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Board of Higher Ed accepts Chancellor’s resignation, recognizes System’s challenges, accomplishments during his tenure

Contact: Di Saunders, Office: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869 

Portland, Oregon – January 28, 2013: The Oregon State Board of Higher Education met today and formally accepted the resignation of George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University System, and approved the terms of his separation agreement.

“On behalf of the Board and the students we serve, I would like to thank Chancellor Pernsteiner for his many contributions to our state,” said Matt Donegan, president of the State Board of Higher Education. “George is a caring public servant who leaves the university system well-positioned to leverage our current strengths, despite long-standing disinvestment in higher education here in Oregon. There's tremendous opportunity to change the current paradigm around delivering education to students in the 21st century. Paramount for any higher education system and leader going forward is going to be innovation, the ability to structure partnerships, to lower costs and to improve quality by leveraging technology.”

Included in Pernsteiner’s separation agreement is that he will remain in his current role through March 1, 2013 and will continue to contribute on a special assignment through March 31, helping to facilitate a successful leadership transition.

Donegan said that the board will wait to see whether the legislature changes the governance of higher education in Oregon in this year’s session before selecting a long-term leader. The goal is to select an interim chancellor by March 1.

Board members collectively recognized Chancellor Pernsteiner’s service to the state, its students and university community. Pernsteiner thanked the board, Chancellor’s Office staff, legislature, Governors under whom he has worked, students and the campus community for the opportunity to work with them on the important agenda of student success in Oregon.

The Oregon University System 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