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Thread: "Candidates" for next Chancellor: Athletics/Football friendly?

  1. #1

    "Candidates" for next Chancellor: Athletics/Football friendly?

    If a "Cal insider" becomes the next Chancellor (quite possible), anybody know if the rumored candidates would likely be Athletics/Football friendly?

    Paul Alivisatos?
    Henry Brady?
    Robert Reich? (i kinda hope this thread doesn't become about him, as he is unlikely)
    Carol Christ?

    Anybody have a feel for if it's going to be one of the above, a different insider, or somebody from the outside?

    Go Bears!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Big C_Cal View Post
    If a "Cal insider" becomes the next Chancellor (quite possible), anybody know if the rumored candidates would likely be Athletics/Football friendly?

    Paul Alivisatos?
    Henry Brady?
    Robert Reich? (i kinda hope this thread doesn't become about him, as he is unlikely)
    Carol Christ?

    Anybody have a feel for if it's going to be one of the above, a different insider, or somebody from the outside?

    Go Bears!
    I don't believe that any of the 4 candidates on your list is "athletics/football friendly". Unfortunately, I don't think Cal would be able to hire a "athletics/football friendly" chancellor without experiencing a faculty uproar.

  3. #3
    I think the faculty would get behind Carol Christ based on what/who I know from working with some of them.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by packawana View Post
    I think the faculty would get behind Carol Christ based on what/who I know from working with some of them.
    I agree, but I think the faculty would also get behind the other three on the list.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by packawana View Post
    I think the faculty would get behind Carol Christ based on what/who I know from working with some of them.
    She seems kinda old (born in 1944) to be able to stick around for a while.

    The Chronicle article made it sound like she might not even want the job.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoBear1 View Post
    She seems kinda old (born in 1944) to be able to stick around for a while.
    Maybe she longs for things as they were in her younger days like, um, a winning Cal football program

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bearloyal View Post
    I don't believe that any of the 4 candidates on your list is "athletics/football friendly". Unfortunately, I don't think Cal would be able to hire a "athletics/football friendly" chancellor without experiencing a faculty uproar.
    A wise Chancellor should understand the importance of football and make decisions that are, relatively speaking, in the interests of the football program, without alienating the faculty by being too much of a cheerleader. At best, the Chancellor can sell the benefits of Intercollegiate Athletics/Football to key faculty members.

    Okay, how about "least unfriendly"?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Big C_Cal View Post
    A wise Chancellor should understand the importance of football and make decisions that are, relatively speaking, in the interests of the football program, without alienating the faculty by being too much of a cheerleader. At best, the Chancellor can sell the benefits of Intercollegiate Athletics/Football to key faculty members.

    Okay, how about "least unfriendly"?
    Yeah, I'm also wondering if we're really at a juncture where the faculty are going to aggressively screen any Chancellor candidate to make sure they hate athletics and will scream "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" Lord-of-the-Rings style at anyone who fails that test. I'm optimistic someone can sneak through the process who will be able to work with both camps.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Big C_Cal View Post
    If a "Cal insider" becomes the next Chancellor (quite possible), anybody know if the rumored candidates would likely be Athletics/Football friendly?

    Paul Alivisatos?
    Henry Brady?
    Robert Reich? (i kinda hope this thread doesn't become about him, as he is unlikely)
    Carol Christ?

    Anybody have a feel for if it's going to be one of the above, a different insider, or somebody from the outside?

    Go Bears!
    Dunno if he's truly a football fan, but Robert Reich sat behind me at a Big Game. He's a tiny guy, so wouldn't have minded if he had sat in front of me.

  10. #10
    what I don't understand is why it is so difficult to see that Cal sports:

    gets alums on campus about 100x more than any other reason
    is one of the elements that attracts prospective students to Cal, and is a part of the college student experience
    gets Cal in the news (branding) about 100x more than any other news
    contributes to Cal pride

    and all those things also lead to increased Cal donations to the University overall
    I dont need easy, I need possible. Jorge Gutierrez

  11. #11
    Carol Christ is NOT a candidate. She is only acting provost as a favor to the campus. Reich is not a candidate. As usual, the Comical is pulling shytt out of its collective arse.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by HoopDreams View Post
    what I don't understand is why it is so difficult to see that Cal sports:

    gets alums on campus about 100x more than any other reason
    is one of the elements that attracts prospective students to Cal, and is a part of the college student experience
    gets Cal in the news (branding) about 100x more than any other news
    contributes to Cal pride

    and all those things also lead to increased Cal donations to the University overall
    Honestly, I don't understand why it is so difficult for you to see the other side of the argument. As a long time Alameda county resident who bought all the arguments about the increased money and prestige renovating the Coliseum would bring, the question isn't about the benefits. It is about the cost. All those things you cite are great. Question - how much are they actually worth to the university? How much ROI are you getting on putting more money into the football program?

    I would argue that when you spend $445M on renovating a stadium, well over half of which was not necessary for retrofit, you have a heavy burden to carry and you need to have more on the table than feel good comments like "contributes to Cal pride".

    You first have to acknowledge that these people fought hard against this saying the campus couldn't afford it. The athletic department won the day with an argument that it would not cost the general campus anything. That turned out to be completely pie in the sky as the opponents argued it would be. That is a blunder by the AD and the administration that has really hurt the relationship. I know, at this point it is sunk costs, but that is a pretty bitter pill to swallow to people who argued we'd be exactly here.

    So, when you look at your list again in relation to a very real, very high cost that was expended for the program, you just need to do better than that argument.

    gets alums on campus about 100x more than any other reason - that's nice. Only matters to the finances to the extent it increases donations.

    is one of the elements that attracts prospective students to Cal, and is a part of the college student experience - On the one hand, I believe in this. It attracted me to Cal when I was a kid. On the other hand, Cal isn't hurting for highly qualified applicants. It is a great part of the college experience. I think that is worth something, but how do you quantify beyond some vague impact on future donations.

    gets Cal in the news (branding) about 100x more than any other news - If you are looking at it from the faculty perspective - who cares if we hit the sports pages. If it doesn't significantly impact the applicant pool or the donation pool, so what?

    contributes to Cal pride - only matters for donations.

    Really, you have to hit on two actual impacting points - impact on applicant pool (I think you have a real uphill battle on this one) and Increased overall donations to the general campus.

    When Cal's AD was running a few million in debt, you could probably live with a general assertion that it increases donations. Low bar to clear. When you spent the $445M, quite frankly, I'm in serious doubt whether the athletic department is providing a benefit that is equal to the cost. That is what you are fighting. You need to bring some serious numbers to the table on those donation increases. And I can tell you the faculty believe there are studies showing limited value increase there for a school like Cal.

    Beyond that, you have the problem of what is the added financial benefit to WINNING in football and how certain can you be that investment leads to more winning. Most of the direct money Cal gets now comes from fielding a football team, not fielding a winning football team. TV money is not impacted by success. You have a base of people that will go to games and that enjoy the experience and have all that pride and all those things you listed, win or lose. How much more do we win by spending $2.5M on a coach rather than say $500K. How much money do we get for those wins? That one is debatable (I'd argue we get that money back). How much ROI are we getting on $150M in training facilities? I think that, at least so far, it is hard to argue that Cal is in a better financial position today than they would have been by continuing to run a half assed program on the cheap in either a minimally upgraded stadium or renting another venue.


    Then you also have the argument that can be made that what kids mostly come to Cal for is the stellar education and that $445M put toward academic pursuits would more directly impact areas that matter to the target audience.

    I love the football program. But when you start talking about spending hundreds of millions of dollars on something you need to have more back up for the benefit before you call those that don't care about football to task for not seeing the benefit. They wanted to go high end on the stadium and training facility and they had to know that the ESP program (PSL by any other name does not smell better) would cannibalize bear backer donations and was basically a boondoggle. And they relied on an "interesting" financing scheme to basically argue no cost to the university. They got what they wanted. They were either extremely nave, extremely incompetent, or just didn't care, if they didn't think this would bite them in the ass at the end in the form of a pissed off faculty when the bill came due.

    The benefits that you cite are clear. The value of them is not. I submit that if this was a personal expense/investment that you were trying to decide on that had real impact on your personal finances (obviously scaled down to your personal income and assets), you would not spend it without a more solidly demonstrable benefit. So honestly, I can't blame them for feeling the cost is not justified by the benefit.

  13. #13
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    My answer to all of the candidates...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by OaktownBear View Post
    Honestly, I don't understand why it is so difficult for you to see the other side of the argument. As a long time Alameda county resident who bought all the arguments about the increased money and prestige renovating the Coliseum would bring, the question isn't about the benefits. It is about the cost. All those things you cite are great. Question - how much are they actually worth to the university? How much ROI are you getting on putting more money into the football program?

    I would argue that when you spend $445M on renovating a stadium, well over half of which was not necessary for retrofit, you have a heavy burden to carry and you need to have more on the table than feel good comments like "contributes to Cal pride".

    You first have to acknowledge that these people fought hard against this saying the campus couldn't afford it. The athletic department won the day with an argument that it would not cost the general campus anything. That turned out to be completely pie in the sky as the opponents argued it would be. That is a blunder by the AD and the administration that has really hurt the relationship. I know, at this point it is sunk costs, but that is a pretty bitter pill to swallow to people who argued we'd be exactly here.

    So, when you look at your list again in relation to a very real, very high cost that was expended for the program, you just need to do better than that argument.

    gets alums on campus about 100x more than any other reason - that's nice. Only matters to the finances to the extent it increases donations.

    is one of the elements that attracts prospective students to Cal, and is a part of the college student experience - On the one hand, I believe in this. It attracted me to Cal when I was a kid. On the other hand, Cal isn't hurting for highly qualified applicants. It is a great part of the college experience. I think that is worth something, but how do you quantify beyond some vague impact on future donations.

    gets Cal in the news (branding) about 100x more than any other news - If you are looking at it from the faculty perspective - who cares if we hit the sports pages. If it doesn't significantly impact the applicant pool or the donation pool, so what?

    contributes to Cal pride - only matters for donations.

    Really, you have to hit on two actual impacting points - impact on applicant pool (I think you have a real uphill battle on this one) and Increased overall donations to the general campus.

    When Cal's AD was running a few million in debt, you could probably live with a general assertion that it increases donations. Low bar to clear. When you spent the $445M, quite frankly, I'm in serious doubt whether the athletic department is providing a benefit that is equal to the cost. That is what you are fighting. You need to bring some serious numbers to the table on those donation increases. And I can tell you the faculty believe there are studies showing limited value increase there for a school like Cal.

    Beyond that, you have the problem of what is the added financial benefit to WINNING in football and how certain can you be that investment leads to more winning. Most of the direct money Cal gets now comes from fielding a football team, not fielding a winning football team. TV money is not impacted by success. You have a base of people that will go to games and that enjoy the experience and have all that pride and all those things you listed, win or lose. How much more do we win by spending $2.5M on a coach rather than say $500K. How much money do we get for those wins? That one is debatable (I'd argue we get that money back). How much ROI are we getting on $150M in training facilities? I think that, at least so far, it is hard to argue that Cal is in a better financial position today than they would have been by continuing to run a half assed program on the cheap in either a minimally upgraded stadium or renting another venue.


    Then you also have the argument that can be made that what kids mostly come to Cal for is the stellar education and that $445M put toward academic pursuits would more directly impact areas that matter to the target audience.

    I love the football program. But when you start talking about spending hundreds of millions of dollars on something you need to have more back up for the benefit before you call those that don't care about football to task for not seeing the benefit. They wanted to go high end on the stadium and training facility and they had to know that the ESP program (PSL by any other name does not smell better) would cannibalize bear backer donations and was basically a boondoggle. And they relied on an "interesting" financing scheme to basically argue no cost to the university. They got what they wanted. They were either extremely nave, extremely incompetent, or just didn't care, if they didn't think this would bite them in the ass at the end in the form of a pissed off faculty when the bill came due.

    The benefits that you cite are clear. The value of them is not. I submit that if this was a personal expense/investment that you were trying to decide on that had real impact on your personal finances (obviously scaled down to your personal income and assets), you would not spend it without a more solidly demonstrable benefit. So honestly, I can't blame them for feeling the cost is not justified by the benefit.
    I claim no particular knowledge or expertise in this area, outside of being a Cal alum and Cal football/basketball fan...

    Sure, there are groups in the University community that feel the cost of athletics is not justified by the benefit... and I get their argument. It would be great if we had a Chancellor who could convince these parties. (Somebody somehow quantify how a winning football team increases general donations. Somebody get the freaking message out that football pays for the other sports!) Failing that, assuage their feelings. Bribe them even. Failing that, make an end-run around them.

    The stadium facilities needed to get done. Screw the debt. Easy for me to say, I know, but we are talking about a 50-100 year investment. Isn't the main problem with the ESP program that both the football program and the economy went into the tank shortly after we committed to it? The economy has come back (for now), so will the football team.

    Part of me decries how college football has turned into a money pit. It is capitalism run rampant. Vicious circle: We need all the TV money to pay for $800,000 OFFENSIVE/DEFENSIVE COORDINATORS, so we can keep up with the other teams, so we can fill the stadium, blah, blah, blah. I'd LOVE to see the whole thing ratcheted down...

    But that seems beyond our control, doesn't it? In the meantime, in for a penny, in for a pound. Let's play football to win. We're caught in an arms race, but so be it.

    A flagship university should have flagship facilities and flagship athletics. When I see the new student union facilities, I don't question where the money came from, I just say "Great!" Is Egypt still in debt for the pyramids? Is Paris still in debt for the Eiffel Tower? Who cares, I'm glad they were built. The leadership of the University needs to get great things done. Sports is one part of that, not nearly as important as the academic side, but important nonetheless.

  15. #15
    maybe some anecdotal evidence here but i used to do the whole call alums and ask for donations thing when I was back in school. I was calling for the main general fund, not bear backers. This was during the 2005-2007 times, but i believe in 2007 when Cal was off to that hot start, #2 in the country, it was all alums wanted to talk about when I called them and without a doubt it was the easiest time to solicit donations.

    In general I tend to believe that having a good football program does lead to increased donations at other parts of the campus. I'm sure some of my old bosses could quantify it even though they're tasked with fishing for the minnows, but I'm fairly certain that theres a decent correlation between increased donations and increased winning.



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