Retiring Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has been named the next president of Reed College.
He'll become Reed's 15th president in July—seven months before his public job is scheduled to end—despite declining to run for re-election as the top official at the Oregon Department of Justice for health reasons he won't disclose.
"Reed College is a remarkable institution with an unparalleled commitment to the life of the mind," Kroger said in a statement today. "Reed has fostered independent thought and expression for more than 100 years."
In October, Kroger said he wouldn't seek re-election, citing health problems that weren't life-threatening but required him to travel less. It ended one of the fastest rises in Oregon politics—from crusading federal prosecutor to the state's top counsel, with a book and teaching stint at Lewis & Clark in between.
He had been widely discussed as a potential gubernatorial candidate.
The news about Kroger's next job raises the question of what condition would render him unfit to run again for the AG's spot but fully capable of heading a private university. Justice Department spokesman Tony Green declined to comment on that question.
UPDATE, 2:15 pm: Reed College spokesman Kevin Myers says Kroger's health is not expected to be an issue.
"Health concerns arose during the interview process," Myers said in an email to WW, "but neither John nor Reed felt that they would prevent him from serving as Reed's president at the highest possible level. John said he hopes to be fully recovered by summer."