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McComb named senior vice provost for Academic Affairs at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Brenda McComb, a longtime Oregon State University faculty member and dean of the Graduate School since 2011, has been named senior vice provost for Academic Affairs at OSU.

Before being selected to head the Graduate School, McComb led the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society in Oregon State’s College of Forestry.

As senior vice provost, McComb will support Provost and Executive Vice President Sabah Randhawa in matters related to faculty development, curricular operations, assessment and accreditation, strategic plan implementation, academic capacity planning, academic initiatives and special projects. She also will serve on the OSU President’s Cabinet and Provost’s Council.

Among the primary responsibilities for the senior vice provost:

  • Leadership and coordination of faculty matters, including shaping faculty hiring, support and development of OSU faculty;
  • Oversight of curriculum matters, including curriculum development and review;
  • Liaison with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and the Higher Education Coordination Curriculum;
  • Oversight of institutional planning and research.

“Brenda McComb has invaluable experience both as a faculty member and as an administrator working with faculty in creating an environment that supports exceptional teaching, research and outreach,” Randhawa said. “Brenda provided exceptional leadership to the Graduate School, which is better-positioned now to meet the needs of our graduate students and support graduate faculty.”

McComb’s career began at the University of Kentucky’s Department of Forestry. She joined the Oregon State faculty, with joint appointments in forestry and fisheries and wildlife, in 1987. After nearly a decade at Oregon State, McComb left to become head of the Department of Natural Resources Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, and returned to OSU in 2009 to head the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society.

In addition to her roles as department head and dean of the Graduate School, McComb has served as a founding member of the Oregon State University Board of Trustees since 2012.

McComb will begin her new position on Jan. 11. The appointment of senior vice provost is typically made for five years, though the length of appointment is at the discretion of OSU provost. McComb succeeds Rebecca Warner, who is returning to teaching and research in the College of Liberal Arts.

Randhawa said a leadership succession plan for the Oregon State University Graduate School will be forthcoming.

Story By: 

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

Ford to leave Oregon State University for CFO position at Bastyr University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Glenn Ford, the vice president for finance and administration/CFO at Oregon State University since July, 2013, is leaving OSU to assume a similar position at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Wash.

Ford will begin his new position in mid-February at Bastyr, a private university that offers graduate and undergraduate education and research in naturopathic medicine.

Oregon State President Ed Ray on Monday appointed Ron Adams to serve as interim vice president of administration, and Michael Green to serve as interim vice president for finance, while OSU conducts a national search for a new vice president of finance and administration.

Green is associate vice president for finance and administration at Oregon State and previously served as associate vice chancellor for finance and administration for the Oregon University System. Adams, a former dean of the College of Engineering and interim head of OSU’s research office, is senior associate vice president for administration and strategic initiatives at OSU.

Adams and Green will assume their new duties on Jan. 4. Ford will work closely with them to ensure a smooth transition before his departure in mid-February, university officials said.

At Oregon State, Ford served as the university’s chief financial officer and oversaw all financial and administrative components of OSU, including capital planning and development, facilities, human resources and public safety. 

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve Oregon State University,” Ford said. “I am grateful to President Ed Ray for providing me the opportunity to be part of this great university and Beaver Nation. I will forever feel a part of the special community that makes up Oregon State.”

Ray acknowledged Ford’s many contributions while at OSU.

“Glenn ably helped Oregon State navigate becoming an independent public university with its own board of trustees,” Ray said. “He assembled a strong team of professionals and instituted procedures that will help successfully guide OSU’s fiscal management and capital planning for a long time into the future.”

Ford said he and his wife, Tammy, are looking forward to living closer to their two daughters and other family members. Prior to joining Oregon State, Ford served as the vice president for finance and administration/CFO at Linfield College in McMinnville, and vice president for business and finance/CFO at Utah State University.

Media Contact: 



Steve Clark, 541-737-3808

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Glenn Ford
Glenn Ford

OSU Board of Trustees Committees to meet in December

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees’ standing committees will hold meetings in December. These meetings are open to the public:

  • The Academic Strategies Committee will meet on Dec. 4 from 9 to 11 a.m. to consider the committee’s work plan for 2016. The public can attend the meeting in the President’s Conference Room located on the sixth floor of the Kerr Administration Building, 1500 S.W. Jefferson Way, Corvallis.
  • The Finance and Administration Committee will meet on Dec. 8 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. to consider quarterly management, investment and endowment reports. The public can attend the meeting in conference room B102 located on the first floor of the Kerr Administration Building, 1500 S.W. Jefferson Way, Corvallis.
  • The Executive and Audit Committee will meet on Dec. 15 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. to assess the board composition and consider potential candidates to recommend to the governor for the vacant board position. The public can attend the meeting in conference room B102 located on the first floor of the Kerr Administration Building, 1500 S.W. Jefferson Way, Corvallis.

Meeting agendas and materials will be posted online as they become available at: http://leadership.oregonstate.edu/trustees/meetings.

If special accommodation is required, contact Marcia Stuart at 541-737-3449 or marcia.stuart@oregonstate.edu at least 72 hours in advance.

Story By: 

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

OSU to honor Veterans Day by closing, beginning this year

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will observe Veterans Day (Nov. 11) as an official holiday beginning this year.

No classes will be held that Wednesday and the university will be closed.

The decision to observe Veterans Day was announced last year by OSU President Edward J. Ray, after consultation with both the OSU Faculty Senate and the Associated Students of Oregon State University. OSU began fall term earlier this year to accommodate the change.

Oregon State has more than a thousand students who receive veteran educational benefits – the most of any university in Oregon. “It is important that we recognize and honor the many sacrifices that our nation’s veterans have made,” Ray said.

A range of programs have been initiated or expanded to help support the university’s student veterans, according to Steve Clark, OSU vice president for University Relations and Marketing.

“We are proud to honor our veterans and their contributions to America,” Clark said. “This is a meaningful decision by Oregon State – a university with some 3 percent of our overall enrollment made up of veterans. OSU has long been known as the ‘West Point of the West’ due to Oregon State’s historic U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Program. OSU proudly also has ROTC programs with the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”

Story By: 

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

Presidential historian Michael Beschloss gives Provost’s Lecture at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Historian Michael Beschloss will deliver the 2015 Provost’s Lecture at Oregon State University in the Austin Auditorium of The LaSells Stewart Center on Tuesday, Nov. 10, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

 Beschloss will speak on “Leadership Under Pressure: A Historian’s Close-up Look at Presidential Decision-Making.” It is free and open to the public.

 A preeminent presidential historian, Beschloss is the author of eight books and frequently serves as an analyst on Meet the Press, The Daily Show, The PBS NewsHour and other shows. He is the author of a regular column in the New York Times, and is the first presidential historian ever appointed by NBC News.

Since he was 10 years old, poring over history books, Beschloss knew he wanted to become a historian.

 “I loved to read history books about presidents and also felt I was living through a period in American history in which whoever happened to be president had a big influence on how Americans lived,” he said.

 Beschloss arrives at OSU in the midst of a heated and divisive presidential primary season, but said the current animosity is less about a rift in the general population and more about the nature of modern American politics.

 “The antagonisms are great, but if you compare the political differences of our time to earlier periods, there have been other times when the differences were much greater – such as the debates over slavery in the 1850s, economics and whether to fight Hitler in the 1930s,” Beschloss said.

 “The point is that hostility between the two parties is now built into our modern political process, no matter how deep the actual divisions in the country.”

 That said, the more divisive candidates, while attracting a certain demographic in the primaries, are unlikely to move forward if history is any predictor.

 “Unifiers tend to have an easier time getting elected president than dividers,” Beschloss said. “It’s hard to think of anyone in recent times who succeeded in winning the presidency on a platform that preeminently pitted groups against one another.”

 An interesting facet of the current presidential race is that the field is appears open to more than just white males, Beschloss noted. With the first African-American president serving his second term, and both women and a non-Christian vying for a spot in the coming primaries, the presidency is looking like a possibility for a broader group of people.

 “One of the glories of America is that the gates to the White House are always opening wider, and that process is likely to speed up as demographic changes make the composition of American society look very different from the way it did even 20 years ago,” Beschloss said.

 Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the lecture, which will be followed by a book signing.  





Story By: 

Shelly Signs, 541-737-0724; shelly.signs@oregonstate.edu

Sidebar: OSU board approves three new graduate programs

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees on Friday approved three new graduate academic programs for 2016.

The new programs will establish a master of arts degree in environmental arts and humanities, a Ph.D. and master of science degree in psychology, and a professional master’s degree in athletic training at Oregon State.

The programs must be reviewed by the provosts’ council, made up of representatives from Oregon’s public universities, and approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities before becoming official.

The program in environmental arts and humanities is designed to provide students with the cultural, moral, historical, spiritual, creative and communication dimensions of environmental issues. Supported primarily by the colleges of Liberal Arts, Science, Forestry and Agricultural Sciences, as well as the Graduate School, the program will prepare students to work with environmental organizations, government agencies, corporations and “green businesses” and other environmental positions.

The Ph.D. and master’s program in psychology, offered by the School of Psychological Science at OSU, will focus on training doctoral students, who may obtain the master’s degree as part of the process. As psychology is considered a “hub science,” the program will focus on the psychological methods and research necessary to solve practical problems in the public and private sectors, as well as other disciplines.

The professional athletic training master’s degree, offered through the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, will replace the widely recognized undergraduate program and degree offered since 1973-74. The new professional master’s degree will better prepare students for the increasingly complex profession, and help them provide sports medicine patient care to teams from the high school through professional levels, as well as in hospitals, clinics, physical therapy practices and elsewhere.

Story By: 

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

OSU Trustees laud work, ethics of President Ray

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees on Friday completed an assessment of OSU President Edward J. Ray for 2014-15, approved a series of goals for him over the next fiscal year, and approved three new graduate programs.

The board also paid tribute to former trustees Elson Floyd, president of Washington State University, and Orcilia Forbes, former OSU vice president and a trustee for the Meyer Memorial Trust. Both died earlier this year.

Board chair Pat Reser said the trustees, without exception, “were pleased with the progress made toward President Ray’s goals over the past year.

“Under his leadership, the university has continued to see growth in undergraduate and graduate degrees granted, and in research funding,” Reser said. “The university has continued its progress on the OSU-Cascades campus, and Marine Studies Initiative. The president was also instrumental in the highly successful and first-ever Campaign for OSU and in the smooth transition to, and support for, the Board of Trustees in its inaugural year.”

Reser and vice-chair Darry Callahan noted that trustees – and others contacted as part of the presidential assessment – spoke highly of Ray, citing his dynamic leadership and strong personal ethics, understanding of the influences and challenges to the university, and ability to manage risk while maintaining an eye for opportunity.

The board approved Ray’s three major goals for the 2015-16 fiscal year:

  • Continue the successful implementation of the university’s strategic plan, now in its third iteration;
  • Make progress toward eliminating achievement gaps and raising first-year retention rates and six-year graduation rates for students as a whole, and sub-groups of students;
  • Create a 10-year business plan to accompany the strategic plan that ensures a sustainable financial path to success for the university.

In other action, the board officially acknowledged the role of the Oregon State University Foundation and the Agricultural Research Foundation as entities soliciting financial contributions on behalf of the university.

A similar housekeeping measure was approved by the board to revise the Public University Investment Fund Policy to allow new benchmarking and analytic tools.

Trustees adopted a board work plan for 2016 and also approved a process for identifying and vetting candidates for future vacancies for at-large positions on the OSU Board of Trustees. The board will conduct a needs assessment by analyzing current members’ backgrounds against board composition goals and establishing a list of potential candidates in consultation with the OSU president, before submitting them to the governor for consideration.

The board also heard reports on state legislative matters affecting higher education and on OSU’s compliance and ethics programs.

On Thursday, the board visited OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, and was briefed on the university’s Marine Studies Initiative. The initiative has set a goal to teach 500 students at the Hatfield center by 2025, and expand marine-related research both on campus and at the Newport facility, which is run by Oregon State and shared by several agencies.

The multiple agencies, along with Hatfield’s saltwater research laboratories and ship operations, make it one of the most important marine science facilities in the country – and the combination provides unique opportunities for OSU students.

Story By: 

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

$500,000 matching gift benefits 4-H youth in Baker County

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The long-term strength and stability of Baker County’s 4-H program for youth has received a major boost through a challenge gift establishing the county’s first endowed professorship.

Lee and Connie (Howard) Kearney will match up to $500,000 in gifts for the Janice Cowan Baker County 4-H Professorship endowment, providing a perpetual source of support for a full-time faculty member leading 4-H programs in the county.

The endowment is named for Oregon State University faculty member Janice Cowan, who is retiring following 25 years of service with 4-H and Baker County.

The Kearneys, who live in Vancouver, Washington, are among OSU’s most active volunteer leaders and generous philanthropists. A retired attorney, Connie (Howard) Kearney grew up in Baker County, where she participated in 4-H. She serves as treasurer on the Oregon 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees.

As the only nationwide youth development program with direct ties to the land grant university system, 4-H is uniquely positioned to ensure that its programs evolve and align with the most current knowledge about how young people develop and learn. In Baker County, 4-H has served youth for more than 110 years.

In addition to traditional 4-H programming such as raising animals, camping, and cooking, Baker County has become known for innovative programs including Field to Fork, in which more than 200 participants each year learn about where their food comes from. Along with other eastern Oregon counties, Baker County 4-H also offers college and career readiness camps to help youth succeed after high school.

The Janice Cowan Baker County 4-H Professorship will support high-impact programs like these and others, such as school garden projects, after-school activities and increased opportunities for youth to engage in statewide programs.

When she was a teen, a statewide 4-H summer conference first brought Connie (Howard) Kearney to the OSU campus, where she would later go to college and meet Lee, her future husband.

“4-H played a pivotal role in my life. 4-H taught me how to cook, sew and can,” she said. “We believe an endowment is the best way to ensure that funds are always available to support leadership for these young people. We hope our challenge grant will encourage others to financially support Baker County 4-H.”

The endowed professorship is the third for Oregon 4-H, all created by donors in the last three years. Other recent gifts have created programmatic endowments for county 4-H programs.

“We’ve seen all over the country that 4-H programs are vulnerable to cuts in public funding,” said Pamela Rose, state 4-H program leader. “That’s why an endowment is so incredibly important – it provides a long-lasting legacy of support. We’re deeply grateful for the Kearneys’ inspiring generosity and leadership.”

Media Contact: 

Molly Brown, molly.brown@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-3602


Pamela Rose, pamela.rose@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-4628

OSU Libraries forms sister relationship with Nigerian university library

CORVALLIS, Ore. -  Oregon State University Libraries has forged a connection with a university library in Nigeria that will make it one of only a small group of existing “sister” university library relationships.

The collaboration will take place with the Federal University of Agriculture’s Nimbe Adedipe Library, in Abeokuta, Nigeria. It will establish an ongoing collaboration between librarians and staff at both universities, including exchange of library staff, joint research activities, participation in virtual seminars and academic meetings, and the exchange of library materials and other information.

“There are many benefits for OSU Libraries to seek out an international sister library relationship,” said OSU librarian Laurie Bridges, the coordinator of the OSU side of the project. “It helps raise awareness of issues and needs facing libraries internationally, it helps us share techniques and technologies to solve problems, and it increases the information, resources, and expertise between both libraries. It also increases the diversity of interaction between professionals.”

Bridges said the initiative also meets one of Oregon State’s strategic goals, which is promoting international education, research and engagement.

The Federal University of Agriculture is a public university in Nigeria consisting of nine colleges, with about 60 percent of majors focused on agriculture. It has about 19,000 students.

"Myself and my colleagues are most excited about networking with our new friends and colleagues from Oregon State University Libraries," said Fehintola Nike Onifade, a librarian from Nigeria. "This will help us to track trends and keep up with changes in librarianship and information science. In fact we are hoping that the relationship will lead us to best practices in library and information science service delivery."

OSU officials have signed a formal letter of understanding with FUA, formalizing the relationship between the two universities. A small group will be formed within the library to start working on outreach and exchange possibilities with FUA. 

Story By: 

Laurie Bridges, 541-737-8821

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OSU Orange & Black Rally on Wednesday will include fireworks

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will hold an Orange & Black Rally on campus for new students on Wednesday, Sept. 23, beginning at about 5:15 p.m. in Reser Stadium.

The rally, which follows OSU’s annual new student convocation, is designed “to get incoming students excited about joining Beaver Nation and the OSU student body,” according to Natalie Rooney, orientation coordinator for New Student Programs and Family Outreach.

The rally will feature appearances and brief talks by some of the head coaches in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and a class photo. A catered dinner is available for new and returning students beginning at approximately 6:15 p.m. on 26th Street, which will be closed to traffic. Tickets, priced at $8, are available online at http://connect.oregonstate.edu/OBR and should be purchased by midnight Saturday. Tickets will be sold to students next week at a handful of campus locations.

There will be games, contests and music in Parker Plaza outside of Reser Stadium during and after dinner.

The community is invited to join the event at 7:30 p.m. inside Reser, when the OSU marching band performs. A fireworks program will begin at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Story By: 

Natalie Rooney, 541-737-0526, Natalie.rooney@oregonstate.edu