Eastern Oregon University > President's Message > From the President, September 13, 2023

From the President, September 13, 2023

There is so much good news to celebrate I hardly know where to start!

Dr. Hope Schuermann, Director of the Clinical Mental Health program, was appointed standing member of the steering committee for Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI). GOBHI works with mental health providers in eastern Oregon to fill gaps in employment and mental health services as part of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). 

The Oregon Teacher Pathway (OTP) and Teach Rural Oregon (TRO) programs’ impact are growing in eastern Oregon and beyond. The OTP program received the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Forbes® Colleagues’ Choice Innovation Award. The OTP was also awarded the Educator Advancement Council’s Grow Your Own grant, securing in excess of $600,000 for the next biennium. Teach Rural Oregon received the Educator Advancement Council’s Grow Your Own grant, also securing $600,000 in funds.

With the energy on campus ramping up, it is starting to feel like a new academic year is about to begin. Our football and volleyball teams have started their seasons, and the student-athletes are energized and proud. I am grateful to our coaches and the Athletic Department for keeping our student-athletes engaged prior to the start of classes.

The Summer Bridge program began and I had the privilege of meeting our new Mountaineers over lunch. I took the opportunity to listen to several impactful and engaging faculty presentations about their research and areas of expertise. I heard several students comment on the faculty’s passion for teaching. It was a great way to get our new students excited about their studies. There are still several events taking place in the Summer Bridge program. I encourage everyone to take part and welcome our new students.  

I continue to attend meetings and gatherings on and off campus with the goal of listening and learning more about the EOU community. The Foundation Board met to admit new leadership and ensure that donor dollars are spent wisely. I am highly impressed with their dedication to the University. It was a joy to attend my first meeting with the Foundation Board. I also toured EOU’s musical facilities where I narrowly avoided singing randomly and playing drums. 

Several members of the University’s leadership team met with staff from the Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative to discuss our shared priorities including housing, education, and childcare. I had the opportunity to have lunch with our new faculty. Their energy and excitement for the new year and helping students succeed were amazing.

Finally, I traveled to Umpqua Community College to meet with their president, EOU regional outreach advisor Kerri Wylam, and to attend a Ford Family Foundation event. I have learned so much from everyone, both here and across the state. I am excited to continue learning.

There is so much more to share as we have been busy.  I look forward to seeing you at our Convocation and other activities around campus!



Kelly Ryan, Ph.D.