Eastern Oregon University seeks a President
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Location: La Grande, Oregon

Eastern Oregon University invites nominations and applications for its 13th President.

Eastern Oregon University (EOU) seeks an energetic and committed higher education leader to serve as its 13th President. The President will lead a stable institution on a sound financial footing that features an effective Board of Trustees, is led by a talented senior administrative team, offers a comprehensive academic program taught by a talented and committed faculty, and enjoys a strong reputation with state policy makers and donors. EOU serves students in a beautiful campus setting, through online programs, and at sites throughout the state and beyond with a broad range of programs in the arts, humanities, social sciences, business, education, science, technology, and health science.

Reporting to the EOU Board of Trustees, the President is the chief executive officer of Eastern Oregon University and is responsible for its strategy, general administration, and day-to-day operations. The President works with the Board to develop and advance EOU’s strategic plan, new initiatives, programs, and policies. Under Oregon law, the President is also the president of the faculty.

The President:

  • Provides vision and leadership for the University’s on-campus and online academic program offerings and works effectively with the faculty to enhance program quality and relevance;
  • Exemplifies and supports EOU’s commitment to extending educational access to underrepresented populations and is a champion of inclusive excellence at the University;
  • Energizes student recruitment and programs that support success for the University’s diverse students;
  • Works to foster productive and meaningful relationships between the University and Eastern Oregon region and beyond, encouraging productive public-private partnerships;
  • Builds and maintains effective relationships with the governor, state legislators, and other state education policy leaders;
  • Astutely and attentively oversees the finances and budget of the University, ensuring revenue and spending targets are achieved;
  • Actively engages in marketing and promoting the University to enhance visibility and brand recognition;
  • Is visible and available on campus and in the community, listening with care and consulting widely;
  • Champions EOU with the general public, community and regional leaders, accrediting agencies, and alumni; and
  • Ensures competent, ethical performance on the part of all University personnel.

For information on the University’s organizational structure, please click here.

EOU’s next President must be a leader with a commitment to and passion for higher education in a rural setting and possess demonstrated experience, knowledge, vision, and interpersonal skills to lead a complex and evolving University.

In addition to these qualities, the next President should have the following:

  • Senior level management and administrative experience;
  • A strong understanding of the academic environment and knowledge of the importance of shared governance;
  • Excellent finance and budgeting skills that yield financial sustainability;
  • A demonstrated commitment to serving a diverse student body, embracing equity, inclusion, and belonging;
  • Government relations experience and aptitude for working with legislators and other state policy leaders;
  • Experience working with governing and volunteer boards and the ability to engage with the Board of Trustees in charting the strategic direction of the University;
  • Ability to value and cultivate a productive working relationship with the faculty;
  • Respect for diversity in the workplace and a commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive work environment that values the contributions of all employees;
  • Creativity, vision, and an entrepreneurial spirit with a tolerance for risk;
  • A track record of specific results and accomplishments, especially as they relate to developing and implementing long-term strategic plans;
  • Understanding of the rural university setting that produces a sincere commitment to meeting the needs of underserved, first-generation students, including students who are served through online programs;
  • An understanding of online and distance education and its interconnectedness to on-campus programs;
  • Experience with enrollment management and success in increasing enrollment and improving retention;
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and good judgment;
  • An ability and appreciation for building close and meaningful relationships and connections with the community and surrounding region;
  • A deep respect for the Eastern Oregon region; an appreciation for rural university environments and the importance of EOU to the region it serves; and
  • Experience building strong teams as well as an understanding of working within a union environment.

EOU’s next President will demonstrate strong leadership credentials, including a record of successfully leading a complex organization. A terminal degree, or a compelling combination of educational attainment and successful leadership experience, is desired. The President will have credentials and professional accomplishments that will earn the respect of the University community, region, and state.

The salary range for the President of EOU is $275,000 to $350,000.

Nestled in the Grande Ronde Valley at the base of the picturesque Blue Mountains, Eastern Oregon University is one of the seven state-supported four-year institutions in Oregon, and the only institution on the eastern side of the state.

Designated by the state as Oregon’s Rural University, EOU has pioneered online instruction and satellite student services centers to bring educational and career opportunities to the entire eastern Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and southeast Washington region.

EOU serves a diverse community of students drawn principally from the intermountain northwest, but with a decades-long tradition of serving students from Micronesia. In addition, EOU was a national pioneer in distance education starting in the 1980s and now provides extensive online learning opportunities for students around the world. The University partners with communities and community colleges throughout the state to provide service access points for students in both urban and rural areas.

EOU’s intimate academic learning environments rank high in several national publications as “Best” – best in value, best in quality, and best for students. EOU’s faculty and staff are passionate about higher education and excel in understanding and addressing the educational needs of students.

Students (Fall 2022)

  • Total headcount enrollment: 2,674; 1,587 are enrolled as full-time students; 1,087 are enrolled as part-time students; slightly more than half of students are studying online
  • 252 new first-year students enrolled at EOU in fall 2022; 43% of new first-year students are from Eastern Oregon; Business Administration and Health and Human Performance are the most popular majors for new first-time students
  • 369 transfer students enrolled at EOU in fall 2022. 20% of transfer students are from Eastern Oregon; Business Administration, Health and Human Performance, and Psychology are the most popular majors for transfer students
  • 32% are first-generation college students
  • 32% are Pell-eligible students
  • 26% are racially or ethnically diverse
  • 25% are 18-21 years old; 29% are 21-24 years old; 21% are 25-34 years old; 22% are over 35 years old
  • 66% are Oregon residents; 34% are non-residents

Academic Programs
The University’s liberal arts and professional programs are of high quality. Programs offered by the College of Education; College of Business; College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; and College of Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Health Science include undergraduate degrees offered on-campus and online, and graduate programs (Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Master of Healthcare Administration) offered in online and in hybrid modes. Additional graduate offerings are being developed. In addition, the University offers certificate programs, pre-professional programs, and partnership programs with Oregon State University (agricultural sciences, rangeland science) and Oregon Health Sciences University (nursing).

EOU is governed by a fifteen-member Board of Trustees, whose members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Eleven Trustees are drawn from the general public, one member each is drawn from the students, staff, and faculty of the university, and the fifteenth Trustee is the university President, who serves ex officio without the power to vote. The Trustees drawn from the general public serve four-year terms. Trustees are term-limited to two consecutive terms Trustees selected from the students, faculty, and staff serve two-year terms. The Board has three standing committees that address specific areas of the Board’s work: the Academic and Student Affairs Committee, the Finance and Administration Committee, and the Governance Committee. The Board meets approximately five times per year, as do the committees. Further details of the university’s governance are defined in the Bylaws of Eastern Oregon University and the various statements and resolutions of the Board of Trustees of Eastern Oregon University.

Acceptance of inquiries, nominations, and applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search. Interested parties are encouraged to apply by March 12, 2023. Inquiries and nominations can be submitted to

To apply online, go to: All applications and nominations will be held in confidence.

The Summit team managing this search includes:
Dick Merriman Senior Consultant

Tammarah Townes, Senior Consultant

Carrie Coward, President

EOU is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to providing equal opportunity in its recruitment, admissions, educational programs, activities, and employment without illegal discrimination on the basis of age, color, handicap, national origin, race, marital status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or any status as protected by state or federal law.