Board of Higher Education leadership changes: The Oregon Board of Higher Education unanimously chose Matthew Donegan of Forest Capital Partners as president in mid-June and Jill Eiland of Intel as vice president.

American Idol visits Portland

If you’re a superstar in the dorm shower stalls, heads up: Fox TV hit American Idol will come to Portland for the first time ever this Saturday at the Rose Garden Arena.

Pre-registration for the auditions is Thursday and Friday. After performers receive wristbands, they’ll line up at the arena Saturday morning to await tryout times.

Board of Higher Education leadership changes

The Oregon Board of Higher Education unanimously chose Matthew Donegan of Forest Capital Partners as president in mid-June and Jill Eiland of Intel as vice president. The elections mark the end of the terms served by Board President Paul Kelly and Vice President Jim Francesconi. Donegan and Eiland will lead the Board through 2013.

“It’s an important and exciting time in higher education as we work to ensure access and equity for Oregonians,” said Kelly. “All of the Board is excited to work with this new leadership team.”

Donegan co-founded Forest Capital Partners, one of the largest producers of sustainable forest products in the nation. He’s worked with John Kitzhaber, currently as a member of the governor’s Education Investment Team and previously as the co-chair of a transition group focusing on creating jobs around biomass energy.

Eiland is Intel’s corporate affairs manager for the Northwest and a board member of the Portland Business Alliance and Oregon Idea.

Also at the mid-June elections, the Board renewed the contracts of Eastern Oregon University President Bob Davies and University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere.

Vice Provost Melody Rose becomes president of City Club

Portland State Vice Provost Melody Rose was chosen June 17 to be the president of City Club of Portland, the heavyweight nonpartisan civic organization.

In her inaugural address, Rose suggested that PSU and the 95-year-old club hold the same mission of public service.

“Both institutions serve as conveners of the public good,” Rose said. “The City Club is needed now more than ever. We may be 95 years old, but we need to be nimble, and we need to be responsive.”

Rose is a political scientist, author and the founder and director of PSU’s Center for Women, Politics and Policy.

Lincoln Hall renovation earns LEED Platinum

100-year-old Lincoln Hall was honored June 22 by the first LEED Platinum certification to be received by a Portland State building.

“We aim for Gold on all of our new construction and renovation projects,” said PSU President Wim Wiewel.

Home to the School of Fine and Performing Arts, Lincoln Hall was built in 1911 as a high school and then became the cornerstone of PSU’s fledgling campus in 1952.

The Oregon Legislature funded the $31 million renovation of Lincoln Hall with government stimulus dollars and appropriations. Construction targeted the hall’s public performance space and rehearsal, classroom and lab facilities.

Solar panels on the roof supplement electricity and over 300 energy-efficient windows were installed.

OUS operating budget approved

The Oregon University System’s  2011–12 operating budget (SB 5532) passed through the House last Wednesday, marking the final step in legislative approval. OUS’ capital construction budget (SB 5533) hasn’t yet passed the Senate or House.

Appropriations from the State General Fund and Lottery Fund total $708.7 million, a 14 percent reduction from the 2009–11 final budget and a lower sum than Gov. John Kitzhaber’s recommended OUS budget of $743.2 million.

Paul Kelly, president of the State Board of Higher Education, thanked Kitzhaber for his support.

“This continues to be a tough fiscal environment,” Kelly said. “We know that there are many competing demands for state funding.”

The recent passage of SB 242—the well-known OUS autonomy bill—will allow universities to continue gains in enrollment and retention by granting universities the ability to control costs and revenues, he added. ?