Western Oregon University Board of Trustees approves presidential search prospectus, legislative request

The Western Oregon University (WOU) Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved the presidential prospectus presented by search firm Anthem Executive and agreed that WOU should request $16 million in emergency funds from the Oregon Legislature to pay for an extensive steam pipe repair project.

During fall term, Anthem Executive engaged groups from across campus, including the Presidential Search Committee, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, student government, the faculty union, the classified employee union, the University Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, the WOU Foundation, WOU alumni, the university’s deans, the president’s cabinet and the local community for input during the drafting of the prospectus.

The prospectus will be used essentially as the job description during the coming search for a regular university president, filling the role Jay Kenton is serving on an interim basis through June 30, 2022. The opening will now be posted nationally, and a nomination form is available online.

Also during the special meeting, the board heard a report about a potential failure of the university’s main steam line through campus. The pipes that supply heat and hot water to all of campus are in severe disrepair and must be replaced immediately.

“The expected life of the new steam line within the tunnel system would be 50 years, compared with 20 years for the direct-bury option,” said Vice President of Finance and Administration Ana Karaman. “Also, the tunnel would make accessing the steam line for maintenance and any future issues easier and less costly.”

The board’s approval allows the university president or a designee to seek $16.5 million in emergency funds from the legislature during its February 2022 session.

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