3/31/2015 update: It took a month or so – presumably they were hoping people would forget about it. Full dump here. Check the manifests to see who actually went. Senate President Kyr didn’t. Presumably he understands that taking this sort of largess from the athletic department, while the Senate is taking up legislation to get some money back from the Ducks for the academic side, would be a conflict of interest. And indeed, state law forbids the UO Trustees, and their relatives and household members from taking these sorts of gifts from the Ducks:
But for our Johnson Hall colleagues, who are now considering whether or not to implement the Senate legislation, it’s a family vacation opportunity:
12/4/2014 8:00 PM update: UO admins evacuate for family bowl-game junkets, as GTF strike mediation drags on
As mediated talks drag into Friday, a photographer captured the chaotic scene as Interim President Scott Coltrane’s executive assistant Dave Hubin packed UO’s top administrators, lawyers, consultants, and their family members into the last helicopter to leave Johnson Hall for Dec 5th’s PAC-12 Football Championship festivities at Levi Field in Santa Clara:
The university, devastated by years of corrupt puppet governments and a series of coups d’etat orchestrated by athletic department extremists, faces a long, uncertain period of rebuilding, as collateral damage from infighting for the vacant presidency increases.
The careers of several administrators were last seen clinging to the Huey’s skids.
Update:Word tonight from the ODE that opposition forces managed to infiltrate the Johnson Hall perimeter and approach the presidential bunker, in a desperate attempt to get help for their 8AM Monday poli-sci final.
11/25/2014: Free bowl game junkets for UO admins and families. Think of it as a parental leave policy on steroids.
This year should be particularly fun for them, and costly for us. The Ducks are a lock for the PAC-12 championship to be played Dec 5th in San Francisco. Then, if all goes well, there will be a College Football Championships playoff game at some sunny location, to be followed on Jan 12th by the championship game in Texas. Many JH nomenklatura have contracts guaranteeing free junkets to these games not only for themselves, but also their families.
The street price for good tickets is typically $1000-$2000, and when you add in airfare, hotels, and per-diem, it’s maybe $5,000 per couple, more if they bring the kids. Here’s the contract clause for our interim General Counsel Doug Park, who insisted on getting it in writing, after Gottfredson panicked over a potential IRS investigation last year, and took away Randy Geller’s free trip:
Of course these junkets are a conflict of interest for people like Park, who help the athletic department hide public records, or VPFA Jamie Moffitt, who controls the athletic department’s budget and subsidies. But for some people a COI isn’t a moral dilemma, it’s a family vacation opportunity.
What’s UO’s policy for dealing with these conflicts? Last time I asked, there was none:
From: “Thornton, Lisa”
Date: February 1, 2013 12:28:59 PM PST
Dear [UO Matters]- The University does not possess records responsive to your request for ” a copy of UO’s policies and/or procedures on paying for travel and tickets to away games and/or postseason games”, made 1/28/2013.
Thank you for contacting the office with your request. Sincerely,
Lisa Thornton Office of Public Records
Given the problematic nature of these junkets Dave Hubin’s public records office typically does its best to hide the cost and the names of the people taking them. But here is some info Daily Emerald reporters and I have been able to get over the years. More on this here.
RULE 1.7 CONFLICT OF INTEREST: CURRENT CLIENTS (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a current conflict of interest. A current conflict of interest exists if: (1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; (2) there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer; or …
Scott Coltrane said that the investigation of the UO Presidential Archives would be done by an independent law firm, Hershner Hunter.
Why not UO’s longtime HLGR firm? Because UO’ former GC Randy Geller now works for them as “of Counsel”, and the one substantial document I released from the archives was a memo from Geller proposing to dissolve the UO Senate and replace it with a more compliant, hand-picked group of faculty, and as I learned later, HLGR and Geller have a lucrative contract with OUS to advise the “Technical and Regional Universities” on matters including shared governance.
This memo, and other similar documents that might have been in the digital archives, might be a serious problem for HLGR’s credibility and ability to get work providing advice on university governance.
When I was interviewed by Amanda Walkup of HH about how I got the archives, I first asked if I could record the interview. She refused to continue the interview unless I agreed not to. I then asked her if I could see a copy of the document from UO charging her to conduct the investigation. She said there was no document – the agreement was verbal.
I asked her incredulously if this whole thing was being done on the basis of a phone call from Interim GC Doug Park. She nodded.
It now turns out that might not have been true, and that instead Hershner Hunter may have been hired by Bill Gary and Sharon Rudnick from HLGR, and not independently by Doug Park, as Coltrane said. It is certainly true that Rudnick obtained a copy of Walkup’s report, and wrote the summary of it for public consumption that the feckless Tobin Klinger sent out to reporters, complete with metadata showing her as the author.
Is Rudnick and Gary’s participation in the “independent investigation” of the release of a damaging document written by one of its employees a violation of the Oregon Bar’s ethics rules, or just a really bad idea?
I don’t know, but I think I’ll file an ethics complaint with the Bar, and see what they think.
Meanwhile, still no news from HLGR’s Bill Gary on the defamation lawsuit he threatened me with last week, over this post.