Two years after the University of Oregon was rocked by the firing of Richard Lariviere, UO finds itself again without a president as Michael Gottfredson announced his resignation, effective August 7.
Gottfredson was hired by the State Board of Higher Education after the highly controversial firing of Lariviere. As much as Lariviere was loved by the campus community, he didn't get along with Salem bureaucrats, who fired him despite intense campus uproar. While the State Board of Higher Education installed Gottfredson as Lariviere's successor, the political fallout from the episode led to the UO getting its own governing board. That board took effect July 1.
Gottfredson never won over the campus community the way his predecessor did, and this is pretty clearly a forced departure--the resignation is effective immediately, the day before a meeting of the UO Board, without an obvious place for him to go. Two years ago, the bureaucrats made a power play. While they won the battle, it's clear they lost the war. With the UO Board in full power, they will now put their guy in place.
Gottfredson wasn't a bad guy and, in some ways, he was put in a position to not succeed. But now that, finally, a two-and-a-half year fight for control of the University has a decisive conclusion, the work of furthering the University can finally begin in earnest.