CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees on Friday completed an assessment of OSU President Edward J. Ray for 2014-15, approved a series of goals for him over the next fiscal year, and approved three new graduate programs.
The board also paid tribute to former trustees Elson Floyd, president of Washington State University, and Orcilia Forbes, former OSU vice president and a trustee for the Meyer Memorial Trust. Both died earlier this year.
Board chair Pat Reser said the trustees, without exception, “were pleased with the progress made toward President Ray’s goals over the past year.
“Under his leadership, the university has continued to see growth in undergraduate and graduate degrees granted, and in research funding,” Reser said. “The university has continued its progress on the OSU-Cascades campus, and Marine Studies Initiative. The president was also instrumental in the highly successful and first-ever Campaign for OSU and in the smooth transition to, and support for, the Board of Trustees in its inaugural year.”
Reser and vice-chair Darry Callahan noted that trustees – and others contacted as part of the presidential assessment – spoke highly of Ray, citing his dynamic leadership and strong personal ethics, understanding of the influences and challenges to the university, and ability to manage risk while maintaining an eye for opportunity.
The board approved Ray’s three major goals for the 2015-16 fiscal year:
- Continue the successful implementation of the university’s strategic plan, now in its third iteration;
- Make progress toward eliminating achievement gaps and raising first-year retention rates and six-year graduation rates for students as a whole, and sub-groups of students;
- Create a 10-year business plan to accompany the strategic plan that ensures a sustainable financial path to success for the university.
In other action, the board officially acknowledged the role of the Oregon State University Foundation and the Agricultural Research Foundation as entities soliciting financial contributions on behalf of the university.
A similar housekeeping measure was approved by the board to revise the Public University Investment Fund Policy to allow new benchmarking and analytic tools.
Trustees adopted a board work plan for 2016 and also approved a process for identifying and vetting candidates for future vacancies for at-large positions on the OSU Board of Trustees. The board will conduct a needs assessment by analyzing current members’ backgrounds against board composition goals and establishing a list of potential candidates in consultation with the OSU president, before submitting them to the governor for consideration.
The board also heard reports on state legislative matters affecting higher education and on OSU’s compliance and ethics programs.
On Thursday, the board visited OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, and was briefed on the university’s Marine Studies Initiative. The initiative has set a goal to teach 500 students at the Hatfield center by 2025, and expand marine-related research both on campus and at the Newport facility, which is run by Oregon State and shared by several agencies.
The multiple agencies, along with Hatfield’s saltwater research laboratories and ship operations, make it one of the most important marine science facilities in the country – and the combination provides unique opportunities for OSU students.