Tuesday, April 29, 2008

University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer to Retire!

University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer has announced he will retire a year from this June.

Frohnmayer, first appointed to the UO’s top job in 1994, announced his retirement plans Tuesday in a letter to Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Oregon University System Chancellor George Pernsteiner. He is the third-longest serving president in the university’s history.

In the past I have been critical of President Frohnmayer , particularly over the WRC dust up but, all in all, my old law school professor has done a good job. When I was a first year law student I took his Torts class and on the second day of class I knew he wanted to be Governor of Oregon. He didn't make it but he did become a member of the Oregon Legislature and Oregon Attorney General. He is a liberal Republican who has one foot in the political world and on foot in academia. Thus, he was able to do a good job as University of Oregon President. When he made a misstep by alienating Phil Knight when the University of Oregon joined the Workers Rights Consortium he was politically astute to extricate himself from that mistake. It was his political skill that was able to ease Bill Moos out as Athletic Director and bring in Pat Kilkenny when Moos was not able to get the new basketball arena built. He then used his skill with the Oregon Legislature to get them to authorise 200 million dollars in bonds for the new basketball arena. We don't agree politically but The University of Oregon is a better place and school than it was before he took over. He also in person is a nice guy and grew up in Medford, Oregon. He and his wife have had some personal tragedies that make all of our hearts go out to him and his family. I still remember he and his young wife coming into Duffy's Tavern together many years ago when I was a law student and the tavern, a block from the law school, was a popular hang out for law students after a hard day of study!

UPDATE: Phil Knight issued a statement on Frohnmayer's announced retirement;"Dave Frohnmayer was simply the best president the University of Oregon has ever had." That says it all

Thanks President Frohnmayer.