Chancellor George Pernsteiner announced today that he will resign from the Oregon University System, effective March 1. Pernsteiner will remain in his current role until that time, and will continue to contribute on a special assignment through March 31.
Pernsteiner’s continued service to the Oregon University System through March is intended to facilitate a successful leadership transition.
“It has been a true honor to serve Oregon as chancellor for more than eight years,” Pernsteiner said. “In that time, I have been privileged to lead and work with truly dedicated professionals in the Chancellor's office who care deeply about our students and our state.
"The accomplishments of Oregon's universities in the past several years have been outstanding as we changed the way we engaged with community colleges, increased our enrollment and the success of Oregon students, and witnessed all-time record high levels of enrollment and degrees. It has been a gratifying experience to work with faculty, staff, student leaders, board members and state officials to help improve the lives of Oregonians. I very much look forward to continuing to make that happen over the next couple of months and into the future.”
Matt Donegan, president of the State Board of Higher Education, had praise for the chancellor.
“We wish to thank Chancellor Pernsteiner for his many years of service to the students served by our universities,” Donegan said. “George leaves the university system well positioned, having reached record enrollment and degree attainment at a time when higher education has never been of greater importance to Oregon’s economy.
"The state has reached a critical transition point, making this an opportune time for a change of leadership. We are embarking on new strategies to achieve the state’s 40-40-20 goal and capturing unprecedented opportunities for achievement and efficiency through technology and innovation. As we look ahead, student success will continue to guide us.”
Jill Eiland, the board's vice president, said she and her colleagues will focus on students, faculty and staff during the change in leadership.
“We appreciate George’s willingness to remain on board to lend his expertise and ensure a successful transition," Eiland said. "Our immediate priority will be to name an interim chancellor.”
The Oregon State Board of Higher Education will vote in a public meeting at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 28, at the board’s meeting room in Portland regarding the final separation agreement with Pernsteiner.