UO Board of Trustees Chair, Chuck Lillis, issued the following statement today in response to President Gottfredson's decision to step down as President of the University of Oregon:
President Gottfredson entered into the role as President of the University of Oregon at a critical time in our university's history and led the institution from a state of uncertainty to a path of stability.
When President Gottfredson accepted the position two years ago, he inherited a pending NCAA investigation, which was cleared, a statewide debate about the future of higher education governance, and a new faculty union without a labor contract.
The challenges before him and the University were no small feat- but he successfully concluded the NCAA issue, worked and repaired relationships with the other University presidents, Governor and State Legislature to establish a new system of higher education governance for Oregon, including institutional boards, and negotiated a fair labor contract with the faculty union.
Despite the competing challenges, President Gottfredson never lost sight of the mission of the University of Oregon and continued to push to move the UO toward even greater academic excellence.
He identified national talent to serve as the Provost and other key leadership positions. He did a top-to-bottom review of UO operations, including how we budget and manage fiscal responsibilities. He established a Presidential Panel to review policies on sexual misconduct and adopt best practices. And he led a comprehensive space-needs assessment to make sure the UO is planning for and positioned to accommodate the growing demands to serve more students into the future.
President Gottfredson also took a critical look at where we are today – and where we need to be – establishing new ambitious but attainable benchmarks to make the UO a leading public research university that can compete on a world stage.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are grateful for the leadership of Michael Gottfredson to put the University of Oregon on a path of excellence in every area that we compete. We wish him the best in his next endeavors. The Board looks forward to seeking new leadership at this time to continue the work he started and continue to build on the legacy of the University of Oregon.