State senator to join UO in making the Knight Campus a reality

State Sen. Chris Edwards

Oregon Sen. Chris Edwards will join the University of Oregon on Dec. 15 as the new assistant vice president for strategic initiatives with an emphasis on development of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.

Specifically, Edwards will build on his years of experience representing Eugene to develop collaborations and partnerships with municipal and civic agencies and the local business community.

“Chris has a unique set of public service and private industry experiences that will serve him well in this new endeavor,” said Michael Andreasen, the UO’s vice president for advancement. “I am delighted that he will be joining us during this critical early stage in the development of the Knight Campus.” 

The Knight Campus is designed to be a game-changing initiative that fast-tracks scientific discoveries and the process of turning those discoveries into innovations that improve the quality of life for people in Oregon, the nation and beyond.

“The Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact is going to be transformational for the campus and the broader community,” Edwards said. “To lend my skills to the success of the project is an extraordinary opportunity to serve.”

Edwards was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2006 and was appointed to the state Senate in 2009. He won election to a full term in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. He is currently chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee and previously served as the Senate co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources.

During his decade of service, Edwards served five years on the Joint Ways and Means Committee through the Great Recession and was instrumental in keeping the state’s 14 natural resource and environmental protection agencies intact through the recession.

—By Tobin J. Klinger, University Communications