Reprinted with permission of the News-Register. Find more News-Register stories about Linfield College here.
By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • June 1, 2017
If only he could trade his gavel for a magic wand, he said, “I’d wave it and make sure the faculty had better compensation, there was more money for scholarships and other opportunities for students, and a new science facility was funded.”
He said those are some of the goals he’s been working toward during his eight years at the helm. Being a trustee is “all about the young people … about making sure they have opportunities to get a great education,” he said.
Haugeberg has been associated with the college since the 1970s.
Soon after arriving in McMinnville, he taught business law for a time, until he became too busy with litigation. Then he began serving as the college’s legal counsel.
He was named to the board in 1982. “I was honored to be asked to join 35 incredibly talented people,” he said.
He served as secretary for several years before being named chairman. Chairing the board was an honor that made him want to work twice as hard in the volunteer position, he said.
As chair, he led three 2 1/2-day board meetings a year. He met regularly with President Thomas Hellie to produce agendas reflecting “what was happening and what needed to happen.”
Haugeberg said, “One of the great things for me was working with Tom Hellie,” who has announced plans to retire at the end of the coming school year, about a year hence.
Haugeberg led the search that brought Hellie to the campus in 2006, but won’t be involved in the search now being mounted for a replacement. One of the most important jobs he did as chair, he said, was supporting the president by making sure he had the resources to make Linfield an outstanding school.
He said he was delighted to see the beginning of a wine studies program, which teaches wine production and marketing in a liberal arts setting.
Now a minor, Haugeberg hopes it will eventually become a major. He called it a unique program destined to bring Linfield an international reputation.
“It takes a huge commitment, but it’s what you can accomplish when you have a great board and a great president,” he said.
Haugeberg said he’s been proud to be associated with Linfield. He’s been pleased to do his part to “do something positive for students far into the future.”
On Sunday, he greeted the Class of 2017 at Linfield’s commencement, his final official duty as board chair.
Next year, he said, he won’t be sitting on the podium. But he plans to attend the graduation ceremony anyway.
He said he likes to hear the speakers. This year’s address by 1989 graduate Su-Yen Wong was especially uplifting, he said.
“The speaker made me look back at what I’ve done,” he said. “She told the graduates to make sure to leave the community a better place. I want to do that, too.”