Payments by Athletic Department for General Academic Purposes

Date of Notice: 
Wed, 02/12/2014
Legislation, Resolution, or Policy Adoption: 
Current Status: 
Approved on 03/04/15

Section I

1.1 WHEREAS in 2004, the UO Athletics Task Force, which included President Dave Frohnmayer, Athletic Director Bill Moos, NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O'Fallon, the Senate President, and many Senate and faculty representatives, concluded a three-year study of UO athletics with a report that stated as recommendation #1,

"The Task Force and the Athletic Department recommend a voluntary financial contribution by
athletics to the Presidential Scholarship fund."[1]; and

1.2 WHEREAS in 2008 the Senate passed a resolution reiterating this recommendation[2]; and

1.3 WHEREAS in May 2012 the UO Senate passed another resolution (endorsed by four former Senate Presidents in its stronger form as legislation) requesting that the President direct the Athletic Department to end subsidies for athletics starting on 7/1/2013 and start making payments for academic purposes starting in 7/1/2014[3] [4]; and

1.4 WHEREAS two months after the 2012 resolution President Gottfredson wrote to Senate President Margie Paris that

"One intent of the resolution is to ensure that athletics is paying an appropriate share of the costs associated with tutoring and advising of student athletes and for the arena. This is clearly an appropriate aim and one with which I am fully supportive. More analysis needs to be undertaken to ascertain the nature of these obligations while preserving legitimate expectations derived from the existing agreements. We will expeditiously work to resolve these issues in collaboration with athletics."[5]; and

1.5 WHEREAS the subsidies have not been ended, and to the contrary the payments from the Provost's budget to support tutoring and advising at the Jaqua Center for Student-Athletes, services that are available only to student-athletes, have increased from $600K in 2008 to $1.8M for FY 2011-12 and now to $2.2M for the 2014-15 FY, after passage of the 2012 resolution. These services cost about $4,000 per student-athlete, while UO's spending on similar services for non-athlete students averages only about $225[6]; and

1.6 WHEREAS the Athletic Department solicits donations and ticket surcharges for the Duck Athletic Fund, totaling $28M for 2014-15[7], with the statement that,

"The mission of the Duck Athletic Fund is to raise funds to offset the expenses of student-athletic scholarships and related athletic department support at the University of Oregon."[8];

1.7 WHEREAS in the most recently available data, for 2013-14, the Athletic Department paid only $10 million from these DAF funds to the academic side for tuition, and did not pay any of the cost of student-athlete services other than a portion of the maintenance costs of the Jaqua building[9]; and

1.8 WHEREAS UO's academic budget has been paying $467,538 a year since 2009 to repay the portion of bonds used to purchase the Knight Arena land representing the area of the Mac Court land[10]; and

1.9 WHEREAS eleven years have now passed since the 2004 Task Force report calling for voluntary contributions from athletics toward academic scholarships, during which annual operating expenditures by the Athletic Department have increased from less than $40 million to more than $98 million[11]; and

1.10 WHEREAS during that time the athletic department has not made any such contributions and in fact has received increasing subsidies from the academic budget; and

1.11 WHEREAS the University Senate voted on February 12, 2014 that the motions on ending subsidies to the Athletic Department and payments by the Athletic Department for general academic purposes should be put forth as two separate motions;

Section II

2.1 BE IT HEREBY MOVED that the President shall provide the Senate with a budget and a schedule for implementation for payments from the Athletic Department budget for the support of general academic purposes no later than the first Senate meeting of May 2015, and that this schedule shall include a payment of no less than 0.5% of total Athletic Department revenue for the 2015-16 FY, and increasing to no less than 1% for the 2016-17 FY, and increasing in subsequent years by no less than 0.5 percentage points, until it reaches 3%.

Financial Impact: 
Cost neutral

William Harbaugh (Economics), Senator

[1] UO Task Force Report at

[2] 2008 motion at

[3] 2012 motion at

[4] Endorsements of former Senate Presidents at

[5] Letter from President Gottfredson to President Paris at Response to US2012-13_20.pdf

[6] UO Financial Transparency Report at payments to Jaqua Center 2012 to 2014.pdf and Register Guard story referenced at

[7] Report at

[8] Report at

[9] UO Foundation report at

[10] Frohnmayer/Kilkenny MOU at

[11] AD budget at