The Oregonian's chief political editor Chris Broderick announced his resignation today to the paper's staff.

Broderick has been at the paper more than a decade, having come from Colorado before that. He, more than any other editor at the paper, has driven the watchdog coverage of state government. A good example would be recent coverage of the Department of Energy's business and energy tax credit program, and its enormous expenditures. Or coverage of foster care placement decisions by the Department of Human Services.

Broderick's is the second significant departure from the paper in a week. Steve Cowden, widely considered the best graphic artist perhaps in the paper's history, announced he was leaving, last week, to go to work for the Port of Portland.

Broderick plans to take an upper management job at Portland State University. What makes the move unsurprising is that he was the paper's education editor for many years before moving over to politics.

These guys are not being fired. On the contrary, they seem to be jumping ship. The Oregonian announced 37 layoffs—the first layoffs in the paper's history—last month. After the layoffs, there was a hope that the paper could move forward, but to have two such prominent hires leave voluntarily is not a good sign.

It's not clear whether Broderick has also been in conflict with the paper's new right-wing publisher, N.Christian Anderson III, but we have a request in at the Oregonian for comment on these departures.