ashland.news
May 26, 2024

SOU President Bailey talks about Cascade Hall plans, community garden, tuition increase, softball complex

SOU President Rick Bailey talks at a town hall meeting in January 2023 for university employees about balancing the school budget. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini
April 10, 2024

President, provost to travel to university sister city in Guanajuato this fall

By Holly Dillemuth, Ashland.news 

Plans are moving ahead to start demolition of Cascade Hall in mid-to-late summer this year, according to Southern Oregon University President Rick Bailey, who said plans are tentatively to finish construction of a housing facility for undergraduate students and senior community residents by 2027.

Solicitations for bids on construction of the senior housing facility are expected to go out within the next month, Bailey told Ashland.news via phone in a roughly 40-minute, wide-ranging phone interview in late March.

In preparation for the demolition, hazardous materials are being moved out of Cascade Hall starting this month.

“We know that we need to move on this if we are hopeful to have either facility open in 2027,” Bailey said.

The Cascade Hall complex is shown on a slide from a presentation prepared for an SOU Board of Trustees meeting in April 2023. The complex is scheduled to be torn down in coming months.
A pair of halls in the Cascade Residence Halls complex at Southern Oregon University in January 2024. The complex has approximately 194,000 gross square feet of floor area that formerly housed about 500 SOU students. It was constructed in phases between 1960 and 1966. Ashland.news photo by Bob Palermini

Bailey addressed a variety of topics, including the status of the SOU Forward “realignment” and some of the impacts of the plan.

“We still have faculty members who are in the process of transitioning,” Bailey said. “We’re probably 80 to 90% of the way through.” 

The plan included elimination of almost 82 full-time equivalent positions, about 24 of which were expected to result in current employees losing their jobs, according to previous reporting by Ashland.news

Another impact from SOU Forward is the closure of the university’s community garden last year. A position that was paid for through student fees to manage the project, and several others, was eliminated.

“Just as the university went through our budget challenges, the student fee portion went through their own budget challenges, and so the students had made some very difficult decisions, one of which included reducing positions, and so there was no one there to maintain that property,” Bailey said.

A meeting was held in mid-March to discuss the future of the garden. 

“There is an interest from the Native American Student Union to help move forward,” Bailey said. “I know that there are some community gardeners who want to play a role. 

“My hope is it’s something we can have available for our students this season,” he added.

Part of SOU Forward involved the end of an annual summer workshop for visiting high school students with an interest in theater.

Asked if SOU and OSF would pursue the return of the program, he couldn’t say directly, but sees the possibility for more educational opportunities with the theater.

“SOU and OSF have had some very exciting conversations about strengthening our partnership,” Bailey said. “We’re very excited that we have four SOU Theater graduates who are in the OSF Company, this current season. I think we are exploring the possibility of more educational opportunities. Obviously SOU is very interested in anything that brings high school students to our region, because that is a very, very good pipeline into our performing arts programs.” 

Bailey also shared plans for university management to return to the sister city in Guanajuato in late September.

It will be Bailey’s second visit to the sister city and university, Universidad de Guanajuato (University of Guanajuato, UG), and Provost Casey Shillam’s first visit.

An artist’s conception shows what the entryway at a new SOU softball complex might look like. KSW Architects illustration

Bailey also expressed support for a new softball complex approved by the Board of Trustees in January.

“Southern Oregon University has 450 student-athletes,” Bailey said. “To draw a comparison, our friends up at University of Oregon have 508 student-athletes. 

“Even though we are not as large of a school, even though we don’t have tens of thousands of students, our student-athletes across the board, in every sport, are remarkable.”

In other news, Bailey is also anticipating a recommendation for a tuition increase of an undetermined amount by the Tuition Advisory Council to come before the Board of Trustees during its next regular meeting on Friday, April 19.

Reach Ashland.news staff reporter Holly Dillemuth at hollyd@ashland.news.

Related stories:

SOU looks at new senior housing to boost revenues, will demolish old dorm (Jan. 3, 2024)

‘This is a bittersweet day’: Trustees approve ‘SOU Forward’ plan for realignment (April 21, 2023)

SOU poised for new $3 million softball complex by 2025 season (April 3, 2024)

Guanajuato to Ashland visitors: ‘Welcome — our home is your home’ (Aug. 22, 2022)

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

Related Posts...

Let’s talk: Collaborative conversation coaching order of the first Law Day

Local high school students relished their deep dive into navigating some of the thorniest political issues of our time at the first-ever Southern Oregon Law Day on Thursday at Southern Oregon University. The half-day event, held at Stevenson Union on the SOU campus, featured a number of experts in their respective fields, as well as opening remarks by Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, and closing remarks by Sen. Jeff Golden, D-Ashland.

Read More »

OSF veteran depicts an actor’s haunting life in new novel

“Harriman’s Ghost” tells side-by-side stories of the life of the fictional Ben Harriman, a revered film and television star, and Janet Cooper, ghost writer of Harriman’s official biography. In “Harriman’s Ghost,” she is goaded into writing another book that unveils the truth about the actor’s troubled life.

Read More »
Daniel Sperry quintet at Lithia Park

‘Beautiful Music in the Park’ returns Saturday for its next season

True to its name, the nonprofit organization Beautiful Music in the Park will bring, well, beautiful music to Lithia Park again this year, the second season for the program founded by longtime park cello busker Daniel Sperry, starting Saturday, May 25. The piano quintet “Friends of Flare” is set to play from 11 a.m. to noon on the small field past the lower duck pond, affectionately nicknamed the “cello lawn” after Sperry’s frequent busks.

Read More »

Latest posts

Let’s talk: Collaborative conversation coaching order of the first Law Day

Local high school students relished their deep dive into navigating some of the thorniest political issues of our time at the first-ever Southern Oregon Law Day on Thursday at Southern Oregon University. The half-day event, held at Stevenson Union on the SOU campus, featured a number of experts in their respective fields, as well as opening remarks by Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, and closing remarks by Sen. Jeff Golden, D-Ashland.

Read More >

OSF veteran depicts an actor’s haunting life in new novel

“Harriman’s Ghost” tells side-by-side stories of the life of the fictional Ben Harriman, a revered film and television star, and Janet Cooper, ghost writer of Harriman’s official biography. In “Harriman’s Ghost,” she is goaded into writing another book that unveils the truth about the actor’s troubled life.

Read More >

‘Beautiful Music in the Park’ returns Saturday for its next season

True to its name, the nonprofit organization Beautiful Music in the Park will bring, well, beautiful music to Lithia Park again this year, the second season for the program founded by longtime park cello busker Daniel Sperry, starting Saturday, May 25. The piano quintet “Friends of Flare” is set to play from 11 a.m. to noon on the small field past the lower duck pond, affectionately nicknamed the “cello lawn” after Sperry’s frequent busks.

Read More >

Explore More...

Let’s talk: Collaborative conversation coaching order of the first Law Day

Local high school students relished their deep dive into navigating some of the thorniest political issues of our time at the first-ever Southern Oregon Law Day on Thursday at Southern Oregon University. The half-day event, held at Stevenson Union on the SOU campus, featured a number of experts in their respective fields, as well as opening remarks by Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, and closing remarks by Sen. Jeff Golden, D-Ashland.

Read More>

OSF veteran depicts an actor’s haunting life in new novel

“Harriman’s Ghost” tells side-by-side stories of the life of the fictional Ben Harriman, a revered film and television star, and Janet Cooper, ghost writer of Harriman’s official biography. In “Harriman’s Ghost,” she is goaded into writing another book that unveils the truth about the actor’s troubled life.

Read More>
Daniel Sperry quintet at Lithia Park

‘Beautiful Music in the Park’ returns Saturday for its next season

True to its name, the nonprofit organization Beautiful Music in the Park will bring, well, beautiful music to Lithia Park again this year, the second season for the program founded by longtime park cello busker Daniel Sperry, starting Saturday, May 25. The piano quintet “Friends of Flare” is set to play from 11 a.m. to noon on the small field past the lower duck pond, affectionately nicknamed the “cello lawn” after Sperry’s frequent busks.

Read More>
ashland.news logo

Subscribe to the newsletter and get local news sent directly to your inbox.

(It’s free)

Don't Miss Our Top Stories

Get our newsletter delivered to your inbox three times a week.
It’s FREE and you can cancel anytime.