OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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New “Student Success Initiative” to lower costs, increase graduation rates

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray today announced a new “Student Success Initiative” in his annual State of the University address in Portland, calling on the university within four years to make an OSU degree an affordable reality for every qualified Oregonian.

Ray also pledged that by 2020 OSU must better serve students of diverse backgrounds and ensure that all students attending Oregon State achieve success “regardless of their economic status, color of their skin or family background.”

In his presentation, made at the Oregon Convention Center to more than 700 community, business, educational and state leaders, Ray asked attendees, OSU alumni, donors and political leaders to join in this initiative to “help achieve by 2020 this new horizon of inclusive student success and excellence.”

Ray called upon Oregon State by 2020 to raise its first-year retention rate for all students from 83.8 percent to 90 percent, and its six-year graduation rate from 63.1 percent to 70 percent for all students.

Ray said the university must tackle the “near impossible” financial burdens and levels of debt that students and their families now face. The average Oregon resident undergraduate has an unmet annual need at OSU of $7,256, creating a legacy of debt and a serious obstacle to higher education.

Nationally, the pace of progress on this issue has been unacceptably slow and must no longer be tolerated, Ray said.

“Forty years ago, the likelihood of getting a college degree if your family was in the lowest quartile of the income distribution in America was 6 percent,” Ray said. “Today that figure is 9 percent.

“This is shameful. Higher education in America is deepening the divide in our nation between the haves and have nots, and this chasm is tearing at the fabric of society and undermining our democracy.”

In his address, Ray said that 2015 had been another year of notable achievements for Oregon State. Among these were:

  • Enrollment exceeded 30,000 students for the second year in a row, and 6,300 degrees were presented to OSU’s largest-ever graduating class;
  • The first freshman class started at OSU-Cascades in Bend, and construction began on Oregon’s first completely new college campus in the past half century;
  • OSU’s Ecampus online educational program continued to grow and was ranked seventh nationally by U.S. News and World Report, and fourth in the nation for veterans;
  • OSU faculty conducted $309 million in research, nearly double the combined total of the state’s six other public universities;
  • Donor gifts to the university continued with a total of $130.8 million, the OSU Foundation’s best fund-raising year ever, and built on the success of the hugely successful Campaign for OSU that raised $1.14 billion; and
  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and state legislators helped provide the first increase in state funding to higher education in nearly a decade.

During the past year, Ray said OSU launched the nation’s first graduate degree program in “environmental humanities,” to prepare students for careers in environmental policy, social justice and the arts. The university helped lead work to prepare the state for a massive subduction zone earthquake that lurks in its future. Additionally, significant biomedical advances were announced on Lou Gehrig’s disease, cancer and other health problems.

Oregon State’s Marine Studies Initiative also continues to move forward to help address some of the world’s most pressing issues such as climate change, ocean acidification, rising sea levels and degraded marine habitat. Ray indicated that over the next decade, the statewide cumulative impact of this initiative should exceed $280 million, helping to produce hundreds of needed graduates in these fields while boosting the economy of struggling coastal communities.

The College of Forestry at OSU is close to launching a new $60-70 million forest science complex that will accelerate the use of sophisticated new wood products in high-rise buildings.

Ray repeatedly praised the accomplishments and caliber of OSU students, many of whom attended the event. Last fall, more than 41 percent of entering freshmen had high school grade point averages of 3.75 or greater. By 2020, Ray said, OSU should become the school of choice for Oregon’s high-achieving and most accomplished students.

Ray also insisted that as part of each student’s future success, they have at least one “experiential” learning opportunity such as an internship, study abroad program, participation in original research or other club and leadership activities.

 “Let me assure you that while we know that we are not done, we can be confident that working together, the best is yet to come,” Ray said in closing.

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808

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Diversity Career Symposium for OSU, UO students to be held Jan. 29 in Salem

SALEM, Ore. – The 2016 Diversity Career Symposium, a day-long career development event for college students and alumni who identify with communities that are traditionally underrepresented in professional settings, will be held Friday, Jan. 29 at the Salem Convention Center.

The event, hosted by Oregon State University and the University of Oregon, is geared toward students and alumni of color; military veterans; those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender; and those with disabilities.

“Preparing students for their future is mission critical for our state universities. By working together for the benefit of our students, Oregon State University and the University of Oregon can provide the right opportunities for professional development with the end goal of getting a job or an internship,” said Pamela Knowles, executive director for industry relations at OSU.

“The Diversity Career Symposium will not only offer this opportunity to students but also will allow employers to be a part of developing young professionals through workshops and placement.”

Participants will have an opportunity to attend workshops on networking and job searching and listen to panels of industry experts in fields such as health care, energy and sustainability, and business entrepreneurship and startups.

Keynote speaker Jaymin Patel will open the event with a presentation on “Networking Like a Rock Star.” Patel is the author of several books on job searching, interviewing and networking aimed specifically at college students and recent graduates.

Intel is the presenting sponsor of the event. More than 70 other employers, including Adidas, Providence Health and Services, Portland General Electric, Wells Fargo and Apple, Inc., are expected to participate. The event also will include workshops and panels geared to employers.

The free symposium runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial St. S.E. Advance registration is required; to register, visit www.dcs16.com. Free transportation from each campus will be available to registered students.

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Pamela Knowles, 503-334-7668

OSU names chief diversity officer, other campus leaders for equity and safety

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray announced this week the appointment of three campus leaders to direct OSU initiatives to combat racial injustice; better ensure inclusivity and safety for all OSU students; and engage the university with diverse communities throughout Oregon.

The appointments follow two months of conversations on the Oregon State campus between Ray and OSU students, faculty and staff. He made the announcement during the university’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Breakfast and followed up on Tuesday with a letter to all Oregon State students and employees.

“Business as usual is not acceptable and we need to restructure some university-level responsibilities,” Ray said. “We also need to listen to diverse perspectives and experiences throughout OSU while we define and implement our action plans.”

Angela Batista, the university’s associate vice provost for Student Affairs and dean of Student Life, has been named interim chief diversity officer at Oregon State. She will oversee a new Office of Institutional Diversity and direct the university’s institutional initiatives and communications on diversity, equity and inclusion. Batista also will work with the new Leadership Council for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity.

Angelo Gomez, the executive director for OSU’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, will serve in a new role as special assistant to the president for community diversity relations. Gomez will focus on building relationships between the university and diverse communities locally and throughout Oregon.

Clay Simmons, OSU’s chief compliance officer, will serve as interim executive director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, which will oversee investigations involving discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, affirmative action, and access and accommodations for people with disabilities. 

“We have had several important campus community conversations initiated by students who courageously expressed their concerns of racial injustice occurring at our university,” Ray said. “I committed to them that the university will act promptly, effectively and collaboratively to ensure that OSU is a safer, more just, caring and inclusive community.”

Ray said the appointments of the three campus leaders are effective Feb. 1 and all three would report directly to the president. The university will launch an immediate national search for a full-time executive director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.

A search for a full-time chief diversity officer will follow after Batista leads a campus-wide effort to assess the appropriate structure and resources needed for this important new leadership position, Ray said. 

Ray also announced that:

  • Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president, will chair an action committee to implement and monitor campus safety and diversity initiatives, and to identify resources needed to fund these efforts;
  • The university, led by Ray, will hold quarterly town hall meetings beginning in March to engage OSU students and others on civil and social justice matters, equity and inclusion;
  • The university will require online diversity educational and orientation programs for all entering students beginning in fall 2016.
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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

OSU participation in SNAP to help improve student food access

Oregon State University has become one of the few college campuses in the nation to participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

SNAP participants will now be able to purchase food staples at Cascadia Market in the International Living-Learning Center on the OSU campus, using their Oregon Trail cards.

The new program is just one way the university is combating the issue of food insecurity among college students, which is a growing national problem. An OSU research study in 2014 found that 59 percent of students at a nearby Oregon university were food insecure at some point during the previous year, meaning they lacked the ability to acquire nutritionally adequate and safe foods.

While exact numbers of OSU students facing food insecurity is not available, utilization of the OSU Emergency Food Pantry (2,974 served from June 2014-July 2015); the supplemental Meal Bux plan (2,182 students used June 2014-July 2015); and help sought from the Human Services Resource Center indicate that many students need help to meet their food needs.

 Students may be eligible for SNAP based on their income levels, and if they also meet other requirements, including working at least 20 hours a week, having dependent children, or taking part in a state or federally financed work-study program. A complete list of requirements is listed online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/students

University Housing and Dining Services Nutritionist Tara Sanders said that it’s taken several years for Cascadia Market to become SNAP eligible, due to stringent requirements on what types and quantities of staple foods such as meats, dairy and vegetables a shop must sell in order to qualify. There were also technological difficulties with sales hardware that made using SNAP too difficult for clerks and customers.

“We wanted to make sure it was an easy process and that folks who used Oregon Trail cards didn’t stand out when making purchases,” Sanders said. “We want it to be a comfortable and respectful experience for customers.

University officials were notified in August 2015 that they met the federal requirements for SNAP, and the system was established and tested with help from volunteer students who were SNAP eligible. Officials said they hope Cascadia Market will become a model for other locations on campus. 

“We know anecdotally that some students come to campus with so many obligations that they have no food budget,” Sanders said. “We have the OSU Food Pantry and the Meal Bux program, but SNAP is another way to help students have access to nutritious food on campus.”

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Tara Sanders, 541-737-3915; tara.sanders@oregonstate.edu

OSU will name chief diversity officer, expand equal opportunity initiatives

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray today announced a series of steps to address racial concerns recently brought to his attention by Oregon State students and to strengthen equity, social justice and inclusivity at OSU.

In a letter to the Oregon State community, Ray said he is creating a position of chief diversity officer to oversee the university’s efforts relating to diversity, equity and inclusion; establishing a separate office to provide oversight for Title IX, the Equal Opportunity Program, Office of Affirmative Action, and issues relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and adding student representatives to OSU’s existing Leadership Council on Equity, Inclusion and Diversity.

Ray said an interim chief diversity officer will be appointed by the end of January. Ray also said he and other university leaders will hold quarterly town hall meetings to engage with members of the campus community, and that the university will create a referral system and provide resources to address bias concerns.

On Nov. 16, OSU students held a “Speak Out” on campus during which many described experiences of both overt and subtle racism.

“Over the past few weeks, I pledged that Oregon State University will act quickly to address the concerns of racial injustice that have been shared recently by many of our students to ensure that our university is a safer, more just, caring and inclusive community,” Ray said. “I am proud that our students showed the courage to ask us to listen to the experiences they have had to deal with on campus and offer valuable suggestions for next steps.”

Ray said he was adamant that the university not “simply talk about these essential matters,” but do something about them.

“More action will be required in the months ahead to position us to attain the equity, inclusion and social justice that we all seek for our community,” Ray said. “Our process for going forward will include ongoing collaboration with our students, faculty and staff.”

Among other actions, Ray said Oregon State would develop required online education and orientation programs encompassing racial awareness, civil and social justice, and diversity for entering students. He also said the university would prominently communicate its commitment and expectations for such issues, citing OSU’s recent strengthening of transfer student policies to increase campus safety.

Additionally, the university will complete its investigation into the sources of racially insensitive and hateful comments posted online during the November “Speak Out”  – and take appropriate disciplinary and educational actions.

Ray said he would provide further updates on racial and gender equity, civil and social justice, inclusivity and campus safety to the university community, including information on hiring initiatives to increase faculty diversity, expanded employee diversity training, changes to OSU’s curriculum, and other efforts.

“These actions – and Oregon State’s aspiration to be a fully inclusive and just community – are not just a set of words,” Ray said. “They are my commitment, and it is my clear understanding that ‘business as usual’ is not good enough at Oregon State University. Actions will be taken and results achieved.”

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Steve Clark, 503-502-8217

OSU enrollment up 2.4 percent; Corvallis campus about same size

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s overall 2015 fall term enrollment grew 2.4 percent over last year, with stable enrollment on the Corvallis campus and continued growth in online learning through OSU’s nationally ranked Ecampus distance degree program.

Oregon State’s overall enrollment is 30,592 students, making OSU the largest university in the state of Oregon for the second year in a row.

OSU officials say there are 24,466 students at the university’s main campus in Corvallis, an increase of 3/10ths of one percent, or 83 students, from fall 2014. Oregon State has enrolled 5,110 students in Ecampus this term, an increase of 607 students or 13.5 percent over last year. At OSU-Cascades, where this fall Oregon State offers four-year academic classes for the first time, 1,016 students are enrolled – a 3.7 percent increase over last year.

“This is right in line with Oregon State’s strategic plan to serve as Oregon’s university, as well as with our enrollment management plan,” said OSU President Edward J. Ray. “Three out of four degree-seeking undergraduate students on our Corvallis campus are Oregon residents, and we continue to attract high-achieving students. Among first-time college students from Oregon high schools, 41.6 percent are considered high-achievers (with a grade point of 3.75 or higher).”

Ray said he was particularly pleased in the continued growth in enrollment of U.S. minority students, an increase of 6.9 percent from 6,320 students in 2014 to 6,754 this fall.

The university also enrolled 5,803 undergraduates who are first-generation students – an increase of 4.5 percent over 2014. “As a first-generation college student myself, that trend is near-and-dear to my heart,” Ray said. “Nearly one out of four of our undergraduates (23.6 percent) is a first-generation student.”

“Oregon State’s mission is to bring higher education to all people within Oregon and we are doing just that by increasingly enrolling people of diversity, students from low-income families, and first-generation students,” Ray said. “Expanded access to an excellent higher education and college degree is essential for all Oregonians, as well as the future of our state and the nation.”

International student enrollment at Oregon State also grew this fall, but by a slower rate than in the past. OSU enrolled 3,328 international students this fall – up 3.9 percent over 2014. The international student enrollment had grown by 21 percent in 2013 and by 12 percent in 2014 and now represents 11.3 percent of Oregon State’s overall enrollment.

Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president for University Relations and Marketing, said OSU’s strategic enrollment growth is sustainable. While demographic patterns in Oregon suggest that the number of high school graduates will remain relatively flat for the foreseeable future, Clark said Oregon State is poised to continue attracting Oregonians, but also a mix of out-of-state and international students, and non-traditionally aged students (25 and over).

“OSU will remain focused on being Oregon’s statewide university,” Clark said. “It takes a balancing act to meet the needs of the state; manage growth in a strategic way; serve as a great community partner where our campuses are located; and operate the university in a financially sustainable way.”

“As promised, we have slowed the growth on our Corvallis campus, but while doing so, we are taking higher education to where students are by continuing to enroll more distance online students through Ecampus, by expanding OSU-Cascades to a four-year campus in Bend; and by opening a marine studies campus in Newport over the next few years.”

More students are studying engineering than any other discipline at OSU – the College of Engineering has a total of 8,265 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled this fall. The next largest programs are the College of Liberal Arts, 3,905 students; the College of Science, 3,526; the College of Business, 3,487; the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, 3,200; and the College of Agricultural Sciences, 2,610.

Enrollment in other colleges and programs includes: University Exploratory Studies, 1,106; College of Forestry, 1,024; Graduate School, 797; College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, 725; College of Pharmacy, 384; College of Education, 317; and College of Veterinary Medicine, 230.

The most popular major at OSU is computer science, followed by business administration, mechanical engineering, kinesiology, and human development and family sciences.

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

U.S. Department of Education awards $8.9 million to alliance including OSU

PORTLAND, Ore – The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Oregon State University, as a member of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), was selected as one of the winners in its First in the World competition to encourage innovation among institutions of higher education.

Georgia State University, on behalf of the UIA, has been awarded $8.9 million to conduct a four-year research study on the alliance’s 11 member campuses to evaluate the effectiveness of advising in increasing retention, progression, and graduation rates for low-income and first-generation students.

“Today, more institutions are turning to data and analytics to help personalize advising, and identify struggling students before they get too far off track,” said Bridget Burns, UIA executive director. “Our mission is to test new ideas, understand what works, and scale effective innovations across the country to ensure that more students have the supports they need to complete college.

“The First in the Word grant will enable us to study the work already taking place at our 11 institutions, and test best practices using data analytics that we can share with and beyond the alliance.”

The project will study 10,000 students who are exposed to an intensive menu of proactive, analytics-based advising interventions at the UIA universities.  Through quantitative and qualitative research and analysis, the study will examine the benefits, especially for at-risk students, of introducing systematic, proactive advising.

“This grant will significantly aid Oregon State University’s efforts to foster far greater student success,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “Along with other University Innovation Alliance partners, Oregon State will learn how to effectively use predictive analytics to improve student retention and graduation rates through individualized advising and academic counseling.

“My intent is to share all that we learn throughout the higher education community,” Ray said.

As part of the study, students at each of the 11 universities will be selected by random assignment and will receive, in addition to advising services typically offered:

  • Intensive, proactive advising to help them establish individualized academic maps;
  • Real-time alerts prompted by a system of analytics-based tracking when they may be struggling;
  • Timely, targeted advising interventions to get them back on the appropriate academic path.

Launched just one year ago, the University Innovation Alliance is a consortium of public research universities established to help more students from all socioeconomic backgrounds graduate from college. This year, all institutions are implementing or scaling the use of data analytics and advising to improve student retention and college completion.

The alliance includes OSU, Arizona State University, Georgia State University, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, Purdue University, Ohio State University, University of California, Riverside, University of Central Florida, University of Kansas and University of Texas at Austin.

For more information on the alliance, go to www.theUIA.org.

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Sarah Herring, 202-479-7149, sarah@whiteboardadvisors.com

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

Susana Rivera-Mills, 541-737-4586, susana.rivera-mills@oregonstate.edu

OSU hits 30,000 enrollment mark overall, while reining in Corvallis growth

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has surpassed 30,000 in overall enrollment for the first time in the school’s history, fueled by the continued growth of its online distance learning Ecampus program and the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend.

At the same time, the university has succeeded in slowing the growth on its Corvallis campus to less than 1 percent, meeting a goal OSU had established with community stakeholders and leaders.

“As Oregon’s statewide university, we take seriously our mandate to provide access to as many qualified in-state students as we can,” said OSU President Edward J. Ray. “At the same time, we are nearing our present capacity on the Corvallis campus and thus slowing our growth has been a priority. This is a win-win situation for the university, Corvallis and the state of Oregon.”

Official enrollment numbers are reported at the end of the fourth week of fall term. Oregon State’s overall enrollment is 30,058 students, of which 24,383 are enrolled through the Corvallis campus (an increase of 0.9 percent or 225 students over last year); 4,503 are enrolled through Ecampus (up 19.5 percent or 736 more students from a year ago); and 1,172 are enrolled in and/or admitted to OSU-Cascades (up 5.5 percent or an increase of 61 students from a year ago). OSU’s overall enrollment increased 1,022 students from a year ago – an overall change of 3.5 percent.

Oregon State’s fall enrollment is the largest among all Oregon universities. A total of 69 percent of all undergraduate students at OSU are from the state of Oregon.

“Oregon State continues to be a destination of choice -- not just for Oregon students in general, but for high-achieving students in particular – 44.2 percent of all incoming freshmen attending OSU this fall had a high school grade point averages of 3.75 or higher,” Ray said.

Oregon State has set a goal of having 50 percent of its incoming freshmen class classified as high-achieving by the year 2025. Last year, the percentage of high-achieving freshmen enrolled at OSU was 39 percent. Meanwhile, the average high school grade point for all incoming Oregon State freshmen this fall was 3.59.

The university also has succeeded in boosting its enrollment of U.S. students of color, which now stands at 21.9 percent of the overall student body, and of its international enrollment, which is 11.1 percent.

Graduate student enrollment rose 5.5 percent over last year to a total of 4,410 students.

“These areas of growth align with the enrollment management goals that we had set out in our strategic plan for diversifying the campus and growing our graduate student enrollment,” Ray said.

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808

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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.”

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808

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