March 2, 2001

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

Elisabeth Zinser Named New SOU President

ASHLAND - A University of Kentucky administrator was named today as the new president of Southern Oregon University.

The selection and appointment of Dr. Elisabeth A. Zinser was announced during a special meeting of the State Board of Higher Education. Zinser is expected to begin her new position in mid-summer at an annual salary of $117,000.

Zinser currently serves as chancellor of the University of Kentucky-Lexington. She has also served as president of the University of Idaho and Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., vice chancellor for academic affairs, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; senior administrative officer, dean and professor, University of North Dakota; and assistant to the president for interinstituional education and program development for the Universities of Kentucky and Louisville.

"Dr. Zinser has leadership experience that will help SOU build on its unique students," said Leslie Lehmann, a State Board member from Portland and member of the search committee. "She will be a very effective advocate for the Southern Oregon community."

"We're extremely pleased to have attracted such top quality candidates," added Bill Williams, chair of the search committee. "Their dedication to higher education made our final selection extremely difficult, but it also assures us that SOU will be led by an outstanding president.. Dr. Zinser brings extraordinary experience to the campus and our community. She is the ideal leader for SOU."

Zinser's selection earned high praise from other members of the search committee.

"She has tremendous energy and a lot of really exciting ideas for Southern," said Joe Graf, SOU dean of science. "She brings great experience to developing partnerships with agencies and other educational institutions."

"Dr. Zinser is one of the most highly respected educators in the U.S.," said search committee member Sid DeBoer, a member of the SOU Foundation Advisory Board. " She has a vision of what higher education can be in this country. She has great vision and leadership skills that will facilitate change."

The new SOU president-designate has been a consultant to President Bush's Advisory Group on Alcohol and Drug Abuse on College and University Campuses, to the Medical University of Southern Africa; the American Council on Education, Center for Leadership Development; the U. S. Public Health Service; the Boeing Company and the Bush Foundation.

Her memberships include the Commission on Civil Society in U.S.-Asia Pacific Relations; board of directors, American Association of Colleges and Universities; board of directors, American Council on Education; co-chair of Board of Oceans and Atmosphere, National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges; and on the regional panel for the Truman Foundation.

Zinser holds her B.S. degree from Stanford University; M.S., University of California-San Francisco; S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley. She succeeds Stephen Reno who left SOU last summer to become chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire.

SOU is one of Oregon's seven public universities administered by the Oregon University System. It is the only comprehensive university in the southern region of the state. It enrolls more than 5,800 students and offers bachelor's and master's degrees.

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