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General Counsel Randy Geller “resigns”

Last updated on 05/06/2014

This is stunningly hopeful news for UO. Geller claims it was his decision, but I think President Gottfredson deserves plenty of credit for this demonstration of leadership. I imagine the UO Trustees had a say too, after the Delegation of Authority disaster. From “Around the O”:

Randy Geller, general counsel to the University of Oregon, today announced his decision to retire effective June 30.

In a personal message to several close colleagues, Geller noted that he informed President Michael Gottfredson of his intentions on April 21.

“Randy Geller has provided great service and tremendous counsel to this university through both challenging and exciting times,” said Gottfredson. “His legacy of helping shepherd this organization into a historic new governance model will be felt for many years to come.”

“I started as a higher education attorney in 1995 with the career goal of serving as the general counsel of a major public research institution with a Division I athletics program,” Geller wrote. “I have achieved that professional goal.”

In his note, Geller, who began working for UO in 2003, reflected on his accomplishments during his time as a Duck, including his role in crafting Senate Bill 270, which paved the way for the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon.

“I am honored to have been entrusted with drafting the original proposed bill and negotiating, along with my superb colleague Dave Reese at Portland State University, its final content with legislative and executive branch colleagues,” Geller wrote. “This was an experience of a lifetime.”

Geller added that he “ suspect(s) there will be some on campus, given the nature of my work here, that may try to frame this as something other than the simple truth: it is time for me to move on to the next chapter of my professional career.”

Well past time, I’d say. Rumor has it that Sam Hill, hired last fall, has been gradually taking over from Geller and presumably will be the interim GC.

Geller’s 2010 resume is here. Previous posts about his disastrous career at UO are here. Some highlights, roughly in reverse chronological order:

The recent “Delegation of Authority” disaster with the UO Board.

Geller’s Legal Services Policy power grab, defeated by the Senate.

Geller defames former Attorney General over “hack job” investigation, forced to apologize.

Geller hides HLGR billing records from public.

Geller hides HLGR billing records from state legislature’s Transparency website.

Geller hires Sharon Rudnick to bargain with UO faculty union, writes brief defending Rudnick’s fees in Sylviagate.

Geller makes UO’s academic side pay half the cost of defending Chip Kelly in the NCAA Willie Lyles case.

Geller threatens UO Senate President over random drug testing criticisms.

New UO General Counsel Randy Geller tries hides resume – and photo – from public. We get them anyway.


  1. Recall 05/05/2014

    My cinco de mayo parties from this point forward just doubled in size!!!

  2. Anonymous 05/05/2014

    How much severance did Gottfredson promise?

  3. happy 05/05/2014

    Very good news. I will wait to see Gottfredson’s replacement efforts before throwing him and points.

  4. uomatters Post author | 05/05/2014

    The rumor from the guy mixing margarita’s at the Faculty Club Cinco de Mayo celebration is that Sharon Rudnick has applied.

  5. Anas Clypeata 05/05/2014

    “…with a Division I athletics program”. Tone-deaf to the last note. Love it.

  6. Populusque 05/05/2014

    This will save the Senate the 30 seconds it would have taken to debate and approve that no-confidence in Geller resolution.

  7. Anonymous 05/05/2014

    Joke will be on all of you when Gottfredson appoints him VPR.

  8. Recall 05/05/2014

    Honestly Bill, this announcement alone was worth Gleasons 200k a year wasn’t it?

    • uomatters Post author | 05/05/2014

      It’s $218K, but hell yes.

  9. Spinning both ways 05/05/2014

    “decision to retire” or “time for me to move on to the next chapter of my professional career”
    The press release apparently contradicts itself.

  10. Keith Appleby 05/05/2014

    Curious. You don’t think he is just going to move over to HLGR and get paid twice what he was making at UO for doing much the same job?

    Isn’t Doug Park next in line to be Interim GC?

  11. Anonymous 05/06/2014

    Say what you want, but Gott is effectively cleaning up Johnson Hall – first Bean, then Espy, now Geller.

    • awesome0 05/06/2014

      I agree. Late is definitely better than never. Lets hope the new appointments are as high quality as Coltrane.

      With a great leadership team, and the independent board, the sky is the limit for where the UO can go in the next 5 years.

      But being wed to athletics carries also sorts risks. Hopefully the next general counsel won’t aspire to be associated with division I athletics like the last one.

    • may the 4th be with you 05/06/2014

      Still a long way to go in JH clean up effort if UO wants to ever have a chance of realizing its true potential in academics/research…….

  12. Just an 05/06/2014

    Well I’ll be…Bean gone, Espy gone, Geller gone (let’s hope Park with him)…I actually might smile today.

  13. Rumor 05/06/2014

    is that Geller has found another job. Sorry, no details yet.

  14. Anonymous 05/06/2014

    The rumor in the DAC sauna is the NCAA.

  15. uomatters Post author | 05/06/2014

    OK, I heard Putin is looking for lawyers experienced at fighting free speech, but the NCAA probably pays better.

    • Just an 05/07/2014

      Laughed so hard at this…at a library…that someone thought I was having an asthma attack!

  16. Speaking of free speech... 05/07/2014

    The icing on the cake would be MG announcing at the May 14th Senate meeting, that he has signed off on the university’s new improved free speech policy. Hope springs eternal.

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