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New University Presidents Coming to UO and PSU

Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2023

The Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon has named John Karl Scholz — an economist, professor, and current provost at University of Wisconsin-Madison — as the university’s 19th president. He will begin his appointment on July 1st this year. ARCS Oregon is looking forward to meeting and working with President Scholtz.

The trustees unanimously selected Scholz following a six-month international search conducted by a 22-member presidential search committee.  Ginevra Ralph, UO Board of Trustees Chair, said Scholtz “is deeply committed to the success of students, to the university’s research and liberal arts roots, and its focus on creating societal impact. Incoming President Scholz possesses all the qualities necessary to take the University of Oregon into its next ambitious era.” 

In addition to being a higher education leader, Scholz is a leading economist, national thought leader and professor whose economics expertise is in household savings, low-wage labor markets, financial barriers to higher education, and bankruptcy laws. Scholz is married to Melissa Scholz, an attorney focused on non-profit law. They have three daughters, one of whom is currently a PhD student in volcanology at the University of Oregon. 

Patrick Phillips, who served as interim president during the search process, will return to the UO faculty and continue to lead his biology lab.  The interim president, until Scholtz’ arrival, is Jamie Moffitt. Prior to serving as interim president, she was the university's senior vice president for finance and administration/chief financial officer.  

Portland State University has also announced its new president, Ann Cudd, who will take over the role in August. Cudd is currently Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh.  

Scholz said that he’s looking forward to working with incoming President Cudd at PSU, and with Oregon State president Jayathi Murthy. “I fully, fully anticipate we are going to be very collaborative to do the right thing for the state of Oregon, for the Pacific Northwest, for the world,” Scholz said.