JPR Foundation opts for mediation with SOU over director's job

The Jefferson Public Radio Foundation voted Thursday night to enter into mediation with Southern Oregon University over whether Ron Kramer should no longer be executive director over both the foundation and JPR.

SOU spokesman Jim Beaver said the board took the vote after a presentation by SOU President Mary Cullinan. The two sides hope to resolve issues raised in a recent audit before a contract between SOU and JPR comes up for renewal in June.

The Oregon University System audit called into question Kramer's leadership of both JPR and its fundraising arm, citing a potential conflict of interest, and deemed the financial risk to SOU as "high" should the issues not be resolved.

It concluded the foundation's debt radio was twice as high as recommended, and said the foundation's need for $7 million in cash to fund the Holly Theatre restoration and move JPR's studios to Medford could put a strain on SOU's fundraising efforts for its own projects.

Kramer has said being executive director of the foundation is part of his job description and that separating the two positions would increase costs and could threaten the assets of the foundation.

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