Eastern Oregon University > Academics > Presidential Transition

Presidential Transition

EOU President Returning to Timber Roots 

LA GRANDE, Ore. – Tom Insko, Eastern Oregon University’s president, announced today that he is leaving his post at the end of September.

Eastern Oregon University Campus

Insko has been named President and Chief Executive Officer at Collins, a wood products company based in Wilsonville, Oregon. 

Insko was appointed EOU’s 12th President in 2015 after more than 20 years as an executive at Boise Cascade. An EOU graduate and lifelong resident of La Grande, Insko brought his business experience along with a passion for expanding opportunities through education to his role as President. 

“This was a difficult decision because serving as president, with this outstanding community of educators, students and professionals, has been among the most challenging but fulfilling experiences of my career,” said Insko. “I am so proud of what we have accomplished together over the last 7 years, and while I will be serving Oregon in a different way, my goal is to continue to support and advance opportunities for the people in eastern Oregon – and that includes the students and community at EOU.” 

Under Insko’s leadership EOU increased student access to higher education and protected affordability by keeping tuition flat during the pandemic in 2021-22. EOU has had some of the lowest increases in costs of all other public universities in Oregon during his tenure while increasing its diversity and growing student retention achievement rates.

Programs developed during Insko’s tenure include the expansion of academic programs like agriculture entrepreneurship, reorganization of EOU’s academic colleges and the addition of two new deans, securing funding for the new Field House, the addition of men’s and women’s wrestling, lacrosse, and baseball, renovations and upgrades to buildings across campus, the Rural Engagement and Vitality (REV) Center, a reorganization of the school’s diversity, equity inclusion and belonging programs, and the just-launched Moon Shot for Equity project to eliminate achievement gaps. 

“Tom was a non-traditional president with a background in operations and financial management, but it proved to be exactly the kind of leadership we needed,” said EOU Board Chair Richard Chaves. “Tom’s passion for Oregon coupled with a strategic education and fiscal plan brought together everyone under one vision, which has led us to the strong position we are in today. He set a high bar for our next president but we are confident we will attract a high caliber leader who can continue to advance the path forward putting the people and students of eastern Oregon first.”

Eastern Oregon University’s board of trustees will begin transition planning for the university at their upcoming annual retreat, already planned for Aug. 8-9 in Boardman, Oregon. As plans are developed, they will be shared.
The retreat will also include discussion panels with area leaders in economic development and education and on Aug. 8, trustees will host a public reception from 5-6:30 p.m. in the SAGE Center Gallery. The public is encouraged to attend the reception and hear comments from President Insko and Board Chair Richard Chaves. A full agenda will be made available later today and can be found at eou.edu/governance/.

News contact: Tim Seydel, Vice President of University Advancement | c.541-910-1723, w.541-962-3628 or tseydel@eou.edu