Departure of President Schill to lead Northwestern University

OU Board Chair Ginevra Ralph sent the following message to the campus community on August 11:

Dear members of the University of Oregon community,

It is with a mixture of pride and sadness that I announce that President Michael H. Schill will leave the University of Oregon to become President of Northwestern University. During his seven-year tenure at UO, President Schill has propelled the university forward considerably, and so it is no surprise that he is recruited by one of the university’s premier research institutions. most prestigious in the world.

As President, Michael Schill transformed our university enterprise by increasing faculty size to 800, growing externally funded research to $172 million, and launching groundbreaking university projects, 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 increased the endowment to $1.3 billion. As part of 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 professional counseling and the Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center. Incoming undergraduate classes have steadily grown in size, academic quality, and diversity, with the most recent class of 2025 breaking many university records.

The other members of the University of Oregon Board of Trustees and I are extremely grateful for President Schill’s service and leadership to this university, 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 is heading into the future with great optimism and momentum. We are ready for a new era of excellence, impact, and service to our students, our community, and the world as one of the nation’s leading public research universities.

The board of directors will proceed quickly to appoint an interim president. The interim president is expected to begin his service before the start of the academic year. At the regular board meeting on September 15-16, trustees will discuss the university’s permanent president’s launch and international search process.

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.


Ginevra Ralph
Chair, University of Oregon Board of Trustees

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