SOU in the News – August 24-25, 2012

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Construction on SOU’s Churchill Hall is two months ahead of schedule
Daily Tidings August 25, 2012


Business management program widens SOU’s horizons
Mail Tribune August 25, 2012


SOU president receives contract extension, raise
Mail Tribune August 24, 2012


SOU’s Master in Management program is coming to SaleM
Salem Statesman Journal online August 26, 2012

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Timely turnaround
The $6.4 million renovation of SOU’s 86-year-old Churchill Hall is two months ahead of schedule
By Sam Wheeler
Ashland Daily Tidings
August 25, 2012 2:00 AM
The renovation of Southern Oregon University’s first building, 86-year-old Churchill Hall, is running about two months ahead of schedule and staff should begin funneling back into its top floor by the first week of September, the project’s contractor said.
Workers have gutted the building down to its frame, reinforced it with a network of steel columns and girts, added foundation support and are currently finishing remodeling its interior, said Aaron Ausland, CEO of engineering and construction firm Ausland Group, who’s been working on the project since October.
“We pretty much built an entire new structural skeleton inside the old building,” he said. “Being a seismic renovation and an architectural renovation, it’s been a very complex project, but our team has been very proactive identifying potential problems before they occur.”
With new flooring, walls, electrical wiring, lighting, and windows, the building will be more energy-efficient, and its sturdy new frame makes it less susceptible to earthquake damage, Ausland said.
The entire project is expected to cost about $6.4 million, with direct construction costs totaling about $4.9 million, said Drew Gilliland, SOU director of facilities, management and planning.
“I think we’ve done a great job on the job on the project. It’s been a win-win for both of us,” Gilliland said. “And, we’re always glad to keep the work in the valley with our contractors.”
Oregon Health & Science University will have all of its faculty at SOU consolidated in Churchill’s top story, and will be first to move back into the building. If things go smoothly, crews could have the project wrapped up in October, Ausland said, allowing President Mary Cullinan and other administrators to move back in, as well as a handful of SOU’s staff who will work from offices on the top floor.
“The goal right now is to get OHSU moved it,” Gilliland said. “We have a few offices and classrooms up there that our staff will use, but I don’t think they will be finished with the work until the end of September.”
Initially, SOU established a timeline for the project to be completed by December 2012.
The Oregon University System, through its deferred maintenance program, contributed $1.3 million to cover the seismic retrofitting, and OHSU, which operates a nursing program at the SOU campus, contributed $500,000.
Another $2.7 million for the project comes from state energy loans and $1.8 million from lottery bonds. Although SOU will not have to pay back the lottery bonds, it will be required to pay back the energy loans.
The faculty members in SOU’s foreign language program, who once worked out of Churchill’s top story, will eventually move to the second floor of Central Hall, which is where most of the OHSU staff and faculty currently work from. The foreign language program is working out of a manufactured home near Central Hall.
Except for the building’s clearer glass windows, the renovation effort is virtually unnoticeable from outside Churchill.
“On the outside you’d never know what was going on in there, but we’ve been hard at work “… it looks spectacular,” Ausland said.
Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email

Management program widens SOU horizons
By John Darling
for the Mail Tribune
August 25, 2012 2:00 AM

In a rare venture outside the southwest corner of the state, Southern Oregon University this fall will teach its popular Master’s in Management degree at Chemeketa Community College in Salem.
SOU has taught the two-year program, intended for professionals already in careers, in the Rogue Valley and at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. It has been looking for an opportunity to teach it in another school with access to professional markets, says MiM coordinator John Bowling of SOU.
“Our MiM program is unique in Oregon. We’re the only school offering it,” says Bowling.
“The state capital has large numbers of state workers and is a base for a lot of nonprofits. It’s a focus of organizational leadership and supervisors with experience, and it’s designed for full-time working people.”
The degree program will be taught in classrooms at Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry by SOU professors, with adjunct teachers from the Portland area, says Bowling.
It’s designed so courses are taught Friday evenings and Saturdays, with online communication, team learning and mentoring by professionals, covering a three-credit course in five weeks.
Teaching a degree 240 miles away, in the middle of Oregon’s population base, is motivated in part by the desire to enhance SOU’s reputation, he notes.
“It seemed a good opportunity there to deliver what’s been really successful here and build name recognition by stepping into the Portland market,” Bowling says. “We hope it piques interest and people will want to come here in person and study.”
The degree requires 45 credits total, 28 of them in core subjects such as Budget-Finance, Strategic Management, Marketing for Public and Private Organizations, Organizational Leadership and Legal Issues in Management. Elective graduate credits can be earned in the students’ specialization, such as commercial, government, nonprofit, and in their discipline, such as arts, health, etc.
The degree is also taught at SOU’s sister campus in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, good communication skills and at least three years of increasingly responsible experience working full-time at the management level, the website notes.
Criteria considered include the number of people supervised, the size of the budget administered, and the degree of decision-making autonomy.
John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at
About the program
The cost of the Master’s in Management program at Southern Oregon University is $400 a credit, for a total of $18,000. Those wishing to apply may visit the website at or call the School of Business at 541-552-8243.

SOU president receives contract extension, raise
By Sam Wheeler
for the Mail Tribune
August 24, 2012 2:00 AM
ASHLAND — Southern Oregon University President Mary Cullinan’s contract has been renewed for another two years with a $20,000 increase in pay.
The State Board of Higher Education this month approved a $10,000 annual “longevity adjustment” increase, retroactive to 2011-12, and a 5 percent increase in salary, bringing her annual pay to $205,236. Her contract was renewed in June.
Similar 5 percent increases in pay were approved for five other presidents in the university system.
In 2009, at the height of the recession, Cullinan and other university presidents took a voluntary pay reduction. The 4.6 percent decrease brought her $185,460 salary down to $176,928.
In 2010, her original salary of $185,460 was reinstated.
Then, Cullinan was the lowest paid university president in the system. Now, her salary is fifth- highest of the seven presidents.
The other university presidents’ salaries are now $623,385 for Oregon State’s Edward Ray; $194,736 for Eastern Oregon’s Bob Davies and Western Oregon’s Mark Weiss; $540,000 for Portland State’s Wim Wiewel; and $210,108 for Oregon Institute of Technology’s Christopher Maples. Newly appointed University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson, who was hired at an annual salary of $540,000, did not get an increase.
Cullinan was not available for comment, said Jim Beaver, SOU director of interactive marketing and media relations.
The 5 percent increases at OSU and PSU will be made up by the universities themselves and their internal foundations, rather than through OUS dollars, said Di Saunders, OUS director of communications.
The $10,000 longevity adjustment Cullinan received in June was accompanied by a $15,000 similar increase for Ray. With six years under her belt at SOU, and nine years for Ray at OSU, the two are the longest serving presidents in the university system.
“Even with the proposed increases, compensation and salary packages continue to be near or below the median of peers,” OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner advised the board during an Aug. 3 meeting. The board questioned the message presidential salary increases could send during a year of across-the-board tuition increases.
According to the Administrative Compensation Survey prepared by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources for 2010 and 2011, which the Board of Higher Education used as a rationale for the increases, the average salary for presidents of public masters universities with budgets of less than $50 million was just over $220,000.
The board defines each of its four regional universities by that standard. Accounting for about 3 percent inflation in 2011, the board concluded that about $226,000 is the national average for presidents at universities with budgets of less than $50 million annually.
Unlike the three largest universities, Cullinan and the other regional university presidents do not receive salary support from their schools’ foundations, Saunders said. However, all university foundations can make deferred compensation payments to an account for their presidents, which act as a type of pension, Saunders said.
“Aside from longevity pay, our presidents haven’t seen an increase since 2008,” Saunders said. “The board decided it was well deserved, after some discussion.”
Reach Ashland Daily Tidings reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email

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