OSU-Cascades serves Central Oregon
Oregon State University-Cascades will be a high quality, comprehensive four-year university and major contributor to the vitality of the unique Central Oregon community and environment. It will be a destination of choice for students, faculty, and staff seeking teaching and research excellence within a dynamic, inclusive and student-centered campus community.
OSU-Cascades is a Destination of Choice.
As a campus of Oregon’s leading public research university, OSU-Cascades provides globally-relevant education, research and outreach. Our students develop the knowledge and critical thinking ability to lead informed lives, serve their communities and enhance their careers. OSU-Cascades is committed to the diversity and sustainability of the campus and surrounding communities.
The guiding vision of OSU-Cascades is to contribute significantly to the intellectual, cultural, ecological, social and economic vitality of Central Oregon. To achieve that goal, the OSU-Cascades community will strive to model principles and practices of a thriving, equitable and sustainable society. A culture of learning and exploration provides significant rewards to its members; those rewards are best achieved when all community members (faculty, staff, administrators, students, and Advocacy and Advisory Board) strive to honor the following principles:
Since 2001, OSU-Cascades in Bend has delivered the excellence of Oregon State University to Central Oregon, increasingly meeting the challenges of the region’s educational, research, cultural and economic needs.
OSU-Cascades is Oregon’s fastest-growing public university campus, and has been since 2011. Its responsibility is to provide access to higher education to serve the communities of the region, and to advance knowledge to address complex local and global issues. In addition to serving the state’s education goals, OSU-Cascades is first and foremost a regionally-serving university.
Central Oregon, which is comprised of Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties, is the fastest growing region in the state. The 2016 tri-county population exceeded 220,000, and is expected to grow to 260,000 by 2030. Central Oregon K-12 enrollment has grown by twenty-five percent since 2001, including Bend/La Pine which has grown by thirty-eight percent. Over the same time period, all of Oregon K-12 enrollment only grew by six percent.
However, in spite of the growth, this largely rural region is not meeting its education needs quickly enough. The graduates of Central Oregon high schools have been underserved in access to university education. In a 2016 American Council on Education study, Central Oregon was described as an Education Desert. The region lags behind the rest of Oregon in higher educational attainment, and the gap in rural Crook and Jefferson counties is significant. The study shows most freshmen who attend a public university do so within 50 miles of home, so OSU-Cascades is critical for serving Central Oregon’s families. Importantly, the research also shows that first generation, low-income, minority and rural students are less likely to go to college at all without nearby access.
During the Great Recession from 2008 to 2010, Central Oregon lost a significant number of jobs, especially in the cyclical real estate and construction sectors. Seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates were far worse in Central Oregon counties as compared to the rest of the state and the nation. These distressed counties have taken longer to recover, and more than five years later parts of Central Oregon fall behind much of the state. As a critical resource in the region’s economic ecosystem, OSU-Cascades will play a key role by developing infrastructure and programs that will strive to promote regional economic health and stability, and by providing skilled workers in traditional and new industries such as high-tech, bioscience, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.
To deliver on the regionally-serving promise, OSU-Cascades must offer destination of choice academic programs and nationally/internationally profound research.
OSU-Cascades is critical to Central Oregon and the State.
OSU-Cascades’ goals are aligned with the goals of OSU Strategic Plan 3.0. In addition, OSU-Cascades has a goal to build out the campus to serve the educational needs of Central Oregon.
Goal 1: Envision, design, and build a campus serving Central Oregon and beyond.
Goal 2: Provide a transformational educational experience for all learners.
Goal 3: Demonstrate leadership in research, scholarship, and creativity while enhancing preeminence in OSU-Cascades’ three signature areas of distinction: innovation and creativity, health and wellness, and sustainability and resilience.
Goal 4: Strengthen impact and reach throughout Oregon and beyond.
OSU-Cascades’ strategic plan reaffirms our commitment to three signature areas that draw from disciplines across the university and integrate research, engagement and teaching. The role of land grant universities in the 21st century will evolve from a primary focus of providing information to individual stakeholders for private consumption to include a broader focus of informing society as a whole. This broader focus will inform decisions and policies that will lead to responsible stewardship of environmental and social systems, locally and globally. The university’s long-standing connections with communities and institutions beyond campus borders enhance our ability to communicate our discovery and research.
Oregon State University System
As a part of Oregon State University, OSU-Cascades students, faculty, staff and adminstration are bolstered by a network of OSU shared services and resources.
Campus Environment as a Strategic Asset
OSU-Cascades has a rare opportunity to design, develop and build a Central Oregon campus that reflects the values and culture of our region, while demonstrating best practices for university design.
OSU-Cascades sees diversity as a strength, a competitive advantage and a moral imperative. We want to shape the culture and the workforce of the university to be more reflective of the pluralistic world our students encounter. We have an obligation to prepare our students for success in a diverse world. They need the capacity to become engaged citizens that promote diversity and contribute to local and international communities.
Stewardship of Resources
We must ensure that all budget and finance, physical infrastructure and private philanthropy resources entrusted to the university are used effectively, efficiently, transparently and in a socially responsible manner. We will leverage private giving for OSU-Cascades to advance the university’s excellence in signature areas and in service to our students.