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Kitzhaber tells Knight, Frohnmayer to bug off from University of Nike board

8/16/2013 update: The good governor’s nominations are due Monday. Jonathan Cooper has the story for the AP, in the RG.

The official version is that they decided to withdraw their names from Gottfredson’s bizarre 50 person list of nominees. We are supposed to believe that President Gottfredson neglected to get their permission before nominating them? It’s possible, since last I heard he’d put Jim Bean in charge of dealing with the board. Or maybe this petition from students had an effect.

I suppose this means Pat Kilkenny is still on the list, but his recent land dealings near UO probably disqualify him too:

PORTLAND — Nike co-founder Phil Knight has asked Gov. John Kitzhaber not to consider him for a spot on a new governing board for the University of Oregon. Knight was one of nearly 50 people recommended by UO President Michael Gottfredson for the 11- to 15-member board. 

Knight’s assistant says in a letter dated Aug. 9 that Knight was honored to be included but would like to have his name withdrawn from consideration. The letter says Knight will continue to support the university and looks forward to working with the new board. 

Two other prominent officials also withdrew their names: Dave Frohnmeyer (sic), a former attorney general and UO president, and Ann Aiken, a federal district judge based in Eugene.

7/31/2013 update: Diane Dietz has an excellent story in the RG, comparing the approaches of OUS President Ed Ray and UO President Mike Gottfredson on the role of independent boards. Read it all. No quotes from Gottfredson of course, I don’t think he’s done an interview before or since this one with Dash Paulson for the ODE on Jan 28.

Gottfredson’s handling of this has been a disaster. First the “asked and answered” meeting with the faculty, his evasive written comments on the implications for the Senate and Constitution, the appointment of Bean to write the by-laws, putting Geller and Rudnick in charge of negotiating shared governance and refusing to let them even mention the Senate in the CBA, and now this bizarre list of trustee recommendations to Kitzhaber.

7/30/2013: According to Betsy Hammond of the Oregonian, this is the list UO sent to Kitzhaber for potential UO Board Trustees. His selections will be public Aug 19. Obviously this is the kitchen sink list produced to avoid offending anyone, not Gottfredson’s real recommendations, or forecasts of what Kitzhaber might be willing to accept politically:


  1. Anonymous 07/31/2013

    I just threw up in my mouth.

  2. Anonymous 07/31/2013

    Dog says

    well there are at least 1/2 a dozen decent people. Bollinger would be excellent
    as would Ann Curry; Amy Tykeson, Bob Turner Keith Thomson, tony Garcia, Nancy
    Golden wold all be conscientious

    of course, the list does offer the change to maximally screw up as well

  3. Anonymous 07/31/2013

    Berdahl? lol. The members of Phish, Ken Kesey’s descendants, Joey Harrington, and the owner of Rennie’s Landing were surprisingly omitted from this list.

    A few good prospects in this heap. Bollinger put out an op-ed on journalists needing government subsidies, so perhaps the scotch and public-records fees of our good-natured journalist proprietor could be made less expensive.

  4. Anonymous 07/31/2013

    Please, let’s have Frohnmayer, Kilkenny and Knight so we can party like its 2006!

  5. Anonymous 07/31/2013

    There could be no better rationale for the absolute necessity of a robust conception of shared governance than this list of candidates. There are excellent, conscientious, mission-oriented people here, but most of these names are appropriate for a list of candidates for the UO Foundation Board. Who will stand up for basic scientific research? History? Philosophy? Greek and Latin? Mathematics that bakes no bread (at least, not yet)? The importance of face-to-face question-and-answer education? Pure inquiry?

    • Anonymous 07/31/2013

      What? You think this is about scholarship?

  6. Anonymous 07/31/2013

    Got to like how OSU and PSU put out somewhat detailed biography packages on their candidates. UO’s package just looks like a middle schooler slapped the first sentence of a WIkipedia biography to each name.

    • Anonymous 07/31/2013

      Replying to my own comment — not to mention misspelling “Gergia” for Tommy Brooks. If this is really the document that made it to the governor, Kitzhaber’s first act should be to disband the UO Foundation, then appoint the board.

  7. Anonymous 07/31/2013

    Seems a bit heavy on lawyers, ex-jocks, and burnt out former presidents.

    • Anonymous 07/31/2013

      “I said I’m perfectly comfortable with all three [students, faculty, non-faculty] voting, because people are smart; they can recuse themselves…

      “Give me a break,” Ray said. “Boards want to hear: What does the faculty think? What does the staff think? Are they concerned about how we are operating or not? What are their opinions?”

      Ray talking to the media is already a heads-up over Gottfredson.

  8. Anonymous 08/01/2013

    Matt Donegan?
    Allyn Ford?
    Paul Kelly?
    Preston Pulliams?
    Gottfredson got confused. This must have been his thank you list to the OUS board that fired Lariviere and hired him. Frohnmayer and Kilkenny too. Why not George Pernsteiner?

  9. Pat Kilkenny in the Oregonian: 08/01/2013

    “College athletics allow us to get national exposure,” Kilkenny said. “I think (Knight) believes he gets more bang
    for his buck investing in athletics over education.”

    • Anonymous 08/01/2013

      This quote needs to be repeated, and often. He’ll regret speaking what everyone else has known all along.

  10. Leporello 08/01/2013

    What do Tommy Brooks, Michael Callier, Tiffany Harris and Mary Wilcox have to do with UO Law School? Nothing as far as I know.

  11. Anonymous 08/05/2013

    Our admins are idiots. Straight up fools.

    • UO Matters 08/05/2013

      I’d argue with the “straight up” part of this. Very hard to get straight answers from them. I’d also argue for a qualifier, making clear this mostly applies to the JH insider administrators, and even then there are exceptions. UO has lots of smart, excellent administrators, who try very hard to stay out of the JH quagmire.

    • Anonymous 08/05/2013

      Dog says really

      then the “smart and excellent” ones must be totally ineffective, else there would be no quagmire.

    • Anonymous 08/06/2013

      Arguably, “staying out of the JH quagmire” is a sign of neglect of duty, if you happen to be an “excellent” administrator who is watching the current ship slowly sink. Even if it’s somebody else’s fault.

    • Anonymous 08/06/2013

      Maybe these guys and gals are bailing like mad, but with the (lousy) captain in charge and a clear chain of command (mostly also lousy) there’s only so much they can do.

  12. Anonymous 08/17/2013

    Honestly, I’m surprised that the likes of Knight and Frohnmayer are running from this. Are things even worse than we think? Surely there are additional rents to be extracted.

    • Anonymous 08/17/2013

      Knight has as much influence and capability to do whatever he wants at UO so why add an onerous board responsibility to it? It’s likely the board will be subject to public meetings law and that doesn’t jib with his personality or control/command structure practices.

    • Anonymous 08/17/2013

      Bob Berdahl would make an excellent UNike trustee.

    • Anonymous 08/17/2013

      Berdahl was a top level administrator for more than a quarter century. No one can name a single thing he achieved in all that time. He is the sort of amiable white male that staffs too many of our inst of higher learning; meaning he was perfect for the U of O. Speaking as a white middle aged male myself, I think we need to look outside the demographic for our leaders, including this board they are appointing. We are the only one of the three state universities that has never had a woman or person of color as our president. Maybe because they couldn’t stomach sitting through all those football games.

    • Anonymous 08/18/2013

      Since when do “persons of color” not like football games??

    • Anonymous 08/18/2013

      And since when do women not like football games?

    • Anonymous 08/18/2013

      “Persons of color”: I am not aware of football having a huge following in the Asian, Latino, or Native American communities. It is popular among African-Americans, though decreasingly so.

      “Women”: women academics, most like to become adm, are not known for their passion for football.

    • UO Matters 08/18/2013

      American football is surprisingly popular in northern Italy. The famous Vigorelli velodrome in Milan is now used for football games.

      Fausto Coppi set the hour record at the Vigorelli in 1942, at 45.8 km. Compare to Merckx’s 49.4 km 30 years later, at altitude in Mexico City, the last record set with an old school track bike.

    • Anonymous 08/19/2013

      “”Women”: women academics, most like to become adm, are not known for their passion for football.”

      What ARE they known for?

    • UO Matters 08/19/2013

      Maria Cressari did 41.4 km in Mexico city, also in 1972.

  13. Anonymous 08/17/2013

    Why do you write headlines that are objectively false? Frohnmayer, Knight, and Aiken all withdrew their names. Kitz has not told anyone to “bug off” yet. Why do you turn everything into a smear?

    • Anonymous 08/18/2013

      Either way, Gottfredson comes off looking like the idiot, again.

      You are naive if your ears don’t perk up at this. Of course they got booted from the board. Withdrawing is code. If you doubt it, ask Jim Bean how his “resignation” came about.

    • Anonymous 08/18/2013

      Question: why was Gottfredson’s nomination list so apparently haphazard?

    • Anonymous 08/18/2013

      “You are naive if your ears don’t perk up at this. Of course they got booted from the board. Withdrawing is code. If you doubt it, ask Jim Bean how his “resignation” came about.”

      You and Harbaugh both assume a lot about that which you know nothing. It is objectively ridiculous to think Kitz would be dumb enough to diss Phil Knight to his face on something like this. Same is true for DF and AA, though less so. But dude, believe whatever you want.

    • Anonymous 08/18/2013

      Jim… you almost threw me off with the “dude” usage. Nice.

  14. Anonymous 08/17/2013

    “A muckrake — an agricultural rake for spreading manure”

  15. Anonymous 08/18/2013

    Maybe it was one of those tit for tat things. Nike gets their mega tax break and Knight agrees to withdraw from independent board consideration. Like that would be anything other than a temporary speed bump.

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