Who Gets to Decide?

September 15, 2014 / Phil Lesch

Inside Higher Ed
September 15th, 2014

As the University of Oregon begins to look for its sixth president in seven years, faculty and staff union leaders say they are being blocked from having much say in the new search.

The public university last week approved a presidential search plan that union leaders say excludes their representatives and members from the search. Their concern is heightened because the new search is the first undertaken by the public university since it became more independent from the state. Before, its ultimate overseer was a statewide board. On July 1, it began to operate under its own Board of Trustees.

Oregon has had high turnover in its top spot. Its latest president, Michael Gottfredson, resigned in August after two years on the job. Provost Scott Coltrane is serving as interim president.

At a meeting last week, Board of Trustees Chairman Chuck Lillis, a Colorado businessman with some experience in higher ed, laid out a search plan that critics say is too secretive and excludes union representatives — and that gives Lillis himself too much say.

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