Press "Enter" to skip to content

Lariviere Links

11/25/2011, updated obsessively:

Basic info:

The commissioners “… willfully violated Oregon’s public meetings law in 2009 and are personally liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses.” The judge wrote: “It was orchestrated down to the timing and manner of the vote so as to avoid any public discussion.”

Sound familiar? Given that “personally liable” part, I’m wondering what lawyer advised OUS board chair Matt Donegan that he could privately poll his board and have them make a secret decision to fire Lariviere. OUS Counsel Ryan Hagemann? Dave Frohnmayer? Melinda Grier? Both the latter were part of recent proposals to provide legal advice to OUS.

    Nobody is happy about Donegan and Pernsteiner’s power grab – especially not Ms Gerlingher:

    The faculty, the union, the jocks, and Phil Knight all agree? Too bad, it’s a done deal – Pernsteiner’s OUS press release is all about the search process for the next UO President. There is no way anyone competent is going to take this job with this history. The last search took a year and there was one credible candidate after the airport interviews: Richard Lariviere. But the fix is in. Who will Kitzhaber stick us with, and why? Follow the money:

    • Dave Frohnmayer. Kitzhaber owes Frohnmayer, who filed the Bar complaint against Sean Riddell, the state prosecutor who went after Kitzhaber’s girlfriend Cylvia Hayes for a shady energy consulting contract. And of course Frohnmayer and his pal Neil Goldschmidt helped Pernsteiner get the OUS job back in 2004. Pernsteiner reciprocated with this 2009 golden parachute contract for Frohnmayer. A bit too golden, as the state audit of that contract points out. Why does Frohnmayer hate Lariviere? Read his new 2011 UO contract with specific performance requirements regarding teaching and research expectations. Another year as UO President would mean $550,000 to top off Frohnmayer’s $252,000 PERS payout – and give him a chance to get even with the UO faculty. Bring it on Dave.
    • OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner – sure, he’s a few bricks shy of a PhD, but this would double his salary, and put him in good position for a serious PERS increase on retirement. Means, motive, and opportunity.
    • Underneath rock #3 we find Lorraine Davis. 
    • Robin Holmes
    • Bob Berdahl
    • Phil Knight

    Any other suggestions for interim President?


      1. Anonymous 11/24/2011

        Two Civil Wars will be played this week. Maybe UO will win the second at Autzen Stadium because it surely lost the first in Salem.

        It’s not just that the State Board of Higher Education has no UO representation, it’s that it overwhelmingly favors OSU.

        Oregon’s dinosaur industry, forest products, to which OSU is linked by tradition and money, is well-represented on the OUS board:

        Matt Donegan (Chair) — CEO of Forest Capital Partners, Oregon’s 2nd largest timber landowners and a professional forester by training.

        Lynda Ciuffetti — Chairman of OSU Botany and Plant Pathology Department. Forestry School undergrads are this department’s largest pool of classroom patrons.

        Allyn Forest — President of Roseburg Forest Products. Need I say more?

        James Francesconi — Attorney at Haglund, Kelley, Horngren, Jones, and Wilder LLP, which counts the timber industry as its biggest client. [BTW, the OUS website is a bit out-of-date — partner Scott Horngren left the firm recently to become in-house counsel for the American Forest Resource Council, the timber industry’s political advocacy arm].

        Oregon’s timber interests not only find an industrial partner in OSU, they hate the UO with a rare passion. The UO pioneered litigation to reform forest practices, a sin for which the timber industry will never forgive it.

        A more independent and successful University of Oregon? Only over their dead bodies!

      2. Ying Tan 11/24/2011

        So its a Forestry Board? No wonder. How did they all get to be on the board?

      3. Anonymous 11/24/2011

        How did timber come to control the Higher Ed Board?

        Kentucky is tobacco, West Virginia is coal. Corn is Iowa and Oregon is timber.

        UO may have Nike, but timber controls the state’s political machine.

      4. Anonymous 11/24/2011

        Pat Kilkenny

      5. Anonymous 11/24/2011

        Quoted in the R-G article: “Tony Van Vliet, a former state representative and higher education board member, said he isn’t surprised that Lariviere is being shown the door, given his defiance of the board over the New Partnership plan, the raises and his appearance of not being a team player.”

        Those with long memories know that Van Vliet is an OSU College of Forestry professor. He bleeds orange, black, and sawdust.

        Did anyone tell Lariviere that the biggest threat to his job is not OUS, not the Governor, and not the Legislature? The biggest threat are the not-so-behind-the-scenes power brokers in the timber industry who control the state of Oregon. Frohnmayer was their ideal UO president because he kept the UO locked down.

      6. Anonymous 11/24/2011

        People are upset about the process by which Lariviere has been fired. Why weren’t they equally upset about the process by which he was hired?

        As I recall, this was basically done in secrecy; the members of the hiring committee swore to never disclose the other candidates–hence we will never know if there were woman or minority candidates in the pool; he was presented as a done deal–subject to the approval of the board of higher education.

        We didn’t hear a peep back then from women faculty, minority faculty, etc. about this arbitrary process. Now everyone is up in arms that he has been arbitrarily fired. What am I not getting?

      7. Roast Duck 11/24/2011

        Too late for the regular old nuclear option, now it’s time for the gamma ray arsenal!

        Phil Knight doubles the $800 million, throws in another $400 million for the state’s stake in the campus, and throws in another billion just to show he’s a swell guy.

        UO becomes the Knight University of Oregon, an independent institution of higher education.

      8. Anonymous 11/24/2011

        Roast Duck:
        I realize your comment is tongue in, ahem, bill. However, it does indicate a large part of the problem UO faces. It simply thinks it is better than everyone else. LR was not only exhibiting insubordination and a disdain for cooperative effort; he was an elitist. Self branding UO as Oregon’s flagship university does not make friends among university president colleagues. Rubbing your own legislative agenda in the face of the governor does not position UO well politically.

      9. Anonymous 11/24/2011

        “Self branding” in this case is the truth. From the point of view of academic excellence, the greater northwest is UW, UO, and then a whole lot of second-tier places (sorry Beavs…).

        Universities are supposed to be simultaneously elite and accessible, and RL was one of the few with the chops to make both happen. Without him, we are heading at 300mph for Mediocrityville.

      10. elite Roast Duck! 11/24/2011

        Lariviere an “elitist”? Omigawd! The worst crime one can commit in Oregon, as he found out. He’s not back in Kansas any more, or Iowa. What kind of place did he think this is?

        My comment is completely serious. Make the state an offer that evern Oregon can recognize is too good to refuse. (Sorry, Oregon, you just did something incredibly stupid, the truth hurts, but even you have your limits.) Uncle Phil, I hope you’re reading this!

        Does Oregon not have a “flagship” university like other states? — Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, many others come to mind, we won’t even talk about California — Well, maybe it should, if it doesn’t. Uniform mediocrity does not do the state. And having a “flagship” doesn’t kill people in those other places. Those farmers back in the midwest seem to have other things than envy to occupy their time.

        I’m sorry, third tier (OSU) or fourth tier (PSU) is not what we should aspire to. If they feel bad that we’re better than that, too bad for them. Let them try to pull themselves up. Does it kill people that we have a potential huge benefactor? Well, why aren’t they dead yet! Yeah, it’s luck, but that’s the way it is. How does holding UO back benefit anyone else, except to salve their envy?

      11. Anonymous 11/24/2011

        If you see Frohnmayer’s hand in this (via his assistance to Kitzhaber and Kitzhaber’s acceptance of the OUS decision), how do you explain Knight’s opposition to Lariviere’s firing? Kitzhaber may be indebted to Frohnmayer, but certainly Frohnmayer is indebted to Knight for a lot more.
        I don’t ask this as a challenge but I’d like to learn more of the politics behind this.

      12. Anonymous 11/24/2011

        The UO is certainly perceived around the country as Oregon’s flagship research university. That’s not “elitist,” unless you think that the concept of maintaining Carnegie and other classifications is inherently elitist. “Make friends among university president colleagues”? This isn’t a fraternity. Do you think the Chancellors of Berkeley or UCLA are worried that their counterparts at UCSD and Santa Cruz think their campuses are too full of themselves? The commenter who wrote this has no idea how excellence in higher education works.

      13. Ying Tan 11/24/2011

        My question: in the news many mention that “Student leaders” do not want the President reinstated but only quote the ASUO President Ben Eckstein. If you read the petitions from UO community, you see many many students do support this President. Would there be a way to verify how many students’ voices does Ben Eckstein represent for this matter?

      14. Anonymous 11/24/2011

        He represents basically none. No one votes in those ridiculous ASUO elections, and no one cares about their agenda. ASUO=Politburo

      15. Dev Sinha 11/25/2011

        Dear UO Matters Community,

        I would like to share my personal take, which I hope might clarify for the governor and those working for him the role of this decision in their vision for education.

        In short, I feel like Charlie Brown with Lucy and the football – working on some of the first small steps to help develop a better K-20 math system, and having that all pulled out by this egregious undermining of our university.

      16. Anonymous 11/25/2011

        The OUS Board should consider Graham Spanier for UO Prez, he probably fits their definition of a team player!

      17. Anonymous 11/25/2011

        I’d suggest Neil Goldschmidt as a viable candidate for UO President, but I don;t think we have enough 14 year old girls on campus to entice him with.

      18. Anonymous 11/25/2011

        When the UO had incredible foresight and luck in staffing the Institute of Molecular Biology in the early ’60’s, the (jealous) Chair of the Genetics Program at UW warned the Old Man that the people of Oregon would never stand behind a program of high quality. Now I get it.

      19. Anonymous 11/25/2011

        Better late than never, old one. And some people say that Oregon and Washington are almost indistinguishable. So wrong. Maybe that is why Washington is a prosperous state and Oregon is poor. Washington got the forward-looking people, Oregon got the squatters and the dopes.

      20. Anonymous 11/26/2011

        4835 signatures at 9pm Friday.

      21. Anonymous 11/27/2011

        I am so surprised to hear the many UO faculty saying that without Lariviere, the UO will be mediocre. Does Lariviere teach every section? Does he perform all research? I thought the faculty are key to quality. Come on folks, it can’t be all about the money is it? What is the State Board stopping you from doing that leads to excellence in the classroom or the lab?

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *