CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray has been elected chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities board of directors. The organization is the leading national association dealing with the quality and public understanding of undergraduate liberal education.
Founded in 1915, the association has more than 1,300 member institutions, including accredited public and private colleges, research universities, community colleges and other institutions. Among its goals are to advance liberal education as a global necessity, increase the value of college degrees in the United States, improve student success and promote innovation, and develop social responsibility.
Ray has been president of OSU since July 31, 2003. Under his leadership, Oregon State developed its first comprehensive strategic plan, launched a campaign that successfully raised more than $1.1 billion, put a plan in place to transform the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend into a four-year branch campus, and experienced a remarkable growth in enrollment, research funding, and private support.
The university recently announced plans to launch a Marine Studies Initiative that would significantly broaden OSU’s research, education and outreach opportunities and impact for ocean-related issues and their impacts on ocean health and coastal communities. Plans call for providing education opportunities for some 500 students at Oregon State’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport by 2025.
Ray serves on the board of directors of the American Council on Education and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. Before coming to Oregon State, he was a faculty member and administrator at The Ohio State University for more than 30 years, serving as executive vice president and provost from 1998 to 2003.
The OSU president succeeds Ken Ruscio, president of Washington and Lee University, chaired the AAC&U board in 2014.