SOU Board Elects Leadership

(Ashland, Ore.) —The Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees elected leadership positions during its meeting Friday, Jan. 30, naming Trustees Bill Thorndike and April Sevcik Chair and Vice Chair, respectively.
Both were elected by unanimous vote.
Chair Thorndike is a 1972 graduate of Medford Senior High, and graduated in 1976 from Lewis & Clark College with a BS in Business Administration. His honors include the SOLV/Tom McCall Leadership Award and the Glenn Jackson Leadership Award from Willamette University. A third-generation Rogue Valley resident, he resides in rural Jackson County with his wife Angela Littlefield, an equestrian judge.
“This is a tremendously exciting time for SOU to be moving forward in its mission,” Thorndike said. “I look forward to participating in this new local governance of the University.”
Vice Chair Sevcik earned a Bachelor of Science from SOU in 1969. She has also completed extensive post-graduate work in training, sales, human resources, accounting and board development. Her honors include being named the Medford Chamber of Commerce’s First Citizen and being a recipient of the Southern Oregon University President’s Medal.
In addition to electing leadership, the Board also adopted a series of organizational documents, including bylaws, conduct, delegation of authority, committees, and Board performance and responsibilities.
The Board created three standing committees: Executive and Audit, Finance and Administration, and Academic and Student Affairs. Trustee Paul Nicholson was appointed chair of the Finance and Administration Committee and Trustee Teresa Sayre was appointed chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee. Chair Thorndike will also serve as chair of the Executive and Audit Committee.
Trustee Nicholson is Executive Director Emeritus of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where he served as Executive Director from 1995 – 2012. Trustee Sayre is currently Superintendent of the Phoenix-Talent School District.
The Board will officially take over governance of SOU on July 1 of this year, but has been empowered by Governor John Kitzhaber to take the organizational steps necessary in order to begin governing effectively on that date.
“Today marks a milestone for Southern Oregon University,” said SOU President Roy Saigo. “We are very pleased to have such a dedicated and supportive group of citizens helping to chart the future of the University.”
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