7 Responses to Berdahl retrospective

  1. via Berdahl says:

    Dear University Community,

    Today is my last day as the interim president of the University of Oregon. I want to thank you all for the kindness and support that you have extended to me during the past seven months. Returning to Oregon and reconnecting with this fine University has been a great pleasure.

    In my initial comments to the University Senate last January, I identified the four primary objectives I hoped to achieve during my brief tenure: to assist in recruiting an outstanding new leader as president of the UO, to advance the effort to secure an institutional governing board for the UO, to sustain the confidence and support for the UO among the donor community, and to help maintain the momentum the University had developed under the leadership of President Lariviere. I believe we have largely accomplished each of these goals.

    With the appointment of Michael Gottfredson as its new president, the UO has secured the leadership of an extraordinarily talented and widely respected leader in higher education; we are very fortunate to have him as our new president. In the February session of the Legislature, we secured passage of a bill, supported by the governor, creating a special committee to define the process by which universities seeking institutional boards could obtain them; that special committee will be issuing its report in the next weeks and I am confident it will lead to an institutional board for the UO. During the last seven months, I have met with dozens of alumni and supporters of the University across the country, outlining for them the challenges and opportunities facing the university and encouraging their continued support in preparation for the upcoming capital campaign. Whether we have succeeded in maintaining forward momentum that had been built over the last several years will be for others to judge, but I believe the University has successfully overcome the trauma and anger that marked President Lariviere’s sudden termination.

    Michael Gottfredson is assuming the presidency of an outstanding University, characterized by stellar programs, outstanding faculty, talented and dedicated staff, and excellent students. The steady erosion of state support, the consequent erosion of faculty and staff salaries and substantial increases in tuition, the growth of enrollment that has outstripped the growth of facilities or faculty – all of these will present significant challenges to the University in the future. But I am confident that, with President Gottfredson’s leadership and the support of the University community, these challenges will be overcome and the University will continue to contribute enormously to the quality of life in Oregon and the nation.

    Having become an Oregonian once again, I will continue to watch the development of “my” University with much affection and pride in its achievements.

    Yours sincerely,

    Bob Berdahl

  2. Canis Minor says:

    What happens over the next few years will give us more perspective on BBs achievement. It is easy complain that not all was achieved that many had [probably unreasonably] hoped. Too many remain in JH who should be removed, but the problem clearly is not just incompetence internally, but how to alter the situation extramurally. In this respect, I believe BB did a reasonable job given the contraints of time and circumstances, and we may all be grateful on that count.

    But the external problems have not disappeared, and the new Prez will surely be constrained by what happened to RL; no one will want another disruptive year like the last.

    UOMatters has played its role as the proverbial gadfly in this situation, and I think we can all be grateful for providing a forum to vent and to suggest policy and changes.

    I would like to believe that the secrecy and arrogance that characterized the behavior of many in JH may now be put aside, but given that the cast of characters has changed more at the margin than at the core, I fear that this is not likely to happen.

    Will it take an PennState like embarrassment to bring real change? Can the distance between faculty and central administration be bridged?

    ~Canis Minor, maybe not the brightest constellation in the heavens…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dog says

    I never know what the phrase “real change” actually means.

    For me, I want to see better scaling between academic infrastructure
    and our enrollment.

    Here is a prediction, that I hope I am wrong about: The UO will start to
    outscore some of its learning/ways to gain credit/courses …

    Finally, if “real change” means restore trust – then I agree that would
    be significant

  4. Anonymous says:

    You are more of a mudslinger than a muckraker.

    • Angry old lady says:

      Somebody has to sling the mud…we are drowning in the shit of the JH elites and their self righteous, greedy take all for themselves administrating of this institution.

      So a mudslinger it may be….and proud of it. I’m with slinging more mud.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We should all thank President Berdahl for convincing the faculty to unionize. This will certainly be his most enduring acheivement at UO.