Eastern Oregon University > President's Message > From the President – January 31, 2024

From the President – January 31, 2024

Dear EOU Community:

I recently had the opportunity to meet with University Council leadership to discuss the Great Colleges to Work For survey results. Our highest scores from the last survey were in the area of job satisfaction and support. The overwhelming majority of you (77%) felt that your jobs made good use of your skills and abilities, and 81% percent agreed that you are given the responsibility and freedom to do your job. Most importantly, 85% shared that you feel the work you do is meaningful. I think the work you do is meaningful too! I know we have work to do to improve in many areas, but I am still gratified to see so many of you finding your niche here.

This survey got me wondering, how do we support each other? And how do your units celebrate each other? I hope you will email me to share because I want to hear from you! 

While I wait to hear how you are recognizing each other, I would like to share some kudos of my own with gratitude to those who have already been sharing department recognitions with me.

  • Kudos to our Accounting Team Haley Evans (Controller), Madeline Kennedy (Assistant Controller), and the team behind the team on the issuance of our 2023 Financial Statements. Hundreds of hours go into the process and this year the office underwent a transition of moving from USSE support. Awesome work!
  • The Dual Enrollment Kaleidoscope: Reconfiguring Perceptions of First-Year Writing and Composition Studies won the 2024 Outstanding Edited Collection Book Award from the Conference on College Composition & Communication. Our very own Professor Nancy Knowles’s article about EOU’s Eastern Promise program appeared in the publication. Do we think her article is the one that made the text award winning? Of course! Congratulations!!
  • Thank you to Angie Adams who took on an additional leadership role in organizing and preparing for the Board of Trustees’ committee meetings, and also to Jordan Withers and Lori Baird for stepping up to support our Governance, Academic and Student Affairs, and Finance committee meetings. Thank you to Gibb Pollard and Davon Dunajski for making sure all the A/V ran smoothly. I also want to give a shout out to Sodexo; the catering was wonderful. Thank you for all you do! Each of you is truly appreciated!!
  • Facilities faced a lot of issues in a short period of time: weather, water repairs, fire alarms, electrical issues, boiler issues … .My goodness! I, like so many others I have heard from, are grateful you bring your best everyday! 
  • The College of Education continues great work with the Teach Rural Oregon, the Library of Congress, the Oregon Historical Society, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, and the Japanese American Museum of Oregon partnering to provide a full-day Teaching with Primary Resources workshop for teachers and administrators on campus on March 9th. Thank you Dave Dallas for leading this work.
  • The EOU Trapshooting Club finished as the 3rd High Over All Team at the ACUI West Coast Championship January 19-21, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada beating Arizona State, Colorado State, Boise State, Utah State, and University of Idaho. EOU Senior, Eli Tollefson won the High Over All Title, outshooting all of the competitors. The team will travel to San Antonio, Texas in March for the ACUI College Nationals. 
  • Please join me in congratulating these colleagues on their fellowships. Dr. Karyn Gomez is attending The Teacher Leader Fellowship Program Abroad in Finland this spring. Her work will include visits to the Finnish National Agency for Education, the Finnish parliament, the University of Helsinki teacher education program, and multiple schools in and around Helsinki. Dr. Karie Smucker received the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) Service, Teaching and Research (STaR) Fellowship for early career faculty for AY 24-25. Congratulations to both of you!

The recognitions shared above highlight our community and pride. At EOU, we are Mountaineers. All of us and each of us, together! Ultimately, these examples showcase just some of the amazing work done at EOU and the support we provide to each other. Together we will meet our mission and be here for generations of students, making EOU the best we can for those we serve and each other. 

Thank you to those who have shared their input via the Strategy Teams survey and the Budget and Expense survey, as well as to those who were able to participate in one of the Strategy Team open campus forums. Your input helps inform the decisions made, and I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness that has gone into all that has been shared. 

Next time, I promise to write more about what I’ve been up to, but I wanted this message to be about you.



Kelly Ryan, Ph.D.