OSU President Ed Ray names Marianne Vydra interim athletics director

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University President Ed Ray Wednesday named Marianne Vydra as interim OSU athletics director while the university completes a national search to select a new intercollegiate athletics director.

Todd Stansbury, Oregon State’s current athletics director and vice president, announced last week he will leave Oregon State to serve as Georgia Tech’s athletics director. Ray said Vydra and Stansbury will work together to provide for a “seamless leadership transition” to occur on Nov. 4.

Vydra served as interim director of Oregon State athletics in the summer of 2015, presently serves as deputy director of OSU athletics for administration and is the department’s senior woman administrator. In February 2015, CollegeAD.com named her one of the top 10 senior woman administrators in the NCAA.

“I thank President Ray for the opportunity to once again serve in this role,” Vydra said. “I also want to thank Todd Stansbury for assembling the best team in the nation. He brought some real stars in athletics administration to Oregon State and he allowed the stars already here to really shine. We will continue full steam ahead by executing our shared vision for the athletics department, the university and Beaver Nation.”

Vydra serves on numerous OSU, Pac-12 Conference and national governance committees. She is the chairperson for the NCAA Women’s Soccer and Softball committees; a member of the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Committee; and a member of Oregon State’s President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Vydra previously served as vice president of the executive board of the Pac-12 and has been a member of several other conference committees. These include the long-range planning committee; student-athlete advisory committee; diversity initiative committee; women’s basketball tournament committee; and the league’s television committee. 

She came to OSU in 1992 after working as an academic counselor at the University of Maine.



Steve Clark, 541-737-3808


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Finance and Administration Committee of OSU Board of Trustees to meet August 25

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Finance and Administration Committee of the Oregon State University Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, August 25.

They will consider quarterly management and investment reports, and discuss the university risk management topic assigned to the committee; 2016 board assessment results; and the 2017 committee work plan.

The meeting is open to the public and will run from 10-11:30 a.m. in the President’s Conference Room, Room 650, in Kerr Administration Building, 1500 S.W. Jefferson Way in Corvallis.

The agenda and meeting materials will be posted as they are available at http://oregonstate.edu/leadership/trustees/meetings. The public can listen to the meeting by calling the toll-free number listed on the agenda. If special accommodation is required, please contact Marcia Stuart at (541) 737-3449 or marcia.stuart@oregonstate.edu at least 72 hours in advance.

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808


Academic Strategies Committee of OSU Board of Trustees to meet August 19

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Academic Strategies Committee of the Oregon State University Board of Trustees will meet on Friday, August 19.

They will consider an academic program termination, and review amendments to the committee charter; university risk management topics assigned to the committee; results of the 2016 board assessment; and the 2017 work plan for the committee.

The meeting will run from 9:30-11:30 am in the President’s Conference Room, Room 650, in Kerr Administration Building, 1500 S.W. Jefferson Way in Corvallis. The meeting is open to the public.

Agenda and meeting materials will be posted as they are available at http://oregonstate.edu/leadership/trustees/meetings. The public can listen to the meeting by calling the toll-free number listed on the agenda. If special accommodation is required, please contact Marcia Stuart at (541) 737-3449 or marcia.stuart@oregonstate.edu at least 72 hours in advance.

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808


Health care systems engineering expert to head OSU school

CORVALLIS, Ore.  – Harriet Nembhard, a professor of industrial engineering and an expert in operations research, process improvement, and quality control, has been named as the new head of the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Oregon State University.

Nembhard, who comes from Penn State University, will be the Eric R. Smith Professor of Engineering.

At Penn State Nembhard cofounded and directed the Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems. It became the university’s driving force behind health care delivery research, with holistic solutions that encompass engineering, medicine, nursing, health policy, and information sciences and technology.

Nembhard also served this year as interim department head of Penn State’s Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. She developed a strategy for academic development and faculty recruiting, initiated a master’s degree program and enrolled its first class, and organized teams to respond to major research thrusts in the College of Engineering.

Nembhard has written 46 peer-reviewed journal articles and a new textbook, “Healthcare Systems Engineering.” She has studied visualization methods for communicating healthcare data, statistical methods for the early detection of influenza outbreak, modeling patient adherence to treatment, monitoring mammograms for diagnostic error, and development of a patented manufacturing process for small-scale medical devices.

“We’re delighted to welcome Professor Nembhard to the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering,” said Scott Ashford, dean of OSU’s College of Engineering. “Her ability to serve students, success as an academic leader and researcher, and ability to create and foster productive and collaborative partnerships between academia and industry will be a great asset to our growing engineering community.”

Nembhard has served as a technical consultant for several major companies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology Committee, and Penn State’s Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment.

“The School of MIME has a long history of research and teaching excellence,” said Nembhard. “I am looking forward to working with the faculty and staff to further enrich our programs and deliver engineering innovations that address the needs of our society.”

Nembhard received her master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Steve Frandzel, 541-737-1082


Scott Ashford, 541-737-5232


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Corvallis campus water tested for lead, copper

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has tested water from nearly 40 Corvallis campus buildings for lead and copper levels following news that lead had been found in some Portland-area schools.

All preliminary tests for office and classroom buildings included in the test group came back with good results. Most facilities, including both campus daycare buildings, showed no to very low detectable elements in the water.

More comprehensive testing will be done throughout the Corvallis campus to continue to monitor the health and safety of the campus community. The testing should be finished by early August.

Testing was done in June in all University Housing and Dining buildings. Nearly all of the buildings met safety standards. In one residence hall, Poling Hall, water from one floor kitchen sink and three showers exceeded acceptable levels for lead; and three sinks and two showers within the hall showed elevated levels, but did not exceed the acceptable levels for lead. To provide for full safety, OSU has shutoff water to those fixtures until repairs are made.

Benton County Health Department officials say that the health effects for adults would be negligible given the borderline levels of lead found and the fact that the sinks and showers were not a primary water source for drinking.

OSU is required to make repairs to pipes and fixtures when safety levels are exceeded. Following repairs in Poling Hall, sampling will be conducted to ensure the problem has been resolved. This issue appears to be fixture-specific, but water will be turned off to the affected fixtures until the issue is resolved.

Dan Kermoyan, assistant director of OSU Environmental Health and Safety, said testing of other Oregon State-owned facilities, including Extension offices, experiment and research stations, as well as the university’s Bend and Newport campuses, will be completed by early September.

Details on the June testing report are available online, at http://oregonstate.edu/ehs/2016-drinking-water-quality-report

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808


OSU names marine science leader from Southern California to head college

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A marine science leader from southern California, who serves as vice chair of the board of trustees for the national Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington, D.C., and president of the board of directors of the Southern California Marine Institute, has been named dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.

Roberta Marinelli, executive director of the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Southern California, will begin her new duties at Oregon State on Sept. 30. She succeeds Mark Abbott, who last year accepted a position as president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Roy Haggerty has served as interim dean of the college since Abbott’s departure.

As dean of CEOAS, Marinelli will assume leadership for one of the strongest Earth sciences programs in the nation, with nationally recognized teaching and research expertise in oceanography, atmospheric sciences, geology, geography, and coastal studies. The college has approximately 110 teaching and research faculty, who last year brought in $39 million in research grants and contracts.

The college also is an integral part of the university’s new Marine Studies Initiative, which seeks to further expand Oregon State’s role in teaching and research related to the world’s oceans, and help address some of the issues they face, including climate change, sustainable fisheries, ocean acidification, sea level rise and others.

“Roberta Marinelli is an experienced scientist and administrator with valuable leadership experience at major marine science institutions in this country, as well as in Antarctica through the National Science Foundation,” said Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president.

“There was a real sense of excitement about her candidacy for dean from all corners of the university – students, faculty, staff, administration and external stakeholders,” Randhawa added. “She has a real sense of the strength of the people and programs in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, and sees opportunities for growth and even more excellence in the future.”

Marinelli has been at the University of Southern California since 2011. Prior to that, she was program director for Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems for the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Sciences Division and earlier had been associate program director for NSF’s Antarctic Biology and Medicine program.

She also has been a researcher and faculty member at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography at the University System of Georgia.

In addition to directing USC’s Wrigley Marine Science Center on Santa Catalina Island, Marinelli oversees the George and Mary Lou Boone Center for Science and Environmental Leadership, where scientists and policy-makers meet to resolve environmental challenges.

Marinelli has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Brown University, and a master’s degree and doctorate in marine science from the University of South Carolina.

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Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111


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OSU Board of Trustees approves $1.17 billion budget for coming year

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees today approved a $1.17 billion operating revenue budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year that provides funds for growing the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend and new investments guided by the university’s strategic plan.

Trustees also discussed Oregon State’s commitment to equity, inclusion and social justice, and recognized Provost and Executive Vice President Sabah Randhawa, who will leave the university this summer to become president at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. The board also recognized out-going Trustee Brenda McComb, who resigned her seat on the board representing OSU faculty when she was promoted to Oregon State’s senior vice provost for academic affairs.

Oregon State initiatives supported by next year’s budget include:

  • Expanding the Division of Undergraduate Studies to address student retention and graduation rates;
  • Funding the Office of Institutional Diversity and other initiatives to help all students and staff succeed;
  • Opening Johnson Hall, a new facility to support growth in the professional program of the College of Engineering;
  • Completing staff and program development for statewide public services; and,
  • Increasing academic support in key areas.

The $1.17 billion in budgeted revenues provides for $604 million in educational and general funds expenditures that support instruction, research and outreach; $224 million for expenditures for self-supporting programs, including housing and dining, athletics and student centers; and $334 million in restricted funds expenditures provided from externally-funded grants, contracts and gifts.

The trustees also reflected on the funding request for the 2017-19 biennium that includes a significant increase in state support following the 2015 Oregon Legislature’s approval for increased funding for Oregon’s seven public universities. But trustees also discussed some future financial uncertainties. These include a trend in slower growth in the population of traditional college-age students; increases in the state of Oregon minimum wage; and significant changes in federal overtime policies for salaried employees that will go into effect later this year.

“The fiscal year 2017 budget will allow investments in the success of our students and the diversity of our community, while providing support for high quality learning experiences and global impacts through our graduates and research discoveries,” said OSU President Ed Ray.

The board also supported an amendment to the 2015-17 capital plan. This will allow important project scope improvements that have increased the cost of the Oregon Forest Science Complex project by $8 million to be funded by gifts; and $10 million for construction of a Complex for Resilient Infrastructure and Safety. This complex will be supported by $5 million in philanthropic gifts.

The board heard a presentation  on issues of inclusion, equity and social justice at Oregon State and what steps OSU is taking and has planned to provide a more safe, diverse and inclusive community.

These steps include increased communication to the OSU community; establishing a bias incident reporting process; supporting efforts to diversify faculty and staff; developing student learning modules; enhancing faculty and staff education, training and awareness; and expanding efforts and outreach to the larger community.

Trustees recognized Randhawa with a Board resolution and presentation of a framed plaque. Randhawa served as OSU’s provost and executive vice president from 2005 and worked at the university for more than 30 years as a faculty member and administrator.

As provost, he served as the university’s chief academic officer and second-ranking administrator providing overall leadership for Oregon State’s academic affairs, faculty and student services, information technology, research and graduate programs, the OSU Extension Service and Ecampus.

“Sabah has been my closest partner,” said Ray. “Oregon State University is a better place than Sabah found it when he arrived here. We will never forget how blessed we have been with his friendship, leadership, compassion and wisdom.”

Trustees also recognized McComb with a Board resolution and framed plaque. Trustees applauded McComb’s contributions, particularly her service on the Academic Strategies Committee, where she helped the Committee understand university processes to consider new academic degrees.

The board approved a new bachelor of science degree in biochemistry and molecular biology in the College of Science, pending approval of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. This program will help address increased interest in a wide range of new careers and a scientific revolution in molecular biology in the past 40 years.

Trustees heard testimony from six students, a Corvallis community resident, and an OSU faculty instructor, regarding social justice, the affordability of an OSU higher education, including housing and administrative costs and representation of students and faculty on the board.

Trustees also approved a 2017 meeting schedule.

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Steve Clark, 541-737-4875


OSU selects noted oceanographer to head Marine Studies Initiative

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Jack Barth, an Oregon State University oceanographer known for his teaching, research, and public engagement related to marine low-oxygen zones, and his leadership in the national Ocean Observatories Initiative, has been named executive director of the Marine Studies Initiative at OSU.

The MSI is a comprehensive, university-wide effort by Oregon State to address ocean health and coastal challenges by creating a global education and research program that blends the science of oceanography with business, engineering, education, the arts and humanities, agriculture sciences, forestry and social sciences, according to Oregon State President Edward J. Ray.

“The world’s oceans are facing unprecedented challenges and the need to address this range of issues – and educate the next generations of an ocean-literate citizenry – is a major focus of this initiative,” Ray said. “Jack Barth is uniquely qualified to lead the enterprise, as a respected scientist, an outstanding educator and collaborator.”

Barth has been on the OSU faculty since 1989 and has been associate dean for research in the university’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences for the past four years. He also has been co-lead of the Marine Studies Initiative since its inception in 2014, with Bob Cowen, director of OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon.

“In appointing Jack Barth -- and with the strong leadership provided by Bob Cowen as director of the Hatfield Marine Sciences Center -- Oregon State is doubling down,” said Ray.  “Jack will lead our overall MSI activities and link those initiatives to research, teaching and public engagement conducted at OSU and globally. Bob will drive Oregon State’s Newport-based efforts along the Oregon coast.”

Ray said Cowen will continue to direct Oregon State’s HMSC facilities, fundraising and coastal community relations, and will share in the development of Newport-based academic and research programs.

“Among the goals of the Marine Studies Initiative is to greatly broaden and better connect various marine studies disciplines across the university,” Barth said.

“We’ll still focus on oceanography, fisheries, marine biology, and other science-related issues, but we see some exciting areas into which we could expand including economics, social and public policies, ocean engineering, business and others.”

By 2025, the Marine Studies Initiative seeks to teach 500 students annually at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and up to 800 more marine studies-related students in Corvallis.

A critical first step in the initiative is a new $50 million, 100,000-square-foot building that could open as early as 2018 in Newport. The Oregon Legislature approved $24.8 million in state bonding for the facility, and the OSU Foundation will raise an additional $40 million in private funding - $25 million to match the state funds and another $15 million to support-related projects.

“The new Newport academic and research facility will be a world-class teaching and research center where OSU will address many of the most pressing problems facing the Oregon coast and the world’s oceans,” said Cowen. “This center will drive discovery; expand learning; and serve as an essential coastal community asset and economic driver.”

Barth is a 1982 graduate of the University of Colorado, where he received a bachelor’s degree in physics. He has a Ph.D. in oceanography in 1987 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

An expert in coastal oceanography, Barth led an $8.4 million interdisciplinary program to study the coastal upwelling marine ecosystem off Oregon. Near-shore studies are critical because much of the world’s population lives near coastal areas, and these marine ecosystems face myriad issues, including sustainable fisheries, ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, sea-level rise and erosion.

Barth was a member of the National Science Foundation’s Observatory Steering Committee that launched the $386 million Ocean Observatories Initiative. He co-wrote the proposal that resulted in Oregon and Washington being selected as the site for the OOI’s Endurance Array, a sophisticated network of underwater sensors designed to monitor changing ocean conditions.

He also has been a co-principal investigator for the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), which has received more than $56 million to conduct nearshore research and educate students.

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Jack Barth, 541-737-1607


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Committee, firm chosen to begin search for new OSU provost and executive vice president

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A committee has been selected to undertake a national search for the new provost and executive vice president at Oregon State University.

Sabah Randhawa, the current provost, will leave OSU this summer to assume the presidency of Western Washington University in August. Ron Adams, interim vice president of administration, has been appointed as the interim provost and executive vice president until the position is filled on a permanent basis.

The provost serves as Oregon State’s chief academic officer and second-ranking administrator, providing leadership for academic affairs, faculty and student services, information technology, graduate programs, international programs, OSU’s top-ranked online education program, the Extended Campus, and statewide public service programs such as the Agricultural Experiment Station, Forest Research Lab, and the OSU Extension Service.

Administrators reporting directly to the provost include deans of the 11 colleges, the Graduate School and the Honors College; the chief compliance officer; the vice-president for OSU-Cascades campus and other academic leaders. Additionally, the provost partners with other vice presidents on university-wide functions, including financial and capital planning and the university’s research agenda.

“This is an enormously important position at OSU,” said OSU President Edward Ray. “The provost provides vision and insights to help meet our ambitious long-term goals and manages much of the day-to-day operation of the university.

“We are confident the growing national reputation of Oregon State will attract premier candidates, people who share our commitment to academic and research excellence, to diversity, to global growth and to meeting the educational needs of all Oregonians.”

Members of the search committee at OSU will be:

  • Scott Ashford, dean of the College of Engineering and search committee chair
  • Kathy Bickel, vice president for alumni relations
  • Gigi Bruce, special assistant to the provost
  • Debbie Colbert, secretary of the OSU Board of Trustees
  • Allison Davis-White Eyes, director of diversity and cultural engagement
  • Lee Ann Garrison, director of the School of Arts & Communication
  • Mike Green, interim vice president for finance
  • Kate Halischak, director of student athlete academic services and president of the Faculty Senate
  • John Killefer, head of the Department of Animal & Rangeland Sciences; representative of the Faculty Senate Administrative Appointments Committee and of the University Budget Committee
  • Shannon Lipscomb, assistant professor of human development and family sciences at OSU–Cascades
  • Rachel Grisham, president of the Associated Students of OSU
  • Sastry Pantula, dean of the College of Science
  • Scott Reed, vice provost for university outreach and engagement, and director of the OSU Extension Service
  • Susana Rivera-Mills, vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies
  • Shawn Scoville, executive vice president of the OSU Foundation
  • Brett Tyler, director of the Center for Genome Research & Biocomputing

Isaacson, Miller, a national higher education search firm headquartered in Boston, will assist in this process. The company is known for identifying transformative leaders in education and other important fields.

University officials said the search committee plans to begin its work in early June and efforts will be made to fill the position during the next academic year. National searches typically take between 9 and 12 months. The process will remain fully confidential until finalists for the position are publicly announced prior to campus visits.

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Steve Clark, 541-737-4875


Ron Adams named interim provost and executive vice president at Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray has named veteran OSU administrator Ron Adams as interim provost and executive vice president, effective July 1.

He succeeds Sabah Randhawa, who is leaving OSU this summer to become president of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, in August.

Adams, who now serves as OSU’s interim vice president of administration, previously served as a tenured professor, dean of the College of Engineering, executive associate vice president for research, and interim vice president for research at Oregon State.

“Ron’s record of leadership success at Oregon State will enable him to serve the university well in this interim role,” Ray said. “We are fortunate to have someone with his experience, skills and knowledge to step in and provide a seamless transition.”

As interim provost and executive vice president, Ray said Adams will provide leadership to continue implementation of the university’s strategic plan and recently announced student success initiative; support growth of OSU’s grant/contract-funded research and impact; foster faculty and graduate student success; and support OSU’s diversity, enrollment management, and outreach and engagement strategies.

“I am pleased to take on this new leadership role,” Adams said. “I am confident we will continue Oregon State’s momentum as a leading, internationally recognized public research university.”

Adams earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from OSU and his master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before joining the OSU faculty, he served in the U.S. Air Force and worked at MIT Lincoln Labs. Adams took a leave from OSU to lead a team at Tektronix working on developing and commercializing color printing technologies. Adams worked at Tektronix for more than 14 years, including serving as vice president of technology and as a senior Tektronix fellow.

Adams will serve in this new role while the university conducts a national search for a new provost and executive vice president during the coming year.

Ray also has asked Mike Green, interim vice president for finance, to serve as OSU’s interim vice president for finance and administration during this period. Green previously served as the university’s associate vice president for finance and administration, and before that as associate vice chancellor for finance and administration for the Oregon University System. Green will serve in this new role while the university completes a national search for a new vice president for finance and administration.

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

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