Meet Dr. Kelly A. Ryan, EOU’s new President

Interview by Mary Grace Shirk

With a unanimous vote, Dr. Kelly A. Ryan was named Eastern Oregon University’s 13th president on May 9. She will begin her tenure as president on July 1. 

Ryan is currently the interim chancellor of Indiana University SE and previously held various positions at the university, including executive vice president chancellor for academic affairs, dean of the school of social sciences, coordinator for the department of history, and professor of history. 

With a bachelor’s degree in history from George Mason University, a master’s degree in history from Boston College, and a Ph.D. in history from University of Maryland College Park, Ryan has acquired a solid educational foundation. This education has equipped her with an understanding of historical contexts, critical analysis skills, and the ability to engage in research and discourse. 

EOU caught Ryan’s attention due to the university’s mission and values, which align closely with her own beliefs about service and the power of education.

“The reason why I am interested in higher education is because of the transformative power of education. By making education affordable, we’re making it possible to expand the pie,” Ryan said.

Ryan hopes to expand on what’s already good at EOU, with an emphasis on the in-person experience. 

Ryan also plans to increase the online offerings, saying that “part of that mission of expanding the number of college-goers is meeting them where they are, and having the flexibility of online education is important.” She added, “One of the really key things about me is I’m a community-engaged person. I really want to be a part of this community and the people we serve in this region.”

Under Ryan’s leadership, you can expect to see more things like the rec center, the Walk for Life program, and increased connections with La Grande Main Street Downtown to bring students out there, creating more opportunities for things to do. 

When asked if she had anything to say to the students of EOU, Ryan explained that she wants to listen to what students have to say and their concerns, as well as their hopes, dreams, and desires. 

“I am interested in your success. I want you to come here, either online or face-to-face, and have transformative experiences,” she said. 

Spread the love