11/28/2011: The fate of President Richard Lariviere, of his New Partnership, and of UO as a serious research university is up in the air. Path A is control by OUS Chancellor Pernsteiner, followed by gradual but inevitable descent into mediocrity. Path B is Lariviere’s New Partnership, followed by a big question mark. At the moment Pernsteiner is winning. Governor Kitzhaber will make the final call. We might learn something about his plans from today’s legislative committee meeting:
What will Kitzhaber do?
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As one of our colleagues — the stately Duck Soup? — put it, perhaps it’s time for someone to bring out the “nuclear option” — does Oregon really want to lose billion or two of private money and see it land, say, at Stanford?
Another thing — another equally great threat is a faculty union.
If Lariviere had that sort of private money in the hole he would have showed the card by now, instead of letting Pernsteiner take away his lawyers.
The donors don’t have to commit, they just have to explain their terms, as they did in the SUNY situation.
Having heard Frohnmayer blather on for years about the $1 billion Knight was going to donate – and how it justified all sorts of sellout deals to the jocks, I’m skeptical.
And I’ll be very happy if I’m proved wrong!
Knight has said that every time he speaks about public affairs, it boomerangs. Case in point: he spoke publicly of the New Partnership as “privatization.” Which it is not, but more to the point, it is poisonous to say that, whether it is apt or not.
It seems to me somebody needs to speak up publicly about what is at stake.
In my experience, few people on the outside know.
For what it’s worth, my understanding was that when the $800 million figure was bandied about, that corresponded to the state subsidy at that very time, and UO was ready to roll with the “Plan” immediately.
Perhaps a donor will offer really to privatize the University? i.e. offer enough to do without the state component of the endowment, plus buy out the state’s investment in the physical plant. I wonder if the state could refuse an offer like that.
Well, this is Oregon.