Michelle Wood Candidate Statement 2020, IAAC

When I first arrived at UO, I was asked if I would like to serve on the Athletic Committee and I pointed out that I didn’t actually follow sports very much.   A few decades later, my perspective has been changed a lot by a particular few graduate students (you know who you are) and a remarkable encounter with “Coach B”.    I still don’t go to that many games but I have seen what having a premier sports program has meant in the daily lives of my students.  For grad students especially, game days and exciting track events provide low cost relaxation and great camaraderie. So, now I am an enthusiastic fan.  Great teams draw donors and students. That said, athletics is a big source of tension at a University like ours.  Concerns over the treatment of student athletes, issues around priorities and power, and a whole host of critical priorities related to athletics need thoughtful debate and oversight.  As a slow-to-the-table believer in the importance of our very significant sports program, I have become interested in serving on this committee in hopes of representing the best interests of all the students.

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