Southern Oregon University (SOU) Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee seek a bold and audacious President who will add momentum towards SOU’s long-term vision, while inspiring students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members and business and industry leaders, legislators and policy makers, to work together for the good of the University.  The Board of Trustees is a collaborative entity looking for a partner who will be visible, accessible, and approachable to all university constituents internal and external to the institution (i.e., students, employees, legislators, alumni, donors, neighbors, local employers, and others).  Operating in an environment of shared governance, the President will be responsible for academic leadership, strategic planning, and the administration of academic, personnel, fiscal, and student life/development policies of the university.  


Reporting to the Board of Trustees and serving as an ex-officio member of the board, the next President, in addition to demonstrated administrative leadership abilities, should possess qualities to include: impeccable integrity, adept communication and interpersonal skills, a commitment to public higher education and access and completion, vision and ingenuity, an unwavering commitment to equity diversity, and inclusion, and an overall personality that engenders trust, confidence and respect.



It is preferred the successful candidate have an earned doctorate or terminal degree as well as the following qualifications:


  • Servant Leader.  Vision, integrity, honesty, kindness, fairness, accountability, optimism, and experience to engage the entire campus community in leveraging the strengths of SOU, building on the foundation of its mission and core values, and ensuring the highest standards of quality and academic excellence in an atmosphere of collegiality and consensus building;


  • Effective Team Leader.  Deep appreciation for public higher education; and the integral, highly-collaborative role it plays in the region;


  • Innovative.  An entrepreneurial spirit to foster necessary changes within the academic enterprise to reflect the University’s mission of being Oregon’s university for the future and a liberal arts institution with STEAM programs;


  • Change Agent:  A deep understanding of the components of the change process and the role of the president in facilitating change in a dynamic environment;


  • Transformational. Familiarity with higher education policies and best practices in a changing environment particularly as it relates to increasing enrollments and revenues in challenging environments;


  • Committed. An unwavering commitment to the students of SOU and support for enhancing diversity in all its forms while creating an equitable, accessible, inclusive community;


  • Just.  A strong commitment to diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism and proven track record of developing and implementing programs to support first generation, minority, BIPOC, AAPI students and others who may be underrepresented in higher education;


  • Collaborative.  Skillsets to lead and develop collaborative relationships with the University’s many constituencies including faculty, staff, students, alumni, local community members and friends, Southern Oregon Higher Education Consortium, and Oregon state policy makers;


  • Passionate.  Enthusiasm for creating an atmosphere inclusive of a dynamic higher education experience including, academic success, campus life experiences, athletics, cultural exposure, service opportunities, etc.;


  • Trustworthy. A genuine sensitivity to institutional culture and interest in building engagement and trust with the local and broader communities through inclusive discourse, collaboration and mutually beneficial initiatives;


  • Conversant.  Familiar with the use of competency-based education as well as online & distance modalities to support and protect educational and administrative processes and outcomes;


  • Results-Oriented.  Ability to leverage data to lead improvement of academic performance in retention and graduation rates and increasing student success outcomes;


  • Stewardship.  Fiscal and philanthropic acumen with demonstrated success in navigating amongst the shifting financial landscapes; 


  • Resourceful.  Successful track record in fundraising and cultivating relationships from both public and private sources, as well as the ability to promote a University-wide culture that emphasizes campus engagement in philanthropic efforts;


  • Character.  Environmentally aware followed by commitment to environmental and social sustainability;


  • Collegial.  A strong appreciation for and commitment to shared governance, and experience working in a collective bargaining environment and building healthy, collaborative relationships with represented employees; 


  • Motivated.  A commitment to developing strong, innovative academic programs and experiences that support SOU's 7 strategic directions;


  • Driven. An unwavering support for the academic and athletic success and well-being of student-athletes at a winning NAIA school; and


  • Community Focused.  Understands the role and importance of a highly engaged, regional university in its surrounding community.  Commitment to serving as a resource and collaborative partner for the economic, cultural, artistic, and social betterment of the region. 



The SOU Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, complete CV, and references) or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University.  Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to September 8, 2021: 


Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Parker Executive Search Five Concourse Parkway Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328 ||
Phone: 770-804-1996 x 109


SOU is an equal access Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer 

committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce.