Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thorns and Roses for Oregonian's PERS inequity scoop

"Top PERS payout: $41,342 a month"

There's a story to "occupy" your mind and your conscience.

And the top pensioner is none other than Mike Bellotti, the former University of Oregon football coach. What's that say about values at Oregon's, ahem, "institutions of higher learning"?

Why is it there's a whiff of Phil Knight to all of this? "I'm a billionaire. Why shouldn't Bellotti be one too?" On the state dole, no less....

How will this tale of greed register with all those Duck graduates saddled with debt and unable to find work? It's enough to drive a person to demonstrate and occupy a campus. Oh, wait, that was happening, even before The Oregonian broke the story.

Talk about "higher education."

Too much of the text of the Oregonian story is about how very, very, very difficult it was for the newspaper's attorneys to wrest from PERS the damning data about the top-most pigs at the PERS trough. Yes, it is outrageous that PERS fought tooth and nail to hide the list from the public. And yes, it is great that The Oregonian the Salem Statesman Journal fought back and prevailed.

But try to find in the story something about how it came to pass that Bellotti and a bunch of other high-paid state employees (many OHSU professors and administrators) got such largesse. It's not in the story.

Who is responsible for such inequity? It's not in the story.

How do they justify it? It's not in the story.

Will it be reported on later? One would hope.

Related: The Huffington Post has listed the University of Oregon on the top-ten list of campuses with the worst professors. Could that have something to do with what football coaches are paid in Eugene and what professors aren't?

Could it be that the more competitive you are in the NCAA football, the lower you fall in academics?

And, if so, is Stanford the exception that proves a rule? How so?

Just askin'.....

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