC Doug Park (officially, UO Public Records Officer, in reality just following orders) and of course Dave Frohnmayer (Saint, former Oregon Attorney General, and currently working at Lidz’s law firm, Harrang, Long et al, while collecting his $245,700 UO sabbatical pay on the side.) Better not to turn over that rock. And Leith has a history of deflecting ethics investigations of Melinda Grier, like this one from last May.

    At 6 PM, the Mike Bellotti tribute dinner begins. Still 6 tables left. All proceeds net of costs benefit the Athletic Director’s discretionary fund. Lorraine Davis needs more money?

    shouldn’t they have a proxy server?

    When your blog starts getting a bunch of hits from United States Department of Justice IP addresses, googling Oregon DOJ melinda grier doug park, you start to wonder where this is all going. Someplace that’s OK for UO, I hope.

    Wait until the law school prof’s hear about this:

    4/22/2010: Rumor control Reports in the RG and Oregonian explain that Melinda Grier will be given a one year terminal contract at the Knight Law School, apparently at her full $183,00 salary. Under Brad Shelton’s new budget model it looks like the law school will have to pay her salary and benefits out of law school student tuition money. Or maybe we will all pay?

    Frohnmayer’s emeritus deal ($245,700 in salary, $186,000 for expenses, $25,000 for assistants) also gives him an office in the law school. Maybe he and Melinda will co-teach a course on how to break Oregon’s public records law?

    We are now paying over $1 million a year just in salary for the obvious administrative deadwood. It’s going to be hard to justify a tuition increase without some cuts in this.

    Update: Brian Leiter of the University of Chicago law school thinks dumping Melinda on the law school is outrageous.

    Lariviere fires Melinda Grier, wants replacement by Friday

    4/22/2010: From Jeff Manning at the Oregonian. Obviously Lariviere has some guts and he is now taking charge:

    Melinda Grier, the attorney at the center of a controversy surrounding the University of Oregon athletic department, appears to be on her way out.

    University President Richard Lariviere and Oregon Attorney General John Kroger have reached out to a handful of potential replacements as UO’s general counsel in recent days. Officially, the university’s general counsel is part of Kroger’s staff….

    Grier, who did not return a message seeking comment, has come to personify the culture of secrecy that has developed at the university, particularly with regard to its athletic department. Grier repeatedly rejected or sat on requests from the media for additional financial details about Bellotti’s contract and a number of other high-profile athletic department issues.  ….

    Neither Lariviere nor Kroger would comment, but four sources confirmed that the university president is searching for a successor. Paul Kelly Jr., a Portland attorney and president of the State Board of Higher Education, said he learned Wednesday that Lariviere had made the decision. The other sources asked to remain anonymous. …

    Kent Robinson, long-time federal prosecutor in Portland, has emerged as one candidate to replace Grier. Robinson is a respected veteran prosecutor who for years has worked in a senior role at the U.S. attorney’s office. …

    Fantastic news for UO. Melinda covered up for Dave Frohnmayer for years, and her office is piled high with documents on the sleaze. She is taking the fall for his decisions – because she never had the guts to say no to him. It will be interesting to see how much of it now comes to light.

    Not so good for the tight circle of administrators she has been protecting. There will be a lot more turnover to come. Very good sign that Lariviere is apparently not considering either of Grier’s assistants, Doug Park or Randy Geller for the job. Ms Grier is the wife of Jerry Lidz, appointed Oregon Solicitor General by AG John Kroger. This decision must have been politically difficult for Lariviere.

    UO Matters would like to claim some credit for this – we pursued ethics complaints against her with the state DOJ and the Oregon Bar – but the truth is she got fired because she embarrassed Lariviere in the newspapers, and the newspapers only cared because it was about sports.

    Whose head will roll before UO regroups in wake of Bellotti payout?

    4/8/2010: That headline on Steve Duin’s column in the Oregonian does not say it all. There’s plenty more in the article about Melinda Grier’s role in recent events:

    Let me see if I can get my arms around the challenge facing University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere if he is serious about confronting business as usual in the Ducks’ athletic program: Pat Kilkenny is still charged with dredging up a new basketball coach. Melinda Grier, the university’s general counsel, continues to orchestrate UO’s culture of secrecy. 

    The rest is well worth reading. Meanwhile the UO Matter’s poll has 40 out of 55 people saying Grier will leave UO before Lariviere. Given how popular (OK, maybe that’s not the most precise usage) this blog is over in Johnson Hall, that’s a pretty informed opinion.

    You’ve got to wonder what sort of buyout deal she’ll get. She’s not tenured, so she can’t get the usual sweetheart TRP package for people like Moseley. Maybe Larivere should start a fund over at the UO Foundation and ask for tax deductible donations? Just a thought. Actually, as Duin mentions, she’s already got a courtesy appointment as an Oregon “Special Assistant Attorney General.” Maybe the DOJ has to take her back? Yet another good reason not to be too tough when they interview her for their investigation of the Bellotti buyout.


    4/4/2010: Lots of hits and lots of comments on the payoff stories, some from people who sound like they know something. Lariviere will have a news conference Tuesday, and maybe he will tell the truth about what happened.

    George Schroeder of the RG has a column calling for more transparency and criticizing UO treatment of public records issues.

    “More important, though, I hope we’re going to hear that the new president is going to change the way the school conducts the public’s business.” 
    UO’s Assistant Counsel Doug Park ([email protected], (541) 346-3082) is nominally tasked with filibustering public records requests, but he gets his orders from General Counsel Melinda Grier. Larivierehas done his best to stay out of it. As it happens – and in reaction to the faculty’s own problems getting records from Melinda Grier, in May the UO Senate will be debating a resolution putting in place procedures to improve public records access. Grier’s pissy response is here.

    James Day in the SG has a column on academic performance by PAC-10 players. I was surprised Ernie Kent’s players didn’t do better:

    To be eligible for the all-academic teams a player must have at least a 3.0 grade-point average and be a starter or significant contributor (freshmen are not eligible because a full year is required to establish an academic record).The Pac-10 found just 11 men’s players who met this standard….

    Why can’t men’s basketball players (or football players for that matter) do this? Because they are commodities. Their job is to fill seats, give students something to do on Saturdays, make boosters happy, win games, reel in shoe money for the program and the school and, above all, stay eligible.

    So that coaches can eventually get $2.3 million golden parachutes.