OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Richard van Breemen named director of Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has named Richard van Breemen as the director of the university’s Linus Pauling Institute.

Van Breemen, professor of pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will succeed Balz Frei as director and endowed chair of the institute, which studies the role of vitamins and other micronutrients in enhancing health and preventing disease.

Van Breemen characterized his new role as director of the Linus Pauling Institute as a “dream job.”

“Richard brings the prestige and accomplishments we were looking for in a new director,” said Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research at OSU. “He runs a National Institutes of Health-funded center for botanical dietary supplement research and is someone who makes things happen. He is very collaborative and people here already know his work. Richard feels a real passion for the work we do here at OSU and at the Linus Pauling Institute in particular.”

Van Breemen has a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Johns Hopkins University and was a post-doctoral scholar at Johns Hopkins in mass spectrometry. His undergraduate degree in chemistry is from Oberlin College.

His research includes clinical trials regarding prostate cancer prevention, and the safety and efficacy of botanical dietary supplements used by women.

At the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he has worked since 1994, van Breemen is the founding academic director of the Mass Spectrometry, Metabolomics and Proteomics Facility for the university’s Research Resources Center. He is also the director of the Botanical Center for Dietary Supplements Research, which has NIH funding through 2020 and has been continually funded since 1999.

From 1986 to 1993, van Breemen was a faculty member at North Carolina State, where he founded and directed the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory for Biotechnology Research.

Linus Pauling, who died in 1994 at age 93, was an Oregon State alumnus and is the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes – for chemistry in 1954 and for peace in 1962. A chemistry professor at California Institute of Technology, he founded what would become the Linus Pauling Institute in 1973.

Pauling bequeathed his vast scientific archives to OSU, and in 1996 the institute moved from Palo Alto, Calif., to Oregon State. The following year, Frei became director and endowed chair, a position he held until his retirement in June 2016.

Van Breemen met Pauling shortly before his death when the Nobel laureate spoke at a symposium at North Carolina State.

“Of course I had followed his work with dietary supplements for years, and I also got to know Balz upon visits to Oregon State,” van Breemen said. “I have visited several times and gotten to know the investigators and other faculty and have always known it to be a wonderful place to live and work. OSU and the Linus Pauling Institute offer a wealth of infrastructure and support that is unparalleled. The institute can help the work I have been doing be even more productive and make a bigger imprint and footprint on society.”

Van Breemen will start Jan. 1, 2018. Fred Stevens, professor of medicinal chemistry in the Oregon State College of Pharmacy, will continue as the interim director until then.

Van Breemen’s appointment at OSU will also be in the College of Pharmacy. 

Media Contact: 

Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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Richard van Breemen

OSU researcher studies cross-laminated timber as seismic retrofit tool

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Safer historic buildings and more jobs for the timber industry are the goals of a partnership between an Oregon State University structural engineering researcher and a newly formed nonprofit group in Corvallis, Oregon.

Andre Barbosa of the OSU College of Engineering is collaborating with Cascadia Seismic Strategies on a $150,000 project to study the use of cross-laminated timber panels for seismic retrofits on unreinforced masonry buildings. 

A grant coordinated through the Downtown Corvallis Association and Oregon Main Street is covering roughly two-thirds of the cost of the project, which will result in mockups of CLT retrofit systems at the 107-year-old Harding Building at Third Street and Madison Street in Corvallis.

“We’ll build prototypes that will provide details that will let engineers and construction folks see how things go together,” said Barbosa, a volunteer with Cascadia Seismic Strategies.

Barbosa is one of the original members of the group, named after the subduction zone that lies off the coast of Oregon. The major Cascadia earthquake that experts say is on the horizon would be particularly damaging to vintage masonry structures like the Harding Building, the cornerstone of the original Third Street business district.

“The DCA is concerned about the potential devastation that a Cascadia Subduction Zone mega-quake would wreak,” said Cascadia Seismic Strategies spokeswoman Roz Keeney. “Members of the DCA’s design committee recruited structural engineers, historic architects and other building professionals to join in a conversation about earthquake preparedness and historic building preservation. This group went on to form Cascadia Seismic Strategies, which is now focused on this cutting-edge project to develop a low-cost reinforcement method using local wood products and off-the-shelf steel connectors.”

Engineering work is scheduled to start in August. The grant for the 34-month project underwrites multiple design and construction strategies for dealing with weaknesses in unreinforced masonry buildings, as well as production of a video demonstrating how to implement upgrades that can serve as a guide for other communities wanting to use similar strategies in preservation and retrofitting efforts.

“This project identifies seismic retrofits for historic buildings that improve their safety performance without compromising their historic integrity,” said project manager and historic preservation architect Sue Licht. “It also demonstrates that historic rehabilitation can create local, site-specific jobs that cannot be outsourced.”

Barbosa notes that OSU is a leader in developing new wood products such as cross-laminated timber and in growing forest-products jobs amid reduced harvest levels.

“It’s important to bring jobs back to the timber industry in Oregon and to find new applications for mass timber,” he said. “This could potentially be one of them, while improving the resiliency of downtowns and the older buildings that give us liveliness and history.”

Portland firm KPFF Consulting Engineers will handle most of the structural engineering, led by Reid Zimmerman, with Barbosa lending his expertise in cross-laminated timber and seismic retrofits.

“This comes from what we’ve been learning by visiting different earthquake sites, like Napa (California) and Nepal,” Barbosa said. “We keep learning and try to bring back that knowledge and share it with communities, including by creating a model for affordable seismic retrofits for historic buildings. This is a grass-roots, community-driven solution for a big problem, a huge Cascadia quake.” 

The primary funding organization, Oregon Main Street, is a Main Street America coordinating program administered by the State Historic Preservation Office. It works with Oregon communities to “develop comprehensive, incremental revitalization strategies based on a community’s unique assets, character and heritage.”

Its goal is to build “high-quality, livable and sustainable communities that will grow Oregon’s economy while maintaining a sense of place.”

Media Contact: 

Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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Special Olympians will help OSU researchers gain further health insights

CORVALLIS, Ore. – More than 2,000 athletes will descend on Corvallis on July 8 and 9, competing in the Special Olympics Oregon Summer State Games while also helping to further research into the health of people with intellectual disabilities.

“There still is this misconception that if you have a disability, then you cannot be healthy,” said Gloria Krahn, the Barbara Emily Knudson Endowed Chair in Family Policy Studies at Oregon State University. “I would’ve thought that after 25 years, we would be past some of that. Special Olympics is helping bring about that change.”

Oregon State is hosting the Summer State Games, which feature track and field, bocce, golf and softball, with events split between Corvallis High School and the OSU campus.

Special Olympics Oregon’s Healthy Athletes program will also be part of the Summer State Games, providing free health screenings for the athletes. The screenings involve six areas called Fit Feet, FUNfitness, health promotion, Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes and Special Smiles. Strength, flexibility, balance and endurance will be tested, and athletes will be given a take-home program based on their results that aims to improve and encourage their participation in sports and recreational activities.

Special Olympics Oregon regularly hosts Healthy Athletes programs around the state.

Special Olympics Oregon also provides a program called Oregon Team Wellness for those with intellectual disabilities. The program incorporates incentives and rewards to reach benchmarks, with the ultimate goal of lifelong healthy choices and habits.

The program, which started in Oregon, has spread to other states in the Northwest. Researchers at OSU, including Alicia Dixon-Ibarra, a post-doctoral scholar in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and Krahn, are working with Special Olympics to evaluate the program.

Dixon-Ibarra is working on the research and practical side of the games.

She will gather information used in research designed to further improve the health of people with intellectual disabilities. All the information from the weekend will go into one of the largest data sets for people with intellectual disabilities in the world, and can show discrepancies between different countries and their health issues. One area of the world could have issues relating to tooth decay, for example, while another may have higher rates of obesity.    

“I find this job really rewarding,” Dixon-Ibarra said. “I know there’s a huge need for health care and health promotion for this population based on my own research and the research of others in my area, and that this is a big need that we’re fulfilling with these programs.”

Dixon-Ibarra said a common misconception is that people with intellectual disabilities can’t be as healthy as those without. Also, Krahn notes that until relatively recently, trying to keep a person with a disability active and healthy fell solely on the family, without much help from school districts or other groups that organize sports and other recreational activities.

Helping to change attitudes, the researchers say, are programs like the Special Olympics, founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968. From a small beginning – just 1,000 athletes competed in the first Special Olympics World Games – the Special Olympics are now in 169 nations and encourage more than 4 million people with developmental disabilities to be active and healthy. Shriver will be posthumously honored for her work on July 12 at the 25th annual ESPYS on ABC. 

Athletes and coaches will stay in OSU residence halls during the Summer State Games. Parking is free around Reser Stadium, and admission is free to all events. The public is invited to watch the athletes compete, and a complete schedule of the events can be found here.

People interested in volunteering with the Special Olympics Oregon Summer State Games should contact LouAnne Tabada, senior director of volunteer services for Special Olympics Oregon, at Itabada@soor.org or volunteer@soor.org.    

Media Contact: 

Lanesha Reagan, 425-359-3054

Oregon State University announces plans for arts and education complex

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Building on a decade of investment in the arts, Oregon State University leaders announced plans today for a new arts and education complex on the Corvallis campus. The initiative will expand and enhance the existing LaSells Stewart Center, bringing together music, theater, digital communications programs and the visual arts to form a center of creativity infused with science and technology.

The lead gift of $25 million comes from an anonymous donor and launches an effort to raise an additional $5 million in gifts for the project. With $30 million in private support, the university will seek future approvals for $30 million in state bonds, providing a total of $60 million for the arts and education complex. 

“This is a watershed investment in our university,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “The arts drive the culture of creativity, innovation and diversity that is essential to a thriving research environment. I believe with all my heart that a relationship with the arts is integral to the human experience. In addition to enhancing our strengths in the sciences, this initiative will enrich the education and life preparation of all our students. We owe a boundless debt of gratitude to this generous donor.”

Expected to open in 2022, the OSU arts and education complex will feature performance spaces including a new concert hall and a revitalized auditorium as well as a smaller black box theater that can be configured in multiple ways for performing and teaching. The facility also will contain classrooms designed for a media-rich environment; practice rooms and spaces for choir, symphony and band rehearsal; shop space equipped for work with sound, lights, animation and video; faculty offices and seminar rooms. 

“The arts and education complex is the next major step for OSU’s development as one of America’s great land grant universities,” said Larry Rodgers, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “At OSU we are especially interested in how art intersects with science, humanities and technology. This facility will build on these connections, transforming the way our students and our community learn, perform, innovate and communicate.”

“I am certain this new complex will join other iconic facilities that stand as testaments to the lasting impact of philanthropy on our campus – Valley Library, Austin Hall, Reser Stadium,” said Mike Goodwin, president and CEO of the OSU Foundation. 

Goodwin noted that a turning point took place in early 2013 when a donor made a $5 million challenge gift to advance OSU’s performing arts programs. By the end of the year, 26 individuals, families and organizations had made gifts of at least $25,000 each. These philanthropic commitments and others resulted in more than $8 million to support scholarships, faculty, facilities, equipment and other programs in OSU’s School of Arts & Communication. This momentum in support of OSU arts programs continues to grow. In fact, over the last two years, donors have nearly doubled the amount of scholarships available for vocal music students.

Opened in 1981, the current LaSells Stewart Center has over 1,660 event bookings annually, attracting more than 150,000 attendees for academic and research conferences and cultural offerings. The Stewart Center’s 1,200-seat Austin Auditorium is often sold out for campus and community musical performances and presentations.

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Larry Rodgers, 541-737-4581, Larry.Rodgers@oregonstate.edu; Molly Brown, 541-737-3602, molly.brown@osufoundation.org

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Student Maria Rivera

Play

Soloists Logan Stewart, Megan Sand, Nicholas Larson and Kevin Helppie

Perform

Art Professor Yuji Hiratsuka and students

Art

OSU president calls on Oregon Legislature to prioritize state funding for higher education

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray today called on the Oregon Legislature to change course and make state funding for higher education a priority.

“We are at a crossroads, and the path we take will determine the state’s future and the future of all Oregonians,” Ray said during his annual State of the University Address that drew 750 people to the Oregon Convention Center today.

“Oregon’s disinvestment in higher education must not continue. After being adjusted for inflation, our state’s support for higher education has declined 21.7 percent since 2008 – 20 percent more than the national average rate of decline.”

Ray called on Gov. Kate Brown and Oregon legislators to “make college students and their future a priority for this state.”

In his speech, Ray also announced that the OSU Foundation had committed to raise $150 million to support Oregon State’s Student Success Initiative that aims to grow student access to Oregon State and increase substantially student retention and graduation rates by 2020.

Ray reported that the OSU Foundation has already raised more than one-third of its goal, money that will bolster the Student Success Initiative by supporting scholarships, student experiential learning “and other programs that will help all students reach their full potential.”

Without increased state funding, Ray said, student tuition may likely be increased by as much as 9 percent or more at some of Oregon’s universities; educational quality will suffer; and student programs will be cut.

“This impact is landing on the backs of students and their families as tuition now pays 66.9 percent of the cost of Oregon State’s Corvallis campus educational operations and the state only 21.4 percent. This represents more than a 50 percent decline in the state’s contribution from 15 years ago. And a 43 percent increase in the share that student tuition pays.”

Ray said Oregon’s seven public university presidents are seeking a $100 million increase in state operating funds for the 2017-19 biennium and that Oregon State is asking for $69.5 million in state bonding to continue expanding the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend – $49.5 million more than proposed by the governor.

Ray rolled out the Student Success Initiative one year ago, calling on the university within four years to make an OSU degree an affordable reality for every qualified Oregonian.

The initiative included by 2020 raising first-year retention rates for all undergraduate students to 90 percent; raising six-year graduation rates for all undergraduate students to 70 percent; achieving higher completion rates for all groups of graduate and doctoral students; and ensuring that every OSU student has at least one experiential learning opportunity such as an internship or study-abroad experience.

“I am all in for the Student Success Initiative,” Ray said. “As a first-generation college student myself, this is personal, and I am committed to double down and deliver. There is nothing worse for any student than to leave college without a degree – and for the only piece of paper they can show to be a bank statement from their student loan debt.

“While all of our graduates represent the future of Oregon, the nation and the world, it is simply not acceptable that some students have opportunities and others do not.”

Ray said that without requested state bonding, OSU-Cascades’ second classroom building will not open until 2023 at the earliest.

“That the Oregon Legislature would delay serving the demand for higher education in the fastest-growing region in the state is not credible,” he said.

“In 2025 OSU-Cascades will contribute $197.8 million in total annual economic output throughout Oregon,” Ray said. “Campus operations and construction activities will support $72.7 million in annual employee compensation and be responsible for 2,083 jobs across the state. This will result in an additional $3.43 million in annual state income taxes.”

Ray said in 2034, with 5,000 students, OSU-Cascades’ operations and construction activities will contribute $273.7 million in total annual economic output; $98.6 million in annual wages; 3,662 jobs across the state; and $4.83 million paid in annual state taxes.

“I know that Central Oregon residents would say they have waited long enough for a four-year university,” he said. “I hope that all Oregonians will agree that this university campus and its statewide benefits are long overdue.”

In his address, Ray said that 2016 had been another year of notable achievements for Oregon State. Among these:

  • The university in the fall opened the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend, Oregon’s first completely new college campus in a half-century, by dedicating Tykeson Hall;
  • Also in the fall, OSU opened Johnson Hall, the new, $40 million home of the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, and broke ground on the $65 million Oregon Forest Science Complex;
  • Grant-funded research at Oregon State totaled a record $336 million, a 9 percent increase from 2015, which had also been a record year;
  • The U.S. Department of Energy awarded OSU up to $40 million to create the nation’s premier test facility for wave energy;
  • Enrollment exceeded 30,000 students for the third year in a row, and more than 6,700 degrees were awarded to OSU’s largest-ever graduating class;
  • For the third year in a row, U.S. News and World Report ranked OSU’s online Ecampus undergraduate programs among the nation’s best – this year with a No. 8 ranking.

Ray also noted that Oregon State’s robotics program, ranked best in the western U.S. and fourth in the nation, has 11 of the country’s top robotics faculty who work with 100 graduate and undergraduate students in “demonstrating how robots and artificial intelligence can operate in the real world.”

Media Contact: 

Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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Ed Ray

OSU President Edward J. Ray

OSU’s online bachelor’s, engineering programs top-ranked nationally by U.S. News

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University upheld its status as a leader in online education today when it was ranked in the top 10 nationally by U.S. News & World Report for the third consecutive year.

Oregon State Ecampus, the university’s online education division, is ranked eighth out of more than 300 higher education institutions in the category of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. OSU is tied for first among land grant universities on the list.

The full rankings are available online at http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education

Oregon State scored 89 points out of 100 in the rankings. Schools were assessed based on student engagement; faculty credentials and training; student services and technology; and peer reputation.

“Our mission is to provide adult learners with access to engaging programs that help them finish their degrees online and advance their careers,” said Ecampus Executive Director Lisa L. Templeton. “We view this recognition as a sign that the collaboration between Ecampus and our 600 Oregon State faculty partners is providing students everywhere with high-quality learning experiences.”

U.S. News also recognized Oregon State’s online master of engineering in industrial engineering program as being among the best of its kind in the nation. The fully online program, which has a focus on engineering management, is ranked number 28 nationally.

OSU Ecampus delivers 21 bachelor’s degrees online including business administration and a post-baccalaureate program in computer science. An additional 28 OSU graduate degree and certificate programs are offered online and in a hybrid (online/face-to-face) format.

In the 2015-16 academic year, more than 19,000 Oregon State students – over 60 percent of the university’s student body – took at least one Ecampus class. OSU’s distance learners are located in all 50 states and more than 40 countries.

Media Contact: 

Tyler Hansen, 520-312-1276

tyler.hansen@oregonstate.edu

Source: 

Lisa L. Templeton, 541-737-1279

lisa.l.templeton@oregonstate.edu

Parenting classes benefit all, especially lower-income families

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Parenting education can improve the skills of every mom and dad and the behavior of all children, and it particularly benefits families from low-income or otherwise underserved populations, a new study from Oregon State University suggests.

Researchers examined a sample of more than 2,300 mothers and fathers who participated in parenting education series in the Pacific Northwest between 2010 and 2012. The series, designed to support parents of children up to 6 years old, typically lasted nine to 12 weeks and consisted of one one-hour session per week led by a parent education facilitator. There was no fee for participants. 

The study, part of a growing partnership between the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences and the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative to increase access to parenting education for all families, may remove some of the stigma attached to parenting education, which has historically been associated with court orders for parents who’ve run afoul of child-protective laws.

“Parenting education works across the board,” said John Geldhof, an OSU assistant professor of behavioral and health sciences. “All parents can benefit. The way people typically learn parenting is from their parents and from books, and often times what they’ve learned is out of date and not the best practices for today. All parents – high income, low income, mandated, not mandated – can benefit from evidence-based parenting education.”

Neglectful or otherwise ineffective parenting strategies, which can be heightened by economic strain, can put children in jeopardy. While many parenting practices can lead to favorable outcomes in children, research indicates that the optimal combination usually features high levels of support and monitoring and the avoidance of harsh punishment. Those positive outcomes include higher grades, fewer behavior problems, less substance use, better mental health and greater social competence.

Findings of the OSU research, recently published in Children and Youth Services Review, indicate that parent education series serving predominantly lower-income parents resulted in greater improvements in their skills and their children’s behaviors compared to series serving higher-income parents.

“The results provide preliminary evidence that parenting education may be most effective when it targets underserved populations,” said lead author Jennifer Finders, a graduate student in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. “Another thing that’s exciting - the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative classes that are offered are general in content, and we’re seeing evidence that they’re being adapted for diverse families. This suggests that the local parenting educators are implementing the programs with fidelity and also with flexibility.”

Finders called the results “really great preliminary findings.”

“Now we need to better understand the mechanisms that underlie the findings so we can tailor programs to specific families in exciting ways for research and for practice,” she said. “This highlights the need for future research that continues to involve the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative and other researchers at OSU and elsewhere. We think parents are gaining knowledge of child development, tools for dealing with the stresses of parenting, and social networks.”

The collaborative includes among its leadership Shauna Tominey, assistant professor of practice and parenting education specialist at OSU’s Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children & Families, part of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. The parenting education series the collaborative offers are delivered at no cost to the parents.

“Given that the gap is widening between the white, middle-class population of children and children belonging to the growing low-income and Latino populations, examining the relative impact of parenting education programs across these diverse populations is essential,” Finders said. “We think parenting education can have the greatest impact by adapting existing curricula to be culturally relevant and sensitive to diverse children and families’ needs.”

Media Contact: 

Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

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John Geldhof, Ph.D.

John Geldhof

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 Ecampus named nation’s best value in online education

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s distance education program has been named the nation’s best online college in terms of value by ValueColleges.com, an organization that provides in-depth analysis and rankings on affordability and quality in higher education.

Oregon State Ecampus ranks first on a list of the Top 50 Best Value Online Colleges for 2017. The rankings assess online bachelor’s programs based on tuition costs, reputability, and return on investment using data from the website Payscale.com.

In its evaluation, the organization noted that Ecampus delivers the most online undergraduate major and minor programs in Oregon, and that OSU is a leader in STEM research and boasts the Carnegie Foundation’s highest research activity classification.

“This ranking speaks to our mission to provide learners with access to a high-quality Oregon State education,” said Ecampus Executive Director Lisa L. Templeton. “The value comes in the form of highly engaging programs that give our students opportunities for career advancement.”

All Ecampus students pay the same tuition rate no matter where they live. Ecampus serves adult learners in all 50 states and more than 40 countries by delivering 21 undergraduate degrees and 27 graduate programs online.

During the 2015-16 academic year, more than 19,000 OSU students took at least one Ecampus class.

Oregon State has developed a reputation as a leader in online education, having been ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report each of the past two years. In 2014, Ecampus won the Online Learning Consortium’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching – one of the industry’s most prestigious awards.

Media Contact: 

Tyler Hansen, 520-312-1276

Source: 

Lisa L. Templeton, 541-737-1279

lisa.l.templeton@oregonstate.edu

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OSU adaptation of free biology textbook may annually save students $100K

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University is increasing its efforts to make college more affordable for its students, particularly through the use of free, open access, online textbooks and other essential course materials.

The initiatives should reduce student costs, enhance graduation rates, increase flexibility and allow the use of innovative and interactive online instruction techniques. 

The latest example was begun this month with an award of $30,000 by the state of Oregon for an open textbook project.

With this support, OSU faculty will collaborate with those from other state institutions to adapt a biology textbook that now will be freely accessible to OSU students and learners worldwide.

It is estimated the textbook, being adapted by Lindsay Biga and Devon Quick, instructors in Oregon State’s Department of Integrative Biology, will eliminate $100,000 in OSU student spending each year. It’s one of 16 open online textbooks already in use by OSU students or in production by OSU faculty.

“Oregon State is proactively developing and adapting open textbooks on students’ behalf because the cost savings are tremendous,” said Dianna Fisher, who coordinated the grant application effort as director of Open Oregon State.

“Research shows that textbook costs are a primary roadblock to degree completion. The more affordable we can make course materials, the more likely students are to graduate.”

The findings of a study released earlier this year by the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups show that America’s 5.2 million undergraduate students spend $3 billion of their financial aid on textbooks every year. In a 2013 study by the same group, 65 percent of students who responded to the survey said they decided against buying a textbook because it was too expensive.

Oregon State’s attempts to stem the tide include open books that are being used or developed in a variety of subject areas, including business, plant science, oceanography, hydrology and computer science.

The grant for the biology textbook was awarded by the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission as part of its Open Educational Resources (OER) Grant Program. Open Oregon State, which works with faculty to create OER, will provide some matching funds.

At OSU, the textbook will be used for a biology course sequence on human anatomy and physiology. Biga, Quick and the other faculty partners will work to illustrate course concepts through interactive animations so students can visualize molecular, cellular and organismal processes and improve their content knowledge and retention.

The textbook to be adapted is “Anatomy and Physiology” by publisher OpenStax College. The modifications to the anatomy and physiology book will be completed by next summer in time for students to use it fall term 2017.

The project is expected to involve faculty from the University of Oregon, Western Oregon University, Portland State University, and Linn-Benton, Lane and Portland community colleges. 

“To me, open textbooks are about flexibility, access and interactivity,” Biga said. “Through this grant program, we have the opportunity to invest time and resources into customizing a resource to fit the schedule and curricular needs of our courses and provide free digital access to every enrolled student.”

Open textbooks are just one facet of OSU’s efforts to make learning opportunities freely accessible to learners. In May, more than 15,800 learners worldwide enrolled in a massive open online course, or MOOC, on permaculture. It was the first MOOC to be developed in-house at OSU, and will be offered again this fall. Due to its far-reaching success, instructor Andrew Millison plans to convert all course materials into an open textbook.

Media Contact: 

Tyler Hansen, 520-312-1276

Source: 

Dianna Fisher, 541-737-8658

dianna.fisher@oregonstate.edu