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Finalists for EOU President Announced

Contact: Di Saunders, Cell: 971-219-6869; Office: 503-725-5714

Top four candidates to meet with campus community between Feb. 16-27

Portland, OR, February 11, 2009 – Four finalist candidates for the new president of Eastern Oregon University were announced today by George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University System. 

Tony van Vliet, chair of the search committee and vice president of the State Board of Higher Education, forwarded the slate of finalists to the Chancellor. The finalists are: Dr. Bob Davies, currently vice president for university relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Charles Harrington, currently provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Dr. Thomas Krepel, currently assistant to the president at Northern Illinois University; and Dr. Linda Rinker, currently provost and vice president for academic affairs at Western Connecticut State University.

“The search committee is very excited about this high quality slate of finalists, all who have a breadth of experiences and diverse higher education backgrounds,” said van Vliet. “There are high expectations for the next president of EOU, who must have a set of experiences that will help the institution through the current state budget challenges, and who can take this institution to the next level of service to its students and its communities. Eastern is a critical component of the higher education success as well as the economic success of this region, and also across the state through its distance learning programs. We welcome all of the candidates to EOU, our region and our state, and look forward to having each of them on the campus to interact with our students, faculty, staff, and the La Grande and regional community,” said van Vliet.

The successful candidate will replace Dr. Dixie Lund, who has served as interim President since July 2007. Lund also served as interim president in 2003-2004 after a 30-plus year career at Eastern as an instructor, director and dean of EOU's distance education programs.

Dr. Bob Davies has served as vice president for university relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania since 2006. In this role, Davies is responsible for external affairs at IUP, including all fundraising efforts for the university, developing new endowments for academic scholarships, research and program development, overseeing an endowment of almost $50 million, and providing leadership and guidance for their Foundation. Davies is also responsible for overseeing a $280 million student housing and community development project; managing legislative affairs; implemented integrated marketing programs and outreach efforts; representing the university to its many communities; and serving as a university leader to faculty, staff and students on major issues, including assisting in the development of new curriculum opportunities for IUP students.

Prior to this position, Dr. Davies was associate vice president for alumni relations at University of Buffalo from 2002 to 2006, and adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Education, where he was responsible for establishing the vision, mission, and strategic direction of the UB Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Relations, and coordinating and implementing programs, services and communications efforts. From 1995 to 2000, Davies was the executive director of the Alumni Association at Boise State University, and prior to that was the director of Annual Giving and assistant director of Alumni Relations from 1992 to 1995 at University of Nevada, Reno. Before entering the higher education sector, Davies was a business analyst with Dunn & Bradstreet from 1991 to 1992, working with business leaders in Northern California, Oregon, and Nevada to develop Business Information Reports.

Dr. Davies has served on numerous community boards, including the Hugh O’Brien Youth Foundation, the American Red Cross of Indiana, the Jimmy Stewart Museum, the Indiana Arts Council, and the Boise Downtown Business Association. Civic honors Davies has received include Boise Outstanding Citizen in 1999, and Outstanding Business Leader in 2000 from Boise Business First. Within academia, Davies was appointed by the Governor to the Partners in Education Committee from 1992-95; and he has served as a member of many committees, including: the University Senate; Middle States Accreditation Team leader and member of other accreditation teams (NCCUA, NCAA); UB 2020 Strategic Planning Committee; University Budget Committee, Core Curriculum Executive Board; and was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Employment Practices from 2002 to 2006. Dr. Davies has presented papers at numerous conferences over the years on the topics of university strategic planning, fundraising strategies, alumni outreach, college costs, and university leadership.

Dr. Davies received his Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Nevada, Reno; his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Oregon; and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from The State University of New York at Buffalo.

Dr. Charles Harrington has served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke since 2005, where he is the chief academic, planning and operations officer, is a professor of Economics and Finance, and is University Honors faculty and University Graduate faculty. Most recent activities and projects undertaken by Harrington at UNC include the development and implementation of a university-wide strategic and budget planning process; reform of general education; establishment of an undergraduate research program; development of a biotechnology academic, research, and outreach program; a comprehensive faculty development center; a center for entrepreneurship; and significant improvement to the campus information technology infrastructure. Also while at UNC, Dr. Harrington has secured funding to establish six endowed professorships, and expanded and endowed their Honors College.

Prior to this, Dr. Harrington was assistant vice president for academic affairs and professor of Business Statistics at University of Southern Indiana from 2000 to 2005. Here, he oversaw all undergraduate academic matters including curriculum, General Education, academic planning and program review, faculty recruitment and development, student learning assessment and institutional research among other areas. From 1995 to 2000, Harrington served as director of institutional research and assessment and assistant professor of Business Statistics at University of Southern Indiana. Before this, he was assistant director of institutional research and planning in the Office of Budget and Research Services at the State University of West Georgia, where among other duties, he assisted the Faculty Senate with the assessment of student learning outcomes.

Dr. Harrington has obtained several research and program grants during his academic career, including $2.5 million from the Lilly Endowment for faculty development; $600,000 from the NSF for a Partnerships for Innovation Grant; and $150,000 for a 21st Century Scholars Peer Mentoring Program. Harrington’s published scholarly works and national and international presentations are extensive and include most recently: “Regional Universities and Entrepreneurial Imperative.” He has also made many national and international presentations, including most recently: “Assurance of Student Learning and Faculty Evaluation and Rewards,” “Best Practices in the Recruitment, Retention, and Timely Graduation of American Indian College Students,” and “Increasing Faculty Diversity.” Community service committees on which Dr. Harrington has served currently include the Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship Board; Robeson County Committee of 100; and the Carolina Arts Network Board. He has also served on many professional association boards and committees, including the Association for Institutional Research. Awards and honors received by Dr. Harrington include the Award for Innovation and Excellence in Support of On-Line Teaching and Learning from the Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education; and Faculty Advisor of the Year in 1997 and 2002 from the University of Southern Indiana.

Dr. Harrington received his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at Ohio University – Athens; his Masters (M.S.) in Non-profit Management from Drexel University; and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Ohio University – Athens.

Dr. Thomas Krepel has served as assistant to the president at Northern Illinois University since 2005 where he is a member of the President’s Cabinet and performs a chief-of-staff function. Krepel manages special strategic initiatives undertaken by the institution, including institutional merger and acquisition; enrollment data reporting and analysis; performance benchmarking; campus safety and security analysis; assessment of institutional response to critical incidents; certification of the intercollegiate athletics program; and oversight of Cabinet-level personnel searches. Prior to this, Dr. Krepel was the president of Chadron State College in Nebraska from 1997 to 2005 where he strengthened academic programs, expanded distance education courses, and gained accreditation for new programs. He initiated CSC’s largest capital campaign, and strengthened the capacity and infrastructure for fundraising. Krepel helped extend CSC’s legislative relations and successes in such areas as financial aid, state appropriations, and economic development. Krepel led strategic planning processes, and developed collaborations with community colleges which included shared facilities, staff, and technologies and expanding academic program offerings.

Before his tenure at CSC, Dr. Krepel served as dean and associate professor in Educational Administration at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi from 1992 to 1997. He was the inaugural dean of university outreach, and was responsible for extending institutional programs and services to the military, industry, the healthcare community, K-12 schools, and nonprofit organizations. Other former positions held by Krepel include associate professor and member of the Graduate Faculty at St. Cloud University from 1990-1992; assistant to the Chancellor, director of university relations and faculty member at the Chancellor’s Office of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln from 1986 to 1990; assistant professor and member of the Graduate Faculty at University of New Orleans from 1983 to 1986; high school social studies and English teacher with Omaha Public Schools from 1984 to 1985; legislative council for the State of Nebraska from 1978 to 1982; president and board member of Hometown Pack Co. in Crete, Nebraska from 1978 to 1982; and was a junior high teacher in social studies with the Bellevue, Nebraska Public Schools from 1973 to 1977.

Dr. Krepel is a frequent presenter at academic conferences, and has numerous publications and research papers, including, “Investing in Nebraska’s Future – Investing in Intellectual Capital, and “Retention-in­grade, early intervention, and academic performance.” Boards and other civic and professional activities in which he has most recently been involved include member of the Nebraska Rural Development Commission; board member of the Public Radio Nebraska Foundation; Dollars for Scholars; and the Committee on Economic and Workforce Development with the American Association of Colleges and Schools. Awards which Dr. Krepel has received include the Job Corps Alpha Star Award from the National Job Corps Association; Outstanding Community Organization Award from the U.S. Department of Labor; and the Community Service Award from the Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Krepel received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education, his Master of Education, and his Ph.D. in Administration, all from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Dr. Linda Rinker has been provost and vice president for academic affairs at Western Connecticut State University, a two-campus institution, since 2006. Here she helped the institution move from a deficit budget in Academic Affairs to a solvent one through strategic planning, and developing enrollment and revenue models. She has built a program review process for departments and faculty, and provides oversight for the university’s strategic plan, facilitated the development and implementation of the new school of Visual & Performing Arts, and facilitates the pre-college Bridge Project and the STEM project for Danbury and Bethel Schools. Dr. Rinker also oversees program accreditation and reaccreditation, has expanded international and global studies through building relationships with universities in India, Puerto Rico, and other countries, and through development of international programs for students.

Prior to joining WCSU, Dr. Rinker was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania from 1996 to 2006; and was also assistant provost there from 1993 to 1996. Here she planned and led academic program review processes, developed an academic technology plan, integrated strategic and resource planning processes, and led development of an innovative teacher education program, among other responsibilities. In 2002, Rinker served at interim vice chancellor for planning, administration and budget for the State System of Higher Education in Pennsylvania; and in 2000 she served as interim president of Kutztown University. From 1989 to 1993, Dr. Rinker was chairperson of the Department of Nursing at Kutztown University.

Dr. Rinker has numerous publications, professional papers and presentations, including: “Building a Bridge to Student Success,” “Leadership and Role of the New Provost,” and “Visioning and Prioritization” at the Oxford Roundtable for Administrators. She has obtained many grants throughout her career, including a $340,000 Nursing State Allocation, Connecticut State Federal Grant; $800,000 grant for the Pennsylvania Urban Learning Academy; $150,000 grant for the Building Bridges to Improve Student Success, among other grants. Community and academic service activities in which Rinker has been involved include the Small Business Development Center of Berks County; the United Way of Berks County; the Berks Business Education Coalition; Enrollment Management Committee of the State System of Higher Education; and the Pennsylvania American Council on Education. Awards include the 2004 Berks Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of America; Delta Kappa Phi Honor Society at Columbia University; and Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society.

Dr. Rinker received her B.S.E.D. in Psychology and Education from West Chester State College; her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania; her M.S.N. in Nursing Administration from Villanova University; and her Ed.D. in Administration/Education from Columbia University Teachers College.

Chancellor Pernsteiner said all four finalists would visit the EOU campus between February 16 and 27. Visits and forums with students, faculty, campus administration and community leaders will be included in the schedule for each candidate, with the public meeting schedule to be posted on the EOU website. The State Board of Higher Education will interview candidates after the campus visits are completed, and expects to make a decision on the next president of EOU sometime in March or April. Once appointed, the new president will begin his/her leadership at EOU before fall term 2009.

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of twelve members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

Note to Editors: Downloadable photos of the candidates and complete bios are available at http://www.eou.edu/pressrch/index.html

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