June 28, 2001

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714

SOU Student Nominated for State Board

SALEM - Erin Watari, a junior at Southern Oregon University, Ashland, has been nominated for a student-member vacancy on the State Board of Higher Education.

Governor John Kitzhaber recently announced Watari's nomination along with his recommendation to reappoint Jim Lussier of Bend to a second four-year term.

Lussier is the chairman and chief executive officer of Cascades Health Services, which operates St. Charles Medical Center in Bend and Central Oregon Community Hospital in Redmond. He currently serves as vice president of the State Board and as a member of the Board's Executive Committee.

Subject to confirmation by the Oregon Senate, both are expected to begin appointments later this summer. Watari will fill a two-year term through June 30, 2003. Lussier serve though June 2005.

The new student-member nominee will replace Shawn Hempel, a recent graduate of the Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls. Watari has been active in student affairs at SOU. She served as vice president of the student body during the past academic year and was a student member of the capital campaign to construct SOU's Center for the Visual Arts. She helped to found and has served as co-chair of the Oregon Students of Color Coalition and led the SOU voter registration drive in 2000. Watari graduated from Reynolds High School, Troutdale, and also has attended Gresham High School and Mt. Hood Community College.

The State Board of Higher Education serves as the governing board of the Oregon University System. OUS campuses include Eastern Oregon University, La Grande; Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls; Oregon State University, Corvallis; Portland State University; Southern Oregon University, Ashland; the University of Oregon, Eugene; and Western Oregon University, Monmouth

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