Agreement reached to end encampment

May 23, 2024

To the University of Oregon community,

I am writing to inform you that we have reached an agreement with student demonstrators. As a result, the students have announced that they will voluntarily remove the encampment by 9:00 p.m. this evening.

This has been a challenging process, requiring patience and good faith on the part of all parties. I would like to thank the University Senate leadership and partnering faculty for their efforts to achieve an agreement over the last week. I would also like to thank our teams in Safety and Risk Services and Student Life for continually working to safeguard and provide support to all our students through this challenging time. 

Our agreement includes commitments on the following: 

  • Presidential Statement. I have expressed in the past that it is not appropriate for university presidents to comment on issues of international or national interest. However, given the recent statement in support of a ceasefire by President Biden at Morehouse College, I believe it is now appropriate to express my heartfelt anguish at events in Israel and Gaza, and my support for a ceasefire, return of the hostages, and humanitarian aid that reaches civilians affected by the violence.

  • Investments, Policies, and Purchasing. The University Senate will create a task force composed of students, staff, and faculty to meet in a respectful environment with the head of the University of Oregon Foundation and our chief procurement officer to discuss how the university makes decisions regarding product purchasing, sourcing, and investments. Details can be found in the University Senate task force document. 

  • Educational Offerings. As a university, our educational offerings are the reason we exist. We have long intended to build our offerings in contemporary Middle Eastern studies at the UO. Our College of Arts and Sciences has taken steps to address that gap by hiring two outstanding scholars in this field who will arrive in the fall. As resources are available, we look forward to continuing to build additional strength in this area as part of our institutional hiring plan, working with deans, the provost, and others.

  • Scholarships. The university participates in two key programs—Scholars at Risk and Welcome Campus—that provide support for scholars and students affected by conflict. This is part of our commitment to contribute to and fulfill our educational mission for scholars and students affected by crises around the world. As we have done in other cases of global tragedy, we will seek opportunities to support scholars and students whose universities are affected by the conflict in Gaza.

  • Space Request. We have well-established existing processes through which recognized student groups can request campus space. 

  • Student Conduct. We are deeply grateful that we were able to reach a peaceful resolution. Like many institutions, we will view student cooperation and goodwill in reaching a settlement as a mitigating factor in adjudicating student conduct violations. 

While our agreement is substantially similar to the proposal we had originally submitted on May 9, we recognize that all parties have benefitted from additional dialogue, trust-building, and the continued exploration of the reasonable and helpful actions now reflected in this agreement. 

As we look forward, I am heartened by the resilience and restraint of our faculty, students, staff, and others. Our ability to navigate through the last few weeks without the scenes of violence seen elsewhere speaks volumes about our ability to accommodate differing viewpoints while advocating for what we believe is important. I would also like to acknowledge the University of Oregon students, many of whom have made known their perspectives and strong convictions across multiple viewpoints. We also acknowledge that this period has been especially painful to many in our Jewish community. 

We commit to continuing to use our educational mission to advance discussion, debate, and scholarship that can add insight to our understanding of the current conflict and of the Middle East. The last few weeks have tested us in many ways. I encourage everyone to find ways to rest, to reset, and to celebrate our extraordinary community. I look forward to doing this with you in a few weeks when we honor our students and their families at graduation.

Until then, I am again reminded of why this university is such an exceptional place, and how grateful I am to be here. 


Karl Scholz

The full text of the UO-Gaza Encampment Agreement is available on