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Board of Higher Ed Elects Neil Goldschmidt as its President
Distinguished U of O Chemistry Professor to serve as Vice President

PORTLAND, January 27 - The newly configured State Board of Higher Education (the "Board") today elected officers at its first meeting since new members were confirmed by the Oregon Senate last week. The Board unanimously elected Neil Goldschmidt as its president, and Dr. Geraldine Richmond as its vice president. Four out of five members of the Executive Committee of the Board were also elected at the meeting: Neil Goldschmidt, Dr. Geraldine Richmond, Donald Blair, and Henry Lorenzen. A fifth member will be elected at the February Board meeting.

Neil Goldschmidt is one of seven new members of the Board appointed by Governor Kulongoski last month and confirmed by the Oregon Senate on January 22 by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority. Goldschmidt was governor of Oregon from 1987 to 1991, and led efforts to redesign and reinvigorate the state's economic development. Prior to his gubernatorial election, he served as Vice President of NIKE and President of NIKE Canada. He was U.S. Secretary of Transportation for President Jimmy Carter from 1979 through 1981, and was mayor of the City of Portland from 1973 through 1979. He began his political career as City Commissioner of Portland from 1971 to 1973. He is currently a partner in the consulting firm, Goldschmidt Imeson Carter. Goldschmidt's term on the Board of Higher Education expires in 2005.

"We are proud to follow a long history of distinguished Oregonians in service to the Board of Higher Education," said Goldschmidt. "I would like to thank the Board for putting its trust in me to help lead higher education in Oregon to a new and better place. There is much work to be done to ensure broader access to a college education in this state for students who are currently priced-out by rising tuition and decreasing state investment. I look forward to working with the rest of the Board, the Chancellor, and the campus presidents to renew a focus on postsecondary education and its relationship to economic well-being in this state," added Goldschmidt.

Dr. Geraldine Richmond, a State Board of Higher Education member since 1999, was reconfirmed by the Oregon Senate last week, and today accepted a new role as vice president of the Board. Dr. Richmond is the Richard M. and Patricia H. Noyes Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon. For the past 20 years, her research has focused on the development and application of state-of-the-art lasers to study surface chemistry and physics. On a national level, Professor Richmond has served and continues to serve on many science boards and advisory panels for science, technology, and education. She has been honored with numerous national and regional awards for her research, her teaching, and her efforts in encouraging women to enter and succeed in science; and was named Oregon Scientist of the Year in 2001 by the Oregon Academy of Science. 

Richmond said, "Oregon has some incredibly talented, bright students, and they are what's right about higher education in this state. We also have tremendous numbers of faculty and administrators who are better than we can afford right now. I look forward to serving with Governor Goldschmidt and the rest of the members to ensure that we are able to offer all Oregonians a quality, affordable college education in this state."

Goldschmidt and Richmond are joined on the Board by six other new members and three members who were appointed by Governor Kulongoski and confirmed by the Senate last summer. The new members are: Donald Blair of West Linn, currently the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Nike, Inc; Ms. Kirby A. Dyess of Beaverton, a private investor and former Vice President and Director of Operations for Intel Capital; Timothy J. Nesbitt of Portland, Chief Executive Officer of the Oregon AFL-CIO; Dr. Gretchen S. Schuette of Salem, President of Chemeketa Community College; Howard F. Sohn of Roseburg, Chairman of the Board of Lone Rock Timber Company; and John E. von Schlegell of Portland, Managing Partner and Co-founder of Endeavour Capital. The previously appointed members are: Bridget Burns, a student leader at Oregon State University; Henry Lorenzen, a Pendleton attorney; and Rachel Pilliod, a University of Oregon student leader.

The next meeting of the State Board of Higher Education will be held on February 19 and 20 at the University of Oregon.

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of eleven members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to




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