A number of sources say the top choice for the position of interim president of the University of Oregon is Robert Berdahl, an administrator at the University, who taught history in Eugene for two decades before leaving to take a variety of posts elsewhere, including the chancellor's job at the University of California at Berkeley, and the top job at the Association of American Universities. The Associated Press reported that Berdahl met yesterday with Governor John Kitzhaber.
The choice of Berdahl to replace Richard Lariviere, who was fired last week by the State Board of Higher Education, would be well-received at the campus in Eugene and by Duck supporters. Berdahl was hired by Lariviere, is a strong supporter of Lariviere's goal of establishing more independence for the University and is the author of a blistering op-ed piece in the Eugene Register-Guard, in which he condemned the State Board of Higher Ed and the Governor.
Despite that column, Berdahl has the support of Kitzhaber and Board president Matthew Donegan. Other members of the board are reportedly angry and less inclined to support him, which is why no announcement has yet been made.
Below is a fascinating interview Larivere did with the Oregon Daily Emerald. For those looking for a Cliffs Notes version, here are some of the key moments:
*At about 7:35, Lariviere says he was hired to get the University "out from under the Oregon University system."
*At about 9:15, Lariviere says that while he knew he never had the board's support, he thought he had the support of Governor John Kitzhaber
*At about 11:44, Lariviere blames Chancellor George Pernsteiner for not sharing with the state Board of Higher Ed communications that Lariviere was sharing with him.