CORVALLIS, Ore. – An award-winning faculty member with extensive teaching and research experience in women’s studies and public health has been named the first director of the new Office of Women’s Advancement and Gender Equity at Oregon State University.

Donna Champeau, associate professor and graduate coordinator in OSU’s Department of Public Health and a member of the university faculty since 1996, begins her appointment as director of the new office on Sept. 1. She not only will be taking on a new office but one with a bold new charge, according to Provost and Executive Vice President Sabah Randhawa.

Internal studies conducted over the past six years at OSU have consistently pointed out concerns over gender equity gaps that are consistent with similar gaps nationally – not only in salaries, but in such other areas as work/family balance, mentoring and overall climate.

“There’s no question that we need to value diversity more and elevate it in our thinking,” Randhawa said. “The Office of Women’s Advancement and Gender Equity will help us to focus analyses, planning and efforts with regard to the way that these issues specifically relate not only to women, but also to the broader university community.”

“Dr. Champeau has a personal and professional commitment to advancing women's health and opportunities,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “As an accomplished scholar and teacher she knows how to assess the need for change and to work with others toward that end. Those are qualities that will serve her well in this new office and ensure that our efforts are well-focused and productive from the beginning.”

While OSU has long had a Women’s Center and an Office of Community and Diversity, those and other related programs have similar but different charges than the new office, said Leslie Davis Burns, chair of OSU’s Department of Design and Human Environment and leader of the search committee that selected Champeau.

“We wanted to bring a heightened visibility to the effort to advance women at our university,” Burns said. “The fact that Donna brings a global academic perspective to this position was a key in our considerations. She not only has experience with such matters as the promotion and tenure process at OSU, but is also a skilled researcher with an international agenda that has included work in Africa.”

Champeau earned bachelors and masters degrees in physical education and school health education from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, before completing her Ph.D. in public health at OSU in 1995. She has served on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, Boise State University, Chemeketa Community College and OSU over the past 20 years.

She has authored or co-authored two books, eight book chapters, six technical reports and numerous other abstracts, video reports and guides. Her research has enjoyed significant funding from the Oregon Health Division, much of it in support of AIDS- and HIV-related studies focused on Oregon.

She served on the OSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women 2001-03, and in 2004, earned the OSU Teaching Excellence Award. She also has received the Women of Achievement Award in 2006 and the D. Curtis Mumford Faculty Service Award in 2006.

“I’m excited and honored to serve the university in this new position and am looking forward to supporting the ongoing efforts and new initiatives needed to make the lives of women and men more equitable on our campus,” said Champeau.

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Sabah Randhawa,