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Eastern Oregon President Trading La Grande For Kentucky

Eastern Oregon University’s president Bob Davies is leaving La Grande in July to run a public university in Kentucky. His departure comes as Eastern faces other changes.

Davies has wrestled with budget cuts at Eastern Oregon, but he says that’s not why he accepted the job at Murray State University. Neither is the overhaul of Oregon higher education and the phase-out of the state’s centralized university system, according to Davies.

“That really wasn’t the deciding factor,” Davies said. “Sure, it takes a lot of our time and energy away from some of the things we need to be focusing in on. But the bigger draw was what Murray State provided in terms of my own professional development and opportunities.”

Before Davies leaves, Eastern will make a push for its own independent board - much like boards already approved at Oregon State, Portland State, and University of Oregon. Creating the board would likely go well past Davies’ departure, this summer.

He says he’s proud of initiatives he’s leaving behind, like the “Eastern Promise”, aimed at helping rural Oregonians attend college.

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