Western Oregon University’s Salem campus opens in Vick Building

Front of WOU Salem Vick building with gray paint and red trim

WOU Salem logo with image of state capital building in backgroundWestern Oregon University (WOU) officially opens its doors to the new WOU:Salem campus in the downtown Vick building (525 Trade St.) with a grand opening ceremony on Monday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m.


“We are delighted to be Oregon’s first public university to have a permanent presence in Salem,” said WOU Interim President Jay Kenton. “We look forward to partnering with state agencies and others to help working adults make career changes and career advancements a reality with hybrid courses and evening classes in a convenient location.”


The ceremony at WOU:Salem’s grand opening includes a building tour and remarks from Chuck Bennett (mayor of Salem), Jay Kenton (WOU’s interim president), Rex Fuller (former WOU president), Logan Jackson (Associated Students of Western Oregon University president), Emily Knaus (WOU:Salem student), and Cori Frauendiener (WOU alum).


WOU began its expansion to Salem in early 2019 with classes and programs for working adults in the Willamette Education Service District building in south Salem. WOU:Salem now features two programs only offered on the Salem campus: a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and an Bachelor of Applied Science in Liberal Studies. Both of these programs offer hybrid courses to support working adults in completing degrees. WOU:Salem also offers courses for a master’s in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling and undergraduate courses in psychology, criminal justice, and business. As programming is established, the Vick Building’s six technology-enhanced classrooms and two seminar rooms will be positioned to serve upwards of 500 Salem-based students.


Downtown Salem will serve as a great location for WOU:Salem with its convenient public transportation. As the central and historical sector of Oregon’s second-largest city, WOU will be well-suited to deliver transformative education and personalized service to the area. Currently, WOU is the only Oregon public university offering a significant face-to-face component in Salem.


“Salem and Keizer are home to over 225,000 residents, many of whom aspire to complete a four-year degree but have not had robust face-to-face options,” said Sue Monahan, WOU’s associate provost for program development. “I am excited that WOU is bringing its outstanding faculty and programs, and its personal touch, Oregon’s capital city. We look forward to serving Salem and being active participants in downtown life.”


The grand opening ceremony is not open to the public in order to keep attendance small for safety of the attendees.

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