Eastern Oregon University > President's Message > From the President, October 11, 2023

From the President, October 11, 2023

We are just one day away from the opening of our Homecoming activities and there is a lot of news to share!

I am excited to see the Homecoming spirit shining brightly within our broader EOU community of alumni, students, faculty, staff and throughout Eastern Oregon. For Spirit Week and Homecoming, we have scheduled a number of fun programs that represent the hard work of so many individuals at our university, while also celebrating the Mountaineer spirit. I look forward to seeing you at the events.

Leading up to Homecoming, we have hosted many events on the Quad, and I want to thank our partners in this work: the four Colleges, the Library, Advising, the Chemistry Club, DEIB, Finance and Administration, Student Affairs, and the General Counsel’s Office. University Advancement has done an excellent job keeping our campus calendar on the homepage up and information going out on these events. What a team! Of course, I am hopeful to keep the fun going and keep the campus energized well beyond Homecoming, so let me know what cold-weather-friendly ideas you have to keep the campus engaged. I look forward to an inbox full of energetic events you are scheduling to engage the entire university!

The good news has been pouring in!

  • Mandy Vance, adjunct instructor in our Exercise Science and Physical Education & Sport programs has been named Regional Teacher of the Year and is now a finalist for the Oregon Teacher of the Year award. Wow!
  • Dr. Kelly McNeil was elected to The American Avalanche Association Industry Advisory Group (IGA), The International Snow Science Workshop Tromso (Norway) International Advisory Board, and The Women’s Mentorship Program – Mentor for the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education. She was also invited to publish in the journal “Avalanche Review ” again, in which she already published four papers last year. Go get ‘em, Kelly!
  • In Athletics, our men’s cross country team is ranked 5th and women’s volleyball is 4th in the NAIA National Coaches Poll. Our men’s cross country team was selected Cascade Conference Team of the Week last week for their impressive win at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational that featured NCAA DI, DII, NAIA, and DIIII schools. This was our team’s first time winning the meet in 48 years. That’s right – Mount Up!
  • Dr. Ronda Fritz has been working hard to improve reading outcomes for all students in Oregon and now the Eastern Oregon University Reading Clinic, in partnership with the Schuberth/Urang Family, is thrilled to offer the online teacher training, “Building a Strong Foundation in Literacy,” aligned to reading science, that is affordable and accessible for any teacher, school, or district in Oregon beginning in January 2024! Way to be a champion for our Oregon students!

Since my last message, it has been a very busy two weeks of meetings on and off campus. Of recent note is a trip to Baker City to visit with Trustees Erin Lair and Maurizio Valerio, in addition to a visit to the local Head Start to connect with Robert Kleng and Tammie McEnroe. Closer to home, I was excited to speak at  La Grande Noon Rotary Club about all of the awesome things I see happening at EOU. They are rooting for us! Pendleton was my next stop, visiting with BMCC President Mark Browning, and then with  Mike Fisher of our Regional Center While in Pendleton, I gave a presentation at the Intermountain Education Services District Superintendents’ meeting. I spoke with them about our University’s hope of working with them on our shared goals of boosting college-going.

In addition, I had the privilege of visiting Trustee Gary George, who honored me by arranging a meeting with Kat Brigham, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation. I also had a great meeting with ROI’s Susie Calhoun who is an important EOU Resource at CTUIR. We had a lot of laughs on that wonderful day, and I am hopeful about our future work together.

Wishing all of you well during this beautiful time of seasonal change!



Kelly Ryan, Ph.D.