This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 12, 2012 7:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Back from the other side. The next post in this blog is Adams's solution to everything: a new tax!. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

A blogger making a difference

Bill Harbaugh, economics professor and the writer behind UO Matters, a blog about the state university in Eugene, is blowing his own horn a bit this week. And he deserves to:

Starting last fall I posted a series of stories on the UO athletic department's overhead rate, using documents obtained with public records requests and petitions.

While athletics had originally been scheduled to pay 7%, instead they were only paying 3%. Eventually I traced this to a secret agreement between Dave Frohnmayer and his athletic director Pat Kilkenny, signed 2 weeks before Frohnmayer stepped down as Pres. Steve Duin had a good column about it in the Oregonian. Jamie Moffitt knew about this deal, but she and AD Rob Mullens kept the Senate IAC [Intercollegiate Athletic Committee] in the dark until the public records requests made her reveal it....

Bob Berdahl tried to shut down the IAC over these sorts of questions. But now UO has a new president, Mike Gottfredson, who has as of today gone up several points in my book, though not a full letter grade. OUS rules forbid overhead subsidies and require that overhead rates be established using an "auditable" procedure. So Moffitt had no choice but to revisit the calculations -- especially with a president who wouldn't look the other way. Today her report came out.... Athletics will have to pay $555,227 in new money to UO every year - funds now available for the university's other functions. Yippee.

Blogging about one's workplace is one of the most hazardous activities we can imagine. We're amazed that Harbaugh has the guts to do it. But he does it well, and we admire him for it. Let's hope he keeps turning over those rocks down there.

Comments (5)

People like Bill give tenure a good name. It allows him to hold the administration accountable without fear of getting fired.

It's the other 90% of faculty who treat tenure as a form of paid retirement that drive me nuts.

I treat advancement to "administration" as a form of paid retirement.

I love Duck football, but I love the university that gave me such a great undergraduate education much more. Glad to see Professor Harbaugh is keeping an eye on the details down there.

Thanks Jack! I missed this very kind post of yours until it came up in a google search for athletics department overhead rates ... They're still hiding $5 million in subsidies in here, and I'm going to find them.

They're probably under Bellotti's PERS cushions.

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