When Gov. John Kitzhaber greenlighted the firing of University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere last month, he incurred the wrath of Oregon's richest man, Nike chairman and co-founder Phil Knight.
Here's the statement from Knight that Nike circulated on Nov. 23:
“It deeply saddens me that some people in power in our state continue to drive Oregon into a death spiral with their embrace of mediocrity. It’s yet another application of Oregon’s Assisted Suicide law.The good news for Kitzhaber is Knight did not stay angry for long—or at least his company didn't.
For the Chancellor and the State Board of Higher Education, a “team player” is someone who falls in line with their acceptance of mediocrity, and the one who strives for excellence does not fit in. Let us hope that the Oregon community can take this astonishingly bad decision and recognize that it does not have to define us. We still have the collective capacity to rise up and do great things.”