University priority setting, leadership searches, and fall update

October 2, 2023

Dear colleagues,

I am excited our students have returned to campus and that my first full academic year as president of the University of Oregon is underway. I continue to be inspired by our great university, and the commitment and talents of our faculty, staff, and students. I have spoken frequently since my arrival about our desire at the University of Oregon to provide a world-class education to our students, to strive for excellence in curiosity-driven scholarship, and to serve society — as a driver of ideas, innovation, and prosperity. We must also continue our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts as we seek to ensure a deep sense of belonging on our campuses. 

Oregon Onward – Priority Setting

To set the course for even greater success and impact, we are launching a process of institutional priority-setting that will take place throughout this academic year. We will begin with focused discussions within existing structures like our faculty and staff meetings and among our broadest representative bodies like our University Senate and ASUO. We will also host a number of stakeholder input sessions for our students, faculty, and staff. For those who prefer to offer written feedback, a web-based survey for all members of our community will be available throughout the priority-setting process. I invite every member of the UO community to share their thoughts, ideas, and hopes for the future. And while not every idea can be a priority, we will do our best to focus on concrete actions and measurable outcomes, not just talk. We will share additional information about how you can participate in the process, sessions, and feedback opportunities soon. 


Also foundational to our success is a strong leadership team. Two weeks ago, we welcomed our new Vice President for Advancement, Joe Buck, who is focused on enhancing our engagement with donors, volunteers, and friends. The search for a new vice president for communications is well underway. I’m committed to recruiting a dynamic and experienced leader for this role. I thank Keith Frazee for his continued leadership in his interim role.

I intend to launch national searches for two additional leadership roles this year. This fall I will launch the search for a permanent provost. Janet Woodruff-Borden has been serving in this role with commitment and dedication for a full year. I am grateful for her leadership, counsel, and wisdom as she continues to advance our academic enterprise. I will engage with our faculty, University Senate, and other stakeholders as we launch the provost search. I also plan to launch a search for a permanent vice president for student life no later than January. I am thankful for the leadership of Kris Winter who continues in her interim role. 

Additional information about both these searches will be forthcoming.

In closing, I feel fortunate to be part of this community. I am excited for our future and for the new academic year ahead. Our mission is vital. I am grateful for all that you do and thank you, in advance, for the strategic priority setting we will undertake together this fall and winter. I wish you a productive, insightful, and joyous fall term. Onward Oregon!


Karl Scholz