Dr. Linda Schott Travels 3,000 Miles from Maine to Ashland
(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University (SOU) welcomes its new president, Linda Schott, Ph.D., on Monday, Aug. 1. She succeeds Dr. Roy Saigo, who is retiring and has served first as interim president and then president since July 2014.
Schott is SOU’s 13th president. Her appointment runs until 2019.
The new president has a busy schedule on her first day, meeting with faculty, staff, students, and the local news media, as well as attending a campus reception on her behalf at the end of the day.
“I am honored and thrilled to begin my work as SOU’s president. I’m impressed with the turnaround I’ve seen at SOU over the past few years, and with that same dedicated SOU spirit, I look forward to building upon that momentum to continue advancing the institution. It’s too early to make any big pronouncements, but I want the SOU community to know that I’m ready to listen, learn, and lead,” President Schott said.
As she steps into her new role as SOU’s president, Schott will work with the university’s board of trustees to face the challenge of limited state financial support, higher tuition costs, and an ongoing retrenchment plan. She also inherits a campus with innovative academic programs, stable enrollment, newly renovated buildings, and a strong national reputation in the arts, environment and athletics.
“In Dr. Schott, the board saw an experienced visionary with a commitment to academic excellence, student success, collaboration, and an overall roll-up-yoursleeves type of leader,” said Bill Thorndike, chair of the Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees. He added, “At this pivotal time in SOU’s history, we believe she’s exactly what SOU needs to continue building a bright and sustainable future.”
SOU’s governing board chose Schott unanimously over 75 other applicants who were identified with the help of an executive search firm. In addition to her strong academic background, Schott also has a compelling and positive life story. She is a first generation college student who grew up on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country, where she helped raise angora goats, cattle and pigs. Neither of her parents graduated from high school, but Schott went on to attend Baylor and Stanford University, ultimately earning a doctoral degree.
Schott comes to SOU from the University of Maine at Presque Isle, where she had served as president since 2012. Commenting on her departure for SOU, James H. Page, Chancellor for the University of Maine System said, “President Linda Schott brought innovative and engaged leadership to the University of Maine at Presque Isle, positioning the university as a national leader in personalized education that aligns with the Maine Learning Results transition currently underway in K-12 education.”
Prior to her role at Presque Isle, Schott held various positions in higher education teaching and administration, including dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Fort Lewis College in Colorado; associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti; and numerous faculty appointments.
Schott received a B.A. in history and German from Baylor in 1979. She then attended Stanford University, earning an M.A. in history in 1982 and a Ph.D. in history and humanities in 1986. She is a specialist in intellectual history and the history of women in the United States. Schott has published several articles on women in Texas, women in the peace movement and is the author of “Reconstructing Women’s Thoughts: The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915-1941,” published by Stanford University Press in 1997.
Schott is married to Thomas Fuhrmark and has parented five children. She enjoys hiking and camping, baking pies, trying out vegetarian recipes, reading mystery novels, and watching basketball.
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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.