On June 1, UO Board of Trustees Chair Charles M. “Chuck” Lillis formally invested Michael H. Schill as the 18th president of the University of Oregon. Below are Lillis’ remarks at the investiture ceremony.
It is a privilege and honor to join the University of Oregon community, and the entire state, as we officially invest Michael H. Schill as the 18th president of the University of Oregon.
Investiture is a formal ceremony conferring authority to lead the university in pursuit of knowledge. These ceremonies date from the Middle Ages and involve symbols of the authority granted. Today, the University of Oregon continues this richest of academic traditions.
It was nearly two years ago when the Board of Trustees tasked a search committee with finding the next president of our university. Under the leadership of trustee Connie Ballmer, acting as chair of that committee, and with the very important participation of committee members representing the faculty and staff, alumni, students, administrators, friends, and fellow trustees, the committee undertook its charge—and produced a superb outcome!
In Michael Schill, we found a leader who is a scholar with an impeccable academic pedigree, a leader who values the highest principles of teaching and research. But perhaps even more important, a man of passion, energy, humility, and humor—a man of thoughtful consideration, willing to make hard decisions during often challenging times.
In his first year he has steadfastly kept us focused on academic excellence within the important context of access, affordability, and diversity. We have found a leader in the truest sense. And we, the constituents of the University of Oregon, are the beneficiaries.
Therefore, acting on behalf of the Board of Trustees, under the authority granted by the State of Oregon—and with tremendous thanks to Simon and Ruth (his mom and dad, watching from the University of Chicago)—it is with great pleasure that I formally invest you, Michael H. Schill, with the responsibilities, the authority, and the obligations of leading the University of Oregon as it serves the state, the nation, and the world.
On behalf of the board, Governor Kate Brown, the Oregon legislature, and the people of Oregon, I present you with the official symbols of leadership of this great university—the president's medallion and the university mace.
Thank you, Mike, for accepting our charge.