CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon civic leader Steven J. Clark, president and publisher of the Portland Tribune and metro-area company Community Newspapers, has been named vice president for University Relations and Marketing at Oregon State University.
One of Oregon’s most active and visible publishers, Clark has been an editor or publisher of numerous weekly and daily newspapers in Oregon for more than 35 years. His background as a business and community leader is just as extensive, and includes board membership on Tri-Met – the Portland region’s transit district – as well as the Portland Regional Community Investment Leadership Council, the Oregon Business Council, the Portland Business Alliance, Associated Oregon Industries and others.
For the past decade and a half, he has been active in statewide leadership roles in transportation investment and finance, land use and economic development.
As vice president, Clark will assume leadership over OSU’s University Relations and Marketing division, which includes University Marketing, News and Research Communications, Web Communications, University Events, and a new public relations coordinator in Portland.
Clark’s addition to OSU’s administrative leadership team will help the university increase its visibility throughout the region – especially in Portland, which has the largest concentration of Oregon State graduates in the country – as well as its visibility nationally and internationally, said OSU President Edward J. Ray.
“Steve has an outstanding track record of building relationships and developing partnerships wherever he has been,” Ray said. “That quality will benefit OSU as we strive to improve the lives of those we serve in Oregon and beyond through our graduates and our contributions to economic development and social progress.”
University Relations and Marketing is the university’s primary communications branch, with marketing that supports student recruitment and raises awareness of OSU’s impact, dissemination of news about teaching, research and faculty and student achievement, the development of a vibrant online presence and hosting university-wide events. Though Clark has not worked in higher education, he says he looks forward to the opportunity to make a difference at Oregon State.
“OSU is a compelling, innovative and personally valuable institution that is addressing essential social, environmental and economic issues and contributing to the success of Oregon and beyond in multiple ways,” Clark said. “I look forward to helping tell those stories and helping the university and its many partners advance these and other important issues.”
Clark will begin his new duties in mid-July, returning to the campus where he received a journalism degree in 1975 and served as editor of the Oregon State student newspaper, The Daily Barometer.
Clark spent the first dozen years of his career reporting, editing and publishing at newspapers in Gresham, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Pendleton and the Willamette Valley. In 1988, he was named publisher and chief operating officer of Community Newspapers, a Tigard-based company that included several Portland-area newspapers. He eventually became president and co-owner of the company with his wife, Randalyn. The Clark family sold the company in 2000.
In 2004, he was named president of the Oregon Publication Corp., Oregon’s largest newspaper group, which includes the Portland Tribune and Sustainable Life magazine, as well as Community Newspapers, a group of 16 Portland-area weekly and monthly publications.
In addition to his civic involvement, Clark is active with community engagement and volunteerism. He is a member of the College of Liberal Arts’ Dean’s Council at OSU, and has been a sponsor of the Austin Family Business Program Excellence Awards, the OSU College of Business Alumni and Business Partner Awards, and the OSU College of Engineering Oregon Stater Awards.
Clark succeeds as vice president Luanne Lawrence, who resigned last year to take a similar position at the University of South Carolina. Todd Simmons, who served as interim vice president for the past 11 months, will be promoted from assistant vice president to associate vice president for University Relations and Marketing, and will work closely with Clark.
“Todd is a wonderful colleague, experienced administrator and has vast communications experience,” Clark said. “I am very pleased that he will be serving Oregon State in his new and expanded role in University Relations and Marketing, and I know we will make a great team.”