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Interim president named at SOU

 Posted: 10:00 AM June 20, 2014

A president emeritus of a Minnesota college has been chosen as Southern Oregon University's interim president.

Roy Hirofumi Saigo, who was president of St. Cloud State University from 2000 to 2007, will take the reins starting July 1 while the State Board of Higher Education finds a replacement for Mary Cullinan, who's leaving to become president of Eastern Washington University.

Saigo's appointment was unanimous among the board, Melody Rose, chancellor of the Oregon University System, said in today's announcement.

Rose said Saigo is well-known in higher education circles as a "turnaround" leader. Saigo takes over just as SOU begins a retrenchment plan to cut at least $6 million and starts forming its own institutional governing board.

Saigo "will be able to build dialogue and understanding among the campus community and the region through his transparent approach to information sharing and collaboration," Rose said in a release.

Under Saigo's leadership, St. Cloud grew to 16,000 students with 175 majors and minors, the release said.

Saigo also served the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system in 2007-08 as distinguished senior fellow for academic affairs.

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