SOU's Cullinan a finalist for another university presidency
Southern Oregon University President Mary Cullinan is seeking a new job for the second time this month.
The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., reported today that Cullinan is one of three finalists to succeed retiring Eastern Washington University President Rodolfo ArÃ©valo.
Cullinan, along with Tim Mescon, president of Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga., and Rex Fuller, provost and vice president for academic affairs at EWU, were chosen from a pool of 60 candidates, the Spokesman-Review said.
The candidates will interview at EWU from May 29 through June 5, the paper said. Cullinan's interview is scheduled for June 4-5.
The three finalists will have an opportunity to interact with students, faculty, staff and community members, university spokesman Dave Meany told the paper. They will also visit the EWU Spokane campus at Riverpoint, he said.
ArÃ©valo will retire in July after eight years as president of EWU.
Earlier this month, Cullinan was one of three finalists for the presidency at Youngstown State University in Ohio, but the board of trustees instead chose Jim Tressel, Youngstown's former football coach.
The search committee at Youngstown had failed to report to the trustees that Cullinan was the subject of a no-confidence vote at SOU, according to numerous Youngstown-area news outlets.
In March, 63 percent of faculty at SOU voted that they were not confident in Cullinan's leadership. The vote was just below a two-thirds threshold that faculty needed to make a formal recommendation to the Oregon chancellor for Cullinan's removal.
The vote came a few weeks after the SOU administration settled a new contract with faculty, which didn't include any cost-of-living increases. SOU had also finalized a retrenchment plan, aiming to cut $6.1 million from the annual budget and eliminate 80 positions through layoffs and retirements over the next five years.
Faculty stressed that the vote was based on the administration's behavior over a long period of time, not just recent events.
During a televised forum at Youngstown, Cullinan said she would love to move into a more urban environment and didn't feel that she would be abandoning SOU if she had been selected.
"I've been there eight years, that's really not jumping ship," said Cullinan. "Presidents don't typically last that long."
When it was first announced that Cullinan was a finalist at Youngstown, she said then she hadn't applied for any other positions.