Pres Schill moves on to regional college in NW Illinois

Dear University of Oregon community members,

It is with mixed emotions of pride and sadness that I announce that President Michael H. Schill will be leaving the University of Oregon to become president of Northwestern University. During his seven-year tenure at the UO, President Schill has significantly propelled the university forward, and so it is no surprise that he would be recruited by one of the most prestigious academic research institutions in the world.

As president, Michael Schill transformed our academic enterprise by increasing the size of the faculty, growing externally funded research to $172 million, and launching groundbreaking academic endeavors including the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, and partnerships such as Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance. During his tenure, the UO completed a $3.2 billion fundraising campaign and grew the endowment to $1.3 billion. Under President Schill’s Oregon Commitment initiative to improve student success, the university improved the four-year graduation rate by more than ten percentage points, increased total student financial aid to $43 million, and opened Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall dedicated to academic and career advising and the Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center. The incoming undergraduate classes consistently increased in size, academic quality, and diversity, with the most recent class of 2025 breaking numerous university records.

I and the other members of the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon are immensely grateful for President Schill’s service and leadership to this university, and its faculty, staff, and students. We are also extremely excited and optimistic about the future of the university. From this place of strength and success, with exceptional leadership, outstanding faculty, world-class students, and the impactful work of our schools, colleges, Knight Campus, Ballmer Institute, academic initiatives, and more—the University of Oregon heads into the future with great optimism and momentum. We are prepared for a new era of excellence, impact, and service to our students, community, and world as one of the country’s leading public research universities.

The board will move expeditiously to appoint an interim president. The interim president is expected to begin their service prior to the start of the academic year. At the board’s regular board meeting on September 15-16, trustees will discuss the launch of and process for an international search for the university’s permanent president.President Schill leaves a lasting legacy of excellence at the University of Oregon. The board thanks him for his transformational leadership and looks forward to all he will accomplish at Northwestern.

Sincerely,Ginevra Ralph
Chair, Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon
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41 Responses to Pres Schill moves on to regional college in NW Illinois

  1. honest Uncle Gangsta says:

    It’s probably a good thing. A U. Chicago real estate law professor, not Saul Bellow or Enrico Fermi. His main achievement is the “Knight Campus” which is causing great damage to UO. And subsidiary damage centers e.g. the library, the honors college, the advising system … the fear of course is that the current provist might be running the works …

    • How? says:

      There is much to criticize but please explain how the Knight Campus is causing “great damage” to UO. I hear this all the time without anyone ever citing one specific example.

      • uomatters says:

        We did have to pay $5M for the chilling plant upgrade for their AC, but not sure I’d call that great damage.

      • thedude says:

        “The law school continues” to do great damage to UO.

        There, fixed it for you.

        If there’s a giant sucking sound for revenue and funding for the liberal arts on campus, it’s the law school.

      • honest Uncle Gangsta says:

        I tried to answer here but for whatever reason, it never got posted.

  2. Follow the $ says:

    What’s the old and new salaries? I read Northwestern president made over $2 million, about double UO, which is about 50x what some PhDs make at UO.

    • Townie says:

      Interestingly Schill was also a candidate for the UW position that Blank got

  3. Townie says:

    Schill starts his next position in 3 weeks. UO is likely scrambling to find a replacement. Lillis, Phillips, Lariviere, etc.?

    After 7 years of Schill, UO is now even closer to being a private university. To me UO is less impoverished now and acts like a wannabee alt-USC North.

  4. Thedude says:

    Publish. The football coach to President ratios for salaries comparing the two schools. I bet the salaries are flipped.

  5. saywhat? says:

    NW Illinois? Just north of Chicago. On Lake Michigan.
    Cute is one thing, but geography, please.

  6. Observer says:

    Here’s our chance to get Barbara Altmann back.

  7. KeepingItReal says:

    UO’s gain, Northwestern’s loss. Wonder who the Board will pick as the next corporatocratic crony (ahem, I mean president)…

  8. Dworkin says:

    Word is that Dean M Burke of U if O law school is odds on favorite to be acting president,

    • uomatters says:

      She’s done a great job raiding undergrad tuition to prop up the law school’s USNWR rankings, but I don’t see how that can scale to the whole university.

      • KeepingItReal says:

        In addition to screwing over undergrads in order to boost Oregon Law rankings, Dean Burke has also gutted academic support for law students, hiked tuition significantly year-over-year (with a chilling effect on student diversity at an already incredibly white law school), and continued to protect a law professor who infamously dressed in blackface at a Halloween party (months before Burke’s arrival at UO) that this professor invited students to (even after the UO paid $100,000 for a report that concluded that this professor had discriminatorily harassed students by doing so). The number of policy actions from law faculty and students that Burke has simply ignored is staggering. If you think Schill was a blow to “shared governance,” wait until you see what a Interim President Burke would have in store.

        • Dworkin says:

          Picky, picky, picky.

        • Thatsnotcorrect says:

          Come on, now. Academic support did not exist at the law school before Dean Burke arrived. She created the department out of nothing and invested in it in a way that no prior law dean has, and it is currently growing.

          • KeepingItReal says:

            Growing? Hahaha, cutting 1L doctrinal-class ACE tutors is “growing” academic support?

            My friend, despite your username, you are in fact not correct.

    • Townie says:

      Sometimes I think the comment section of this blog should be shutdown. Where did you hear that rumor?

      • Dworkin says:

        The U of O Law School.

        • Anonymous says:

          Perhaps you’ve also heard this one, then.

          Rumor is that Schill wasn’t Northwestern’s first choice, or their second one, for the opening.

          • uomatters says:

            Chuck Lillis’s first choice for UO Pres was Condi Rice, not Mike Schill. Not making that up.

          • Townie says:

            It would surprise me that he wasn’t their second choice. We know he wasn’t their first, that is basically public knowledge. Even so, he is a strong pick for NU. Schill secured three of the 20 largest gifts in higher-ed history during his tenure. To me his accomplishments at UO in 7 years time dwarf his predecessors, going back 35 years or more.

            Now I don’t agree with every decision, but like a poster on Reddit basically said, love him or hate him, Schill has great execution.

            • Anonymous says:

              No, he wasn’t first or second in this *new* search. Two people turned it down before him. Cannot tell you how I know, but I know.

              • Townie says:

                Interesting. Maybe a few years down the line you can post what you know. Hopefully this blog still exists then.

  9. ahem! says:

    to a college in NW Illinois? I thought Northwestern was north of Chitown. Which is in NE Illinois last time I was there. I checked with Uncle Bernie, he says “it is so.” Did they move Lake Michigan or something?

    • uomatters says:

      They call a college in *Illinois* “Northwestern” and I’m the one you think needs to study geography?

      • saywhat? says:

        Northwestern was established to serve the former Northwest Territory back when the newbies were trapping beaver in these parts.

        • uomatters says:

          I’m hoping Schill isn’t making a big mistake. According to Google, Northwestern is a regional Christian university, mostly known for its online nursing program:

          • bigger and better says:

            “At NU, opportunities for fun abound, from hiking and snowboarding to watching the 2014 Super Bowl Champions, the Seattle Seahawks.”

            The hot take is Schill must have decided he gave Ducks football the very best he could and now yearns for proximity to and influence over a championship NFL team.

  10. Townie says:

    From Wiki:

    “According to the publication the The Chronicle of Higher Education, as of 2022, UO has received three of the twenty largest gifts in the history of higher education. The Chronicle’s list includes prominent global initiatives such as the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, and the George Soros funded Open Society University Network. All gifts were received during Schill’s tenure as president.”

  11. AnotherClassified says:

    It’s AV classroom support/infrastructure is way more advanced than UO. I’ve toured their facilities. Better than Knight campus. His homily re non science endeavors is absolutely disgusting..
    Ps hi all I’ve retired! Goog luck!

  12. Part time says:

    I read Schill was taking monthly trips to Chicago since he came to Oregon. I thought UO President was a full time job.

  13. New Year Cat says:

    Isn’t three weeks kind of short notice to leave this level of job? Or have I not been paying attention due to too many Cat Naps?

    • Fishwrapper says:

      Not if you don’t care about the school you’re leaving…

    • thedude says:

      How many of us would leave for a tenured job at IVY league in our home town that doubled our salary?

      Probably 90 percent of us right?

      • just different says:

        I think the point is that Schill always had his eye on that job or one like it. More corporate CEO job-hopping mentality.

      • Ivy pruner says:

        Northwestern is not in the Ivy League. It’s just another wannabe, like Stanford.