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Liz Denecke steps down from UO public records job

10/21/2011: It’s slightly more than a year since she was appointed as UO’s first Public Records Officer by President Lariviere, in what was billed as an effort to improve trust and transparency between the UO administration and the UO community and public after the Bellotti/Grier debacle. From the ODE article:

“She was the unanimous choice of the selection committee, considering her experience and her knowledge of Oregon law,” Lariviere said. …

A regional search for the permanent director of the public records office began in mid-June, chaired by University Archivist Heather Briston and assisted by Assistant General Council Doug Park and Senior Director of Communications Phil Weiler, as well as the School of Journalism and Communication’s dean, Tim Gleason.

But things did not go well. Not well at all. Very badly. So badly that President Lariviere got a letter *from* the editor of the Oregonian about her performance.

The search for a replacement will begin soon. Step one to getting it right this time will be keeping UO General Counsel Randy Geller, whom Denecke listed as a reference on her resume, and Associate GC Doug Park, who had ignored the Belotti contract requests from the RG, both out of the hiring process.


  1. Anonymous 10/21/2011

    was she fired?

  2. Anonymous 10/22/2011

    Presumably she was a hired gun — doing exactly what her masters wanted her to do? Thus whatever transparency there was or wasn’t, was at the direction of her masters. She was probably taking a lot of heat for their decisions. Which probably generated much friction with her masters. Is she being made a scapegoat for transparency decisions made above her pay grade?

  3. Anonymous 10/22/2011

    To the Old Man, the appointment of Liz Denecke always seemed a bit odd. In 2003, Liz, while working for the DoJ, wrote an opinion regarding a purported quorum requirement for the UO Assembly. She submitted the opinion a few months after University President Frohnmayer aborted an Assembly meeting on the grounds that the 500 attendees (probably the most in UO history) did not constitute a quorum. At a later date, in a discussion in front of the UO Senate, President Frohnmayer cited Liz’s opinion as justification for his action.
    In 2008, the Office of the General Counsel of the DoJ submitted an opinion, requested by the Senate President, concluding that the UO Assembly had no legally mandated quorum requirement and acknowledging that an opinion submitted previously was of insufficient depth to provide useful guidance. (The relevant section begins at the third bullet on page 2 of the DoJ document of November 7, 2008, which is posted at
    Since the 2008 opinion was widely circulated, folks were puzzled by the University’s choice for this important office.

  4. Anonymous 10/22/2011

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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