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University System Deputy Chancellor accepts new post at Meharry Medical College

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

PORTLAND, May 4, 2007 – George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University System, has announced that Ben Rawlins, deputy chancellor for legal affairs and chief of staff, will be leaving the OUS to join Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary beginning on July 1. Rawlins has served the OUS since 1999 and is a member of the Chancellor’s administrative cabinet that provides advice and management for the system.

“Ben has served the universities, the board, the students, and the people of Oregon well during his many years of service at the Chancellor's Office,” said Pernsteiner. “He has provided clear and careful legal advice, deft oversight of risk management and legal affairs, sage counsel, and wise ideas to me and to members of the board. We will miss his quiet demeanor and his insights into situations and human nature.” 

During his 8 years with the OUS, Rawlin’s key responsibilities have included intellectual property oversight, all educational contracting, risk management, legislative initiatives legal analysis, and policy development and analysis. He also serves as OUS liaison to the Department of Justice in monitoring the provision of statutorily mandated legal services, including participation in court cases, settlement activities and discussion of legal strategies.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my colleagues in the Chancellor’s Office, at the 7 OUS institutions, and with the Board of Higher Education, and will miss these interactions,” said Rawlins. “I will take with me many rich experiences from my time in Oregon, and look forward to this next challenge in my career.”

Prior to joining OUS, Rawlins was special assistant to the chancellor for legal affairs with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Before this, he was assistant to the vice chancellor for administration, first acting affirmative action officer of the institution, and director of judicial programs at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While completing his J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center, Rawlins served as a law clerk with the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and for the Honorable H. Carl Moultrie of the Superior Court of Washington, D.C.

Along with the professional aspects of his life, Rawlins has dedicated time and resources to numerous local boards in Eugene, Oregon, and initiatives including Habitat for Humanity and United Way of Greater Greensboro, North Carolina.

Rawlins received his M.P.A. from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. in Political Science from Johnson C. Smith University.


Oregon University System comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

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