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Mark Weiss named Interim President of Western Oregon University

Contact:     

Endi Hartigan, Office: 503-725-5702, mailto: endi_hartigan@ous.edu; Lisa Catto, Office: 503-838-8163, cattol@wou.edu

July 26, Portland– The Oregon State Board of Higher Education today appointed Mark Weiss as interim president of Western Oregon University. Weiss has been executive vice president of finance and administration at WOU, joining in 2005. Weiss succeeds Dr. John Minahan, who announced his retirement on July 13, after serving as president since 2005.Mark Weiss, Western Oregon University

Mr. Weiss who will serve as acting president during President Minahan’s upcoming vacation, will transition to interim president by the start of fall term. His appointment is through June 30, 2013, according to Matt Donegan, president of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education. The Board unanimously supported the chancellor’s recommendation of Mr. Weiss and expressed gratitude to President Minahan for his service.

President Donegan said, “On behalf of the Board, I extend many thanks to President Minahan for his stellar leadership of Western Oregon University during his presidency, and I welcome Mr. Weiss to the interim presidency with utmost confidence in his abilities to lead the university forward.”

"Western Oregon University is a remarkably strong and unique institution that has been recognized under President Minahan’s leadership for its successful approach to serving diverse students," said George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University System.  He added, “The campus is at a point of high momentum, with dramatic increases in enrollment, an influx of international students, and success rates for underrepresented students in recent years that have garnered national attention.  Mr. Weiss will provide the leadership to sustain and grow this momentum. During his time at WOU, Mr. Weiss has become a part of almost every aspect of campus life, and will bring a strong understanding of WOU’s unique opportunities and needs. But, he will rely in his new role on partnerships with the other key members of the excellent executive team assembled by President Minahan, including WOU’s chief academic officer and provost Kent Neely whose academic leadership is critical."

Chancellor Pernsteiner noted that Mr. Weiss has the strong support of the WOU campus community. The chancellor spent several days recently speaking with students, staff, faculty, and administrators at the university to provide information and receive input on the selection of an interim president. He extended many thanks to all in the WOU campus community who took time from their busy schedules for these important meetings. He said, “These meetings not only helped me with my recommendation, they also gave me a tremendous sense of the good work being done at Western and the strong collaborative community of faculty and staff who are focused on student success. I heard the desires of the campus community to appoint an interim who will continue to work in close collaboration with faculty, staff, and students. WOU has worked very hard under the leadership of President Minahan to cultivate strong relationships and partnerships on campus to increase enrollment, expand facilities and services, deliver high quality programs, and serve diverse students. Everyone wants to continue these advancements.”

Mr. Weiss is deeply committed to the students and families who entrust their futures to WOU. He says, “I stand ready to serve and to continue the fine work accomplished by President Minahan’s WOU team. My goal will be to facilitate and help our faculty and staff in their continued success in serving the needs of our students. Many exciting accomplishments have been achieved in recent years and there is much more to come on the horizon.” 

As executive vice president of finance and administration, Mr. Weiss has managed fiscal operations and planning for the university, and worked in close partnership with the president, faculty, staff, and the campus community to help the university excel in its student-focused mission.  In this position, he has managed financial systems, facilities, technological functions, campus housing, public safety, and more. Mr. Weiss has worked with the campus community on difficult decision-making during budget challenges in recent biennia. He also worked closely with president Minahan and associate provost David McDonald in developing and implementing the WOU’s innovative and well-received Tuition Promise program, which guarantees that entering freshman who finish their studies within four years pay the same tuition annually.

Previous to joining WOU, Mr. Weiss served nine years as a senior manager and certified public accountant with the independent public accounting firm of KPMG Peat Marwick, in New York City, and seventeen years with the international electronics firm Siemens, in positions including senior vice president, administration and finance, and corporate director of Siemens Power Corporation. Mr. Weiss participated in quadrupling the size of Siemens in the United States in the 1980s and 90s and was particularly active in the medical equipment, communications, and energy businesses. He was actively involved in community activities in Washington State before moving to Oregon, including serving on hospital, symphony, economic development, economic development, educational, and other charitable boards of directors. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology/animal sciences and his master’s of business administration, with an emphasis in accounting, from Rutgers University in New Jersey.  Mr. Weiss grew up in New Jersey and is proud to have been the first member of his family to earn a college degree. He and his wife Meg have lived in the northwest since 1987, and have two grown daughters who also live 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; and for today’s Board Docket materials go to: http://www.ous.edu/state_board/meeting/dockets

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