Trustees name Ginevra Ralph new board chair, approve budgets

The University of Oregon Board of Trustees approved six agenda items and learned about a range of initiatives at its quarterly meeting May 19-20 at the Ford Alumni Center.

One of the presentations was from President Michael Schill, who spoke about an update to the institutional goals and objectives first implemented in 2016. Other senior leadership team members provided updates to the trustees on the university’s academic and research priorities, gains being made to improve student success, the most recent fundraising campaign, and the university’s strategic plan for brand communications.

Agenda items requiring board action:

  • It was the last board meeting for Chair Chuck Lillis who is stepping down at the end of June after an eight-year stint as board chair. The trustees approved the nomination of Vice Chair Ginevra Ralph to serve as chair and trustee Steve Holwerda to serve as vice chair. The trustees also gave a send-off to Jimmy Murray, the nonfaculty staff representative on the board who would be stepping down at the end of June.
  • The board unanimously approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year and approved a capital expenditure budget increase for the 2022 fiscal year if the purchase of The Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health closes in June, prior to the start of the next fiscal year.
  • The board unanimously approved a new five-year contract for Schill. The contract runs through Dec. 31, 2026, and supersedes the prior contract that was set to expire Sept. 30, 2023.
  • The university will begin offering a new doctorate in data driven music starting in fall 2023 after the board passed a resolution proposed by Sabrina Madison-Cannon, dean of the School of Music and Dance, and Jeffrey Stolet, professor of music technology and director of Future Music Oregon.The board also approved a new online master’s in immersive media communication to be offered starting in fall 2023. Juan-Carlos Molleda, the Edwin L. Artzt Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication, and Donna Davis, associate professor and director of the strategic communication master's program and the Oregon Reality Lab, briefed the board on the new degree and demand for the skills it would teach.
  • Trustees signed off on covering an increase in costs to the Huestis Hall deferred maintenance project. The original budget, developed in 2018 and approved by the state in 2020, has increased as significant changes in global economic landscape and other forces have driven up the cost of materials and labor over the past two years.

Full materials and recordings of the meeting can be found on the UO Board of Trustees website.