April 16, 2021

Dear Oregon State University Community Members,

It is my pleasure to announce that today the OSU Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Rebecca “Becky” Johnson as Oregon State University’s interim president effective May 1, 2021. 

The most important responsibility of the OSU Board of Trustees is to select the right leader for this great university and the entire OSU community. The OSU Board is confident that President-Elect Johnson is the right leader to guide and help advance the priorities and momentum of the university and the values of the OSU community.

President-Elect Johnson’s career in higher education spans more than three decades, most of that time at Oregon State University. She is an extremely capable leader with deep institutional credibility.

President-Elect Johnson currently serves as OSU-Cascades vice president. Under her leadership, OSU-Cascades is known as one of the most innovative, new residential university campuses in the nation and is on its way to serve 3,000 to 5,000 students. Before leading OSU-Cascades, President-Elect Johnson had significant academic experience in the College of Forestry – as a professor and associate dean – and served as OSU’s vice provost for academic affairs and international programs.

President-Elect Johnson is committed to advancing a culture of care for students, faculty and staff; providing access to higher education for all students; promoting excellence in faculty scholarship, teaching and research; and serving the university’s engagement mission. Over her extensive career, she has built relationships based on integrity and trust, and those relationships – with faculty, students, staff, donors, legislators, local officials and many others – have helped advance the mission of the university.

Here is a link to a brief video message from President-Elect Johnson upon her being selected interim president, as well as a link to the university’s new release on her appointment.

President-Elect Johnson’s appointment is the culmination of weeks of an inclusive community engagement and nomination process. We are grateful that many of you provided your input on the necessary areas of focus for the interim president, submitted nominations and provided feedback on her candidacy. We also thank the individuals who served on the Nominee Review Committee and those of you who participated in Wednesday’s forum with President-Elect Johnson.

This community engagement served the interim president nomination process very well. We look forward to continued community engagement as we begin to consider the search process for a permanent president, which the OSU Board will discuss at its May 21 meeting.

Thank you all for your efforts to advance inclusive excellence in teaching, student success, research discovery, and service engagement throughout Oregon’s statewide university.

Rani Borkar

OSU Board of Trustees