UO selects new president: John Karl Scholz
The University of Oregon's Board of Trustees selected the school's next president at a meeting Monday morning.
The University of Oregon announced its new president today.
After a unanimous vote of approval by the board of trustees, John Karl Scholz, currently the provost of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was made the UO’s 19th president.
Scholz told a crowd inside the Student Welcome Center in Unthank Hall that he was honored and humbled, and that he looks forward to working with the world-class University of Oregon community.
“As you have heard, I’m an economist,” Scholz said light-heartedly to the crowd. “Economists are the people who have predicted twelve out of the last four recessions. And we’re the folks who didn’t have personalities good enough to be accountants.
“And accountants, if any of you are listening, please don’t send your irritated texts and emails, it’s a joke, alight?”
Scholz begins July 1st. He succeeds Michael Schill, who announced his departure last August to become president of Northwestern University.
Scholz was a finalist last year to become UW-Madison chancellor, but didn’t get the position. He said he and his wife are into running, reading, sports, and exploring the outdoors.
But he’s not the first Duck in the family.
“Middle daughter is a Ph.D student in vulcanology. Ah, volcanoes, not Star Trek,” he joked. “And I admit, has some mixed emotions. Like ‘Dad, this is MY thing! What are you showing up here?’ But we’ll do well with it.”
In a press release, UO Board of Trustees chair Ginverva Ralph said “We are thrilled and honored to welcome Karl Scholz to Oregon. He is a visionary leader with a deep passion for public higher education. He 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.”
The release goes on to say that Scholz’s economics expertise is in household savings, low-wage labor markets, financial barriers to higher education, and bankruptcy laws. He served in two presidential administrations, working in both the U.S. Treasury Department and the Council of Economic Advisors.
Scholz has been with the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1988, when he became an economics professor. He’s served as the UW-Madison’s provost since August of 2019.
According to the University of Wisconsin website, Scholz received his Ph.D from Stanford University and his undergradaute degree from Carleton College.
The UO said Scholz's selection came after a six-month search process by a 22-member search committee.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Scholz had previously announced his plans to step down as UW's provost, following a failed attempt on his part to be named university chancellor. Scholz said at the time that he intended to return to teaching in the UW's economics department.
The UO said interim president Patrick Phillips will remain at the university and will resume his role as a faculty member in the school's biology department.
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