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Nov. 10, 2022
LA GRANDE, Ore. – The Eastern Oregon University board of trustees met for a regular session on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 9 and 10, 2022.
Board Chair Cheryl Martin opened the meeting by calling on Presidents Lara Moore and Richard Chaves to give announcements about the institution.
“Leadership transitions can be difficult,” Moore said. “Oftentimes the reaction is to press pause and wait for the next leader. That isn’t the case at EOU. The campus community is marching ahead, serving students and doing incredible work. We are pressing forward. I have always loved this University and I’m proud of the staff, faculty and students for building on our momentum and achieving excellence.”
President Chaves added “In my first few months into this position, I am impressed with how the people at EOU are moving forward, facing challenges, and strategically thinking about how to deal with those challenges.” Chaves said.
Diedre Schrieber joined the board for her first meeting as the new student trustee. She is an Oregon native from Wallowa County, and in addition to being a full-time student, she works on her family’s cattle ranch. Schrieber also serves as the student director of the Oregon State University Agriculture and Natural Resources program and the Eastern Oregon University Ag Club President.
Trustee Anna Cavinato, who is also a professor of chemistry at EOU, highlighted the work her students are doing in partnership with Notre Dame University. The students are testing for quality off-brand antibiotics, specifically Amoxicillin, that are freely sold in third world countries.
“I’m very proud of the work our chemistry students are doing with Notre Dame.” Trustee Martin said. “This is the type of work that will benefit people around the world and shows the impact Eastern Oregon University can have on the global community.”
Board Chair Martin announced the 22-members of the Presidential Search Committee. Members were chosen after receiving nominations and following engagement with staff, faculty, students and the eastern Oregon region. To see the Presidential Search Committee and other updates on the search, visit eou.edu/presidential-search/.
Trustees heard from Associate Vice President of Finance LeeAnn Case who presented the EOU FY23 Operating Budget. EOU will make targeted investments in Public Administration faculty, Psychology faculty, Health and Human Performance faculty and Cybersecurity faculty. The University is estimating budgetary savings of $2.3 million in position vacancies. These savings were built into the operating budget. EOU also received several million dollars in grants. The final operating revenue budget was revised down to reflect the decrease in enrollment. At fiscal year end, the University’s fund balance is projected to be $10.7 million or 21.4% of the revenue, which is within the board’s goal level. The board approved EOU’s operating budget for fiscal year 2023.
Vice President for Student Affairs Lacy Karpilo presented on the University’s strategic focus on Goal One of The Ascent strategic plan: student success. Karpilo highlighted EOU’s participation in the Moonshot for Equity program, which aims to remove barriers to equitable access to higher education. The University received funding to collaborate with Blue Mountain and Treasure Valley Community Colleges to erase equity gaps and improve higher education access and completion throughout Eastern Oregon.
“Moonshot is extremely important for our students.” Karpilo said. “We know that when we create equitable processes and opportunities all of our students benefit.”
President Moore opened discussion about reviewing and adjusting select elements of the University’s strategic plan. In 2016, at the request of the board, the university embarked on a comprehensive and inclusive strategic planning process. The University will review some of the plan’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in light of broad changes to the higher education landscape and make necessary adjustments in line with best accreditation practices.
Trustees also heard a legislative update, reports from shared governance leaders, approved the Master of Science in Accounting, and discussed the board’s annual evaluation.
On Wednesday evening, the Trustees toured EOU’s new Fieldhouse facility and heard from coaches, student-athletes, faculty and staff who will be using the 60,000 square-foot building. The Fieldhouse includes a multi-lane indoor track, the Outdoor Adventure Program and climbing walls and EOU’s Neely Health and Human Performance Center.
The board ended the two days of meetings by honoring American veterans at the flag-raising ceremony performed by the University’s ROTC students in celebration of Veterans Day.
A video recording of the meeting, as well as meeting materials can be found at eou.edu/governance. The next regular Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Feb. 15 and 16, 2023.
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