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The Oregonian: Two university leaders join the Oregon State Board of Higher Education
Author: Bill Graves, The Oregonian
Posted: May 29, 2012

Originally published Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Read the original article in The Oregonian here.  


The Oregon Senate today confirmed the appointment of two university leaders to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education.

James Middleton,  president of Central Oregon Community College, will replace Preston Pulliams,  president of Portland Community College, on the board beginning July 1.

Orcilia Zuniga Forbes,  an experienced higher education administrator who most recently served as vice president of university advancement at Oregon State University, will become the first of three additional members on the state board. The Legislature last year increased the size of the board to 15 members. Her term also begins July 1.

Gov. John Kitzhaber appointed both Middleton and Forbes to the board and reappointed Jim Francesconi,  a Portland attorney who has served on the board since 2007, to another term. The state board oversees the seven public universities in the Oregon University System.

Middleton has been president at COCC since 2004, during which time the college has doubled enrollment. He previously led the College of Marin in California and was an administrator for 11 years at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport. He has several degrees in literature, including a doctorate from the University of Michigan.

Forbes served in administrative posts for two decades at Portland State University and another decade at the University of New Mexico. She also worked as a school nurse in Minnesota. She has nursing and public health degrees and a doctorate in education policy and management from the University of Oregon.

Francesconi served as vice president on the state board for two years and two terms as a Portland city commissioner. He is a co-founder of Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN), which provides before- and after-school programs. He is also founding member of the Oregon Idea, which works to unite the business community, community colleges, universities and Oregon Health & Science University in advocating for more resources for higher education.

–Bill Graves