The new president of Portland’s Lewis & Clark College is bringing her voice to the citizen board that helps Oregonians save for higher education and job training.
Dr. Robin Holmes-Sullivan took the helm in June as the college’s 26th president after previously serving as the school’s vice president for student life and dean of students. She is the first woman and the first person of color to serve as president in the institution’s 155-year history.
"I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Oregon 529 Savings Board. One of my top priorities as a college President is to expand access to a quality education for all Oregonians, especially those from historically marginalized communities. The Oregon College Savings Plan is among the tools that can help make this possible—and I was delighted to have this available as I was planning for my own children’s college education. I look forward to working with the Board to ensure the stability of the existing plans—and to look for opportunities to further expand college funding options for Oregon families from all walks of life."
A champion for both higher education and student needs over the arc of her career, Holmes-Sullivan will help to advance those priorities on the Oregon 529 Savings Board, which guides the administration and direction of the Oregon College Savings Plan. The program, overseen by the Oregon Treasury Savings Network, was established by the state more than twenty years ago to give Oregonians a simple way to save for future costs associated with higher education. The plan comes with special tax advantages and savings can be used to attend a range of institutions—including trade school, apprenticeships, and community colleges—and cover their associated costs, such as tuition, room and board, and technology.
The five-member board is chaired by State Treasurer Tobias Read. It includes representatives from Oregon public and private colleges.
“I’m honored to welcome Dr. Robin Holmes-Sullivan to the Oregon 529 Savings Board,” said Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read. “As the Oregon College Savings Plan continues to grow, it is important that our board membership reflect the communities and families we serve. Robin not only brings a breadth of experience in higher education to our board, but her accomplishments also demonstrate a commitment to inclusion and amplifying diverse voices.”
The Oregon 529 Savings Board also advises the administration of the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan, which was launched in 2016 and gives Oregonians the opportunity to save for disability-connected costs without jeopardizing important federal disability benefits.
Prior to her tenure at Lewis & Clark, Holmes-Sullivan, served as vice president for student affairs for the 10-campus, 200,000-student University of California system. She also previously spent 27 years at the University of Oregon, serving in several roles including vice president of student life. She is a practicing clinical psychologist, and consults on issues of diversity and multicultural organizational development for both higher education institutions and private corporations.
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