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Faculty Forum Papers


D.S. Pete Fullerton, Faculty Senate President

January 1984


Besides being of special literary significance, 1984 is a very important transition year for Oregon State University. It is the year we will select a new President, plan for the 1985 Legislative session, and hopefully it will be the last year faculty will do without merit and cost of living raises.

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee, ASOSU, and MUPC have all encouraged the campus community to begin a dialogue about OSU's future. Invitations were sent to all faculty last week to write Faculty Forum papers on this important subject.

We all hope that the Oregon State University of the late 1980's will keep the best of today's OSU -- especially our excellence in teaching and research, and our genuinely friendly community of students, faculty, and staff. But we can be better.

Three changes top my own 'wish list' for OSU's future:

1. Competitive Faculty Salaries. In good economic times and bad, the Oregon Legislature has generally been miserly with faculty salaries. The 1983 Legislature was no exception: no faculty raises for two years. The new OSU President, above all else, needs to be an outspoken champion for fair and competitive salaries, and equally important, affordable in-State and out-of-State tuition.

2. A 1980's Image. OSU is the leading research center in Oregon. We've developed beyond a traditional "Land Grant" image. The OSU Foundation has taken a "pioneering" role in helping shape a 1980's image:

"And at OSU, the pioneer is more than a symbol…OSU is proud of its present day pioneers:
Oceanographers discovering new evidence for the origins of life on the Pacific sea floor;

anthropologists using computer-generated maps to learn more about climate and human development;

engineers creating crystals that are revolutionizing electronics and our sense of how the world is put together;

geneticists breeding improved strains of plants and animals to feed a hungry planet…
You can help us blaze new trails. Share our vision of tomorrow…"

(from "PIONEERING An Oregon State Tradition" OSU Fund, 1983, used with permission)

3. Additional Graduate Programs In the College of Liberal Arts. OSU is unique among research universities its size in not having a variety of graduate programs in the arts, humanities and social sciences. The MAIS degree is just not enough. The CLA faculty has in the past unsuccessfully tried to convince the State Board that additional graduate programs are vital. Future CLA efforts to develop selected graduate program proposals deserve campus support.

Other hopes for OSU's future:

-A Smaller, Stronger Post-Secondary Educational System in Oregon. With a declining population of college-age students, the people of Oregon just can not afford all 48 post-secondary institutions (community colleges, private and public colleges and universities) they now support.

-Reaching The OSU Foundation's Four Funding Goals -- Then Four More! The Foundation has committed its considerable efforts and talent to the development of four key programs at OSU: The Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology, A Center For the Humanities, the Marine Science Program, and Materials Science Research.

-Adequate Library Support!

-New Buildings and Improvements. I have much to learn about OSU construction needs. Two that seem especially important are remodeling and equipping the Computer Science building (the old Farm Crops building); and building one of the two new buildings proposed for CLA (one planned for Coleman Field, and another for the south portion of the site of the present Strand Agricultural Hall). Many other building and improvement needs certainly exist -- additional Engineering research facilities, as just one example.

-Improved Financial Support for the OSU Theater.

-More Instructional Computer Resources. The campus is very short of micro computers and computer terminals -- a crucial area for improvement if OSU is to remain a modern center of higher education.

-Additional Faculty. Faculty shortages exist in several areas across the campus. Computer Science, Engineering and Pharmacy are but three examples.

-New Equipment. Examples include modern X-ray crystallographic and protein microsequencing facilities, and instructional equipment in many laboratory courses.

OSU has many other campus needs, including State support for Summer Term. Other faculty and students will point out other important areas.

1984 is a pivotal year for OSU for identifying and discussing new directions for our future. I invite you to join in the discussion. It is also especially important that we select a new OSU President who can successfully lead the campus in its 1980's "pioneering" efforts. D.S. Pete Fullerton
Faculty Senate President
Opinions expressed by authors of Faculty Forum articles are not necessarily those of the OSU Faculty or Faculty Senate.