cascades campus

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.
Media Contact: 

Steve Clark, 503-502-8217; steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

Corvallis Science Pub features talk on natural gas vehicles

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The growth of natural gas supplies in the United States has led to increased use of this fuel in industry and transportation.

At the April 14 Corvallis Science Pub, Chris Hagen of OSU-Cascades in Bend will discuss his research on a system that would enable homeowners to power their vehicles on natural gas at home. The Science Pub presentation, which is free and open to the public, begins at 6 p.m. in the Old World Deli located at 341 S.W. Second St. in Corvallis.

Hagen is testing an engine that can compress natural gas and store it in a vehicle fuel tank.

“Technologies for compressing natural gas already exist,” said Hagen, an assistant professor in the Energy Systems Engineering program. “We can buy a natural gas reciprocating compressor that operates separately and can fuel your car in eight hours. The question is whether we can come up with a commercially viable solution.”

Hagen’s research is supported by ARPA-E (the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency–Energy) through its new program titled Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy (MOVE).

Before coming to OSU-Cascades, Hagen was an assistant research professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University. He had also worked at the Chevron Energy Technology Company where he investigated novel fuels for advanced internal combustion engines. His previous industry experience includes working as an application engineer for Woodward, Inc., a global energy system solution provider.

Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Media Contact: 

Chris Hagen, 541-322-2061

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OSU-Cascades to host Geraldine Brooks as Distinguished Visiting Writer

BEND, Ore. – Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks will join the faculty of Oregon State University-Cascades in June as a Distinguished Visiting Writer in the Low Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. The residency session takes place from June 9-19.

The Australian-born Brooks is an author and journalist who spent 11 years as a correspondent at The Wall Street Journal, where her beats focused on some of the world’s most troubled areas, including Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East.

Students in the OSU-Cascades creative writing program embark on long-distance and individualized courses of study with faculty author mentors, and join fellow students for two 10-day residences each year at Caldera Arts Center outside of Sister, Ore.  Distinguished writers are invited to join the residencies and guide and nurture apprentice writers.

In addition to her journalism background, Brooks is an accomplished author whose fiction debut, “Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague,” was published in 10 countries and was a 2001 Notable Book of the Year for The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune.

Her second novel, “March,” earned Brooks the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Her third book, “People of the Book,” became an instant New York Times bestseller. Her most recent novel is “Caleb’s Crossing.”

While in Central Oregon, Brooks will also participate in the Deschutes Public Library Foundation’s Author! Author! literary series, speaking at Bend High School on June 19. 


Christine Coffin, 541-322-3152

Behavior problems in preschool and child care centers may be an issue of genes

BEND, Ore. – A new study suggests that some children may be genetically predisposed to developing behavioral problems in child care and preschool settings.

Previous research has found that some children develop behavior problems at child care centers and preschools, despite the benefit of academic gains. It was never known, however, why some youngsters struggle in these settings and others flourish. The new study indicates that some children may be acting out due to poor self-control and temperament problems that they inherited from their parents.

The study’s lead author Shannon Lipscomb, an assistant professor of human development and family sciences at Oregon State University-Cascades, said the findings point to the reason that some children develop problem behavior at care centers, despite the best efforts of teachers and caregivers. The results are published online today in the International Journal of Behavioral Development.

“Assuming that findings like this are replicated, we can stop worrying so much that all children will develop behavior problems at center-based care facilities, because it has been a concern,” she said. “But some children (with this genetic predisposition) may be better able to manage their behavior in a different setting, in a home or smaller group size.”

Researchers from Oregon State University and other institutions collected data in 10 states from 233 families linked through adoption and obtained genetic data from birth parents as well as the children. They found that birth parents who had high rates of negative emotion and self-control, based on a self-reported temperament scale, were more likely to have children who struggled with behavioral issues such as lack of self-control and anger, in child care centers. They controlled for adoptive parent’s characteristics, and still found a modest effect based on the genetic link.

“We aren’t recommending that children are genetically tested, but parents and caregivers can assess a child’s needs and help them get to a setting that might be more appropriate,” Lipscomb said. “This study helps us to explain why some children struggle so much with large peer groups and heightened social interactions. It may not be a problem with a teacher or parent, but that they are struggling on a biological level.”`

Lipscomb is in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences. She is an expert on early childhood development and school readiness, and is particularly interested in adult influences on young children.

Researchers from the University of Oregon, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of California, Riverside, Yale Child Study Center, and Oregon Social Learning Center contributed to this study, which was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Media Contact: 

Shannon Lipscomb, 541-322-3137

New biomechanics lab in Bend one of the few of its kind in the country

BEND, Ore. – A new biomechanics laboratory opening this May in Bend will provide cutting-edge research and intervention strategies for injuries – especially knees, ankles and hips – creating a perfect match with Central Oregon’s population of elite and recreational athletes.

The Functional Orthopedic Research Center of Excellence, or FORCE Laboratory, is led by researchers at Oregon State University-Cascades, in partnership with Therapeutic Associates-Bend Physical Therapy and The Center Orthopedic & Neurological Care & Research and The Center Foundation.

It is one of the few such partnerships of its kind in the country, organizers say.

“What makes this lab unique is that it is a partnership between a university, orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians and physical therapists,” said Christine Pollard, an associate professor of exercise and sports science at OSU-Cascades, and director of the FORCE Lab. “The best place to do research is in a clinical setting with a multi-disciplinary team, which we will have.

“Most cutting edge biomechanics labs are located on a university campus – not in a clinical setting,” she added. “The potential for clinically applied research is tremendous.”

Pollard said research at the FORCE Lab will include analyzing and creating effective injury prevention strategies and rehabilitation practices; and improving the efficiency and performance of human movement. One planned research project, for example, is to assess potential differences in the recovery and performance of patients with reconstructed anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs), comparing allografts from cadavers with those from patients’ own bodies – usually their hamstring or patellar tendons.

Other areas of research will range from examining recovery from complex injuries to metabolic testing of running and movement efficiency related to biomechanics. FORCE Lab partners already are in discussions with footwear companies about collaborative research.

“Central Oregon has a highly active population of ages across the lifespan,” Pollard said. “Because of that activity, they have acute injuries from skiing or climbing, as well as repetitive injuries from long-term running or cycling. That is one reason Bend is such an ideal location for this kind of collaborative research laboratory.”

The lab will offer sports performance analysis, medical intervention and injury prevention and rehabilitation guidance in addition to its research mission.  The lab has a suite of sophisticated equipment, including an eight-camera motion analysis system, two “force plates,” a treadmill with a metabolic cart, ultrasound equipment, and video cameras.

OSU-Cascades students will have an opportunity to participate in lab activities, Pollard noted, creating a rich environment for experiential learning.

“In addition to helping conduct state-of-the-art research, our students will get to work with orthopedists, sports medicine doctors, physical therapists, athletic trainers and others,” she pointed out.

Other opportunities will emerge as the FORCE Lab grows over time, she said.

“A number of our studies will be driven by physician interest,” Pollard said. “We’ve already been asked to participate in a study on concussions that involves Oregon Health & Sciences University and the University of Oregon, as well as local schools and their athletic trainers.

“The future is very, very bright.”

More information on the FORCE Laboratory is available at: http://www.osucascades.edu/force-lab

Media Contact: 

Christine Pollard, 541-322-3122

OSU-Cascades Campus

About OSU-Cascades: Located in Bend, Ore., Oregon State University’s branch campus features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Eighteen undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, exercise and sport science, hospitality management, and tourism and outdoor leadership. The branch campus plans to expand to a four-year university beginning fall 2015.

Bend family endows first faculty position at OSU-Cascades

BEND, Ore. — Oregon State University - Cascades has received a gift that will establish the first endowed faculty position at the Central Oregon campus and help launch its new Energy Engineering Management degree program that was approved by the State Board of Higher Education last month.

A charitable trust operated by the owners of BendBroadband, a family-owned business in Central Oregon, is giving $250,000 to establish the Tykeson Endowed Faculty Scholar in Energy Engineering Management.

The Eugene, Ore.-based Tykeson Family Charitable Trust has supported higher education since its inception 20 years ago, including gifts to Oregon Health and Science University and the University of Oregon. This is its first gift to OSU.

“We’ve seen OSU-Cascades gain tremendous momentum under the leadership of Vice President Becky Johnson,” said Amy Tykeson, president and CEO of BendBroadband and a trustee of the family foundation. “We are very excited about the new Energy Engineering Management program and are delighted to be a part of helping it succeed.”

The new undergraduate program is one of only a handful of its kind in the nation and represents a growing career field that requires professionals to understand both complex engineering as well as business concepts in order to identify solutions for maximum energy efficiency.

Participants in the new program will take classes in mechanical engineering, industrial engineering and business management, in addition to energy specific courses. The program is designed to give students an understanding of energy systems with an eye to business and management concerns, and environmental issues.

BendBroadband is in the midst of constructing a new Bend-based data center that will incorporate energy optimization features, including a 155KW solar array on the roof and a high-tech heat exchange system to reduce the energy required to cool the facility.

“The alignment of this giving opportunity with what we were thinking about relative to our new data center—energy management, green technologies and all the sustainability factors that go into such a facility—just seemed to fit very well,” Tykeson said. “Importantly, this is the type of degree program that will put OSU-Cascades on the map nationally.”

Graduates of the new program will be trained to help companies like BendBroadband optimize energy use.

“If we had graduates right now, they would probably be helping Amy and BendBroadband on their new data center,” said Becky Johnson, vice president of OSU-Cascades. “This gift is a testament to the Tykesons’ leadership in Central Oregon and in business development in general, and to their understanding of how important higher education is for any community.”

Prior to assuming operational oversight of BendBroadband, Amy Tykeson’s career included eight years as vice president of marketing at HBO in New York and at other communications companies. Her father, Donald Tykeson, is founder of BendBroadband and has been involved in a range of cable and business interests on the West Coast.

Don Tykeson established the Tykeson Family Charitable Trust 20 years ago to create a mechanism to give back. “And we always put education and healthcare at the top of the list,” he said.

The gift from the Tykeson Trust qualifies for the OSU Provost’s Faculty Match Program, a new initiative that leverages donors' investments by providing an extra incentive to endow faculty positions that support the priorities identified in the university's strategic plan. The Provost’s Match will add an additional $62,500 over five years to support the Energy Engineering Management program.

Amy and Don Tykeson are both University of Oregon business graduates, but Don’s sister, her husband and Amy’s husband are all Oregon State alumni.

“I’m an Oregon alum and a supporter of the Ducks,” said Don Tykeson. “But I’m interested in our state and our country and things that are much larger than that.”

OSU-Cascades energy engineering management degree approved

BEND, Ore. – The first engineering degree at Oregon State University-Cascades was approved today by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education – a new program in energy engineering management.

The degree is one of a handful of undergraduate programs of its kind in the nation, and represents a growing demand for professionals who can understand complex engineering and business issues, and identify solutions that will provide maximum energy efficiency.

Housed within OSU’s College of Engineering, the degree will initially be offered only at the Bend campus. The program was designed by faculty from both the Corvallis and Bend campuses with input from engineering companies and economic development interests in Central Oregon.

The degree meets the standards of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, and accreditation will be received after the first graduates complete the program, a requirement for accreditation. Graduates will receive a bachelor of science degree from OSU.

“The approval of the energy engineering management degree is an important milestone in the creation of a slate of distinctive academic programs at OSU-Cascades, to leverage the power of OSU, attract students, and help meet the economic needs of Central Oregon and Oregon,” said Becky Johnson, vice president of OSU-Cascades.

In the energy engineering management curriculum, students will gain technical and strategic knowledge about energy technologies, and take coursework in mechanical engineering, industrial engineering and business management in addition to energy-specific courses. They will also learn complex energy systems as applied to business, management concerns and environmental issues.

OSU-Cascades will work with the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program at OSU so students can access this competitive work-study program.  MECOP creates work-ready and experienced graduates, and about half of OSU engineering students participate in it.

“OSU’s College of Engineering is a leader in research and commercialization of sustainable forms of energy and the technologies associated with them,” said Ron Adams, dean of the college. “That, plus Central Oregon’s climate and a growing energy sector, create a recipe for a strong program.”

More information on the new program can be obtained online: http://www.osucascades.edu/academics/energy-engineering-management.


Marla Hacker, 541-322-3133