Eastern Oregon University > Academics > 2022 Board retreat summary

2022 Board retreat summary

Board of Trustees postpones naming an interim president

LA GRANDE, Aug. 9, 2022. – Eastern Oregon University’s board of trustees held its annual retreat in Boardman, Oregon on Aug. 8 and 9. The board convened at the Sage Center, located at the Port of Morrow, where they met with local leaders and discussed important changes in the university’s leadership. 

On Tuesday, the board discussed the possibility of naming an interim president. President Tom Insko recommended an interim co-presidency consisting of Vice President of Finance Lara Moore and board chair Richard Chaves.

“We need to be thoughtful about the transition, and fortunately, we are financially stable and have a strategic plan that gives us purpose and focus,” President Insko said. “We have momentum and are doing great things for our students and community. My recommendation is about ensuring our  progress continues, moving us forward as a university.”

After a lengthy discussion, the board elected not to forward a resolution to name an interim president at this time. 

“We want to be speedy but not hasty.” vice board chair Cheryl Martin said. “The process for naming an interim president is very important. We would like more input and feedback from the university community before we make a decision.”

During the retreat, the board also engaged with area and regional business leaders, local representatives and regional stakeholders to discuss EOU’s role in business, industry and education in the area. The board hosted several panels made up of educational and business leaders over the two-day retreat. They also hosted a public reception where alumni and community members were able to share their stories with trustees.

“Our partners reiterated what we know to be true here in Eastern Oregon, we are in this together.” board chair Richard Chaves said. “We need to continue working with each other to increase access to higher education for everyone in the region.”

“Our number one competitor isn’t each other, it’s apathy for higher education.” President of Blue Mountain Community College Mark Browning said. “That is more than a dollars and cents equation. It’s about the sense of value that education brings to our lives.”

Finally, Vice President of University Advancement Tim Seydel and public affairs strategist Anna Richter Taylor presented on preparing for the upcoming political year in Oregon higher education.

The board plans to gather more input from the EOU community about naming an interim president over the coming weeks. They will continue discussions in a special session in August. The board’s next regular session will be held Nov. 9-10, 2022.