OSU President Edward J. Ray

May 03, 2016

Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray today called for an infusion of state support for facilities and infrastructure on OSU’s expanding OSU-Cascades campus and for the university to achieve aggressive student success strategies by 2020.

“The development and success of OSU-Cascades cannot be just a mandate for Central Oregon and Oregon State University,” Ray said. “It must be a statewide priority, and I intend to make that point clear as we move toward the 2017 legislative session.”

Ray addressed these and other matters during his State of the University Address at the Riverhouse Convention Center attended by more than 300 people.

“We cannot build a four-year university from the ground up from the allocations that Oregon State University has traditionally received from the state as one of Oregon’s existing seven universities,” Ray said. “Funding for this new campus should not come from funds that historically sustain the seven public universities in the state. There must be an infusion of new investment in OSU Cascades facilities and infrastructure.”

First Academic Building Named

Ray also announced the naming of Tykeson Hall, the first academic building to be constructed on OSU-Cascades’ new campus. The building will open for fall 2016 classes and is a 44,000-square foot facility that will house classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices and student support offices. 

Development of the new campus has been supported by the Tykeson Family Foundation since 2012 when the family’s initial $1 million gift launched OSU-Cascades’ first capital campaign.  More recently, the Tykeson Family Foundation committed an additional $1 million to propel the next phase of campus expansion.

The building was named “in honor of the philanthropy and phenomenal leadership support that the Tykeson family has provided OSU-Cascades and Oregon State University,” Ray said. 

Funding Needs for Bend campus

In addressing the expansion of the Bend campus, Ray underscored the need for OSU and community members to continue working together. He also reaffirmed the university and the OSU Foundation’s commitment to contribute financial support, while seeking state funding.

OSU-Cascades has requested $69.5 million in state bonding for the next phase of its expansion, which will include site reclamation, infrastructure improvements, a second academic building and a student success center.

OSU’s Significant Accomplishments

During his speech, Ray shared recent OSU accomplishments:

  • For the second consecutive year, Oregon State’s total enrollment exceeded 30,000 students with 24,383 enrolled in Corvallis; 4,503 taking classes exclusively on line in OSU’s Ecampus; and another 1,150 being educated at OSU-Cascades.
  • Oregon State researchers generated a record $309 million in funding this year -- almost double the combined research of Oregon’s six other public universities.
  • Construction will begin this year on OSU’s new forest science complex in Corvallis. The center will study and accelerate the use of advanced, cross-laminated wood products in the construction of high-rise buildings in Oregon and around the world. “This wood science initiative will help restore high-paying jobs to rural Oregon and increase the use -- and value -- of Oregon’s natural resources,” said Ray. OSU researchers, he said, are studying the use of small diameter pine logs from Eastern and Central Oregon forests for use in the cross-laminated wood structural components.
  • OSU is also working with Central Oregon farmers to manage limited water resources by expanding the use of drip irrigation in crops, such as carrot seed; and studying the expanded use of juniper in wood construction products.

Pledge for Student Success

Ray devoted attention to the success of OSU’s students and reaffirmed a pledge made earlier this year that by 2020 OSU will better serve students of diverse backgrounds and ensure that all students attending Oregon State will achieve academic success “regardless of their economic status, color of their skin or family background.” 

He outlined a student success initiative that calls on each Oregon State student having at least one “experiential” learning opportunity such as an internship, study abroad experience, participation in original research or other similar experience. He said the university will work to make an OSU degree an affordable reality for every qualified Oregonian. He asked alumni, donors, community members and political leaders to “help achieve by 2020 this new horizon of inclusive student success and excellence.”

Ray called for urgency in implementing student success initiatives for all students. Nationally, he said colleges and universities are unequally serving under-represented minorities, first generation students and students from low-income families.

Bend Campus Achievements

In his address, Ray recognized achievements of the Bend campus, including the:

  • Leadership of OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson
  • Inaugural cohort of more than 60 freshmen students enrolled at OSU-Cascades last fall
  • Faculty planning for new programs, including degrees that support the needs of the Central Oregon region
  • Contributions of more than 180 community volunteers in planning for the new campus

Ray also recognized Evan Gibson of Sisters, who has been awarded a prestigious Oregon State Presidential Scholarship. Gibson will attend OSU-Cascades in the fall with his twin brother, Grant. 

About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s branch campus in Bend, Ore., features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and four graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism and outdoor leadership. The branch campus expanded to a four-year university beginning fall 2015; its new campus will open in fall 2016.