Public Forum Held by President Insko

Written by Tabitha Compton

EOU Entry, One University Boulevard La Grande
Photo: Tabitha Compton / Voice

On April 13, 2020, Eastern Oregon University’s President, Tom Insko held a public forum using the communication/conferencing service, Zoom, that would address the questions, comments, and concerns of the community. For those of you who are interested but we’re unable to attend, the link to the recorded public forum is eou.edu/coronavirus/.

President Insko stated at the beginning of the Zoom forum, “Something  that makes EOU special is how close knit this community is, and as we engage in a conversation today, I thought it was important for more people to be able to see and hear what EOU is experiencing.” This statement was a great introduction to what would come later throughout the discussion between President Insko and the selected panel.

Some of the main concerns that were addressed in the forum were what EOU is doing to achieve what President Insko described as EOU’s 3 main goals, “to safeguard the health of our university community, to continue teaching and learning to do everything we can to continue the great operations of our institution, and to embrace the community, state, and national goal to slow the spread of COVID-19.” Some important points brought up in the meeting included, the success and safety for the community, senior commencement ceremony, and what EOU can do to improve the delivery of remote access classes. 

President Insko, along with his panel of both EOU students and EOU faculty, made sure the public forum’s environment was inclusive, positive, and informational while addressing the public. The panel introduced themselves, including details like their role at EOU, their major or department, and where they were attending the Zoom meeting from. Throughout the forum, the panel discussed what they are doing to stay on track while enrolled in remote courses, and what their experience in remote learning has looked like thus far.

Many of the spring events EOU holds are important not only for the faculty and students, but for the entire EOU community. President Inkso mentions in this forum how, unfortunately, they have been cancelled due to the quarantine and closures put in place by government officials. One of the very important events that, at the time of this forum, did not have an official date or decision made, was if or when the senior commencement ceremony, that is held every year for EOU graduating seniors, would be held. President Insko made it a point to say, “we have a team working on that… I have a bias, I believe commencement is one of the most special events that a student can experience, it’s acknowledgement of a great achievement, graduating from EOU.” 

President Inkso also includes that EOU is still providing the needed resources on campus for students who may find themselves unable to successfully engage in their studies from home, whether that be because of internet issues, distractions that may be at home, or any other conflict a student may have during this time.

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