Loren ''Randy'' Geller, University of Oregon General Counsel

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Geller, whose employment began on October 15th, was promoted after serving as deputy general counsel under the former general counsel, Melinda Grier.

Grier was reassigned to teaching in the law school following the controversial $2.3 million buyout of former athletic director Mike Bellotti.

The buyout followed the revelation that Bellotti had only a handshake contract between him, former University President Dave Frohnmayer and the University.

University President Richard Lariviere hired and announced his appointment to University faculty and staff via e-mail on October 6th. Portions of the email read as follows:

“I am pleased to announce that Randy Geller will become our new general counsel effective October 15.” Randy was selected from a national pool of outstanding candidates.

Randy has served the University of Oregon since 2003 and was appointed deputy general counsel in 2006. He has been a lawyer for almost 18 years, 15 of those at two public research universities. He has proven experience in all aspects of higher education law, and a deep appreciation for the University of Oregon.

The general counsel is the chief legal officer for the university and oversees the Office of the General Counsel. The office provides legal advice to the university pursuant to authorization from and subject to general supervision by the Oregon Attorney General.

Randy has been managing the university’s legal affairs since April of this year. In the short time he has served in this role, he has demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of higher education law and current legal issues in Oregon and the nation.

Randy has a J.D. from the University of Washington and received his B.A. in political science and political economy from Evergreen State College. His work experience before coming to the UO includes serving as staff assistant for U.S. Senator Brock Adams of Washington state, serving as assistant attorney general in Washington state, and serving in the Office of University Counsel at the University of Idaho.”

''He has proven experience in all aspects of higher education law, and a deep appreciation of the University of Oregon,'' Lariviere wrote.

At the blog, uomatters.com, several comments were posted regarding the situation:

10/7/2010: The campus erupted in celebration back in April when Pres Lariviere fired General Counsel Melinda Grier and announced:

''This institution did not follow acceptable business practices in the past,'' Lariviere said. ''That will not be repeated under my administration.''

Jeff Manning and Ken Goe of the Oregonian wrote:

Grier, who did not return a message seeking comment, has come to personify the culture of secrecy that has developed at the university, particularly with regard to its athletic department.

After the buyout, Lariviere pledged that transparency at the University would become a priority and created a public records office, in which Elizabeth Denecke was recently appointed as the first ever public records officer.

Geller's appointment came following a nationwide search and selection by a committee, which was chaired by Margaret Paris, dean of the law school.

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University of Oregon


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