The John V. Byrne Years

November 15, 1984 - December 31, 1995

Academic | Administration | Facilities | Initiatives |
Leadership | Presidency (Characteristics) | Statistics |

The following briefly highlights a few of the many contributions and accomplishments that were achieved during Dr. John V. Byrne's years as the 12th president of Oregon State University.


Academic Programs (new):

  • Accounting (Post Bac. Cert.)
  • Apparel, Interiors, Housing, and Merchandising (Ph.D.)
  • Applied Anthropology (M.A.)
  • Applied Ethics (Cert.)
  • Bioresource Engineering (Ph.D.)
  • Bioresources Research (B.S.)
  • Comparative Veterinary Medicine (Ph.D.)
  • Economics (M.A./M.S./Ph.D.)
  • English (M.A.)
  • Environmental Engineering (M.Engr.)
  • Environmental Health and Safety (B.S.)
  • Environmental Sciences (B.S.)
  • Ethnic Studies (B.A./B.S.)
  • Gerontology (Cert.)
  • Health (Ph.D.)
  • Health and Safety Administration (M.A./M.S.)
  • Health Promotion and Education (B.S.)
  • Human Performance (Ph.D.)
  • International Studies (concurrent B.A.)
  • Manufacturing Engineering (M.Engr.)
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology (Ph.D.)
  • Movement Studies in Disability (M.A./M.S.)
  • Natural Resources (B.A./B.S.)
  • Peace Studies (Cert.)
  • Public Health (M.P.H.)
  • Radiation Health Physics (B.S./M.S.)
  • Russian Studies (Cert.)
  • Science, Technology, and Society (Cert.)
  • Scientific and Technical Communication (M.A./M.S.)
  • Teaching (M.A.T.)
  • Technology Education (B.S.)

Baccaulaureate Core reorganized (1988)

College of Liberal Arts; first disciplinary graduate degrees established (Applied Anthropology, Economics, English, and Scientific and Technical Communication)

Continuing Higher Education: reoriented and reinvigorated (1988)

Credit hours (total) required for a baccalaureate degree reduced from 192 to 180

Ed-Net Telecommunication in Oregon significantly expanded

Education programs:

  • In 1986, OSU-Western Oregon State College established the first "teacher warranty program" in the United States
  • Fifth-Year Education Program established

Entrance requirement raised from 2.75 GPA to 3.0 GPA (Fall Term 1991)

Extended Education office established (Extension Service and Continuing Higher Education):

  • Extended education fundamentally restructured

Graduate School reporting relationship moved from Vice Provost for Research and International Programs to Provost/Executive Vice President

Honors College established

Intercollegiate Athletics:

  • Improvement of the graduate rate for student athletes
  • Increase in the number of women athletic programs and the number of women student athletes
  • Initiated "BALANCE", a new lifeskills program to benefit student athletes-a pilot program of the NCAA

Joint OSU and OHSU Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree program initiated

Oregon Joint Graduate Schools of Engineering and the Oregon Joint Progessional Schools of Business established

Outreach/Distance Learning opportunities greatly expanded

Peace Studies certificate program established in 1986; the first in the Pacific Northwest

Teaching Evaluation; made standard policy (1989)

Telephone registration initiated

University Graduate Faculty of Economics created consisting of faculty drawn from the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Agricultural Sciences, and Forestry to offer graduate degrees in Economics


Administrative processes reviewed and streamlined (for improved effectiveness and efficiency), examples:

  • Improved travel procedures
  • Invested in technology and other systems
  • New classified employees now hired through the OSU Department of Human Resources

CASE Circle of Excellence Award (for Development Program-1993)

Centers, Institutes, and Programs established:

  • Ava Helen Pauling Lecture for World Peace became the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Lecture for World Peace
  • Center for Advanced Materials Research (1986)
  • Center for the Analysis of Environmental Change (1991)
  • Center for the Design of Analog Digital Integrated Circuits (University of Washington and Washington State University) (1991)
  • Center for the Humanities (funded through an NEH challenge grant)
  • Center for Salmon Disease Research (1994)
  • Center for the Study of First Americans (1991)
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (1991)
  • Holocaust Memorial Week Program
  • Linus Pauling Institute (1995)
  • Marine/Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Research Center (1990)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration
  • Mercedes A. Bates Family Study Center
  • Oregon Center for Advanced Technology Education (1985)
  • SMILE Program
  • Western Center for Community College Professional Development (1991)

Central Administration reorganized (ARC/LIT)

Chief Academic and Operating Officer position articulated: Provost and Executive Vice President

Financial Information System established (FIS/Banner)

Interinstitutional Integration:

  • OSU, Portland State University, and the Oregon Health Sciences University cooperation to jointly provide a Masters of Public Health degree program and Health Policy Institute
  • OSU, Portland State University, University of Oregon, and Southern Oregon State College formed the Oregon Joint Progressional Schools of Business to facilitate the delivery of the MBA
  • OSU and the University of Oregon's Computer Science Departments worked closely in developing leading-edge networking capabilities in order to share instructional responsibilities
  • OSU, Portland State University, and the Oregon Center for the Advancement of Technology Education formed the Joint Graduate School of Engineering (within this arrangement, OSU and PSU jointly offer and award a Masters of Engineering degree in Manufacturing Engineering)

Mergers/Consolidations (Academic):

  • College of Agricultural Sciences reduced the number of departments
  • College of Business reduced the number of departments to two
  • College of Home Economics reduced the number of departments from six to three
  • College of Home Economics and College of Education merged: College of Home Economics and Education
  • Department of Animal Science and Department of Poultry Science merged: Department of Animal Sciences
  • Department of Atmospheric Sciences and College of Oceanography merged: College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Department of Computer Science moved from the College of Science to the College of Engineering
  • Department of Crop Science and Department of Soil Science merged: Department of Crop and Soil Science
  • Department of Forest Management and Department of Forest Resources Recreation merged: Department of Forest Resources
  • Department of Geography and Department of Geology merged: Department of Geosciences
  • Department of Journalism faculty merged with the Departments of Art and English
  • Department of Health Care Administration and Department of Health merged: Department of Health (later to Public Health)
  • Department of Religious Studies and the Department of Philosophy merged: Department of Philosophy
  • Department of Science and Mathematics Education moved from the School of Education to the College of Science

Mergers/Consolidations (Administrative):

  • Consolidated Dean of Agricultural Sciences and Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station into a single position
  • Finance and Administration: reorganization of financial, human resources, facilities, and business services
  • University Housing Office and Food Services Office merged: University Housing and Dining Services Office

New Offices, Department, and Support Services established:

  • Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station located at the Hatfield Marine Science Center opened; the nation's first marine experiment station
  • Enrollment Services (Admission and Orientation Office and Registrar's Office)
  • Ethnic Studies Department in the College of Liberal Arts
  • Extended Education (Continuing Higher Education and Extension Service integrated under a Dean/Director for Extended Education)
  • Information Services (Library, Computing Services, Communications Media Center, Telecommunications)
  • Multicultural Affairs
  • Quality and Continuous Improvement

State Police contracted to provide law enforcement coverage for the campus

Student Information System established (SIS/Banner)


  • Co-Curriculum programs established (composed of programs, activities, classes and opportunities outside the normal classroom setting)
  • Employment: Student Part-Time Employment Office established in the Career Planning and Placement Center Office
  • Mediation program initiated to resolve issues between and among students


  • Admitted Student Questionnaire: 1989
  • Faculty Survey: 1989
  • Graduating Senior Survey: 1990
  • OSU Image Survey: 1989
  • Recent Graduate Survey, Class of 1994: 1994
  • Staff Survey: 1990

Undergraduate Education Council established to provide renewed emphasis to undergraduate education

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): major renovations made to provide access to OSU facilities for individuals with disabilities

Campus Safety:

  • New lighting
  • OSU ranked as the safest campus in the PAC-10

Capital Construction:

  • Agricultural and Life Sciences Building
  • Animal Physiology Laboratory
  • Autzen Hall (purchased)
  • Bates Hall (Family Study Center)
  • Burt Hall (renovation)
  • Child Care Center
  • CH2M-Hill Alumni Center (planning stage)
  • Crew Facility
  • Custodial Services Building
  • Dixon Recreation Center (expanded)
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering Building
  • Environmental Computing Center
  • Fairbanks Hall (renovation)
  • Fish Disease Laboratory
  • Food Innovation Center
  • Gill Coliseum (remodelled)
  • Gladys Valley Gymnastic Center
  • Harvey Ranch (gift acquisition)
  • Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport (expanded); including dock facilities, Potts-Guin Library, Visitors Center, Winton Housing
  • Industrial Building (reconstruction - planning stage)
  • Memorial Union - Commons (renovation)
  • Oceanography Computer Laboratory
  • O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory
  • Parker Stadium (remodelled and expanded)
  • Property Control Warehouse
  • Research Forest Office Building
  • Seafoods Laboratory in Astoria
  • Seed Certification Laboratory
  • Seed Research Building
  • Sheep Research Facility
  • Stevens Natatorium (swimming pool complex addition to Dixon Recreation Center)
  • Trysting Tree Golf Course (gift)
  • University Theatre (constructed in Withycombe Hall)
  • West Greenhouse
  • West Hall Renovation (planned)
  • Wheat Marketing Center (Portland)
  • Valley Football Center
  • Valley Library (planning stage--ground breaking 5/31/96)
  • Veterinary Horse Building


  • Child care made available on campus for faculty, staff, and students
  • Computer Labs established (several computer instructional classrooms, multimedia student classrooms/labs, and a facility to support faculty development of multimedia curricular materials; e.g., Kerr Library, Computer Science Building, Bexell Hall, and Milne Computer Center)
  • E-mail revolution occurred
  • LAN networking (entire campus)
  • Personal computers largely replaced typewriters and calculators for faculty and staff
  • Signage: Campus policy on signage developed (e.g., building signage has been added or updated)
  • Telephone system (fiber optics for the entire campus)


  • OSU Campus Development Plan (revised in 1993)


Development Activities reorganized and expanded:

  • Tremendous expansion in the number and amount of contributions provided from alumni and friends of OSU (e.g., annual giving, endowments, gifts)
  • OSU has moved up to #144 of all higher education institutions in the United States on the Philanthropy 400, an annual list of the Chronicle of Higher Education
  • OSU is now number one among all the universities and other charitable institutions in the state of Oregon
  • Private gift increases (impact and benefits to OSU):
    * Expenditures to support OSU projects and programs exceeded $50 million during the last two fiscal years
    * During the Byrne presidential years, more than $150 million in funds from the OSU Foundation have been expended to support OSU programs

Endowed Chairs (20 new Chairs throughout the campus)


  • Board of Visitors for Minority Affairs
  • Difference, Power, and Discrimination Program
  • Minority Affairs Commission
  • Writing Intensive Curriculum Program

Extended Education:

  • Academic departments and colleges became an integral part of Extension Service work
  • Responsibility for initiating and maintaining extension programs throughout the state, given to each academic college
  • Extension faculty identified with an academic home (including promotion and tenure considerations)

Foodservices (branded) contracted to provide services on campus

Internationalized the University:

  • Concurrent B.A. degree program in International Studies established
  • OSU's stature and recognition in the world community expanded substantially
  • International exchange programs initiated in several countries
  • For several years OSU exceeded all universities in the United States in international development contract work with the U.S. Agency for International
  • Development

Linus Pauling peace and scientific papers designated to the Kerr Library Special Collections facility (major accomplishment)


  • Extension Service and Experiment Stations

OSU Foundation revenue and assets experienced tremendous growth

OSU Portland Center (established and then reorganized and expanded OSU's presence in the Portland metropolitan area)

State Climatologist position and office at OSU reestablished

Strategic Planning (initiated in 1985):

  • Strategic Planning Reports:
    "Preparing for the Future" (1987)
    "Creating the Future" (1990)
  • Vision Statement (1992)
  • Aims List (1995)

TQM (Total Quality Management) (initiated in 1990)


Budget: looked at possibilities and potentialities in the face of decreased state funding

Central administration restructured (twice)

Community relations:

  • DaVinci Days support
  • Reduced bus fares for students, staff, and faculty

Faculty Day changed to University Day


  • Faculty Governance: encouraged involvement in the development of institutional policies through the Faculty Senate
  • Faculty Promotion and Tenure Guidelines reviewed and updated
  • Fixed-Term positions, where appropriate, converted to tenure-track positions


  • OSU achieved a position of respect and leadership among the individuals and organizations who care about higher education in Oregon and who affect the resources available to the University.
  • Provided stability during a period of reduced state
  • assistance to higher education

Internationalized the University:

  • Instrumental in strengthening the OSSHE International Exchange and Study Abroad Programs; initiated 26 new student study abroad and exchange programs on five continents
  • International Education, along with the International Research and Development office which was reorganized and expanded, placed under the direction of the Vice Provost for Research and International Programs
  • International Studies (B.A.) degree program established; first university in the United States to offer a concurrent baccalaureate degree in International Studies

Kerr Library Expansion Campaign (provided instrumental support to the campaign)

NASULGC: completed term as Chair of the Council of Presidents

OSU Awards and Honors (Awarded to OSU):

  • Kellogg Initiative (one of twelve institutions nationally selected to evaluate how the land grant university of the future must operate in order to be fully responsive to the needs of those it serves)
  • Linus Pauling designated OSU as the official repository for his papers and medals
  • MacArthur Fellowship (first)
  • Rhodes Scholarships (3)
  • Space Grant status awarded

OSU Awards and Honors (Initiated at OSU):

  • Beaver Champion Award established (presented at University Day)
  • Burlington Resources Foundation Faculty Achievement Award
  • Exemplary Employee Award
  • Herbert F. Frolander Graduate Teaching Assistant Award
  • Honorary Doctorate degree reestablished
  • OSU Award for Service to Person with Disabilities
  • OSU Distinguished Professor Award
  • OSU Staff Development Award
  • Outstanding Research Assistant Award
  • Richard M. Bressler Senior Faculty Teaching Award

OSU Foundation Board of Trustees: improved relationship

Oversaw the OSSHE directed and then canceled change from terms to semesters

New OSU logo approved and adopted

Provided encouragement, motivation, and support that led to the initiation of new academic and administrative programs in the face of reduced and limited funding

Provided guidance and direction during successive bienniums of decreasing state legislative funding assistance:

  • Approved: "Guidelines for Program Redirection" (1988)
  • Approved: "Criteria for Program Reduction, Termination, and Reorganization" (1988)
  • Faculty Consultative Group established

Relationship between Linus Pauling and OSU reestablished and enhanced through the years


  • Research exchange programs with 40 international institutions established
  • Research grants and contracts increased significantly in both number and amount

Task Forces:

  • Commission on the Status of Women
  • Hate Related Crimes

Underrepresented groups received attention and assistance

Presidency (Characteristics):

Chancellors (worked with four): Davis, Lemon, Bartlett, and Cox

Consistent and enthusiastic supporter of the arts, music, and theatre

Delegated responsibilities to competent administrative leaders and managers

Descriptive terms:

  • Optimistic; assured; upbeat; confident; sanguine; cheerful; hopeful; positive; encouraging; heartening; practical; supportive; strengthening;experienced; seasoned; skilled; reassuring; sympathetic; compassionate; charitable; patient; understanding; in sightful; visionary; leader

Engaged in a weekly breakfast with faculty/staff/students

External Environment: provided OSU and higher education in Oregon with stability and leadership during rapidly changing external circumstances

Hosted hundreds of dinners (at home)

Stakeholders: improved relationships


  • Administrative: External
  • Management: Collegiality with individuals and groups

This is a person of:

  • integrity
  • courage
  • compassion
  • keen intelligence and notable accomplishments

This is a person who:

  • expected and nurtured excellence in administrators, faculty, staff, and students
  • was committed to an accessible undergraduate education
  • was committed to excellence in the education, research, and service missions of the University
  • was committed to an international university
  • was committed to university-wide and state-wide extended education
  • was people oriented
  • was skilled at managing a large, complex organization
  • was skilled at championing OSU and marshalling support-professional, political, financial, and moral support

Statistics: 1984 1995 % Chg
Budget: (FY 1984-85 to 1993-1994)
$206,404,460 $335,153,343 62.7
Endowed Chairs:
1 21 2,000.0
Library (volumes):
1,013,032 1,275,473 25.9
Proposals (#): 1,061 1,755 65.4
Grants Awarded (#): 659 1,678 154.6
Proposals ($ millions): $181 $328 81.2
Grants Received ($ millions): $58 $82 41.3
Royalty Income: $212,618 $475,054 123.4
Cost of Education (1984-1994): $5,250 $10,080 92.0
Enrollment (TOTAL): 15,636 14,161 -9.4
International Students: 1,174 1,285 9.5
Oregon Residents: 12,512 10,455 -16.4

Degrees awarded: 39,413 (26.9% of all degrees awarded by OSU during the past 127 years)

Development/OSU Foundation:

  • Contributions grew from $7.4 million for fiscal year ending June 30, 1985 to $36.7 million for the 1995 fiscal year
  • During the last two fiscal years, OSU Foundation receipts (gifts and earnings) exceeded $110 million
  • Assets in the OSU Foundation grew from $34.6 million at the end of the 1985 fiscal year to more than $215 million as of December 31, 1995

Compiled by: Gary L. Beach
Office of Budgets and Planning
Oregon State University
(541) 737-0912

Formatted for the World Wide Web by the OSU Archives staff.

Revised 8 January 1996
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