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Archive for January, 2007

UO Professors Criticize Athletics Spending

January 15th, 2007 by Sho

NerdsAnother salvo in the battle between academics and athletics appeared in Sunday’s Register-Guard in the form of an opinion column by UO biology professor Nathan Tublitz and UO English professor James Earl, both former UO Senate presidents. Citing the $2 million settlement of outgoing AD director Bill Moos’ contract and multi-million dollar spending on housing and recruitment for student athletes, the professors accuse the University of financially prioritizing athletics, resulting in the devaluation of its academic reputation. One solution they propose to resolve this imbalance is to divert some funds from athletic programs for academic scholarships:

Many people think athletics makes money for the university, but that is not true. At Notre Dame and Ohio State, the athletic departments give back more than $10 million every year to education – but at the UO, not a penny. A few years ago the faculty asked the athletic department to add a mere 25 cents to football and basketball tickets, to be earmarked for student scholarships. The request was refused. We asked that a small percentage of every donation to athletics be earmarked for education. The administration refused. All athletic revenues and gifts go entirely to the athletic budget, which has been growing four times faster than the university’s. When education is in trouble, we think the Ducks should be able to contribute something more than fun.

We are by no means suggesting that the university get out of intercollegiate athletics. Athletics is and will remain an essential part of campus life at the UO. But the current emphasis on athletic success draws our attention away from the real problem, which is academic decline, while the administration pretends that everything is fine.

A total of 90 UO faculty members co-signed the opinion piece.

Update (01/16): Frohnmayer issues a reply in the R-G.

Worst Propaganda Ever

January 13th, 2007 by Timothy

For some reason, this piece of crap popped up on Facebook. I live in San Antonio, I’m used to stupid creationist bull, but this is the most comical variety. Look, speculations about the genesis of the Universe are a dime a dozen and there are plenty of physicists working on those questions, so this ridiculous clap-trap is pure comedy gold. Observe and be amazed:

So here’s the question: if originally–bazillions of years ago–there was Absolutely Nothing, wouldn’t there be Absolutely Nothing now?

Yes. For something–no matter how small–cannot come from Absolutely Nothing. We would still have Absolutely Nothing.

What does that tell us? That Absolutely Nothing never existed. Why? Because, if Absolutely Nothing ever existed, there would still be Absolutely Nothing!

If Absolutely Nothing ever existed, there would not be anything outside it to cause the existence of anything.

Again, if Absolutely Nothing ever existed, there would still be Absolutely Nothing.

However, something exists. Actually, many things exist. You, for example, are something that exists, a very important something. Therefore, you are proof that Absolutely Nothing never existed.


David Wu Is Still A Douchebag

January 12th, 2007 by Timothy

[Via Hit & Run]

I’ve never really liked David Wu and, let’s face it folks, this speech is reason enough why. You know, it wouldn’t have scored a single point in Congress and Super Congress events at any number of high school debate tournaments in which I participated. That’s pretty damn sad for a guy who’s been in the House as long as I can remember.

Major UO Donor Gives Another $15 mil for Science Building

January 12th, 2007 by Sho

Lorry LokeyA San Francisco philanthropist is donating $15 million to the University for use toward the construction of a new science building. Lorry Lokey, the founder and former chief executive of the Business Wire news service, has contributed a total of almost $50 million to the University making him “the most generous patron of UO academics ever.” Lokey is the most significant donor on four building projects for the University so far.

From the R-G article:

Lokey never attended the UO but has adopted it as one of his leading philanthropic projects. He has said he hopes to raise the university’s reputation in both the region and the country and wants to propel it toward a renaissance in the arts and sciences.

Over the past two years, Lokey has put $12.5 million on a new College of Education building, $5 million toward an expansion and remodeling of the School of Music and $4.5 million toward the Turnbull Portland Center for journalism and communications. Last summer, he donated $10 million to the new science complex, with $5 million tagged for the lab and $5 million for the integrative sciences building.

A Low-Content, Snow-Related Post

January 11th, 2007 by Ian

As Sho pointed out earlier, it snowed in Eugene today. Now snow is something that most people take for granted: it’s an everyday part of their lives for three to five months of the year. But here in Eugene, snow is unusual and frightening: it looks like rain and it’s supposedly made out of the same material as rain, but it’s all weird and white and cold and causes us to slip and fall and ache for days and oh the humanity.

The Pioneer Mother is not amused by this snow bullshit.So, in order to keep the hospitals relatively clear of bodies most Eugene schools simply shut down at the first hint of snow sticking. This morning, for instance, nearly every public school in the area closed for the day. The exception, of course, is the University of Oregon, whose administrators have such a callous disregard for human life and comfort that they almost never cancel classes because of weather. Well, at least that’s what I was grumbling to myself as I slid to campus this morning.

But as I shuffle past the outdoor tennis courts I notice that there are people running around the track. At 8:00 AM. In ~26 degree weather. And they’re smiling and laughing as they jog next to each other.

Clearly, these people are insane.

Anyway, I continued walking past the courts and the two artificial turf fields until I came up to Coach (and marathon guru/running legend/magazine editor/author) Joe Henderson, whose class the happily jogging students were taking part in.

Coach Henderson’s students are training for 5K and 10K marathon races. None of them had to go out running this morning– today’s class was voluntary and they received extra credit for coming in. According to Henderson, 27 of his 40 students showed up to run, which was a far better attendance ratio than in any of my classes in the toasty Lillis Complex. And in the six years he’s been a coach here they’ve never canceled class and only retreated indoors twice. I suppose most people would call these runners determined and motivated. I call them crazy– but that’s probably because I’m the sort of person who considers 65 Fahrenheit cold and walking to my car exercise.

So if you’re the sort of person who enjoys running, enjoys being cold, and enjoys receiving extra credit for it, then you too should be a long distance runner. Hell, you probably already are one. Me? I’ll wait for a 2008 Olympics game to hit the Xbox.

The high is supposed to be 31° tomorrow and they don’t have running classes scheduled on Fridays, but I suspect Coach Henderson will be out there bright and early regardless of what the mercury reads.

Joggers run next to the outdoor tennis courts

More random, low-quality snow pictures from around campus after the jump.


Ol’ Dirty: Shortest Article Ever?

January 11th, 2007 by Sho

Gee, thanks guys.  Are you sure that “full story” link was necessary?

Frohnmayer Names AD “Search Team”

January 10th, 2007 by Sho
UO President Dave Frohnmayer announced the formation of a “search team” to assist in the hiring of a successor to departing athletic director Bill Moos. UO Vice President Allan Price will head the eight-member team, which will be responsible for interviewing potential candidates for the job. However, the final decision will rest upon Frohnmayer. The Frohn has also stated that Mike Bellotti will not be considered for the job, even on an interim basis, so long as he remains the Ducks’ football coach.

From the R-G article:

When Moos was hired in 1995, Oregon publicly identified four finalists and brought them to campus for meetings with UO faculty, staff and donors. At least for now, Frohnmayer has chosen a more streamlined and confidential process.

“Time is really very important here,” Frohnmayer said. “I’d like to see the position filled as rapidly as possible. The search process … will enable me to make that selection in maybe a much more expeditious way than some appointments at the university do.”

Frohnmayer said he’s looking for an athletic director who can take the athletic department to another level while addressing some immediate concerns, including the “high priority” of building a new basketball arena to replace McArthur Court; stabilizing the department’s financial situation; shoring up relationships with donors; and improving the academic success of athletes.

Frohnmayer said he hasn’t ruled out hiring an interim AD.

“If I have what I think is a good interim solution that addresses those issues, that’s something that I could entertain as a way to go forward,” he said.

Frohnmayer hopes that the University will find Moos’ replacement by April 1.

Multiple Car Break-Ins at Barnhart

January 10th, 2007 by Sho

Thieves broke into six cars in the parking lot of Barnhart Hall last night, making off with CD players and other valuables.  Another reminder to take anything of value out of your car if you leave it parked outside, especially in the West University neighborhood.

Graf Takes Over ODE Commentary Duties

January 9th, 2007 by Niedermeyer

The villainy of Tyler Graf clearly knows no bounds. After years of dissing on the Daily Emerald’s Commentary section, former Commentator Editor, and freelance intoxication consultant Tyler Graf is officially on the Emerald Masthead as ‘Ol Dirty’s new Commentary Editor. While we congratulate our old friend and colleague for his success (and expect him to buy a round once in a while with his fat editors paycheck), We cannot help but be concerned for his future.

Graf has inherited a troubled Commentary section from outgoing editor and current columnist Lucas Pollock. Fall term saw mediocrity building to downright racism in the work of columnist Ty Schwoeffermann, hacky talking points from College Democrat Supreme Leader Ben Lenet, supplemented by solid contributions from Graf and fellow former Commentator, Bryan Roberts. That ‘Ol Dirty at no point this year has had a full compliment of five active columnists is a challenge unto itself, that fully half of those columnists (and the good half, at that) are former Commentator staffers is a downright embarrassment. Clearly Graf has his work cut out for him, and given that most of the ink spilled from his mighty pen over the years has gone towards belittling the half-baked opinions of the ODE Editorial board, he must have some good ideas…

A glance at Graf’s first page three as editor reveals plenty of work left to do. A Editorial Board paean to Governor Kulongoski’s proposed 12.5% higher education budget increase dominates the page, revealing unexpected sympathies for a long-time libertarian such as Graf. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a no-brainer for a college newspaper to support increases in funding, and may in fact be good policy to boot. It does, however, send the message to fans of Graf’s more controversial positions that the Editorial Board will change him, rather than vice-versa. Reinforcing these worries is Graf’s column, a toothless puff-piece on “Ashley the ‘Pillow Angel,’” which is about as controversial as a pb & j sandwich.

To be fair, two new columnists are listed on the Masthead, opening at least the possibility of improvements in the quality of Commentary, especially if Graf had a hand in the hiring process. Needless to say, knives are being sharpened in the Commentator office in the likely event that our initial optimism about the newcomers will be horribly dashed in typical ODE fashion. If all this seems a bit bitchy, remember that we really do like Graf, and that he’s done more for the Commentator than anyone currently attending the U of O. It would be a shame to see his legacy hijacked by the easy money and intellectual sloppiness he so dyspeptically rumbled against in his Commentator days.

Back to Work

January 3rd, 2007 by Niedermeyer

Sometimes, in the haze of Winter break, we forget that this moment will come. We forget that our itinerary will soon require us to wake before noon, perform tasks not involving a microwave or XBox, and of course, troop back to our little slice of paradise at EMU 319 for more Commentator slavery. Well, the moment is at hand. Classes start on Monday, and Commentator meetings are set to begin the first week of classes.

We will be gathering to work on business every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at our office on the third floor of the EMU, starting on January 9th. We will be working on the upcoming issue, as well as discussing future issues and ongoing business. Current staff should attend this meeting, or email the Editor in case of a scheduling conflict.

We also encourage anyone who reads and enjoys the Commentator and is interested in helping us out to come by the meeting, or email the Editor at ocomment[at] We need help in a number of areas, from reporting to editing, to art and distrobution. We are also looking for candidates to fill leadership positions for next year, so pay some dues now and you just might get to boss people around next year.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who made fall term so successful for the Commentator, including our writers, artists, editors, advertisers, alumni advisors, and of course, the readers. It is thanks to all of your enthusiasm that we have managed to print three issues this term, more than the Voice and the Insurgent combined (ok, that’s not so impressive). I lift my glass to you all, and ask for your continued support as we try to make your Winter Term a little bit more bearable, one issue at a time.

University Students, Father on Missing Plane in Indonesia

January 3rd, 2007 by Sho

Two University of Oregon students and their father were aboard a jetliner that disappeared Monday on an inter-island flight in Indonesia. Stephanie Jackson, a senior majoring in pre-med, Lindsey Jackson, a marine biology student in the Clark Honors program, and Scott Jackson, a wood products industry representative, were the only Americans aboard Flight KI-574, a Boeing 737-400 operated by Indonesia-based Adam Air. The flight sent out two distress signals during stormy weather on Monday. Contrary to an earlier report, rescue teams have not yet found any wreckage on land or sea.

Lindsey and Stephanie are from Bend and often travel with their father who lives part time in Indonesia, Brazil and Oregon.

Oregonian Article: Link

Register-Guard Article: Link

No Reservations: Portland

January 3rd, 2007 by Sho

One of the few shows that I watch on cable television is the Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Bourdain is an unpretentious celebrity chef who travels around the world with camera crew in tow, eating interesting and tasty foods, meeting fascinating people, and boozing it up with most everyone he meets. Previous episodes include the host nearly getting crushed under an ATV in New Zealand, dabbling with hallucinogenic substances in Peru, and watching Israeli gunships sweep over Beirut.

Bourdain and his crew filmed an episode of the highly entertaining show in Portland last summer and it’s due to air on January 15th. I’d advise anyone with an interest in Portland to check it out. Heck, it’s got to be at least as good as when Dave Attell swung through a few years ago.