Jay Kenton – Biography
Dr. Jay Kenton was named interim president of Eastern Oregon University April 18, 2014 following a unanimous vote by the State Board of Higher Education. Dr. Kenton formally began in this role June 16.
Well known in Oregon and nationally for his innovation and pragmatic problem-solving approach to higher education finance, Dr. Kenton previously served as vice chancellor for Finance and Administration for the Oregon University System since April 2005. In this capacity, he oversaw the development and administration of the university system’s budget, including funding needs for operations and capital, and developed policy recommendations to the State Board of Higher Education. He advocated for and helped to achieve the system’s short and long-term objectives, and worked closely with the chancellor and leaders of the seven campuses to help achieve the vision and initiatives of the state board.
Dr. Kenton was responsible for the supervision of the Chancellor’s Office Controller’s Division and Human Resources Office, which managed the finances and payroll for the system. He also oversaw technology support for the system through two contracts, one with Oregon State University for the management of administrative technologies for the system office and the four regional universities, and one with University of Oregon for the provision of wide-area networking services for all OUS campuses and other public entities.
Dr. Kenton’s career in higher education began as a business officer at EOU and he has held similar positions at Oregon Institute of Technology and Portland State University. His combined 26 years of experience with all aspects of college and university finance and administration includes working as a business and financial manager, contracts officer, budget officer and chief planner in higher education. Prior to his appointment with OUS, he held the positions of vice president of Finance and Administration at both University of Idaho and Portland State University.
In addition to serving as a full-time administrator, Dr. Kenton is a professor of public administration in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University, where he teaches public finance and budgeting topics. He also teaches higher education finance and strategic planning in PSU’s Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Kenton received a bachelor of science in business administration and a master’s degree in adult and higher education from Oregon State University. He earned his Ph.D. in public administration and policy, with an emphasis in college and university finance and a minor in organization change and development, at Portland State University.
Active in the National and Western Associations of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO and WACUBO respectively), Dr. Kenton serves on committees, teaches workshops and writes for these organizations. He is a past-president of WACUBO and has served on the board of directors for NACUBO. He and his wife Susan Kenton, a retired educator, have two children, Matthew and Megan.