UO Administration loses their “strategic thought partner”, will replace her with ChatGPT

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that Richie Hunter, vice president for university communications, will be leaving the University of Oregon to take the role of vice president for communications at the University of Michigan. While Richie finalized this decision over the last few weeks, she deferred announcing her transition until now in consideration of our presidential search.

Richie came to the UO in August 2021 and has had a wonderful, positive impact on the University of Oregon community during her time here. Thanks to her strategic communications expertise, we effectively rolled out groundbreaking university initiatives such as the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health; the acquisition of the northeast UO Portland campusLaunch Oregon, the new venture capital partnership between the UO and the UO Foundation; and the Home Flight Scholars Program, a first-of-its-kind scholarship and support program for Native American/Alaska Native students of Oregon. She was also a critical partner in successfully positioning the University of Oregon into the spotlight during the Oregon22 World Athletics Championships.

In a very short time, Richie skillfully reset the university’s communications landscape by establishing an organizational structure and team culture that maximizes our ability to tell the UO’s greatest stories. Richie has also served the University of Oregon as a sincere, enthusiastic, and visionary leader and thought partner. Her trademark joy and deep care for students, faculty, and staff were greatly valued by all. 

Richie’s last day at the University of Oregon will be May 5. A national search will begin immediately for a new vice president, and we will work expediently to name an interim leadership structure for University Communications.

Please join me in thanking Richie for her contributions to the University of Oregon and congratulating her on her new role at the University of Michigan.


Jamie Moffitt
Interim President

Fortunately VP Hunter (who presumably wrote this for Moffitt), can be cheaply replaced with ChatGPT, which writes in actual English rather than Administrativese:

Chat GPT:

Write a letter from the interim university president announcing that their VP for Strategic Communications will be leaving for a better job.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

It is with mixed emotions that I write to inform you that our Vice President for Strategic Communications, Ms. Jane Smith, will be leaving our university to pursue a new opportunity elsewhere. While we are sad to see her go, we are also proud of her achievements during her time here and grateful for the impact she has had on our community.

During her tenure, Ms. Smith led the development and implementation of our university’s strategic communication initiatives, elevating our brand and enhancing our reputation both locally and nationally. Her hard work and dedication have helped to position us as a leader in higher education, and her contributions will be greatly missed.

Ms. Smith has decided to pursue a new opportunity that she believes will further her professional growth and provide her with new challenges. While we are sorry to see her leave, we are also excited for her and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

As we move forward, we will begin a search for a new Vice President for Strategic Communications. During this time, Ms. Smith will work closely with us to ensure a smooth transition and to help us identify and recruit a qualified replacement. We will keep you updated on our progress in this important search.

On behalf of the university, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Ms. Smith for her dedication, commitment, and contributions to our community. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors and look forward to the continued success of our university under her leadership during this transition period.


[Your Name] Interim University President

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9 Responses to UO Administration loses their “strategic thought partner”, will replace her with ChatGPT

  1. First Law of PR says:

    The primary mission of marketers is to market themselves for a more lucrative job. The secondary mission is to market their bosses for a more lucrative job, if that helps with the primary mission. Public service has nothing to do with it.

  2. Johnson Hall says:

    Seeing a useless VP jump ship before the new President takes over is a good sign. I’m not naming names, but if a few more do the same I may get optimistic enough to buy a house.

  3. honest Uncle Gangsta says:

    For what it’s worth, UO has been named one of the 10 worst campuses in the country for academic freedom by FIRE.


    I wonder what the new Pres would have to say about that. And how would that compare with what ChatGPT would say?!

    • Slowly Boiled IT Duck says:

      Thanks for flagging that, honest UG. It’s a shameful accolade, but I have some slight hope that this is a lagging indicator, and that perhaps some are beginning to realize that mindless obeisance is not the purpose of academia.

      If nothing else, I’ve noticed several higher-ups that fly the full DEI/pronouns/loyalty oath flags have been cracking racist and sexist jokes somewhat openly. In past years, this would have bothered me–these days, it’s heartening.

      As for ChatGPT, I’ve long been of the opinion that most executives could be profitably replaced by potted plants. I don’t need the top dogs to do smart or good things. I just want them to avoid being foolish and evil. I can dream…

      • uomatters says:

        Not heartening.

      • honest Uncle Gangsta says:

        Boiled Duck — have they really been cracking such jokes? Somehow, I doubt it. And I hope not. I’d rather there was an effort at UO to (1) back up free speech — the FIRE ranking is horrible if it reflects reality; and (2) bring some real diversity of opinion to this campus. The woke DEI crusade is getting stale, plus it’s bringing some really bad attention to higher education. At least in some red states. But it’s not confined to the reds. If tenure is ended in Florida and Texas, and the world doesn’t come to an end, who’s to say that people in not-so-red places won’t conclude that it’s maybe not such a bad idea. People are getting fed up with what’s going on in higher ed. The Supreme Court is likely to end racial preferences this spring. Plus, a lot of people are questioning the worth of higher ed. I look at the student loan situation and see a lot not to like.

        • Slowly Boiled IT Duck says:

          Trying to recall the specifics, but likely one incident–perhaps comment rather than joke–that would raise DEI eyebrows a bit (the butt being a woman or minority) and two that would probably not (the butt being a white man). I shouldn’t assume, though. An honest DEI official might well go for “sauce for the goose”.

          My feeling is that a certain amount of foolishness should be tolerated. There but for the grace of God, etc., and surely I’ve made my share of stupid comments. If there was a pattern, I’d probably make a quiet, private intervention myself to put a stop to it.

          I have intervened once in a prior life, and the “offender” was truly distraught once they understood the situation. Today the guy would just be canned, but back then, things could often be settled quietly.

          As for “heartened”, I think of it like raising teenagers. No one wants to be sassed constantly by an ungrateful child. And yet, if there was never any lip, I’d worry far more, especially if I thought it was because they were afraid. A little edgy is good. Think of it as “price discovery”.

          Bonus link from Nature, on the topic of things being more complicated than they seem: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-00799-3?error=cookies_not_supported&code=c0ffc538-11db-4f86-a528-b6988549b177#Echobox=1679348459

  4. Simplius Simplicissimus says:

    I fed ChatGPT the Interim President’s letter and asked for a funny comment. Here it is:

    Richie Hunter V2 (a.k.a. CHatGPT): who needs a human when you have a chatbot with a PhD in funny comments?

    [Simplicius: recedes back into a shadowy corner of the internet] ….