UO faculty assembly cheers fired president

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- About 1,000 University of Oregon faculty, staff and students cheered fired president Richard Lariviere (la-RIV'-ee-AIR') Wednesday at a faculty assembly at McArthur Court and condemned the Higher Education Board.

The meeting opened with a standing ovation for Lariviere, whose voice cracked as he said thanks.

Faculty and students grilled Oregon University System Chancellor George Pernsteiner and board member Lynda Ciuffetti about the board's decision Monday to dismiss Lariviere. One faculty member, landscape architecture Professor Robert Melnick, said he felt "stabbed in the back."

The officials defended their action and said Lariviere's advocacy for the UO was harming the state's other universities.

The Oregonian and The Register-Guard report the assembly voted to establish an independent board of trustees for the UO. The faculty has no power to enforce the motion.