This 2008 Oregon State University Cascades strategic plan updates a 2006 version, reflecting changes in the state and local economic climate and progress on campus initiatives.
A business plan complementing this strategic plan provides the business strategies and financial models that support a successful implementation of the plan.
OSU-Cascades opened in the fall of 2001 to provide access to four-year degrees and graduate programs for Central Oregon’s burgeoning population and dynamic, expanding economy. A branch campus of Oregon State University (OSU), the Campus distinctively combines the strengths of the state’s Land Grant, research-intensive institution; the teaching and research programs of the University of Oregon; and the core two-year academic offerings of Central Oregon Community College (COCC). Fifteen undergraduate programs and two graduate programs, all of them fully accredited, are currently offered by OSU-Cascades on the COCC campus.
OSU-Cascades is distinctive in Oregon in its reliance on Central Oregon Community College and Oregon’s other community colleges for the first two years of undergraduate instruction. This transfer university relationship with community colleges reduces costs for students and creates accessibility opportunities to hundreds of Oregon’s most talented students.
Since 2001, OSU-Cascades has awarded more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate degrees; created 11 accredited majors plus master’s degrees in teaching and counseling; and partnered with 150 schools, businesses and non-profit organizations among its offerings. The Campus offers a nationally distinctive degree program in Tourism & Outdoor Leadership and a fully accredited program in Business.
Oregon State University Cascades serves the students and communities of Central Oregon, the northwest and beyond by providing a quality, affordable and accessible university education for junior, senior and graduate level students, enabling them to lead more informed lives, better serve their communities and enhance their careers.
OSU-Cascades will be a major contributor to the intellectual, cultural, ecological, social and economic vitality of Central Oregon and the state.
A number of environmental factors will influence the mission and growth of OSU-Cascades in the immediate and intermediate future. Prominent among these issues are:
Educational Aspiration and Expectation — Central Oregon faces a pronounced challenge, similar to the one faced by Oregon generally: college participation and graduation rates lag behind many other states. Additionally, while 30% of the state’s urban population holds a Bachelor’s Degree, this figure is only 16% in rural areas, despite a projection that by 2014 approximately 80% of all high wage jobs will require at least a Bachelor’s Degree.
Demographic Trends — 2005 Census data shows Bend is the fastest growing of Central Oregon’s three counties, with its population rising nearly a third in the first half of this decade. At the same time, a 2007 study by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education estimates Hispanic/Latino high school graduates will increase by 137% from 2004 to 2014. These students enroll in college at the lowest rate of any group, 12%.
Public Expectations — The citizens of Central Oregon have long had high expectations for access to higher education in their region.
Economic Uncertainty — With OSU-Cascades heavily dependent on state funding, Oregon’s uncertain economy may limit general fund support; it will almost surely make public funding less predictable.
Board of Higher Education Goals — OSU-Cascades is accountable for addressing the statewide higher education goals articulated by the Board:
Four strategic issues will drive OSU-Cascades over the next three to five years:
Growth in the availability of academic programs and closely related support services drives and responds to rising enrollment. An important attendant issue will be the need for additional space.
With current enrollment hovering at 500 — up from approximately 200 in 2001 — the most compelling issue for the next three to five years is enrollment growth.
Stable, predictable funding is essential to establishing and maintaining new programs.
With the community’s full engagement, OSU-Cascades has the capacity to evolve over time to become a center of intellectual and cultural energy for the community.
Existing and proposed academic programs are the primary driver of student enrollment. Enrollment is particularly important at OSU-Cascades as it’s a measure of the University’s progress in serving and educating the growing population of central Oregon. Additionally, since nearly 100% of campus resources come from either tuition revenue or state support it helps ensure campus sustainability. Continuous improvement in program excellence is essential to OSU-Cascades future, and parallels a key goal of the OSU Strategic Plan.
Goal: Increase program offerings to support enrollment growth and contribute to regional social and economic vitality
Goal: Increase excellence in teaching, scholarship, and outreach
The Campus has an important role, working with COCC, in improving the higher education participation rate in Central Oregon. Substantial institutional benefit will also accrue, because the proportionate costs of administration and operations will be reduced with an increased enrollment.
Goal: Enhance enrollment management strategies to increase overall enrollment at OSU-Cascades
Goal: Expand marketing and communications activities that support enrollment growth
A relatively young institution, OSU-Cascades has made substantial progress. Continued success requires systematically addressing issues of operating support, tuition revenue, gift support and capitalization.
Goal: Maintain and increase state support for OSU-Cascades
Goal: Document the need for additional facilities, estimate costs and prepare a plan to secure the infrastructure required to meet 5-year growth predictions.
Goal: Increase private, corporate and grant support through the OSU-Cascades Foundation
OSU-Cascades has tremendous potential for Central Oregon. This potential will be realized – and the goals listed here achieved – by connecting it tightly to the community and by truly becoming a major contributor to the intellectual, cultural, ecological, social and economic vitality of Central Oregon and the state.
Goal: Connect Central Oregonians to OSU
Goal: Connect economic development opportunities and academic program needs.
Since its founding, OSU-Cascades has made significant progress in becoming a leading-edge model of a regional community of learning. Through a distinctive partnership with Central Oregon Community College and the creation of several attractive signature programs, it has already provided 1200 students from Central Oregon and elsewhere access to high quality, affordable, and relevant public higher education.
This Strategic Plan — and the business plan that complements it — will assist OSU-Cascades, its partner institutions, and its many stakeholders in making this a sustainable educational community responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people of Central Oregon.