Oregon Higher Education Board endorses institutional board for Southern Oregon University

For further information contact:
Liz Shelby, shelby@sou.edu, 541-552-6733
April 4, 2014
Today, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education Board voted to endorse with conditions an institutional board for Southern Oregon University.  Per House Bill 4018, which the Oregon Legislature passed in February and the Governor signed earlier this week, negotiations on the conditions will begin between the President and the OSBHE, and recommended to the Governor within the next 45 days.  Over the next 15 months, SOU will transition to the new governance model.  The Board of Trustees will officially assume governance on July 1, 2015.
Rep. Peter Buckley, who attended today’s Board meeting in Portland, stated, “This is an extremely important change for SOU. For so many years, the university has been governed by people from outside our region who have meant well, but in my view, have never fully understood the needs or the great potential of our university. We will now have the chance to have top local leaders in education, business and our communities help guide SOU and the vital role it plays in our region.”
SOU has received support for an institutional board of trustees from our faculty, our students, our business and community leaders, and our legislative delegation in southern Oregon. All have expressed great interest in working with SOU’s institutional board members to help achieve the state’s 40-40-20 educational goals. Supporters also see the significant value that an institutional board will bring to the region by promoting even stronger ties between university curricular planning, workforce needs, and private contributions.  This will also increase professional career options for SOU graduates while helping to keep them employed in southern Oregon.
President Mary Cullinan who was also at the Board meeting this morning, stated, “With our powerful connections to our region and our distinctive programming and mission, Southern Oregon University welcomes the opportunity to assume the responsibilities of its own governing board while continuing powerful collaboration with our partners in Oregon and around the country.”
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.

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