Governor nominates OHSU leader to fill UO trustee post

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has nominated Connie Seeley to become the newest member of University of Oregon Board of Trustees.

Seeley, an Oregon native, currently works as chief of staff and chief administrative officer for Oregon Health & Science University. She graduated from UO with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1992.

If confirmed by the Oregon Senate, Seeley would replace trustee Connie Ballmer, who is stepping down from the board June 30. Seeley would become an at-large member on the 15-member board of trustees.

“I’m honored and excited that Gov. Brown has nominated me,” Seeley said. “I’m a first-generation college student and my education at the UO changed my life. I will do what I can to ensure that students have the same opportunities that I had.”

Seeley has worked as a key administrator and external affairs strategist at OHSU since 2010. Prior to that she spent 13 years as top staff member at the Oregon Legislature, assisting in the administration of all aspects of the legislative branch of government. 

Seeley has served on the board of several community organizations, including the Portland Business Association, Oregon Business & Industry Association, and UO Alumni Association. Her stepdaughter is currently a junior at the UO as well.

“I consider myself a public servant, and the work the university does is in service to its students and faculty and to the state of Oregon as a whole,” Seeley said.

Board Chair Chuck Lillis applauded Seeley’s nomination.

“Connie Seeley would be an excellent trustee for the University of Oregon,” he said. “She has a strong understanding of higher education, including facets such as research and shared governance, and she has deep passion for public higher education and serving Oregonians. We look forward to the Senate’s consideration of her nomination.”

Seeley’s nomination will be considered along with other executive appointments the next time the Legislature convenes. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unclear when that will be. Should the Legislature not convene before July 1, the board seat vacated by Ballmer will remain vacant until Seeley’s confirmation vote.

Ballmer was an inaugural member of the institutional board in 2013. She is stepping down from the board due to her other obligations and time commitments, but she plans to remain connected to the university.