Special Report to the University of Oregon Senate From the Senate Budget Committee on the Autzen Stadium Expansion October 10, 2001

In accordance with its charge to advise the President and Senate on budgetary policy and financial strategy, the Senate Budget Committee has studied the fiscal and policy implications of the Autzen stadium expansion. In this and other reports, we have made "academic excellence" and "financial health" the primary criteria of judgment. Accordingly, we have asked: "Are the fiscal policies associated with the Autzen Stadium expansion financially sound and do they contribute to academic excellence at the University of Oregon?" We have reached two conclusions.
  • 1. Fiscal evaluation. Based on the planning documents we have seen, our judgment is that the fiscal policies associated with Autzen expansion are financially sound and may be expected to allow the Intercollegiate Athletics Department to achieve financial self-sufficiency by 2005.

  • The financial blueprints underpinning the Autzen expansion presented to the Senate Budget Committee by the Intercollegiate Athletic Department and the Administration appear to be fiscally sound. They are based on conservative estimates of attendance growth and resultant revenue increases. With these conservative assumptions in place, the fiscal policy embodied in the expansion plan is designed to meet Title IX obligations, build reserve funds, and meet the other financial commitments of the Athletics Department without University general funds. There is a bonding element to the plan designed to cover immediate building costs while awaiting the receipt of donations promised over a multi-year period. We are satisfied that the bond debt is appropriate given the size of the project, and that it will be repaid entirely from athletic revenues and not from academic sources.

  • 2. Academic Implications. Revenues from the stadium expansion will be used over the next 4 years to progressively phase out the University's financial support of the Intercollegiate Athletics Department. The recovered funds will be entirely redirected to support faculty salary increases, as per the agreement announced last spring at the University Senate.

  • The fiscal independence of the athletic program enabled by the stadium expansion is a starting point for further developing a synergistic relationship between athletic and academics. This supports efforts by the Administration, the Intercollegiate Athletic Department and Faculty leadership to establish a model of interaction between athletics and academics that promotes academic excellence as a primary shared objective. The University and Senate Presidents are in the process of establishing a University panel whose aim will be to explore and explain the role of athletics in the University. We are hopeful that a continued dialogue driven by shared academic goals will allow academics and athletics to develop a relationship that further benefits both groups. 

    Web page spun on 8 October 2001 by Peter B Gilkey 202 Deady Hall, Department of Mathematics at the University of Oregon, Eugene OR 97403-1222, U.S.A. Phone 1-541-346-4717 Email:peter.gilkey.cc.67@aya.yale.edu of Deady Spider Enterprises