(KMTR) –Monday’s decision to fire University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere is not sitting well with some. Faculty and students held a rally Tuesday at the EMU amphitheater to voice their frustration with the Oregon University System.
On Monday, the State Board of higher education voted twelve to zero to fire Lariviere, saying they've lost trust and confidence in his ability to lead the university. Since Lariviere was hired in 2009, he has clashed with the board and the governor. The board says he has pushed for more independence for the University at the expense of the state's six other campuses. Lariviere has wanted independence from the state board for some time, which is why some people believe he was terminated.
Tuesday's rally was held in response to the fighting, and also to bring to light decisions the state board is making without asking members of the University. There are no U of O-affiliated representatives on the state board.
One faculty member spoke out at the rally saying Lariviere's firing has created serious instability in their leadership. Many are nervous about what this means for the future of the University of Oregon.
Biology Professor Patrick Phillips stood in front of Tuesday’s crowd, encouraging people to make their voices heard by contacting their state representatives. Phillips says his biggest fear is that the University will continue to lose good faculty members if things don't turn around. He says he doesn't know how they'll recruit the best possible president when the board just fired who he believes was a great president, and one who had the support of the University.
Lariviere's last day will be December 28th. OUS Director of Communications Diane Saunders told KMTR that Dr. Lariviere will receive close to equivalent of his salary through June 30th, 2012, which is $245,700. She says an interim president will be determined over the next few weeks and the Board will convene another meeting to move to appoint this.