The newly-hired president of Southern Oregon University says collaboration and innovation are key to his approach to leading SOU into the future.
The Board of Trustees at Southern Oregon University announced Tuesday that they’ve hired Dr. Richard J. Bailey Jr. as the university’s next president.
Bailey comes to SOU after five years as president of Northern New Mexico College. While there, he helped create a corporation that allows the college to partner with businesses. One partnership built a large solar array which will cut the college’s utility costs for decades.
In a press conference on Zoom Tuesday, Bailey said that kind of entrepreneurial approach can help free universities from depending on tuition and state support.
“We’ve proven that model here, in New Mexico, and we are so far less reliant on the revenue streams that we used to rely on. I think all of us can do that and I look forward to bringing that experience to SOU,” he said.
Bailey is also credited with doubling graduation rates and increasing enrollment at NNMC by 20 percent.
He got his doctoral degree in government at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., after a 24-year career in the Air Force, retiring as a full colonel.
He’ll succeed Dr. Linda Schott, who has headed SOU since August of 2016. She will retire at the end of December.
Bailey will begin work at SOU on Jan. 15.