January 29, 2001

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714
Dick Markwood, 541-383-7252

University Center Director Plans Retirement

BEND - Dr. Richard Markwood, the director of the Oregon University System's Central Oregon University Center (COUC) and a leader in expanding higher education opportunity in Central Oregon, said today he plans to retire this summer.

Markwood said he hopes to begin retirement after helping with the transition from the University Center into the state's first new branch university campus later this year.

"Dick has done an excellent job of developing the Center and serving students in the highly dynamic environment of the rapidly-growing region of Central Oregon," said Shirley Clark, OUS vice chancellor for academic affairs. "He has made a personal decision, long in process, to retire at the end of the summer of 2001.

"We believe that his guidance and assistance with the transition from the University Center to the branch campus will be of inestimable help to the campus selected to be the branch manager."

Markwood has served as the founding dean and director of the COUC since 1994. He designed and organized the Center's "brokered-program model," has built close partnerships among public and private universities offering four-year higher educational classes and programs in the region, and has grown enrollment from fewer than 100 students in 1994 to a current headcount enrollment of some 700 students.

The Center's brokered-program model has become a cornerstone of the RFP process to establish a new OUS branch campus in Central Oregon.

Before coming to Oregon to lead COUC, Markwood served as a project director for the Western Interstate Commission in Higher Education (WICHE) and as a faculty member at Western State College, Gunnison, Colo. At WICHE he held management responsibilities for NorthWest Net, the Norwest Academic Computing Consortium, the Northwest Academic Forum, and the Western Regional Graduate Program.

The programs and services offered by COUC have played a critical role in expanding higher educational opportunity in Central Oregon, and will serve as a foundation for the soon-to-be established branch. The idea of the Center was developed by Joe Cox, OUS chancellor, and Roger Bassett, then Oregon community college commissioner, in collaboration with Bob Barber, president of Central Oregon Community College, following a budget note from the 1993 Legislative session mandating an expansion of higher educational services in Central Oregon.

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