Philip W. Conn (2002-2005)

Philip W. Conn was born in Decatur, Alabama on January 4, 1942 and attended Berea College, the Institute of Social Studies at The Hague, University of Tennessee, and University of Southern California. During his career, Conn was Field Representative for Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) in Washington, D.C., Vice President of Research and Development at Morehead State University, Vice President for University Advancement at Central Missouri State University, President of Dickinson State University, and Chancellor at the University of Tennessee—all before becoming President of Western Oregon University in 2002.

President Conn focused on expanding student services and activities, extending the university’s outreach toward serving the region’s increasingly diverse population. He also championed the establishment of a Staff Senate and initiated a university-wide strategic planning process for WOU. Under his tenure, Western boasted the largest enrollment in its history up to that time, with more than 5,000 students during the 2002-03 school year. He retired in 2005.