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Rep. Galizio accepts position to address critical Oregon higher education needs

Di Saunders – Cell: 971-219-6869 (today and over weekend); Office: 503-725-5714

Portland, OR, August 13, 2009 - George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University System (OUS), announced today that Oregon State Representative Larry Galizio will join the OUS on September 1 in the position of director of strategic planning. Rep. Galizio announced earlier today that he will be resigning from his legislative position prior to starting his work at the OUS.

Chancellor Pernsteiner said, "Larry has been a passionate advocate for students and postsecondary education for many years, and we're very fortunate that he can continue to help expand college access in Oregon in this new role. His fifteen years of experience in the community college sector in Oregon and his ground-level understanding of higher education issues that affect Oregonians will help the state improve student access and success. Oregon will certainly benefit from the bridge that Larry's experience can provide between public needs and the university system's initiatives to increase educational attainment and ensure a healthy, sound workforce and economy for Oregon," added Pernsteiner.

Galizio's work for the OUS will include primary responsibility for leadership and coordination of OUS initiatives with community colleges in the state, continuing the System's efforts to improve co-enrollment and transfer programs between the 2- and 4-year postsecondary sectors, thereby increasing graduation rates and degree attainment. He will also develop and work on efforts that address rural and underserved student access to higher education in the state, examine various means for cost savings and gaining efficiencies within the OUS, and will work on strategic planning initiatives that align state needs with the goals and work plan of the State Board of Higher Education.

"This is a natural transition for me to move from serving the public as a legislator to serving Oregonians as a public servant, working directly to implement policies and programs that help students achieve their dreams of a college degree," said Galizio. "I've been fortunate to have seen education issues from multiple perspectives through my work for the public, and I'm excited to continue to serve Oregon as a committed advocate for higher education and for students."

Galizio has served in the Oregon Legislature since 2004, representing House District 35 in the Oregon House of Representatives, and is an active community advocate in Tigard where he lives. His many years of teaching communication studies and journalism in the community college sector in Oregon have given him the opportunity to work directly with students and understand the diverse issues and challenges they face in obtaining a college degree. Galizio received his undergraduate degree from the University of California Berkeley, his Master's degree in communication from San Francisco State University, and his Ph.D. from the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State 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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