Home Back Issues June 2008 Q&A with former PacifiCorp CEO, Judi Johansen

Q&A with former PacifiCorp CEO, Judi Johansen

| Print |  Email
Archives - June 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008

 

 

JudiJohansen.jpg


Former PacifiCorp CEO Judi Johansen becomes president of Marylhurst University on July 1, replacing Nancy Wilgenbusch, who is retiring after 24 years. Johansen left PacifiCorp in 2006 after five years as its CEO and a long career in the energy industry. Saying she was taking a breather for a while for lifestyle reasons (her daughter, Anna, is 12 this year), she gave up full-time work but has served on several boards, including the Port of Portland, Schnitzer Steel and Bank of the Cascades. When Johansen left PacifiCorp after it was bought by MidAmerican Energy, some hoped she would run for public office or take on another prominent business leadership role. But in the end, it was a small Catholic university founded as a school for women in 1893 that won her over.


HOW DOES A FORMER ENERGY CHIEF BECOME HEAD OF A UNIVERSITY?

They didn’t come after me, I came after them. I have to admit, I hadn’t had to put a resume together in a long time. I had to work for it. I wasn’t looking for a full-time job, but there was something special about this situation. Marylhurst has always reached out to serve underserved populations. Today that means adult learners; back in the original days it meant women. I like the history and the role that the order has played. There’s a selfish piece to this as well. I’ve discovered that even though I’m very active in the community on various boards, I miss being a part of a team on a full-time basis. This allows me to get back in the middle of being on a team.


WHAT’S FIRST ON THE PRIORITY PAD?

When people ask me what the grand vision is, I say the school is already pursuing the grand vision. My challenge is to make sure that we are constantly ahead of the curve and to make sure our curriculum and method of delivery is relevant and useful. And frankly, Marylhurst is an icon in that respect; it’s adept at redefining itself. My top priority is to learn from each faculty member what is important to them and how they see the future. The other top priority is working on fundraising. I’ve never done that — unless you consider going to the Public Utility Commission a fundraising activity.


DID YOU ASK TO SEE THE BOOKS AT MARYLHURST?

There’s not much to look at. They are debt free. But there’s a lot of headroom for growing the endowment.


HOW’S IT FEEL FACING FULL-TIME WORK AGAIN?

Even though I’m going back to work full time, I can still take Anna to school in the morning and be at work by 8:15. [She lives less than a mile from the Marylhurst campus.] I feel a lot happier. I have a lot left in me. The notion of being 49 years old and sitting on the sidelines just didn’t feel right.


ROBIN DOUSSARD


PHOTO BY ADAM BACHER




To comment, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

More Articles

The Bookseller

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Everyone knows college is expensive, but a look at the numbers brings that into sharp — and painful — focus.


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits announced

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

100NP14logo4WebOregon Business magazine has named the sixth annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon.


Read more...

Shuffling the Deck

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JON BELL

Oregon tribes still bet on casinos.


Read more...

Water World

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 26, 2014
0926 iphone6-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

This post focuses on the recent release of the new Apple iPhone as well as Alibaba's IPO, the largest U.S. IPO in history.


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


Read more...

Downtime

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

I'm not very interesting,” says a modest Ray Di Carlo, CEO and executive producer of Bent Image Labs, an animation and visual effects studio.


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