Saturday, November 26, 2011

UO Deans speak out in support of Lariviere

Here is the text of the statement from the UO Deans in support of President Lariviere that appeared in Saturday's Register Guard:

The decision of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education not to renew President Richard Lariviere’s contract is a body blow to the University of Oregon and to the state. The ouster of this visionary, effective president will have a profoundly negative effect on families, businesses and communities in all corners of our state and beyond.
The deans at the University of Oregon urge the board and the governor to reconsider before it is too late.
As deans of the UO schools and colleges, we work closely with faculty and staff who prepare students for success in an increasingly complex world. We work every day with internationally recognized faculty whose research and creative activity have an impact around the world while bringing millions of dollars into the state.
We are charged with assuring that the university fulfills its mission as a public research institution. Despite declining state support, despite economic uncertainty and despite increased competition for the best students and faculty, the UO is a better university today than it was three years ago.
We are poised to make even greater progress, in part, because our president has modeled and encouraged creative, innovative, future-oriented thought and action. We are on a roll, to the benefit of all. Please do not stop us now.
President Lariviere has earned our confidence — not because we have agreed with all of his ideas, but because he is intelligent, creative and bold in the pursuit of excellence.
We are unanimous in giving the president an A+ for his vision, his leadership and his unwavering commitment to public higher education. We are confident that an evaluation of his performance based on appropriate metrics would lead to a similar grade. We can only conclude that the state board and the governor gave him an F in “plays well with state bureaucracies.”
Oregon cannot afford to lose a visionary leader over style points.
This controversy is about the future of Oregon. Without the development of new ways to support and deliver higher education in our state, both our private and public sectors will collapse, leaving us with mediocrity throughout.
At a time when the state is struggling to balance its budget, struggling to build an infrastructure for renewed growth and struggling to compete in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, we must not gamble with our economic and intellectual future.
Our protest is not about protecting our boss; it is about excellence. Twenty-four years ago, UO President Paul Olum was removed from office because he advocated for a new relationship between the UO and the state. Time and again, UO presidents have told the board, the legislature and the governor that the university cannot achieve its full potential without a change in the status quo models of financing and governance.
We are seeing the potentially devastating impact of this decision to change leadership. In the last 48 hours, every dean has had some of our best faculty question whether they can stay. Every dean has had alumni and supporters express second thoughts about investing their time and money in the UO.
Faculty and students come to the UO because they believe in our potential to be bold, creative, imaginative and empowering. Firing our president would send a tragically wrong message.
President Lariviere was hired by the board and supported by the UO community because he promised to lead us in finding a new model for excellence in higher education in Oregon. The UO community challenges the board, the governor and our president to forge a new path so that we can continue to build a great university for the benefit of all Oregonians.
Tim Gleason is dean of the UO School of Journalism and Communication. Others contributing to this statement were Michael Bullis, dean of the College of Education; Frances Bronet, dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts; Deb Carver, dean of Libraries; Scott Coltrane, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Cornelis “Kees” de Kluyver, dean of the Lundquist College of Business; Brad Foley, dean of the School of Music and Dance; David Frank, dean of the Honors College; Sandra Morgen, vice provost of Graduate Studies and associate dean of Graduate Studies; and Michael Moffitt, dean of the School of Law.

No comments:

Post a Comment