Learning in the
I was touring the library with an alumna from 1948 who exclaimed, 'I can't believe how different it all seems -- when I was at OSU it was all books, journals and, I am sorry to say, a few librarians who seemed to want us all to be quiet.'
As I stood with her watching students and faculty in the Information commons using computers for database searching, reading full-text articles and accessing information from the Internet, I agreed that things have changed. Yet, the common thread remains. Libraries have been and will continue to be places where learning, teaching, research and discovery take place. Where knowledge is both reframed and created. But because of the Internet and electronic availability of information, we are so much more.
Our libraries are taking on a greater role in becoming clearing-houses for information not readily available elsewhere. The role of libraries nationwide is indeed changing in exciting and meaningful ways. We at OSU are proud to be leading this change.
University Librarian and 1998 Oregon Librarian of the Year
Oregon State, to put it bluntly, has had a great year. Enrollment, which dipped to a 30-year low of 13,700 just three years ago, has increased by more than 2,000 students, reaching 16,061 in the fall of 1999 -- and the quality and diversity of those students is greater than ever. When students arrive at Oregon State, proven orientation and retention
programs are helping them find success. During the last two years, OSU has increased the retention of students coming back for their sophomore year from 73.8 percent to 78.3 percent.
Students at OSU are learning in many new ways, from Web-based courses to multimedia presentations. And few places do it better. In 1998, Oregon State was named the No. 1 university in the nation in electronic services to students by the American Productivity and Quality Center. And this year, Oregon State was tabbed by Yahoo! Internet magazine as one of America's
"Most Wired" universities
A Banner Year for Fundraising
Scholarships have been a key ingredient in Oregon State's success in recruiting and retaining top students. In the last two years, the university has increased its private, university-wide scholarship dollar base by 44 percent, and additional gains have been made within departmental and college scholarships.
Underlying that success is the university's fund-raising program, which had a successful year. Among the many gifts was a $5.9 million bequest from the estate of 1938 OSU civil engineering graduate Edward N. Rickert, Jr., the largest gift for engineering in the university's history. Equally impressive was a new $1.5 million endowed professorship in construction engineering, uniquely funded by more than 120 OSU alumni and construction industry businesses in the Pacific Northwest.
It was also a banner year for intercollegiate athletics at Oregon State. Under the leadership of new athletic director Mitch Barnhart, the changes began with Fan Fair, a family atmosphere celebration before each home football game that helped boost good will and attendance. The Beavers translated that success to the field, logging their best season in 28 years.
Head coach Mike Riley's departure to become head coach of the San Diego Chargers of the NFL temporarily took the wind out of the sails of OSU boosters. But only one week later, the enthusiasm was back in gale force when Barnhart announced the hiring of Dennis Erickson
, who won two national championships with the University of Miami Hurricanes. The phones started ringing, and by mid-August OSU had sold more than 10,000 season tickets-- easily a school record.
And in the summer of 1999, long-time OSU friends Al and Pat Reser gave the university a gift of up to $12 million to support intercollegiate athletics-- the largest gift for athletics in the history of the university. In appreciation, the university renamed its football arena "Reser Stadium" and designated the northeast plaza "Parker Plaza."