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Oregon University System, Jefferson Public Radio Network, Make Peace

Oregon’s university system and Southern Oregon’s public radio network have ended a months-long conflict.

An audit last year uncovered questionable practices involving the university-run Jefferson Public Radio and the foundation that supports it. It was critical of potential conflicts of interest and debt levels at the foundation – mainly from investments in theater and station property.

After several rounds of mediation, the two sides agreed on a new structure. The foundation is creating a new affiliate called “Jefferson Live” to supervise the theaters. University officials say that insulates Southern Oregon University — the operator of JPR — from the theater investments.

Southern Oregon will consolidate ownership of the station’s 30 or more licenses — a process that could take up to two years.

The settlement prohibits a polarizing figure in this conflict — ousted station director Ron Kramer — from serving as an officer at the foundation or Jefferson Live.

The university system and the foundation have mutually agreed not to sue each other going forward. Kramer and the university system have not reached such an agreement.

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