CORVALLIS, Ore. – Larry Roper, the vice provost for student affairs at Oregon State University, has been named interim dean of OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. The long-time senior administrator succeeds Kay Schaffer, who is retiring this June 30 after 13 years as dean.
Roper, who has a faculty appointment in the Department of Ethnic Studies, also regularly teaches courses in OSU’s Community College Leadership program and College Student Services Administration program.
“Larry Roper has provided exceptional leadership in Student Affairs since 1995 and he is widely recognized for his integrity, commitment, hard work, respect for others, and strong, collaborative leadership style,” said Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president. “He will be a great asset to the people and programs within liberal arts.”
Roper will begin his new duties on July 1; his appointment is expected to continue through the 2007-08 academic year. Among his key responsibilities, Randhawa said, will be to work with the CLA community to continue creating a collective vision for long-term strengths in liberal arts at Oregon State, developing relevant and distinct areas of focus that include success in the university-wide capital campaign.
As interim dean, Roper will oversee a College of Liberal Arts that has more than 3,200 students pursuing bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in 17 different program areas. The college also offers several master and doctoral degree programs.
The 13 departments in the college contribute greatly to the university’s baccalaureate core of education for every undergraduate student at OSU. It was this essential educational mission that attracted Roper to the position.
“A strong liberal arts program is integral to the university’s efforts to develop well-prepared students who will graduate from OSU and immediately begin contributing to Oregon, the nation and the world,” Roper pointed out.
“At the same time,” he added, “I look forward to working with the strong, diverse faculty in liberal arts, who are critical to OSU’s efforts to engage the social and economic issues facing the region, from globalization, to climate change, to new technologies.”
Roper has been at OSU since 1995 heading the Division of Student Affairs, where he has gained a national reputation for leadership. In his dozen years as vice provost, Roper has emphasized student success and leadership, yet also stressed individual and group accountability. He has strived to create a welcoming environment for all students at Oregon State and promoted student access, retention and a breadth of experiences as pathways to success.
Although Roper led a major realignment of the Division of Student Affairs, “we are about people, not structures,” he noted.
Roper is a 1975 graduate of Heidelberg College in Ohio. He has a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. form the University of Maryland – both in college student personnel administration. Prior to joining the OSU faculty and administration, Roper was vice president for student affairs and dean of students at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y.
Randhawa praised retiring CLA dean Schaffer for her leadership and commitment to liberal arts.
“Kay Schaffer led the college during university’s enormous student enrollment growth, which created challenges in providing essential core courses,” Randhawa said. “Yet she was able to put her own stamp on the college through innovative initiatives like the CLA Master Teacher program, which matched the college’s most gifted educators with cohorts of freshmen students.”
Roper will continue to provide broad oversight to Student Affairs in 2007-08, aided by his senior staff in that division.