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Dr. Margaret E. Madden
Dr. Margaret E. Madden
Western Oregon University announces four finalists for presidency (Photo) - 03/26/15
MONMOUTH, Ore. - Western Oregon University (WOU) and the Oregon University System (OUS) have announced four finalists in the running to assume the WOU presidency after the retirement of current president Mark Weiss. Weiss will retire on June 30, 2015.

After months of application review and deliberation, the WOU Presidential Search Committee forwarded the four candidates to the OUS chancellor, Oregon State Board of Higher Education (OSBHE), and the incoming WOU Board of Trustees for consideration. The candidates will visit campus for a series of interviews, including meetings with both the WOU Board of Trustees and OSBHE, over the course of the next few days. Information about the search, including schedules and the application materials and resumes from the candidates may be viewed at:

Jim Francesconi, OSBHE member and chair of the WOU Presidential Search Committee, shared: "The WOU search committee, comprised of stakeholders across the campus, including several members of the incoming WOU Board of Trustees, provided such a service to WOU by forwarding these four finalists. It has been my pleasure to work with such committed and passionate people to build on WOU's course for a bright future. Any of these candidates would bring a sincere commitment and demonstrated experience to increasing success for all students. Any of these candidates would elevate Western's profile in Oregon and beyond as a public university that offers higher education that is as good as any private university but at an affordable cost."

Jim Baumgartner, chair of the incoming WOU Board of Trustees and vice-chair of the WOU President Search Committee, stated: "This is an exciting time for Western Oregon University. The new institution board has been hard at work to ensure an effective transition from the State Board of Higher Education and there is no more important decision a Board can make than the selection of a new leader. I am confident that the search committee has forwarded four superb candidates for the campus and the board to consider. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Mark Weiss for his exemplary service as WOU's president. He leaves the university in great shape."

The finalists are:

Dr. Fernando Delgado has served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls since 2009. Prior to his current post, Delgado served as a dean at MSU-Mankato and then Hamline University. He began his career as a faculty member in communication studies before commencing his administrative career as associate vice provost from academic programs and graduate studies at Arizona State University (West Campus). Delgado is trained in intercultural communication, having received his Ph.D. in the field from The University of Iowa, and has regularly published on issues related to culture, identity, and communication. He currently serves as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, a commissioner on the American Council on Education's Commission on Internationalization and Global Engagement, and as an editorial board member of both the "Howard Journal of Communications" and "Critical Studies in Media Communication".

Delgado has a passion for international education and has lectured, established inter-institutional partnerships, or is responsible for campus education centers on five continents. Delgado stays connected to faculty and students by remaining engaged as a teacher and scholar in his field.

Dr. Christopher Ames is vice president for academic affairs at Shepherd University, the public liberal arts university of West Virginia, located in Shepherdstown, just outside of the metropolitan D.C. area. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Ames earned a Ph.D. in English Literature at Stanford University. He taught 20th century literature and film for 15 years at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta and published two books: "The Life of the Party: Festive Vision in Modern Fiction" and "Movies About the Movies: Hollywood Reflected". Prior to coming to Shepherd University, Ames served as provost and senior vice president at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and as provost and dean of the College at Washington College on the eastern shore of Maryland.

At Shepherd University, Ames supervises seven academic deans and the Division II athletic program. He heads the Martinsburg Center initiative, a satellite campus serving working adults in graduate and undergraduate programs. He has worked with the faculty on the creation of new program, including a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and new undergraduate degrees in Early Education and Health Promotion and Exercise Science. At Washington College, Ames contributed to significant growth in enrollment and fundraising and oversaw centers of excellence in Early American history, the Environment and Society, and creative writing.

Dr. Rex Fuller, an economist and professor of public administration, has served as provost and vice president for the Division of Academic Affairs at Eastern Washington University (EWU) since 2010. As the university's chief academic officer, he has responsibility for EWU's academic programming in Cheney and Spokane, Wash., as well as at additional locations throughout the state.

As provost, Fuller has developed a new EWU college of health science and public health and a new master's program in public health. He has been instrumental in developing bargaining strategies for faculty contracts; creating innovative student success programs and a university center for community engagement; and facilitating dual-admission programs with area community colleges.

Prior to his service as provost, Fuller served as dean of EWU's College of Business and Public Administration and executive dean of EWU-Spokane, a shared campus with Washington State University. Before joining EWU, Fuller served as dean of business units at Colorado State University Pueblo and University of Wisconsi-La Crosse. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Utah and completed the Institute for Education Management program at Harvard.

Dr. Margaret E. Madden has been the provost and vice president for academic affairs at SUNY Postdam since 2002. A social psychologist specializing in gender issues, she previously was dean at Long Island University (NY), associate dean of faculty at Lawrence University (WI), and professor of psychology and assistant to the academic vice president at Franklin Pierce College (NH). She has been a faculty member and administrator at private and public colleges and universities, at both liberal arts colleges and comprehensive universities.

Madden's focus at Postdam has been to strengthen academic programs and promote student success. SUNY Postdam's recent Middle States visit resulted in great praise for the academic program and 26 commendations for the institutions, many of which addressed area under Madden's leadership. The first new academic building at the College in 35 years, a Performing Arts Center, was completed in 2014.

Madden holds the Ph.D. and M.S. in social psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the B.A. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She also completed the Harvard's Institute for Educational Management in 2012. She is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and presentation on higher education administration, gender and leadership in education, and integrating diversity into the psychology curriculum.