Some things have been going on during the last couple of months.
1. University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere released a white paper outlining his idea for a restructure of University funding and management. The proposal includes a $1.6 billion endowment for the university, a portion of which would be financed by state bonds. The legislature is not pleased, but it certainly has folks talking.
2. The UO got grilled hard by the Oregon Senate Business and Transportation Committee about the $227 million arena project, the process for which did not involve an open bidding process, as would most large scale university projects. The committee also tapped into the Bellotti Buyout. The essence of the Willamette Week article linked to above:
“The university does not inspire confidence,” says committee chairman Sen. Rick Metsger (D-Welches). “What you get from this project is either they don’t know what they’re doing or they don’t want the public to know. Neither is good.”
The process for building the arena is actually pretty convoluted and complicated, and many people are displeased with the progress.
3. The State of Oregon has a pretty unsustainable budget, to the tune of $563 million that will come in across the board cuts to all state entities. Including a $4.7 million cut to the University of Oregon.
4. The University Senate confirmed large-scale campus speech policy changes, with the addition of a Freedom of Inquiry Policy and Facilities Use Policy. This is a real victory for administrators, who wanted to deal with the Pacifica Forum issue but not be seen as only promoting certain kinds of speech or, y’know, violating the First Amendment. The new facilities use policy dictates that only university recognized groups — not individuals — can access space for free. “Non-university entities” can still have space, but they have to pay for it. You can read the Register-Guard’s opinion here.
5. The UO created an Office of Public Records to deal with public records requests as Lariviere tries to deal with the aftermath of the Mike Bellotti deal and an athletic program on the fringes of his reach. They’re hiring a public records officer, if you’re looking for a job.
7. Phil Knight’s private company, Phit LLC, wants to construct additional football facilities to the Len Casanova Athletic Center. But they want to do it in a way that sidesteps the public bidding process by having this private company lease the land from the university, construct on it, and then donate the finished project back to the University of Oregon. The state approves.
8. Jeremiah Masoli got kicked off the UO football team for getting pulled over with a suspended license and marijuana in his car after rolling a stop sign. Masoli was a good quarterback. He just keeps getting himself into trouble.
And that brings us to today. Those were some things that happened.