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March 7, 2018 SALEM, Ore. — Eastern Oregon University is now officially designated as “Oregon’s Rural University.”
The Oregon Senate passed House Bill 4153 in a 60-0 vote on Feb. 26, less than two weeks after the House approved it unanimously, and Governor Kate Brown signed it into law March 6.
State Representatives Greg Barreto (R-La Grande) and Lynn Findley (R-Vale), joined EOU President Tom Insko and Vice President for University Advancement Tim Seydel in Salem as the bill was formally signed into effect by the Governor.
Along with formal recognition from the State of Oregon, the bill states, “Eastern Oregon University acts as a focal point for citizens of all age groups in Eastern Oregon by establishing the importance of education in a rural community and by incorporating the area into the advanced global economy.”
“Eastern Oregon University has been serving rural Oregon since its founding in 1929,” said Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena). “Giving EOU this official designation will allow the university to appeal to potential students across the nation, and leverage federal funds.”
Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) sponsored the bill along with Rep. Findley, Rep. Barreto and Sen. Hansell, demonstrating their belief that EOU serves the communities they represent in the mostly rural Eastern Oregon, where many students and alumni reside.
“This designation defines EOU’s role in the state,” said EOU’s Vice President for University Advancement Tim Seydel. “It will enable us to show evidence of our mission and our unique position and responsibilities in Oregon as we pursue resources for students, programs and projects in rural areas.”
Achieving official designation also marks progress toward accomplishing the goals laid out in the university’s strategic plan, including the aim to be recognized as a leader in promoting prosperity and resilience in rural communities.
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