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Michael Schill, president of the University of Oregon since 2015, leaving for Northwestern University

An interim president will be appointed and discussions about an international search for the University of Oregon's next president will begin next month.
Credit: Don Ryan, AP Photo, 2015
University of Oregon President Michael Schill is leaving the university to become president at Northwestern University.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Michael Schill, who has been president of the University of Oregon since 2015, is leaving the school to become the president of Northwestern University in Illinois. Schill will be Northwestern's 17th president.

"I am thrilled, honored and humbled to join Northwestern, one of the world's most prominent universities," Schill said in a news release from Northwestern University. "Northwestern has a long tradition of educating the brightest minds and pushing the boundaries of research and innovation."

The University of Oregon, thanks in part to the Oregon Commitment initiative started by Schill, increased its four-year graduation rate by more than 10% during his tenure and built new centers to benefit students, including the Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall for academic and career advisement and the Lylle Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center.

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Schill implemented many new programs and initiatives, including the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact and the Ballmer Institute for Children's Behavioral Health.

RELATED: U of O announces launch of Ballmer Institute for Children's Behavioral Health

Under Schill's leadership, the university raised $3.2 billion and grew its endowment to $1.3 billion, according to a letter from Ginerva Ralph, chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon.

Schill was also chair of the Pac-12 CEO Group, a member of the NCAA Board of Governors and currently is a member of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. Oregon hosted the World Athletics Championships this summer, the first time the prestigious event was held in the United States or on a university campus.

RELATED: How a college town in Oregon ended up hosting a prestigious international track and field championship

"President Schill leaves behind a lasting legacy of excellence at the University of Oregon," Ralph said. "The board thanks him for his transformational leadership and looks forward to all he will accomplish at Northwestern."

Ralph said an interim president will be appointed prior to the start of the academic year and discussions about an international search for the university's next president will take place at the board's regularly scheduled meeting in September. 

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