OSU trustees address compensation, equity and campus safety issues


CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees on Friday re-elected officers, reviewed future business strategies for the university, and also explored ways to advance equity, social justice, campus safety and emergency response – issues that have been important both locally and nationally in recent months. 

Trustees heard from the three students who organized a “Speak Out” in November on racial injustice concerns, and from university student affairs and diversity officials regarding steps OSU is taking to build diversity awareness and improve inclusivity.

A presentation was also made on the Corvallis housing market and how OSU’s campus housing, local land use, economic conditions and other dynamics affect housing supply and prices in the Corvallis area.

The board approved a policy to guide how it will establish compensation for the university’s president. In setting compensation, the board agreed to consider the salaries, length of service, performance and other criteria of presidents at comparable universities.

A recent annual assessment of OSU President Edward J. Ray was made that cited significant university accomplishments, such as growth in enrollment, research funding, progress on the OSU-Cascades campus, the extraordinary success of the first-ever Campaign for OSU, and the Marine Studies Initiative. Based on those accomplishments and the new guidelines, the board recommended a 3 percent increase in Ray’s compensation to $699,876.

President Ray, in turn, said he intended to donate the increase to student scholarships and educational programs at Oregon State.

“When this Board asked me to sign on for up to five more years last spring, I made it clear that I will have a go at this because of my passion for the work we do at OSU,” Ray said.

“I will donate my annual compensation increase, and more, to the four scholarship and student program support funds that my late wife Beth and I established at OSU. I will do so this year and for as long as I am privileged to serve this great university.”

The board also re-elected Pat Reser as chair and Darry Callahan as vice chair for additional two-year terms.

In other action, board members discussed the university’s 10-year business strategy.

Components of the current business strategy include enrollment targets; contributions to Oregon’s 40-40-20 goals; staff and facilities support; funding for salaries and benefits, including increased PERS costs; the growth of OSU-Cascades to ultimately enroll more than 3,000 students; investments in research and scholarship; investments in access and affordability; and many other topics.

The plans make note of possible cost-reduction approaches, such as administrative efficiencies and alternative retirement or health care plans.

The board meeting concluded with a presentation on how OSU manages public safety throughout the university, and steps being taken to advance emergency response strategic planning.

Generic OSU

About Oregon State University: OSU is one of only two U.S. universities designated a land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant institution. OSU is also Oregon’s only university to hold both the Carnegie Foundation’s top designation for research institutions and its prestigious Community Engagement classification. Its more than 26,000 students come from all 50 states and more than 90 nations. OSU programs touch every county within Oregon, and its faculty teach and conduct research on issues of national and global importance.