12/11/2011: Greg Bolt has a long story in the RG on how the Lariviere firing has forged new leadership and solidarity at UO:
History professor Ian McNeely, a member of the UO Senate’s executive committee, said it has been inspiring to see how people have put aside differences to work together to advance new management ideas for the university. …. There are people who have been very vocal critics of the athletic program, for example, talking with very high profile donors to athletics and agreeing that on this day we can begin to move forward together.”
Music professor Robert Kyr, president of the UO Senate, went even further. He said the university community already is moving past Lariviere’s firing, which he said has opened new lines of dialogue with state leaders that are leading to a new and better relationship. “Whatever happened between the state board, the chancellor, the governor and President Lariviere is in the past,” Kyr said. “We’re in a new era now. We want to go forward, and we want to collaborate and have consultation at all levels of the decision-making process. We’re very positive, and we’re very excited about this new relationship.” …
Rep. Phil Barnhart, a Eugene Democrat, has stated publicly that he will introduce a bill in the February session allowing separate university boards, which so far only the UO and Portland State University have said they are interested in. … “I am pushing for this to be dealt with in the short term,” Barnhart said. “I would like the university to go out on a search for a new president with an assurance that the governance issue is going to be dealt with in the best way possible.”
Kitzhaber invited Senate President Kyr and faculty to Salem – not the Provost, not the VP’s, not the deans, not the “executive leadership team”. It’s been interesting how the faculty has taken the lead so far. The Senate and dept. heads supported Berdahl and no one else. Reportedly the deans were willing to accept Pernsteiner’s toadying insider candidate Jim Bean as interim. Johnson Hall was split.
Soon these people will put their skill-set to work and start the brown-nosing of Berdahl. Then our administrators will try to put the faculty back in their place so they can safely return to figuring out new ways to siphon off UO tuition for their car payments and airfare to away games. We’ll see if this has changed UO’s internal politics as much as it appears to have changed our relationship with the state.