Diane Dietz interviews new UO Pres Michael Schill

In the RG here. I think it makes more sense to judge these presidents by what they do than by what they say, but this statement about the AAU has some people worried:

Schill said it’s not fruitful for the UO to worry about whether it will be asked to leave the elite, 62-member Association of American Universities. That group is getting more selective as the UO’s academic metrics have slipped.

“What we need to be is the very best academic institution we can be and everything else will sort itself out,” he said. “If we follow the right path for the University of Oregon, which is to enhance our academic standing, which I’m deeply committed to — I wouldn’t have taken the job if that wouldn’t be my goal.

“My whole life has been to celebrate academic excellence and to move the institutions I’ve been a part of forward in those areas,” Schill said. “If we follow that path, we will be successful with whatever we choose to do.”

Many faculty see AAU membership as one of the few constraints on the less noble instincts of the Duck boosters and the Johnson Hall junketeers. If we get kicked out, the faculty’s power takes a big hit. And rumor has it more than one top JH admin is already saying that tradeoff would be just fine with them.

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