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University of Portland President Dr. Robert D. Kelly Elected Board Chair of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities

By January 26, 2024No Comments

TUALATIN, OR – Dr. Robert Kelly, President of the University of Portland, has been elected Chair of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities (The Alliance). Dr. Kelly, who assumed his role as University of Portland’s president in July 2022, brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the The Alliance’s Board of Trustees Chair role. As president, he has guided the university through a period of significant growth and innovation, launched the institution’s new strategic plan, announced the creation of new academic programs, expanded UP’s footprint in the city, overseen the institution’s first-ever #1 US News & World Report ranking, and deepened its focus on student success.

“I am honored to be elected Chair of The Alliance’s Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Kelly. “I am committed to working with my fellow board members to advance the mission of The Alliance and support the important work of our member institutions. Independent, nonprofit colleges and universities play a vital role in Oregon’s economy and culture, transforming the lives of students. I am excited to help our member institutions thrive in the years to come.”

Dr. Kelly’s election as Chair reflects the high regard in which he is held by his peers. He is known for his collaborative leadership style, his passion for innovation, and his deep commitment to Oregon higher education.

“Dr. Kelly is a visionary leader who will be a great asset to the The Alliance as Board Chair,” said Alliance President Brent Wilder. “He is a strong advocate for independent higher education and will be an invaluable asset to the Alliance as we work to advance nonprofit higher education in Oregon.”

The Alliance is a consortium of 12 private, non-profit colleges and universities in Oregon. The organization works to support its member institutions through advocacy, collaboration, and enhancing organizational capacity.

About Dr. Robert Kelly
Dr. Robert Kelly is the 21st president of the University of Portland. He is the first layperson and person of color to lead the university. Prior to joining UP, Dr. Kelly served as Vice President, Special Assistant to the President, and Clinical Professor at Loyola University Maryland, with responsibility for mission and identity, intercollegiate athletics, student development, emergency management, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more.

Dr. Kelly holds a PhD in Education Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Maryland; a master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont; and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Loyola University Maryland.

About The Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities (“The Alliance”)
The Alliance is comprised of 12 private, nonprofit, independent colleges and universities. These institutions deliver high-quality experiential learning with high-impact teaching strategies. The Alliance is the collective voice of private, nonprofit education in public policy advocacy. For more information, visit or email