Dear Oregon State University Community Members,

Thank you to the many of you who engaged so proactively with the Board on the selection of Dr. Becky Johnson as Interim President. As she assumes her role as Interim President, the Board of Trustees is now turning its attention to the search for Oregon State University’s next president.

I know that the OSU community is eager to hear from the Board about how it will conduct the next search process and provide opportunities for public engagement. We have heard a great deal about this in public comment, written correspondence, and most explicitly in the March 18 motion and April 8 resolution passed by the OSU Faculty Senate.

I would like to provide a brief update on activities anticipated over the next few weeks and encourage your continued engagement.

The Board will begin its efforts with a retrospective review of the 2019 presidential search process, which will help us set the right course for the next presidential search. It will provide important feedback on what went well in the last search, what did not go according to plan, and what could or should be done differently in the future. I have asked OSU Trustee Paul Kelly to lead the retrospective review. I know he will bring the analytical and practical thinking we need to complete this reflection in a way that best informs us as we set a course for the next search. I am grateful to Paul for stepping into this leadership role.

Today the Board launched online tools to collect your input on the last search process. Trustee Kelly will also convene several virtual workshops that will include a combination of trustees, individuals involved in the last search, and other stakeholders. As well, we look forward to inviting members of the Faculty Senate ad hoc committee on presidential hiring processes to participate in a workshop. Information about the retrospective review and an opportunity to provide input are available at this webpage.

Results and input from the retrospective will be reviewed at the regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting on May 21, which is the last meeting scheduled of the academic year. Preliminary considerations for the next presidential search process will be discussed at this meeting. Additional input and information will continue to be gathered following the May 21 Board discussion. The Board will discuss further the proposed process and timeline for the search at its next regularly scheduled Board meeting on Oct. 7. It is anticipated that the presidential search will officially begin in fall 2021 to enable students and faculty to participate.

As I have shared in previous communications, I believe the most important responsibility of the OSU Board of Trustees is to select the right leader for our great university. I look forward to thoughtful community and Board discussions, as well as the opportunity to affirm our mutual commitment to the values of the university.


Rani Borkar
OSU Board of Trustees