Dr. Edward J. Ray became president of Oregon State University on July 31, 2003.
Under his leadership, OSU has completed and updated a visionary campus-wide strategic plan that has served as the framework for the university’s development in profound and historic ways. Annual research awards and contracts have increased substantially and totaled $441 million in fiscal year 2017, reaching the highest level ever at OSU.
President Ray partnered with the OSU Foundation to launch the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. The public phase launched in October 2007 with an initial goal of $625 million. By the end of the Campaign for OSU on December 31, 2014, its total reached $1.14 billion, including nearly $189 million for scholarships and fellowships, 79 newly endowed faculty positions, and funding for key scientific and learning facilities like the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital, the Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families, The Linus Pauling Science Center, the International Living Learning Center, a renovated Furman Hall for the College of Education, the Graduate Studies Center at the OSU-Cascades Campus and four new cultural centers.
Mindful of OSU’s commitment to the people of Oregon, Dr. Ray has overseen the expansion of dual-enrollment agreements to all 17 of the state’s community colleges, making it easier for students to complete four-year degrees. He has also taken a leadership role in fostering a more seamless P-20 system, working with area school superintendents, community college leaders and university colleagues to strengthen institutional connections and enhance the student experience. Dr. Ray has also helped to usher in a new era of partnership and cooperation between Oregon’s public universities. In Central Oregon, an effort to expand OSU-Cascades by fall 2015 to a robust four-year branch campus of Oregon State has begun, thanks to strong state and community support and financial investment.
In addition to his work at OSU, Dr. Ray’s leadership extends to many organizations. He serves on boards of the American Council on Education and the Association of Public Land-grant Universities. In recognition of his contributions to higher education, he received the 2013 CASE District VIII Leadership Award.
Dr. Ray was a member of the economics faculty at Ohio State from 1970-2003, serving as economics department chair from 1976 to 1992. He served as associate provost from May 1992 until May 1993, senior vice provost and chief information officer from 1993-1998, and executive vice president and provost from 1998-2003.
His research interests include the history of protectionism in the United States, the determinants of U.S. foreign direct investment and foreign direct investment in the United States, the structure of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers in the United States and abroad, and the adoption of Social Security. His work has been published in The American Economic Review, The Journal of Political Economy, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, The Review of Economic Studies, The Review of Economics and Statistics, and other leading journals. He has co-authored a principles text, and his book, "U. S. Protectionism and the World Debt Crisis," was published by Quorum Press in 1989.
Dr. Ray received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Queens College (CUNY) in June 1966, graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his master’s in economics from Stanford University in 1969 and his doctorate in economics also from Stanford in June 1971.
Dr. Ray’s wife Beth passed away in March 2014. He has three children and three grandchildren.