EUGENE, Ore. -- Michael Gottfredson was appointed the 17th president of the University of Oregon last month. He spent his first week in the president's office preparing for his first full term on campus, starting in fall.
Michael Gottfredson and his wife Carol have moved into the McMorrin House, the house designated for the university president. As for unpacking their moving boxes, Gottfredson said it will take time.
"Well, I think I'm heavily scheduled for the rest of the summer, basically getting to know the campus. Meeting with faculty, meeting with deans, meeting with staff. So that's my first agenda." Gottfredson said.
Gottfredson was the only finalist to replace Richard Lariviere, who was fired last year by the State Board of Higher Education. The board was critical of Lariviere and said he was not being a team player. He has since been hired as the head of the Field Museum in Chicago.
The newly instated president said that the University's main focus will be, as it always is, providing citizens with access to higher education. Gottfredson also said that the cost of attendance will be a concern for this year.
"You've no doubt heard access and affordability is one of our key issues." Gottfredson said.
With a flock of new students starting class in the fall and construction projects campus-wide, Gottfredson has a lot to take in during his first term. He said that the response from the community, students and staff has been overwhelmingly positive.
"I'm on a big learning curve, and that's the business … learning. So I'm enjoying learning about the university and about the town."
Gottfredson said that he is confident that he can handle everything that comes his way. He has already attended the SBHE meeting, as well as multiple events around town, including a jazz concert at the Shedd Institute.