Berdahl commended by UO Senate for interim leadership
The University of Oregon Senate has issued a letter of commendation to UO Interim President Bob Berdahl, expressing gratitude for the “vision and leadership” he has exhibited since being appointed to the position in December.
“Thank you for offering your guidance and wisdom to us, which will enable us to better educate our students and to serve the highest interests of our institution and the state of Oregon,” said the letter, signed by Senate President Robert Kyr.
The letter specifically cited Berdahl’s efforts to recruit and retain faculty, facilitate the search for a permanent president, maintain progress in the university’s ongoing capital campaign and advance a proposal to allow independent governing boards at Oregon’s public universities.
Earlier this spring, Berdahl was one of two recipients of the 2012 Clark Kerr Award at the University of California-Berkeley. The award is given most years by the academic senate at Berkeley to those from inside and outside the university who have lived up to the higher education ideals of Clark Kerr, who became UC-Berkeley’s first chancellor in 1952.
Past recipients have included former California governor and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and former California Gov. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, the father of current California Gov. Jerry Brown.
Berdahl served as a history professor at the UO from 1967 to 1986 and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1981 to 1986. He then spent seven years as vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, four years as president of the University of Texas and seven years as chancellor at the University of California-Berkeley.
He left UC-Berkeley to become president of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization of 61 leading public and private research universities in the United States and Canada. He retired a year ago from the AAU, and came back to the UO last October as a part-time special assistant to President Richard Lariviere. The State Board of Higher Education appointed Berdahl to the UO’s interim presidency in December, despite his strong support of Lariviere and criticism of his firing a month earlier.