Michael H. Schill is the University of Oregon’s next president.

The UO’s board of trustees confirmed the appointment, which was first reported by Willamette Week, during its emergency meeting on April 14.

“This is an opportunity to make a difference,”Schill said at an April 14 press conference. “This is an opportunity to take a great school, a proud school, an exciting school and move it forward. That’s what I’m here for.”

Schill, 56, is dean of the the Harry N. Wyatt law school at the University of Chicago and a former dean of the UCLA’s law school.

“In his positions at UCLA and Chicago, for a variety of reasons associated with his leadership, he was able to increase the national rankings of those school’s during his tenure,” Chuck Lillis said in the April 14 meeting. “He would say he didn’t do that alone, but he was certainly the leader.”

According to press material released April 10, the board negotiated a $660,000 salary, and a five-year contract.

The president’s package also includes standard employee benefits, a car, a retention package and a spot at the McMorran House – the traditional home occupied by UO’s president.

Mark Helfrich, head coach of the football team, said he was excited to get Schill equated with his team.

“I have total confidence in the interim, the rest of the board and Mrs. Ballmer and everybody else that was apart in this decision making process. His track record is impeccable.” Helfrich said. “I’m excited to get to know him better and get him incorporated with our team.”

Schill’s first official day as president will be July 1, 2015. Until then, Scott Coltrane will continue to serve in the interim.

Schill is a first-generation college student, and previously attended Princeton university for his undergrad, and later attended Yale to obtain his law degree. He specializes in real estate and housing law.

Schill will succeed Michael Gottfredson as the university’s 18th official president. Coltrane took over for Gottfredson in the interim after his sudden resignation on Aug. 6, 2014.

During Gottfredson’s tenure, the UO’s independent governing board was created, currently known as the board of trustees. About a month after the board took governance, Gottfredson announced his resignation.

Preceding Gottfredson, Richard Lariviere served as president for two years before being fired from his position for advocating for a “new partnership” with the state of Oregon.

That partnership was what eventually turned into the university’s board of trustees. Then Governor John Kitzhaber was a leading advocate for Lariviere’s dismissal.

Before the board of trustees was established, the State Board of Higher Education, with the governor’s approval decided UO’s president.

“We faced some very difficult situations, some still on going,” Kurt Willcox said on April 14. “Challenges, mistakes, things that have divided people, and I look forward to Mike being someone that can bring us together.”

Schill will be Oregon’s sixth president since 2009, including interim presidents. The last long standing president is Dave Frohnmayer, who passed away on March 9 from prostate cancer. Frohnmayer served the university for 15 years.

Follow Alex Cremer on Twitter @alex_cremer92

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