The state of Oregon has a university system that operates its seven publicly-funded universities, and it is called the Oregon University System. In addition to the state-run universities in Oregon, there also are 17 different community colleges that each have their own elected board overseeing them and several different private universities.
The Oregon University System manages all seven of the public universities in the state, with the University of Oregon being the flagship campus for the system. It is run by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, and the elected officials on that board then elect a chancellor to run the system on a day-to-day basis. The seven universities included in the system are: Eastern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Southern Oregon University, the University of Oregon and Western Oregon University.
The University of Oregon, in addition to being the flagship of the public university system, is also one of the highest ranks schools in the state. It is located in Eugene and was founded in 1876. The first graduating class only had five students, but it has grown to be one of the best universities in the west. Some of its top ranking academic programs include its school of architecture, school of journalism and school of business. With its picturesque campus, the University of Oregon has also been the spot where many different movies were filmed including the iconic fraternity film "Animal House" as well as "Stand By Me" and "Without Limits." Notable alumni include Bill Bowerman, the co-founder of Nike, and Rudy Chapa, the founder of SPARQ, Inc.
The oldest university in the state is Willamette University. When Willamette University was founded in 1842, it became not only the oldest institution of higher learning in the Oregon territory but the oldest university in the western portion of the United States. Located in Salem, Oregon, Willamette University is a private liberal arts college. It is one of the top ranking liberal arts schools in the country, and is known for its law school, education school and school of management. Willamette University is also known for founding the first medical school and the first law school in the west in order to provide these educational services to the pioneers who were settling out west during that particular point in history. One of the most famous alumni of Willamette University is Dale T. Mortensen, a Nobel Prize winner.