campus life

OSU once again named Best Buy School by Fiske

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University is among 41 "Best Buy Schools" named in the 2014 edition of "The Fiske Guide to Colleges.”

This is the second time in two years that OSU has made the list. Only two other Pacific Northwest schools made the list – University of Oregon and Evergreen College in Washington.

"At Oregon State, we recognize that the rising cost of higher education is a concern among students and their families,” said OSU Vice President of University Relations and Marketing Steve Clark. “That's why we are working hard to control costs, as well as increase scholarships, grants and tuition waivers for students.

“In fact, this past year, approximately 85 percent of all students attending Oregon State received some form of financial assistance,” Clark said.

Schools included on the list are ranked as inexpensive or moderately priced, and have four- or five-star academic ratings. They include public and private schools from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Estimated tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year for resident undergraduates at OSU is $8,538.

“Fiske honoring Oregon State as one of only three "Best Buy" colleges or universities in the Pacific Northwest and 41 nationally emphasizes not only the great value, but the excellence in higher education offered at OSU," Clark said.

In selecting Best Buy schools, the Fiske Guide reviewed more than 300 colleges and named 20 public and 21 private schools as "Best Buys.”

Former New York Times education editor Edward Fiske launched the guide in 1980 as a way to aid college-bound students and their families in selecting a university. The guide ranks universities by price, but also indicates which schools offer the best academics at a relatively moderate cost.


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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808

Dana Biggs hired as athletic bands director at Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Dana Biggs, assistant director of bands at the University of Colorado, has been hired as the new director of athletic bands at Oregon State University.

Biggs fills the vacancy left by Brad Townsend, who has accepted a position as athletic bands director at the University of Pittsburgh.

“Dana has a tremendous record of success at the collegiate level,” said Christopher Chapman, OSU director of bands. “His drill design and show concepts are innovative and exciting to collegiate football fans and students alike. His experience in the Pac-12 Conference has allowed him to watch the OSU band from afar and he is now excited to join our team.”

Biggs plans to move to Corvallis in July and hit the ground running, designing new pre-game and halftime shows for the Oregon State University Marching Band in time for the summer’s band camp and the fall football season.

Prior to his position in Colorado, he served as acting associate director of bands at the University of Kentucky and as assistant professor of music and director of bands at University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky.

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Christopher Chapman, 541-737-8829

Annual Klatowa Eena Powwow at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s annual Klatowa Eena Powwow takes place on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, in Gill Coliseum on the OSU campus.

As part of the weekend festivities, the Native American Student Association of OSU and Type1 Beavers will host the Jim Thorpe Dash for Diabetes Fun Run, May 18, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Native American Longhouse. Early registration for the run is available at http://studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/dash-diabetes. The event is free.

Free blood glucose screenings and advice from campus health professionals will be available along with refreshments, prizes and giveaways.

The 37th annual Klatowa Eena Powwow takes place at Gill Coliseum (660 S.W. 26th St.). On Saturday, the Grand Entries take place at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. This year’s theme of “Honoring Native Youth,” will feature a young adult dance competition with traditional, grass, fancy and jingle dances.

In addition to the powwow, the annual salmon bake takes place in the MU Quad from noon to 3 p.m., Wednesday, May 15. An open house at the new Native American Longhouse is set for Friday, May 17, 4 p.m., 311 S.W. 26th St.


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Becky Evans, 541-737-0760

OUS offers first study abroad program to Cuba

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Students from three campuses will travel to Cuba in June for the first official study abroad program to that country in the history of the Oregon University System (OUS).

The 15 students from Oregon State University, Portland State University and the University of Oregon will venture to Cuba in the summer after taking a class this term on Cuban Society, Culture and Politics through Film.

Michele Justice, associate director of OUS international programs, is charged with finding new study abroad opportunities in the university system.

“Making this system-wide means students from different universities can learn from each other, and it gives all students a chance to have resources and faculty to go places like this that they wouldn’t otherwise,” she said. “We have faculty across the state with expertise on Cuba, and a willingness to share this expertise.”

Dwaine Plaza and Amy Below from Oregon State are teaching the class, along with guest lecturers from the other colleges and universities. Plaza is a sociologist with expertise in migration studies and the Caribbean, and Below is an expert on Latin American politics.

“The students are experiencing Cuba through films, virtual guest lectures and through instruction by different faculty with Cuba expertise, and then they’ll be there to experience it all in person this summer,” Plaza said.

Students from the other campuses watch the class remotely when it is in session on Mondays, but congregate over several Saturdays this term to meet as a class in person.

“It’s important to us that the students bond and interact in person before they take this trip together,” Below said. “Once we get to Cuba, it’s going to be an intense learning experience.”

Each day they spend in Cuba will be built around a different theme. The students will learn about topics ranging from education, agriculture, and public health to Cuban culture and politics.

Tawny Garcia, a first-generation Cuban-American, is taking the class in part because she wants to reconnect with her roots. Garcia, a senior majoring in sociology at Oregon State, has never been to the country where her father was born.

“I am still in shock about being able to do this trip; not many Americans get to go to Cuba,” she said. “My understanding over the past couple of years is that Cuban Americans and Cubans see things differently. I plan to go there with an open mind and gain a better understanding of a part of me.”

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Michele Justice, 541-737-6458

Dwaine Plaza, 541-737-5369

‘The Misanthrope’ opens May 9 in Corvallis

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Theatre will present Molière’s wild and witty comedy classic “The Misanthrope” starting May 9.

Performances are scheduled May 9-11 and May 17-18 at 7:30 p.m. and May 19 at 2 p.m. at OSU's Withycombe Hall Theater.

“The Misanthrope” is a stylish comedy of manners set in a world of fashion, gossip, and love. Within the strict social niceties of French high society, the cynical (and misanthropic) Alceste causes scandal when he refuses to play his part. Sparks fly as couples and rivals engage in verbal spars, backstabbing, and a variety of games in the name of love.

Guest director Tinamarie Ivey wanted to strike a balance between the script’s witty, poetic language and broadly expressive physical humor.

“I truly enjoy the classics, and Molière is one of my favorites,” she said. “Since ‘The Misanthrope’ is written in rhyming verse and takes place in 17th-century France, it lends itself to a very specific performance style.”

The cast features OSU students Michael Beaton as Acaste, Irene Drage as Guard, Jesslyn Gillespie as Célimène, Megan Grassl as Eliante, J. Garrett Luna as Philiante, Tucker Minnick as Clitandre, Deborah Shapiro as DuBois, and Sam Thompson as Basque. Community members Travis Bazanele (Oronte), Zach Pajak (Alceste), and Dari Lawrie (Arsinoe) also join the cast.

Tickets for the production are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors, $8 for students/youth, and $5 for OSU students. For more information or ticket purchases, contact OSU Theatre Box Office 541-737-2784 or purchase tickets online at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre/

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OSU to host conference on military and diplomacy May 7

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A conference exploring American military and diplomatic history will take place at Oregon State University on Tuesday, May 7.

The American Military and Diplomatic History Conference features a keynote panel on “American Power in Historical Perspective.” It begins at 7 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center’s Construction & Engineering Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

The panel includes:

  • Ben Mutschler, director of OSU’s School of History, Philosophy, and Religion;
  • Timothy Lynch, associate professor at the University of Melbourne and author of “After the Cold War: American Foreign Policy in a New World” (2014);
  • David Milne, senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia and author of “America's Rasputin: Walt Rostow and the Vietnam War” (2008);
  • Christopher McKnight Nichols, assistant professor at Oregon State University and author of “Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age” (2011).

The conference coincides with the publication and launch of “The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History,” a major two-volume encyclopedia that will be discussed at the panel by its main editors: Lynch, Milne, and Nichols. During the panel, they will talk about the insights drawn from their study of American military and diplomatic history since the 18th century and will put American power in a global and historical perspective.

For more information on the other talks at the conference, which take place at OSU’s Memorial Union Journey Room, go to: http://oregonstate.edu/cla/shpr/american-military-and-diplomatic-history-conference

The conference is sponsored by OSU Office of International Programs, the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion, the Hundere Endowment for Religion and Culture, Oxford University Press, and the College of Liberal Arts.

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Christopher Nichols, 541-737-8910

Oregon State University featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University received 98 points out of a possible 99 as a ‘green’ school in the latest edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition.” The schools are chosen based on a 50-question survey conducted at hundreds of four-year colleges.

The Princeton Review analyzes data from the survey about the schools' course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation to measure their commitment to the environment and to sustainability.

“The OSU community has once again demonstrated a high level of interest in and competency around sustainability,” said Brandon Trelstad, OSU’s sustainability coordinator. 

The 215-page guide is the only free comprehensive resource of its kind. It can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide and www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.  It does not rank schools hierarchically, but each school’s green score can be found in their school profile on the main site (http://www.princetonreview.com/).

The 322 school profiles in the guide feature essential information for applicants – facts and stats on school demographics, admission, financial aid – plus write-ups on the schools' specific sustainability initiatives.  A "Green Facts" sidebar reports on a wide range of topics from the school's use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies and career guidance for green jobs.

“The volume and breadth of sustainability related work at this institution is amazing, and fascinatingly diverse,” Trelstad said. “I think what continually sets OSU apart is its broad spectrum of sustainability expertise. This is supported by students who care about global issues and come to OSU to build on that interest.”

Among OSU’s green highlights were an overall waste diversion rate of 42 percent, its numerous sustainability awards, its annual Nonprofit Career Day, and a building policy that ensures students will typically walk no further than 10 minutes across campus for class.

“OSU has a history of creating innovative projects to reduce energy use and meet its goal of climate neutrality by 2024,” the guide states.

The Princeton Review created its "Guide to 322 Green Colleges" in partnership with the Center for Green Schools (www.usgbc.org) at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)), with generous support from United Technologies Corp. (www.utc.com), founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools.


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Brandon Trelstad, 541-737-3307

Generic OSU

About Oregon State University:  As one of only two universities in the nation designated as a land, sea, space and sun grant, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 31,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis, Bend and Newport, and through our award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

OSU accreditation visit scheduled for April 27-29

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), one of six regional accreditation agencies recognized by the national Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

OSU’s next accreditation visit is scheduled for April 27-29, 2011. The comprehensive accreditation visit requires that the OSU develop a university self-evaluation report and organize supporting data for an evaluation team. The spirit of accreditation is the principle of continuous assessment and improvement. Thus, this process is an opportunity for self-examination and self-evaluation, to showcase OSU’s strengths, and to reflect on our challenges and how we address them in the future.

Previously, the comprehensive review to reaffirm accreditation of every institution was conducted every 10 years. OSU’s last full-scale accreditation was conducted in 2001, with an interim evaluation visit in 2006.

The NWCCU adopted a new process in 2009 and the cycle time is now seven years. The organization also adopted a new set of five accreditation standards to provide a framework for continuous improvement for institutions to follow in preparation of their self study. The detailed standards are published at: http://www.nwccu.org/Standards%20Review/Pages/RevisedStandards.htm.

A major element of the new standards is for the institution to develop a set of "Core Themes, Objectives and Outcomes" relevant to OSU’s mission. As a land grant institution, OSU is committed to teaching, research and outreach and engagement. The university's three core themes are:

Undergraduate Education. A fundamental pursuit of the university is to provide outstanding undergraduate academic programs that further strengthen performance and preeminence in the signature areas of distinction . To achieve this, the university strives to provide an excellent teaching and learning environment, and achieve student access, persistence and success through graduation and beyond.

Graduate Education and Research. Oregon State University is a Carnegie Doctoral/Research-Extensive University with Very High Research Activity. It is one of only two land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the United States. As such graduate education and research are essential components of Oregon State.

Outreach and Engagement is a process that involves discovery, validation and communication among learners. The focus of this theme is discovery and learning that involves those not residing on the main campus of Oregon State University.

Members of the public are invited to send comments regarding OSU’s qualifications for accreditation to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, no later than March 27, 2011. Signed comments will be forwarded to OSU, and to the evaluation committee, by the Commission. Comments should be sent to the following address:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, 8060 165th Avenue, Suite 100, Redmond, WA 98052-3981. Telephone: (425) 558 4224. Online: www.nwccu.org

A copy of the Commission's Policy A-5, Public Notification and Third Party Comments Regarding Full-Scale Evaluation, may be obtained from the Commission’s website (via the Standards and Policies and then Operational Policies links), or by phone at: (425) 558 4224


Chris Bell, 541-737-9361

OSU enrollment shows gains in minority, grad and int'l populations

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A record 23,761 students are enrolled at Oregon State University this fall – easily the institution’s largest class ever, university officials say. And while the university charted gains in every sub-group of students, it points to increases in the numbers of racial and ethnic minorities, international students, graduate degree seekers and domestic out-of-state students as major drivers of the growth.

OSU’s growth, in fact, helped drive an overall increase of 5.9 percent in the overall Oregon University System enrollment. Of the 5,380 additional students this year at the system’s seven institutions, 1,792 are at OSU, which saw growth of 8.2 percent. The university’s student “FTE” – measured by how many full-time students are represented in credit hours – grew by 1,634, the most of any campus in the system. No other university charted growth in excess of 1,000 FTE.

More Oregonians are now enrolled at OSU, the state’s land-grant university committed to serving Oregon students, than ever before -- 17,178. That’s a 3 percent increase over 2009, representing an additional 508 students. Oregonians now make up more than 72 percent of the OSU student body, and its 3,853 new Oregonian undergraduates were the most enrolled this fall at any OUS campus.

And at OSU Cascades, the university’s branch campus in Bend, enrollment grew to 678 this fall, an increase of 11 percent. FTE growth at the campus was the strongest from a percentage standpoint in the OUS -- 15.8 percent.

“More students than ever before are choosing Oregon State over the many other places where they might pursue their higher education career,” said OSU President Edward J. Ray. “We’re gratified by the faith they place in our university. And we’re particularly pleased with growth in a range of student groups that makes this university a richer community than ever before, with tremendous cultural, ethnic and racial diversity.”

OSU added 637 U.S. minority students, expanding that enrollment to an all-time high of 4,179. The 17.6 percent increase follows a jump of 16 percent last year. The majority of that growth came from Hispanic students, whose numbers jumped by 26 percent to 1,292. African American enrollment rose slightly to 325, while American Indian and Asian/Pacific Islander enrollments each experienced slight declines.

Graduate student numbers grew markedly, as well: Nearly 9 percent more are enrolled this year, with headcount at 3,618, 290 more than in 2009.

And though their overall numbers are smaller, international students grew by more than 38 percent this year to a total of 1,548, the highest ever for OSU and up markedly from the years following 9/11, when restrictive visa standards drove international enrollment down to roughly half this year’s total.

OSU’s “non-resident” population – students from the United States, though not from Oregon -- rose sharply, too, with an additional 1,284 students pushing the overall total to 6,583 – a jump of nearly 28 percent.

Even with its robust growth, OSU planned carefully to ensure that all students had access to the full range of academic and living services they needed to succeed and thrive. Though OSU residence halls are full and classes are at capacity, few problems have been reported in accommodating this year’s largest-ever student body.

Meanwhile, the university is renovating 50 classrooms this school year to modernize and expand facilities and has invested more than $3.5 million in core course availability and academic advising. It has also expanded a summer program initially designed for student athletes to the general student population, assisting students in their transition to the university.

OSU is also continuing its “Bridge to Success Program” for the third-consecutive year, combining state, federal and private funds to allow some 3,000 Oregon residents to attend the university free of charge. Two new programs at the OSU Bookstore are targeting textbook affordability, increasing the standard student discount and providing vouchers to cut costs of required first-year course books. The measures will result in a $1 million savings for students this school year.

“We take seriously our obligation to provide an outstanding experience for each student, knowing that they come here not only for knowledge, but during a time when they’ll create relationships and encounter new opportunities that will be important to them for the rest of their lives,” said Kate Peterson, OSU assistant provost for enrollment management. “As we continue to enhance our campuses to accommodate more future students, those are the values we keep in mind.”


Kate Peterson, 541-737-0759