Eastern Oregon University preparing to launch presidential search

·2 min read

Sep. 12—LA GRANDE — The Eastern Oregon University Board of Trustees is a step away from launching its search for a successor to former President Tom Insko.

The board's search will begin once it adopts a resolution outlining its presidential search and selection process, Resolution 20-08, which the board of trustees will vote on Monday, Sept. 26, after the university community has had a chance to fully review it, according to Tim Seydel, EOU's vice president for university advancement.

The proposed resolution, discussed by the board of trustees at its Sept. 9 meeting, states the board's goal is to have a new president in place by July 1, 2023.

Plans for the board's search began being developed after Aug. 1 when Insko announced he would step down to take a position as president and chief executive officer of Collins, a wood products company based in Wilsonville. Insko has served as EOU's president since July 2015.

Lara Moore, Eastern's vice chair for finance and administration, and Richard Chaves, who previously was the chair of Eastern's board of trustees, are now serving as Eastern's interim co-presidents. Moore is serving as EOU's internal interim president, and Chaves is the school's external interim president.

Once the search and selection resolution is adopted, the board of trustees will begin the process of hiring an executive search firm to assist with selecting a new president. EOU will be accepting requests for proposals from executive search firms.

The cost of hiring a consulting firm to assist with the search will be about $115,000, Moore told the board. George Mendoza, a member of the board of trustees, said it will be important that Eastern's next president be someone who is committed to staying at the university for a number of years because of the investment the university will make in searching for and hiring the individual.

Proposed Resolution 20-08 calls for a presidential search committee of 12 to 18 members to be appointed by the chair of the board of trustees. The search committee will consist of representatives of Eastern's faculty, staff and foundation, the community and a president of a public university in Oregon. The latter is a state requirement, Seydel said.

Seydel said he is optimistic that EOU will draw a strong group of applicants. He credits Eastern with having financial stability, excellent programs, a great board of trustees and being in a very good location.

"Eastern is in a great position to attract a lot of very good candidates," Seydel said.

Dick Mason is a reporter with The Observer. Contact him at 541-624-6016 or dmason@lagrandeobserver.com.