Ducks hide infractions, Ole Miss tries to hide emails about athletic tweets

From former UO journalism student CJ Ciaramella’s excellent FOIA newsletter:

  • ‘The 31 suspicious emails buried by Ole Miss.’ Another case of FERPA abuse.
  • New York Times appeals University of Oregon redactions in sexual assault case involving UO basketball players

Meanwhile Dave Hubin’s UO Public Records is still stalling the release of the Ducks NCAA secondary infractions. Five weeks, no response. Hmm, I wonder what Dave is hiding for Rob Mullens this time?

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Latest doings of the NCAA cartel

Here’s an interesting speech from the NCAA Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby [sic]: http://newsok.com/bowlsby-gets-serious-with-cheating-pays-pronouncement/article/5011747

“Enforcement is broken,” said Bowlsby, one of the most respected men in collegiate sports. “The infractions committee hasn’t had a hearing in almost a year, and I think it’s not an understatement to say that cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions.”

By “cheating”, the NCAA infractions committee, which UO’s Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon (Law) sits on, generally means trying to compensate athletes in violation of the cartel’s rules. For example, if a booster gives a player’s mother money to come to a game, or pays for medical care, or a player tries to sell their own autograph, they make the player pay a fine and/or hound him out of college sports. College athletics money is for the coaches, not the players! So it’s good news the infractions committee isn’t doing much.

And there’s some more good news for the players on the O’Bannon lawsuit: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2014/07/23/ncaa-lawsuit-ea-sports-video-games-proposed-settlement/13074005/ At least I think it’s good news, I’m no sports law expert like UO’s Rob Illig (Law).

And finally, a piece in the Atlantic from civil rights historian Taylor Branch, on the recent congressional hearings on the NCAA and the dim prospects for internal reform. Elevator version: university presidents don’t have the stones to even try: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/07/the-ncaa-tells-congress-its-going-to-reform-itself/374948/

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Gottfredson thinks his research shows the best way to deal with sexual violence

7/23/2014 update:

Yes, that’s really what our President’s anonymous PR flacks at “Around the 0″ have him saying:

President Gottfredson says his own work in criminology and social behavior makes it clear that prevention is far and away the best place to invest much of our energy for ending sexual violence.

And VP for Student Life Robin Holmes thinks this is all “an incredible opportunity”, and that the president has encouraged everyone on campus to share information readily.

Excuse me while I laugh at the ground. By all accounts Gottfredson had no intention of ever reporting the incident to the public, and he is still battling requests from the New York Times, the Oregonian, and the Register Guard for documents showing how he responded to the allegations. Where is Gottfredson’s committee meeting? Is it open to the public? Write Gottfredson’s Chief of Staff Greg Rikhoff a $508.48 check and he might tell you. Or maybe he’ll redact it all.

While Gottfredson is trying to hide, the UO faculty Senate Task Force is going for transparency. They meet tomorrow, 3-5PM, Lewis Lounge 4th floor of the Law School, Their webpage is here, and their meetings are open.

7/17/2014: Gottfredson wants $413.87 + $94.61 for docs on secret “external review panel”

I’m not yet abandoning all hope, but Gottfredson’s “External Review Panel” is going to have to get out ahead of the transparency problem to avoid looking like they aren’t just another part of Gottfredson’s cover-up of how he handled the rape allegations. Letting Gottfredson hide information on how they were picked and what they are doing is not going to cut it.

President Gottfredson learned of the basketball rape allegations on March 9th. He then waited three months to appoint his “External Review Panel”. He had himself, Athletic Director Rob Mullens, and VP Robin Holmes pick the members. The chair is former Interim UO President Bob Berdahl, one of Gottfredson’s mentors. Not exactly an independent review. But at least it will be transparent, right? The first announcement made it seem so:

  • Evaluation of current practices and protocols for the prevention of sexual misconduct and support for those who have experienced it
  • Benchmarking of the UO’s practices and protocols in relation to those of our peer institutions
  • Review of the athletic department’s processes for evaluating prospective student-athletes
  • Review of life-skill education and support for students, including the communication of conduct expectations
  • One or more campus climate surveys with a focus on the UO’s prevention, response, and education culture regarding sexual misconduct
  • A follow-up review of the recent report commissioned by the Division of Student Affairs to assess the university’s sexual misconduct policies and procedures to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of those recommendations
  • Further refinement of the charge will be informed by the expertise of the panelists themselves

Process and Timing
Work is to begin immediately, with care taken to collect initial input from the campus community prior to the end of the spring term.

It’s now July 17 – almost 4 and a half months since Gottfredson learned of the allegations. What’s going on with his committee? He’s named the members (below) but he wants $413.87 to show the emails explaining how he and Mullens and Holmes picked them. Not exactly trust building. How about just showing the charge, meeting agendas, that sort of thing? Let’s ask:

Subject: public records request for “external review panel” communications
Date: July 1, 2014 at 3:23:18 AM EDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>, Gregory Rikhoff <grikhoff@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Bob Berdahl <bob.berdahl@gmail.com [etc.]

Dear Ms Thornton and Mr. Rikhoff:

This is a public records request for any communications from the UO President’s Office to the members of the “External Review Panel” listed at http://president.uoregon.edu/content/panelists-named-review-uo-sexual-misconduct-prevention-and-response, dated from 6/6/2014 to the present, and dealing with the charge, meeting schedule, agenda, or expense reimbursement of the panel

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

Two weeks later, after a reminder:

07/16/2014

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “any communications from the UO President’s Office to the members of the “External Review Panel”… dated from 6/6/2014 to the present, and dealing with the charge, meeting schedule, agenda, or expense reimbursement of the panel” on 07/02/2014, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request.  By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $94.61. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon for that amount, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure.  Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207.

You requested a waiver based on an assertion that release of these documents is in the public interest.  The office has performed the three-part analysis of your request, has determined that your request does not meet the public interest test, and has exercised its discretion to deny your request for a fee waiver.  Upon receipt of payment outlined above, the office will begin to prepare your requested documents.

Please note that if the cost of preparing the documents for you is less than the estimate, we will refund the difference.  If the cost of preparing the records for you exceeds the estimate, however, you may be charged for the difference.  Following is an outline of how costs are determined. …

Thank you for contacting us with your request.

Sincerely,

Lisa Thornton
Office of Public Records
University of Oregon
Office of the President

Gottfredson’s Panelists: 

Javaune Adams-Gaston
Javaune Adams-Gaston is the vice president for student life at The Ohio State University, where she oversees university operations including the student judicial process and student advocacy and crisis intervention. Prior to her arrival at Ohio State in 2009, she served in a variety of positions, including associate dean of academic affairs, assistant athletic director, and equity administrator at the University of Maryland. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology from Iowa State University.

Bob Berdahl
Bob Berdahl is a higher education expert who retired as president of the Association of American Universities in 2011, He served as interim president of University of Oregon in 2012 and was the dean of the UO College of Arts and Sciences from 1981-1986. He also previously served as the chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1997-2004 and the president of the University of Texas at Austin from 1993-1997.

Mary Deits
Mary Deits retired as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals in 2004 after serving for 18 years, including seven years as chief judge. From 1974-1986, she served as an assistant attorney general in the trial, appellate and general counsel divisions of the Oregon Attorney General’s office. Since Deits’ retirement, she has worked extensively as a mediator and arbitrator.

Laura Hinman
Laura Hinman was the 2012 president of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, where she created the Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force, now known as the University of Oregon Organization Against Sexual Assault. She is currently a Masters of Education graduate student at the University of Southern California.

David Schuman
David Schuman is a retired judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals, where he served from 2001-2014. Earning his Ph. D. from the University of Chicago and his J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1984, he was the deputy attorney general for the Oregon Department of Justice from 1997-2001. Schuman also was on the Oregon School of Law faculty from 1987-1996 and served associate dean for academic affairs from 1994-1996.

Theodore Spencer
Theodore Spencer is the outgoing associate vice provost and executive director of the Office of Undergraduate Admission at the University of Michigan, having worked at Michigan since 1989. Prior to his arrival at the University of Michigan, he was the associate director of admissions at the United States Air Force Academy after previously serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Kevin Weiberg
Kevin Weiberg recently retired as the Pac-12 Conference’s deputy commissioner and chief operation officer, where he served from 2010-2014. Prior to joining the Pac-12, he was the chief executive officer of iHoops from 2007-2010, the Big Ten Network’s vice president for planning and development from 2007-2009, the commissioner of the Big 12 Conference from 1998-2007 and the deputy commissioner of the Big Ten from 1989-1998. He also worked in the athletics departments of Wichita State University and University of Maryland.

Mary Wilcox
Mary Wilcox is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon and vice president and director for Capital Realty Corp., a family-owned real estate and financial investment company. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oregon in 1976 and her J.D. in 1980 from the University of Oregon School of Law.

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New Oregonian report on more UO Police sex harassment grievances

7/23/2014: Latest Oregonian story details additional UO PD sexual harassment grievances.

Betsy Hammond has the story, here. One sexual harassment complaint was settled for $2K in attorneys fees, mandatory sexual harassment training, and 5 box seat tickets to the Civil War game. You can’t make this up. The department comes across as out of control, to be kind. No wonder Gottfredson had the EPD investigate the basketball rape allegations, and then gave the report to his athletic director instead of his police chief.

This story doesn’t even cover the three previous public safety directors who left under unexplained circumstances. Daily Emerald reporter Ryan Knutson won an award for reporting on one situation back in 2009. Some other recent scandals are here, but it’s hard to keep up. Last time I looked up the salary information UO was paying Chief McDermed more than the City of Eugene paid its police chief.

7/18/2014 update: UOPD dick list goes viral

Betsy Hammond has the story in the Oregonian, with many interesting comments, here.

UO’s Strategic Communication Command is still in full denial mode, but a UO Matters stringer has now provided incontrovertible photograph proof of the actual bowl, here. (Warning: This link is NSFW for most though apparently not all UO employees.)

7/14/2014 update: UO files protective order request to try to keep “dick list” court docs secret

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The New York Times is not impressed by Gottfredson’s “sanitized” timeline, redactions

Chief Deputy DA Patty Perlow is handling this petition, for unredacted copies of the emails showing the UO administration’s efforts to cover up the March 8-9 rape allegations. There is another petition from the RG and Oregonian. Perlow has not yet ruled, but in response to a PR request she has sent me all the NYT petitions and UO’s responses. (No charge. For comparison, UO PR boss Dave Hubin wants $94.61 just to show the emails laying out the agenda and so on for Gottfredson’s “External Review Panel”.)

Hilariously, UO’s Interim General Counsel Doug Park is still refusing to sign his name to the responses he has written for UO. Or maybe he’s got a ghost writer, perhaps UO General Counsel Emerita Melinda Grier? In any case, the Times is not impressed by the UO’s arguments or President Gottfredson’s “sanitized” timeline. Their final response to UO begins:

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The RG and Oregonian have also appealed UO’s redactions to the DA. Documents on that should be available soon, at the moment I just have the petition.

  • NYT petition and UO response documents here (51 pages).
  • Links to the redacted cover-up emails etc. here.
  • Redacted U of Nike coffee mugs and t-shirts here.

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March and June meetings of Dave Hubin’s Public Records Administrative Advisory Group

7/23/2014: I thought I’d repost this classic on the meetings of Dave Hubin’s working group to hide public records. From what I can tell this group has now accomplished its mission and is defunct.

6/5/2013 meeting, page down for 3/7/2013 meeting.

Prologue: 

  • Last meeting (see below) was a disaster for Hubin and Thornton, who got raked over the coals and revealed that there were serious problems with the office’s decisions about fee-waivers, bad software, refusal or complete inability to answer questions about policies, inconsistent statements, no decision on the STC recommendation for fee-waivers for student journalists.

Synopsis:

  • Dave didn’t even tell UO’s student-journalists that the meeting was being held, they found out about it from UO Matters.
  • Faculty and students not allowed to ask questions.
  • Thornton killed a bunch of committee time with irrelevant numbers, worked well.
  • No progress on public-interest fee waiver policies. Still a black hole. Thornton’s statements just added to the mystery of what current policy is. Still seems like she has *never* given a full fee-waiver.
  • In Feb the STC voted unanimously to recommend Gottfredson waive fees for student-journalists, up to some reasonable limit, with Hubin to determine what’s reasonable. Gottfredson won’t do it, claims he’s studying the issue. He was provost at UC-I, where there are no fees for anyone (except for computer programming time, if that’s required.) So Gottfredson already knows how well this would work, and he just doesn’t want the students to be able to get information on how UO is spending their money.

Live-blog disclaimer: My opinions on what people said or would have said, if they only had a spine.

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College students losing interest in football hype

7/22/2014 update: The WSJ has the story on falling student attendance, even when tickets are subsidized with mandatory student funds, as at UO. Let’s not even talk about basketball. Meanwhile all sections of UO’s popular Urban Farm course are already full for fall. Administrator demand for free bowl game junkets remains at historically high levels.

2/27/14: UO students say “sorry Ducks, we’re just not that into you.”

Update: While student attendance at basketball games is dropping (one report says the student section was about 40% full at the last basketball game) interest in the Urban Farm seems to be growing. Makensy Venneri has a timely story in the ODE, here. The 2011 ODE story on the decision to put an athlete-only parking lot on land that could have been used for the farm is here.

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Update: There’s an article about this post in the Oregonian here, many comments, some interesting.

2/24/2014: Last year UO spent about $105M on Duck athletics (audit report here), versus about $203M on CAS, LCB, Music, Law, AAA, COE, Journalism, and the Honor’s College combined. (Tuition revenue and state support was $428M, the $203M is what’s left over after building maintenance, administrative overhead, athletic subsidies, etc.)

Athletic Director Rob Mullens, his well paid hangers-on, and those admin junketeers like to claim big-time sports is a big draw for students. But according to the data, it ranks down there with our urban farm and recycling program:

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And these are the answers from students who came to UO. I wonder how many good ones got driven away by UO’s big-time sports hype? From a 2013 survey by UO’s sustainability program, here. Thanks to a vigilant reader for the link.

In addition, faculty, staff, and students all agree that winning games should be UO’s lowest priority. Unfortunately they didn’t break out the results for the administrators that set UO’s athletic subsidies, but their revealed preference choices are pretty obvious.

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2/28/2014: UO to pay new Urban Farm coordinator $400K, plus bonus for big pumpkins

Andy Greif has the contract details in the Oregonian on this $100K raise, here. Oh wait, that deal is for an assistant football coach, never mind.

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Former IAC chair Brian McWhorter (Music) composes Track & Field march

Former RG reporter Greg Bolt has the story in “Around the 0″, here. Pretty cool. I’m having a hard time maintaining my usual cynicism on this one, which certainly raises the bar for Gottfredson’s hand-picked IAC-lite replacement committee. Check out Professor McWhorter’s youtube videos here. Mostly safe for work, except the RNC theme song, here (McW’s on the left).

Update: Mary Pilon has a great story on Professor McWhorter in the NYT, here. Ms Pilon has a track record of interesting stories on IAC members. Her 2011 piece on Professor Glen Waddell’s study showing how football wins lower student grades is here.

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Gottfredson unable to find qualified “Faculty Athletics Representative”

7/21/2014 update:

This winter Gottfredson set up a search committee to find a replacement for Jim O’Fallon (Law), who has had the FAR job for 25 years and who been the subject of repeated Senate motions and reports calling for a review and replacement. The Senate will take this up again in the fall. Andy Karduna (Human Phys) agreed to chair the committee, despite Gottfredson’s secrecy requirements. Karduna reported to the IAC and the Senate that the secrecy (and presumably Gottfredson’s control-freak job description and the requirement of a year-long apprenticeship to O’Fallon) kept several qualified and interested faculty from applying. Rumor has it that Rob Illig (Law) wanted the job, but his $1 Million salary goal was a bit too steep. The appointment was supposed to be made in June, but apparently there are still no takers.

6/20/2014 update: Gottfredson appoints IAC-lite, to evade faculty oversight of athletics

The day after President Gottfredson got the EPD report on the basketball rape allegations he decided to dismantle the Senate Intercollegiate Athletic Committee and appoint his own handpicked group of faculty to a new “Advisory Group”. Still no word on who Gottfredson will appoint as FAR in training. At least a few qualified and interested faculty refused to apply under the terms of Gottfredson’s secret search. The Senate will vote on legislation for a new search in the Fall, in any case.

In the past the IAC has asked some tough questions about athletics, and occasionally got some answers. It seems that neither is acceptable to our President. This is an end run around the UO Constitution, faculty governance, the NCAA rules, all that is right and holy, and what UO has been telling its academic accreditors.

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University releases NCAA secondary infractions docs

That would be Auburn University. Documents here, story here.

Here at Oregon, reporters requested the Duck infractions data on June 18 (here) and June 27 (here). UO’s public record’s office still has not released anything, despite this 1981 opinion from the Oregon DOJ making clear these reports are public records. I wonder what Rob Mullens is hiding this time?

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OSU claims UO stole cluster hire plan from them

7/20/2014: In the RG, here. This is silly, the idea has been around forever. OSU does seem to be ahead on implementing it though. But hey, the Beavers can’t beat the Ducks at spending money on sports!

6/28/2014: RG reports on surreal mismanagement of UO research efforts

I’m no humanities professor, but I think surreal is good description. If I was a law professor, maybe I’d use a different word.

Mike Gottfredson has been on the job almost two years, during which his administration has repeatedly dropped the ball on what to do about UO’s research problems. This spring he rushed through the “Clusters of Excellence” or “Cluster Hires” plan. Not a good sign when they can’t even agree on the name.  Diane Dietz has the story in Sunday’s RG – with some blunt facts and quotes – on this latest effort.

I guess you can say it’s better than Jim Bean’s Five Big Ideas – although Gottfredson and Coltrane apparently decided to give Bean his big slice of this little pie a bit early. A full sixth of it, by my math.

Will this be enough to keep us in the AAU? In March 2013 Gottfredson and Dave Hubin told UO’s accreditors that the plan was to get UO into the top half of the AAU. Later Gottfredson backdated UO’s 2009 draft “academic plan” to make it look like it had been finalized. That plan is all about our place in the AAU. It wasn’t until November 2013 that UO finally came clean, with the terrifying “Benchmarking report” that we paid Academic Analytics to prepare. Then we suddenly stopped talking about the academic plan. Now Scott Coltrane doesn’t seem to think we can even stay in the AAU – he’s removed any mention of the AAU from UO’s new mission statement. Apparently the Trustees are going to go along with that.

How did we get to this place? Years of mismanagement by Dave Frohnmayer and his cronies, coupled with hostility and indifference from the OUS board. The new UO Trustees are our only hope, but there’s no evidence yet they are up to the job. Meanwhile it’s amazing to see how many of Frohnmayer’s administrators are still on the ever expanding Johnson Hall dole. And how much is Frohnmayer himself billing us? I don’t know, UO redacts that from the HLGR invoices.

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Kansas community college refuses to hire UO’s disgraced coach Dana Altman

7/20/2014 update: Kansas community college refuses to hire UO’s disgraced coach Dana Altman

Tyson Alger has the story in the Oregonian, here. Oh wait, this is about the *player* Dana Altman brought to campus. Oh well, at least the players get to keep their NCAA tournament bonuses. Wait, those only go to Rob Mullens and the coaches, not the players? And the coaches and administrators still have their jobs? Mullens got to pick his own review panel members? Remember the NCAA’s prime directive: “No black man can make money off college sports”.

7/9/2014: Disgraced Coach Dana Altman to leave Ducks for community college job

President Gottfredson kicked Altman off campus last month, after he screwed up big time, bringing a player with serious issues to UO, where he acted them out again. It looks like Altman has found an unpaid job at a community college in Kansas, and will try and rebuild his career. Andy Greif has the details here. Oh, wait, never mind, it’s the *player* who’s going to community college. Dana Altman is keeping his fat paycheck, cars, DAC membership, and bonuses. Of course.

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Oregon State faculty to vote to unionize?

Maybe, maybe not. President Ed Ray was a little smarter than Berdahl and Gottfredson. Instead of paying Sharon Rudnick $1M to fight with his faculty, he gave them a big round of raises last year. And today he announced he’s brought in the goats. Fishwrapper sends a link to the awesome time lapse-video of them clearing noxious weeds from campus:

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The rumor from the UO Faculty Club’s newly air-conditioned Lariviere Smoking Lounge is that UO Trustees plan to set this crew loose in Johnson Hall any day now.

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