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Our new online master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling has enrolled its first full cohort, and 73% of the students are from Oregon! The launch of this program is the result of a lengthy process and substantial work, and it will be a benefit to our region and the entire state. I’m very grateful to Dr. Peter Geissinger and Dr. Hope Schuerman for leading this successful program startup.
We also have received terrific news from Governor Kotek’s office: EOU’s Dr. Ronda Fritz has been named to the Governor’s Early Literacy Educator Preparation Council. Dr. Fritz’s years of dedicated efforts to grow educator efficacy are being recognized by the state. Congratulations Dr. Fritz!
I am continuing to learn about the university through my conversations with many of our constituencies, while also working to strike our strategic path forward. I have met individually with our deans about each of our colleges and visited with others as well. Last week, the Cabinet and I held a retreat with EOU leaders to understand where we are, and where we want to go with our strategic plan. Together, we had the opportunity to focus on our shared goals for the coming year.
Last week I also had the opportunity to focus on campus housing and food services. Jeremy David Jones and Mike Daugherty provided me with a wonderful tour of our campus housing and a review of our residence life programs. I also met with Sodexo, our food service provider, to plan for the new year.
Visits also included more meetings with our trustees. Trustee Brad Stephens and I spent the day in Joseph and Enterprise discussing university finances and meeting with the Rural Engagement & Vitality Center (REV) leadership team. Back in La Grande, Trustee Cedric Riel shared his experiences as a student, and now as a Trustee.
Among the projects that most strike at our identity as a rural institution is our work with the REV Center. The REV provides a unique opportunity for EOU to have a significant impact in our region, while simultaneously enhancing faculty and student engagement. Among other projects, I’m really impressed by the work of Dr. Scott McConnell and Dr. Peter Maille for the Blues Intergovernmental Council. They work with students and leaders to prepare data on natural resources and local economies to help inform sound investments in our region. I’m hopeful more faculty and students will engage with the REV in ways allowing them to work on their shared passions.
Of course, there’s been some fun here and there too. I had the opportunity to share some donuts with the staff who’ve moved to Gilbert Center, and I was able to tour historic and unique facilities at The Lodge at Hot Lake Springs during the retreat.
More than anything, my current focus is on having a fantastic fall 2023, with a vibrant campus that welcomes our students, faculty, and staff back into action!
Kelly Ryan, Ph.D.
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