Kitzhaber: UO president's ouster 'fully justified'

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Gov. John Kitzhaber says the State Board of Higher Education would be "fully justified" to oust University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere (la-RIV'-ee-AYR').

Kitzhaber says in a statement released Saturday that a number of incidents have "eroded trust and confidence" in the UO president. He points to a decision by Lariviere to give pay hikes to some faculty and administrators. Kitzhaber says the salary increases undermined him and the higher education board and reneged on an agreement Lariviere made with other university presidents.

Lariviere told students and faculty on Tuesday that he's been told his contract will not be renewed and blamed an "ongoing difference of opinion over the future of the University of Oregon." Kitzhaber says the issue has nothing to do with a difference of opinion.

The higher education board has scheduled a meeting for Monday afternoon to vote on Lariviere's future.