SOU in the News – Aug. 30 to Sept. 4


Mail Tribune editorial: New agreement between SOU and the JPR Foundation protects radio and the Holly Theatre

Mail Tribune September 2, 2012

SOU’s Churchill Hall renovation is almost complete

Mail Tribune August 31, 2012


Big second half lifts soccer team; Dodge and Olson named Players of the Week

Mail Tribune September 4, 2012

Raiders home games will be broadcast on local TV

Daily Tidings August 31, 2012

Full version of print clips

Back from the abyss
The new agreement between SOU, JPR Foundation protects radio and the Holly Theatre
September 02, 2012 2:00 AM
Southern Oregon University and the Jefferson Public Radio Foundation stepped back from the brink and hammered out a new agreement that appears to protect the nation’s most extensive regional public radio network and restart the Holly Theatre restoration. Those are both good things, but they may have come at the expense of Jefferson Square, the proposed relocation of JPR’s studios to downtown Medford.
The new agreement announced last week is a relief to those who feared a dispute between the university and the nonprofit foundation might threaten the very future of public radio in the region and scuttle plans to renovate the historic Holly Theatre into a performing arts center before the project had really gotten off the ground.
The clash over the governance and structure of JPR and its fundraising foundation came after an audit of the JPR Foundation by the office of the Chancellor of Higher Education raised questions about the financial details of the foundation’s plans to renovate the Holly Theatre and move its studios to Medford. The audit also questioned the role of Ron Kramer, who was serving as executive director of the independent, nonprofit foundation and of Jefferson Public Radio, a department of Southern Oregon University, suggesting the dual roles were a conflict of interest. The document also raised concerns that the foundation’s fundraising efforts could compete with those of the SOU Foundation.
SOU President Mary Cullinan dismissed Kramer from his JPR post and he resigned as director of the foundation.
An earlier mediation session resulted in a proposed settlement that would have created a new JPR Foundation board with the majority of members appointed by SOU and community colleges. It also would have transferred ownership of all broadcast licenses, equipment and other assets to a new nonprofit entity.
JPR Foundation board members disagreed with several of the provisions, but SOU threatened the members with individual lawsuits if they didn’t go along. At that point, Gov. John Kitzhaber stepped in, called for a cooling off period and appointed a new mediator for a new round of negotiations. SOU agreed to drop the threat of lawsuits.
The new agreement announced last week creates a new nonprofit entity, Jefferson Live!, to take over operation of the Cascade Theatre and the fundraising for renovating the Holly. The JPR Foundation will own the new entity, but the foundation will raise funds only for the public radio stations. SOU will assume ownership of all the broadcast licenses, but may not sell them without consulting with JPR and the foundation, and any proceeds will go to JPR, not to the university’s general fund. Jeffnet, the Internet service provider that benefits JPR, will remain with the foundation.
The foundation board will be unchanged, and may also serve as the board of the new Jefferson Live!
Work on the Holly now can proceed, but the project has been dealt a serious blow from the uncertainty and delay while the dispute played out. SOU and the University System bear much of the blame for that.
In the end, SOU and the state university system got the separation they wanted between the theater operations and the radio stations, the foundation got to keep its board and its autonomy and JPR got to keep the financial value of its broadcast licenses.
What may have been lost is the plan to develop new studios, which would have been a major contribution to downtown Medford. Steve Nelson, president of the foundation board, has made it clear that Jefferson Square will be of secondary importance while the Holly project proceeds.
The best outcome would have been for the university system to stay out of JPR’s business in the first place. The worst result would have been the first proposed settlement.
The third outcome falls somewhere between those extremes. SOU and the university system should do everything they can to support the new structure and its projects from now on.

Churchill renovation nears completion

Southern Oregon University’s oldest building retrofitted to withstand an earthquake
By Sam Wheeler
for the Mail Tribune
August 31, 2012 2:00 AM
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 to its frame, reinforced it with a network of steel columns and girts, added foundation support and are 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 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 floor, 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 in,” 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.
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 floor, will eventually move to the second floor of Central Hall, which is where most of the OHSU staff and faculty work. 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 Ashland Daily Tidings reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email

Big second half lifts Raiders in women’s soccer

September 04, 2012 2:00 AM
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Southern Oregon offense broke out for four second-half goals as the Raiders defeated Holy Names 5-2 Monday afternoon in nonconference women’s soccer action.
Southern Oregon improves to 3-0-1 with the win, while Holy Names drops to 0-2 this season. The Raiders return to action Thursday with an afternoon road match against Simpson in Redding.
Stacy Hamer led the way for SOU with a pair of goals and added an assist in the win, while Stephanie Carr tallied her fifth goal of the season. Sydney Paulsen and Serena DeChristofaro also scored for the Raiders.
Hamer’s first goal came in the 40th minute when she dug the ball out of the corner and hit a 20-yard bender into the net for the unassisted score. That would be the only goal of the first half, before the teams combined for six scores after the halftime break.
Dodge, Olson earn honors
The Southern Oregon football team won its first-ever Frontier Conference game in decisive fashion Saturday, and Monday a pair of Raiders have become the program’s first Frontier Conference Players of the Week following their performances against Montana Western.
Sophomore quarterback Austin Dodge was named Offensive Player of the Week and senior wide receiver Mike Olson was named Special Teams Player of the Week.
Dodge passed for 347 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Raiders’ 54-21 victory over the Bulldogs. He completed 26 of 39 pass attempts while sitting most of the fourth quarter in the win, and he also rushed for 19 yards on four carries.
Olson began his senior season with the touchdown trifecta as he reached the end zone on the ground, through the air and on a punt return. He totaled 89 yards on four punt returns, including a 69-yard TD return, and he added 75 receiving yards on three catches and 24 rushing yards on six attempts.
The Raiders, 1-0 on the season, travel to Billings, Mont., next for a conference road matchup against Rocky Mountain Saturday at 1 p.m. MST.

SOU Raiders, KDRV reach TV deal

August 31, 2012 2:00 AM
The Southern Oregon Athletic Department has reached a dead with local ABC affiliate KDRV and webcast company Lyon Productions to broadcast Raider home events during the 2012-13 school year.
The deal will allow SOU games to be broadcast on KDRV’s digital station 12-plus with a new and improved look for all home games that will be carried online thanks to Lyon Productions.
SOU football will debut on KDRV Saturday with a game against Montana-Western at Spiegelberg Stadium. Kick-off is slated for 1:05 p.m.
“This is a very big and important step for us as an athletic department as we try to reach more and more Raider fans in Southern Oregon and Northern California,” SOU athletic director Matt Sayre said. “With the ever-changing world of technology it is important for us to remain at the forefront, and aligning ourselves with KDRV and Lyon Productions accomplishes that.”
KDRV will air all five home football games and four away games live, and the station will also replay the games during the week. They will also air various home volleyball, basketball and wrestling events during the year. SOU is the first Cascade Collegiate Conference school to show live events on a network affiliated station and one of the few NAIA schools in the country to have such an arrangement.
“KDRV is proud of its partnership with Southern Oregon University and is excited to bring even more exclusive, live local sporting events to television,” KDRV Director of Creative Services Bryan Johnson said. “With the addition of SOU Raider football games to the Newswatch 12-plus lineup, we’re able to share a great local schedule of games with our viewers that they just can’t see anywhere else.”
Newswatch 12-plus is available over the air on channel 12.2, channel 291 on Charter Cable, Ashland TV channel 12.2 and on the Northland Cable system at channel 137.
The relationship with Lyon Productions will improve SOU’s online webcasts for football, volleyball, basketball and wresting. The webcasts will now feature multiple cameras, instant replays, commercials and graphics. Games will also be archived for future viewing. Games online can be found at, the official online home for SOU Athletics.

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