Dear Mr. Westling and Dr. Moseley:
I wanted to respond to something Provost Moseley said in his presentation at the Town Hall meeting yesterday. He spoke of how the Athletics department planned to graciously give the university back $200,000 of its $2.2 million subsidy next year, but then suggested that the subsidy would not disappear in the future when the Autzen stadium project supposedly brings in additional revenue, because of the necessity of complying with Title IX. This is a smokescreen. Title IX does not say that universities have to divert money from instruction to athletics. It only says that women's sports must be given support equal to men's sports. If athletics cannot support itself, then cut some men's sports. To drain our educational resources by $2 million a year for athletics is indefensible.
Gordon Sayre Associate Prof. English University of Oregon Eugene, OR 97403 ph. 541-346-1313 fax 541-346-1509 *****************
Dear Professor Sayre--Thanks for your note. You must have misheard my statement. I, and Dan Williams and Bill Moos, have clearly stated the commitment to reduce the current subsidy of athletics to zero as the additional revenues from the expansion of Autzen Stadium are obtained. So the entire $2.2 million will become available for faculty salaries, or whatever other use the university determines. The $200,000 reduction to which I spoke yesterday is in advance, obviously, of any new revenues from Autzen.
Just as a matter of interest, if a donor pledged to us today a $50 million gift to be used in an unrestricted way to improve faculty salaries, to be paid $5 million a year for the next ten years, that endowment would generate approximately the same income for faculty salaries as the $2.2 million we will recover from athletics, on the same time scale. So in a very real sense the $50 million gift to expand Autzen will in addition result in faculty salary funds of about the same amount as would a $50 million endowment for that purpose. That appears to me to be a real win-win for everyone.
I would be happy to have my letter posted on the web page. I understand the logic of Provost Moseley's response, but I would add that the additional revenue from an expanded Autzen stadium is far from a sure thing. Those eggs cannot be counted like money in an endowment. Rather than hope that the football team will continue its winning ways and sellout crowds, I would advise the administration to invest directly in the university's educational competitiveness. I lieu of that, I would ask for a commitment that the athletics subsidy be phased out soon regardless of the actual future revenues from football ticket sales.
Gordon Sayre Associate Professor of English University of Oregon ph. 541-346-1313