Western Oregon University Welcomes Four New Trustees, Names Board Chair

Western Oregon University’s Board of Trustees will welcome several new members in coming weeks as terms expired and the governor made new appointments.

Zellee Allen
Zellee Allen

In July, the governance panel will welcome Trustee Zellee Allen, the co-CEO and founder of Partnerships in Community Living in Monmouth. Allen earned his bachelor’s degree at WOU in 1993 and won the Alumni Award of Excellence in 2012. His appointment was confirmed by the Oregon Senate on May 23, and he’ll serve a four-year term.

“It is exciting to be selected to be a part of Western Oregon University’s Board of Trustees,” Allen said. “I look forward to participating in the future development of the university.”

Allen is an advocate for strong ties between the university and the local business community. His experience in supporting resources for Polk County residents makes him a valuable voice on the board.

“The board appreciates Zellee’s experience working with the community and his insight as a WOU alum,” said President Rex Fuller. “He’ll make a wonderful addition to the group as we plan for the future of WOU.”

Gavin Keulks
Gavin Keulks

In addition to Allen’s appointment, three designated trustees will also join the panel beginning July 1; English Professor and Honors Program Director Gavin Keulks will take the two-year faculty seat, and Director of Disability Services Malissa Larson will fill the two-year staff seat.

“I believe I can balance the demands of our diverse campus constituencies and the people of Oregon as the faculty trustee,” said Keulks. “I look forward to the challenges of joining this vital group.”

Malissa Larson
Malissa Larson

“As a double alum of WOU and having been an employee for more than 10 years, I am excited to engage and contribute in a totally different way to Western Oregon University,” said Larson. “I would like to put my efforts towards diversity, inclusion and social justice at WOU. We have made some great improvements and accomplishments but still have work to do.”

Chan Tuyub
Zoë Chan Tuyub

WOU student Zoë Chan Tuyub was elected by her peers to serve a one-year designee appointment.

“It feels surreal that I am on the board, but I am excited to be a part of it!” said student designee Chan Tuyub. “I look forward to learning from the other board members, and I think this will be a great growing experience for me. During my term, I’d like to increase the amount of student opinions we hear. I want to hear as much from the student body as possible.”

Trustee Betty Komp has been selected to chair the board after Trustee Jim Baumgartner completed his time in that position. There are two seats currently open, those vacated by Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Gloria Ingle. The board’s next meeting is scheduled for July 18.