SOU President Linda Schott to discuss uncertainty in higher ed

SOU president to discuss higher ed “uncertainty” in campus lecture

Southern Oregon University President Linda Schott will lead a discussion of uncertainty in higher education as the university’s Campus Theme lecture series continues this week.

President Schott’s talk – “Uncertainty: The Only Certainty for Higher Education” – will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the SOU Art Building’s Meese Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Her presentation is the fourth in this year’s Campus Theme lecture series, which is examining uncertainty in a variety of fields.

President Schott’s discussion will outline some of the uncertainties facing higher education in an age where change is constant.

With technology advancing at an exponential rate, she has advocated making SOU “Oregon’s university for the future” by focusing on the human skills that set us apart from technology – such as creativity, communication, cultural understanding and ethical decision-making.

She has encouraged faculty and staff at SOU to be explore and participate in the evolution of learning technologies. She has taken steps to include adult learners and non-traditional students in the academic mix at SOU to offset the nationwide demographic decline of traditional college-age students.

President Schott has also encouraged belt-tightening measures, pursuit of innovative revenue-producing programs and a re-examination of Oregon’s higher education funding model in response to the continued uncertainty of state support for public universities.

President Schott received her bachelor’s degree in history and German from Baylor University, and her master’s degree in history and doctorate in history and humanities, both from Stanford University. She taught at three Texas universities and held administrative positions in Michigan and Colorado before taking her first presidential post in 2012 at University of Maine at Presque Isle.

She is midway through her fourth year as president of SOU, focused on preparing students for the opportunities and uncertainties that lie ahead, and providing them with tools to lead successful lives of purpose.

The common premise for this year’s Campus Theme lectures is “uncertainty.” The first lecture in the series was by Stanley Crawford, who talked about his legal fight against a large garlic importing company. The second lecture was by Cailin O’Connor, who discussed the spread of misinformation and the inherent uncertainty of our beliefs. The third lecture, by SOU French professor Marianne Golding, followed the uncertain journey of three young Jewish refugees from Germany and Czechoslovakia and the women who helped them escape from German-occupied France.