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November 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM

UW president asks Woodward to personally apologize to Oregon officials

The Seattle Times has acquired the text of a letter sent today from UW interim president Phyllis Wise to athletic director Scott Woodward regarding the comments he made on Saturday concerning the University of Oregon.
In the letter (PDF here), Wise states that Woodward ”exhibited an uncharacteristic lack of judgment” in making the remarks and also requests that he “personally apologize to the president and athletic director at the University of Oregon.” She also states that “I have called President Richard Lariviere and apologized to him.”
Here is the letter:

Mr. Scott Woodward
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Dear Scott:
You and others have brought to my attention your recent remarks criticizing the
quality of the academic program at the University of Oregon. As I said to you yesterday, it is inappropriate for a university leader, who understands the importance of collegiality and respect, to criticize publicly another institution’s quality.
In your position as our Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, it is particularly unfortunate for you to be critical of the academic reputation of the University of Oregon, a fellow PAC-10 Conference member and AAU university. You exhibited an uncharacteristic lack of judgment in making the remarks.
The University of Oregon has a long tradition as one of America’s top public
universities. It is an excellent public institution of higher education that continues to serve
the citizens of Oregon well, particularly in light of diminishing state support. Over the years, our faculty have collaborated with colleagues at Oregon, and such collaborations will doubtless continue in the future. Your comments were disrespectful of the faculty at the University of Oregon who work hard and provide a quality education for their students.
I believe an apology is in order. In addition to the statement you issued yesterday, I
am requesting that you personally apologize to the president and athletic director at the
University of Oregon. I have called President Richard Lariviere and apologized to him and reinforced that these comments do not reflect the views of our administration.
I am pleased with your efforts as athletic director and look forward to continuing to
work with you in advancing our athletic programs and supporting our student athletes.
Sincerely yours,
Phyllis M. Wise
Interim President

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