Commencement Advisory Work Group

Commencement Advisory Work Group

In March 2023 the interim president appointed the 2024-2028 Commencement Advisory Work Group with representation from a wide variety of stakeholders, including students, families, faculty and staff, to gather input on commencement factors such as timing and ceremony preferences, creating a multi-year plan for future commencement activities. 

The committee was sunsetted in May 2023 after Interim University President Jamie Moffitt and Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Janet Woodruff-Borden determined that department ceremonies will be permitted as part of June 2024 commencement and confirmed that, for 2024 through 2028, commencement activities will take place over two consecutive days, rather than one day; and that the specific dates will align with those currently published in the five-year academic calendar on the Registrar’s website in that activities will take place on Sunday and Monday. 

The work group membership included:

  • Xcaret Bello – Associated Students of the University of Oregon
  • Brooke Cagno – Events and Scheduling Coordinator, School of Music and Dance
  • Bob Choquette – UO Senate, Senior Instructor II and Graduate Coordinator, School of Planning, Public Policy and Management
  • Krista Chronister – Vice Provost of Graduate Studies
  • Renee Dorjahn – Associate Dean of Finance and Administration, Clark Honors College
  • Lisa Fortin – Director of Events and Student Recruitment, College of Education
  • Bill Harbaugh – UO Senate, Professor of Economics
  • Lindsey Hayward – Program Manager, Office of the Provost
  • Fabienne Moore – UO Senate, Associate Professor of French Romance Languages
  • Collette Niland – Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, Lundquist College of Business
  • Matthew Norton – UO Senate, Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Susan Ordonez – Senior Associate Director for Alumni Engagement
  • Jordan Pridemore – Associated Students of the University of Oregon
  • Lisa Mick Shimizu – Director, Operations and Strategic Initiatives, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Sarah Rivas – Major Student Events Manager, Division of Student Life
  • Rick Schaufler – Coordinator of Student and Alumni Relations, College of Design
  • Carlyn Schreck – Assistant Vice President, Presidential Initiatives, facilitator
  • Lauren Stanfield – Assistant Vice President, Marketing and Branding, University Communications
  • Kathie Stanley – Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff, Division of Student Life
  • Wendy Westphal – Associate Director, Volunteer Engagement, University Advancement
  • Angie Whittington – Project Manager, Outreach and Events, School of Journalism and Communication

The group was asked to submit a proposal to the president with recommendations for a five-year plan that meets the goals of commencement, considers key stakeholder preferences, reflects the university mission, and makes the best use of available resources.

As part of its charge, the group was asked to:

  • Research best practices
  • Define audiences
  • Conduct a survey on commencement goals, timing, and ceremonies at the department and school/college levels, and the main university ceremony
  • Determine if additional research methodologies are necessary
  • Examine internal and external resources (budget, staffing, volunteers, facilities, lodging, etc.)
  • Define objectives based on primary and secondary research and best practices
  • Develop evaluation metrics
  • Develop and review a five-year proposal
  • Forward recommendations to the president for 2024-2028 ceremonies

The work group had been on the following timeline:

March 15, 2023          Work group appointments

March 21, 2023          First work group meeting - meeting summary

April 2023                   Planning, research and survey -  Sub-group 1 April 19 meeting summary; Sub-group 2 April 25 meeting summary

May 2023                   Interim president and interim provost finalize 2024-2028 commencement celebration calendar