Home » Trustees » Governor Theodore “Ted” R. Kulongoski

Board of Trustees

KulongoskiOregon’s governor from 2003-2011

Theodore R. “Ted” Kulongoski is the only governor in Oregon history to have served in all three branches of state government. While in private law practice, Kulongoski was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives (1975‐78) and the State Senate (1978‐83). In 1987, he was appointed Oregon insurance commissioner. Elected Oregon attorney general in 1992, he reformed the state juvenile justice system and created the Oregon Youth Authority. In 1997, he was elected to the Oregon Supreme Court, where he served until mid‐2001. He was inaugurated as governor of Oregon in 2003 and was reelected in 2006. Kulongoski understands what it is like for students who face adversity. He spent his childhood in a Catholic boys’ home from a very young age. Following high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Kulongoski later received a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Kulongoski said, “My interest in WOU is a reflection of my interest in higher education generally, especially public institutions of higher education. The Quality Education Model and the 40‐40‐20 goal are important to Oregon’s future. We need to keep both our large universities and our small ones affordable for working‐class students if Oregon is going to meet its aspirations for future economic development. I’m a big believer in small colleges and universities. They can be centers of excellence. They can be welcoming places especially for students who are the first in their families to attend college. They can foster a ‘thinking life.’ WOU can do all of that and I am delighted to be part of it.”