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News Releases
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Western Oregon University Celebrates Passage of Bill Allowing Professional Doctoral Degrees - 06/15/21

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s recent signature on SB 230 allows the state’s three regional public universities to offer professional doctoral degrees and aids Western Oregon University’s goal of offering doctoral degrees in high-demand, high-paying fields. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

 

Since 1997, when the three regional colleges were redefined as comprehensive universities, Western Oregon, Eastern Oregon and Southern Oregon have been restricted to conferring degrees no higher than a master’s. Now, they can offer professional doctoral degrees, which differ from research doctorates (Ph.D.s) in that they are designed to prepare students for a particular specialty; they often lead to professional licensure. Professional doctoral degrees are common in fields WOU is strongest in such as education, health sciences and business.

 

“We are excited about this long-anticipated outcome,” said WOU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rob Winningham. “Now, Western, under its independent board, can control its destiny by proposing and delivering academic programs that meet market need. WOU is simply continuing its evolution to remain relevant in today’s economy.”

 

As WOU moves forward in its journey to being a Hispanic Serving Institution and supporting underrepresented communities, the bill’s passage will also allow it to provide new pathways for students to be ready for well paying, community-focused professional jobs.

 

“Passage of SB 230 was the result of active support and recognition by the Oregon Legislature that WOU plays a critical role in meeting the emerging workforce needs of the region and the state,” said Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives David McDonald. “The ability to offer professional doctorates is a natural extension of the targeted and successful education and training we have provided for decades in areas such as Community Health, Criminal Justice, Education and other programs designed to prepare students for rewarding professional careers.  We are excited to be able to better serve Oregon and its residents.”

 

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About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving about 4,500 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.

Attached Media Files: IMG_2576.jpg
Dr. Jay Kenton
Dr. Jay Kenton
Western Oregon University Board of Trustees Appoints Interim President, Approves Standing Diversity Committee - 06/10/21

MONMOUTH, Ore. – The Western Oregon University Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved the appointment of Jay Kenton as interim president for 2021-22. It also approved the creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, the first standing committee of its kind at an Oregon public university.

 

Kenton’s nomination for interim president had been reviewed June 1 during the regular Executive, Governance and Trusteeship Committee (EGTC) meeting and then shared with the campus community. The appointment was several months in the making and involved an advisory committee comprising nine members from across campus.

 

Kenton earned his doctorate in public administration from Portland State University and has served in multiple senior administrative roles at various Oregon universities, including interim president at both Oregon Institute of Technology and Eastern Oregon University. He briefly worked as interim vice president of Finance & Administration at WOU in 2018.

 

“Dr. Kenton comes to WOU with a deep wealth of experience that should serve the university well as we search for the regular successor,” said Board of Trustees Chair Betty Komp. The search for a regular president will start in fall 2021.

 

Also Wednesday, the board approved a recommendation from the EGTC for the creation of a standing committee on diversity, equity and inclusions, bringing the number of board committees to four. The standing committee is the first of its kind among Oregon public universities, and its first work will be creating a charter.

 

“The creation of this important committee reflects WOU’s commitment to keeping this priority at the forefront of our actions,” said Chair Komp. “Diversity and inclusion are core values at Western, as specified in the strategic plan. The students have called for this commitment. The campus community has called for this commitment. We’ve responded and are excited to move forward.”

 

Also during the meeting the board:

  • Heard an update from President Rex Fuller about recommendations from the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, which was created earlier this spring.
  • Heard presentations from the University Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, the University Cultural Competency Advisory Committee and the department of Multicultural Student Services and Programs.
  • Approved the FY22 Preliminary Budget as presented in the docket.
  • Elected Trustee Doug Morse to a two-year term as vice chair of the board, effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2023.
  • Approved the recommendation made by the Finance & Administration Committee to invest additional money into quasi-endowment to support initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion moving forward.

 

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About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving about 4,500 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.

Attached Media Files: Dr. Jay Kenton
Randi Lydum
Randi Lydum
Lydum Named Western Oregon University Director of Athletics - 06/03/21

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Having served as the interim executive director of intercollegiate athletics for Western Oregon University (WOU) for the past year, Randi Lydum has been named to the permanent role following a national search.

Lydum, a graduate of WOU (in the Western Oregon State College era), returned to her alma mater in 2012 to take on the role of assistant athletic director for compliance/SWA. As a former student-athlete, Lydum has used her varied experience as a head coach, faculty member and student success specialist, to transition into athletic administration. "I am thrilled for the opportunity to serve as the director of athletics at Western Oregon. While this past year has been unusual, I am energized by our student-athletes' commitment to WOU and am planning for full competitive seasons this fall."

Lydum helped guide the Wolves through a challenging year, adjusting to the pandemic while still providing opportunities for WOU student-athletes. Teams returned to strength and conditioning workouts and practice during the fall, but were not cleared for competition until February. Several WOU athletic teams returned to competition this spring with Baseball, Softball, and Men's and Women's Track & Field competing in condensed seasons culminating in GNAC championships. Western Oregon hosted the GNAC Softball tournament and competed in the four-team event. WOU also hosted the GNAC Track & Field Championship with the men finishing 2nd and the women finishing 5th. The Wolves Baseball team finished 2nd in the NCAA West Regional Championship after also finishing 2nd in GNAC play. Women's Soccer and Volleyball played condensed non-conference schedules this spring, while the Football and Basketball programs were unable to compete due to COVID restrictions.

Western Oregon University competes in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference sponsoring 13 men's and women's varsity sports that include football, baseball, men's basketball, men's cross country, men's indoor and outdoor track and field, women's basketball, softball, women's cross country, women's soccer, women's indoor and outdoor track and field and volleyball.

Hear from Randi this Saturday at the Wolves Athletic Auction livestream. To watch the auction that begins this Saturday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m., please click here.

Attached Media Files: Randi Lydum
MEDIA ALERT: Western Oregon University launches new Western Restorative Justice & Reentry Center - 05/26/21

Western Oregon University’s (WOU) new Western Restorative Justice & Reentry Center (WRJRC) is holding a digital launch event to share research and other happenings in the center. WRJRC, housed in WOU’s Criminal Justice Sciences Division, is focused on research in non-punitive approaches to solving crime problems in areas of restorative justice, correctional rehabilitation, post-incarceration reentry, and decreasing recidivism. WRJRC will disseminate research in these areas and partner with local, national and international organizations to support systemic change through academic research. This center is the only in Oregon that has an academic and research focus on restorative justice.

When: Wednesday, May 26, 6-8pm

Who: WRJRC faculty, advisory board members and Dr. Karuna Thompson, Oregon State Penitentiary chaplain, who will talk about the importance and value of research in restorative justice and reentry.

How to attend: Register at https://wou-edu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_p1zk1J3ESJGyCTvhHJLjCw