Richard W. Lariviere
16th President, University of Oregon
Tenure as president: 2009-2011
University of Iowa, 1972, Penn, 1978
Richard Lariviere became president of the University of Oregon on July 1, 2009. During his first years in Oregon and at the UO, he walked the Butte-to-Butte with Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and participated with 7,000 other Eugene-area walkers and runners in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a breast cancer fundraiser. He fly-fished the McKenzie and Metolius rivers – several times each – and rode horseback to Tam McArthur Rim near Sisters and in the Pendleton Roundup’s Westward Ho parade. He cultivated the UO’s growing reputation for innovation in the classroom and in research, sharpening the university’s focus on sustainability, international partnerships and other areas of UO prominence. And he became a thought leader in the national debate over higher education reform, offering a strong voice in ongoing efforts to reinvent a public university system in Oregon that is responsive to future generations of students and helps to position the state for success in today’s knowledge-based global economy.
Before arriving at Oregon, Lariviere was executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of Kansas from 2006 to 2009, and dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin from 1999 to 2006.
His scholarly roots extend around the world. After earning his bachelor’s degree in the history of religions from the University of Iowa in 1972 — a member of Phi Beta Kappa — Lariviere and his wife Janis traveled to India for the first time. Lariviere eventually built an impressive academic career around the country’s languages, histories, religions and culture. In 1978, he earned his doctorate in Sanskrit from the University of Pennsylvania. While he has published articles and several books on Indian legal history, he has also tackled subjects ranging from religion in India to matrimonial remedies for women in classical Hindu law. He reads eight languages and speaks French and Hindi. He has conducted research in London, Oxford, Calcutta, Poona Kathmandu, Tokyo, Beijing, Lahore, Munich, Colombo and Madras, as well as a host of smaller cities in India.
Lariviere is a Fellow of the Institute of Innovation, Creativity & Capital in Austin, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain, a life member of the American Oriental Society, and a founding member of the Society for Design and Process Science. He had a successful career as a consultant for American and Indian companies in information technology and Business Process Outsourcing. He has also served on corporate boards in the IT industry.
Lariviere’s wife, Janis Worcester Lariviere, has worked in university development and science education. The couple have a daughter, Anne Elizabeth, who graduated from Barnard College and teaches elementary school in New York.