Click here for a copy of the full Search Prospectus and to learn more about Western Oregon University: WOU President Search Prospectus

As the university’s chief executive officer, the President is responsible for the overall management and oversight of the University’s vision, strategy, and operations. The President reports directly to the Board and works closely with them to develop strategy, key initiatives, programs, and policies. The President delegates and monitors administrative and operational functions to the executive leadership team. Under Oregon law, the university president is also the President of the Faculty.

The President is not only the leader of the campus community, but also the visible representative of WOU in the local community, organizations of higher education, and the face of the organization for alumni, parents, and friends of the University. The President conveys the voice of WOU and its mission, raising its profile in the community, state, and nation to enhance recruitment and continue financial support necessary to sustain and build the future of WOU.

With this profound and unique opportunity, the next President must bring and demonstrate the leadership skills necessary to advance the mission, vision for WOU, and in concert with others, create a bright and vibrant future for WOU and the students it serves.

Certainly, as a public, mid-sized, regional comprehensive university, WOU, like other post-secondary institutions, is experiencing competition for enrollment and resources, demographic changes, COVID-19 and its impact on employee and student morale.

A supportive board and resilient campus community will ensure the President is well-positioned to successfully lead WOU as it thoughtfully navigates through the remainder of the pandemic while furthering efforts to grow enrollment, innovate for sustainability, and advance diversity, equity,  inclusion, and accessibility.

To perform successfully, WOU’s next President will:

  • Assess the needs of the organization, understand, and appreciate the role and importance of a public, mid-sized, regional comprehensive university and further the transformative change and innovation that has begun for WOU’s short- and long-term success.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the concept of a student-centric institution, with a strong student orientation and dedication to preparing students for success in an increasingly global environment.
  • Be a visible leader, role model and advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility for the university’s climate, employees, students, curriculum, community partnerships, business practices, and facilities and physical plant.
  • Ensure the institution acquires and sustains the necessary public and private resources for achievement of the University’s goals and objectives. Engage in fundraising activities that continuously improves the University’s financial position and opportunities for students. Actively outreach to alumni to keep the extended WOU community engaged and inspired.
  • Ensure a high-quality faculty and educational, innovative curriculum that is relevant and responsive to student needs and success, including the role of accessible on-line, virtual, and hybrid modalities.
  • Drive growth in student enrollment, student retention rates, academic programs, graduation, and career readiness.
  • Continuously foster and maintain support from city, county, state and federal elected officials and governmental entities. Establish, maintain, and expand excellent community relations and partnerships.
  • Appreciate and work effectively within a shared governance framework.
  • Build positive relations and work effectively with unions that represent faculty and staff.
  • Promote the establishment of K-12 and community college partnerships.
  • Work in concert with other universities and colleges to foster and grow mutually beneficial relationships.

The Next President Will Be:

  • A passionate advocate for higher education and forward-thinking visionary
  • A strong supporter of student success and advocate that recognizes the needs and obstacles faced by traditionally underrepresented and first-generation students aspiring to higher education.
  • An inspiring communicator with the skill and intuition necessary to hear, understand, and unify multiple perspectives of the complex issues facing students, campuses, and public higher education.
  • A leader who demonstrates diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as paramount values and insists on their incorporation and reflection throughout university priorities, actions, and initiatives.
  • An individual with the highest personal integrity, ethics, and an executive presence demonstrating a strong moral compass with kindness and humility.
  • An engaging and visible presence on campus and in the community; approachable by students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, the local community, and other friends of the University.
  • An individual who possesses the financial acumen required to develop a sustainable business model and manage a financially complex institution.
  • Knowledgeable about key issues and trends affecting public universities, including enrollment, the impact of demographic changes, retention strategies and innovation in higher education.
  • A leader with organizational insight to facilitate change, one who is industrious and resourceful, with an understanding of where resources exist and how to access and leverage them.
  • An astute listener who makes it a priority to know the faculty, staff, students, and needs of the students and institution and a motivator who leads by inspiring commitment to the institution and its objectives.
  • Conscientious of the impact that the University has on the economic climate of the city, state, and nation.
  • A champion for fundraising; knowledgeable of large comprehensive fundraising campaigns and how to help them succeed.
  • A strategic, critical thinker who incorporates a combination of data and perspectives to inform decisions for the benefit and future of the university.
  • Effective working at a high strategic level, developing and empowering other leaders to perform with excellence and accountability.

The Next President  Should Possess:

  • A record of successfully leading a complex organization through change.
  • A record of generating resources through means such as enrollment growth, creation of innovative programs, and fundraising.
  • A record of creating organizational distinctiveness and sustainability – evidence of creative problem solving, successful entrepreneurial activities and initiatives.
  • High emotional intelligence, and strong interpersonal skills, with an inclusive, transparent communication style, both written and spoken.
  • The ability to build deep and lasting relationships with donors and the philanthropic community, articulating the case for supporting WOU with enthusiasm.
  • An earned doctorate, a comparable terminal degree, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

To Make Referrals or Express Interest:

The Search Committee invites letters of interest and nominations to be submitted directly to the search firm, Anthem Executive. Correspondence should include a curriculum vitae and a letter of interest describing relevant experience and interest in the position, and should be submitted to :

While applications and nominations will be accepted until a new President is selected, interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials to the address below by March 1, 2022, to assure optimal consideration. Expressing interest is the first step in receiving consideration and does not make one an applicant for the position.