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Troubled Eastern Oregon University Gets New Leader

An education veteran is coming out of retirement to help
guide troubled Eastern Oregon
University out of its mire.

Dixie Lund accepted the position as Eastern
Oregon’s interim president Monday, the second time she has served
in that position since 2003. She replaces Khosrow Fatemi, who will resign at
the end of the month after three years as president.

She will lead Eastern during one of the most challenging
junctures in its history. The university faces a bleak financial situation
brought on in part by declining enrollment. Eastern Oregon
is planning $3 million in permanent cuts over the next three years, $800,000
this year alone.

George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University
System, asked Lund to come out of
retirement and take the position.

“I was truly enjoying being retired,” she told The
Observer newspaper.

But Lund said
she was compelled to accept the offer because of her deep feelings for Eastern.

She is a 1973 graduate of Eastern Oregon
and worked at the university for 31 years before retiring in 2004. She was with
Eastern Oregon’s Division of Distance Education for 23
years, and served as dean from 1994 to 2003.

The appointment as interim president is not official but
appears to be a formality. The State Board of Higher Education will vote on
Pernsteiner’s recommendation this week.

Henry Lorenzen of Pendleton, president of the State Board of
Higher Education, is certain that Lund
will be appointed. He said Lund is
well-respected by the university’s community, has a great deal of experience
and cares deeply about Eastern.

Lund said she
believes that the university’s situation can be turned around.

“EOU continues to provide a wonderful opportunity
for students in Eastern Oregon and other parts of the state to gain a higher
education and pursue their life and career goals,” she said.

– Associated Press

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