Western Oregon University announced Tuesday that its board of trustees plans to appoint a new university president next week, after they already named a different person president a little over a month ago.
The WOU Board had initially appointed Sukhwant Jhaj as the new president last month, but, according to the university, Jhaj backed out due to “compelling and unforeseen personal reasons.”
Instead, Jesse Peters is now slated to take the helm as Western’s new leader. Peters had also interviewed for the WOU job and was named a finalist, along with Jhaj. Peters is currently Dean of Arts & Sciences of Ft. Lewis College in Colorado.
“It is my pleasure to serve Western Oregon University as its next president,” Peters said in a statement. “The institution is poised for great things, and I will work diligently to lead positive and innovative change, working closely with faculty, staff, and students. We will reaffirm our strengths as we look to a vibrant future, where WOU is a growing and thriving place of opportunity.”
The board plans to appoint Peters to the position at its next meeting on June 8. Peters will succeed former WOU President Rex Fuller who retired last year and interim president Jay Kenton.
The announcement at WOU comes amid turnover at other public colleges and universities in Oregon. The board of trustees at the state’s largest university, Oregon State, has narrowed its candidates for president to two finalists — both of whom visited Corvallis last week. Portland State University’s president Stephen Percy announced earlier this month that he’s retiring at the end of the upcoming academic year, kicking off a search process for a new leader on the Park blocks. And Oregon’s largest post-secondary institution, Portland Community College, is welcoming its new president, Adrien Bennings, this summer.