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Southern Oregon president finalist for another job

May 17, 2014


By The Associated Press

PORTLAND — Southern Oregon University President Mary Cullinan has been named one of three finalists to become the next president at Eastern Washington University.

The Spokesman-Review reports Cullinan was chosen as a finalist from a field of 60 candidates. The other finalists are Columbus State University President Tim Mescon and EWU Provost Rex Fuller.

The candidates to succeed retiring President Rodolfo Arévalo will interview at Eastern Washington from May 29 through June 5, the paper said. Cullinan's interview is scheduled for June 4-5.

Cullinan has been president of Southern Oregon since 2006, but she's been looking to move on from a university that's been dogged by financial problems.

Earlier this month, she was one of three finalists for the presidency at Youngstown State University in Ohio. The board of trustees, however, chose former Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel.

In March, 63 percent of the Southern Oregon faculty voted that they were not confident in Cullinan's leadership, according to the (Medford) Mail Tribune. The vote fell below a two-thirds threshold that faculty needed to make a formal recommendation to the Oregon chancellor for Cullinan's removal.

The vote came weeks after faculty settled for a labor contract that did not include cost-of-living increases. Southern Oregon had also finalized a retrenchment plan, aiming to cut $6.1 million from the annual budget and eliminate 80 positions through layoffs and retirements over the next five years.

During a televised forum at Youngstown, Cullinan said she would love to move into a more urban environment and didn't feel she would be abandoning Southern Oregon if selected.

“I've been there eight years. That's really not jumping ship,” Cullinan said. “Presidents don't typically last that long.”

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