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New Interim President Named for SOU

RSaigo color-web (FINAL 2014)ASHLAND, Ore. — The Oregon University System announced on Friday that Dr. Roy Hirofumi Saigo has been appointed Interim President at Southern Oregon University. The State Board of Higher Education voted unanimously to appoint him to the position. His new position is effective July 1st.

Saigo toured the SOU campus Friday afternoon, and said he plans on meeting with the administration and students to get a feel for the need at the university.

“At this time I’m here to listen,” Saigo said Friday. “And I would imagine the first month of my employment will be done with intensive canvassing of the faculty, staff, students and the community.”

Saigo said he also plans on discussing the current “retrenchment” process, in which cuts were made to programs and staff to balance a multimillion dollar budget gap.

“I’m looking forward to really having some quiet time and an evening and going through that and listening to those individuals who are implementing the plan,” Saigo said.

The chancellor’s office says Saigo is known as a “turnaround” leader and is being brought in just as SOU begins its retrenchment plan. The Oregon University System says Dr. Saigo was president of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota from 2000 to 2007. He also served the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system in 2007-2008 as distinguished senior fellow for academic affairs.

Before joining St. Cloud as president, the Oregon University System says Dr. Saigo was chancellor at Auburn University Montgomery from 1994-2000; provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Southeastern Louisiana University from 1990-1994; dean of the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Northern Iowa from 1984-1990; Assistant Dean and Assistant to the Dean at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire from 1976-1984; and held other professional positions as well. Saigo was a faculty member in Biology at UW-EC for 17 years, beginning in 1967.

Dr. Saigo has a Ph.D. in Botany and Plant Pathology from Oregon State University and a B.A. in Biological Science from University of California at Davis where he also completed post-graduate studies in Agriculture.