July 17, 2001

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714
Source: Joe Cox, 541-346-5700

Chancellor Plans to Step Down

EUGENE -- The chancellor of the Oregon University System is planning to step down.

Chancellor Joe Cox said Tuesday he has informed the State Board of Higher Education of his plans to relinquish his position within a year.

"It¹s the right time for me, and for the system," Cox said in correspondence Tuesday with staff and the presidents of Oregon¹s seven public universities. We have excellent presidents in place; strong, experienced senior leadership, and a first-rate staff in the Chancellor's offices."

Cox said leaving the state's top higher education post will enable him to devote more time to personal interests, including teaching and consulting in higher education.

"I wish to step down as chancellor in the Spring of 2002. This will provide time for a national search and still allow my successor adequate time to get established and prepare for the 2003 legislative session," he said.

"Joe Cox has been an outstanding chancellor for Oregon," said Don VanLuvanee, president of the State Board. "He's given us the leadership and the vision to make significant and fundamental changes in our university system and he's kept us on the path to become one of the best higher education systems in the country."

VanLuvanee said the Board will discuss the search for Cox's successor soon. He said the chancellor has agreed to serve until a successor is in place and oriented to the position.

Cox has held the chancellor's post since 1994. He's led the state's higher education system through a major reorganization and transformation by increasing enrollments, expanding access to academic programs and opportunities, implementing a new student-centered budget model and a performance-based governance plan for Oregon's public university campuses.

As chancellor, he's led efforts to build stronger statewide support for engineering and computer science programs, establish closer ties with the state's business sector, and create new partnerships with secondary schools, community and independent colleges. He's also opened new university centers in Beaverton, Coos Bay and Bend, and spearheaded the successful plan to establish the first university branch campus in Bend next fall.

"We could not have achieved the fundamental changes we have accomplished over these past years, particularly the new university budget model, without Joe's leadership," added Tom Imeson, former Board president. "He has been absolutely dedicated to the task of cementing the relationship between our universities and our state's economic future."

Before becoming chancellor, Cox served as president at Southern Oregon University, Ashland, for seven years. He's also served as vice president for academic affairs at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, 1981 to 1987; and acting president, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the university, dean of evening, summer and minimester programs, and associate dean of the College of English, History and the Social Sciences at Towson State University, Baltimore, 1969 to 1981.

The Oregon University System includes Eastern Oregon University, LaGrande; 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.

EDITORS NOTE: Additional biographic material and a digitized photo of Joe Cox can be found on the World Wide Web at:

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