OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Flame retardant chemicals may affect social behavior in young children

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Some chemicals added to furniture, electronics and numerous other goods to prevent fires may have unintended developmental consequences for young children, according to a pilot study released today.

Researchers from Oregon State University found a significant relationship between social behaviors among children and their exposure to widely used flame retardants, said Molly Kile, an environmental epidemiologist and associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU.

“When we analyzed behavior assessments and exposure levels, we observed that the children who had more exposure to certain types of the flame retardant were more likely to exhibit externalizing behaviors such as aggression, defiance, hyperactivity, inattention and bullying,” said Kile, the corresponding author of the study, which was published today in the journal Environmental Health.

“This is an intriguing finding because no one had previously studied the behavioral effects of organophosphate classes of flame retardants, which have been added to consumer products more recently.”

Flame retardants are found throughout the built environment in furniture, mattresses, carpeting, electronics, vehicles and more. The chemicals are added to the products and are not bound in the material, which causes them to be released into indoor environments.

Manufacturers began adding flame retardants in 1975, in response to new legislation in California designed to reduce flammability in common household items. The state updated its flammability standards in 2014, and now allows furniture manufacturers to meet the standards without adding flame retardant chemicals to their products, but the chemicals are still widely used and they linger in the indoor environment.

There are growing concerns that some flame retardants may have unintended impacts on health and development in children, and this study contributes to that body of research.

The most common types of flame retardants found in the built environment are brominated diphenyl ethers (BDEs) and organophosphate-based flame retardants (OPFRs). OPFRs emerged as an alternative to BDEs in an effort to address some of the environmental health concerns posed by BDEs, which tend to remain in the environment for long periods.

Past research has shown that both BDEs and OPFRs are linked to poorer cognitive function in children. But less is known about the relationship between the flame retardants and children’s social and emotional health, particularly during early childhood, a key developmental period for learning.

“The social skills children learn during preschool set the foundation for their success in school, and also for their social and emotional health and well-being later in life,” said Shannon Lipscomb, an associate professor and lead of the human development and family sciences program at OSU-Cascades and a co-author of the study.

For this study, the OSU research team recruited 92 Oregon children between ages 3-5 to wear a silicone wristband for seven days to measure exposure to flame retardants.

The team included Kile, Lipscomb; Megan McClelland and Megan MacDonald of the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences; Kim Anderson of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences; and Andres Cardenas of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an OSU doctoral graduate. The research was supported by OSU’s Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families and the Environmental Health Science Center at OSU.

The wristbands, developed by Anderson at OSU, have a porous surface that mimics a cell, absorbing chemicals that people are exposed to through their environment. When the wristbands are returned, Anderson can screen for up to 1,200 chemicals that may accumulate. The wristband is an easy and non-invasive way to sample children’s chemical exposure.

The researchers had parents or primary caregivers complete questionnaires about socio-demographics and the home environment, and preschool teachers completed behavior assessments for each participating child. In all, researchers had complete data and wristband results for 69 children.

Their analysis showed that all of the children were exposed to some level of flame retardant. Children who had higher exposure rates of OFPRs showed less responsible behavior and more aggression, defiance, hyperactivity, inattention and bullying behaviors. Children with higher exposure to BDEs were seen as less assertive by their teachers. All of these social skills play an important role in a child’s ability to succeed academically and socially.

“We detected these links between flame retardant and children’s social behaviors while controlling for differences in family demographics, home learning environments and adversity,” Lipscomb said. “This suggests that flame retardants may have a unique effect on development apart from the effects of children’s early social experiences.”

Further study is needed to better understand the links between flame retardants and children’s social skill development, the researchers said. They plan to pursue funding for a new study that continues for a longer period of time and considers how other aspects of children’s lives might affect the impact of flame retardants on their development.

“The results of this research to date have shown potential impacts for child health and warrant a more thorough investigation,” Kile said.

“If scientists find strong evidence that exposure to flame retardants affects children’s behaviors, we can develop strategies that prevent these exposures and help improve children’s lives. This type of public health science is needed to figure out how to address the root causes of behavioral concerns that can affect children’s school readiness and overall well-being.”

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Molly Kile, 541-737-1443, molly.kile@oregonstate.edu; Shannon Lipscomb, 541-322-3137, Shannon.lipscomb@osucascades.edu

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Child wearing a wristband

Keeping Kids Safe

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https://youtu.be/pMvOKVoDA94

 

 

Edward Feser named provost and executive vice president at Oregon State

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray has named Edward Feser the provost and executive vice president for the university.

Feser, who currently serves as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will begin at Oregon State on Feb. 28.

He succeeds Ron Adams, who has served as OSU’s interim provost and executive vice president since July 1.

“Ed Feser will be a great addition to Oregon State University,” said Ray. “His academic and leadership success at the University of Illinois, the University of North Carolina and the University of Manchester in England will serve him very well.

“Ed fully understands Oregon State’s land grant mission as Oregon’s statewide university and OSU’s role as an internationally recognized public research university,” Ray said. “As the provost of the University of Illinois, a nationally top-ranked land grant university, he has successfully helped provide transformative learning experiences for students in and out of the classroom, and steward a global research portfolio.”

As provost and executive vice president, Feser will provide leadership to continue implementation of the university’s strategic plan and student success initiative; support growth of OSU’s grant/contract-funded research and impact; foster faculty and graduate student success; and support OSU’s diversity, enrollment management, and outreach and engagement strategies.

Feser said he is excited to join Oregon State and inspired by the university’s successes and many future opportunities.

“Oregon State has gone through a remarkable transformation over the last decade or more,” Feser said. “This has been achieved as part of a deliberate and strategic process to guide Oregon State to become one of the leading land grant universities in the U.S.”

Feser said he was drawn to Oregon State for several reasons, including its West Coast location and natural orientation toward the Pacific Rim.

“I am very impressed by Oregon State’s quickly increasing research profile; the new OSU-Cascades campus in Bend; its focused instructional priorities; its outreach and engagement impact throughout Oregon; its current global reach and focus to expand internationally; and the institution’s next phase of visioning and strategic planning.

“As part of this strategic planning process and as Oregon State’s provost, I am committed to provide every student with the tools and community support needed to succeed.”

Feser was named Illinois’ interim provost in September of 2015. Beginning in 2012, he served as dean of the University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts. As dean, he oversaw academic and engagement programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, design and the visual and performing arts.

Prior to becoming dean at Illinois, Feser held the Davies Chair of Entrepreneurship and served as head of the Division of Innovation, Management and Policy at the Manchester Business School, University of Manchester in England. He also was an associate professor and associate department head at the University of North Carolina, and in 2003, served as assistant secretary for the North Carolina state Department of Commerce. Since 2009, Feser has served as a senior research fellow with the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness in Arlington, Virginia.

Feser earned both a master’s degree in regional planning and a doctorate in regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of San Francisco.

Feser’s wife of 26 years, Kathy, is a civil engineer-turned-primary school science teacher. Their son, Jack, 22, is pursuing a doctorate in computer science at MIT. Their daughter, Mary, 19, is a freshman at Colorado College, studying economics and languages.

Feser grew up in Montana, Washington and northern California as his father was a U.S. National Park ranger at Glacier, Olympic and Lassen parks.

“For me, joining Oregon State is something of a coming home,” Feser said.

“I’ve always considered the Pacific Northwest – broadly – to be home. As a National Park ‘brat,’ the environmental and land ethic is in my blood. So Oregon State’s strengths in forestry, the environment and marine sciences, and its land, sea, space and sun grant designations are very appealing. I look forward to working with President Ray, the deans and other senior administrators, and the faculty, staff and students to advance the goals of this great university.”

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Edward Feser
Edward Feser

OSU overall enrollment up 2.9 percent, Corvallis campus increases less than 1 percent

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Fall term 2016 enrollment at Oregon State University grew 2.9 percent from last year, as stable enrollment continued at OSU’s Corvallis campus and double-digit growth continued at the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend and within OSU’s nationally ranked Ecampus online degree program.

Oregon State’s overall fall enrollment is 31,303 – up 852 students from 2015 – making OSU the largest university in the state of Oregon for the third consecutive year.

Oregon State’s fall enrollment includes:

  • 24,672 students at the university’s main campus in Corvallis, an increase from fall 2015 of 205 students or 0.8 percent;
  • 5,682 students in Ecampus, an increase of 573 students or 11.2 percent over last year; and
  • 1,122 students at OSU-Cascades, an increase of 106 students or 10.4 percent more than a year ago.

“As Oregon’s statewide university, we are committed to serve all qualified Oregonians,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “This year, 74.2 percent of our degree-seeking undergraduates on our Corvallis campus are Oregon residents.

“We serve as the ‘people’s university’ of the state of Oregon by offering diverse, high-quality academic programs at our campuses in Corvallis, Bend and Newport, and through top-ranked online degree programs. We are seeing students literally choose where, how and when it is best for them to learn. Each year, more students choose Oregon State as their destination of choice.”

Oregon State continues to attract high-achieving students. Among first-time college students from Oregon high schools, 47 percent of OSU’s freshmen class are considered high-achievers – having graduated from high school with a cumulative grade point of 3.75 or higher.

As well, of OSU’s new students:

  • 21 had perfect SAT mathematics scores and 11 had perfect SAT verbal scores, compared with 17 and 8 students, respectively, in 2015.
  • Five are National Merit award winners, compared with four a year ago.
  • 225 – or 3.8 percent of Oregon State’s new undergraduates – were ranked number 1 in their high school graduating class, compared with 156 students in 2015.
  • 78 are Presidential Scholars – 20 more than a year ago.
  • 358 entered the university’s Honors College, compared with 265 in 2015;

“Oregon State is achieving excellence through inclusivity,” Ray said. “Twenty-five percent of this year’s entering Honors College students come from diverse backgrounds. I also am pleased with the continued growth of U.S. minority and first-generation students in Oregon State’s overall enrollment. And that 3.2 percent of Oregon State’s overall enrollment – 956 students – are veterans of U.S. military service.

This fall, OSU has enrolled 7,204 students representing U.S. minorities – an increase of 450 students or 6.7 percent over a year ago. In total, 23.7 percent of the students attending Oregon State in Corvallis or within Ecampus identify themselves as a U.S. minority, compared with 2,806 students and 14.5 percent a decade ago in fall of 2006.

Twenty-three percent – or 5,858 OSU undergraduates in Corvallis or within Ecampus – are first-generation students, an increase of nearly 1 percent over a year ago. At OSU-Cascades, first-generation students make up 35.4 percent of the enrollment.

“As a first-generation college student myself, these students are near-and-dear to my heart,” Ray said. “Increasing the enrollment of people of diversity, students from low-income families, and first-generation students by providing access to an excellent higher education and a college degree is essential for all Oregonians.”

OSU also continues to expand its global reach as an internationally recognized public research university. This fall, international student enrollment increased by 201 students to a total of 3,529 students or 11.6 percent of Oregon State’s overall enrollment. International students from 110 countries attend Oregon State this fall. A decade ago, OSU enrolled 897 international students – or 4.6 percent of its overall enrollment.

“We live and work in a global society,” Ray said. “It is essential that universities such as Oregon State bring people worldwide together to learn, pursue research and engage as a community.”

Oregon State’s commitment to graduate studies and graduate student engagement in research is evident in this year’s enrollment. Overall, the number of graduate students, including professional students in OSU’s colleges of pharmacy and veterinary medicine, increased by 1.3 percent this fall to total 5,027 students, compared with 4,964 students in 2015. 

Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president for University Relations and Marketing, said Oregon State intentionally manages its enrollment to achieve the university’s land grant mission; support the state of Oregon’s educational attainment goals; operate in a financially sustainable manner; and be a good neighbor in Corvallis, Bend and Newport.

“We manage enrollment very mindfully,” Clark said. “For example, we have promised to slow the growth of our Corvallis campus and not grow above 28,000 students by 2025 by limiting enrollment growth to 1-2 percent each year. We are doing so intentionally and with good results. The past three years, our enrollment growth has been well below 1 percent and with such a trend, OSU’s Corvallis campus may not reach 28,000 students until sometime in the early 2030s.”

“In Bend, we have committed to limit our new OSU-Cascades campus to between 3,000 to 5,000 students by 2025, and in Newport, to between 400 to 500 students. At the same time, we will provide higher education where students live and work by enrolling more distance online students through Ecampus,” Clark said.

At OSU-Cascades, 92.2 percent of the enrollment is composed of Oregonians, including 205 students who are U.S. minorities – a 17 percent increase from 2015 – and 323 are first-generation students – a 7.7 percent increase from a year ago. Overall, OSU-Cascades’ enrollment includes 912 undergraduate and 210 graduate students. Freshmen enrollment at the new campus, which opened in September, increased 17.7 percent from 2015.

More students are studying engineering than any other discipline. The College of Engineering has a total of 8,724 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled this fall. The next largest programs are the College of Liberal Arts, 4,178 students; the College of Business, 3,726; the College of Science, 3,503; the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, 3,009; and the College of Agricultural Sciences, 2,580.

Enrollment in other colleges and programs includes: College of Forestry, 1,093, University Exploratory Studies, 1,081; Graduate School, 830; College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, 739; College of Pharmacy, 370; College of Education, 300; and College of Veterinary Medicine, 221.

Oregon State’s Honors College enrolls 4.2 percent of all undergraduates with a total of 1,057 students – a 3.6 percent increase over 2015.

The most popular undergraduate majors at OSU are computer science, followed by business administration, mechanical engineering, kinesiology and biology.

Source: 

Steve Clark, 541-737-4875

steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

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Robotics program expanding
Robotics program expanding

OSU trustees approve expanding veterinary teaching hospital, renovating Magruder Hall

BEND, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees Friday approved the renovation of Magruder Hall to allow OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine to increase its enrollment and expand the college’s small animal veterinary teaching hospital.

The trustees’ meetings were held on the new OSU-Cascades campus, which opened in September as the state’s first new public university in 50 years.

The $10 million project to expand Magruder Hall will be added to Oregon State’s overall $258 million 2015-17 capital plan.

Plans include a 6,000-square-foot expansion to double the size of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s small animal teaching hospital that presently serves nearly 40 cases per day and has from 45 to 70 people working in it. Over the past four years, the hospital’s case load has increased 15 percent annually. Renovation of Magruder Hall and the expansion of the hospital will enable the college to grow its enrollment by 16 veterinary medicine students.

“This project will directly improve the educational experience of veterinary students by providing improved instructional space, including laboratories for learning, such as anatomy and surgery skills,” said Sue Tornquist, dean of OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “With this project, graduating veterinarians will have training in new and advanced treatment procedures, such as radiation oncology.”

Tornquist said the college will use philanthropic gifts, college funds and tuition revenues from the projected additional student enrollment to pay for the project.

In other business:

 

  • The board approved its annual performance review of OSU President Ed Ray for the past fiscal year;
  • Established guidelines for future presidential searches and selection processes;
  • Adopted a board calendar to guide the work of the board over the next year;
  • Adopted amendments to the university’s investment policy. The amendments enable the university’s vice president for finance and administration to provide quarterly reports regarding the investment of university assets to the board’s Finance and Administration Committee instead of the full board;
  • Approved the termination of a Master of Agriculture program. This master’s program is experiencing low student participation with currently only five students enrolled. The College of Agricultural Sciences plans to develop a new degree program that addresses current and future agricultural issues.

 

Board Chair Pat Reser said that Ray’s performance assessment included input from university, community, Oregon and national higher education constituents. She said Ray is considered a trusted, energetic and strategic leader. “We compliment President Ray on the progress the university has made over the past year and support his focused and continued outstanding leadership of Oregon State University,” Reser said.

The board deferred until its January 2017 meeting consideration of a change in the university’s in the Public University Fund that would have divested university funds from current fossil fuel-related securities and would restrict future investments in fossil fuel-related securities. Oregon State and five other Oregon public universities make up the Public University Fund, which is managed by the Oregon Treasurer’s office. Presently, approximately 1.7 percent of that fund is invested in fossil fuel-related securities.

In deferring action until January, trustees directed university administrators to develop a draft framework that the board could utilize in evaluating decisions about divestiture or other future financial matters.

During the meeting, trustees heard reports from President Ray; officers of the OSU Faculty Senate, the Associated Students of Oregon State University and the Associated Students of Cascades Campus; the chair of the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission; and the OSU Foundation regarding the foundation’s strategic plan.

During public comment provided the board, a graduate student in Oregon State’s College of Education, asked trustees to reverse the university’s decision to build OSU’s marine studies building on the Hatfield Marine Sciences Center campus.

On Wednesday, trustees held a public session retreat to learn more about the university’s student success initiative; the cost structure of the university; and future revenue and cost management opportunities.

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OSU-Cascades opens as Oregon’s first new public university in 50 years

BEND, Ore. - Oregon State University – Cascades’ new campus in Bend opened today, fulfilling a 30-year quest for higher education in what had been the largest region in the state without a four-year university.

“This campus launches a new era for educational attainment, economic growth, community partnerships and cultural enrichment in Central Oregon,” said Oregon State President Ed Ray.

Ray, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, state Rep. Knute Buehler, OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson and Elizabeth Woody, Oregon’s poet laureate, are planned to participate in the opening celebration. They will be joined by Amy Tykeson, whose family supported funding for the branch campus’ first academic building, and after whom Tykeson Hall is named.

“This is a tribute to decades of work by countless individuals who early on saw the need, defined the future they wanted to achieve, and helped to make this day – and this university campus – possible,” Ray said. “As important as this campus will be for Central Oregon, OSU-Cascades is an investment that will pay great returns for the entire state of Oregon.

“It has been right here in the Bend area that Oregon faces the greatest mismatch in this state between students’ needs, economic demands and the gap in higher education options.”

As the first public university to open in Oregon in more than 50 years, OSU-Cascades will serve students in one of the fastest growing regions in the state - yet one that lags in bachelor’s degree completion.  The new 10-acre campus will provide classrooms and lab space, as well as a dining center and residential housing for 300 students. 

 

As the campus expands over the next decade, OSU-Cascades by 2025 will serve 3,000 to 5,000 students, most of them from Central Oregon. This largely rural area with a population of more than 200,000 has been historically underserved by higher education and includes many first-generation students and others who have been unable to attend college. OSU-Cascades will improve educational access, increase the likelihood of graduates staying in the region and contribute to the local economy.

“OSU-Cascades brings the power of a comprehensive research university to our region,” said Johnson. “We will serve the needs of Central Oregon with excellent academic and research faculty who will teach learners of diverse ages and backgrounds, and address the challenges of our unique environment.”

Prior to its opening this week, OSU-Cascades has operated for 15 years in a two-plus-two partnership with Central Oregon Community College, using leased and physically-separate facilities. The branch campus has awarded 3,000 bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“With this new campus and further planned expansion, students, faculty, staff, alumni and the Central Oregon community will develop campus traditions, spirit and community pride,” said Johnson.

The new campus near downtown Bend is integrated into a commercial district, which will help expand OSU’s partnerships with industry and community, and enhance student internship programs and workforce development. Public-private partnerships will increase research and innovation and provide amenities for both students and community members. The 10-acre campus will also include a community STEM education provider, the Bend Science Station.

OSU-Cascades now offers 18 undergraduate and graduate degrees. These include computer science with an applied option in web and mobile web software development; energy systems engineering; hospitality management; and tourism and outdoor leadership.

Over the next two to five years, eight to 10 new degree programs are anticipated to meet student, industry, and regional and national employment needs, in areas such as bioscience; mechanical engineering; nursing; outdoor products; and software development.

“The opening of OSU-Cascades’ new campus represents a promising economic future for Central Oregon,” said Roger Lee, executive director of Economic Development for Central Oregon.

An extensive long-range development planning effort that is underway will expand the campus onto an adjacent property, a 46-acre pumice mine, and potentially onto a second adjacent property, a 76-acre county demolition landfill.  The two properties together represent one of the largest under-utilized tracts of land within Bend’s urban growth boundary.

A design team of Page and SERA is partnering with Oregon State to deliver a long-range development plan in February 2017. So far, the effort has gathered input from community advisory groups, community members, faculty, staff and students. That input has helped develop visions for the branch campus in strategic areas such as sustainability, health and wellness, innovation and community partnerships.

Studies will assess the possibility for a net-zero energy, water and waste campus, with campus-wide biomass district energy to provide heat. On the initial 10 acres, native plants were harvested and replanted, and transportation options for students include bike share, car share and free bus passes.

Funds need to be secured for future campus growth, officials say, and the next buildings should be ready for students in three to five years.

-30-

Editor’s Note: Video is available.

  • Brief video remarks from OSU President Ed Ray are available online: YouTube, https://youtu.be/DaaxiZFZAJk
  • Ray interview, downloadable high resolution video, http://bit.ly/2clNcjy
Source: 

Christine Coffin, 541-322-3152

 


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Tykeson Hall
Tykeson Hall

Construction to begin on OSU-Cascades’ 10-acre campus

BEND, Ore. – Oregon State University will begin construction of its new OSU-Cascades campus as soon as required permits are issued by the city of Bend – a process that is expected to take place within the next two weeks.

“This is ultimately about educational opportunities for Central Oregon,” said Ed Ray, Oregon State University president.  “Every year that we delay the campus, another group of young people leave Central Oregon to seek a four-year university degree, and many never return. The start of construction signals that the 30-year aspiration to bring a four-year university to Bend – the largest population area in Oregon without a university – is finally being realized.”

Oregon State University officials expect to have the required permits and to initiate construction activities, including excavation and tree removal, during the week of June 29.

OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson said starting construction this summer makes it possible for the OSU-Cascades’ campus to open for classes in fall 2016. However, severe weather or other construction delays may result in an opening later in the academic year.

Initial campus development will include two buildings: a 43,650-square-foot academic building and a 113,000-square-foot residence hall and dining center complex, as well as campus streets, pathways and parking.

The new four-year university campus will serve up to 1,890 students. OSU-Cascades will enroll freshmen for the first time in fall 2015 and in the interim conduct classes for undergraduate students at Cascades Hall on the Central Oregon Community College campus and at OSU-Cascades Graduate & Research Center. A new shuttle will transport students between the two facilities.

Johnson said the decision to begin construction was made knowing that yet another appeal may be filed to challenge previous approvals for development of the 10.44-acre campus. Previously, the city of Bend planning staff, a Bend land use hearings officer, the Bend City Council and the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) have approved the site development plan for the campus.

“OSU carefully reviewed the June 8 decision by LUBA affirming OSU-Cascades' site plan approval for a 10.44-acre campus in Bend,” Johnson said. “The LUBA decision fully and strongly affirmed the city of Bend's approval of this site plan.”

Appellants have indicated that they intend to provide notice by a June 29 deadline of their intent to appeal the LUBA decision to the State Court of Appeals.

“Under local code and state law, development is allowed to continue while an appeal is pending.” Johnson said. “Initial construction work will include site preparation and will be completed within city of Bend and Oregon land use laws. All work will be conducted in accordance with city of Bend-issued building permits.”

Johnson said Oregon State has fully assessed an unlikely remand or reversal of LUBA’s decision by the Courts of Appeals.

 “Oregon State is confident that significant construction progress can be made while a potential appeal is being considered and still allow the university to adjust to changes that could result from an unlikely remand or reversal by the Court of Appeals.”

Johnson said construction activity will follow dust and noise mitigation plans and processes, and will minimize construction equipment travel on community streets.  These plans included input from many community members who participated in the Campus Expansion Advisory Committee Neighborhood Livability task force and were adopted by OSU-Cascades.

“During construction, OSU-Cascades will keep the public fully informed – and respond to questions regarding the campus’ construction progress – via the OSU-Cascades website, social media and other communication channels,” Johnson said.

Ray said Oregon State University and OSU-Cascades will continue working with Bend and Central Oregon residents, as well as with community, business and education leaders.

“We will continue to engage in collaborative planning and problem-solving by actively seeking public input,” Ray said. “Working together, we can tackle legitimate concerns about traffic and housing, while ensuring OSU-Cascades will bring the educational, economic and cultural benefits to Central Oregon that will add to the region’s quality of life.”

Source: 

Christine Coffin, 541-322-3152, Christine.coffin@osucascades.edu

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Illustrative site plan for Oregon State University–Cascades in Bend.

OSU Board of Trustees approves new degree, bond sales

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University plans to launch the state’s only four-year degree in hospitality management beginning this year at the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend. The proposal was approved Friday by the OSU Board of Trustees.

The multi-disciplinary degree will include options for eco-tourism and sustainability, a business minor, and practicum/internship requirements.

In Oregon, hospitality is a $9.2 billion industry that directly generates more than 91,000 jobs and indirectly creates another 41,000 jobs, officials say. In Central Oregon, tourism and hospitality are particularly important and continue to be the region’s largest source of jobs, growing at a rate of nearly 13 percent every year.

“It will create significant higher education opportunities for place-bound Oregonians in an area of the state reliant on the hospitality industry,” said Rebecca Warner, senior vice provost for Academic Affairs at Oregon State.

Warner said the proposed program has received statewide support from the hospitality industry.

Now the proposal will go to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for review and consideration for approval at HECC’s February meeting in Corvallis.

The board on Friday also approved a resolution requesting the State Treasurer to issue bonds previously authorized by the Oregon Legislature in 2013 and 2014 for real estate and expansion of OSU-Cascades, renovation of Strand Agricultural Hall, partial funding for the construction of the Learning Innovation Center (also known as the new classroom building), and partial funding for construction of Johnson Hall – a new $40 million, 60,000-square-foot engineering building.

The board also approved a process to annually determine student tuition and fees. The board will receive a recommendation on tuition and fees from OSU President Edward J. Ray, who first will consult with student government leaders and other students on the Corvallis campus as well as the OSU-Cascades campus.

The board also heard reports from OSU administrators on risk management, long-range facilities planning, state funding for higher education, accreditation, educational goals and ways the university measures academic progress. Members also heard a presentation from OSU College of Liberal Arts Dean Larry Rodgers and liberal arts students on the growth, reorganization and expansion of academic programs and degrees, along with personal overviews of student experiences within the college,

The board also approved the appointment of Debbie Colbert, a former administrator with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, as new board secretary. She will assume her new duties on Jan. 26.

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808; steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

OSU Board of Trustees endorses future tuition levels, funding requests

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees on Thursday unanimously endorsed a plan to continue phasing out the university’s tuition plateau, which gives undergraduate students who take from 12-15 credit hours a break on tuition.

The board vote on the tuition plateau Thursday was part of a broader approval by the OSU Board of Trustees to recommend to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education tuition rates and fees for the 2014-15 academic year. While OSU now has its own board, the Board of Higher Education, by law, must authorize any changes in tuition and fees through June 30.

OSU is the last public university in the state to offer the plateau, which has allowed students taking 13-16 hours a term to pay the same tuition as those students taking just 12 hours.

“What the plateau effectively has done is provided a higher tuition rate for students taking class loads above or below the plateau, and a lower rate for students taking 13-15 hours,” said Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president for University Relations and Marketing. “This is not equitable.”

Last year, the university’s budget committee, which included student representation, recommended a three-year phasing out of the tuition plateau and in fall 2013, the plateau was reduced from 13-16 credits hours to 13-15 credits. According to the plan endorsed by the OSU board, students next school year will pay reduced tuition for any courses between 13 and 15 credit hours, and then will pay full tuition for all credit hours in the 2015-16 academic year.

Meanwhile, the legislatively mandated tuition freeze will keep Oregon State’s resident undergraduate tuition rate at $189 per credit hour for 2014-15. There will be no increase in “differential tuition surcharges” for high-demand programs such as engineering.

What this means for students taking an average of 15 credit hours per term in 2014-15 is an annual tuition charge of $7,650.

“While this represents an increase from the 2013-14 tuition rate ($6,876 for the year), it is well below the median tuition for Oregon State’s peer institutions, and less than the tuition rate charged by the University of Oregon,” Clark said. The median tuition for OSU’s peer land grant institutions is $9,510; the University of Oregon’s rate in 2013 was $8,280.

The OSU board also voted to increase the tuition rate for most graduate students by 2.1 percent for in-state students, and 3.9 percent for out-of-state students. Tuition for students in pharmacy and veterinary medicine will increase by 3.0 percent, while differential tuition will remain at the same level.

The board also on Thursday unanimously voted to forward a capital projects funding request of $278 million for the 2015-17 biennium to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, which must review the plan and incorporate some or all of the recommendations to its budget request to the Oregon Legislature.

The request includes $171.5 million in state-paid bonds, $7.5 million in bonds that would be paid by OSU, and $99 million in projected grants and gifts. State-funded bond projects include campus accessibility improvements, technology infrastructure upgrades, building and program renewals, and renovation of Fairbanks and Magruder halls.

New building projects that would be funded in part by grants and gifts include a new center for advanced wood materials, a new engineering building, further development of the OSU-Cascades campus, and a new building in Newport that would launch the first phase of the marine studies campus initiative at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

In other action:

  • The board adopted its own policies related to: the roles and responsibilities of board members and officers, board committees, the board’s code of ethics, conflict of interest requirements, associated board travel expenses, attendance at university events, and the board calendar;
  • The board voted to ratify the university’s existing mission statement.
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Steve Clark, 503-502-8217; steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

$5 million gift is largest in OSU-Cascades’ history, supports capital expansion

BEND, Ore. – A $5 million gift to Oregon State University – Cascades will propel the university toward its next phase of capital development, which will include a second academic building for the growing campus. The gift from an anonymous donor represents the largest donation ever received by the Bend campus.

“A visionary gift like this, at the onset of our efforts to seek capital funds from the Oregon State Legislature, makes a powerful and motivating statement,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson. “Our appreciation is tremendous, as the gift signals to our elected officials and supporters how important higher education is for all of Oregon.” 

The investment is a profound step toward a $10 million philanthropic match required for the state capital funding currently sought by OSU-Cascades, according to Johnson.

In total, OSU-Cascades is seeking $69.5 million in state bonding from the 2017 Oregon Legislature for the next phase of campus expansion. The project includes preparing adjacent land for expansion and constructing an academic building and Student Success Center. With the commitment of state funding, the anonymous donation will be applied to construction costs for the new academic building.

In his recent State of the University address, OSU President Ed Ray called the expansion of OSU-Cascades the fulfillment of a 30-year community dream to bring a four-year university to Central Oregon. He emphasized its potential impact on the state’s economy. According to ECONorthwest, if work on the Bend campus occurs as planned, in 2025 OSU-Cascades will contribute $197.8 million in total annual economic output throughout Oregon.

“OSU-Cascades is providing valued education, cultural opportunities, research and innovation to Oregon’s fastest-growing region,” Ray said. “I know that Central Oregon residents would say they have waited long enough for a four-year university. I hope that all Oregonians will agree that this university campus and its statewide benefits are long overdue.”

The Tykeson Family Foundation has also pledged $1 million toward the philanthropic match for the capital expansion. The Tykeson Family contributed toward the OSU-Cascades campus’s first academic building, named Tykeson Hall.

OSU-Cascades’ proposed additional capital facilities will provide needed instructional classroom, laboratories and student support space for the growing student enrollment at OSU-Cascades. Over the past five years, OSU-Cascades has been the fastest growing public university in Oregon. More than 1,100 students are pursuing degrees at the Bend campus, which can currently accommodate up to 1,890 students. Plans are to grow enrollment to 3,000 to 5,000 students.

Source: 

Christine Coffin, 541-322-3152, Christine.Coffin@osucascades.edu

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Conceptual image of future buildings on Oregon State University – Cascades campus

OSU-Cascades rendering

Framing discourse around conservative values shifts climate change attitudes

BEND, Ore. – Conservatives’ attitudes toward climate change and other environmental concerns shift when the issues are reframed in terms more closely aligned with their values, a new study from Oregon State University indicates.

Researchers found that people who identified as conservative were more likely to support “pro-environmental” ideals when the issues were framed as matters of obeying authority, defending the purity of nature and demonstrating patriotism. 

The study underscores the ways in which discussions of important topics are informed by a person’s moral and ideological perspective, said the study’s lead author, Christopher Wolsko, an assistant professor of psychology at OSU-Cascades.

“We think we’re just discussing issues, but we’re discussing those issues through particular cultural values that we normally take for granted,” Wolsko said. “If you re-frame issues to be more inclusive of those diverse values, people’s attitudes change.” 

The findings were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Co-authors are Hector Ariceaga and Jesse Seiden, who are alumni of OSU-Cascades.

Wolsko studies ecopsychology, a field that examines the relationship between humans and the natural world from both a psychological and ecological perspective. The goal of his latest research is to better understand the widespread political polarization occurring around environmental issues such as climate change. 

“This political polarization has been a big issue, even in the current presidential campaign,” Wolsko said. “Why is that? What, exactly, is going on psychologically?”

Moral foundations theory suggests that liberals and conservatives respond differently to broad moral categories. Liberals respond more favorably to moral issues involving harm and care, or fairness and justice, and conservatives respond more favorably to issues framed by loyalty, authority and respect, and the purity and sanctity of human endeavors, Wolsko said.

In a series of experiments, the researchers tested how shifts in moral framing affected attitudes toward environmental issues such as climate change. They reframed questions about conservation and climate change around ideals of patriotism, loyalty, authority and purity and paired them with imagery such as flags and bald eagles. 

They found that reframing the issues around these moral foundations led to shifts in attitudes for conservatives, who were more likely to favor environmental concerns in that context. There was no noticeable shift in attitudes among liberals, which isn’t a big surprise, Wolsko said.

Environmental issues are typically framed in ideological and moral terms that hold greater appeal for people with liberal views. Conservatives may not so much be rejecting environmental concerns, but rather the tone and tenor of the prevailing moral discourse around environmental issues, he said. 

That does not mean people should reframe critical discourse to manipulate attitudes about environmental concerns, Wolsko said. Rather, the goal should be to find more balanced ways to talk about the issues in an effort to reduce the polarization that can occur.

“The classic move is to segment people along these ideological lines,” he said. “But if we’re more inclusive in our discourse, can we reduce the animosity and find more common ground?” 

Future research should look at messaging that is considered more neutral and appeals to people with both liberal and conservative ideologies, Wolsko said.

“I’m really interested in the extent to which we can bring everyone together, to be more inclusive and affirm common values,” he said. “Can we apply these lessons to the political and policy arenas, and ultimately reduce the vast political polarization we’re experiencing right now?”

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Christopher Wolsko, 541-322-3182, chris.wolsko@osucascades.edu