Updated with PR request: UO administrators plan their Fiesta Bowl junkets

Kelly Ardis reports in the RG that Duck fans are not snapping up Felony Bowl tickets at the expected pace. But presumably our administrators have their UO paid junkets all worked out – much easier when you are spending other people’s money. How many are going, and what excuse will they use this year to convince the IRS that there’s a legitimate business purpose?

For last year’s Rose Bowl VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson set up an expensive, catered “student recruiting” event on the beach in LA, to allow administrators like Robin Holmes and Lorraine Davis get UO paid trips for themselves – and often their families too. Sam Stites had a great story on this in the ODE. That particular ruse will be a bit harder to justify in Glendale, Arizona. But you can be sure that JH’s top administrative minds are hard at work on this problem – and not much else. 12/5/2012.

So lets find out what’s under this rock:

This is a public records request for  

1) a list of the names of all UO or state employees (including e.g. state legislators) and excluding UO student employees that will be receiving free or reimbursed tickets or travel to the upcoming Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, whether directly through UO through UO Foundation accounts managed or controlled by UO employees, or through Fiesta Bowl funds related to UO’s participation in the bowl game. Please include the number in the party if family members or guests are also having costs paid through UO or the Foundation or the Fiesta Bowl. 

b) [sic] a copy of any documents showing the UO business purpose of the tickets or travel. 

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest. The Fiesta Bowl has a long history of corruption. The former CEO is awaiting sentencing on multiple federal and state felony charges involving misappropriation of funds received in part from UO’s previous Fiesta Bowl appearance. The public has an obvious interest in seeing what’s happening this time. 

UO has released documents on travel to previous bowl games in response to PR requests, and these have been used for stories such as that at http://dailyemerald.com/2012/05/07/the-price-of-roses/ Such stories, based on public records or FOIA requests, are also common at other universities and have spurred reform efforts.  

Last, Oregon law limits state agency’s ability to dole out perks such as these, and these documents are essential to establishing if UO’s practice is consistent with state ethics laws.

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4 Responses to Updated with PR request: UO administrators plan their Fiesta Bowl junkets

  1. Anonymous says:

    This would be funnier if it weren’t so true.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Has Roger Thompson ever had to account for the “investment” they are making? Assuming not (why would he have had to… he’s on the admin side of the divide), can the Senate or a Senate commitee follow up on this?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Senate is swamped. But maybe the IRS will be interested.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously, the Senate – the US Senate that is – is reconsidering the charitable deduction. Maybe the NYT will go after Lorraine and Robin and Jamie’s junkets and the new golf course as examples of the excess that justifies reform. Anyone know a good economics reporter?

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