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Richard Lariviere announced as finalist for University of Oregon President

Di Saunders – Office: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869

Candidate to meet with campus community March 10 and 11

Note to Editors: Campus public forums schedule and downloadable photo of the candidate are available at http://newpres.uoregon.edu

Portland, OR, March 2, 2009 – The finalist candidate for the new president of the University of Oregon was announced today by George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University System. After consultation with a search committee chaired by State Board of Higher Education (Board) member John von Schlegell, Pernsteiner said he was recommending that Dr. Richard W. Lariviere (pronounced La-riv-ee-air), currently the executive vice-chancellor and provost at the University of Kansas, be appointed by the Board to lead the University, pending a visit to Oregon that would begin March 10.

“The search committee is extremely pleased with the outcome of the finalist selection process,” said von Schlegell. “The next president of the University of Oregon will take over the leadership of this world -class university during a time of intense challenges. Dr. Lariviere has a unique and diverse set of skills, leadership qualities, and broad experiences that make him the right person to take the UO to its next level of excellence in ensuring student success, advancing knowledge and innovation, and making Oregon competitive internationally. We look forward to Dr. Lariviere’s campus visit next week when he can interact with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the larger community.”

If appointed, Lariviere would begin his leadership at UO on July 1, succeeding President Dave Frohnmayer, who announced last year he would leave the presidency after serving for fifteen years.

Dr. Lariviere has served as executive vice-chancellor and provost at the University of Kansas since 2006. During this time he has led efforts to restructure graduate education and research including the increase in compensation for Graduate Teaching Fellows. Lariviere is a Judson Neff Centennial Fellow in the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas, a position he has held since 1995. He also has served as an adviser to numerous corporations.

Prior to joining the University of Kansas, Dr. Lariviere served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas from 1999 to 2006. During his tenure, the college completed a capital campaign, significantly increased the number of faculty, and doubled its rate of external research funding. Other positions held by Dr. Lariviere at the University of Texas included associate vice president for International Programs from 1995 to 1999; the Bruton Chair in Liberal Arts from 1999 to 2006; the Jacob and Frances Mossiker Chair in the Humanities from 2003 to 2006; and the Ralph B. Thomas Regents professor of Asian Studies from 1993-2003. He also served as a technical advisor to Perot Systems Corporation from 1993 to 1996.

"I am most excited by the possibility of joining the University of Oregon as its next president," said Lariviere.  "It is an honor to be selected as the finalist at an institution of great stature and reputation, and I would welcome the chance to lead the university at a time of immense challenge and opportunity. My wife, Jan, and I look forward to getting to know the campus and community, and also the beautiful state of Oregon."

Other academic positions Dr. Lariviere has held include director of the Center for Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin from 1986 to 1994, and assistant professor to professor of Sanskrit in the Department of Oriental Languages and Literatures at the same institution from 1982 to 1990. He was visiting assistant professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature and School of Religion (joint appointment) at the University of Iowa from 1980 to 1982; and was visiting lecturer in the South Asia Regional Studies Department at the University of Pennsylvania from 1978 to 1979.

Dr. Lariviere’s professional service is extensive, and includes current appointments on the Board of Directors of KansasBio, Kansas Athletics, Inc., Kansas Center for Technology Commercialization (chairman), the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, EMR Technology Ventures, the Union Académique Internationale, and the Midwest Cancer Alliance Partners. Previous service work included the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong American Center (2001- 2006); Advisor to the Lt. Governor of the State of Texas on Education Policy and Finance (1993-4); and vice-president of the American Institute of Indian Studies (1989-1990).

Lariviere’s academic awards include the Margaret C. Berry Award for outstanding contribution to student life at the University of Texas (2004); Robert Murff Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication to Career Services from the Texas Campus Career Council (2000); Visiting Professor Collège de France, Paris (1996-97); Jan Gonda Lecturer at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam (1994); National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow (1979 – 1983); and a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fellowship (1976 – 1977).

Dr. Lariviere received his B.A. from the University of Iowa in the History of Religions, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Asian Studies. He is married to Janis Worcester Lariviere, a long-time leader and advocate for science education. Currently, she is associate director for teacher development in the Center for Science Education at the University of Kansas.

Chancellor Pernsteiner said Dr. Lariviere would visit the UO campus in Eugene on March 10 and 11. Visits and forums with students, faculty, campus administration and community leaders will be included, with the public meeting schedule posted on the UO website. The State Board of Higher Education will make its final decision on Dr. Lariviere’s appointment after the campus visit is completed.

Pernsteiner expressed gratitude to von Schlegell and the twenty-five-member search committee, and to the ad hoc committee on the presidential selection established by the University of Oregon Senate.  “The members of the search committee worked long and hard to find the best candidate for the University of Oregon. I believe they have done so, bringing us an excellent leader who will be a worthy successor to President Frohnmayer. They spent countless hours carefully weighing the needs of the University, the qualities that a successful president would have, and the information about Dr. Lariviere and other candidates. Their work is what really mattered in finding our new president,” said Pernsteiner.

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of eleven members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

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