Richard Chaves

Richard Chaves

LA GRANDE — The Eastern Oregon University Board of Trustees unanimously elected Richard Chaves of Baker City to serve as chairman of the board through November 2021.

Chaves, a member of the EOU governing board since its inception in 2015, is a business owner in Baker County and an alumnus of the university.

“EOU instilled in me that I had what it took to do whatever I chose to do. It taught me that rural communities have a lot of advantages,” Chaves said. “The chance to make a difference in altering the paths of young peoples’ lives, that’s what it’s all about and that’s what nourishes my soul.”

Chaves served on the EOU Foundation Board of Directors prior to joining the school’s governing board. He highlighted several priorities for his term, including an increased presence in Salem, a focus on creative problem-solving, and willingness to make tough decisions and stand behind them.

Board members met in a hybrid format, with some on-campus wearing masks and physically distant and others participating via Zoom.

Chaves replaces David Nelson, a Pendleton resident, who was appointed to be a founding member of EOU’s independent governing board when it was established in 2015.

Trustees recognized retiring Board Chair Nelson, and welcomed incoming members Karyn Gomez and Danny Bailey.

Gomez, a professor in the College of Education, was appointed to serve as the faculty trustee, and Bailey, who works in the Financial Aid Office as the scholarship coordinator, was appointed to serve as staff trustee. New shared governance leaders for the coming academic year were also in attendance.

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