Oregon State Board of Trustees Approves Document to Guide Search for Next President


CORVALLIS, Ore. — The Oregon State University board of trustees on Friday approved a presidential profile that will guide the university’s search for its next president. The council also heard an update on the ongoing national search and anticipates the selection of a new chair in late May.

The Presidential Profile articulates the qualities and qualifications the OSU seeks in its next President as well as the President’s opportunities and expectations.

“The profile calls on the incoming university president to advance OSU’s momentum in research, teaching, and public engagement while remaining true to a model of inclusive excellence,” said the chairman of the board, Kirk Schueler. “The profile will be essential in recruiting and evaluating applicants as the Board engages with the Research Advisory Committee and members and stakeholders of the University community in an inclusive and transparent research process.”

The profile reflects information gathered from an online survey and feedback provided during 15 listening sessions involving members of the OSU community and stakeholders that the Board of Directors held in January. .

the research process calls for soliciting applications and recruiting candidates during the month of February. A research firm and the president research advisory committee, made up of faculty, staff, students, OSU stakeholders, alumni and three administrators, will then evaluate the applicants. At the end of May, finalists for the position will visit OSU’s Corvallis campus; participate in public forums and meetings with members of the academic community and stakeholders, including members of research committees; and be interviewed by the board. The board will collect and review community and stakeholder feedback on the nominees. The board is expected to select a new chairman at a public meeting in late May, and the new chairman is expected to take office in July.

During its meeting, the Board also received an update on the University’s Strategic Plan 4.0: Transformation, Excellence and Impact. This is the start of the fourth of the five-year plan, which includes 20 actions. As of November 2021, the average progress in completing the 20 actions is 60%, which is where the university generally expects to be at this point, Ed Feser, provost and vice president, told trustees. executive of the OSU.

“The university’s strategic plan sets the framework for supporting the aspirations and innovation of the university’s colleges, divisions and units, which develop their own strategic plans consistent with the overall mission, vision and goals of the university. ‘OSU,” Feser said. “It is the creativity of OSU faculty and students that drives innovation and impact, not top-down university administration.”

Fourteen of the 20 actions are at least halfway done, reported Feser and Rick Settersten, vice provost for faculty affairs. They highlighted successes in three areas: student pathways and learning experiences; faculty success in research and teaching; and inclusion, care and connectedness.

The board also heard a report from Feser and Dan Larson, vice provost for student affairs and OSU COVID-19 response coordinator, on the university’s ongoing response to the pandemic, including continuing teaching, research and on-site work. Feser and Larson stressed that while the university’s response and operations are going well, the duration of the pandemic and its impacts continue to weigh on students and employees.

Acting President Becky Johnson acknowledged the many pressures felt by members of the OSU community.

“We are having important discussions about how we can extend an impactful culture of care for OSU employees and students and mitigate the impacts of what they are experiencing,” Johnson said.

Council heard a presentation on work underway to convert Elliott State Forest to an OSU managed research forest. Following guidance provided by the State Land Board in late 2019, OSU and the Department of State Lands began exploring how to establish and manage Elliott as a research forest. Since then, OSU college and university leaders have worked with the state Department of Lands and stakeholders to create a framework for a research forest.

The planning includes proposing a legislative concept to create an independent state entity that would own and have fiscal responsibility for the forest while contracting with OSU to conduct research and manage the forest. The legislative concept will be considered during the February legislative session.

The board also heard details of a financial analysis of the forest which shows it will be financially viable.

The board will be updated on the Elliott State Research Forest and may be asked to consider approving the university’s engagement in the forest at future meetings, depending on the outcome of the legislative process.

The board also approved:

  • Spending $6.2 million to expand the West Greenhouse complex on the Corvallis campus that supports plant science research and provides a place for teaching, experiential learning, and research involving undergraduate students and graduate studies. The new greenhouses will replace the East Greenhouse space, which was built in 1929.

  • Increase the budget for the total refurbishment of Cordley Hall in response to increased labor and supply chain costs due to the pandemic. Cordley Hall serves the Colleges of Agricultural Science and Science. The $12.8 million increase is due to increased labor costs and supply chain disruptions. The total cost of the renovation is now $171.6 million and is supported in part by more than $100 million in state-paid bonds. Additional legislative funding to help address escalating costs for this project and projects at other Oregon public universities is being sought during the February legislative session.

  • Increase the budget for the completion of Reser Stadium, which will include new West Stadium seating, a welcome center for prospective new students, and a wellness clinic for students, state employees. Oregon and community members. The cost increase of $7.5 million is in response to escalating costs caused by the pandemic occurring around the world. Most of the cost increase will be covered by fundraising and other existing reserves. The overall project will now cost $160.5 million.

  • Increased budget to expand Graf Hall renovation to renovate three additional labs in the building, which is occupied by the College of Engineering. The work will be financed by a donation of 2.5 million dollars. Graf Hall’s $8.6 million overall renovation is expected to be completed in April.

  • Spending $8.8 million to replace the roof and heating and cooling system at the LaSells Stewart Center. The upgrades are expected to allow the conference center at OSU’s Corvallis campus to remain operational and energy efficient for the next 25 years.

At its meeting on Friday, directors recognized the contributions of Rani Borkar, who recently completed her term as board chair and continues to serve on the board.

Early Friday, members of the finance and administration committees of the board of directors and the executive and audit committees held a joint meeting to hear a report from OSU’s external auditor regarding the 2021 annual financial report. of the university, which the executive committee and the audit committee have voted to accept.

On Thursday, three board committees met:

  • The Academic Strategies Committee approved five new undergraduate programs in Theater Arts, Applied Human Sciences and Oceanography at the Corvallis campus, and in Economics and Political Science at OSU-Cascades. Implementation of the new degree programs awaits support from the Oregon Public Universities Board of Provosts and the state Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

The committee also heard reports on reviews of new and existing university programs and on ongoing professional accreditation.

An update on the progress of the university’s many efforts and programs to engage in preventing interpersonal and gender-based violence and supporting survivors was provided by a panel of university program leaders.

The committee also heard reports on how faculty and students at the university and OSU are engaged in advancing research and innovation and commercializing research conducted in the state. from Oregon.

The committee heard a report on OSU’s international and global engagement efforts, and later in the day all trustees heard brief presentations from several faculty and a student on examples of engagement, teaching and research centers throughout the state of Oregon.

  • The Finance and Administration Committee heard a report on preliminary tuition fee scenarios for the 2022-23 fiscal year. Three scenarios, ranging from 2.5% to 4.5% increase in tuition fees, were discussed. Increases in this range are in line with the board’s previous statements that tuition increases would be between 2% and 5%.

The committee heard a report about a graduate student and upper division student housing building at the corner of Northwest 11th Street and Madison Avenue. The five-story, L-shaped, $50 million building will serve approximately 220 students and offer a mix of two-bedroom suites with kitchens and a limited number of studios with kitchenettes. Construction is expected to begin in December 2022 after municipal permits are issued, and the building is scheduled to open in June 2024.

The committee also approved a first quarter operating management report, first quarter investment report and annual internal banking report and heard an update on the budget model for the Corvallis campus.

  • The Executive and Audit Committee approved the Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance’s 2021 final progress report and 2022 annual plan, as well as a report on enterprise risk management. The committee also heard an update on public safety at OSU and the university’s progress in launching its own police department for the Corvallis campus.

On Friday, the board heard reports from Faculty Senate President Erika McCalpine; ASOSU Student Body President Dhru Patel; Cascades Campus Associate Students Student Body President Taha Elwefati; Eric Schoenstein, Trustee of the OSU Foundation, regarding fundraising and alumni activities; and on the university’s legislative priorities from Katie Fast, OSU’s executive director of government relations.

Council heard testimony from a community member regarding university student housing plans during the public comment portion of council’s agenda.


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