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For Immediate Release

September 5, 2013

Contact: Rep. Gail Whitsett, 503-986-1456


Rep. Whitsett Appointed to Special Committee on University Governance and Operations


Salem, OR – Representative Gail Whitsett has been appointed to the newly created eight-member Special Committee on University Governance and Operations.


Rep. Whitsett said, “House Speaker Tina Kotek recently appointed me as the only woman legislator to serve on this Special Committee. We are tasked with advising the Legislature on higher education policy issues and how our public universities should be operated as our university system is being transformed toward more autonomous, self-managed universities.”

The Special Committee on University Governance and Organization results from legislation passed during the 2013 session. SB 270 established governing boards for the University of Oregon and Portland State University. Other Oregon universities may opt to establish their own governing boards as well.


Representative Whitsett will join Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem), Ways and Means Committee Co-Chair Senator Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin), Senator Fred Girod (R-Stayton), Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena), and Representatives Peter Buckley (D-Ashland), Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), and Greg Smith (R-Heppner) on this new committee.


“The undergraduate and graduate degrees in Geology that I earned at Oregon State University prepared me for a successful career in a very technical industry. Currently, more than half of the students enrolled in Oregon’s seven public universities are women,” Representative Whitsett stated.

“It will certainly be my privilege to help establish university policy that will best serve all of the university system’s students as well as all of their current and future employers.”