Richard Jarvis named Oregon higher ed chancellor

Richard Jarvis, 53, was named the new chancellor of the Oregon University System by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education Friday, May 17, at their meeting.

Jarvis is the current chancellor of the United States Open University, which is an online university. Jarvis has served as the founding chancellor since 1999.

Jarvis said one of the reasons he might have gotten the Oregon University Systems position is because of his previous chancellor work in Nevada. Jarvis was the chancellor of the University and Community College System of Nevada for five years.

Jarvis said that he really liked the West. He said that across the country, the Oregon University System is a well-known, classy system.

During his recent visit to Oregon, Jarvis came to Portland State University and said he plans to spend a lot of his time in Portland. The official chancellor’s house is located in Eugene, but Jarvis said he might also get an apartment in Portland.

He talked about the sense of vitality and liveliness of an urban school.

“I believe in the urban mission,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis said that a university like Portland State is critical to the whole state and that he is excited to work with the variety of universities in the Oregon University System. He hopes to find a mix that works with the entire system.

Jarvis said a chancellor’s main job is to coordinate the activities of the different campuses. He went on to say that the reason why the different campuses need to be in a collaborative effort is to get state support.

“Otherwise we would be battling against each other for resources,” Jarvis said.

For positions like the chancellorship, the state board hires an executive search firm to recruit people. Jarvis was asked if he was interested in the position, and he was.

In the Oregon University System, the chancellor is hired on a two-year contract. At the end of the two years, the chancellor must undergo a performance evaluation.

Jarvis will start work in Oregon on Aug. 1. He will be the 11th chancellor of the Oregon University System. The chancellor position is expected to pay an annual salary of $190,000.

“I hope students come to know me as someone who understands students,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis said he desires to teach in Oregon in order to be closely involved with students.

Jarvis began as a lecturer in geography at Durham University in England in 1973.

He was born in England and earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from Cambridge University.

Quickly Jarvis’ career progressed. He was on the faculty at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1974. He also served as director of interdisciplinary degree programs in social science, associate dean of social sciences and assistant to the president.

In 1987, Jarvis served as the vice president for academic affairs at the University of New York in Fredonia.

Jarvis was also the vice provost for academic programs, the acting provost and the vice chancellor for academic affairs of the State University of New York System in 1990.

His career then moved west to Nevada and finally here to Oregon.