(Ashland, Ore.) — Casey Shillam, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N, who served most recently as dean and professor of the University of Portland School of Nursing & Health Innovations, will be the next Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Southern Oregon University. She will begin her duties at SOU on Friday, March 1.
Shillam is an experienced academic leader, nurse, educator, administrator and U.S. military veteran. She is an expert on aging, a skilled researcher and statistician with a long record of research funding, and has a prolific publication history. Under her leadership, student enrollment at the University of Portland nursing school grew by 35%, becoming the state’s largest undergraduate nursing program. Throughout her administrative career, she has secured more than $10 million in federal, philanthropic and foundation funding for academic program development, student scholarships and research.
“Dr. Shillam has already made a huge impact in our state, and we are truly excited to have her join the SOU family and apply her expertise to our academic and student-centered programs,” SOU President Rick Bailey said. “Her skills align seamlessly with many of our programs and initiatives – from our outstanding academic program offerings to our student support systems, to our plans for a senior living facility on the SOU campus, to ongoing efforts that will expand our behavioral mental health offerings and address the statewide shortage of counselors. We look forward to her leadership helping us to continue to move onward and upward as an institution.”
Shillam’s work on aging and health policy has made significant impacts regionally and nationally. In Oregon, she shaped legislation through the House Committee on Health Care to address the healthcare workforce shortage, resulting in actionable steps with measurable outcomes to address critical issues. At the federal level, she co-chaired the Department of Health & Human Services RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council, which provided the U.S. Congress with the first national caregiving strategy and federal funding priorities to support over 53 million family caregivers. She is currently serving on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission.
“Southern Oregon University stands out as a leader of regional institutions of higher education, and I am honored to join this thriving campus community,” Shillam said. “A strong roadmap has been developed by President Bailey and the entire SOU community, leveraging opportunities and strengths of the people and resources of southern Oregon. I am eager to begin my work in implementing this plan with SOU’s innovative leaders, talented faculty, dedicated staff and outstanding students.”
Shillam is a first-generation college graduate with a deep commitment to student support and well-being. She earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and letters at Portland State University; bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in nursing, all at Oregon Health & Science University; and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Davis. Her bachelor’s degree in nursing was from the OHSU program on the SOU campus.
Current Provost Susan Walsh, Ph.D., announced last summer that she planned to retire, but agreed to serve until Shillam begins her new role on Friday. Walsh has served 42 years at SOU, rising through the academic ranks from instructor in the Communication Department, to full professor and eventually to the institution’s top academic leadership position.
The Provost & Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs is the leader in sustaining an environment of academic excellence and student success at SOU.