Robert Berdahl was named Friday to serve as interim president of the University of Oregon, following the ouster of Richard Lariviere, who clashed with the State Board of Higher Education. Lariviere's tenure in office will end this month. Berdahl has held several prominent positions in higher education, having served as president of the Association of American Universities, chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, and president of the University of Texas. He also has strong ties to the University of Oregon, having served there earlier in his career as a history professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Berdahl has criticized the ouster of Lariviere -- and has backed the soon-to-be-former president's call for more autonomy for flagship universities that are part of state systems.