After a nationwide search, three finalists have been selected in the search for a new president of Southern Oregon University. The finalists were recommended to the SOU board of trustees by the Presidential Search Committee, which was comprised of key members of both internal and external constituent groups, including, but not limited to, the board of trustees; SOU faculty, staff, alumni, and students; an Oregon public university president; and members of the Rogue Valley community.

Each of the three finalists will visit Southern Oregon in coming days to meet with various SOU constituent groups as well as hold town hall-style forums that will be open to the public. 

The first of the finalists to arrive on campus will be Dr. Michael Tidwell, who is scheduled to visit the SOU campuses on May 25 and 26. Tidwell currently serves as dean of the College of Business at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti. He holds a doctorate in organizational studies from Washington State University, a master’s degree in communication, also from WSU, and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Ball State University. 

Prior to his role as dean of the College of Business at Eastern Michigan, Tidwell held various positions in higher education teaching and administration, including dean of the College of Business at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, assistant dean for the School of Business at Clayton State University, and numerous faculty appointments. 

The public will have an opportunity to meet and ask questions of Tidwell during an open forum at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, in Room 151 in the Science Building at SOU.

“We are hoping that not only our campus community, but the entire Rogue Valley will want to be involved in this process and meet these candidates,” said Bill Thorndike, chair of the SOU board of trustees. “We will be soliciting feedback from all who attend, and that input is very important in our decision-making process.”

The other finalists will be announced in advance of their visit early in June. More information on the search and the candidate is available at