The Western Oregon University (WOU) Board of Trustees Executive, Governance and Trusteeship Committee (EGTC) on Thursday met to consider language for a new presidential search policy. As part of the discussion, the group affirmed its intention, pending full board approval, to search for an interim president to replace retiring President Rex Fuller.
The committee worked to craft a WOU-specific policy governing presidential searches, a process that previously had been managed through the Oregon University System (OUS). When the state’s seven public universities were made independent in 2015, they were at liberty to create their own presidential hiring policies; this is the first time WOU has needed its own policy as Fuller has been in his position since 2015.
The full Board of Trustees had indicated that a search for an interim president made more sense at this time for a number of reasons. On Thursday, the EGTC drafted guidelines for both interim and regular presidential searches, including potential timelines.
“We want to ensure all constituents are involved in the search for the next long-term WOU president, and we will begin that process in fall 2021,” said Board of Trustees Chair Betty Komp. “The proposed policy will go to the full board at its regular meeting on Feb. 17 with the recommendation of completing an interim hiring process in the next five months.”
Board of Trustees Secretary and University General Counsel Ryan Hagemann underscored that the search for a university president will be transparent, involve voices from across campus, and will include opportunities for constituent participation. The university does not intend to hire a consultation firm if it chooses the interim route, and no candidates have been identified, Hagemann said.