Home Archives May 2007 VIP: Conversation with Mary Cullinan, President of SOU

VIP: Conversation with Mary Cullinan, President of SOU

| Print |  Email
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
MaryCullinan0407.jpg Photo by Timothy Bullard

ViP

Mary Cullinan, President, Southern Oregon University

Mary Cullinan has been around academia long enough that she says she can sense the mood of a university simply by walking around campus. “You can feel when people are angry or not getting along,” she says.

The mood on campus at Southern Oregon University, where Cullinan is president, has been an anxious one since October when she leveled with her colleagues that the school faced a
$4 million shortfall. Despite much hand wringing, the new president was firm. Programs were pared and schools consolidated. By 2010 there will be two dozen fewer faculty positions at SOU.

The shortfall made a rocky start for Cullinan’s love affair with the 5,000-student university in Ashland.

Cullinan developed a crush on SOU almost four years ago when she interviewed for its provost position. “I loved this place and the school’s liberal arts mission. It stuck in my brain.” She got a job offer in east Texas instead, but after three years at Stephen F. Austin State University as vice president for academic affairs, Cullinan made her way back to Ashland, moving into the SOU President’s House last September.

She wasn’t expecting a lavish budget when she arrived, but neither did she know the depth of the shortfalls. The 56-year-old English literature scholar chooses her words precisely: “It was a question of degree.” 

Like a steadfast lover, she is quick to come to the defense of the small, regional university in her care and to point out that the current budget crisis resulted from years of paltry support from the state. She suggests that it’s a poor economic strategy to allow such negligence to continue. Then she quickly moves forward to talk about plans for the future: partnerships, an MBA program, civic engagement, new relationships.

With a smile that’s almost shy, she confesses  she’s still delighted to wake up every morning on campus. SOU is at a crossroads, Cullinan says, and she’s there to nudge it in the right direction.

— Christina Williams


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

The 2014 List: The Top 33 Small Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

Fuel's gold

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY SOPHIA BENNETT

The coastal town of Coos Bay appears poised to land every economic development director’s dream: a single employer that will bring hundreds of family-wage jobs and millions in tax revenue. 


Read more...

100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Monday, March 03, 2014

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 11.26.47 AM

Check out interviews with employees from some of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon winners and find out what makes their company a great place to work.


Read more...

On fire

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

A self-proclaimed “chile head,” John Ford “grows, eats and does everything spicy.” 


Read more...

Rapid ascent

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
IMG 4255-2BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Kelly Dachtler, president of The Clymb, redefines outdoor retail.


Read more...

How to boost web traffic

News
Thursday, April 10, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY  | OB WEB EDITOR

04.10.14 thumb seo-trafficSEMpdx hosted a workshop this week for entrepreneurs, website developers and others interested in search engine optimization (SEO).  Here are a few tips and tricks aimed at bumping up your search engine rankings.


Read more...

The more they change, the more they stay the same

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
100-best-collageBY BRANDON SAWYER

The 100 Best Companies get more creative with perks and more generous with benefits; employees seek empowering relations with management and coworkers.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS