Eastern Oregon University > President's Message > From the President, September 27, 2023

From the President, September 27, 2023

As we start the new academic year, I am reminded of a famous saying from the Kentucky Derby as our fall term at Eastern Oregon University is beginning:

“And they’re off!”

We have held several traditional campus events like Convocation, Opening Session, move-in days, and now Week of Welcome. Being new to EOU myself, it has been wonderful to see everyone back! I am excited for the new year and honored for the opportunity to learn from all of you.

I have met with over half of the university’s departments and I am gratified by the ways many of you are embracing my call for a “revolution for student success.” You have asked amazing questions, shown you are open to collaborating with each other on solutions, and shared what works and what does not work. Together, we will advance EOU for ourselves and our students.

Over the past few weeks, I have spent a lot of time in the EOU community while also working with the region to make sure college-going and our University are top of mind. I went to my first Pendleton Round-Up and met with state leaders, Oregon public university presidents, the president of Blue Mountain Community College, and EOU Board Chair Cheryl Martin. I also met with Trustees Gary George and Deidre Schrieber, one of the Round-Up Princesses, for some fun in Pendleton. Round-Up is a great event where EOU showcases how our University is redefining rural. I also had a wonderful time connecting with EOU alumni and taking part in the Westward Ho! parade

I have seen many staff and faculty wearing EOU gear on Fridays, and I want to encourage the Friday Gear Day trend! I really enjoy wearing casual clothes to work, especially the Week of Welcome t-shirts Kathryn Shorts and her team handed out at Convocation this year. Gear Day will help us be more relaxed and share our EOU pride with our current students, as well as prospective students who often visit campus on Fridays. I also want to encourage you to get together and walk around campus on Fridays at 10 a.m. and/or 2 p.m. and help our Admissions team impress our new recruits with EOU pride—I know I will be there!

Finally, last weekend I had fun meeting with alumni and donors at our home football game, attended my first EOU soccer match and cheered our teams on. I saw many of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni at the games, and felt tremendous pride for Eastern Oregon University and Mountaineer athletics!

The beginning of the academic year is a precious time, we rejoin the community, develop our vision of what the year could be, and do our best to welcome and inspire the minds of this new class of 2027.

We’re off!



Kelly Ryan, Ph.D.