Governor Recommends Additional SOU Board Members

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(Ashland, Ore.) — Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has recommended for confirmation two individuals to serve on the Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees. Once confirmed by the Oregon Senate, Les AuCoin and Jeremy Nootenboom will complete the 15-member board.

AuCoin, a former U.S. Congressman, has been nominated to serve on the SOU Board of Trustees for a four-year term. In addition to representing Oregon’s 1st Congressional District from 1975 to 1993, AuCoin held the Glenn L. Jackson Visiting Professorship of Government and Business Ethics at SOU from 1998 to 2004. During that time he was named Outstanding Professor by the SOU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society for public colleges and universities in the United States.

The Honorable Les AuCoin has served on many boards, including the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle Board of Directors and the Pacific University Board of Trustees, among others. He has held various positions in university administration as well. He is the author of two books of non-fiction and his op-eds and essays have been printed in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Portland Oregonian and the Seattle Times.

“Mr. AuCoin brings great breadth and depth of knowledge and experience to our board,” said SOU President Roy Saigo. “His previous tenure at SOU as Visiting Professor also equips him with valuable knowledge of the University.”

Nootenboom has been nominated by Governor Kitzhaber to serve in a board seat reserved for a current SOU student. Students serving on the SOU Board of Trustees are appointed to fulfill a two-year term.

“It’s very important to have a student voice on the Board of Trustees,” Dr. Saigo said. “The collective knowledge and expertise of our Board of Trustees is extremely impressive. We are excited for our board to formally take over governance of the University in July.” In April, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education endorsed the creation of an institutional board for SOU.

Also this week, Governor Kitzhaber appointed current SOU board member Bill Thorndike, Jr. to the State Board of Higher Education. In that capacity, Thorndike will assist in the governance transition from the State Board to the SOU Board. The State Board will sunset on June 30, 2015 and the SOU Board will assume its governing role on July 1, 2015.

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About Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.