Foundation releases IRS 990 report for 2012-13

Of course I mean the OSU Foundation, report here. In contrast, while the UO Foundation’s report for the fiscal year closing June 30 2013 was due Nov 15, they’ve filed for an extension until Feb 15, and they will presumably file for another, preventing the release of the IRS required information on revenue, expenses, and executive salaries until May 15 2014. They also haven’t released their standard annual report showing what they spent donor money on, usually out in September.

However this report from the independent OUS audit, released a few days ago, gives a clue as to our Foundation’s priorities:

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 8.32.50 PM

What’s that about? My guess is that UO’s special supplemental retirement plan for current and former executives and coaches was underfunded, so they hit up the Foundation for $7.2M to make up the difference. To put this in perspective, for 2011-12, the last year for which they’ve released data, the UO Foundation spent $7.0M on merit and need scholarships. Total payout from the endowment was roughly $21M. No wonder Paul Weinhold decided not to put out an annual report this year.

Senate Budget Committee demands greater accountability from UO Foundation

That was in  2010, from their report to the Senate on the proposal to give UO an independent board:

3) Transparency and accountability. If the UO achieves a new degree of
autonomy from the OUS and the Oregon Legislature, we are concerned that the
UO be held to high standards of administrative transparency. Section 9 of the
Legislative Concept states that

“The UO would continue to be subject to[…]the public governance provisions of state
law: The Public Records and Meetings Law, Government Ethics, Investment of
Public Funds, the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act, Public Retirement,
and the Oregon Tort Claims Act. But the UO would be exempted from many of the
business regulations applicable to state agencies, such as the Administrative
Procedures Act.” (p30)

The New Partnership financial plan would create a large endowment to be
managed by the UO Foundation. It would thus shift oversight and accountability
from the Oregon Legislature and the OUS to the Foundation. This shift should
not occur without increased transparency from the Foundation. Donors, faculty
and students, and Oregon citizens should all demand greater scrutiny of the
Foundation’s investments and its administrative expenditures.

Needless to say the Foundation has done the opposite. They didn’t even put out an annual report this year, just the mandatory auditors statement. If the SBC has done any followup, I haven’t heard it, and what I can tell this 2010 report was their last report to the Senate, although their charge calls for annual reports on UO’s financial status etc.

UO Foundation claims defamation and demands retraction from UO Matters

11/12/13: I recently received the “demand for retraction” below, from Thomas Herrmann, legal counsel to the UO Foundation, presumably writing on instruction from the Foundation’s Chairman Jon Anderson, a former marathon runner with longtime Nike connections, and the Foundation’s 2013 Chair-elect and committed athletics booster Stephen Holwerda. A bio-piece on Mr Holwerda in the Portland Business Tribune notes:

Greatest passions: Oregon pinot noir, sports, antique mechanical banks.
First choice for a new career: I started out in athletic administration, and if I had to pick a second career it would be to go back to working for the University of Oregon’s athletic department. Go Ducks.

[Above updated to note that Anderson is Chair, Holwerda is Chair Elect. Thanks, commenter.]

The post he objects to is here:

The ORS 31.200-31.225 statute that Mr. Herrmann cites in his take-down demand is titled “Liability of radio or television station personnel for defamation”. 31.205 discusses “Damages recoverable for defamation by radio, television, motion pictures, newspaper or printed periodical”. So I guess I am a professional news organization, at least in the eyes of the UO Foundation. Section 31.215 lays out the following procedure for retraction demands:

(1) The demand for correction or retraction shall be in writing, signed by the defamed person or the attorney of the person and be delivered to the publisher of the defamatory statement, either personally, by registered mail or by certified mail with return receipt at the publishers place of business or residence within 20 days after the defamed person receives actual knowledge of the defamatory statement. The demand shall specify which statements are false and defamatory and request that they be corrected or retracted. The demand may also refer to the sources from which the true facts may be ascertained with accuracy.

(2)The publisher of the defamatory statement shall have not more than two weeks after receipt of the demand for correction or retraction in which to investigate the demand; and, after making such investigation, the publisher shall publish the correction or retraction in:

(a)The first issue thereafter published, in the case of newspapers, magazines or other printed periodicals.

(b)The first broadcast or telecast thereafter made, in the case of radio or television stations.

(c)The first public exhibition thereafter made, in the case of motion picture theaters.

(3)The correction or retraction shall consist of a statement by the publisher substantially to the effect that the defamatory statements previously made are not factually supported and that the publisher regrets the original publication thereof.

(4)The correction or retraction shall be published in substantially as conspicuous a manner as the defamatory statement. [Formerly30.165]

I have received a plethora of advice on how to respond to this threat. Several attorneys have looked at it, and my post, and said that they do not think that my language is an accusation of criminal activity, particularly given the full context of the post. They have suggested I call the Foundation’s bluff and then file an anti-SLAPP countersuit against them, if they proceed with a lawsuit against me.

I was also told that that the language in Mr. Herrmann’s blustery last paragraph would be quite helpful in a counter-suit, given that anti-SLAPP laws such as Oregon’s are specifically designed to make it difficult to use defamation lawsuits to limit public discussion, as his threat seemingly proposes to do.

One reader suggested that I offer to replace the phrase that the Foundation claims to interpret as an accusation of criminal activity, i.e. “money laundering cash for the Duck Athletic Fund”, with something like “lovingly laundering sweaty jockstraps for the Duck athletic department”. Thanks for this proposal, really.

In the end, I decided to follow the precedent established by noted barrister John Cleese. Mr. Herrmann, you may take this video as my response, in full, to your threatening letter:

The DVD  is available from Amazon for $14.98, here.

Meanwhile, back in Chicago:

Chicago State University seems to have some of the same insider dealing issues that have troubled UO. Check out their “Crony State University” blog, written by 8 faculty. Impressive.

They’ve also been served with a takedown notice. News stories in the Chicago TribuneInsideHigherEd and Chronicle. (Thanks to Margaret Soltan’s ever interesting blog for the link).

The imbalance between Duck sports and UO academics, in the RG, Oregonian, and EW

8/30/2013: Op-Ed in the RG today:

… Our public university was built by Oregonians, and for more than 135 years it has carried out its mission to serve the students and the state of Oregon. 

In recent decades, inadequate investment in the activities, resources and personnel that constitute and define a world-class research university have not matched the demands of a growing student body. 

Layers of highly-paid administrators, in a quest to secure private funding, have too often sought the easy money, often failing to use their authority and discretion to prioritize and promote the value of investing in our core educational and research strengths. …

Michael Dreiling, an associate professor of sociology, and Karen McPherson, an associate professor of romance languages, are members of the United Academics of UO Organizing Committee. Also contributing to this essay were organizing committee members Jack Boss (music), Jane Cramer (political science), Karen Creighton (physical education and recreation), Joseph Lowndes (political science) and Dan Hosang (political science).

Then there’s this from sportswriter Ken Goe in the Oregonian, with some priceless quotes from “University of Nike” spokesperson Jeff “The Hawk” Hawkins:

Oregon’s luxurious Hatfield-Dowlin Complex distorts the academic-athletic balance

The comment jumped out at UO ethnic studies professor Daniel HoSang as he read a story about the Ducks’ swank, new football operations center, the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex. 

UO director of football operations Jeff Hawkins was explaining the need for facility improvements for athletics. “The academic center was 8,000 square feet,” Hawkins said. 

“It was dilapidated; it was rodent infested. And it was filled with asbestos. Take the pictures of before and realize what we didn’t have.” 

Shortly after the 2010 completion of the 40,000-square-foot Jaqua Academic Center UO athletes and the athletic academic advisers moved out of the Esslinger Annex and the Department of Ethnic Studies moved in. 

One of the former conference rooms used to tutor athletes became HoSang’s office.

“The athletic department seems tone deaf sometimes,” HoSang said. 

UO spokesman Julie Brown said the Esslinger Annex underwent a small renovation after the athletic department decamped that included work on the heating and air conditioning system, new flooring and fresh paint.

She said there is no record of asbestos or rodents. It’s now home to the school’s American English Institute.

… Well, it’s the Knight’s money and his right to spend it as he chooses, right?

Sure, if we’re talking about his house, or his company, or his professional franchise, should he choose to buy one. 

But the University of Oregon is a public institution of higher education, and, in theory, should not be for sale. 

“This is serving more the advertising purposes of Nike and less the academic mission of the university,” UO sociology professor Michael Dreiling said. “This is about the leadership of the university and setting boundaries.” 

That line was crossed in 2010 when Richard Lariviere, then UO president, warned the State Board of Higher Education of dire consequences if board members failed to give Knight approval to do as he pleased without administrative oversight while constructing Hatfield-Dowlin. 

The board acquiesced. Three years later the deed is done. The university now will deal with a different set of consequences, among them staffing, and maintenance for the new edifice, and an underswell of faculty discontent. 

There is nothing wrong with having a nationally-ranked football team. But it should be the product a campus-wide pursuit of excellence. 

When the most impressive building on campus is a football complex nearly as large and tricked out as a Hapsburg palace, something clearly is out of whack. 

And this in the Eugene Weekly, by Shannon Finnell, on bargaining progress:

“We’re not that far apart in actual dollars,” Bramhall says. UAUO is proposing a faculty salary increase of $20 million, or 15 percent, while the administration is proposing a faculty salary increase of $14 million, or 10.5 percent. According to the OUS June 2013 supplemental budget for 2012-13, the UO’s total operating budget was $865,513,412. The blog UO Matters reports that full professors at UO make about 82 percent of the average salary at other AAU public universities, associate professors 90 percent and assistant professors 89 percent. 

Bramhall says that the budget reflects the administration’s priorities and decisions. “We decided we would have our own police force and that we would arm that police force,” he says. “The budget now reflects that decision.” In addition, UO’s general fund is paying $2 million for tutoring student athletes, an average of $4,000 per student athlete, a fraction of what’s available for the average student. 

Taking a portion of all athletic donations and using it for the academic side is one solution. Even 10% would be a start. Meanwhile President Gottfredson still hasn’t even offered a substantive response to the UO Senate’s resolution calling for an end to the millions in subsidies for the athletic side, that come out of UO student tuition money.

8/29/2013: Craig Garcia has a story about UO Foundation fundraising in the ODE today. I’ve heard that to be invited to join the UO Foundation Board you need to promise a “major gift”, which currently means $100K over 5 years. But rumor is that the entire donation can be to the athletic department. Does anyone know if this is true?

75% of this year’s donations to UO went to athletics. Endowment earnings are below benchmarks

8/19/2013 update: “Around the O” reports UO raised $200M this FY in donations. It’s difficult to tell from the press release, and as explained below UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold has refused to release breakdowns, but it appears that about 57% of the donations to the Foundation went to the jocks. If you count the $140M or so Knight spent on the football sweat shop – and it’s hard to ignore – the jocks got about 75%.

It’s well past time for UO to start taking a percentage of the athletics donations for the academic side. But there’s still no substantive response from President Gottfredson to the May 8 Senate motion on this, just a letter saying maybe he’ll appoint a working group. It’s been 9 years since the original athletics task force recommendation.

The story also reports that chronically unlucky Chief Investment Officer Jay Namyet was able to earn only 13.8% on the endowment. Disastrous. The S&P 500 returned 18.6% over the same period, the Dow was up 16.3%, and the NASDAQ 17%. His underperformance is, conservatively, $11M in just one year. For perspective, the faculty union and the administration are currently about $5M apart on salaries.

The UO Foundation’s full annual report is typically released at the end of September. This early press release appears to be an attempt to divert attention from the latest athletic excesses. Good luck with that.

6/2/2013 update: The UO Foundation has been dominated by sports boosters for far too long. See past posts on the Foundation, including their (successful) effort to get an exemption from UO’s public records law, here. Tax deductible donations without transparency is not a recipe for trust, and not a good model for an independent UO Board of Trustees. Speaking of which, I still can’t get a
commitment from UO that SB270 as currently written will require the Board to follow that law – even to the feeble extent that UO currently obeys it.

6/2/2013: No sign of it on their website, but rumor has it the UO Foundation trustees are meeting today. The new board chair is Steven Holwerda:

From an online bio:

First choice for a new career: I started out in athletic administration, and if I had to pick a second career it would be to go back to working for the University of Oregon’s athletic department. Go Ducks.

How convenient. A former Duck athletic department and NCAA employee, whose dream is to work for the Duck athletic department, will now oversee the UO Foundation, which by law is supposed to support the university’s academic mission. Oregon law requires that

The Foundation will accept only gifts that: the University has approved, including all restrictive terms and conditions, has determined to be consistent with the core educational values of the University, and are compatible with the missions of the University and of its individual programs (Oregon Administrative Rules, Chapter 580, Div. 42 and Div. 46);

And those OAR’s prohibit accepting gifts that involve

(c) Creating a commitment for the institution or the state to continue support of a program funded through gifts, grants or contracts, in the event such funds are discontinued;

I suppose a creative lawyer could slip the Jaqua Center and the Knight Arena through. But in practice the foundation is now mostly a money laundering operation for the Duck Athletic Fund. That’s a very rewarding business, for some. Erika Funk filed 2 requests for extensions with the IRS, but finally had to make some salary info public on May 15, in their IRS 990. These numbers are now almost a year old:

Here are the donations they received for UO for current operations, from 2000 up to last year. The numbers are from the Council for Aid to Education:

In his investiture speech President Gottfredson announced a new $1B capital giving campaign. The previous campaign ended in 2006, and raised $850M in donations and pledges. How much of that was for athletics, and how much for academics? The UO Foundation won’t report UO’s breakdown for capital gifts and endowments – something most foundations, including the OSU Foundation, tell the CAE as a matter of course:

I did find this snippet from last summer:

Overall, giving in fiscal 2012 totaled $51,737,551 in support of academics, mainly for current purposes and endowments. Athletics programs received $55,950,231, which included significant support for expansion of the Len Casanova Center. 

What steps will President Gottfredson take to make sure the UO Athletic department doesn’t siphon off potential academic donations for the Ducks? The Athletic department runs its own independent fundraising program, which currently competes with the UO’s development office without check, and with great success – for the jocks:

UO Professor Dennis Howard – holder of a Philip H. Knight Chair in Sports Marketing at UO and former Business School Dean – has written the definitive paper on how the Ducks have done this in the past, comparing data on donations to UO sports and to UO academics, from 1994 to 2002. His conclusion?

Both alumni and non-alumni show an increasing preference toward directing their gifts to the intercollegiate athletics department-at the expense of the donations to academic programs. Sperber’s (2000) assertion that giving to athletics undermines academic giving is strongly supported.


For every $100 of new revenue raised from major donors by the University of Oregon, over 80% is being directed to the athletic department. Even with the large increases in numbers of total donors since 1994, academic giving struggles to remain stable while donations to athletics experience huge growth. In three out of the past five years (1998, 2000, 2001), the total dollars donated to academics by non-alumni has fallen despite annual increases in the number of non-alumni donors. Total dollars donated to academics by alumni fell in only one year (2000), again despite an increase in the total number of donors. This suggests new donors are not making academic gifts, and current donors are shifting dollars from academic giving to donations directed to the athletic program. Additionally, as discussed above, proportional giving by alumni is predominantly directed to the athletic program. If these trends continue, total academic giving will fall for both alumni and non-alumni despite continued increases in the total numbers of both types of donors.

To add to the insanity, under the secret Frohnmayer/Kilkenny agreement President Gottfredson’s office has to pay the AD $350K, so that they can then use his Autzen presidential skybox to schmooze with their boosters and get still more donations for the Ducks. I’m not making that up.

One obvious solution is for UO to tax donations to athletics, sending say half to the academic side. Another would be allow donations to the athletic side count for determining season ticket priority. Athletic Director laughed at both these proposals when we brought them up in the IAC. He even refused to consider a ticket surcharge – even just a dollar – to be earmarked for academic scholarships.

Currently the transfers run the other way. President Gottfredson has until July 8th to respond to the Senate resolution calling for

  1. an end to two of the more egregious annual subsidies for athletics – the $2M Jaqua Center operations costs, and the $467K we pay for Knight Arena land, and 
  2. a modest payment from the AD towards need and merit scholarships for regular UO students: just 2% of the AD’s spending on sports.

Meanwhile, up in Corvallis, OSU’s foundation is in the midst of their own capital campaign: See their list of contributions here. Their athletic budget is only about half UO’s, their subsidies are out in the open, and they manage to bring in plenty of giving for academic programs.

Here’s another Duck/Beaver comparison: Research and Athletics spending:

Diane Dietz has the story and data on UO here. I got the OSU data from their very complete Research Office data page, here. Both are “Federal Flow Through” totals, which are the easiest to find directly comparable data. They include spending on outreach and instruction, but it’s mostly research money and the trends look similar no matter how you cut it. That’s the table on the left. The table on the right shows athletic department spending, from USAToday. (Official UO and OSU numbers for 2012.)

PAC-12 boss jock gets $3M to "drive the academic mission"

5/19/2013: You can’t make this shit up. Rachel Bachman has the story in the WSJ on PAC-12 commissioner Larry Scott’s earnings:

Scott took home a $1,376,000 bonus in addition to a base salary of $1,575,000 and other compensation of $71,462. … Scott said that owning its networks helps the Pac-12 “drive the academic mission in terms of promoting a broad array of Olympic sports, promoting campus content and promoting the brands of our universities in ways that would not be possible in my view if someone else is controlling your network.”

The players still get paid nothing, UO’s students are still paying millions in hidden subsidies, and the whole thing is subsidized by billions – well, at least a few billions – of state and federal tax-deductions. Here’s the illustrated version of the sorry state of public finance in our country:

And then there’s the UO Foundation, which does the money laundering for the Ducks – all to support UO’s tax deductible academic mission, of course. These are donations for current operations. CEO Paul Weinhold won’t release the breakdown for capital gifts and endowments.

UO Foundation jock fest continues

4/09/2013: The UO Foundation is spending about $200K on a lobbyist, Ginny Lang, with the job of convincing the legislature to keep UO faculty off the new UO Board. Where else do your tax deductible contributions to the UO Foundation go? Mostly to sports. More and more so every year:

Data from the Council for Aid to Education. The UO Foundation’s latest report to them is here. This is just the data on gifts for current expenditures. CEO Paul Weinhold refuses to report the endowment gifts broken out by athletics/academics. Must be worried about his tax-exempt status. He’s also dragging out his required report to the IRS on expenditures. Their books closed on July 1 2012. Their IRS 990, which provides some bare-bones financial transparency, was due Nov 15. They asked for an extension –  it ran out on Feb 15. They asked for another, so maybe we’ll see some numbers May 15, 2013.

UO Foundation and Gottfredson power grab

“UO Foundation resists compromise to include faculty on proposed independent governing boards”From Saul Hubbard in the RG. They’re using money donated to UO to pay Ginny Lang, the lobbyist who is meeting with legislators to fight against faculty participation. Meanwhile President Gottfredson won’t sign the UO constitution that Rob Kyr and the Senate negotiated with Lariviere, he won’t agree to put it in the faculty union contract, and he’s fighting transparency and public records access tooth and nail. I’m sure it’s going down well with the sports boosters at the foundation, who will soon pack the UO Board of Trustees. Last year the UO Foundation spent $2.2M on need-based scholarships, $8.7M on athletic scholarships, and who knows how much on lobbyists. 4/8/2013.

Updated: UO Foundation cuts back

on academic support. Not on glossy colors for their 2011-12 report, quietly released on Friday. And the foundation’s own internal expenses have grown 20% in two years, from $5,463 in 2009-2010 to $6,646. 9/29/2012.

9/30/2012 Update: The Foundation has stopped putting the time-series data in the reports, presumably since it doesn’t look that great. I’ve added it at the bottom of this post, followed by Jamie Moffitt’s 2010 attempt to explain the weird “student athletic scholarship” numbers. Essentially, the UO Foundation was laundering DAF donations, reporting they were being spent on “scholarships” when they really went to pay for things that would more accurately be described as team expenses. The foundation has a policy that donations must be related to UO’s core academic mission, but you know how that goes. To her credit, Moffitt seems to have put an end to that practice. after I raised these questions.

I’d ask for a more detailed breakdown on expenditures between athletics and academics, but $338,000 CEO Paul Weinhold doesn’t believe professors should ask questions about how the foundation spends the tax-deductible contributions that are supposedly given to support our academic mission. While OSU completes the part of the standard Council for Aid to Education questionnaire that shows athletic spending, Paul Weinhold flat out refuses to release the data:

But he thinks we should support an independent UO board?

$300,00 per year CIO Jay Namyet did manage to beat the market this year, 2% versus 0.5%. Overall he’s below benchmarks for the past 3 and 5 years though. I doubt those calculations even include the $1 million or so it costs to run their investment shop, which can’t even beat the FTSE index.

I’m no accounting professor, but if anyone wants to dig into these let me know what else you find. I know a few people have suggested I use somewhere like to find answers but I haven’t had a chance to look into it.

2010-2011 2011-2012

Email trail:
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 11:17 AM

I was looking at the amounts the UO Foundation reports disbursing to athletics for scholarships, and comparing that to the amounts that the AD reports spending on scholarships. (From BANNER, via Nathan’s online Financial Transparency Tool.) They are quite different, as you can see from the attached spreadsheet.
Can you tell me the reason for the difference?
Thanks, [UO Matters]

On Jul 16, 2010, at 11:30 , Jamie Moffitt wrote:
I am out of the office today, but would be happy to look into your question when I return on Monday. At first glance the BANNER scholarship figures look consistent to me with other figures I have seen. The Foundation figures look higher than I would have expected – I will need to do some research to figure out why this is the case. I will let you know what I learn.

On Jul 19, 2010, at 19:15 , Jamie Moffitt wrote:
I’ve done a bit of research on your scholarship question and I’ve learned that the difference between the Foundation figures and the BANNER figures is due to a difference in accounting classification. The student aid figures that you pulled from BANNER represent tuition remissions, as well as student aid for books and room and board. The Foundation classification for student aid includes a broader range of direct student support including things like medical expenses, insurance, and nutrition support. As the Foundation and the University are two separate institutions, their accounting classification structures are different.
From: “Jamie Moffitt”
Date: July 21, 2010 9:53:26 PM EDT
I was just about to send you a note. Here it is:
There are a broad range of BANNER account codes that are used for different types of student support. For example, meals for athletes are recorded under account code 20300, medical support (GTF trainers) are recorded under account code 24999, life skills support (speakers for student trainings) would show up under account code 24599, nutritional support (student staffing) shows up under account code 10501, etc. These are just a few examples. I believe that most, if not all, of the difference between the foundation and BANNER numbers that you sent me for FY2009 (BANNER: $7,442,824; Foundation: $9,462,000) are the result of the difference between BANNER and Foundation’s accounting classification structures. There can also, however, be timing differences that attribute to differences between the two institution’s figures. The Foundation records expenses when it transfers funds to the University. The University records expenses when the funds are spent. While the majority of the time these two activities occur in the same fiscal year – this is not always the case.

Weinhold and Namyet’s pay and expenses go up, scholarships go down

6/8/2012: Diane Dietz of the RG has the story here:

The foundation plowed $14.5 million into student aid, scholarships, loans and student wages in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011, according to its annual filings with the Internal Revenue Service. Spending in that category was down for a fourth straight year — and down 24 percent from 2007 — because contributions dwindled.

… The foundation reported $715 million in total assets, 49 employees and a payroll of $3.9 million. Weinhold’s total compensation last year was $338,310, including base pay of $274,494 and retirement and other benefits of $63,726. Chief Investment Officer Jay Namyet got $300,744 in total compensation.

My guess is that Weinhold’s scholarship number includes the $9 million or so for athletic scholarships from Duck Athletic Fund ticket payments. They delayed releasing this IRS data for 6 months, and the next solid info will be in September. From an earlier UO Matters post:

2/15/2012: The Council for Aid to Education announced the results of its authoritative Voluntary Support of Education survey today. Chronicle story here.  On average, giving to higher ed is up 8.2%. Giving to the UO Foundation is down from $121 million for the 2009-10 FY to $93 million for 2010-11 FY. (Official total using PV). These amounts include deferred gifts, unrealized bequests, and so on. Not sure how things like the Jock Box get counted.

I’m still parsing the data, but this jumps out: UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold and compliance officer Erika Funk have once again refused to complete the section of the survey giving details on donations to athletics. The RHS column shows what a group of our comparator universities report on average. Those Beavers at Oregon State have nothing to hide, but UO does:

I wrote in October about how the Foundation cut contributions to academic scholarships by $1.6 million last year, while increasing their own administrative spending $2 million. And here is the data we do have on where donation money is going. No real growth for academics, more and more goes to athletics:

Data source here. And the academic side has to pay the tab for the skybox seats for these people.


The UO Foundation’s job is managing funds from UO donors, investing the UO endowment, and disbursing the funds to UO for scholarships, etc. They’ve just released their 31 page annual report, here. I’m no accounting professor, but people have earned tenure showing the correlation between glossy pictures in annual reports and efforts to hide bad financial news. This report is not an exception.

Last year they actually went to Attorney General Kroger and procured a special opinion exempting them from Oregon’s public records law. Here’s the letter from their lawyer, Frederick Batson, requesting the ruling.

You can get some spending info from the required IRS 990 reports – but not until their “compliance officer”, Erika Funk, runs out every possible extension delaying the release of the info. She sure earns her salary – it will be May of 2012 before we learn what Foundation executives took home in 2010. Still, this year’s official report does have a few bits of actual data, hidden among the glossy photos:

You read these things from the back. Start at page 30:

That’s right. They cut scholarship funding by $1.4 million, while they increased spending on Foundation Administration – that’s themselves – by $2.0 million. I’m guessing Weinhold’s take was $350,000 or so plus expenses, and another $250,000+ for Namyet.

So what did we get out of this crack team of executives? The foundation’s recent investment returns are well below what they’d get by just putting the endowment in the Russell 3,000 etc:

We are paying Jay Namyet to guess on the market, and he’s just not that lucky a guy. Of course he’ll still get a fat paycheck – but too bad for our scholarship students.

The Tuition is Too Damn High

The ODE has the story, with video:

Most of the staff and administrators had cleared out prior to students entering except for President Berdahl himself and a few of his staff. Berdahl spoke with students on why tuition increases needed to be implemented as well as other issues surrounding state funding. Berdahl was successful at easing student frustration by agreeing to a meeting. Berdahl said he would meet with a group of 12-15 students Thursday as long as “it doesn’t turn into a shouting match,” he said.

… “An institutional board that cares about this institution and is committed to this institution and works with the administration, will inspire the confidence of donors about the commitment to excellence this institution has,” Berdahl said. “If we can build our endowment so that there is a lot more financial aid available, and a central part of any capital campaign we have going forward is to raise scholarships.”

I’d have a lot more confidence in the idea of an independent board if the UO Foundation, the closest current equivalent, had a better track record on scholarships and transparency. BTW, The Faculty Pay is Too Damn Low. 6/6/2012.

UO Foundation executive pay

5/15/2012: The IRS makes non-profits submit “990” forms annually, to show what public good they’ve been doing with that money they are not paying taxes on. The OSU Foundation turned in theirs 6 months ago. CEO J. Michael Goodwin pulled down $414,792 in total compensation. The top 5 employees take was $1,436,454. All 5 are safely in the 1% – and to think they did it working for a charity.  Impressive!

Where’s the equivalent UO info? Well, the UO Foundation hasn’t filed yet – they’ve now gone through two 3 month extensions from the IRS. The IRS rules for a 990 extension are considerably more lenient than most professor’s: “Additional time is needed to gather the information necessary …” But now time’s up. The IRS wants that 990 today, May 15.

So, can CEO Paul Weinhold and the rest of the UOF execs top OSU? I’ll post the form as soon as they send it along. Honestly, the OSU salaries are going to be tough to beat. But this summer the UOF annual report showed they were cutting their payments to academic scholarships by $1.4 million, while increasing administrative expenditures by $2 million. So my money is as good as yours on this one. (In fairness to Mr. Goodwin, the OSU Foundation CEO directs both fundraising and investing/money managing. At UO the VP for Development job is separate and part of UO, not the foundation.)

Update: Here’s the UO F 990 form, which they sent over promptly and, this time, completely. I’ve got to admit it’s a pleasant surprise. We’re paying CEO Weinhold just $338,3310, and the top 5 employees are only getting $1,150,000 or so total:

The rest of the report is quite interesting. The Foundation spent about $500,000 lobbying for the New Partnership, pays some very high consulting fees, and still refuses to break out it’s contributions to UO into athletics/academics categories.

Millions for jocks, not a cent for scholars

1/18/2012: That’s the word on the $5 million Jock Box gift from John Jaqua’s widow. Greg Bolt explains the basics, here. Duck press release here. And now Rob Mullens has admitted that he is going to use all the proceeds to cover the small part of the maintenance and utilities that the athletic department must pay. Not a cent will go to help the academic side pay for the $1.83 million cost of running the athlete-only tutoring operations. Where was UO’s VP for Development Mike Andreasenwhile this gift was being negotiated? Not doing his job for the academic side. Where was UO Foundation President Paul Weinhold? Cashing his paycheck. What is the probability that the widowed 91-year-old donor, the generous and rather interesting Robin Jaqua, understood how UO’s athletic department would use her gift? ____%. Meanwhile, the athletic department is continuing to play hardball with the students over football tickets and costs. Because they are that greedy. Emily Schiola has the story in the ODE.

sex, money, and secrecy

11/21/2011: I’d always wondered why reporters were spending so much time on the child rape coverup and so little time on the money that Joe Paterno and his crew were raking in. It turns out this was because Penn State had secured an exemption to the Pennsylvania public records law, the wisdom of which is now being reconsidered:

Unlike the most obscure of state agencies or the smallest municipal government, the universities, which annually receive hundreds of millions of dollars in state funds, are required to disclose “nothing, zippo” under current law, said Terry Mutchler, executive director of the state Office of Open Records.

UO is covered under Oregon public records law, and the situation is slowly improving since the bad old days of Melinda Grier and Liz Denecke. But last year the UO Foundation went to Attorney General Kroger and procured a special ruling exempting them from Oregon’s public records law. Here’s the letter from their lawyer, Frederick Batson, requesting the ruling.

The UO Foundation is mostly an expensive money laundering operation for the Duck Athletics Fund. This year they cut academic scholarships by $1.4 million, while their overhead went up $2 million. Want more details? Tough Shit. Compliance Officer Erika Funk will only release the bare minimum of data, and that as late as possible. Their IRS 990 form was due Nov 15, but in past years they’ve ran out every possible extension – here are some very old numbers. When new data comes out, someday, I expect to see CEO Paul Weinhold making over $400,000, and CIO Jay Namyet over $350,000 – despite the fact he’s way below his benchmarks on investment earnings.