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LA GRANDE, Ore. – The Eastern Oregon University Board of Trustees convened via Zoom for a special session Friday, Aug. 19, 2022.
The board began discussions of interim leadership at their retreat earlier this month. During its special session, the board held a lengthy review about its options for appointing an interim leadership following President Insko’s resignation in early August.
The board discussed appointing co-presidents, naming an external interim president who has experience working with the university, elevating an internal individual, or conducting a search for an interim appointment.
Over the past two weeks, Board leadership engaged with EOU’s shared governance bodies to gain feedback from faculty, students, and staff to help inform their decision. They also reached out to employee labor groups and connected with the Alumni Board and the Foundation Board to understand the impact their decision may have on each organization.
“We don’t make this choice lightly,” Vice Chair Cheryl Martin said. “We want to provide the university, and most importantly, our students, with stability, continuity and momentum as they come into the new year.”
After discussing the options for interim president, the board voted to adopt resolution 22-07 appointing Vice President of Finance and Administration Lara Moore and current Board Chair Richard Chaves as interim co-presidents. Their term as interim co-presidents will take effect on Sept. 1, 2022. Chaves will resign from the board to assume his new duties. The resolution also encourages the extension of interim provost Matt Seimears’ appointment until June 30, 2024.
“After having listened to the discussion and reading public comments, we need to take the time to find the next great leader of EOU.” Trustee Cedric Riel said. “For the interim, I think we should go with people who are passionate about and committed to the university. I believe Lara and Richard are those people.”
Martin also noted the importance of new leadership working with the academic side of the university, and engaging with deans and interim provost Matt Seimears. Trustee and professor Anna Cavinato strongly encouraged open communication to seek feedback from the faculty.
“I believe in EOU’s community,” said Moore. “We have gone through a number of leadership transitions in the past, and I have confidence that we will come out of this transition with a great leader for EOU. In the meantime, I’m ready for a fantastic year.”
“We have a strong board and a great leadership team,” said Chaves. “I look forward to more conversations like this with the community and have confidence that “Together, it’s possible.”
The board will meet in the next few weeks to determine how to proceed with the search process.
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