Rebecca “Becky” Johnson started her new role Tuesday as interim leader of the OSU-Cascades Campus in Bend.
Johnson, who will remain vice provost for academic affairs and international programs on the Corvallis campus, will begin implementation of the campus’ new strategic and business plans in preparation for the upcoming legislative session in January.
She replaces Diana Sloane, who is stepping down to assume a faculty position and will work closely with Johnson to ensure a smooth transition.
During her interim appointment, Johnson also will focus on building student enrollment, expanding academic programs, aligning programs and student support services with Central Oregon Community College and strengthening community relationships.
Sabah Randhawa, OSU’s executive vice president and provost, said the university will immediately launch an expedited search for a new permanent leader.
“Like the other campuses of the Oregon University System, OSU-Cascades faces challenging circumstances in the immediate future, and we felt that those challenges could best be met by new leadership,” said Randhawa.
“Because this is the first branch campus of the university system and is still quite young, those challenges are compounded by ongoing growing pains,” Randhawa said. “This is an appropriate time for a change as we approach the new session and prepare to implement the strategic and business plans that Diana and the campus leadership team have been developing this year.”
Sloane has been the campus executive officer since July 1, 2007.
“I’m personally appreciative of the commitment that Diana has shown to the students of OSU-Cascades and to higher education in Central Oregon and look forward to her continuing role at OSU.”
Johnson, who has been at OSU for 20 years, is a professor of forestry economics who has been vice provost for academic affairs and international programs since 2004. She provides leadership to the university in academic programs, assessment and personnel policy, as well as developing its international dimension.
As vice provost, Johnson is involved in all aspects of OSU’s academic affairs, including budgeting and strategic planning. She chaired the OSU 2007 steering committee, which led the development of the university’s strategic plan.
An expert in the economic values and impacts of non-market resources, she has studied the value to Oregonians of recreation, tourism, fish and wildlife and biodiversity, and she has worked with federal, state and local agencies on issues of concern to rural, natural resource-based communities.
From 1990 to 2003, Johnson served on the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors.
The OSU-Cascades Campus, which has more than 500 students, features small class sizes and one-on-one mentoring. It offers 20 degree options with programs including natural resources, business administration, tourism and outdoor leadership, and liberal studies. In addition to OSU faculty, the campus partners with the University of Oregon and COCC on academic offerings.
Among the new programs OSU-Cascades is exploring are undergraduate majors in sustainability, engineering and hospitality management and a master’s degree in education.