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Economist to be new VP for Academic Affairs

Irvin seems like a good choice. This was the job Woodruff-Borden was hired to do in 2019, before she somehow ended up as Interim Provost. Needless to say it’s very unlikely that she actually made this selection! Note that, in contrast to previous admin searches under her and Phillips, she takes care to note the Senate was actually consulted:

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce I have selected Renee Irvin, professor in the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management, to be the next vice provost for academic affairs. She will start July 1.

Renee joins the Office of the Provost where she will focus on supporting the academic success of UO faculty by overseeing personnel actions such as tenure, promotion, faculty performance reviews, post-tenure review, development plans and sabbaticals, as well as training and development of faculty members across their careers.

Renee has demonstrated strong leadership skills throughout her time at Oregon and brings expertise, academic rigor, and good judgment to the vice provost role.

Renee came to the UO in 2001 after serving on the faculty at the University of Nebraska – Omaha. She’s held several leadership positions at the UO, including interim director of the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management, head of the Department of Landscape Architecture, and associate dean for finance in the School of Architecture & Allied Arts.

She has served as founder and director of the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and of the Master of Nonprofit Management Programs, and director of the Master of Public Administration Program.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in German from the UO, graduating magna cum laude, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Washington. Her research interests include economics of nonprofit organizations and philanthropy.

Her academic honors include being named a Wayne Morse Center Resident Scholar; serving as president of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council; being appointed as an Ian Potter Foundation Visiting Fellow at the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, Queensland University of Technology; and receiving Public Administration Review’s 75th anniversary Most Influential Article award. Renee was invited to the White House Social Innovation and Civic Participation’s Convening on Community Foundations; was a Fulbright Scholar at Zhongshan University School of Governance; and received a University of Oregon Faculty Excellence Award.

I want to thank members of the search committee, which included members of the faculty, staff, academic leadership, and the University Senate.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Renee in her new role. 

Janet Woodruff-Borden
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President


  1. honest Uncle Bernie 06/22/2023

    Quiet here these days. Question: Supreme Court widely expected to curb “affirmative action.” What effect, if any, will that have on places like UO?

    • Heraclitus 06/23/2023

      How would we know? Are there any reliable data on the extent to which affirmative action (or any other nudges) influence admission at UO? Serious question, after googling.

      • Thedude 06/24/2023

        We’ve had a lot more out of state students. Question is how many of those got scholarships not due to merit or need but for other reasons which could include race.

        I don’t think it matters for admission because UO is a selective college, admitting only 94 percent of those who apply.

        • UO Matters Post author | 06/24/2023

          Yeah if the Republicans really want to destroy higher ed – and they do – they are going after the wrong kind of discrimination. Universities make their money off price discrimination, not racial discrimination (or reverse discrimination if you prefer). If the FTC was to prevent universities from charging higher tuition for richer and dumber students, faculty salaries would collapse. Hell, it might even be so bad they’d have to lay off some Ass Deans or golf coaches, god forbid.

        • honest Uncle Bernie 06/24/2023

          dude, I have to hand it to you: US News rates UO as “less selective” and Oregon State as “selective.” The latter has a slightly lower admission rate, and slightly higher SATs. A sad decline for UO.

          Another thing: UO appears now to have a male-female ratio of about 42-58%. It used to be close to 50-50. UO seems to have fallen out of the ranks of institutions that can attract the shrinking pool of males who are interested in higher education.

          Heraclitus: good luck getting the info you want. I imagine most institutions keep it pretty close to hand. You might have luck digging up the info for Harvard and UNC, because the legal process in the Supreme Court case probably has dug it out and made it publicly available.

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