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Archive for November, 2011

Lariviere’s response to state board via email to students, faculty and staff

November 24th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

There’s been a bit of a debacle with President Lariviere here at UO. In an email to students, faculty and staff this morning, President Lariviere announced he intends to finish out his contract which ends on June 30, 2012.

Full email here:

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Earlier today I informed the chair of the State Board of Higher Education of my decision to not resign my position at the University of Oregon. Instead, I am committed to serving as president through the end of my contract on June 30, 2012.

As you know, on Monday I was informed by the State Board of Higher Education that my contract as president will not be renewed. In the hours since news of the State Board decision became public, I have been heartened by the outpouring of support I have received for the work we are doing to reimagine public higher education in Oregon. While the positive comments from members of the campus community and beyond help to galvanize my commitment to this outstanding institution, I hasten to remind you that this is not about me. We must all redouble our efforts to bring about positive change to the governance, funding and accountability of Oregon’s public universities.

Again, I want to thank you all for the excellent work you do. I am, indeed, fortunate to be able to call you colleagues.

Best regards,

Richard Lariviere


OUS Proposes Larivere’s Immediate Termination, and the President Gets White Knighted

November 23rd, 2011 by Ashley

According to an official statement by the OUS released earlier today, the board will be “[voting] in a public meeting on Monday, November 28, 2011 regarding the status of the employment agreement of Dr. Richard Lariviere as president of the University of Oregon.” In layman’s terms? They’re going to be voting on whether to fire him that day or not.

The blog We Love Our Pres, created yesterday in support of President Lariviere’s reinstatement, has posted the letter in full, which can be read here. Obviously, they’re not happy about it.

They’re not the only ones, either. In the twenty hours since Lariviere sent out the catalytic email announcing that his contract would not be renewed, support for the President has come flooding in the way only Eugene knows how to flood.

From the Register-Guard:

Thirty-six department and program heads of the UO College of Arts and Sciences signed a letter to the board and other state leaders to “express their unequivocal support” of Lariviere and to urge “he be retained.”


Leaders of the University Senate, which includes faculty, students and staff, met in an emergency session Wednesday.afternoon [sic] to plan action over the next week or two They [sic] immediately started a petition for Lariviere’s reinstatement — collecting 1,600 signatures in the first two hours — and shared information on Facebook and Twitter.

“The very people who obviously are directly connected with the president have had no voice, no voice in this matter,” said Robert Kyr, University Senate president.


“This is a terrible decision for the university and the State of Oregon that promotes mediocrity rather than rewarding visionary leadership,” said Julia Mee, the [Alumni Association’s] board president. “We urge the board and governor to immediately reverse their decision and reinstate him.

Portland Business Journal highlighted supporters even higher up the chain, with State Senator Floyd Prozanski (or, apparently “Senator Duck” as he likes to be called) coming to Lariviere’s defense:

“I didn’t fully agree with all of the perspective that he brought as president but I honored the man for being able to stand up and say what he believes in,” Prozanski said. “If he’s being canned because he showed some independence, that is wrong. We should be able to have this dialogue between reasonable people, especially in higher education.”

Even the esteemed academics Chip Kelly and Phil Knight provided their individual takes on the matter; Kelly told The Oregonian that he was “really surprised” to hear the news, while Daddy Knight got a bit more creative:

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. [This is an] astonishingly bad decision…It’s yet another application of Oregon’s Assisted Suicide law. 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.

Lariviere is even getting support from people who arguably see him as The Enemy. The United Academics of the University of Oregon, the chief organization behind attempts at faculty unionization at the UO and no friend to Lariviere, said even they would prefer Lariviere over the devil they don’t know:

No one in United Academics expected that President Lariviere would be an ally in the move toward collective bargaining at the University of Oregon. On the contrary, we expected a tough and vigorous negotiation with him. But we would much rather negotiate with a president who understands our priorities and goals for the university’s future than with one who does not.

They went on to note that, “President Lariviere’s termination serves as a reminder that in the absence of a binding contract, faculty, researchers, and teaching staff will remain confined to a limited and ineffectual role in shaping the university’s future.”

Lastly, The Register Guard reports that UO students have taken their own special brand of action: “Students started a Facebook page, Lariviere for UO president, that had more than 800 likes by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and was drawing messages of support from business people and UO employees.”

So there you have it. Faculty, the University Senate, the Alumni Association, senators, football coaches, billionaires, the AAUP, and a smattering of the student body want to keep Lariviere around, and are gnashing their teeth at the equally gnash-y OUS. It may all come to a head next week with the board’s vote and, shockingly enough, this shit might end up getting crazier.

As for the man himself?

“[After this] There is a very good likelihood I’ll be teaching Sanskrit,” Lariviere told The Oregonian. “That is a prospect that has a lot of appeal.”

The University Senate’s petition to reinstate Lariviere can be found here. The Lariviere for President facebook page, if you’re really that interested, can be found here.

Update: UO Matters has an interesting roadmap of reactions and motivations here.

Funny story: Stephen Glass wants to be a lawyer?

November 23rd, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

The story of Stephen Glass goes a little like this:

Man has great story idea, works for awesome publication. Man makes up story even though it’d be pretty damn easy to just get the story. Actually, man does this a shit-ton an embarrasses himself, his publication and the world of journalism. Man loses job.

This is of course the children’s book version, sorry I didn’t have time to draw it out. There’s also a movie version called Shattered Glass (excellent film).

So, the moral is that this kid gets kicked out because he isn’t being ethical.

His next choice of careers? What better than law?

Glass is currently waiting for approval from the California Supreme Court so that he can start practicing according to this article.



Stipends: Part 2

November 23rd, 2011 by Emily Schiola

Just when you think it’s safe to go outside, stipends strike again. After last week’s senate meeting, the Stipend Model committee was asked to once again reshape the stipend plan, due to a general lack of understanding in the room.

The plan was to allocate money based on the amount of work that was being done. However there was a general consensus that this was not being accomplished in the original plan. So it was back to the drawing board. Yesterday, the new plan was decided as follows:

(If you don’t actually care about the numbers just skip the next paragraph)

PFC Committee will make $250 a month for six months.
Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee, Department Finance Committee and EMU Board will be making $175 a month.
Senators will receive a base pay of $150 a month.

Although this was what was hashed out on Monday, it doesn’t mean Senate will approve of the new plan. The committee might have to start over after the meeting. So they might agree on something completely different.

This reporter will be working tirelessly to bring all updates to the public. Or just wait until Rockne gathers all the information and shamelessly use it to my advantage in typical Commentator fashion. One way or another, stipend info can be found here.

Update: OUS Cans Richard Lariviere

November 23rd, 2011 by Ashley

Yep. You read that right. As of 4pm today, Lariviere has been handed his pink slip.

According to the Williamette Week, Kitzhaber affirmed the decision alongside the OUS, sounding the death knell for President Lariviere tenure. Elaborating on an email sent early Tuesday to UO students, staff, and faculty by the man himself, The Register-Guard has noted that it is “[Larivere’s] intention is to remain in his position until the end of his current contract.”

It’s not news that Lariviere isn’t the OUS’s favorite man: they were none-too-happy about the faculty and administrative raises he helped institute back in September, and practically blew their fancy curled wigs (or whatever the fashion in Salem is these days), when Lariviere bypassed them and took the New Partnership plan straight to the state.

While restraints have previously been placed on Lariviere’s ability to act without board approval, the decision not to extend his contact whatsoever is an unexpected move–and not one that has universal approval. State Representative Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene), for instance, spoke to his worries about the matter in an interview with The Register Guard:

It’s of great concern to me that his contract is not being renewed … he was a great fighter for students, and his proposals would have raised up to $1 billion to support the university long-term…I’m very concerned about our capacity to get a topnotch president in here, who will pursue good policies and initiatives.

It is yet unknown who, if anyone, has been selected to take up the President’s position at the end of the academic year. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that not much of anything is known right about now. The only certainty is uncertainty.

In the meantime, UO Matters has summed up their ideas on this bombshell, and what we should all do about it, in a refreshingly non-sanitized manner:

Dr. Pernsteiner wins. UO loses. My first thought is there is no way in hell I want to work for George Pernsteiner without a strong faculty union on my side. So let’s start one – where and when can I sign that card check?

Williamette Week has their take on the story here, and The Register Guard has an even more detailed analysis here.

Personally, I’ll miss the hats.

Black Friday

November 23rd, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

This is a public service announcement:  With all this riffraff about the 1%, don’t forget the true meaning of Thanksgiving: standing in line outside a chain-store at 1 a.m. the morning after, eating left-overs and looking like Rudolph because it’s freezing.

Just please don’t have as many Red Bull and Eggnog’s as these guys:

President Lariviere asked to resign

November 23rd, 2011 by Kellie B.

In an email sent out at 11:30 PM tonight, UO President Richard Lariviere notified students of his impending departure from the University of Oregon. After only two and a half years as President the chair of the State Board of Higher Education gave him the choice of immediate resignation or finishing out his contract to July 2012. The full contents of the email are below.

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

I received news on Monday in a meeting with the chair of the State Board of Higher Education that my contract as president of the University of Oregon will not be renewed. I was told I could resign or accept the termination of my contract, which runs through July 1, 2012, and I am weighing those options at this time.

This turn of events is a result of the ongoing difference of opinion over the future of the UO. But meaningful change often turns on uncomfortable moments, and it is my hope that I will be leaving the university well-positioned to take advantage of ongoing reforms to our state’s system of public universities.

Since becoming the UO’s 16th president in July 2009, my focus has been on enhancing the education of our students at Oregon’s flagship public university. I have sought to do this by focusing on our critical public mission and tapping the brilliance and innovation that resides here among our faculty, staff and students.

The UO has had a leading voice in public discussions that resulted in this year’s legislative overhaul to the structure of Oregon’s entire educational system – from early childhood education through post-doctoral studies. Our bold ideas have led to the promise of additional changes in the not-too-distant future, including eventual consideration of our proposal for individual universities to form local governing boards.

But our primary mission has been to provide educational opportunity and academic excellence, and you have taken both to new heights. Enrollment is at an all-time high this year, topping last year’s record enrollment. Much has been made of our ability to attract out-of-state and international students, but we are also educating more Oregon students than ever before. This year’s freshman class is the most diverse and has the highest grade point average of any incoming class in UO history, and we have raised freshman-to-sophomore retention to a new level.

We are what great students look for in a university. We are different, and embrace difference. We have brilliant, dedicated faculty, cutting-edge research, and award-winning programs. Through careful financial stewardship we were able to give well-earned salary increases to faculty and staff. The UO’s research grant funding is setting records as well.

Even though the past 2 ½ years have been difficult economic times for our entire country, we have generated a quarter of a billion dollars in private gifts at the UO and we have half a billion dollars in ongoing construction projects.

One of my proudest accomplishments is the concerted advocacy for public policy, governance and funding changes to strengthen the university and the entire state. I remain hopeful that honest debate and the exploration of new ideas – whether academic or political – will be celebrated and encouraged.

I wanted you to hear this news from me personally, not read about it elsewhere. I encourage all of you to channel your energy into advancing the momentum we have built together.  Thank you for the great work you do.  I am intensely proud to be your colleague.


Richard Lariviere


Now what are we going to do with all these Dick Rivers t-shirts?

A Guide to Thanksgiving 2011

November 22nd, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

Stuck in town for Thanksgiving? Stuck at home for Thanksgiving? Here are some Commentator-approved ideas!

1.   In general, Macy’s and drunk should be synonymous, but this should be the case even more so on Thanksgiving. If you’re in for the hours and hours of fun called the Macy’s day parade consider making a pitcher of Mexican Thanksgiving Shots and taking a shot each time you see a marching band.

Recipe: Fill pitcher 1/2 full with Tequila. Fill remaining part of pitcher with Wild Turkey.
Alternatively, check out these holiday shot recipes. And this holiday drinking game.

2.   Find a Bank of America and impersonate their door.
3.   Capture wild turkey, take it downtown, let it go and then chase it saying “Turkey is friend not food!”
4.   Make yourself a meal of traditionally American food, just kidding! Check out these local places that are serving up Thanksgiving dinner. Or, if you’re too lazy, to venture a mile off campus McDonalds is open until 11 a.m. (Ethics and shit: I contribute to MyEugene and have class with the author of that article, so don’t get all crazy and yell at me for bein’ biased, ’cause I told you!)
5.   Change all of the Bibles for copies of the Student Insurgent before Thanksgiving service at your church. (I’d link to there blog here but it seems they must be SOOOO busy with their upcoming issue that they had to delete their blog.)
6.   And what’s as awesome as walking 2 miles at 9 a.m.? Running 4 miles of course! Sign up for the Turkey Trot 2-mile walk or 4-mile run benefiting Food for Lane County.
7.   Oh, and I almost forgot, the university calender says that the Museum of Natural and Cultural History will be showing an exhibit from 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. This couldn’t possibly be wrong, I’m sure they’re open. So make sure and check it out!

And here’s a little history lesson, enjoy!





Mile High Rub

November 21st, 2011 by Spencer Madison

Ryanair, a low cost Irish airline company, recently announced that they might start offering in-flight pornography. Michael O’Leary, you just blew my goddamn mind. I realize that on long, transcontinental flights you might get bored, then restless, then maybe a little horny (we’ve all been there), but for God’s sake, just slink off to the bathroom and use the sexy slideshow in your head. I’m pretty sure that this wouldn’t make smoothing your runway legal on a plane, which would put it in the same inexplicable category as a porn theater where you can watch but not masturbate (I’ve been burned before). Even if they were to install 3m privacy screens on all the seats (making it impossible for you and a bro to watch Hot Fuzz together), you can still see a little from certain angles, which means some kid in the aisle a few feet back just got a free viewing of My Granny is a Tranny. Speaking of, pornography is a pretty diverse media to say the least of it, so who would decide what movies they choose? If there isn’t a trampoline, clown, and a bowling pin I ain’t even a little interested, so here’s hoping they just skip the really vanilla stuff and just play batshit insane filth with beehives and conjoined twins, because only a real wierdo is going to want to watch a porno in CLEAR VIEW of the young and infirm.


For $12.99 you could be that guy.

The Freudian Issue Online Today

November 18th, 2011 by Ashley

I am sure there’s some clue to my deepest sexual depravities somewhere in that headline. Surely.

Sit there, consumed with lust for the rest of the evening as you wait for the print version to arrive, or read it here now!

17 Eugene Occupiers arrested for impersonating bank door

November 17th, 2011 by Spencer Madison

Over the course of a day, 17 people were arrested outside a Eugene Chase Bank, after blocking the entrance physically and putting a padlock on the door. I doubt this stopped anyone from using the many ATM’s that litter the sides of banks, but a few protesters actually asked to be arrested. Maybe no one told them that you don’t get to play martyr if you ask for it. Either way they’ll be trying to use this to try and get laid with some hemp-sandaled protester girls when they’re released.

Ordinance 1312; Disorderly Conduct involving a Sombrero

Ordinance 1312... Disorderly Conduct involving a Sombrero

EMU Referendum Greek Town Hall

November 15th, 2011 by Kellie B.

Lets Get GREEK

One trendy PDX occupier making waves

November 14th, 2011 by Spencer Madison

This Sunday, as the occupiers decided to forgo passive protest by trying to intimidate a police line, an unidentified person back in the crowd, realizing that just being a loud multitude wasn’t protesty enough, threw something at a policeman. Knowing Portland it was probably some hipstery camera or a Pabst, and was unable to injure said officer. He must be on the cutting edge of something, considering the movement he’s in isn’t exactly about Greece style anti-police violence. No word yet on whether or not this tosser has made any incriminating Tweets about it.

It was probably this dude.

It was probably this dude.

Did it all for the Nookie

November 13th, 2011 by Kellie B.

It’s hard being a teenage boy. Oil is seeping from every pore, getting beer is a risky and arduous quest, and, unless you’re lucky enough that some classmate is willing to touch your junk, you’re spending your nights with Rosie Palm and her five single sisters. So this is why I, and I’m sure many others, sympathize with Rubin Vati, 18, who traveled almost 2,000 miles from Phoenix to Milwaukee to meet up with two internet girlfriends for what turned out to be satantic ritual sex.

I’m sure Vati had to have some kind of reservations about the sanity of Rebecca Chandler, 20, and Raven Larabee, 22 (pictured below), but hey, pussy’s pussy. It wasn’t until the 300th stab wound that Vati decided things had gotten out of hand and broke free from his lover’s duct tape restraints and ran out into the street to call for help, leaving a trail of blood that the police later followed to located the suspected perpetrators. A copy of The Necromantic Handbook was found in the house.

Chandler and Larabee are being held on bond in Wisconsin. Vati is expected to make a full recovery, and is going to avoid Twilight girls from now on.

Chandler, left, Larabee, right

Stipends, Stipends, Stipends

November 12th, 2011 by Emily Schiola

You asked for it, so here it is. The new stipend increases for the 2012-2013 year. Bust open your wallets friends and family.

The president and vice president will now be making $600 a month. Chief of staff will be making $350 a month. Your everyday run of the mill senator will be making $150.

When dealing with programs, things get a little bit more complicated. Programs will be split into four classes. Class 1 gets a lump sum of $725 while Class 1 will receive $275 a month. It is up to the group to divide up the money amongst members.

Programs like the Multicultural Center and Women’s Center are exempt from this cap.

So after all these numbers, the moral of the story is that incidental fees will be increasing next year by $93,852. About $4.47 per person. Not terrible.