State universities chancellor Pernsteiner resigns

The Associated Press /

PORTLAND — Chancellor George Pernsteiner announced Friday that he is resigning from the Oregon University System after more than eight years on the job.

Pernsteiner did not provide a reason for his March 1 departure in a statement issued through the university system. Last March, Pernsteiner’s contract was extended for two years.

A spokeswoman from the Oregon University System said Pernsteiner was unavailable Friday.

Pernsteiner’s influence was diminished in late May, when Gov. John Kitzhaber chose Rudy Crew to become the state’s first chief education officer. The former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education was handed unprecedented power to shape Oregon public education, from preschool to university. Crew did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

The resignation followed negotiations between Pernsteiner and the higher education board, said Tim Raphael, a spokesman for the governor. Kitzhaber was aware of the discussions but was not involved in them, Raphael said.

“The governor appreciates his service to the state and all he’s done for higher education in Oregon,” Raphael said.

The state Board of Higher Education will vote on a separation agreement with Pernsteiner at its Monday meeting. Pernsteiner, who turns 65 in June, was scheduled to earn a base salary of $295,128 from June 2013 through June 2014.