1/8/2012: Back in November, Bob Berdahl wrote in the RG:
If you want to be president of the University of Oregon, be prepared to knuckle under to the chancellor and the board and be wary of the promises of the governor.
Both Gov. John Kitzhaber and the state Board of Higher Education have said they will support a bill that would allow the UO to take that step. But at this point no one knows if the Legislature will approve it, what powers the board would actually have or when it would be established.
Then there’s the potential conflict over the desire of local legislators and faculty to push that legislation in the February interim session and the desire of the governor and state board to wait until the 2013 session. That uncertainty and potential conflict could cause good candidates to pass on the UO, [CAE VP Gretchen Bataille] said.
People might throw a hat in the ring, “but will they accept (the job) until it’s very clear whether they have a separate board or they’re still governed by the larger (state) board? I think that’s the bigger question,” she said. “The governance structure is what may slow down the final selection.”
Bataille said a number of other major public universities also are looking for new presidents, noting that searches are already under way at schools in California and Georgia. And uncertainty over university governance in Oregon could make those other opportunities more attractive.
“There’s a lot of searches going on, so there’s a lot of competition,” she said.