5/30/2010: from David Sarahsohn of the Oregonian:
… An ad for Democratic front-runner John Kitzhaber promises “two years of college for all Oregon students who have earned it,” even if the film shows adorable pre-schoolers. A spot for Republican Chris Dudley talks about “transforming universities for innovation and job creation” and even shows a picture of one. … According to Dudley’s website, “As Governor, Chris Dudley will unshackle Oregon’s colleges and universities from outdated regulations that cost too much money and limit innovation and accountability of individual institutions; will reverse the decades-long retreat from higher education investment.” Those last words could sound almost musical to Oregon universities. …
On the theme of giving universities more autonomy, something stressed by every university president in the state, Dudley points out, “We’re supplying 8 percent of the budget, and they’ve got 6300 line-items,” specific instructions from the Legislature to the campuses….
“It’s good to see it,” says Oregon State President Ed Ray, citing comments by Kitzhaber and Dudley. “There’s a lot of white papers floating out there, and maybe that’s drawn some attention.”… University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere says he thinks the campaign mention is encouraging, and he hasn’t even been here long enough to know how unusual it is.