May 21, 2002

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714
Source: Roger Bassett

Four Finalists in WOU Presidential Search

EUGENE - Four finalists were announced today (Tuesday, May 21, 2002) by the committee that is leading the search to find a new president for Western Oregon University.

Current WOU President Betty Youngblood will relinquish the position in June to become the new president of Lake Superior State University in Michigan.

Roger Bassett, chair of the search committee and a member of the State Board of Higher Education, identified the finalists as Dr. Jill Beck, dean of Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California-Irvine; Dr. Don Betz, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma; Dr. Philip W. Conn, vice president for special programs, University of Tennessee System; and Dr. Martha Krebs, associate vice chancellor for research, University of California-Los Angeles.

"The very high quality of these finalists is a tribute to the work of campus representatives working together to find a fit between WOU and individual candidates," Bassett said. "The search focused on relevant experience, communication skills, personal energy and visibility, and capacity for vision. We have an excellent set of finalists."

Beck has been Dean of the Claire Trevor School of Arts since 1995. During that time, she lead development of the State Artsbridge program, an innovative university/K-12 partnership that began in Irvine and has now expanded to 15 universities in five states. Before coming to California, she lead dance studies programs at Southern Methodist University, Connecticut College, City College of New York, The Julliard School and Duke University.

She earned her B.A. degree in philosophy and art history at Clark University, M.A. in history and music at McGill University; M.P. and Ph.D. degrees in theatre history at City University of New York.

Betz joined the administration at the University of Central Oklahoma in 1999 as vice president for academic affairs and professor of political science and added the responsibilities as provost, executive vice president and provost within the past two years.

He also has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs of the Palmer Chiropractic University System; director of the Sequoyah Institute, an Oklahoma non-profit cultural and arts organization; vice president for university relations, dean of continuing studies, director of university relations, and executive director of the educational foundation, Northeastern State (OK) University.

He also serves as chair of the United Nations-affiliated Coordinating Committee for Non-Government Organizations on the Question of Palestine and has served on academic and diplomatic visits to more than 80 countries

Dr. Betz earned his B. A. degree in political science from the University of San Francisco, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in international studies at the University of Denver.

As vice president of special programs at Tennessee, Conn oversees a variety of programs related to special needs and innovative concepts within the University of Tennessee System.

Prior to becoming system vice president, Dr. Conn served as chancellor and professor of public administration at the University of Tennessee at Martin; president and professor of business at Dickinson (N.D.) State University; vice president for university advancement, Central Missouri State University; vice president for university and regional services, Morehead (KY) State University; and executive director of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

He holds the Diploma in Social Policy from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. He earned an M.A. degree in sociology from the University of Tennessee and his M.P.A. and D.P.A. degrees from the University of Southern California.

Krebs joined the California NanoSystems Institute as its director in 2000. In that capacity and as associate vice chancellor, she has integrated the multi-campus, multidisciplinary research institute into the UCLA research effort.

An acclaimed physics researcher, she is a former senior fellow of the Institute for Defense Analysis and assistant secretary of energy and director of the office of science in the U.S. Department of Energy. She also has held major posts at Lawrence Berkley Laboratory; with several subcommittees of the House Committee on Science and Technology; and with the Library of Congress.

Krebs earned her A. B. degree, summa cum laude, and her Ph.D. in physics from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Bassett said all four finalists would visit the WOU campus in Monmouth between May 28 and May 31. Visits with students, faculty, campus administration and community leaders will be included in the schedule for each candidate.

The State Board of Higher Education makes the final appointment and will interview candidates soon after the campus visit week is completed.

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