Educational partnerships taking shape for Central Oregon


BEND - Eastern Oregon University and the Oregon Institute of Technology have agreed to work as partners with Oregon State University in its development of a new branch campus proposal to serve the higher education needs of Central Oregon.

This is a significant step forward for OSU's effort to create a branch campus proposal that will provide high quality programs and most effectively meet the needs that have been outlined by residents of Central Oregon, university officials say.

"We're extremely pleased that these two institutions want to work with OSU in bringing Central Oregon residents the educational resources they deserve," said Tim White, provost and executive vice president of OSU. "We'll continue to reach out to other universities in Oregon to develop additional partnerships, and we're confident that OSU's branch campus proposal will provide Central Oregonians with the broadest possible range of high quality, accredited educational opportunities."

Under the new agreement, Eastern Oregon University will provide students with programs in elementary and secondary education, and in discourse studies.

"As a complement to OSU's extensive programs in education, this will meet one of the key needs that has been identified by Central Oregon residents for their new branch campus," White said.

"Throughout this process we've listened closely to input from area residents about what they want and need in a university. Now we're trying to develop the combination of programs from OSU and other institutions that most closely answer those needs."

In similar fashion, the Oregon Institute of Technology will offer information technology and other programs in applied engineering and applied health technologies. These should provide a strong synergy with engineering programs that could be offered by OSU's College of Engineering, which is by far the most extensive of any university in Oregon and holds the key to many of the high technology careers that will be a prominent feature of the state's economic future.

OSU and EOU already have a history of collaboration to provide educational services. EOU students are able to earn degrees from the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences without leaving the Eastern Oregon campus, taking courses from OSU faculty that are stationed there.

OSU faculty, staff and administrators have been working since early summer to develop a proposal for a new branch campus in Central Oregon.

When it's complete, OSU officials say their proposal will offer area residents a range of courses and degrees from nationally recognized programs in science, engineering, liberal arts, business, computer science, allied health, education, natural resources and other fields of study that are more diverse than those available from any other university in Oregon.