Southern Oregon University

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Southern Oregon University
Souther Oregon University seal.png
Former names
Ashland Academy
Ashland College
Ashland College and Normal School
Ashland Collegiate Institute
Southern Oregon State Normal School
Southern Oregon Normal School
Southern Oregon College of Education
Southern Oregon College
Southern Oregon State College
PresidentLinda Schott
ProvostSusan Walsh
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students6,203 (Fall 2014)[1]
Undergraduates4,490 (Fall 2014)
Postgraduates752 (Fall 2014)
Location, ,
United States

Coordinates: 42°11′10″N 122°41′38″W / 42.186°N 122.694°W / 42.186; -122.694
CampusRural College Town
175 acres (71 ha)
ColorsRed & Black         
Cascade Collegiate Conference
Sports12 Varsity Teams
MascotRed Tailed Hawk

Southern Oregon University (SOU) is a public university in Ashland, Oregon. Founded in 1926, it was formerly known as Southern Oregon College and Southern Oregon State College. It is headquarters for Jefferson Public Radio and public access station Rogue Valley Television. Southern Oregon University is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.


Southern Oregon University began as Ashland Academy in 1872, founded in part by Reverend Henry Skidmore of Oregon's Methodist Episcopal Church.[2] In 1878, the school was renamed Ashland College, and then renamed Ashland College and Normal School in 1879. In 1887, the State of Oregon proclaimed the school an official state normal school. However, the state did not provide any funding for the school, and in 1890 the school closed.[2] In 1892, the school selected a new site in the city with financial assistance from Methodists in Portland, and construction began on what was named the Ashland Collegiate Institute.[2] The school reopened in 1895 as the Southern Oregon State Normal School, and state funding began in 1899.[3]

Students in the manual training program at Ashland Normal School in 1908.

In 1904, the school became a full state school, but funding was eliminated in 1909, leading to the closing of the campus.[citation needed] In 1926, the state reestablished Southern Oregon State Normal School in Ashland at a new location on land donated by the city, where the university is currently located.[4] The residents of Ashland passed the "Normal School Site Bonds" to build the new facility. The building was later named Churchill Hall after the Normal School' president Churchill who oversaw the relocation project. Churchill now serves as Southern's administrative building, with the president's office on the first level. Churchill Hall closely resembles Eastern Oregon University's Inlow Hall. Both buildings were built at during the same time from the same architecture semantics. The buildings were designed by architect John Bennes and retain their original Renaissance style.

In 1932, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education renamed the institute Southern Oregon Normal School. In 1939, the state board eliminated normal schools in Oregon. The university received full accreditation from the American Association of Teachers Colleges. With the accreditation, Oregon Governor Charles A. Sprague signed into law the bill changing the institution's name to Southern Oregon College of Education.[2] In 1956, the university underwent another name change, to Southern Oregon College to reflect the institute's diverse degree options. In 1975, it was renamed Southern Oregon State College. In 1979 Dr. Natale Sicuro became president and led the movement in 1997, it officially became Southern Oregon University.

In the spring of 2014 the faculty of Southern Oregon University held a vote of no confidence in President Mary Cullinan, Provost James Klein, and Vice President of Finance and Administration Craig Morris, citing a failure in leadership and fiscal mismanagement. 83% of the faculty participated in the vote, with 76% of those faculty expressing no confidence in Cullinan, 84% expressing no confidence in Klein, and 92% expressing no confidence in Morris.[5] Cullinan and Klein subsequently left the University.

In 2014, Roy Saigo signed on as the university's interim president. He served until the end of 2015-16 school year.


Southern Oregon University consists of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, and the School of Education. In addition to the main campus, classes are offered on the university's satellite campus in downtown Medford. The main campus is home to an Oregon Health Science University satellite campus, which maintains a school of nursing. An Honors College was inaugurated in 2013.

The College of Arts and Sciences was formed in 2007 by combining the SOU School of Arts & Letters, School of Sciences, and the School of Social Sciences.[6] In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked Southern as the 71st best amongst the regional universities in the west.[7]

Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University Higher Education Center[edit]

Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College worked together to implement the guidelines of the white paper "Annexation of Jackson County to the District of Rogue Community College," signed on March 6, 1996. During the 1997–99 biennium, Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University received regional partnership funding from the legislature to jointly launch several new initiatives to provide additional access for a larger number of residents in southern Oregon. Construction on the downtown Medford center broke ground March 2007 and was completed September 2008.[8] The three-story, 68,700-square-foot (6,380 m2) center includes classrooms, science labs, computer labs, a Prometric Testing Center and the Business Center. The Higher Education Center offers lower- and upper-division level courses, as well as three master's degree programs: Master in Business Administration (offered in a cohort format with classes held on Saturdays), Master in Management (courses offered online and at night), and the Master of Arts in Teaching (a two-year, part-time version of the Southern Oregon University one-year Master of Arts in Teaching program).[9]

Hannon Library[edit]

The library was named after Oregon state senator Lenn Hannon after he secured $20 million in government bonds and $3.5 million in private support. The Hannon Library finished construction in 2005. To show their support the board named initially named the library The Lenn and Dixie Hannon Library but was later changed to just Hannon Library. The library almost doubled the size of the existing library and making much needed room for expanding publications. The library also had many technological advancements that kept long term value for the community.[10]


The Siskiyou a student edited university paper staffed by student reporters and photographers. It is published online each Wednesday during the academic year.

Campus life[edit]

Many of the majors offered at the university have associated clubs. There are clubs for hobbies, sports, and music, as well as continued support for multiculturalism.[11] Southern Oregon University students are involved in community arts. Outside magazine rated Southern Oregon University 20th on a list of U.S. universities in 2003, based on recreational opportunities.[12]

Student activities and support are supplemented by a number of resource centers on campus. The Women's Resource Center, Ecology Center of the Siskiyous, Commuter Resource Center, and the Queer Resource Center all provide services, resources, and events to their respective communities. The university is represented on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Student Association.

There are several Residence Halls on campus, as well as family housing complexes.

  • The Greensprings Complex consists of four halls: Applegate, Bear Creek, Crater Lake, and Deschutes.
  • The oldest residence hall on campus, Susanne Homes, was built in the 1940s. Susanne Homes (Suzy) is now the home to ROTC, The Honors College, CORE, and the Southern Oregon University McNair Program. Only ROTC students live in the building currently. The main area of the building called "the Fishbowl" is used by all four groups on a shared basis.
  • The Madrone Apartment complex consists of Apartments, each of which contain four bedrooms, two bathrooms (one shower and either one bathtub or one ADA compliant shower), and one kitchen and living room area. The Madrone Apartments opened in September 2005.
  • The newest residence halls on campus are Shasta Hall and McLoughlin Hall. There is also a new dining hall, The Hawk.
  • The Old Mill Village is a complex of apartments specifically for students attending Southern Oregon University who have families. The university also has houses available to qualified students.

A new residence complex, the North Campus Village, began construction in the Spring of 2012 and opened in the Fall of 2013.


Southern Oregon sports teams, known as the Raiders, have the Red-tailed Hawk as a mascot. The Raiders are a member of the NAIA, primarily competing in the Cascade Collegiate Conference. Men's sports include basketball, cross country, football, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, track & field and volleyball. Southern Oregon's football team competes in the Frontier Conference, winning the NAIA championship in 2014, and its wrestling team competes as an Independent in the NAIA West Regional, winning the National Wrestling Championship four times: in 1978, 1983, 1994, and 2001.[13]

Notable people[edit]

Past presidents[edit]

  • Julius A. Churchill
  • Walter Redford
  • Elmo Stevenson
  • James K. Sours (1969-1978)
  • Natale A. Sicuro (1979–1986)
  • Joseph (Joe) Cox (1987–1994)
  • Stephen Reno (1994–2000)
  • Sara Hopkins-Powell (interim president, 2000–2001)
  • Elisabeth Zinser (2001–2006)
  • Mary Cullinan (2006–2014)


  1. ^ "Southern Oregon University OUS Gray Book". Oregon University System.
  2. ^ a b c d Kreisman, Authur. Remembering: A History of Southern Oregon University . Eugene, Ore.: University of Oregon Press, 2002.
  3. ^ History of Ashland Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Chronological History of the Institutions of the Oregon University System Archived 2006-09-06 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Professor: 'There is right now a climate of fear at SOU'". 2014-03-17. Archived from the original on 2014-09-08.
  6. ^ Southern Oregon University Official website
  7. ^ Siemers, Erik (September 14, 2011). "UofO 101st, OSU 138th in U.S. News rankings". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  8. ^ Darling, John (March 21, 2007). "RCC-SOU Joint Project Breaks Mold". Medford Mail Tribune. Dow Jones Local Media Group. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  9. ^ RCC/SOU Higher Education Center
  10. ^ "Lenn and Dixie Hannon - Hannon Library at Southern Oregon University". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Multicultural Resource Center". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Outside University Archived 2010-09-20 at the Wayback Machine". Outside. Retrieved 2006-05-05.
  13. ^ "NAIA Wrestling Championship History" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Devin Cole MMA Bio". Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  15. ^ "Agnes Baker Pilgrim". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Rick Story UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  17. ^ "NFL - Patrick Donahue über den Sprung in die NFL: "Ich werde es schaffen"". 5 May 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Moritz Boehringer's teammate, Patrick Donahue, headed to Packers' rookie camp". Retrieved 6 April 2018.

External links[edit]