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Governor John Kitzhaber has nominated nine people for appointment to the Oregon Institute of Technology’s board of trustees. The 15-member body governs Oregon’s only technical university, which has campuses in Klamath Falls and Wilsonville.

Among the nominees who will be considered for appointment in September by the Oregon Senate is former Wilsonville City Councilor Celia Nuñez, who served on the council from 2007 through 2012. Nuñez and other nominees, if appointed, would begin their terms immediately, although the full board of trustees would not assume governance over the university until July 1, 2015, when the old structure of the state’s Board of Higher Education lapses. Kitzhaber is expected to name the other six members of OIT’s board later this year.

“This is a stellar group of people who represent this university’s diverse stakeholders,” OIT President Chris Maples said in a press release. “(They) understand and value our unique polytechnic mission. I know their commitment will advance Oregon Tech’s focus on student success and workforce needs, and enrich our advocacy for college access and public support for higher education for Oregonians.”

Higher education reform was approved in various bills by the state legislature during recent sessions. Over the last year, Oregon has transformed its seven-member Oregon University System governed by the State Board of Higher Education to a decentralized set of public universities, each with its own governing board.

Larger universities such as Oregon and Oregon State named their boards last year and began governing in July 1. Technical and regional universities, such as Western Oregon or Oregon Tech, begin governance next year.

In addition to Nuñez, the other eight nominees for the OIT board include: Dr. Jeremy Brown, President, Portland Community College; Melissa Ceron, Oregon Tech Student; Dr. Lisa Graham, CEO, Black Canyon Woodworks; Dana Henry, Student Support Services, Oregon Tech, Klamath Falls; Kathleen Hill, Writer/Consultant and elected Member of the Klamath Tribal Council; Kelley Minty Morris, Klamath County Commissioner; Dr. Dan W. Peterson, Associate Professor of Communication, Oregon Tech, Klamath Falls; and Dr. Steve Sliwa, Founder and CEO, Seeq.

As president, Maples will serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the board.

Each of the public university boards in Oregon includes up to 15 trustees, with 11 members at large, the institution’s president, one faculty member, one non-faculty staff member and one student. Members will serve terms of 2 or 4 years.

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