I feel obliged to report on this because this man handed me my diploma: Oregon Board of Higher Education decided not to renew the contract of Richard Lariviere, University of Oregon president. To put it nicely, he's fired.

Why? It looks like the man didn't have many supporters in the Oregon University System, let alone Gov. John Kitzhaber, due to his budgetary decision making.

The Hat and his posse. Aka students.
  • University of Oreogon
  • "The Hat" and his posse. Aka students.

"Dr. Lariviere's actions have done damage to our vision for higher education and other institutions of higher learning; and, ironically, have served to undercut his own aspirations for the University of Oregon," Kitzhaber told the Oregonian.

But his firing didn't go unnoticed. Nearly 60 pro-Lariviere faculty members filed complaint to the university's state's ethics commission, as the Board of Higher Education apparently publicized their decision prior to a mandatory meeting and vote. Students aren't too pleased either. Last night, a group of upset students decorated OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner's home with eggs, leaving behind an angry letter and the words "The Hat" — Southern gent Lariviere is known for his ever-present fedora, see photo — spray painted on the driveway.

Larievere remains classy in his rejection. On Wednesday, he published a letter to the campus: "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."

His contract terminates on June 30, 2012.