June 6, 2002

Contact: Jim Adams, 503-838-8159
Source: Roger Bassett

Tennessee Educator Named WOU President

MONMOUTH - A Tennessee educator has been appointed as the new president of Western Oregon University.

The State Board of Higher Education today (Thursday, June 6, 2002) approved the appointment of Dr. Philip W. Conn, currently vice president of special programs for the University of Tennessee System, as WOU president, effective July 31, at an annual salary of $125,000.

Conn succeeds Dr. Betty Youngblood, who is moving to another presidency at Lake Superior State University in Michigan.

"Choosing Dr. Conn was done with great care and equally. We have great expectations for him and WOU. Students were involved in every part of the process it is a major victory for students." Said OUS Board members Erin Watari and Tim Young in a joint statement.

"WOU community was deeply involved in the search. They deserve the best and I believe we have found the best for them," said Roger Bassett, OUS Board member.

"We are delighted with the fit of credential and experience for Dr. Conn and we believe WOU will be well served," said Joe Cox, Chancellor of the Oregon University System.

"I am extremely energized and excited because of the tremendous potential that Western Oregon University has to fulfill its mission of educating and serving Oregonians," Conn said following the Friday morning announcement. "Throughout the process, I have been greatly impressed with the faculty, staff and students. Their intelligence, goodwill . there's obviously a lot of opportunity for progress and productivity here."

Conn, is a nationally recognized leader in higher education. In his current position, he designs and oversees a variety of programs related to special needs and innovative learning concepts within the UT System.

He formerly served as chancellor and professor of public administration at the University of Tennessee at Martin and as president and professor of business at Dickinson (N.D.) State University.

He also has held positions as vice president for university advancement at Central Missouri State University; vice president for university and regional services at Morehead (KY) State University; and as executive director of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

Active in community and government affairs, he has also served as an advance director in a Kentucky gubernatorial campaign; as director of alumni affairs at Berea (KY) College; as assistant executive director of a community action corporation; as a field representative with Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA); and as an associate director of Appalachian Volunteers, Council of Southern Mountains.

Conn holds the Diploma in Social Policy from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. He received his bachelor's degree in biology from Berea College, a master of arts degree in sociology from the University of Tennessee, and master of public administration and doctor of public administration degrees from the University of Southern California.

Given his background and interests and Western Oregon University's tradition of educational excellence, Conn is delighted to take over the reins in Monmouth. "I think the match is ideal."

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