University to buy $1 million football scoreboard with thrifty librarian’s money

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Ian Anderson, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

  2. honesroc

    honesroc Member

    Statement from the UNH (didn't see their side in the WaPo article):

    Robert Morin’s decision to leave his entire estate, $4 million, to the university was incredibly generous. Despite being asked many times over many years by his financial advisor it was Mr. Morin’s firm decision to designate only a small portion of his estate to the library and to leave the rest unrestricted for the university to use as it saw fit. It is also important to note that the majority of the gift, $2.5 million, will be used to directly support students with the launch of an expanded and centrally-located student career and professional success center.

    Yes, we have heard from people who disagree with how the gift was used. We respect and acknowledge that feedback but it does not change our decision. Matching infrastructure to UNH’s aspirations and investing in student career success are two of our highest strategic priorities that we have communicated with our board and our campus community.

    Historically UNH has invested very little in athletics facilities, and it showed. It took 80 years to expand and renovate our 1936 facility into Wildcat Stadium – a superb, immersive experience for students and others. UNH now has a stadium that, while very modest compared to others in the country, is one every New Hampshire resident can be proud of. A facility like Wildcat Stadium is transformative to our campus experience in helping UNH to recruit the best and brightest students, build our campus and alumni community pride, and host events like Special Olympics and state high school championships that are as excellent as one would expect from a flagship state university.

    Erika Mantz
    Director, UNH Media Relations
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2016
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Case closed, then, as far as I'm concerned.
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    So UNH pissed away an endowment on a new scoreboard.
  5. Life Long Learning

    Life Long Learning Active Member

    I would rather be governed by the first 2000 names in the Boston phone book than by the 2000 members of the faculty of Harvard University.
    .............................William F. Buckley, Jr.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Me too. But UNH isn't Harvard.
  7. Life Long Learning

    Life Long Learning Active Member


    100% the reason Phil Knight of Nike does not give the University of Oregon a public school a blank check. He built the new basketball area and donated it back to University for $1. He knew it would be not built yet and screwed up. He is a smart guy.

    The NH donor was naïve.

  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Hmph! You think pissing away $1 million is bad! And so it is, but what about the U.S. schools that pay their football and basketball coaches five times that amount -- year after year! :sad:

  9. Life Long Learning

    Life Long Learning Active Member


    For the elite sport colleges football makes money. Almost everything else is a money loser!

  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    As I see it, there should be no such thing. Not the purpose of college. We have college football, but not this craziness here. $5 million a year? Our heard coaches probably average $65K to 90K a year, with a few outliers in the up-to-200K range. Source:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2016
  11. Life Long Learning

    Life Long Learning Active Member

    Does the Canadian college football model make money or at least break even? The top 25 in the USA college football programs carry (subsidize) all the other money losing sports programs at their colleges. The Oregon athletic budget now is over $100,000,000 and football is 60-70% of the revenue. They make money. The academics do not. The other sports do not. If they are SUSTAINABLE let them.

    The 25 Schools That Make The Most Money In College Football - Business Insider

  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    The Oregon athletic budget now is over $100,000,000 and football is 60-70% of the revenue.

    Then it's no longer a school - it's more of a sports franchise. It's like saying "Xybang Pharmaceuticals made 70% of its money selling luxury cars." At some point, the drug company became mostly a high-end auto dealership!

  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'm mystified, here. I tried to find out (Google) where the schools and programs get their athletics money from, other than corporations, private investors etc. I am left completely unable to answer this question.

    Never been to a college game. Not interested. Back 50-odd years ago, I went to some of my high school's games - just to watch the cheerleaders. :smile:

  15. Life Long Learning

    Life Long Learning Active Member

    Good article that states "schools that fail to keep pace could ultimately be dropped to a lower level of competition with little hope for advancement." This is happening to the Idaho Vandals. They are dropping a level.

  16. Life Long Learning

    Life Long Learning Active Member

    I do not disagree with you.

    They also call the University of Oregon (Nike U and Knight University). Can they afford to pay 5 million to a coach....yes! Does anyone go to this university for the professors?

  17. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    At the graduate level, people quite often go to a specific grad school because of the professors.
  18. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    This wasn't an endowment. They were current use funds. Current use funds get spent and endowments sit and earn interest. Had the librarian donated to the endowment then it would sit earning interest. He didn't. He designated the funds for unrestricted current use which means he legally said to the school "Use this money for whatever." And they did. There is really no scandal.
  19. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    How many professors could have been hired for the price of a score board?
  20. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    For $1M? Probably one.

    I've seen endowed professorships going for as low as $1M at some small schools and as much as $5M at other schools. Department Chairs and Deans seem to be endowed for up to $10M at top tier schools.

    If you don't endow the position (i.e. set aside money which is invested to help support the position) and just spend it outright then it is gone in a few years. So your choice becomes hire one tenured professor or hire 10 adjuncts until you run out of cash.

    Alternatively, the scoreboard will probably last at least 20 years.

    But again, the cash wasn't designated to endow a professorship or a librarian or a director or a dean. The gentleman who left this money had the option to do any of those things. He didn't. He designated it for unrestricted current use. Universities have immediate needs for cash. If you sock everything into the endowment then you get a little bit of money (hopefully) forever. But that doesn't help you if you need a million dollar scoreboard. They spent the money in accordance with the wishes of the donor.

    That's it. It doesn't matter what else it could have been spent on. The donor undoubtedly understood that it could go to athletics. If he didn't want that then unrestricted current use was not the way to structure his bequest.

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