LA GRANDE, Ore. – The Eastern Oregon University (EOU) Board of Trustees convened on campus for a regular meeting of the 2022-23 academic year on Feb. 15 and 16.
Key topics for the Board included enrollment management, the university’s funding model, online programs, strategic plan performance indicators, and updates on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access strategic plans.
Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission Executive Director Ben Cannon joined the Board via videoconference with an update. Cannon called the news for higher education “mixed,” and noted the proposed budget by the governor would increase funding for needs-based grants, reaching more middle-class students. Cannon told the trustees the majority of EOU students would qualify for those funds.
Co-President Lara Moore reviewed the impacts of the state resources funding model for the University and the student success and completion model. Moore emphasized that while EOU maintains the most competitive price point in Oregon it is important to also start conversations about challenges in the formula.
Eastern Oregon University Provost Matt Seimers and Director of Admissions Genesis Meaderds presented enrollment updates to the board, sharing that EOU is now using the “Common App,” a simplified online application for admission. The goal for using the new application platform is to help attract prospective students who may not otherwise know about EOU.
“Boosting enrollment is a national challenge,” Co-President Lara Moore told the trustees about enrollment. “EOU has some of the best enrollment numbers in Oregon. Yes we have challenges, but not as many as others.”
The Board also met with EOU’s online program partner Wiley Education Services, regarding online enrollments. The board heard about the program portfolio and current status of the partnership and discussed the range of services provided by Wiley for support of the university’s overall enrollment efforts.
The second day of the trustee meeting began with the recognition of Duane Boyer, who was presented with the Trustees’ Meritorious Service Award for over 50 years of teaching music at the university.
EOU’s Agriculture Entrepreneurship degree program was featured with a presentation by Visiting Assistant Professor of Business Chad Mueller and Dean of the College of Business Ed Henninger.
“It’s been an exciting year and half,” Mueller told the Board. “We are building a unique program, it’s always changing.”
Mueller explained that the purpose of the degree program is to turn out students who have the skills and knowledge that appeal to employers or allow them to start their own agriculture-oriented companies.
The board reviewed EOU’s 2022 Annual Report and the university’s progress toward achieving six major goals laid out in its strategic plan, “The Ascent: 2029.”
Moore noted the need to look at recommendations for updating some of The Ascent: 2029 goals in light of the pandemic which altered the way students are evaluating and utilizing education.
Bennie Moses-Mesubed, Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging at EOU, spoke to the board about recruitment, retention, development, campus culture, and engagement.
“We need to realize our efforts need a multi-prong approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Moses-Mesubed said.
In other business, the Board approved two steam plant distribution projects to improve energy efficiencies and reduce costs. The Board also received updates on the current legislative session and reports from EOU’s shared governance representatives.