Ron Saxton, New OAICU President

January 7, 2016

 PORTLAND, Ore. — Ron Saxton, one of Oregon’s most respected business, civic and educational leaders, is the new president of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities (The Alliance).  He succeeds Larry Large who retired at the end of December.

“Ron Saxton has a long and distinguished legal and business career,” said The Alliance Search Committee Chair Lesley Hallick, president of Pacific University.  “His dedication and commitment to educational issues and public service make Ron an ideal leader for Oregon’s private colleges and universities.”

Saxton co-founded the Ater Wynne law firm in Portland and served as its chair.  He is currently a partner and senior advisor at Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt, where he will continue his association while assuming The Alliance leadership. Previously he was a member of the leadership team an JELD-WEN, including roles as executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

The founding president of Portland Schools Foundation, Saxton has played a major role in education leadership across the region.  He was a member and chair of the Portland Public School Board and served as chair of the education committee of the Oregon Business Council.  Additionally he has served on the boards of Association of Oregon Industries, Portland Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. Former Governor John Kitzhaber appointed Saxton to the Oregon Education Investment Board.

In 2006 he was the Republican nominee for governor of Oregon.  Saxton hold a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University and a law degree from the University of Virginia.

The Alliance Board of Trustees Board Chair Merrit Quarum, CEO of Qmedtrix Systems, Inc., said, “We are excited to welcome a leader of Ron Saxton’s caliber to head The Alliance.  Ron’s outstanding work in law, in business and in education will certainly help us to continue to strengthen Oregon’s independent colleges and universities to best serve our communities.”

Former Alliance President Larry Large was in the role since January of 2012.  He led major initiatives at The Alliance to enhance outreach and communications, and to bring a greater understanding to Oregonians about the value of private higher education and the many contributions it makes throughout the state. Large is the president emeritus of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, served as the interim president of Willamette University in 2010 and has a distinguished and noteworthy career in both public and private university leadership positions including Reed College, the University of Oregon, Sierra Nevada College and the Oregon University System.

“Larry Large transformed The Alliance into a more visible and unified organization and he greatly advanced our work and the linkages between the colleges and universities and our business and government partners,” said Quarum.  “We are greatly appreciative of his work.”

The Alliance represents 18 of Oregon’s regionally accredited, not-for-profit private higher education institutions. Together, Alliance colleges and universities enroll more than 37,000 students and deliver approximately 30% of all baccalaureate degrees and higher awarded in Oregon. The Alliance intersects the needs of business and industry, private non-for-profit colleges and universities, and the public good to create real solutions that build a more educated and skilled workforce for Oregon.

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