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Boise State Provost, Sona Karentz Andrews, accepts Vice Chancellor position with the Oregon University System

Contact: Di Saunders -- Cell: 971-219-6869; Office: 503-725-5714; diane_saunders@ous.edu

Photo and bio of Sona Karentz Andrews, photo courtesy of Boise State University

Portland, OR, September 22, 2010 – George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University System (OUS), announced today that Dr. Sona Karentz Andrews, currently provost and vice president for academic affairs at Boise State University, has accepted the position of vice chancellor for academic strategies with the Oregon University System. Dr. Andrews, who will join the OUS on December 1, is replacing Susan Weeks, who recently retired as vice chancellor for strategic programs and planning after a successful 30-year tenure with the OUS Chancellor’s Office.

Chancellor Pernsteiner said, “We are extremely pleased about Dr. Andrews joining the OUS and know that she will bring a depth of academic and administrative experience to the System that will help us continue to advance statewide student success goals. Her background in strategic planning, academic policy, student success initiatives, research and performance measurement will help the OUS build on its successes in a time of challenge and opportunity for higher education in Oregon.” Pernsteiner added, “On behalf of the Board of Higher Education and the System, I would like to thank the Search Committee, led by Portland State University provost Roy Koch, for their tireless efforts to identify high quality candidates and for the time they spent to ensure such a wonderful outcome.”

Dr. Andrew’s portfolio of responsibilities for the OUS is broad and will include leading and implementing strategic planning for the System in collaboration with the State Board of Higher Education; developing academic policies of the Board and of initiatives to address critical program needs; supporting PK-20 alignment focused on student preparation for college; providing leadership for student success initiatives which increase access, affordability, retention and graduation rates; fostering public-private partnerships in engineering and computer science and K-12 pre-college programming; overseeing the System’s institutional research and analytical work; designing and maintaining the System’s performance measurement framework; serving as co-chair of the OUS Provosts’ Council and staffing the OUS Research Council; and serving as an integral member of the Chancellor’s executive cabinet, among other duties.

“I am very excited about joining the higher education community in Oregon and working as part of a team that will create the conditions necessary to provide students with opportunities for high quality, affordable higher education,” said Sona Andrews. “There is great potential in Oregon for increasing the educational attainment of its citizens so that together we can help build stronger, more economically sustainable communities. I am a great believer in the transformational power of higher education to improve the lives and futures of citizens of all ages, and I look forward to helping the OUS and the state meet its critical education goals.”

In her current position as senior academic officer at Boise State since 2004, Dr. Andrews has overseen all academic activities, including academic personnel, budgets, programs, and priorities. She has led the university through a comprehensive strategic planning process aligned with budgets; added new academic programs; focused initiatives on student success and degree completion in 4 years; increased retention rates; supported creative degree programs, such as the Boise State AfterWork Program for adult learners; increased faculty diversity; and helped align university programs with economic development needs, among many other accomplishments.

Prior to joining Boise State, Dr. Andrews was first assistant vice chancellor, associate vice chancellor and then vice provost from 1995 to 2004 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with a one year break from 2000 to 2001 when she was an American Council of Education Fellow. From 1988 to 1994, she served first as associate professor and then professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Andrews began her academic career as an assistant professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, from 1981 to 1988.

Dr. Andrews has been widely published in professional journals and other publications, including articles in the areas of geography, cartography, and women in leadership in academia. Over the years she has been awarded numerous research grants including, most recently, a $3.5 million grant in 2009 in collaboration with Portland State University, Oregon State University, Washington State University and the University of Washington for the Pacific Northwest Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Besides being a frequent presenter at national academic conferences, Andrews professional and public service has included being an executive committee member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Western Academic Leadership Forum; member of the NCATE Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning; member of the Boise Public Library Community Advisory Group; board member and program committee chair of the City Club of Boise; member of the Idaho State Board of Education High School Redesign Committee; and Board member of the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.

Andrews’ academic degrees include a BA in Geography from Worcester State College in Massachusetts; and an MA and a Ph.D. in Geography from Arizona State University.


Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities and one branch campus, 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.

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