ashland.news
June 13, 2024

New Southern Oregon University provost starts Friday

Casey Shillam
February 28, 2024

Former University of Portland administrator Casey Shillam will be school’s top academic leader

The former dean and professor of the University of Portland School of Nursing & Health Innovations will be the next provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Southern Oregon University, the university announced in a news release Tuesday.

Casey Shillam, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N, begins her duties at SOU on Friday, March 1. The Provost & Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs is the leader in sustaining an environment of academic excellence and student success at SOU, according to the announcement.

“Dr. Shillam has already made a huge impact in our state, and we are truly excited to have her join the SOU family and apply her expertise to our academic and student-centered programs,” SOU President Rick Bailey said. “Her skills align seamlessly with many of our programs and initiatives — from our outstanding academic program offerings to our student support systems, to our plans for a senior living facility on the SOU campus, to ongoing efforts that will expand our behavioral mental health offerings and address the statewide shortage of counselors. We look forward to her leadership helping us to continue to move onward and upward as an institution.”

Shillam is a first-generation college graduate. She earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and letters at Portland State University; bachelor’s, master’s and doctoratal degrees in nursing, all at Oregon Health & Science University; and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Davis. Her bachelor’s degree in nursing was from the OHSU program on the SOU campus.

Current Provost Susan Walsh, Ph.D., announced last summer that she planned to retire, but agreed to serve until Shillam begins her new role on Friday. Walsh has served 42 years at SOU, rising through the academic ranks from instructor in the Communication Department, to full professor and eventually to the institution’s top academic leadership position.

Shillam is an experienced academic leader, nurse, educator, administrator and U.S. military veteran. She is an expert on aging, a skilled researcher and statistician with a long record of research funding, and has a prolific publication history. Under her leadership, student enrollment at the University of Portland nursing school grew by 35%, becoming the state’s largest undergraduate nursing program, the release said.

Throughout her administrative career, she has secured more than $10 million in federal, philanthropic and foundation funding for academic program development, student scholarships and research.

In Oregon, Shillam shaped legislation through the House Committee on Health Care to address the healthcare workforce shortage. At the federal level, she co-chaired the Department of Health & Human Services RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council, which provided the U.S. Congress with the first national caregiving strategy and federal funding priorities to support over 53 million family caregivers.

She is currently serving on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission.

“Southern Oregon University stands out as a leader of regional institutions of higher education, and I am honored to join this thriving campus community,” Shillam said. “A strong roadmap has been developed by President Bailey and the entire SOU community, leveraging opportunities and strengths of the people and resources of southern Oregon. I am eager to begin my work in implementing this plan with SOU’s innovative leaders, talented faculty, dedicated staff and outstanding students.”

Source: Southern Oregon University news release. Email Ashland.news at news@ashland.news.

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