WTF? Randy Geller as General Counsel? Unbelievable.

10/7/2010: The campus erupted in celebration back in April when Pres Lariviere fired General Counsel Melinda Grier and announced:

“This institution did not follow acceptable business practices in the past,” Lariviere said. “That will not be repeated under my administration.” 

Jeff Manning and Ken Goe of the Oregonian wrote:

Grier, who did not return a message seeking comment, has come to personify the culture of secrecy that has developed at the university, particularly with regard to its athletic department.

Margie Paris, outgoing Law School Dean, was appointed to chair the hiring committee for a replacement. She’s very respected, good call. The job ad emphasized all the right things. Everyone assumed Lariviere would hire a respected outsider who would clean house. Manning and Goe wrote:

Kent Robinson, long-time federal prosecutor in Portland, has emerged as one candidate to replace Grier. Robinson is a respected veteran prosecutor who for years has worked in a senior role at the U.S. attorney’s office.

Yesterday we learned that President Lariviere had not just given the job to an insider, but to Melinda Grier’s longtime deputy, Loren “Randy” Geller.

WTF? Why not just reappoint Ms Grier? Put John Moseley in charge of Finance and Budgeting again? Hell, we need a new law Dean, I hear Frohnmayer is available. Unbelievable!

Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Randy Geller will become our new general counsel effective October 15.  Randy was selected from a national pool of outstanding candidates.

Randy has served the University of Oregon since 2003 and was appointed deputy general counsel in 2006.  He has been a lawyer for almost 18 years, 15 of those at two public research universities.  He has proven experience in all aspects of higher education law, and a deep appreciation for the University of Oregon.

The general counsel is the chief legal officer for the university and oversees the Office of the General Counsel.  The office provides legal advice to the university pursuant to authorization from and subject to general supervision by the Oregon Attorney General.

Randy has been managing the university’s legal affairs since April of this year.  In the short time he has served in this role, he has demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of higher education law and current legal issues in Oregon and the nation.  Randy has a J.D. from the University of Washington and received his B.A. in political science and political economy from Evergreen State College.  His work experience before coming to the UO includes serving as staff assistant for U.S. Senator Brock Adams of Washington state, serving as assistant attorney general in Washington state, and serving in the Office of University Counsel at the University of Idaho.

In addition to congratulating Randy, I want to thank the search committee (listed below) for their exhaustive work.

All the best,

Richard

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SEARCH COMMITTEE

Margie Paris, chair, dean of the school of law
Thomas Herrmann, UO law ’88, partner at Gleaves Swearingen Potter & Scott LLP
David Leith, associate attorney general, Oregon Department of Justice
Jamie Moffitt, executive senior associate athletic director for finance and administration
Michael Redding, vice president for university relations
Paul Shang, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students
Catherine Susman, director of purchasing and contract services

 Update – see here for a little history regarding Randy Geller’s experience withholding public records.

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