BEND, Ore. – Diana Sloane, an innovative college administrator whose broad career has included positions as a registered nurse, an academic leader and a director in the Peace Corps, has been named the new campus executive officer for the Oregon State University Cascades Campus.
Sloane will take over her new duties on July 1, replacing Jay Casbon, who has led the OSU-Cascades Campus for the last five years.
OSU President Ed Ray praised Sloane’s ability to connect with a variety of constituents – a trait that will serve her well as the leader of a growing young campus with many needs in a state that is in the bottom tier of funding for higher education.
“Diana Sloane has vision, experience, great integrity, a long history of consensus-building, and a commitment to every task that she has taken on,” Ray said. “She won’t back down from a challenge, yet she has a wonderful ability to garner support through her commitment, her communication skills and her sense of humor.”
Sloane’s academic career spans 33 years, from her start as a professor of nursing at Santa Barbara City College to her leadership of a branch campus of Antioch University. Most recently, however, she has been in The Gambia, where she spent the last four years as Peace Corps director for the West African country.
Prior to starting her career in academia, Sloane had another stint in the Peace Corps, serving as a volunteer in India.
Her recent experience in The Gambia, where she trained volunteers, managed a variety of employees, juggled an insufficient budget, complied with rigid national and international regulations and improved conditions for local citizens – all while maintaining relations with myriad local, U.S. and organizational officials – impressed the search committee, said Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president. The search committee had broad community representation.
“Dr. Sloane brings strong and proven leadership to the position,” Randhawa said, “and her experience in a number of different academic institutions and the Peace Corps add a layer of depth and perspective that will serve us well in developing academic partnerships and in building the OSU-Cascades Campus.”
John Salzer, a community member and chairman of the OSU-Cascades Campus Foundation, said Sloane’s preparation was evident to the search committee, of which he was a member.
"She had thoroughly researched the university, and she asked insightful questions of the search committee,” Salzer said. “We knew she really wanted the job.
“We are delighted," Salzer added.
Sloane grew up in Cromwell, Conn., and graduated from nearby University of Connecticut with a degree in nursing. She earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin, focusing on problems of inner-city schools.
She spent the next 14 years as a professor of nursing at Santa Barbara College, where she developed a self-paced curriculum based on the needs and abilities of individual students. In 1984, she was named dean of Academic Affairs for the college and served on the institution’s fund-raising foundation.
Three years into her tenure as dean, she was awarded a fellowship to attend the University of Texas, where she received her Ph.D. in educational administration. She continued as dean at Santa Barbara until 1995, when she was named vice president for Academic and Student Services at Lake Michigan College, where she launched an outreach and recruitment program to boost enrollment and the college’s small budget.
She then spent four years as vice chancellor for Education and Technology at the Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento, Calif., before taking over as executive dean for Antioch University at Santa Barbara in 2001. As executive dean, she provided leadership for the adult branch campus of an independent, non-profit university serving adult undergraduate and graduate students.
“Dr. Sloane has experience in leading a branch campus – a position that has its own set of unique opportunities, and challenges as well,” Randhawa said.
As campus executive officer for the OSU-Cascades Campus, Sloane will direct the state’s first branch campus, which has about 500 students and an annual budget of approximately $5 million. Like all of Oregon’s state-assisted institutions, the campus struggles with funding, but has grown steadily each year and is looking at options for expansion.