President's Updates

Dear Ducks: You Belong Here

11/14/2016 • Each one of you belongs at this university, and we care about you. What we need to do is come together and embrace everyone here and make sure that everybody feels a part of this university, knowing that we can succeed and we are all rooting for them. View the "Dear Ducks" video here.

Moving forward together

11/07/2016 • Last week was an incredibly difficult time for our university. The decision of law professor Nancy Shurtz to wear blackface at her Halloween party wounded our community, divided us, and exposed fissures that long existed under the surface. It is now my job as the leader of our school to not only help us heal but, more important, to move us to a demonstrably better place. The challenge for all of us is to recognize that the problem is deep and cannot be fixed with a Band-Aid. Instead, real healing, progress, and transformation will take time, persistence, and generosity of spirit.

Unacceptable behavior

11/05/2016 • The University of Oregon has been made aware that a faculty member of the School of Law wore a costume that included blackface at a private, off-campus Halloween party that was attended by UO faculty members and students. We condemn this action unequivocally as anathema to the University of Oregon’s cherished values of racial diversity and inclusion. The use of blackface, even in jest at a Halloween party, is patently offensive and reinforces historically racist stereotypes.

Open Mike: free expression on campus

10/28/2016 • The University of Oregon has a proud history as a leader in the protection of free expression.  In 1963, the university created a free speech platform outside the EMU. A few years later, during the height of Vietnam War protests, the university created new procedures that recognized the rights of students to protest and drafted policies that took a lenient approach to non-violent demonstrations.

Open Mike: The Knight Campus at the UO

10/19/2016 • While our announcement of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact focused on the quantum leap in scientific research that it will make possible, the impact of this extraordinary gift will ripple far beyond the sciences and well beyond Eugene.

Knight Campus announcement remarks

10/18/2016 • We are here today to make history. And to transform our future—thanks to an unprecedented $500 million gift from Penny and Phil Knight, the largest single gift ever made to a public flagship university. This monumental act of philanthropy, this incredible demonstration of love for the University of Oregon, will launch a $1 billion initiative called the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.

Announcing the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact

10/17/2016 • I have the immense pleasure of announcing that our dear friends Phil and Penny Knight have made an extraordinarily generous $500 million gift—the largest ever to a public flagship university—that will launch an initiative to rethink and reshape research at the University of Oregon. The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact will fast-track scientific discoveries into innovations, products, and cures that solve problems and improve our quality of life.

Invitation to campus

10/10/2016 • The fall academic term is off to a fantastic start. I am proud to have welcomed to the University of Oregon our most diverse class of students ever, dozens of exceptional new faculty and staff members, and many additional graduate students—in addition to welcoming back our existing family of outstanding students, faculty, and staff members.

Convocation: Throw your O

09/27/2016 • Welcome to the University of Oregon Class of 2020. Welcome new students, new faculty members. Welcome all!  We have been anticipating your arrival and we are thrilled you are finally here. I came to this university a little over year ago—so I know what it is like to be new—and one of the first things I had to learn was how to throw my O.  Does everyone know how to do that?

Open Mike: Defining Excellence

09/21/2016 • As I look at my calendar, I am excited about the start of the new academic year and eager to welcome our students back to campus. While every fall brings a fresh opportunity for us to build upon our high aspirations for the university, this year is especially thrilling. We have a year of strong momentum at our backs.

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