Michael H. Schill, a University of Chicago dean and law professor, will become the 18th president of the University of Oregon following his unanimous selection Tuesday by the UO Board of Trustees.
Schill rose to the top of a competitive pool of applicants and was one of four finalists recommended by the 14-member search committee, which was chaired by Trustee Connie Ballmer. Currently dean and Harry N. Wyatt professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School, Schill will officially assume the UO presidency July 1.
“This is a pivotal time at the University of Oregon,” said board of trustees Chair Chuck Lillis. “With a new governing board, capital campaign and strategic planning effort, this great university is about to secure its rightful place among the institutions that embody academic excellence.”
The incoming president will be on the main UO campus in Eugene today, and the entire campus community is invited to a special welcome event from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Willamette Hall atrium.
The board’s selection of Schill to be president of the UO marks the first presidential hire conducted by an independent governing board at an Oregon university since passage in 2013 of Senate Bill 270, which allowed state universities to establish their own governing boards.
“When we began this search eight months ago, it was clear that this university needed a leader who brings to the table a creative vision, focused energy, unquestioned integrity and a passion for educating students. Michael Schill is that leader,” Lillis said. “The University of Oregon is exceedingly fortunate to have Mike Schill taking the helm at this pivotal time. He is passionate about students, understands the challenges faced by public universities, has a proven track record of strong leadership and has unquestionable intellect and charisma.”
The UO Board of Trustees began the eight-month search in the fall of 2014 with the establishment of a search committee and presidential search advisory group. Led by Ballmer, the groups – composed of trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members from across Oregon – held public input sessions and forums throughout the process to ensure the selection of a leader who best fit the UO’s needs at this critical time in its history.
“We received tremendous input from the campus community on what it was looking for in our next president,” Ballmer said, “and we are confident that Mike embodies the skills, traits and qualities that UO’s faculty, students, staff, alumni and stakeholders wanted. Throughout the search, I was impressed with his curiosity and creativity. He will bring exactly the right type of collaborative but tough leadership necessary to advance the UO’s priorities and its public mission.”
Lillis commended the members of the two groups for their dedication and commitment to the process.
“The members of both the search committee and advisory group worked diligently to make this a successful effort,” he said. “Their work has led to the selection of a highly qualified individual who we will all be proud to have guiding this institution.
“As we work together to improve access, excellence and the overall UO experience, Mike will be a tireless advocate. We look forward to welcoming Mike to the UO community this summer.”
Prior to joining the University of Chicago in 2010, Schill served as dean of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law from 2004 to 2009. His other faculty appointments include tenured positions as professor of law and urban planning at New York University and professor of law and real estate at the University of Pennsylvania.
A nationally recognized expert in property, real estate and housing law and policy, Schill is the author or co-author of three books and more than 40 scholarly articles. His work includes studies of the determinants of value in condominium and cooperative housing, the impacts of housing programs on property values, the enforcement of Fair Housing laws, mortgage securitization and the deregulation of housing markets. His casebook, “Property,” co-authored with James Krier and Greg Alexander, is the bestselling casebook used in American law schools.
In addition to being the university’s president, Schill also will hold a tenured faculty position in the UO School of Law.