Connie Ballmer to step down from UO Board of Trustees

Connie Ballmer

UO trustee Connie Ballmer has announced she will resign from the university’s governing board effective June 30.

Ballmer, an Oregon native and a 1984 UO graduate, was an inaugural member of the institutional board in 2013.

“The last six-and-a-half years have been educational, rewarding, and inspiring,” Ballmer wrote in her resignation letter to Gov. Kate Brown.

“I am impressed by the commitment of the university’s faculty, staff, volunteers, and donors to the mission and values of the UO and the state,” Ballmer added. “It is clear: students come first. Never have I been more proud of or excited for my alma mater.”

Ballmer wrote that she is stepping down from the board due to her other obligations and time commitments but said she plans to remain connected to the university.

Ballmer helps lead the Ballmer Group, which uses philanthropy and civic activism to support efforts that improve economic mobility for children and families in the United States who are disproportionately likely to remain in poverty.

“Connie Ballmer has been an exemplary trustee,” board Chair Chuck Lillis said. “She is inquisitive and insightful and always remains focused on what matters most. She presses this institution to continually improve in areas of access, quality and student success. I am grateful for all that she has done for the institution and look forward to the great work she will continue to do to improve the lives of so many others.”

During her time on the university board, Ballmer chaired the search committee for the first presidential hire conducted by the board, which ended with the appointment of President Michael Schill in 2015.

Beyond the many hours she has dedicated to volunteer service on the board, Ballmer and her husband have also been transformative donors to UO programs.

They have been key supporters of the PathwayOregon scholarship program, which eliminates financial obstacles to higher education for high-achieving, federal Pell Grant-eligible students, and the Health Promotion and Obesity Prevention cluster, a multidisciplinary research team that studies the factors that contribute to obesity, among other health issues.

After growing up in Oregon City, Ballmer earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the UO before entering a career in public relations and marketing for the technology sector. She received the University of Oregon’s Pioneer Award in 2019 and was inducted into the School of Journalism and Communication’s Hall of Achievement.

Ballmer’s current term on the board runs until July 2023; a replacement will be selected to serve out the remainder of that term.

At-large positions on the governing board are volunteer posts with nominees selected by the governor.  Brown will submit her choice to the Oregon Senate, which in turn votes on whether to confirm nominees. Those interested in the position can submit an application directly to the governor’s office.

More information about the board can be found on the board’s website. General information about executive appointments can be found on the governor’s boards and commissions website.

For additional questions about board service and the appointment process, contact the board office at trustees@uoregon.edu or 541-346-3166.