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Additional trustees confirmed

Senate confirms additional EOU governing board members

News contacts:
Tim Seydel | Vice President for University Advancement; 541-962-3740 or tseydel@eou.edu
Laura Hancock | Communications Coordinator for University Advancement; 541-962-3585 or lhancock@eou.edu

December 10, 2014

LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The Oregon Senate Committee on Rules and Executive Appointments voted to approve four more individuals nominated by Governor Kitzhaber as members of Eastern Oregon University’s Governing Board of Trustees.

Final confirmation by the state Senate was given today, Dec. 10. The new board will assume responsibility for the university in July 2015.

“With the nomination and confirmation process complete, I’m confident the members of this first governing board will work together effectively and provide sound leadership for the university, including selection of our next president,” said Jay Kenton, who is currently serving EOU as its interim president.

Senate Bill 270, which passed last year, is the impetus behind EOU’s shift in governance. All seven public universities in Oregon are subsequently implementing their own boards in preparation for the disassembly of the State Board of Higher Education June 30, 2015.

“As a graduate from Eastern, I am very interested in serving the school that gave me a great education as a young international student,” said new trustee and alumnus Abel Mendoza of Haines. “I think that I bring a unique perspective to the board with my broad range of experiences.”

Another of the four new trustees, Cheryl Martin of North Powder, echoed Mendoza’s comments and said she is looking forward to becoming a member of the governing board.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to work with the other board members in helping move EOU forward in the new governance system and maintain it’s valuable presence throughout our region and the state,” Martin added.

The newly confirmed board members are:

David Nelson of Pendleton – Attorney and former state senator, senate majority leader, county attorney and wheat farmer.

Cheryl Martin of North Powder – Rancher and vice chair of North Powder Charter School Board.

Abel Mendoza of Haines – Retired assistant professor of chemistry at EOU, retired Dow Chemical researcher and 1972 EOU graduate.

Roberta Conner of Pendleton – Director of Tamástslikt Cultural Institute and former district director of U.S. Small Business Administration.

They join previously confirmed board members:

Ray Brown of Summerville – Assistant professor of education and secondary education program coordinator at EOU; faculty representative.

Richard Chaves of Baker City – Founder and president of Chaves Consulting, Inc. (CCI) and 1973 EOU graduate.

Elsie Praeger-Goller of Portland – Junior EOU transfer student majoring in elementary education with an ESOL endorsement, and Oregon Student Association member; student representative. 

Tom Insko of La Grande – Boise Cascade region manager, Oregon Board of Forestry member, EOU Foundation president 1994 EOU graduate.

Holly Kerfoot of Fruitland – Business owner, EOU President’s Circle and Mountaineer Athletic Association member, past-president of EOU’s Alumni Association, former EOU Foundation board member and 1985 EOU graduate.

Dixie Lund of La Grande – Retired two-time interim EOU president and 1973 EOU graduate.

George Mendoza of Richland – Assistant superintendent/director of special education for Morrow County School District and 1997 EOU graduate.

Jer Pratton of Hermiston – Retired Hermiston School District superintendent.

Patricia Todd of Baker City – Print services technician/classified staff member at EOU and vice president of SEIU 503 Local #081; staff representative.

EOU’s president will also be a voting member of the governing board and each trustee will serve a four-year term. For more information, including biographies, visit www.eou.edu/governance.