UO President Michael Schill was guest speaker at the February 5 City Club of Eugene meeting on “Academic Excellence, Student Access, and the Educational Experience at the UO.” President Schill outlined some of his primary goals for the university, and addressed the relationships and partnerships between the UO and the local community.
President Schill’s City Club appearance came a week after four UO student leaders from underrepresented populations spoke on the City Club’s program titled “The Neglected Few: Students of Color and Their Experience on the UO Campus.” The students shared their personal experiences and struggles, as well as suggesting ways in which the University could support students in similar situations.
President Schill began his speech at the Feb. 5 City Club by expressing pride in the students who had come to speak the week before. He said he has been meeting and talking with student groups, and expressed a personal commitment to listen to underrepresented students, understand their perspective, and, through the formation of 13 task groups designed to address student concerns, move carefully forward to make progress to improve the UO campus.
President Schill particularly addressed his three primary objectives for the UO: building tenure-related faculty and promoting academic research, ensuring access and success for students, and delivering a rich, excellent educational experience. He also spoke about the new Oregon Commitment to on-time graduation.
President Schill emphasized that the UO’s success is critical to the health and welfare of Eugene and Oregon. He acknowledged that the state’ divestment from the UO means that tuition increases are inevitable. However, he said reliance on donors and supporters gives the university a responsibility to involve all of campus in analyzing how to best harness the university’s buying power without sacrificing service to students.
Both City Club presentations are archived on KLCC’s website.