Contact: Di Saunders, 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869; diane_saunders@ous.edu

Current member Dr. Emily Plec is reappointed for another 1-year term

PORTLAND, May 30, 2014 – The Oregon University System today announced that three new members of the State Board of Higher Education (the “Board”), who had been appointed by Governor Kitzhaber earlier this month, were confirmed by the Senate yesterday. New members are Dr. Lisa Graham, an engineer from Bend; David Nelson, a retired farmer and legislator from Pendleton; and Shea Washington, a business consultant from Portland. Dr. Emily Plec, a faculty member at Western Oregon University and currently a member of the Board, was reappointed for a second term with yesterday’s confirmation.

The new and reappointed members will serve between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015, after which all Oregon’s public universities will transition to institutional governing boards.

Matt Donegan, chair of the Board said, “We are pleased to welcome Lisa, David and Shea to the Board. The transition process will be in its final stages over the next year, so this is an important period of oversight and accountability for which the Board is responsible. I know that these new members will help us successfully complete the System’s decentralization process and its shift in governance.”

Dr. Lisa Graham has been CEO of Black Canyon Woodworks of Bend since March 2014, a company co-founded with her husband in 2011. Prior to taking a leadership role at BCW, she was Senior Vice President, and other positions, at Bend Research beginning in 2002. Before this, Graham was Senior Chemical Engineer at Union Carbide in South Charleston, West Virginia beginning in 1999. Dr. Graham is currently on the STEM Investment Council for the State of Oregon, is a member of Oregon Tech’s President’s Advisory Council, a Board member of the Engineering and Technology Industry Council (ETIC), and on the Industrial Advisory Board for the Chemical, Biological and Environment Engineering department at Oregon State University, among others. Dr. Graham received her B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at OSU.

David Nelson served Oregon as a State Senator for four terms, representing the 29th District from 1997 to 2013, including as Senate Majority Leader in 2001. He has been a grain farmer since 1963, first in Montana and later in Pendleton, Oregon. Senator Nelson served as an Attorney between 1967 and 1981, including as a county prosecuting attorney in Montana. Nelson’s community involvement includes as a member of the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce, Pendleton Rotary, Oregon Wheat League, American Bar Association, and the Education Foundation of Pendleton, among others. He has a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Oregon, and a law degree from the University of Montana.

Shea Washington has been a consultant with the Hays Companies of Oregon since 2013. Prior to this, he worked in the marketing and finance fields, at Federated Insurance beginning in 2011, and before that in management positions at Wells Fargo Financial. Washington’s community involvement has included being a Diversity Council Member at Wells Fargo; volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank, and coaching youth basketball, among others. Shea received his B.S. in Communications from Southern Oregon University.

The Oregon University System (OUS) makes college a reality for Oregonians statewide by keeping higher education accessible, affordable and high quality. We integrate Oregon’s public universities with the entire PreK-20 education system to ensure student success. OUS’ higher education offerings meet the needs of Oregon’s economy today and in the future, contributing to the vitality of the state and the success of more than 20,000 graduates a year. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu.

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