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February 28, 2008

Oregon Law’s “Competition Not Conflict” Program to Receive $460,000 Gift From Pat and Stephanie Kilkenny

In a move that University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer says will “help unite academics and athletics at the University of Oregon,” Athletic Director Pat Kilkenny and his wife, Stephanie, are giving $1 million to academic programs in the university.  An additional $500,000 will go to academics this year and next because Kilkenny has declined his salary, Frohnmayer announced. $460,000 of the Kilkennys’ gift has been earmarked to establish an interdisciplinary program at Oregon Law, “Competition Not Conflict,” as part of the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center.

“Competition Not Conflict” will promote sports as a healthy alternative to conflict and as a vehicle to teach dispute resolution skills.   Through the program, “We hope to become the leader in addressing conflict and community through sports,” says School of Law Associate Dean for Student and Program Affairs Jane Gordon, who also directs the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center. “It’s a great model for bringing together academics and athletics.”

The program will offer workshops and create learning materials for youth coaches and referees. Athletes will learn about conflict resolution skills, and then visit students in their communities. Other ideas include symposia, research projects, and initiatives with the NCAA.

“The Kilkennys’ gift is the kickoff,” says Gordon. “Without them, we probably couldn’t do it, even though there’s already so much interest. This is not only a law school program. It involves so many disciplines that it would be difficult to fund through the usual channels.”

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