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We must never be complacent in prioritizing the values of justice and equity in the work we do every day at EOU, and we must intentionally carry these values into every conversation we have in this community and every decision we make as leaders of the university. The name of the Library is one of those conversations that continues within, and outside of, the EOU community.
My commitment to you remains that I will listen, learn and be active in regular dialogues about how we can reverse the impacts of historical and societal biases and discrimination for any student, faculty or staff on our campus. I hear you that the name of the EOU Library is an issue that needs to be addressed.
An advisory committee of students, faculty and staff has been researching the history of the name and its alignment with our mission, values and principles, as well as its historical context. This committee will make a recommendation this fall on whether that name should remain, or if change is needed in order to uphold our commitment to a university environment that is safe, inclusive, and reflects our collective values.
As an academic institution, we endeavor to make decisions based on research and facts, and to follow a thorough process when making decisions that impact our campus environment so that a broad spectrum of voices and perspectives can be heard. This also ensures we can all learn and be engaged in those discussions and decisions.
Your input is critical to the process. Please visit https://www.eou.edu/pierce-library-renaming/ to submit your feedback.
Message to the EOU community – June 2, 2020
The events of the last several weeks are upsetting for us all, invoking reactions of sadness, anger, frustration and reflection. The unacceptable violence we have seen against Black men and women like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others we don’t read about must stop. The question I am asking myself is: What is our role at EOU in that effort?
At EOU we have a small and intimate campus where we know each other by name, not titles. We not only see each other every day, but talk to each other and care about each other as a part of our EOU family. Over the last several years we have expanded access to increase diversity at our university because opportunity should not have barriers based on the color of one’s skin, socioeconomic background, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or ethnicity. This diversity has made us stronger and better collectively, bringing new perspectives that help us all become better people. EOU strives to be a place where people of all backgrounds and identities feel at home, where diversity is actively embraced and individuals take responsibility to uphold the dignity of all members of the Mountaineer community and beyond.
The racism that we have seen is a stark reminder that we must never be complacent in prioritizing the values of justice and equity in the work we do every day on our campus. We must intentionally carry these values into every conversation we have in this community and in every decision we make as leaders of the university.
My commitment to you is that every day I will do my part to create a safe campus where all people are celebrated, all voices can be heard, and respect for our differences will be valued. EOU will be a place where conversations about inequality are not dismissed but addressed openly and respectfully. I will listen, learn and actively engage our campus in regular dialogue about how we can do our part to reverse the impacts of historical and societal biases and discrimination for any student, faculty or staff on our campus.
It takes courage to speak up and I look forward to a future where we are together, on campus, confronting tough questions and taking action together to uphold our values and principles as Mountaineers.
I have deep respect for each and every one of you. Thank you for all you contribute to EOU. In the fall we will come back together to reflect on these events, heal from the hurt, and use that power to continue to pave our path towards a more inclusive and equitable campus community for all.
Thomas A. Insko
Eastern Oregon University is a community of students, faculty, and staff who share the ideals of human equality, democracy, pluralism, and advancement based on merit. Together, we live these principles and believe that cultural diversity and intellectual freedom introduce us to new experiences, enrich and broaden our perspectives, and stimulate new ideas and possibilities. Exploring and considering differences can be uncomfortable and unpredictable, but generous consideration often leads to great moments of personal growth.
Eastern Oregon University strives to be a place where people of all backgrounds and identities feel at home, where diversity is actively embraced, and where each individual takes responsibility for upholding the dignity of all members of the Mountaineer community and beyond.
Mr. Insko was named the 12th
president of Eastern Oregon University in 2015. A native of eastern
Oregon, he grew up on a family farm 35 miles north of La Grande. He
earned two degrees from EOU in mathematics and business economics and
played intercollegiate basketball for the Mountaineers. He holds a
master’s of business administration from the College of William and Mary
in Williamsburg, Va.
Under President Insko’s leadership, the university has embraced the
motto “Together, it’s possible.” Faculty, staff and students formally
adopted EOU’s Values and Principles in 2016 and have integrated them
into the daily work and activities of the institution. In 2017, the
Board of Trustees approved The Ascent 2029, EOU’s strategic plan that
sets the framework for today and tomorrow. The trajectory mapped by The
Ascent is aggressive. The transformational goals and key performance
indicators are aligned with EOU’s Mission and Core Themes where quality,
access, and student success are at the forefront.
EOU has already achieved one of the goals in The Ascent — official designation as Oregon’s Rural University by the Legislature. This designation firmly and unapologetically solidifies EOU’s commitment to rural areas in Oregon and beyond.
Office of the President
Eastern Oregon University
One University Boulevard
Inlow Hall, Suite 216
La Grande, OR 97850
E-mail the President
In the fall of 2015, President Insko sat down with our managing editor of The Mountaineer Magazine to share his distinctive experience and approach to ensuring EOU’s success in a new era.