The search is on for President Linda Schott's successor

SOU board begins search for new university president

(Ashland, Ore.) —The Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees has begun its search for the university’s next president, following President Linda Schott’s announcement last month that she will retire by the end of 2021.

SOU’s governing board has selected Parker Executive Search – a firm that specializes in higher education presidential searches – as its partner in recruiting the university’s next president, and has appointed a diverse, 18-member Presidential Search Committee composed of five trustees, three students, three faculty members, three staff members, three community members and one Oregon university president. The committee will be chaired by Danny Santos, vice chair of the SOU Board of Trustees.

“The Board of Trustees is now seeking a new president who will advance the vision, mission and values of SOU and shape the future of the institution as it moves forward into its next phase,” Santos and Board of Trustees Chair Paul Nicholson said.

“The Board is greatly appreciative of President Schott’s many contributions to SOU since August of 2016 and will continue to build upon this progress for the university,” they said.

The latest information on the presidential search can be found at

The Presidential Search Committee will work over the coming months to identify, recruit, and evaluate candidates for the university’s next president, but is intentionally working without a set timeline.

“Given the importance of this decision, the board intends to give the recruitment of SOU’s future president all the thoughtful deliberation it requires,” Nicholson said.

The search is intended to be an inclusive and transparent process, beginning with a series of “listening sessions” over the next couple of weeks to gather input from students, faculty, staff and community members about qualities sought in SOU’s next president. The schedule for listening sessions, which will be led by representatives of the search firm, follows:

Faculty Listening Session
June 3, 2021, 12:30 – 1:30 PM

Staff Listening Session
June 3, 2021, 3:45 – 4:45 PM

Student Listening Session
June 3, 2021, 5:00 – 6:00 PM

Community Listening Session 
(Community members, Parents, Alumni, others off campus)
June 7, 2021, 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Open Listening Session 
(Open to all including those who are unable to attend earlier sessions)
June 7, 2021, 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Listening sessions also will be scheduled with additional groups, including the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee.

Those who are unable to attend listening sessions are encouraged to submit their input by using an online form and those who want to follow the status of the search may check in on the presidential search website.