The Oregon Senate voted Thursday, Sept. 22, to confirm SOU alumnus, Daniel P. Santos, J.D., of Salem, to the Board of Trustees of Southern Oregon University (SOU).

Most recently, after over two decades of service to four Oregon governors, Santos served as Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administration at Willamette University College of Law. He oversaw student recruitment, student services, placement activities, and administrative duties at the law school.

“The board welcomes Danny Santos, a distinguished SOU alumnus, back to his alma mater,” said Bill Thorndike, chair of the SOU board of trustees. “Danny brings to the board valuable expertise in higher education as well as decades of service among the highest levels of state government. He’s a perfect fit.”

Santos was a senior policy advisor for Gov. Ted Kulongoski and worked on an array of issues including tribal and labor relations, collective bargaining, housing, education and military services. In the first administration of Gov. John Kitzhaber, Santos served as legal counsel, education policy coordinator, and worked on juvenile and adult criminal justice issues. Santos was Gov. Barbara Roberts’ legal counsel and chair of the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision. He also served as Deputy Citizen’s Representative and director of the Commission on Agricultural Labor in Gov. Neil Goldschmidt’s administration.

“Whether I was serving in the Office of the Governor or in our educational institutions, a constant truth for me has been that we all benefit when we invest in education. This privilege to serve on the Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees helps me pay back the great investment SOU made in me,” said Santos.

Santos earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology at SOU in 1975 followed by a juris doctorate from Willamette University College of Law. Before entering government service, Santos worked at Marion & Polk Legal Services, supervised the Oregon Migrant Education Service Center, and directed the Jackson County Migrant Education Program.

Santos was a founding member of Scholarships for Oregon Latinos, Willamette Academy and Oregon Mentors/Institute for Youth Success. He currently serves on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Mid-Valley Literacy Center boards. His numerous honors include the Paul J. DeMuniz Professionalism Award from the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association, the Judge Mercedes Deiz Award from Oregon Women Lawyers, Oregon State Bar Diversity & Inclusion Office recognition, and the Oregon Human Development Corporation’s Golden Aztec Award. In 1990, Southern Oregon University named him one of its distinguished alumni.