OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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OSU’s Beth Ray, 67, dies Friday

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University First Lady Beth P. Ray died this evening after battling cancer. She was 67.

She arrived at OSU in 2003 when her husband, Edward J. Ray, was named OSU’s 14th president. A lifetime educator, Beth Ray was previously a business law professor, academic counselor and assistant dean for academic advising.

Born Aug. 18, 1946, Ray was raised in Prairieton, Ind. She received a bachelor of arts in English and philosophy from Rice University in 1968, and a law degree from Ohio State University School of Law in 1972.

The Rays, who were married for 44 years, have three children: Michael Ray, Katherine Hall and Stephanie Pritchard.

Beth Ray was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer in May 2013 and had been receiving chemotherapy treatments. In January 2014, she and her family joined the campus community in a ceremony renaming the OSU Student Success Center as the Beth Ray Center for Academic Support. The push to rename the center in her honor was largely driven by student enthusiasm.

Her commitment to OSU students was well-known. OSU graduate Bridget Burns, an American Council of Education Fellow, said she considered Beth a surrogate parent. Burns was ASOSU president when the Rays came to OSU.

"I  always looked up to her and Ed, not just for their supportive love story spanning almost a half century, but because they were totally grounded, honest and good people," she said. "My heart aches about losing her.  She was such a special person who brought clarity, light, and kindness into the world. We are all better for having known her."

A celebration of Beth Ray’s life is tentatively scheduled for June 2 on campus. The family requests no flowers but suggests those wishing to honor Beth consider a gift to the Ed and Beth Ray Choral Leadership Endowment or the Ed and Beth Ray Scholarship Endowment at the OSU Foundation, or a gift to the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation to support programs treating childhood cancer.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

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

OSU Board of Trustees to consider tuition and fees for 2014-15

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees will meet Thursday, March 13, on the OSU campus to approve tuition and fee levels for the 2014-15 academic year.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Willamette Room of the CH2M-Hill Alumni Center, located at 725 S.W. 26th St. in Corvallis.

The board also will review the university’s funding request to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for the 2015-17 biennium, and receive updates on OSU’s strategic plan revision and The Campaign for OSU, which recently topped the $1 billion landmark in fund-raising.

Additional reports to the board will be made by OSU President Edward J. Ray, the chairs of the board’s Executive and Audit Committee and the Finance and Administration Committee, and the chair and executive director of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

On Wednesday, March 12, a meeting of the board’s Finance and Administration Committee will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. in the President’s Conference Room on the sixth floor of Kerr Administration Building. The committee will discuss tuition and fee levels, and OSU’s funding request to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, and then consider a resolution forwarding those recommendations to the full board on Thursday. This meeting is also open to the public.

People who wish to attend either meeting and need special accommodations should contact Mark Huey in the board’s office at 541-737-8260 at least 72 hours in advance.

Meeting materials for these and other meetings will be posted at:

http://oregonstate.edu/leadership/trustees/meetings.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

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

OSU selects public health leader, ecologist for Distinguished Professor Awards

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The leader behind what will become Oregon’s first accredited school of public health and a terrestrial ecologist who identified a new paradigm in wildlife research have been named 2014 recipients of the Distinguished Professor Award by Oregon State University.

Marie Harvey, a professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and William Ripple, a professor in the College of Forestry, will receive their awards this spring and give public lectures on campus.

The Distinguished Professor title is the highest designation Oregon State gives to its faculty.

Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president, said the two faculty members chosen for the honor share similar traits of innovative leadership, internationally recognized scholarship and service to the university and their respective fields.

“Marie Harvey and Bill Ripple exemplify what we hope all of our faculty will strive to become as they develop their careers,” Randhawa said. “They both have revolutionized their fields, drawing respect and admiration not only from their colleagues on campus, but from around the world.”

Harvey is widely known for her pioneering work in reproductive and sexual health, shifting the research from an exclusive focus on women to one that examines the relationship dynamics of couples as it applies to both pregnancy and disease prevention. That shift, along with Harvey’s work in diversity and equity, prompted the American Public Health Association to present her with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I am very pleased that Marie Harvey is being honored with the Distinguished Professor title,” said Tammy Bray, dean of OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences. “In addition to her scholarly contributions to the field of public health, I most appreciate her leadership and partnership with me in the effort to transform our college to become the first accredited school of public health in Oregon.”

Harvey has been a faculty member at OSU since 2003 and associate dean of the college since 2011. Her title is Distinguished Professor of Public Health.

Ripple began his career studying old-growth forests and spotted owls and evolved his research to look at the impact of predators. His work led to a new field called “trophic cascades” – or how large predators exert powerful influences on ecosystem structure and function. Examples include the influence of wolves in Yellowstone Park on everything from the composition of hardwood forests to streamside erosion.

His prominence as an ecologist has led to consulting efforts with the National Academy of Sciences, The White House, President Clinton’s Forest Summit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others. Ripple will be Distinguished Professor of Ecology.

“Bill Ripple has been a fantastic teacher and researcher in the College of Forestry and well deserves being named a Distinguished Professor,” said Thomas Maness, dean of the college. “He is an internationally known leader in the ecology of top predators and his studies on the impact of gray wolves in Yellowstone, along with co-author (OSU professor emeritus) Robert Beschta, have been featured in numerous scientific journals and in popular media. They have directly impacted conservation research and policies.”

Media Contact: 
Source: 

 Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111; Sabah.Randhawa@oregonstate.edu

OSU surpasses fundraising milestone of $1 billion

 

A copy of President Ray’s speech is available online: http://bit.ly/1dRiaHx

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray announced today that the university’s first comprehensive campaign has surpassed its $1 billion fund-raising goal – 11 months ahead of schedule.

Ray made the announcement at his annual “State of the University” address in Portland to an audience of more than 600 business, political, civic and education leaders, alumni and friends of the university. He encouraged contributions through the remainder of the year to further deepen the university’s impact on students, the state, nation and world. Gifts to The Campaign for OSU now total $1,012,601,000.

“While this is a remarkable milestone, this campaign has never been about the big number,” Ray said. “Our generous donors are committed, as is the university, to transforming Oregon State into a top-10 land grant research university to significantly advance the health of the Earth, its people and our economy.”

Donors have brought private support for Oregon State to an all-time high, with annual totals exceeding $100 million for the last three years. More than 102,000 donors to the campaign have:

  • Created more than 600 new scholarships and fellowship funds – a 30 percent increase – with gifts for student support exceeding $170 million;
  • Contributed more than $100 million to help attract and retain leading professors and researchers, including funding for 77 of Oregon State’s 124 endowed faculty positions;
  • Supported the construction or renovation of more than two dozen campus facilities, including Austin Hall in the College of Business, the Linus Pauling Science Center, new cultural centers, and the OSU Basketball Center. Bonding support from the state was critical to many of these projects.

 

Business leaders Pat Reser, a 1960 OSU alumna; Patrick Stone, a 1974 graduate; and Jim Rudd have co-chaired the campaign since its public launch in 2007. All three have been trustees of the OSU Foundation, and Reser, board chair of Reser’s Fine Foods, also serves as chair of Oregon State’s new Board of Trustees that was appointed by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.

“Our donor community is growing because people are deepening their ties to Oregon State – and that helps make us a better university,” said J. Michael Goodwin, CEO and president of the OSU Foundation, the nonprofit organization charged with raising, administering and stewarding private gifts to the university.  “This broad base of support positions Oregon State well for future philanthropic support and engagement from our alumni, parents and friends.”

Donors from every state and more than 50 countries have invested in OSU as part of the campaign. Almost 40 percent of these campaign donors are first-time donors to the university. More than 1,000 donors have made campaign gifts of more than $100,000, including 177 donors who have made gifts of $1 million or more. Oregon State joins only 34 other public universities in the country to have crossed the billion-dollar mark in a fund-raising campaign.

“The campaign is about developing and energizing a community of dedicated advocates, people who share our vision of what Oregon State can accomplish,” Ray said. “These partners have changed Oregon State forever – and I believe the best is yet to come.”

In his State of the University address, Ray said Oregon needs to quit talking and start planning to meet its goal of a more educated citizenry to achieve economic and social prosperity. He cited the state’s lack of apparent focus on reaching Oregon’s “40-40-20” educational achievement goal, which calls for 40 percent of adult Oregonians to hold a bachelor’s or advanced degree, 40 percent to have an associate’s degree or a meaningful postsecondary certificate, and all adult Oregonians to hold a high school diploma or equivalent by the year 2025.

OSU has developed a plan to do its part and is committed to those goals, already demonstrating success, Ray said. But more is needed.

“Beyond Oregon State University’s own enrollment management and strategic plan, I have no idea how the state will get to 40-40-20, which could require as many as 35,000 more students annually enrolled in our four-year universities and colleges,” Ray said. “There is no statewide blueprint.”

Ray went on to describe how OSU’s enrollment grew by 1,532 students in Corvallis and online and by another 135 students at OSU-Cascades in Bend.

“Despite those gains, the net increase in enrollment among all Oregon public universities outside of Oregon State totaled 14 students,” Ray pointed out. That includes an enrollment increase at the Oregon Institute of Technology of 413 students.

OSU has been following a plan for the past two years to help the state achieve its goals. Ray said the university expects to educate 28,000 students in Corvallis, 3,000 to 5,000 students at OSU-Cascades by 2025; and grow its online enrollment to more than 7,000 students. The university also plans to educate another 500 students annually by 2025 at a new marine studies campus located in Newport.

Ray, who recently completed his 10th year as OSU president, pointed to several Oregon State University initiatives that will help boost the economy:

 

  • OSU will lead a new national effort through its College of Forestry to advance the science and technology necessary to utilize wood in the construction of taller buildings in a public-private partnership that will advance manufacturing in Oregon and boost rural economies;
  • The university launched the OSU Advantage last year – a one-stop shop for linking businesses with the students and researchers of Oregon State to accelerate new business development and spinoff companies;
  • OSU’s research enterprise continues to grow and reached $263 million in 2013 – a 70 percent increase over the last decade. Two major initiatives include the selection of Oregon State to lead the design and construction of the next generation of ocean-going research vessels for the United States, and the selection of OSU, along with partners in Alaska and Hawaii, to operate one of six national sites for unmanned aircraft systems.

Industry-sponsored research is up 60 percent in five years, Ray pointed out, and licensing agreements with industry have increased 83 percent. Since 2006, OSU has helped launched 20 startup companies, which have raised $190 million in venture capital and created hundreds of jobs.

“Economic development,” Ray said, “is part of our DNA.”

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Steve Clark, 503-502-8217

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Kearney Hall

Kearney Hall

 

Video that could be downloaded for B-roll is available online: http://bit.ly/1frg9Xc

OSU Board of Trustees elects initial leadership

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees, in its first meeting since being confirmed by the Oregon Senate in November, on Thursday unanimously elected Patricia “Pat” Reser of Beaverton, Ore., as initial chairwoman.

The board also voted Darald “Darry” Callahan of San Rafael, Calif., as initial vice-chairman. The positions are being listed as “initial” until the board becomes official under state law on July 1.

Reser is board chair of Reser’s Fine Foods, Inc., a family-owned fresh refrigerated food company. A retired employee of the Beaverton School District, she is one of three co-chairs of OSU’s Capital Campaign Steering Committee and is serving her third term as an OSU Foundation Trustee.

Callahan is former president of Chevron Chemical Company, and served as executive vice president of Power, Chemicals and Technology for ChevronTexaco Corp. from 2001 until his retirement in 2003. He is a former chair of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees also created three initial committees:

  • The Academic Strategies Committee will be chaired by Paul Kelly of Portland; Orcilia Zúñiga Forbes of Portland is vice chair;
  • The Finance and Administration Committee will be chaired by Kirk Schueler of Bend; Elson Floyd of Pullman, Wash., is vice chair;
  • The Executive and Audit Committee will be chaired by Reser; Callahan is vice chair.

The board approved Meg Reeves, OSU’s general counsel, as board secretary. It also approved a series of bylaws guiding its actions.

Steve Clark, vice president for University Relations and Marketing at OSU, said the primary purpose of this first meeting of the board has been to orient the board with the university, introduce the members to their roles and responsibilities, and allow them to get acquainted with one another.

The board meeting will continue on Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the CH2M-Hill Alumni Center.

More information about the OSU Board of Trustees is available online at: http://oregonstate.edu/leadership/trustees

Media Contact: 
Source: 

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

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Pat Reser, OSU Board

Pat Reser

 

Darry Callahan and Ed Ray
Darry Callahan and
OSU President Ed Ray

Amber fossil reveals ancient reproduction in flowering plants

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A 100-million-year old piece of amber has been discovered which reveals the oldest evidence of sexual reproduction in a flowering plant – a cluster of 18 tiny flowers from the Cretaceous Period – with one of them in the process of making some new seeds for the next generation.

The perfectly-preserved scene, in a plant now extinct, is part of a portrait created in the mid-Cretaceous when flowering plants were changing the face of the Earth forever, adding beauty, biodiversity and food. It appears identical to the reproduction process that “angiosperms,” or flowering plants still use today.

Researchers from Oregon State University and Germany published their findings on the fossils in the Journal of the Botanical Institute of Texas.

The flowers themselves are in remarkable condition, as are many such plants and insects preserved for all time in amber. The flowing tree sap covered the specimens and then began the long process of turning into a fossilized, semi-precious gem. The flower cluster is one of the most complete ever found in amber and appeared at a time when many of the flowering plants were still quite small.

Even more remarkable is the microscopic image of pollen tubes growing out of two grains of pollen and penetrating the flower’s stigma, the receptive part of the female reproductive system. This sets the stage for fertilization of the egg and would begin the process of seed formation – had the reproductive act been completed.

“In Cretaceous flowers we’ve never before seen a fossil that shows the pollen tube actually entering the stigma,” said George Poinar, Jr., a professor emeritus in the Department of Integrative Biology at the OSU College of Science. “This is the beauty of amber fossils. They are preserved so rapidly after entering the resin that structures such as pollen grains and tubes can be detected with a microscope.”

The pollen of these flowers appeared to be sticky, Poinar said, suggesting it was carried by a pollinating insect, and adding further insights into the biodiversity and biology of life in this distant era. At that time much of the plant life was composed of conifers, ferns, mosses, and cycads.  During the Cretaceous, new lineages of mammals and birds were beginning to appear, along with the flowering plants. But dinosaurs still dominated the Earth.

“The evolution of flowering plants caused an enormous change in the biodiversity of life on Earth, especially in the tropics and subtropics,” Poinar said.

“New associations between these small flowering plants and various types of insects and other animal life resulted in the successful distribution and evolution of these plants through most of the world today,” he said. “It’s interesting that the mechanisms for reproduction that are still with us today had already been established some 100 million years ago.”

The fossils were discovered from amber mines in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar, previously known as Burma. The newly-described genus and species of flower was named Micropetasos burmensis.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

George Poinar, 541-752-0917

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Ancient flowers

Ancient flower


Pollen tubes

Pollen tubes

Celebrate Veterans Day – then head back to class

CORVALLIS, Ore. – With improved educational benefits and after years of conflict in the Middle East, a flood of veterans are heading to college in numbers that surpass those of recent history.

Oregon State University has 1,025 students who are receiving veteran educational benefits, a new record and the most of any university in Oregon. They now account for about one out of every 25 students at OSU, and a range of programs are being created or expanded to help facilitate this stream of incoming veterans.

“I’ve talked to counterparts all over the country and this is clearly a national trend,” said Gus Bedwell, the OSU veteran resources coordinator. “OSU has always had quite a few veteran students, but right now we’re almost triple the number of five years ago. Other institutions are also seeing three to four times as many veterans as they used to.”

Part of the increase, officials say, is due to an expansion of educational benefits that were put in place in the early 2000s, including some that veteran dependents and spouses can use. A weak economy also made it an opportune time for veterans to attend college, just like many other students.

OSU has responded with renewed efforts to pave the way for returning veterans, programs to cut through federal bureaucracy, and make sure the students get both the personal and professional help they need.

Two new initiatives at OSU are an example. A Student Health Services Veterans Work Group is helping to ensure treatment of the full range of health concerns that veterans face, including access to some local services. And a Veterans Work Group focuses much of its efforts on academic and programmatic support. This group and other officials have trained advisers, worked to expedite the transfer of military transcripts to academia, and helped keep students informed during the recent government shutdown.

A website at http://oregonstate.edu/veterans/home/ helps guide veterans, and a veterans lounge in the OSU Memorial Union allows veterans an opportunity to meet and build their community in a casual setting.

“OSU has really made an effort to understand the obstacles veterans face and help work around them,” Bedwell said.

For instance, he said, the federal government is often slow at making veteran educational benefit payments. Officials know the money will come, but in the meantime it can cost students penalties, interest, and create “holds” that interfere with course registration. So the university created a mechanism to avoid these holds, allow regular progress with an educational program, and refund any penalties once the government payments are made. This program is called the “Goodwill Interest Waiver.”

The university’s nationally recognized program of distance education, E-Campus, is also a favorite with many veterans. They can take courses while living literally anywhere in the world and earn degrees in a wide range of fields.

OSU, with its origin as a land grant college, had a mandate under the Morrill Act of 1862 to “include military tactics” as part of its educational program, and the university has always been tuned to the needs of veterans.

It’s one of a limited number of schools that hosts all four branches of the Reserve Officers Training Corp, and its student center, the Memorial Union, was named to help honor veterans, many of them returned from World War I. OSU has earned the title of “Military Friendly School” by GI Jobs several years in a row.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Gus Bedwell, 541-737-7662

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Veterans Day Parade

Students in parade

Celebrated memoirist Nick Flynn to read at OSU on Oct. 11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Writer Nick Flynn will read from his work on Friday, Oct. 11, at Oregon State University’s Valley Library rotunda. The free public event begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

Flynn is the author of three memoirs including “The Reenactments” (2013), “The Ticking is the Bomb: A Memoir of Bewilderment” (2010) and “Another … Night in Suck City” (2004). Flynn is also the author of three books of poetry.

Of Flynn’s most recent memoir, “The Reenactments,”  Kirkus Reviews wrote: “Flynn’s determination to better understand his life through the act of writing and remembering has yielded a truly insightful, original work.” Clea Simon of The Boston Globe said Flynn’s writing is “always specific and honest” and “dryly funny.”

His award-winning memoir “Another … Night in Suck City” was turned into the movie “Being Flynn,” starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano. That book recounted his unusual relationship with his alcoholic father and the suicide of his mother.

Flynn, 52, is a professor of poetry and married to actress Lili Taylor.

Flynn has been awarded fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation, The Library of Congress, The Amy Lowell Trust, and The Fine Arts Work Center.

The Visiting Writers Series brings nationally-known writers to Oregon State University. The program is made possible by support from The Valley Library, OSU Press, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and Grass Roots Books and Music.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Rachel Ratner, 516-652-5817

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NickFlynn
Nick Flynn

OSU celebrates sustainability with Earth Week

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will celebrate Earth Week April 20-26, acknowledging a new theme each day.

Earth Week is an expansion upon Earth Day, which has been celebrated at OSU since its conception in 1970, and features a variety of fun and educational activities focusing on environmental awareness and engagement.

Events taking place on certain days will reflect that day’s theme: Animal Appreciation, Promoting Justice, Celebrating Community, Built Environment, Conserving Resources, Get Outdoors, and Service Day.

One of the returning events will be the 14th annual Earth Week Community Fair, which will fall on Earth Day, April 22, and run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will feature more than 50 organizations in sustainability, each hosting its own table and activity in the MU Quad.

Following the fair, the annual Earth Day Hoo Haa! will take place at the Organic Growers Club farm from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Free food and music will be offered at the event, and tours of the farm will be made available. Transportation to the farm is provided, with shuttles running from the new OSU Beaver Store every 15 minutes.

OSU Surplus Property will host the OSUsed Store Earth Week Sale on April 23. Students and community members may come to the OSUsed Store to browse and purchase used furniture, computers, electronics, housewares, and more from noon 3 p.m.

Earth Week concludes on April 26 with a day of service projects to encourage students to be rooted in their community.

A more detailed list of events may be found at:  (http://tiny.cc/earth-calendar).

OSU Campus Recycling began to form from the initial Earth Day celebrations. It offers recycling services to events on campus throughout the year, (http://recycle.oregonstate.edu/resources) and is responsible for managing a comprehensive waste management system at OSU that focuses on reducing, reusing and recycling with disposal as a last resort. More information about the program can be found at http://recycle.oregonstate.edu.

Source: 

Andrea Norris, 541-737-5398, andrea.norris@oregonstate.edu

OSU to celebrate 100th birthday of former faculty member Bernard Malamud

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will mark the 100th birthday this month of one of its most-recognized faculty members, acclaimed American novelist Bernard Malamud, with a celebration and the launch of a search for early copies of his book, “A New Life.”

The centenary celebration, featuring a display from the university’s Malamud archives, will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 24, in the Valley Library at OSU. Neil Davison, an associate professor of English, will give a brief presentation; OSU English majors will read from “A New Life,” and archival materials from the library’s Malamud collection will be on display.

The event will be held in Special Collections on the fifth floor of the library, 201 S.W. Waldo Place.

It is free and open to the public. It is hosted by the School of Writing, Literature and Film in the OSU College of Liberal Arts and the English Student Association.

Malamud, who died in 1986, taught at OSU from 1949 to 1961. His books include “The Natural,” and “The Fixer,” for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. “A New Life,” published in 1961, is based on Malamud’s time in Corvallis.

Two members of the English faculty are searching for annotated, first-edition copies of “A New Life” that may have circulated in Corvallis in the 1960s. There are rumors that several copies of the book exist in Corvallis, with notations connecting real people and places in Corvallis to the characters and situations in the book, said assistant professor Ehren Pflugfelder.

Pflugfelder and assistant professor Raymond Malewitz are hoping one or more such copies still exist. They would like to borrow the books for use in a new digital humanities course being planned for 2015.

Digital humanities courses are a way for researchers to help students use new, technology-based research methods. Using the annotated books and other materials from the Malamud archives, students could create projects such as digital maps of places in the book, or a field guide to Malamud’s work in Corvallis, Pflugfelder said.

“We plan to offer the digital humanities course and focus on Malamud, but if we found an annotated copy of ‘A New Life,’ we would build the course around it,” Pflugfelder said. “It would be great raw material for the students to work from.”

Anyone who might have an early annotated copy of “A New Life,” or who knows of one, can contact Pflugfelder at Ehren.pflugfelder@oregonstate.edu.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Elizabeth Sheehan, Elizabeth.sheehan@oregonstate.edu, regarding the event

Ehren Pflugfelder, Ehren.pflugfelder@oregonstate.edu, regarding the book search