Southern Oregon University has a new president.
Dr. Roy Saigo was approved as the interim president of SOU on Friday at a meeting of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education. The vacancy was created when current SOU President Dr. Mary Cullinan announced she accepted the job as president at Eastern Washington University near Spokane.
State Chancellor Dr. Melody Rose said Saigo was the right leader for SOU at this time of transition for the university, saying he could unite the campus after several years of budgets cuts, retrenchment and reorganization.
Saigo, a botanist by training, was president of St Cloud University in Minnesota from 2000 to 2007. He’s also served at universities in Louisiana, Iowa and Wisconsin.
In a release from the Oregon University System, Saigo was described as being known in higher education circles as a “turnaround” leader, who would be well suited to guiding SOU through the process of forming its first institutional governing board.
Dr. Saigo’s appointment is to last for two years, at which time a permanent president will be named.