UO Law to offer summer sports-law program

Law School Dean Michael Moffitt’s previous efforts to find money to offset declining law enrollments have not gone as smoothly as say, a business school case study. The latest effort is a 5 week sports-law summer program. Tuition is $10,000 for 6 credits, and an extra $1,000 will get you a room in Pat Kilkenny’s famous Courtside Apartments. Under VP Brad Shelton’s budget model the law school will be able to keep most of the revenue, since summer programs don’t pay the Johnson Hall administrative tax.

Director Rob Illig has lined up an impressive list of lecturers from UO and other schools, including LCB Professor Dennis Howard, whose 2004 paper on how Duck athletic fundraising sucks money from the academic side is still the definitive piece on the subject. And I’m not just saying that because he cites me.

Maybe Illig can also get UO Law Professor Dave Frohnmayer to lecture on how UO’s random pot testing policy is obviously unconstitutional?

Perhaps UO Law Professor Emeritus and Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon on how UO AAD Jeff Hawkins persuaded the Oregon legislature to pay to enforce the NCAA cartel’s rule against letting players get help bargaining with coaches? O’Fallon must also have some amusing anecdotes about Nate Miles.

And Howard Slusher and Pat Kilkenny, on how to rent a university president for less than Phillip Morris and BP paid?

Randy Geller’s former boss and General Counsel Emerita Melinda Grier could co-teach with Dave Frohnmayer on inflating coach’s pensions, and why you should never put anything in writing. And Geller himself would be good for a few minutes on how to divert the academic side’s money to NCAA athletic infractions lawyers.

But the big draw would be a Phil Knight keynote on how to get state legislators to put your alma mater $235M in debt for a basketball arena, then come back a few years later asking for $200M in bonds to fund cancer research – at OHSU.

All in all UO has some great sports law resources, although past efforts to use the Go Ducks! meme to recruit top law students do not seem to have panned out.

Update: Moffitt passes his "business school case study" to the UO business school

3/19/2013 update: Law School had been planning on banking 45% of CnC revenue as profit

Law Professor Q: The particular question that interests me the most concerns the division of revenue from CNC courses. How much of this revenue goes to CNC/CRES/ADR, and how much goes to the law school’s general coffers? I know that the gross revenue per student for a four-credit course is $600. I’m interested to know how much of the $600 goes to CNC/CRES/ADR, and how much of the $600 goes to the law school’s general coffers.

Answer of sorts: The CNC budget was created at the same time and following the same process as the JD program budget. Revenue projections are made based on student enrollment, grants, gifts or other fundraising events. The CNC program requests an expense budget to meet their program needs. (These expenses do not roll up to a larger ADR center budget. The ADR Center has a separate budget index for their program expenses.) As a management tool, CNC program expenses can not exceed program revenues. However any surplus goes to the law school total budget. This has varied greatly over the past three years. In my first year, most of CNC was funded through the CNC foundation funds. In 2012, the program was just better than break–even. This year, there were surplus revenue dollars remaining after all program expenses that were targeted to law school general fund. In addition, the CNC program is allocated their share of the 35% tax base and a 15% overhead assessment for law school resources. In summary, in AY2013/14 over 45% of CNC revenues were budgeted to law school general fund to cover tax, admin support and surplus; 55% was budgeted for direct support the CNC program; 0% was budgeted to support any other ADR activities. But I don’t think you can use these numbers looking forward. The program needs and admin support needs may vary greatly depending on the outcome of the program decisions. We will start from bottoms up this year. 

_Kelly Sparks_
Associate Dean, Finance & Operations
University of Oregon School of Law
kgsparks@uoregon.edu(541) 346-3643

3/18/2013 update: Not so fast, it seems. See bottom for an email from the LCB administration. Apparently their faculty was a little surprised to read about the program transition on UO Matters, rather than being consulted first by their own dean, Kees de Kluyver. The meat:

LCB is making no commitment to additional courses and any proposals generated will be run through a normal course approval process. Should any new courses be approved, staffing for those courses will follow our regular search process.

3/15/2013: The fallout from my post on the law school’s Conflict not Conflict courses last month is slowly coming clear. As I explain below, the consequences are very likely going to be borne by one of the CnC instructors (who has a UO philosophy PhD). He may lose his job over it. This is not right. I want to apologize to him for my role in this outcome and encourage people in the law and business schools to do the right thing by him.

On Thursday several law school faculty sent me Moffitt’s official announcement and self-serving email to the faculty, posted below. The background? Moffitt raked in the cash from the CnC courses, and bragged about it to the NYT:

At the University of Oregon, Michael Moffitt, the law school’s dean, has started clinics on nonprofit groups, environmental policy and probate mediation. He has also set up law courses for students in other parts of the university, which brings revenue to the law school. 

“The problem is that we have been selling only one product,” Mr. Moffitt said. “But if you are getting a business degree, you need to know about contract law. City planners need to know about land-use law. So we at Oregon are educating not just J.D. students. 

“Demand is through the roof,” he added. “I feel like I am living a business school case study.”

Moffitt apparently still hasn’t come clean to NYT reporter Ethan Bronner about the fact that most of the profits – about $200,000 a year – came from the CnC courses. The combination of Moffitt’s NYT quotes and my post raised a lot of questions with law school faculty and alumni. FWIW, here’s my current take on the situation, informed by a report on the CnC program that was passed to me along with the Moffitt email, and which I hope will eventually be public:

1) Courses on the philosophy and social implications of sports should be taught in universities. Given UO’s history, what better place than UO? We should do this, and we should do it well. 

2) My original post implied that these CnC courses were guts for the “student-athletes”. This is not true. The courses have tough grading curves, if anything tougher than average for UO courses. And I don’t see any indication that they were particularly popular with the jocks.

3) I think lots of people read the Football and Conflict exam that I posted and thought the course, taught by an instructor with a UO philosophy PhD, was an apologia for athletics. Having seen the report, I can say this is not true – this course was in fact a skeptical inquiry into the role of sports in life and society. The same seems to be true of the rest of the CnC program.  

4) The real problem is not that UO taught these courses, it’s that the law school treated the program as a cash cow. The courses were set up to maximize short-term revenue. Too many courses with overlapping material. No prereqs for upper division courses. Masters courses taught by adjuncts that were already teaching too many courses. Moffitt took the money, rather than invest the profits back in improving the program.

What’s going to happen now? Moffitt’s email explains that the CnC program is going to be taken over by the business school’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Program. Kilkenny’s endowment will presumably go there too – where it probably should have been in the first place. But the law school will retain “ownership” of the CnC program and courses. Very weird. Moffitt still won’t take responsibility, just the profits?
So, who *is* going to take the fall for all this? Obviously not Michael Moffitt. And CnC Director, Josh Gordon will move to the LCB. But the fate of the other CnC instructor is still unclear:

3/15/2013 email from Moffitt:

From: lawdean@uoregon.eduTo: law-fac-staff@lists.uoregon.eduSubject: law-fac-staff: Josh Gordon Transition to Warsaw Sports Marketing Center
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2013 00:09:39 +0000 

Dear Faculty & Staff,
Below please find a statement that Lundquist College of Business Dean Kees de Kluyver and I will be issuing jointly later this evening.  The headline is that Josh Gordon will be moving to the business school starting in the Spring term to work with the Warsaw Sports Management Center.  The law school will retain “ownership” of the CNC program and the affiliated courses.  We already had time scheduled into the faculty meeting tomorrow to talk about the CNC program and about next steps.  I look forward to seeing you then. 

Michael
Michael Moffitt
Philip H. Knight Dean
University of Oregon School of Law
– – – – –
Statement from Kees de Kluyver & Michael Moffitt
The study of sports and society is an emergent academic field concerned with the institutions, politics, economies, and communities within and around sports culture.  This summer, the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the Lundquist College of Business will be exploring new curricular possibilities around sports and society to complement its existing sports business concentrations.  In support of this project, Josh Gordon will be reassigned to work with Paul Swangard and the Warsaw faculty, effective Spring 2013.  The hope of both the Law and Business Schools is to better serve Oregon’s students and academic mission through the development of rigorous courses supported by clear pedagogical objectives. As with any curriculum, all curricular proposals emerging from this work will be reviewed using normal faculty governance procedures, including the undergraduate program committee of the Business School and the University’s undergraduate committee on courses.

3/18/2013 email from LCB:

Dear LCB Faculty and Staff,

In the absence of Dean de Kluyver who is travelling, I wanted to provide some additional context to the announcement that is being circulated by the Law School below. Our intent in working with the Law School is to determine if we might be able to serve the student demand that existed in the cancelled courses (the second largest population of which were PBA students). Josh Gordon will remain under contract and paid by the Law School during this period and there have been no promises made beyond the existing contract term. LCB is making no commitment to additional courses and any proposals generated will be run through a normal course approval process. Should any new courses be approved, staffing for those courses will follow our regular search process.
 Statement from Kees de Kluyver & Michael Moffitt [as above]

Dave
David M. Boush
Associate Dean for Administration
Marketing Department Head
Gerald B. Bashaw Professor of Business 

CnC update: Michael Moffitt to resign as law school dean?

Update 2/21/13: Latest rumor from the law profs down in the faculty club’s basement grow room is that Adell Amos is the top candidate to replace Moffitt. Apparently he still has 3 or so years on his dean’s contract, and is holding out for the full amount in severance.

Info request: If anyone knows what Moffitt and Gordon are telling the instructors and students in this program, please forward the emails to uomatters at gmail.com, or post in comments. And check out this well informed reaction, presumably from a law alumnus.

Update 2/20/2013: From the CNC website:

Here’s hoping Law School Dean Michael Moffitt, a leading expert on “Appropriate Dispute Resolution”, and the person responsible for the unsupervised and now failed expansion of this sports and conflict program, makes sure that the adjuncts he hired to teach in it now get fair severance packages. If they were Johnson Hall administrators they’d get a year at full pay with benefits, no questions asked. Fortunately it looks like Moffitt has plenty of money.

2/19/2013. Michael Moffitt to resign as law school dean? Over failure to properly supervise the CnC program. That’s the latest rumor, overheard this afternoon down at the faculty club skeet range.

The post on the Competition not Conflict courses is here, the financial incentives for Dean Moffitt are here, and more on the history is here.

Moffitt made $285K, Law School raked in cash from CNC courses

2/18/2013: Updated at bottom with Dean Michael Moffitt’s pay.

2/17/13: This is back of the envelope for the Football and Conflict course, the original post with exam  is here. Corrections welcome. I’m no economist, and many readers know more about this than I do. (Edited once already, thanks for corrections).

Under Brad Sheldon’s Oregon Budget Model, UO’s colleges divide up UO’s total tuition revenue according to a formula based on how many students are taking credits, how many majors they have, and how many graduates they produce. An undergrad student credit hour (SCH) was worth $153 last year to the college teaching it. They then have to pay a tax to Johnson Hall, to pay for Bean’s BMW and administrative sabbatical, as well as the legitimate costs of central administration. This is based on expenditures 2 years back, and works out to about 27% of new revenue for law. So they keep about $112 net for a SCH. (They’d get more if they could offer an undergrad major). For the professional law and CRES MA students the law school keeps all the after tax tuition: hence the incentive to give graduate level credits for the CnC courses. A grad credit is worth, very roughly, $220.

So each undergraduate CnC student in a 4 credit class produced about $450 in revenue for the law school. CRES 410 Football and Conflict, with 90 students in fall 2012 brought in about $40K, ignoring any grad student bonus.

What did it cost? While the Athletic Department had wanted to charge the academic side for use of the Jock Box classrooms, that was a bit much even for a booster like Bean. So the only real costs were for the instructor, the readers and graders, and administrative support. With some reasonable assumptions about pay, benefits, and teaching loads, cost per course was say $111,000/8 + $1,000 ~= $15,000.

Let’s call it $25,000 in profit, from that one class. No wonder Dean Moffitt felt like he was “living in a business school case study”. And what was his cut?

Quite the raise from the $128,116 he was getting 2 years before, as an associate professor:

Michael Moffitt in NYT on UO’s new law courses

Main post with comments on the CNC problems is here.

In the NYT today: 

At the University of Oregon, Michael Moffitt, the law school’s dean, has started clinics on nonprofit groups, environmental policy and probate mediation. He has also set up law courses for students in other parts of the university, which brings revenue to the law school.

“The problem is that we have been selling only one product,” Mr. Moffitt said. “But if you are getting a business degree, you need to know about contract law. City planners need to know about land-use law. So we at Oregon are educating not just J.D. students.

“Demand is through the roof,” he added. “I feel like I am living a business school case study.”

Sounds great – but go to the list of classes the law school is offering to undergraduates, here. About 250 students are enrolled in the kinds of solid courses Moffitt tells the NYT about. But 300 are in Kilkenny’s sports conflict courses. Probably a good idea not telling the Times that little detail. (Thanks to Anon for tip in the comments.) 2/11/2013.

Knight Law School’s "Football and Conflict" trivia classes

2/15/2013 Note: This post has a record number of comments, which have raised many issues in addition to those in the post. I want to apologize for the personal pain this post has caused for the instructors in the CNC program. As I’ve written in the comments, I think it would be a good thing for UO to have a course or two on sports and conflict. I’ve thought about teaching a course in sports economics myself. The law school now has a professor teaching sports law. These are all reasonable things for a university to teach. But 10 courses on this narrow subject are far too many. Upper division courses should have prerequisites, and tenure track faculty with research interests in the subject should be teaching at least some of them. This goes double for courses with graduate level credit. I think the CNC program has been mismanaged by the Law School, and that ultimately means by the Dean, Michael Moffitt.

2/10/2013: Back in 2008 ODE reporter Allie Grasgreen wrote about Pat Kilkenny’s $1 million gift to support UO’s academic side:

University President Dave Frohnmayer announced the Kilkennys’ gift at a press conference Thursday. Frohnmayer called the donation “an extraordinary gift from an extraordinary couple.” …

The $1 million donation will establish two academic programs. The first is “Competition Not Conflict,” which will feature classes within the Knight Law Center that focus on conflict resolution in sports. 

“We had years where this was just to us a good idea,” said School of Law associate professor Michael Moffitt, “and it is now with the Kilkennys’ gift that this can be more than just a good idea.”

After a few trial years, Kilkenny’s good idea came up for faculty review last month. The UO Senate Committee on Courses rejected every single course – unanimously:

Why did the faculty reject these courses? Consider CRES 410: “Football and Conflict”, conveniently taught in Room 101 of the Jaqua Center for Student-Athletes – or, as the NY Times calls it, “UO’s Jock Box”. The law school has been giving out 4 upper division undergraduate credits for this course, despite the fact it has no prerequisites. They’ll even give you graduate credits for it. They took tuition money from 89 students for this last fall. And what did those students learn? A UO Matters operative retrieved the final exam from the Jock Box dumpster:

Try your luck on the full 45 football trivia questions here. Kilkenny’s program also includes:

and this spring you can take

Sign up soon, because I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a long, long time before the Law school lets these courses get taught again.

In totally unrelated news, Kilkenny’s “Lucky Duck” foundation has now given a total of $570,000 to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation. The timeline?

Year         Gift         Notes
2005 $0
2006  $240K  Kilkenny gives UO $2M to buy out longtime AD Bill Moos
2007 $100K Frohnmayer appoints Kilkenny as AD
                                Frohnmayer lets Kilkenny piss away UO money on baseball
2008 $100K Frohnmayer gets Matt Court Arena bonds through legislature
2009 $50K Frohnmayer retires and Kilkenny leaves as AD
                                Kilkenny invests in new apartment buildings next to Matt Court
2010 $80K Bellotti scandal
2011  ?
2012       ?
2013       ?

IRS 990 here. For 2006:

And Dean Moffitt still seems in denial about what’s really going with this program: In the NYT a day after I posted this:

At the University of Oregon, Michael Moffitt, the law school’s dean, has started clinics on nonprofit groups, environmental policy and probate mediation. He has also set up law courses for students in other parts of the university, which brings revenue to the law school. 

“The problem is that we have been selling only one product,” Mr. Moffitt said. “But if you are getting a business degree, you need to know about contract law. City planners need to know about land-use law. So we at Oregon are educating not just J.D. students. 

“Demand is through the roof,” he added. “I feel like I am living a business school case study.” 

And what kind of life could top that? But go to the list of classes the law school is offering to undergraduates, here. About 250 students are enrolled in the kinds of solid courses Moffitt tells the NYT about. But 300 are in Kilkenny’s sports conflict courses. Probably a good idea not telling the Times that little detail. (Thanks to Anon for tip in the comments.) 2/11/2013.