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UO Pres Mike Gottfredson resigns for $940K cash, Coltrane is interim

Last updated on 12/16/2014

8/9/2014 update: Christian Wihtol reports in the RG that UO was not obligated to pay Gottfredson $940K.

8/8/2014 2:30 pm update: Still a beautiful day out there.

Gottfredson’s separation agreement, here. $940K, half in cash within 5 days. Dr. Gottfredson agrees not to sue The University or its employees

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8/8/2014 update, on a beautiful Eugene summer morning:

Eric Kelderman of The Chronicle has a long (gated if off campus) report, here, and apparently written before the Board released the news that they’d paid Gottfredson $940K to leave early. It’s followed by a helpful timeline. Some excerpts:

There has long been a sense among faculty members that athletics has overshadowed the academic mission of the University of Oregon—an idea fueled by the millions of dollars spent on sports facilities by Philip H. Knight, an alumnus who is a founder of Nike. The money has helped make the athletics department financially independent of the university, according to athletics officials. But that independence has also raised questions about whether there is any accountability for how the department is run.

That has played out in recent years as the success of the university’s athletics teams, financially and in competition, has been frequently marred by scandals involving players, coaches, and administrators, producing plenty of presidential agita.

… But at the root of much of this is still the fear, expressed in a 2007 newspaper opinion article signed by 92 faculty members, that the university was gambling with its academic future to become “a minor-league training ground for elite athletes.”

That article dates to the tenure of David B. Frohnmayer, who led the university from 1994 to 2009. Mr. Frohnmayer was a popular former state attorney general and gubernatorial candidate. But his leadership spurred harsh criticism from some faculty members who blamed him for what they saw as a decline in the university’s academic quality.

Mr. Lariviere, on the other hand, was largely praised by professors and seen as someone who was looking out for the interests of the instructional staff. …

One of [Gottfredson’s] most outspoken critics, William Harbaugh, a professor of economics who runs an influential blog about university matters, has maintained a steady drumbeat of criticism against Mr. Gottfredson.

“There were the botched administrative hires, the pointlessly contentious relations with the faculty over academic freedom, and the union contract and the secrecy about the basketball rape allegations,” Mr. Harbaugh said in an email on Thursday.

Robert Kyr, the president of the University Senate and a professor of music, said Mr. Gottfredson had “served during one of the most difficult times in the history of our university.”

Mr. Kyr also praised Mr. Gottfredson for working with the legislature and the university system to create an independent Board of Trustees—”the most significant part of the vision that was articulated by his predecessor, Richard Lariviere.”

This year the university did gain the independence Mr. Lariviere had pushed for when a state law, supported by Mr. Gottfredson, created a new Board of Trustees to govern the institution.

But it was, apparently, that same body that has now pushed Mr. Gottfredson to resign, said Mr. Harbaugh. “Our new board is doing the right thing,” he said, “by getting rid of a failed president as quickly as possible.”

Mr. Kyr, for his part, is focusing on the future, with the board’s announcement that Scott Coltrane, the university’s provost, will take over as interim president. “His appointment is a sign of the stability and strength of the institution, and a vote of confidence from the board in our longstanding tradition of shared governance,” Mr. Kyr wrote in an email.

KEZI has some video from the board meeting here.

8/7/2014 10:00 pm update: Reports from “credentialed reporters” roll in:

Troy Brynelson and Alex Cremer in the Emerald (Dominic Allen photo):

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 10.15.48 PM

[Unclear what noted tobacco company lawyer Sharon Rudnick is so smiley about, but it sure makes me worry about Coltrane’s future.]

Diane Dietz in the RG:

Former University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson is leaving the university entirely — giving up a tenured faculty position — in exchange for $940,000, according to an agreement finalized on Thursday.

Hanna Hoffman in the Statesman-Journal:

Neither Gottfredson nor board chairman Chuck Lillis cited a specific reason for his departure. However, his tenure was peppered with struggles and problems. The most public of them has been the sexual assault allegations. The men accused were dismissed from the basketball team and eventually expelled from the school, but not before the university faced public scrutiny over whether it appropriately investigated the incident.

It then released 119 pages of emails and other correspondence between Gottfredson and athletics director Rob Mullens at the request of newspapers around the state. All but six pages were fully redacted, and the Eugene Register-Guard filed a lawsuit against the university in late June over the records.

Gottfredson had an equally poor relationship with faculty and students, said economics professor Bill Harbaugh. … Fundraising fell in the second year of his presidency, and he struggled to connect with his campus. “He was just tortured by the most basic part of his job where he had to communicate with people,” Harbaugh said. “The main job of a university president these days is to raise money…this guy was the world’s worst schmoozer.”

Betsy Hammond in the Oregonian (The outraged comments are well worth reading):

EUGENE — Former University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson will receive $940,000 in severance. The UO’s Board of Trustees voted 12-0 Thursday to approve the terms of Gottfredson’s departure a day after he abruptly resigned.

8/7/2014 4:20PM live-blog from the UO Board meeting:

Short version: The board will pay Gottfredson $940K to resign the presidency and give up his academic tenure in sociology. Scott Coltrane will be the Interim President. The search for a permanent is president expected to take a year. Lillis expects the board to take charge of fundraising. No word on who will be interim provost.

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Sharon Rudnick walks in, of all people. Presumably we paid her $300 an hour, to negotiate the $940K buyout.

Official Agenda: Accept Gottfredson’s sudden resignation, appoint interim. Nothing about search, no public comment.

Coltrane takes his seat, presumably he’s our guy. Room starts filling up. Lillis wonders if we’re going to need a bigger room. Doug Park, Coltrane, Ginevra Ralph, Chuck Lillis, Susan Gary. No UO student at the table, because there is no student trustee at the moment. 10 or so students in the audience. Calling the roll: Here, Here, President Gottfredson, excused.

Lillis: He is resigning as president, and as a faculty member. Board will vote on a separation agreement, with terms, then vote on interim. Separation agreement will be distributed to public at end of meeting.

Angela Wilhelms, Secretary of the University, reads motion. No discussion of separation agreement? Roll call vote starts. Unanimous yes. (Ann Curry is not on the call.)

Lillis: Now we vote on an interim. Wilhelms reads motion, which is to appoint Provost Scott Coltrane. Lillis thanks Coltrane for being willing to serve. Notes he is respected by the faculty, will provide continuity. [Ed: I agree on both points.] Board votes, give unanimous support with 2 not present in person or on phone.

Lillis notes Gottfredson’s accomplishments, at a difficult time. Says he believes Gottfredson’s secrecy over the rape allegations was appropriate, though he knows others disagree. Says Board has enormous faith in Coltrane.

Moves to adjourn formal meeting, board will take questions from “credentialed media”. The infamous Tobin Klinger manages the process.

Q: When did the board learn of the resignation? Lillis: Monday.
Q: Was he asked to to leave? Lillis: He was very gracious about it.
Q: But you’re paying him $500K [Ed: Actuallly, $940K, 1/2 in 5 days]?! Lillis: It was a fair amount. And he resigned from his tenure job too – at which he would have been paid well.
Q: Will the turnover harm UO? Lillis: It’s not ideal, but we have spectacularly unbounded opportunities. We need to deliver – looking at Coltrane.
Q: Search? Lillis: We want to hire someone who might not be looking. We expect it to take a year.
Q: Any discussion with Alumni Association? Lillis: Not that I know of.
Q: What kind of qualities in new Pres? Lillis: Great academic credentials will be #1. Experience with how universities operate, has been in trenches. Someone who is not easily misled, with communications skills, can handle external constituencies.
Q: By my math you spent $940K on the buyout. How do you justify it? Lillis: No state or tuition funds [Ed: Lillis is being evasive, this is foundation money we could have spend on scholarships, etc.] It’s fair, in the sense that it was mutually agree on.
Q: Why did he resign? Lillis: I won’t speculate. It’s a tough job.
Q: Did you encourage him to stay? Lillis: Evades.
Q: So it wasn’t about how he handled the rape allegations? Lillis: No, the laws were very complicated, not clear how it should have been handled.
Q: What does Coltrane bring to the table? How will it be different? Lillis: We are telling him his job is to focus on internal management, be a “super provost”. Board will work with development to fundraise.
Q: What are you going to do? …
Q: So what you will be paid? Coltrane: Same as Gottfredson.
Q: Problems with athletics? Coltrane: We have a very well run athletics department, and President’s and Senate committees checking up on them.

Update, 2PM: Word is that Gottfredson never gave up his tenure at UC-Irvine, and will return there forthwith. His placeholder website is here.

Update: Bob Berdahl’s disastrous choice for U of Hawaii president later demanded $2M to resign. Will our new board make the mistake of going to Berdahl for advice on Gottfredson’s replacement?

What will we pay Gottfredson? $1.1M to buy him out of the remaining 2 years? Or $0, which is what his contract specifies even if he’d give 30 days notice of his resignation, instead of just 36 hours?

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On the other hand we’ve apparently given him a back-up job as the world’s most overpaid Sociology Professor, at $360K a year, with tenure:

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Update: Diane Dietz has the story in the RG (with assistance from Ian Campbell):

… Gottfredson faced a lot of criticism over the handling of a sexual assault allegation involving three UO basketball players that surfaced in May.

At about the same time, Gottfredson talked with the University Senate about the university’s handling of the assault, a biology professor, Nathan Tublitz, proposed a vote of “no confidence” for the president, citing a series of alleged leadership failures that caused great concern among university faculty, staff and employees.

Some students also complained about a perceived lack of leadership.

“A lot of students were really upset about the basketball scandal and that there wasn’t a lot of openness,” said [UO student] Friedman.

“I know some people are pretty shocked about (Gottfredson’s resignation), at least the people who keep up with politics on campus….Frankly, I don’t know what a president does on a day-to-day basis, and I don’t know why he resigned, but I assume most people will speculate it’s about the basketball stuff.”

Harbaugh, one of the administration’s harshest critics, provided a laundry list.

“There were the botched administrative hires,” he wrote, “the pointlessly contentious relations with the faculty over academic freedom and the union contract, and the secrecy about the basketball rape allegations.

“But I’m guessing the final straw for the Board of Trustees was that the donors didn’t seem to think much of his leadership, either. Instead of the expected UO independence surge, donations actually fell, from $200 million last year to $100 million.”

The process used to hire Gottfredson sparked controversy because it was a closed process, meaning the job candidates identified by a Philadelphia headhunter were kept secret until they were winnowed to one. Only the name of the winning candidate was revealed. UO faculty have advocated for an open hiring process at past changes in administration.

Allyn Ford, a timber executive who is now on the UO Board of Trustees, led a 22-member committee that spent six months identifying and interviewing candidates until it recommended Gottfredson.

“That didn’t work out well,” Harbaugh wrote. “The faculty will give the new board a huge amount of credit for executing Gottfredson’s speedy departure, but we’ll expect to be thoroughly in the loop in finding his replacement.”

Also see Troy Brynelson in the ODE (awesome photo by Taylor Wilder), and Betsy Hammond in the Oregonian.

Update: The Board of Trustees will hold an apparently public meeting at 4:30 Thursday, announcement here:

The Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon will hold a meeting on the date and at the
location set forth below. The subject of the meeting will be a discussion of administrative
leadership and personnel.
The meeting will occur as follows:

THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 2014 AT 4:30 pm

8/6/2014: Effective tomorrow:

From: President Gottfredson
Subject: Transition

Dear Campus Community,

Today it is with mixed emotions that I announce my decision to depart the UO as President and pursue other opportunities in academia.

I accepted the job as President of this great institution with the clear objective of helping the University manage through a period of uncertainty and get to a place of stability. We have accomplished those objectives and I know that the UO is on the right course.

With a new governance structure for higher education, new clear benchmarks for academic excellence, and an expanding world-class faculty, the UO is on path to enhanced status as a leading public research institution. My scholarly interests beckon and Karol and I are eager to spend more time with our family. With our outstanding campus leadership and new strategic planning underway, it is appropriate for a new president to continue the legacy of this great University.

It has been an honor to serve as President of the University of Oregon. The caliber of faculty and staff, and the wonderful students and community represent the endless opportunities ahead for the University and the state. Many thanks to our outstanding students, terrific academic leadership, supportive and engaged community, dedicated staff, supportive legislature and amazing faculty colleagues.

Thank you for the privilege to serve at the University of Oregon. I know that the next president will find the same welcome that I did and I look forward to ever more greatness at the UO.

Go Ducks!

Michael R. Gottfredson
President, University of Oregon

From UO Board Chair Lillis:

UO Board of Trustees Chair, Chuck Lillis, issued the following message today in response to President Gottfredson’s decision to step down as President of the University of Oregon:

President Gottfredson entered into the role as President of the University of Oregon at a critical time in our university’s history and led the institution from a state of uncertainty to a path of stability.

When President Gottfredson accepted the position two years ago, he inherited a pending NCAA investigation, which was cleared, a statewide debate about the future of higher education governance, and a new faculty union without a labor contract.

The challenges before him and the University were no small feat — but he successfully concluded the NCAA issue, worked and repaired relationships with the other University presidents, Governor and State Legislature to establish a new system of higher education governance for Oregon, including institutional boards, and negotiated a fair labor contract with the faculty union.

Despite the competing challenges, President Gottfredson never lost sight of the mission of the University of Oregon and continued to push to move the UO toward even greater academic excellence.

He identified national talent to serve as the Provost and other key leadership positions. He did a top-to-bottom review of UO operations, including how we budget and manage fiscal responsibilities. He established a Presidential Panel to review policies on sexual misconduct and adopt best practices. And he led a comprehensive space-needs assessment to make sure the UO is planning for and positioned to accommodate the growing demands to serve more students into the future.

President Gottfredson also took a critical look at where we are today — and where we need to be — establishing new ambitious but attainable benchmarks to make the UO a leading public research university that can compete on a world stage.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are grateful for the leadership of Michael Gottfredson to put the University of Oregon on a path of excellence in every area that we compete. We wish him the best in his next endeavors. The Board looks forward to seeking new leadership at this time to continue the work he started and continue to build on the legacy of the University of Oregon.

Chuck Lillis
Chair, Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon

And the last word, from the comments in the RG:

Gottfredson is off “down the road”
All his idea, so the public is told.

That 940K?…why t’was just a gift.
nothing to do with any rift.

See, we’ve got two funds, one code name “slush”
One even bigger, code name “hush”.

and we can spend the dough as we see fit,
not a damn thing you can do ’bout it.

We’re the ‘new sheriff in town’, so give us space,
as we choose, to run this place.

and if our actions, you don’t like
go join Michael on his well-paid hike.


  1. Anonymous 08/06/2014


    • another anon 08/06/2014

      Now we get to see what this board is all about.

  2. Eugenenative 08/06/2014

    One days notice? I get the sense this wasn’t entirely his decision.

  3. Awesome0 08/06/2014

    I though the [damn] org chart was finally finished.

    • awesome0 08/06/2014

      I thought this one merited two cuss words. Sorry.

  4. final frontier 08/06/2014

    Lillis: “he led a comprehensive space-needs assessment”

    Translation: “he was a complete failure on every dimension except space-needs assessment”

    • Gott got his assistant handed to him. 08/06/2014

      And, wasn’t that the topic of a recent RFP?

  5. Anonymous 08/06/2014

    Lillis actually used the word “union”. Something Gott never could do.

  6. M. E. Smith 08/06/2014

    No mention of a timeline for his departure, but it sounds like he’s packing up his office.

    • nom 08/06/2014

      From what I’ve read his resignation is effective tomorrow.

  7. OAnon 08/06/2014

    There must be someone unhappy with this news. Anyone?

    • Margo, Edith and Agnes 08/06/2014

      We thought about it, but no.

    • one eyed pinhead 08/06/2014


  8. Keith Appleby 08/06/2014

    I agree one day notice is extraordinarily odd. Two weeks notice is standard for non-professional jobs, one month (at least) for professional jobs, and three to six months notice for executive and key leadership positions.

    This reminds me of when the sports reporters all of a sudden noticed that three basketball players were no longer attending practices and then started digging around.

    There is more to the story here as well.

    • Anonymous 08/06/2014

      One day’s notice isn’t odd if you’re fired after some kind of uncomplimentary private discussion over recent job performance and you want to be the one shooting their last pointless arrow.

  9. Prof Mom 08/06/2014

    To OAnon: no, it’s all cheers and high-fives here at the teachers lounge

  10. wistful contemplation 08/06/2014

    Shall we take inspiration from the recent campaign by faculty at the University of Alberta to apply for a highly paid administrative position in groups of four?

    Maybe four faculty members working in concert would make less of a hash of things–and without the relentless train of outside consultants and high-priced lawyers.

    A graduate student helpfully pointed out that another option would be to have 28 GTFs do the job.

    It’s at least fun to think about.

  11. Plain Brown Envelope 08/06/2014

    Oddly, Gottfredson’s is not on UO letterhead. Was he already out of a job when he wrote it? Yet it says (which the letter to the UO community did not) that the resignation is not effective until tomorrow (at midnight tonight?). Or is it a thumb in the eye of UO to resign without using UO letterhead?

    Also, is there a letter of acceptance from the Board? Seems unlikely, as they could not have met with an announcement under the Oregon Open Meetings Law So are there any terms? What about compensation? Does he get a golden parachute like coaches when UO breaks a contract and has to buy out the coach? For that matter, did Gottfredson break his own contract? If so, does he owe UO anything monetarily for that breach?

    And why aren’t people dissecting the sentences and phrases of G’s letters? Are there no biologists on this campus? Here’s an easy one: He didn’t spell his name correctly in his signature. Have we no graphologists on this campus? Isn’t graphology part of criminology?

    And is there an automatic succession that produces an “acting President” during the hours between midnight tonight and the Board meeting tomorrow at 4:30. If so, could that person (Scott?) go ahead and sign documents like the Senate-passed Legal Services Policy? Or are we going to be in another Berdahl-like interregnum? Or even a Berdahl interregnum?

    And how about the staff in Johnson Hall and outlying islands? Will any of them now speak?

    And does everyone in Johnson Hall really want to keep withholding all those documents about the rape report and who did, and didn’t, do what? Are there no plain brown envelopes lying around Johnson Hall?

  12. Gott to Go 08/06/2014

    This stinks like the many public fuck ups from Gottfredson – he can’t even go out with the dignity of the truth. No one at that level resigns effective immediately because they want to spend more time with family and “pursue other opportunities in academia”. There has to be much more to this story.

    Good thing we hired all those strategic communicators so they could write this resignation letter.

    Good riddance.

    • XDH 08/06/2014

      Nothing there now as of 9:53PM – if there was it has been deleted.

    • We Smoked it All 08/06/2014

      What did it say?

  13. Gott to Go 08/06/2014

    One more thing – clearly the Board knew about this before Gott’s letter went public. The notice of the meeting to discuss “administrative leadership and personnel” is dated August 5.

    • Unless... 08/06/2014

      Unless the meeting was originally scheduled to consider firing Gott, but Gott resigned to preempt the Board.

  14. XDH 08/06/2014

    Four words – bring back the hat.

    • regarding bring back the hat (XDH and others) 08/07/2014

      This has been stated on UOM before that we need to THINK this time. No closed searches like the one the Provost of PSU did to give us Got. Look inside as well as outside the box. And please find someone who is proven and battle hardened to come in and clean up a giant MESS!

      In fairness to Mike, he did not create this mess, he just stepped into it and decided to stay a while. I think that had he came into a well run machine with strong people in the right places and good advisers he would have been here longer and our school would have been better off for his tenure. However, his advisers and legal council were not right for a public institution, and multiple bad decisions in the past left us with… well read UOM. Most of that which is rotten is still here and still in play as pointed out here.

      Give Scott a year and lets see if he has what is needed while the new board takes time and contemplates and recruits someone who will bring all the tools we need.

      UOM please start a thread for thoughtful discussion about who or more correctly what attributes our next president must have.

      • chuck 08/08/2014

        How about this, someone who hasn’t sold out to Wall Street, politically connected building contractors, or any of the other assorted parasites which have attached themselves to the academy. Maybe having the guts to tell the general public that their apathy and belief in fairy tales has gone a long way in allowing unis to abandon the common good, and become appendages to the above mentioned entities. At some point, ya gots to start telling it as it is, not flacking some god damn Bernaysian PR copy. If you find someone like that, let us know, it’s doubtful anyone goes into uni administration in order to blow up their career…..

  15. suckup 08/06/2014

    What is the point of a blog when the views are consistently and predictably negative about everyone and everything.

    • whingers anonymous 08/06/2014

      Do we detect an overwhelming note of negativity on your part?

  16. how is this good 08/06/2014

    This is the worst thing that could possible happen before the upcoming capital campaign. To donors this screams of panic and uncertainty.

    What kind of message do you think this will send to potential candidates for the position of president? Why would any smart, ambitious higher ed official want to come here?

    Today marks the most recent brain drain of this once great university.

  17. A new leaf 08/06/2014

    I am, like others, thrilled and want to thank the Board for demonstrating leadership – a trait MG might have, but never showed. The UO now has a challenge. We have to sell this campus as a place of great potential and a good career choice. The odds are stacked against us, partly due to things outside our control but others within it. I would like us to move towards a higher civility towards each other, commit to productive dialogues and stop the sniping that often is shown on these pages. I will give UO Matters kudos for keeping up the pressure on MG, but sure wish the tone will improve in the future to working together, not pettiness. Time to be the bigger man.

    • ActuallyItIs to New Leaf. 08/07/2014

      Ah but you are wrong leaf the UO actually IS one of the most exciting open positions in the nation in higher education!

      The justification of this is to long for this blog so I will try and probably fail to keep this short.

      The UO is at the forefront of the disruptive change in public higher education. It has a brand new board with absolutely zero history. It is like a newborn that is a clean slate, but it is lying mostly abandoned in the center of a green field and the jackals, hyenas, and vultures are circling in on this unprotected asset with limitless potential. It can write its own laws, its own governance model, and someone even gave this new baby with no restraints a shiny unlimited credit card in the form of bonding authority. And if you swing a stick in any direction and you will smack a dozens of those self serving predators skulking in the shadows trying to rip the prime pieces of fat off the unprotected body, but that is one thing that most of these public bodies have common (self serving predators stealing common wealth).

      This time around we could hire a person, or perhaps just a token or symbol like a hat but that would be wrong. We, (especially the disengaged disinterested faculty, the citizens of Oregon who paid into this public trust over the last hundred years, and the over overly entitled students who see this as little more than a four year summer camp) need to wake up and understand this is the frontline for the battle of the soul of public higher education in the United States. This is not an overstatement, these skirmishes are happening throughout the nation in Texas, Wisconsin, and New York but none of them threw out their entire governance model and every law that governed their public trust.

      We are Oregon we do things different.

      Lets do it right.


      • chuck 08/07/2014

        From your mouth to a nonexistent supreme being’s ears. But what you’re asking entails political awareness, courage, you know, something other than “what the hell is in it for me” perspective. The admins here, and all throughout the nation, have done their best to browbeat faculty and recruit children, err, students, who’s main goal is getting laid, loaded and drunk. Gonna be real hard gettin anything from that bunch…

  18. Anon 08/07/2014

    A lot of JH brown-nosers are having a sleepless night, wondering if they’d stuck it too far up the wrong asshole.

  19. Nobody 08/07/2014

    From the rape case to the bowl of dicks list it looks like Got had his share of UO and knew when it was time to bail. He looked terrible on the news tonight. A failing leadership, a failing police department that has become a national joke, the inability to straight on address the rape allegations and no balls to do anything about athletics all adds up to a guy who knew it was time to cash his chips in. Got couldn’t even fire the people who need to go and promoted the wrong ones into position that will have an impact on the entire school. Too many administrators and enough people doing actual work. Nothing will ever change at UO and it will continue to be the victim of its own leadership.

  20. Anonymous 08/07/2014

    What’s that– Cheering I hear? “Gott” quit… speculation swirls that there is trouble brewing re his serious mishandling of the alleged rape cases. There were a few months of cover ups & fuzzy answers as to who knew what/when. The repeating of the BS pre approved line about “student safety being of the utmost concern” was more of an insult . Then holds closed to faculty & students, media only press conferences. Word was the rape survivor, hired some high powered lawyer– maybe some legal shit is hitting the fan?
    Truth is he was a lackluster, pablum kind of guy who avoided both the faculty (took him months to meet & greet) & the students. I think a lot of folks are glad to see him go.
    Suddenly, 2 years into a 3 year contract, Gott wants to spend more time with his family? A classic excuse given by crooks & liars. Shouldn’t coach Dana Altman get the boot as well?

  21. We Smoked it All 08/07/2014

    Maybe we can get Bill Powers!

  22. Anonymous 08/07/2014

    Oh & are you kidding– “Go Ducks!” in the closing line of his resignation announcement letter? Sports-centric to the very end.

    • uomatters Post author | 08/07/2014

      Samuel Johnson: “Go Ducks is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

      • Three-Toed Sloth 08/07/2014

        ‘Go Ducks’ is the socialism of idiots

    • one eyed pinhead 08/07/2014

      Aren’t we glad those high-paid professional communicators ran a spell-check on his draft … and changed go d!cks to go ducks.

  23. Time To Shut Down UO Matters 08/07/2014

    U of O Matters has done more damage to staff, faculty and student morale than any president. Time to stop the witch hunt and let the U of O get back to work on behalf of our students.

    • Gott A Clue? 08/07/2014

      You must be a witch.

    • honest Uncle Bernie 08/07/2014

      You know, I’ve heard this, and that it even extends to major donors (all second hand).

      But — if the next Administration or the Board feels this way — they’re going to have to show some balls, or just spine, and denounce UOM — or if they really believe in their libel case, go ahead and file suit.

      Otherwise, they’re just going to have to stew.

      • nom 08/07/2014

        Isn’t it more accurate to say it’s the Foundation that has spine trouble and not the new Board? Both they and a couple major donors don’t like sunlight.

    • Fishwrapper 08/07/2014

      Yes, well, if sunshine does damage, then the damage is needed.

    • Fumigate JH before any new hires 08/07/2014

      Anyone that has ever spent any time on campus knows that the upper administrators of UO are the damage mongers around here. Any new president that comes in without cleaning the bowl of dicks out of JH will face the same fate. Too many incompetent, overpaid administrators constantly making (and/or proposing) bad decisions (remember that the upper admin serve to advise the President on which bad decisions to make) that have to be blamed on other (expendable types) will keep this sad story going on for a while….

  24. honest Uncle Bernie 08/07/2014

    So, three failed presidents in 5 years — I include Berdahl, because his mission was to find a successful new Pres, and it didn’t work out.

    UO must be getting a reputation as a graveyard for top administrators — not just Pres, but the level below — a toxic place.

    • chuck 08/07/2014

      Putting “graveyards” and “top administrators” in the same sentence sure seems appropriate. They sure as hell are killing higher education…..

  25. Anonymous 08/07/2014

    I would like a little accountability on the part of the search committee that hired Dr. Gottfredson. How could you possibly meet this person and believe he would be able to raise money? Worse, a faculty colleague asked if he enjoyed fund-raising early in his presidency, and he replied that he didn’t think it was part of his job. Again, how could you possibly run a search where it was not absolutely clear what one of the main–if not the main–task of the president was?

    • Anonymous 08/07/2014

      He was searched for and hired with puppetry in mind, not fundraising or faculty relations.

      • one eyed pinhead 08/07/2014

        Searched and fired (free association with “asked and answered”)

    • Law Professor 08/07/2014

      I agree entirely. How could this man have been hired in the first place? Nothing stops the committee from now giving some explanation of its actions. What have we learned from this about the future?

  26. Calico Cat 08/07/2014

    That MG failed is not simply his fault; as others have pointed out, there is a more serious underlying problem in JH that seriously impedes progress, namely MG did not have much of a staff to work with and that staff failed to explain to him the depth of dissatisfaction throughout the faculty.
    Leaving aside [and not exempting them from responsibility] DF and JM, the long series of mistakes made in hiring Brady, Tomlin, Bean and the other mediocrities into the VP and vice provosts positions does not inspire confidence. Yes, the next president, and I do not mean an interim SC, will have to do a thorough purging and restructuring and that process will surely take years to accomplish.

    • Gott to Go 08/07/2014

      If it’s true, as you say, that he was unaware of faculty dissatisfaction, then that is reason enough for him to go. A president that has no idea what his constituents thinks is out of his depth.

      Of course, that’s not true – he did know. Just go back and look at all the uncomfortable Senate meetings. He was just too arrogant to engage authentically.

      It is his fault. For 1/2 a million dollars a year, he is supposed to be able to lead – or at lest walk and chew gum at the same time.

      Utter failure.

  27. Nobody 08/07/2014

    Time To Shut Down UO Matters,

    Golly. You are so right. Because we shouldn’t let little things like truth and accountability get in the way of things or teach our students to step up and do what’s right. Damage to this institution is being done by those in charge and UOM has shed an invaluable light on many subjects people like you are more comfortable with a head in the sand way of dealing. Let’s talk about damage to the school – the bowl of dicks list. This alone is an utter embarrassment to our school and a complete failure of leadership. What about the glad handing of contracts and hiring buddies of the school like the Frohn and his law firm or having to hire $300/hour attorneys? How about paying Mike Bellotti millions on an alleged hand shake deal and allowing Melinda Grier to teach law? Randy Geller’s big mouth? What of the dismal handling of the rape allegations? A failed Affirmative Action plan? Exposing the misspending on Tree Tops and the disgusting perks accounts?

    Teaching students how to tell and recognize the truth is a terrible thing and we should all just shy away from doing the right thing – according to you at least.

  28. Dog 08/07/2014

    there is always a lot of comment related to things like
    “serious underlying problem in JH” or it not this person or that person’t responsibility for any of this …


    a) what are the serious problems? (besides the obvious one of really bad communication on this campus).

    b) who is supposed to be responsible, and for what, and what is the accountability structure for failure to be responsive?

    In my unenlightened view of the situation, I don’t believe that, for the last 20 years or so, JH has made the academic mission of the University its clear number one priority.

    • Bob 08/07/2014

      Before 20 years ago, no one knew or cared about the UO.

      • UCProf 08/11/2014

        Got news for you Bob, 20 years later we all know about UO, the athletic departments make sure of that, but nobody cares unless they are beavers.

  29. Calico Cat 08/07/2014

    true enough what Dog writes.
    It is not just individuals who fail, but institutions. it would be nice to believe that the budget will be managed effectively, that people will continue to be paid, that faculty will be hired in a timely way, the funds for instruction and research will be distributed appropriately, and that the academic mission of the university will be promoted, but I am beginning to wonder, and after all we Calico Cats do live in Wonderland, how successfully these expectations can be met. the chaotic response to the budget deficits does not inspire confidence.

  30. Who Knows? 08/07/2014

    Was uncle Phil behind this? Maybe Got tried to can Altman over the basketball sex and Phil said no? Who knows? Who ever will? This university is as transparent as tar. The new board of out of town timber barons and booster big-wigs will only make it worse. Does Anne Curry actually ever show up?

  31. awesome0 08/07/2014

    I really think we need to approach him about signing a union card. He can give us some great insider info for union bargaining this next go around too. Shoot, lets get him to be on the bargaining committee.

  32. Anonymous 08/07/2014

    Dr Gottfreesome?

    Which Medical School did he attend?…

    and he should’ve known from his Internship, that if you get into bed with a sleazeball like Phil Knight you are going to catch crabs

  33. AnonAnon 08/07/2014

    Expecting MG to hustle back to SoCal, where he is still on the faculty at UCI (although you won’t find his name on a department website).

  34. anonymous 08/07/2014

    I wish I could be paid $940,000 for failing at my job!

  35. NewSVP 08/07/2014

    So who will step in as the acting/interim provost?

  36. Anonymous UO Alum 08/07/2014

    Not a bad gig for Gott… $500K/year plus perks for two years and then $940K to go back to UCI. The $940K severance should be paid by Allyn Ford and his cronies for their part in hiring Gottfredson. And if that doesn’t happen, take the $940K out of the UO (Athletics) Foundation.

    • Anonymous 08/07/2014

      Agreed. And let’s not see Allyn Ford heading up a search committee for the new Prez.

  37. Nobody 08/07/2014

    Nearly $1,000,00 for quitting? This is nothing short of absurd. Is Gott close with Melinda Grier and Mike Bellotti? JH admin, the board, and the foundation should be ashamed. They won’t though and why should they when they write their own rules and paychecks. Shameful.

    • nom 08/07/2014

      The absurdity is the continued lack of honesty–forget *transparency* (including LIllis’ huge gaff admitting his chairman view that Gott’s secrecy on the rape allegations proceedings isn’t a problem.) He was forced out, regardless of how delicately Lillis tried to hide it, and they just can’t admit it. Why? Well, the people that hired him still have significant involvement and they WILL have input for the next goat. I mean, President.

  38. uomatters Post author | 08/07/2014

    I thought Lillis was refreshingly honest, as far as these things go. The $940K, on the other hand? My recollection is Pernsteiner only paid Lariviere through the end of the year, $300K or so. In any case it’s done, hallelujah.

    • nom 08/07/2014

      Well, that’s partially true. Lillis admitted something that will follow him. But my point is that the whole process is quite dishonest “as these things go”. And yes … time to move on. Ciao! ;)

      • Anonymous 08/07/2014

        I would like to thank Mr. Lillis for not once saying “Go Ducks”.

  39. UO Advocate 08/07/2014

    Good-bye and good riddance. Gottfredson was a remote leader who ruled from an Olympian distance. Let’s hope that the new board has the wisdom to not repeat the mistakes of the previous board, which fired a beloved president and replaced him by someone in whom the UO community rightly had little faith. The current make-up of the board does not give one confidence in the outcome – but one can hope.

  40. U of Nike t-shirt idea 08/07/2014

    “I smoked all your GTF raises”

  41. Gotta go 08/07/2014

    Olympian distance, nah. He ain’t no god. When people came to visit him in his office, he always talked about Animal House and how the desk was the very same desk, blah, blah.

    Nero fiddled while Rome burned. ‘Course Gott is nowhere near as interesting as Nero…or Richard III…or even King Ahab for that matter.

  42. Anonymous 08/08/2014

    At least they did not give him $1 Million to get rid of him, just $940,000. We can all feel better about that? Gott’s presidency was a fail, & now he walks with a hefty sum. Do a bad job & get lots of extra cash. What other unmentioned perks is he getting & how much is that all worth? Such a parade of blunder.

    • UCProf 08/11/2014

      It’s called severance. You hire someone with a 5 year contract then 2 years in you ask them to resign and go away quietly, the $940,000 is compensation to break the contract. Schools do it all the time to get rid of football coaches. When Jeff Tedford was sacked at Cal he received a settlement of $6.9 million
      to in effect go away. He was smart enough to move to Nevada where he wouldn’t have to pay California State Income tax (>10%).

      • uomatters Post author | 08/11/2014

        Severance isn’t really the correct word. His employment contract promised him $440K if fired without cause, $0 if he resigned. The extra $500K was to get him to resign his tenure, leave immediately, and forfeit his right to sue UO.

        Thanks for taking him back, otherwise this would have been far more costly, and it’s already been a painful two years watching this guy stumble around.

        Contract here:

        • UCprof 08/12/2014

          He was very effective as Provost at UCI. Kept the University from suffering too badly in the budget crisis of 2009-2010, and UCI remains strong Academically at #43 among national Universities and
          #19 among Public Universities. All that without football.

        • UCprof 08/12/2014

          When someone pays you more than they have to to get you to leave
          I guess it could be called hush money, but like it or not it is a severance package. he could have dug in his heels and been a PITA,
          But he apparently read the situation and opted for the 940k. The problem for UO is that you still haven’t solved the problems inherent in the mess that PK had created there.

  43. Anonymous 08/08/2014

    Lariviere “beloved”? Naaaa “The Hat” sat on a fat cat, who wanted to privatize the U of O, so the 1%ers could make itf a for profit /private institute. He also went rogue & gave some people raises, while giving the middle finger salute to the lowest paid workers & shat upon their Union negotiations. I think there was a majority in the “good riddance” camp. More likely to be “beloved” by those who got raises.

    • Nail on Head 08/08/2014

      All true. The hat had a big swoosh on it. He bought whatever love with the raises for top earners.

  44. Board Lawbreakers 08/08/2014

    Oregon law requires public bodies to meet in public. The board obviously met secretly (serial emails or phone calls?) to discuss the resignation (firing?) before the unanimous public charade without any discussion. FOIA all of Lillis, Got and the rest of them for their emails, texts, notes, calendars etc. Oregon is still a democracy with open government, I hope.

    • Perhaps Not... 08/10/2014

      lawbreakers: This is just speculation or hopeful wishing on my part that our new board will more than just follow and actually wallow in the spirit of Oregon’s amazingly beautiful sunshine laws. I believe that they will find that this path would be the most beneficial paying dividends with legislators, taxpayers, and more importantly at this time students and parents. We need this openness to restore the lost trust, and restore the ownership of our common wealth.

      Hopefully, all that went on with MG was within the context of the open and frank discussions during his presidential evaluation. As UOM has pointed out most of the metrics, information and presentations around presidential evaluations can and should be public record however, the closed door deliberation should be private. Just think if these were open, would {insert favorite celebrity board member} feel free to to make a statement like Mr. G is a real dud lets throw him overboard?

  45. Nobody 08/08/2014

    So based on my time at the school it looks like the board needs to pays me $9,400,000.00 if I resign right now without notice. I’ll take it in cash. Thanks.

  46. mike 08/09/2014

    Thank you to Dominic Allen for taking a picture of a beaming new President Coltrane standing next to a smiling Sharon Rudnick, partner in Harrang, Gary, Long and Rudnick. The firm employs Dave Frohnmayer, Melinda Grier’s husband. The firm represents the city of Eugene in civil suits in federal court. It represents the state in civil suits against the UO in federal court.
    Why was Sharon Rudnick invited to the gathering? Why not Andrea Coit or Jens Schmidt, who represent the UO? She was there as a representative of Dave Frohnmayer. What else could it be? Is she on the Board of Trustees?

  47. angry old lady 08/09/2014

    What does it matter anymore. This place could dump every administrator they have and still run…more like run better than now. What I am concerned with is how much of that money is out of the students pockets? Seeing that board of business men doesn’t give a rats ass about students how much did they stick them for this time. I think the students should sue the board for violating a written contract…that said he gets nothing.

  48. Anonymous UO Alum 08/09/2014

    Gott probably wasn’t enjoying his time here in Eugene… With two years into his UO gig, his UCI tenure/LOA was probably about to expire and he had to make a quick decision where he’d rather be…
    The $940K golden parachute will cover his moving expenses and hopefully a soft landing at UCI. Not a bad gig for two years in Eugene!

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