OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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OSU celebrates newest student resource, Ettihad Cultural Center

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s newest cultural center is having a grand opening celebration on Tuesday, Oct. 28, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Horizon Room (49).

The Ettihad Cultural Center, located in Snell Hall 424, is a cross-cultural resource for OSU students who have a cultural or ethnic background in central and southwestern Asia and northern Africa, and for those who are interested in learning more about those cultures and regions.

Ettihad means “union“ in Arabic, but the root word is also found in Hebrew and Urdu. Because the center serves Muslim, Hindu and Christian students from countries as diverse as India, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, this cross-cultural word is a good representation for the diverse swath of students who will find a ‘home away from home’ at the center, officials say.

Rayan AlRasheed, student leadership liaison for the Ettihad Cultural Center, said the effort originated as a student group two years ago and its annual cultural events were so well-attended – the last event attracted more than 2,000 attendees – that students convinced OSU administrators that creating a cultural center would serve a growing group of underrepresented students.

Exactly how many students is hard to assess, AlRasheed said, because there are so many countries and groups involved.

“We have to deal with a lot of misconceptions,” AlRasheed said. “We don’t just represent the Middle East, and we’re not solely an Arab or Muslim student group.” In fact, due to the regional nature of the center, AlRasheed said Ettihad is the first cultural center of its kind on the West Coast.

“We’re a prototype,” he said. “We want to show that we can be united, and that we want to work together.”

The center has a close relationship with a number of student groups, as well as INTO OSU, which serves a large number of international students from the represented regions. AlRasheed said students coming from central and south Asia often have trouble knowing how to connect with the broader OSU and Corvallis community, and his hope is Ettihad can bridge that gap.

The center has no paid staff director or faculty adviser, and its housing in Snell is temporary. Plans call for the center to move into the building now housing the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center once the students move into their newly constructed home during Winter Term. Eventually, AlRasheed hopes the ECC will have its own new building, but for now their staff’s focus is on spreading word that the center exists.

“We want people to come to the center and meet people they don’t know, and to allow us to show the community who we are, what our mission is and what our vision is for the future.”

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/ECC.OSU

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OSU president outlines a decade of accomplishments, new challenges for future

CORVALLIS, Ore. – In an annual address to the Faculty Senate at Oregon State University, OSU President Edward J. Ray reviewed what he called the “extraordinary” successes of the past 10 years, explored a range of financial and student issues, and cited major challenges and opportunities facing both OSU and the future of higher education.

While the United States was recovering from what’s been called the “Great Recession,” OSU boosted enrollment by 37 percent, raised nearly $1.1 billion in the most successful university fund raising campaign in state history, added and modernized an unprecedented number of campus structures and facilities, hit record levels of research funding and significantly expanded both the diversity and high-achieving status of its student body.

“The changes at Oregon State University affected over the last 10 years are nothing short of extraordinary,” Ray said in his address. “Our faculty, staff and students remain the lifeblood of this community, and without their talents and work, we simply would not have realized the positive change we see around us.”

Ray pointed to the expansion of Oregon State’s Ecampus distance education program, the creation of a Marine Studies Campus in Newport, and the planned growth of the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend as the primary future opportunities for student enrollment growth. He retained his commitment to a target of 28,000 students on the Corvallis campus and pledged steady additions of tenure-track faculty to boost both educational and research opportunities.

But he also warned that just celebrating the past will not address the challenges of the future.

“The natural inclination to stick with what has worked in the past, to not mess with success, is very powerful,” Ray said. “History is replete with examples of nations, governments, institutions and businesses that lost dominant positions because they failed to recognize the forces of change around them, that made business as usual a recipe for failure.”

To help deal with those changes, Ray noted that OSU will be managed by its own Board of Trustees for the first time in 80 years.

He suggested that over the next 10 years, OSU should launch its second comprehensive fundraising campaign, with goals of raising twice the total raised in this campaign and double the level of annual giving. And he said that possible slowdowns in federal research funding might be addressed with more funds from private industry partners, as may be possible through the university’s OSU Advantage program which targets university collaboration with industry..

Among other changes, accomplishments and challenges that Ray highlighted:

  • High achieving students from Oregon with a grade point averages of 3.75 or higher this year will make up 44 percent of Oregon State’s entering freshman class. Meanwhile, U.S. minority students will make up 20.6 percent of OSU’s enrollment and international students, 13.1 percent.
  • Key factors, made possible by faculty and staff collaboration, that allowed OSU’s stability and strategic focus during a time of national economic stress included elimination of 26 low-enrollment majors and consolidation of 62 colleges, schools, departments and programs into 42.
  • The Campaign for OSU helped create an additional 77 endowed faculty positions, more than 600 new scholarships and fellowships, and facilitated 30 major construction projects valued at more than $727 million.
  • OSU funding for research reached $285 million in fiscal year 2014, industry investments have grown by 50 percent over the past five years and licensing revenue from OSU inventions grew by 120 percent.
  • With currently anticipated levels of state support, the university will provide 3 percent faculty merit raises and hire 30-40 new faculty members in each of the next several years.
  • New initiatives have been implemented to improve first-year retention and six-year graduation rates for all students, such as a live-on campus policy, better academic advising, small-group peer mentoring, enhanced cultural centers and other activities.

OSU should both recognize its successes and acknowledge that the challenges of the near future will be different from those of the past decade, Ray said.

“Even as we celebrate the success of the Campaign for OSU, we should remember our role as stewards of this great university,” he said. “The extraordinary accomplishments we celebrate are the foundation for future greatness only if we sustain our momentum.”

Media Contact: 
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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808

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Thursday night football game will impact OSU parking

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University students, staff and faculty should plan ahead as parking on campus will be a challenge on Thursday, Oct. 16, due to a 7 p.m. home football game against Utah.

Employees and students are encouraged to find alternative transportation to campus Oct. 16 or to park strategically, as some lots will be restricted to those with game day passes only after 1 p.m. On game day, OSU parking permit holders will be allowed to park in any A, B, or C zone, regardless of their permitted zone, but some parking lots will be closing midday to employees and students to accommodate parking by football game ticketholders.

OSU department heads and business unit directors are encouraged to be more flexible with employees to accommodate the influx of cars and visitors to campus.

A free shuttle to and from campus will be offered to anyone who parks at the Benton County Fairgrounds beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday morning through 2 a.m. Friday morning after the game. The fairgrounds are located west of campus along Southwest 53rd Street just south of Harrison Boulevard. During peak hours, the fairgrounds shuttle will run at least every 30 minutes. The OSU Beaver Bus service will run on its normal schedule on game day.

Beginning at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16, some parking lots will be open only to those with athletics-issued game-day parking passes and must be vacated by OSU permit holders. These include:

  • All Reser Stadium parking lots;
  • The Gill Coliseum lot;
  • The parking garage at 26th Street and Washington;
  • South Farm parking lot off Brooklane Road.

Other parking areas (listed below) will be available until 3 p.m. for regular faculty/staff business day parking. After 3 p.m., however, entrance to these areas will be limited only to people with athletics-issued game-day parking permits. Employee and student vehicles already parked in these lots may remain until 5 p.m., at which time all vehicles without athletics-issued passes must vacate. Signs will be posted at the entrance of these lots. These include:

  • Lots between 15th Street and 11th Street, off Washington Way;
  • The Benton Place parking lots east of Goss Stadium;
  • Lots off Washington Way adjacent to the Student Legacy Park (intramural fields);
  • The 30th Street parking lots around Peavy Hall, between Jefferson Street and Washington Way;
  • The 30th Street parking lot by Magruder Hall;
  • The 35th Street parking lot at the OSU Foundation building;
  • The lot off 15th Street and Western Boulevard at the University Plaza building

All other Faculty/Staff parking lots that are designated as “Athletics Event” parking on game days are available for regular business-day parking. However, they will have attendants starting at 4 p.m. Employees are encouraged to vacate these lots by 5 p.m. and will be required to vacate those lots by 6 p.m.

RVs are only allowed after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, in the gravel lot off 35th and Campus Way, next to the Motor Pool. Employees and students who normally park in this location, should give themselves extra time Thursday morning to locate a parking space as many may be filled with recreational vehicles. RV’s are not permitted on campus in any other lot on Wednesday.

A game-day parking map is available to help visitors, students and employees better understand designated lots. It is available online at:  http://www.osubeavers.com/pdf9/2778891.pdf

For additional information regarding game-day parking on campus, visit the OSU athletics website at www.osubeavers.com or for offering thoughts and concerns, e-mail eventmanagement@oregonstate.edu; wecare@oregonstate.edu or contact Steve Clark, vice president for University Relations and Marketing at steve.clark@oregonstate.edu. For suggestions on alternative transportation: 

http://transportation.oregonstate.edu/ 

The Corvallis Transit System map is accessible at: http://www.corvallisoregon.gov/index.aspx?page=884

Media Contact: 
Source: 

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

OSU joins new education technology consortium

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has joined several leading research universities to create an education technology consortium called Unizin that will provide new ways to create and share digital educational content.

Unizin is a university-owned and operated national collaboration to provide a common infrastructure for educational content and empower faculty with a new suite of tools to create and share digital learning materials.

“As a founding member of the new Unizin consortium, Oregon State steps up to a leadership role nationwide to help guide the next generation digital learning,” said Lois Brooks, vice provost for Information  Services and chief information officer at OSU.

Oregon State has been involved in the development of the new Unizin consortium for the past year. Colorado State University, University of Florida, Indiana University and the University of Michigan signed on earlier this year. Now Oregon State, University of Wisconsin and University of Minnesota join them as founding members of Unizin, to provide leadership in higher education for the new wave of digital learning technologies and strategies sweeping college campuses.

By the end of this year, Unizin founding membership is likely to grow with several additional leading research universities working toward full membership.

“That three more world-class institutions joined Unizin further validates our strategy and gives us the momentum to have greater impact on teaching and learning,” said Amin Qazi, chief executive officer of Unizin. “The participation of these institutions will greatly extend our reach and strengthen the services Unizin provides to its members.”

Under Unizin, OSU faculty will be able to create and share digital content with faculty at other Unizin institutions as well as universities around the world who subscribe to standards for open educational resources, giving students access to more and better digital course materials.

“Over the past few decades, higher education has been evolving from a traditional lecture format to more digital-based interactive learning,” said Dave King, OSU’s associate provost for Extended Campus. “The next step in that evolution is to provide richer digital material across a full spectrum of learning opportunities – credit courses, professional programs, open educational resources and especially important to OSU, Extension programs.

“Unizin helps us open the door to many people who otherwise would not have access to higher education.”

One faculty proponent for the move is Kevin Ahern, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics who already offers free online courses and books.

“What I like about Unizin is that it is a way for many more people across OSU to participate in sharing as I have done,” Ahern said. “Open Educational Resources is going to rapidly become the biggest movement in higher education and I am delighted to see OSU participate in this process. Unizin is a credible, meaningful effort that will benefit students across the country – and OSU is showing important leadership by joining the conversation.”

The lexicon of 21st-century education can be intimidating – MOOCs, badges, flipped classrooms, digital platforms, and professional short-courses. What they have in common is expanding the reach of higher education to meet the needs of students, industry, and other professionals.

This fall, for example, Oregon State is offering its first MOOC – massive open online course. Karen Thompson, an OSU education faculty member, is teaming with the Oregon Department of Education and Stanford University on a course to help K-12 teachers work better with English language learners in their classrooms to meet new standards. It is potentially open to thousands of educators throughout the country.

“The potential for these types of courses is enormous,” King said. “You could offer a course on climate change, or earthquake hazards, or watershed enhancement. It could be offered free, or it could be underwritten by an agency or organization, with universities maintaining both intellectual property and quality control.”

Through Unizin, faculty will also be able to analyze ways in which students best learn and tailor their courses accordingly. Access to these kinds of analytics is becoming a required management tool for universities which are focusing on improved learner and student success like Oregon State is under its newly revised strategic plan.

The technology revolution goes well beyond traditional distance learning, OSU officials say. Many OSU resident students take online courses as well, and creative faculty members are incorporating new technologies into their classroom lectures.

“Twenty years ago many of us were involved in the development of Internet2 to provide universities the network Internet access that has changed the trajectory toward success of higher education,” said Brooks. “Our collaborative approach to Unizin offers the same path toward success for digital and online learning. The potential to use technology to enhance the learning environment for all learners is enormous.”

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Dave King, 541-737-3810, dave.king@oregonstate.edu;

Lois Brooks, 541-737-8247, lois.brooks@oregonstate.edu

OSU President Ray calls for university-wide effort to halt sexual assaults

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray on Tuesday challenged all students, faculty, staff and community members to work together to end sexual violence.

Ray’s challenge follows the announcement last Friday by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden of the “It’s On Us” campaign to raise awareness of – and ultimately prevent - sexual assaults on university campuses.

In a letter to the Oregon State community, Ray pointed to several programs at OSU that focus on education and prevention of sexual assaults and then said “that is not enough.” He challenged all members of the Oregon State community to get involved in their own way.

“I expect each and every one of us – regardless of where you work or attend classes – to become informed about sexual violence and to take the responsibility to help prevent and report all forms of sexual violence or harassment,” Ray said. “I have no doubt that we can all do something.

“Teaching faculty can learn how best to use classroom and advising opportunities to promote awareness, safety and support,” Ray pointed out. “Likewise, advisers, fraternities and sororities, supervisors, coaches, friends, etc. can all become informed about how they can respond and help this important effort.

“We are a community and should work together to ensure each of us are safe.”

The OSU president noted that an estimated one in five women nationally is sexually assaulted during her college years. Sexual violence can impact anyone, he said, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. In the great majority of cases, individuals are assaulted by someone they know and even trust, whether as an acquaintance, classmate, friend, or current or former partner.

Of those assaults, it is estimated that only 12 percent nationally are reported, and only a fraction of the offenders are held accountable.

“Sexual assault is a severely violating experience that can cause a victim substantial immediate and long-term physical and mental health consequences,” Ray said. “These assaults must end, and to do so will require our collective focus locally and nationally.”

Oregon State will develop an “It’s On Us” website that will have  information about the university’s response, prevention and education programs as well as information on how each of us can be part of the solution. The website will link to the national campaign and additional resources.

Ray asked all students and employees to learn about OSU’s programs and services regarding sexual violence reporting, emergency response, education and community services.

“During the course of the 2014-15 academic year Oregon State will take additional steps to address sexual violence within our community,” Ray said. “We will keep everyone informed of these important developments.” The university will publicize these efforts through the sexual assault website, the OSU Today newsletter, the online LIFE@OSU magazine, social media and other communications.

“It’s on us to end sexual assaults in the Oregon State University community,” Ray said. “Each of us has a role in creating a caring community – based on civility and respect – that is free of sexual assaults and other forms of harassment and violence.”

 

                                                                     OSU Sexual Assault Prevention Services and Programs

Confidential support, counseling and advocacy services: 

Sexual assault reporting and response services:

Awareness and prevention education programs and services:

  • “Haven” -- Online prevention education program required for all incoming OSU students and student athletes.
  • “AlcoholEdu” Substance abuse prevention program required for all incoming first-year students attending OSU in Corvallis.
  • Sexual violence prevention educator on staff in OSU Student Health Services. (541-737-9355)

Academic programs, such as those offered in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Other OSU efforts:

  • On-going training for all for all residential staff in University Housing and Dining Services in conjunction with the Office of Equity and Inclusion; Sexual Assault Support Services; and Student Health Services to understand, identify and appropriately respond to disclosures of sexual violence.
  • Residence hall educational programming – including resource information and support – provided by professional staff and members of student.
  • Required educational programs for students living in OSU’s Affiliated Housing Program, made up of fraternities and sororities.
  • Sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention training for OSU employees by the Office of Equity and Inclusion. Oregon State employee policy on responding to disclosures of sexual violence or sexual harassment:

OSU’s Community Partners:

  • Corvallis Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV) provides confidential, 24-hour hotline services in the Corvallis area. (541-754-0110) http://cardv.org/
  • Guide to sexual assault service responders in communities through Oregon and the U.S. https://www.notalone.gov/resources
  • Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis (541-768-5111)
  • Hospitals and medical centers in your community

 Future sexual assault education programs services

  • OSU Student Health Services is creating a center on violence prevention; and alcohol and drug abuse to work with Corvallis campus and community partners to expand and enhance education, outreach and prevention efforts.
  • Office of Equity and Inclusion is taking additional steps to expand awareness of sexual violence and enhance prevention education among OSU employees.
Media Contact: 
Source: 

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

OSU part of national alliance to help students

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University and 10 other prominent research universities have formed a nationwide alliance aimed at helping retain and ultimately graduate more first-generation students and students from low-income families.

The new consortium, known as the University Innovation Alliance, already has received $5.7 million in funding from charitable foundations, which will be matched by the member institutions.

The alliance is designed to develop and share best practices on ways to better engage first-generation and low-income students by creating a national “playbook” of successful initiatives. Access to higher education – and success upon matriculating – has long been a priority for OSU President Edward J. Ray, himself a first-generation college student.

“This alliance is near and dear to my heart because I know first-hand how important it is to provide mentoring and resources for these students,” Ray said. “Oregon State has some innovative and successful programs and we look forward to sharing our ideas and learning from other institutions ways we can do even more.”

Students from high-income families are seven times more likely to attain a college degree than those from low-income families. The United States will face a shortage of at least 16 million college graduates by 2025, studies show, and the alliance’s founding members are focused on addressing this gap at a time when public funding for higher education has been decreasing.

Joining Oregon State in forming the alliance are: Arizona State University, Georgia State University, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of California, Riverside, University of Central Florida, University of Kansas, and University of Texas at Austin.

Supporting the initiative are the Ford Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, USA Funds and the Markle Foundation.

The $11.4 million in overall funding will be used in a variety of ways, focusing on encouraging leaders of innovative programs to engage with other member institutions, according to Rebecca Warner, OSU’s senior vice provost for academic affairs.

Institutions affiliated with the alliance have a track record of success in helping students from all backgrounds. Georgia State, for example, successfully used predictive analytics and advising interventions to increase its semester-to-semester student retention rates by 5 percent and reduce time-to-degree for graduating students by almost half a semester.

That led to 1,200 more students staying in school every year, and the Georgia State Class of 2014 saved $10 million in tuition and fees compared to graduates a year earlier. If these same innovations were scaled across the 11 alliance member institutions over the next five years, it is estimated that an additional 61,000 students would graduate and save almost $1.5 billion in educational costs to students and taxpayers.

Sabah Randhawa, OSU’s provost and executive vice president, said Oregon State looks forward to sharing information about some of its successful programs, including the College Assistance Migrant Program for children for migrant families; the Educational Opportunities Program, a resources for students of color, students with disabilities, low-income students, veterans and others; and TRIO Support Services, a program aimed at boosting student retention.

“Oregon State also has some targeted precollege programs like Juntos, which is helping Latino students in central Oregon better prepare for going to college in the first place,” Randhawa said. “That kind of a head start can be critical in the success of students down the road.”

“We also will be sharing our successes with Ecampus, which annually is ranked among the best programs of its kind in the country,” Randhawa added. OSU Ecampus offers 35 degrees and certificate programs, and has grown at a rate of about 20 percent annually over the past five years.

More information on the University Innovation Alliance is available at www.theuia.org

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Becky Warner, 541-737-0732; becky.warner@oregonstate.edu;

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

OSU to hold 145th commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 14

CORVALLIS, Ore – Oregon State University will hold its 145th commencement on Saturday, June 14, beginning at 10:30 a.m. in Reser Stadium, graduating a record class of nearly 5,900 students.

The commencement speaker is Ann A. Kiessling, director of the independent Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation and a leader in both stem cell research and reproductive biology. She also will receive an honorary doctorate from the university.

Commencement is free and open to the public; no tickets are necessary. More information about OSU’s graduation is available online at: http://oregonstate.edu/events/commencement/. The OSU ceremony is being broadcast on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s OPB Plus channel.

OSU’s class of 2014 has 5,878 graduates, who will receive 6,194 degrees, according to OSU Registrar Rebecca Mathern. The previous largest class was in 2013, when 5,221 grads earned 5,483 degrees. (About 3,800 grads are expected to participate in Saturday’s commencement, along with an estimated 21,000 guests).

This year’s graduates have many compelling stories about their success. Sadie Davis is a former high school dropout, who pursued an OSU degree after earning her GED. The mother of a teenage daughter, this first-generation college student overcame personal issues to graduate magna cum laude. She managed the Women Returning to Higher Education Program at OSU’s Women’s Center, and was a staunch advocate for students battling addiction as well as for students pursuing education later in life.

Brian Benavidez spent four years in the U.S. Air Force as an avionics systems specialist and served for a time in Iraq. He was accepted into the Airman Scholarship Commissioning Program and became a cadet in OSU’s Air Force ROTC program. He commanded a wing of nearly 80 cadets, and served as president of the Veterans & Family Student Association. He is graduating summa cum laude in electrical and computer engineering.

Kayla Thorsness was a high school valedictorian from Philomath who was active in sports, 4-H, school leaderships and volunteerism when she was diagnosed with melanoma. She didn’t let that deter her – and less than three years later she is graduating from OSU with two degrees, in accounting and business information systems. She worked at Dixon Recreation Center and eventually became supervisor and center manager. She also completed an internship with a major accounting firm, and was a volunteer for the American Cancer Society, Heartland Humane Society, the Philomath Booster Club and the Junior Achievement Program.

Some statistics about the class of 2014:

  • Of the 6,194 degrees: 4,908 are baccalaureate degrees; 917, master’s degrees, 93 Doctor of Pharmacy degrees, 224 Doctor of Philosophy degrees, and 52 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees;
  • OSU’s graduates hail from 35 Oregon counties, 49 states, three U.S. territories or commonwealths and 55 countries;
  • The oldest member of the class of 2014 is 78 years of age and the youngest is 19;
  • A total of 107 members of the graduating class are veterans.

OSU’s commencement speaker Kiessling has a doctorate in biochemistry and biophysics from Oregon State. Born in Baker City, Ore., she graduated from Klamath Falls High School in 1960. She eventually joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1985, specializing in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology, and working in the Department of Surgery. In the early 1990s, she pioneered reproductive options for couples living with the HIV disease and hepatitis C – techniques that led to the successful births of 121 children free of those diseases.

The Bedford Research Foundation she directs was founded in 1996 as a Massachusetts public charity to support research. By the year 2000, the foundation’s research laboratory expanded to include human stem cell research. To date, the foundation has collaborated with more than 60 clinics globally to find treatment for infectious diseases and spinal cord injuries.

Kiessling, the mother of four children, wrote one of the first books about the enormous potential of stem cells in treating supposedly “incurable” diseases, including spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure and diabetes. She has been a pioneer in developing ways to create or identify “pluripotent” stem cells that do not involve the use of human embryos.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Rebecca Mathern, 541-737-4048; Rebecca.Mathern@oregonstate.edu

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New Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez building opens on campus

CORVALLIS – Latino students at Oregon State University now have a brand new home away from home, and the campus will celebrate the new Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez during a grand opening ceremony Monday, April 7, beginning at 5 p.m.

The new building is one of four new cultural centers being built on campus to replace aging structures. The centers provide space for students to socialize, celebrate and study, learn more about their own culture and explore the world of other students of different backgrounds.

“Oregon State does a great job in supporting students from diverse backgrounds, and the Centro provides a space for dialogue and an opportunity to share perspectives,” said Miguel Arellano, a graduate assistant who helps coordinate Centro activities. “That combined with the support services offered at OSU provides a place where students from different backgrounds are able to thrive. This is a welcoming space for all students to learn about or retain Latino culture.”

In 1971, a group of nine students met in the basement of Milam Hall in an effort to establish a Latino student organization. Originally called the Chicano Cultural Center, the basement location was less than ideal, and students eventually asked for a more permanent and independent location on campus. After temporarily moving into a house on Orchard Street, in 1977 they moved into an older, former family home on A Street.

After four decades, the house has finally been replaced. A crowded living room and sun-faded deck have been swapped for a spacious building that includes a large gathering hall, multiple office and study spaces and a large kitchen for hosting social events. The Centro is affiliated with 17 different student organizations on campus and is a popular spot for many different events, from cultural celebrations to social justice activities.

“It’s a space where students can gain a broader world view,” Arellano said, and the new building will offer many more opportunities to bring people from around campus into the Centro to celebrate Latino heritage.

“I grew up in Woodburn, and coming from a place that is 60 percent Latino to a place where the Latino population is around 6 percent, there’s a big difference,” Arellano said, which is why having a place like the Centro is so important to student retention. “When you’re participating in events here, you see people who look like you, and who share similar passions and experiences.”

Latino identity is broad and complex, and represents people from many different parts of the world, which can be difficult to encompass in one building. But the Centro staff tries to make the space welcoming not just for Latino students, but anyone on campus who wants to stop in.

For Joyce Contreras, a human development and family sciences major who grew up in Beaverton, the Centro has provided her the chance to explore aspects of her Mexican background that she had previously not been in touch with.

"I wanted to be involved with the Centro because I wanted to further my knowledge about my own heritage and be a welcoming individual to others. What we say about our center is 'This is a home away from home.' I wanted to be in that environment and learn more about my culture," she said. For Contreras, it was important to find her roots. Before she became involved with Centro, she didn't know whether to identify as Mexican or Hispanic, and often switched between the two. Now she proudly identifies as Latina, and understands the cultural and political context of the term.

The 3,565 square-foot building cost $2,521,051. It was designed by Seattle-based architects Jones & Jones, who also designed the Native American Longhouse, which opened the doors on its new building last spring. They are also designing new buildings for the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center and the Asian Pacific Cultural Center.

The four cultural centers are being funded with a combination of private gifts and university funds. The project got off the ground with a $500,000 gift from the late Portland philanthropist Joyce Collin Furman to create the OSU President’s Fund for Cultural Centers. The 1965 OSU alumna was a strong supporter of her alma mater and served on the steering committee for The Campaign for OSU.

The Centro is located at 691 S.W. 26th Street. For more information on the grand opening, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/754118061279312/

 

 

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Miguel Arellano, 541-737-3790

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OSU Board of Trustees endorses future tuition levels, funding requests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In other action:

  • The board adopted its own policies related to: the roles and responsibilities of board members and officers, board committees, the board’s code of ethics, conflict of interest requirements, associated board travel expenses, attendance at university events, and the board calendar;
  • The board voted to ratify the university’s existing mission statement.
Media Contact: 
Source: 

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

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