Western Oregon University appoints Dr. Sukhwant Jhaj as its next president


MONMOUTH, OREGON—The Western Oregon Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Sukhwant Jhaj as its next president at its April 20, 2022 board meeting this afternoon.  Dr. Jhaj, who will start on August 1, 2022, succeeds Dr. Rex Fuller and Interim President Dr. Jay Kenton.

SukhwantCurrently, Dr. Jhaj is the Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Student Success and Dean of University College at Arizona State University.  Prior to Arizona State, Dr. Jhaj served Portland State University for over sixteen years in multiple roles, advancing academic innovation and student success at different levels.  Trained as a designer, Dr. Jhaj uses design thinking to discover new solutions for incremental and disruptive challenges facing higher education.  In his book, “Delivering on the Promise of Democracy: Visual Case Studies in Educational Equity and Transformation,” Jhaj crafted a new look at how imaginative leadership and a shift in perspective can guide institutions as they work to improve access and success for all students.

Western Oregon University Board of Trustees Chair Betty Komp stated: “We could not be more delighted that a rigorous, collaborative search process resulted in such a qualified leader.  Dr. Jhaj’s experiences and life’s work match up with WOU’s mission and the university’s trajectory to impact the lives of generations of students to come.  The engaged participation of the campus community in this process was indispensable to the Board’s decision this afternoon.  WOU’s future is certainly bright.”

Dr. Sukhwant Jhaj shared:  “Western Oregon University helps students succeed and thrive.  I thank Chair Komp, the Board or Trustees, and this community for giving me this opportunity to serve the students, faculty, and staff of this outstanding university as their president.  Together, we will design a future where life after transformative education allows all students, no matter their background, to thrive after graduation, to have a successful career, find meaning in their life and work, and contribute to the common good.”

Dr. Jhaj received an Ed.D from the University of New England, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Portland State University, a terminal Master of Architecture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology in Bhopal, India.

About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving about 4,000 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans, or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.

2 comments on “Western Oregon University appoints Dr. Sukhwant Jhaj as its next president”

  1. I am really happy to hear that Mr. Jhaj as next president of wO University. I congratulate mr. Jhaj . God bless you and give you knowlege and strength for leed this institute on his high level of service.

  2. Congratulations, Sukhwant. I hope your leadership inspires dynamic new collaboration among faculty, staff and alumni to enhance the student experience and the economic and cultural life of the region. Glad you will be back in Oregon.

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