(Ashland, Ore.) — Dr. Linda Schott, president of University of Maine at Presque Isle, has been named the next president of Southern Oregon University following a unanimous vote today of the SOU board of trustees. She will succeed Dr. Roy Saigo, who is retiring in July and has served as president of SOU since July 2014.
“We are extremely pleased to have a person and educator of Dr. Schott’s quality to be the next president of SOU,” said SOU board chair Bill Thorndike. “Following our nation-wide search, and out of a very deep pool of competitive applicants, her qualifications, experience, and interactions with the SOU community elevated her to the top.”
Schott holds a doctorate in history and humanities from Stanford University, a master’s degree in history, also from Stanford, and a bachelor’s degree in history and German from Baylor University.
Prior to her role as president of University of Maine at Presque Isle, Schott held various positions in higher education teaching and administration, including dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Fort Lewis College in Colorado; associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti; and numerous faculty appointments.
“We are certain that Dr. Schott’s leadership style, vision, and values are aligned with the SOU mission and that she is a great fit for the university and the greater Rogue Valley community,” Thorndike added.
“I’m thrilled to have been selected as the next president of Southern Oregon University. SOU has a strong history and a bright future, and I am privileged to be able to serve as its president,” said Schott. “My husband, Tom, and I fell in love with the campus and the community during our interview, and we look forward to doing great work and building new friendships in the years ahead.” Schott will assume the presidency July 29.
SOU trustee Lyn Hennion, who chaired the university’s Presidential Search Committee, credited the success of the search to the hard work of the committee and the thoughtful participation of the entire SOU and Rogue Valley communities. “I want to thank the search committee, both voting and ex officio members, for their hard work over many months,” Hennion said. “Everyone involved was dedicated to a fair, inclusive process that required a significant commitment of time, dedication, and effort. Our focus from the very beginning was to find the best possible candidate to serve as the next president of Southern Oregon University, and I believe we accomplished that in Dr. Schott.”
The search committee included SOU trustees, faculty, students, and staff; another Oregon university president; and community members. Six ex officio, non-voting members were appointed to the committee to serve in a coordinating or advisory capacity.
Dr. Edwin Battistella was one of the SOU faculty representatives on the Presidential Search Committee. “The search process was a great opportunity to work with colleagues, students, and board and community members to help identify SOU’s next leader,” he said. “I was particularly impressed with Dr. Schott’s strategic knowledge and her record of presidential accomplishments at Presque Isle. In the on-campus interview, she gave very thoughtful answers and showed her commitment to public higher education and student success, and her human touch as well.”
Torii Uyehara is SOU’s student body president and was one of the students on the committee. “It was wonderful to see an open process for the choosing of the next University President for SOU. I believe the student engagement throughout the process will allow the incoming president to start with a strong connection to the student body and allow for a continuation of the relationship that students have come to love and expect from our president,” she said. “This is an exciting time for students and I think students will help guide the new president in the direction of how best to support the student body.”