BCC naming, residence hall construction top trustees' agenda

The UO emblem on Dads Gate

The University of Oregon Board of Trustees will discuss naming the new Black Cultural Center, the first phase of new residence hall construction and an update on student success initiatives at its summer meetings Sept. 5-6 in Portland.

The board will consider naming the Black Cultural Center after Lyllye Reynolds-Parker on the recommendation of UO President Michael H. Schill.

Reynolds-Parker was one of two names forwarded to Schill by the Black Cultural Center Naming Committee after a robust comment and research process. She is a Eugene native, member of one of Eugene’s first black families, civil rights activist and UO alumna who worked as an academic advisor at the university for 17 years.

“Reynolds-Parker has been an inspiration to countless students who sought her support and counsel while at the university,” Schill wrote in his recommendation memo to the board.

Also, the board’s Finance and Facilities Committee will hear about the first phase of a project that will replace Hamilton and Walton halls with new residence halls along with a visitors’ center to help with student recruitment.

Roger Thompson, vice president for student services and enrollment management, and Michael Griffel, assistant vice president and director of student housing, will seek approval to move forward with the $110 million first phase of the project. The initial work includes a new residence hall on the area known as the Humpy Lumpy Lawn on the corner of East 15th Avenue and Agate Street, and demolition of Walton Hall.

The board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee will receive an update on student success initiatives from Doneka Scott, vice provost for undergraduate education and student success; Kevin Marbury, vice president for student life; Sarah Nutter, dean of the Lundquist College of Business; and Julia Pomerenk, assistant vice president and registrar.

The initiatives are meant to raise graduation and retention rates by strengthening support for students while continuing to improve the overall academic experience while they are on campus.

The board also will get its first presentation about the Oregon Acoustics Research Laboratory Project from architecture professor Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg. The project is a partnership between the UO, Oregon State University and Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, to advance the use of mass timber in building construction.

The emerging concept is gaining traction in a range of building of applications and is expected to benefit the Pacific Northwest’s wood products industry by using wood in innovative ways. Faculty members in the UO’s College of Design will contribute their extensive expertise to the project, while OSU researchers will share their experience in engineering. The lab would be based at the UO.

For this meeting’s Academic Area in Focus segment, Nico Larco and Becky Steckler will give a presentation on the Urbanism Next Center. Larco is director of the center and an architecture professor in the School of Architecture & Environment in the College of Design, while Steckler is the center’s program manager. They will discuss the center’s cutting-edge research in areas such as autonomous vehicles, urban design, and new technologies and modes of transportation.

Meetings begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 5 in Room 136, Naito Building, 109 NW Naito Parkway, Portland.

—By Jim Murez, University Communications