Remember The Man In The Green Fedora?

Regarding your Slant column of 8/18: The University of Oregon and Eugene need a university president “who has a passion for the arts and humanities.”

Not long ago we had one in Richard Lariviere (BA History of Religion, doctorate in Sanskrit). During his too-brief tenure (2009 to 2011), Lariviere boosted UO faculty salaries, brought some much-needed accountability to the athletic department (an unforgivable sin here in Nike town) and envisioned a new UO governing board that would be independent of the old Oregon State System of Higher Education.

Remember what he got for his efforts? An erratically behaving Gov. John Kitzhaber fired him in a grandstanding public fit of bruised ego. Former supporters at UO kicked him on his way out the door and badmouthed him after he was gone (perhaps eager to appease the ranting governor and save their own hides). Then, once he was in a new job in a far-off state, the UO established the independent governing board he pushed for (no credit given to him for the idea, of course).

Like you, I favor a UO president with academic roots in the arts and humanities. But based on how we treated the last one we had, we deserve less.

Dana Magliari


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