Members of the Oregon State University community,
I am writing to let you know that it is my intention to step down as president of Oregon State University on June 30, 2020, when my current five-year contract will be completed, and after almost 17 years since I had the great honor and joy to assume the presidency on July 31, 2003. I will continue to serve as president of Oregon State University until the new president assumes office.
The timing for this transition is excellent. We have just adopted a new chapter in our strategic plan, SP4.0, and we are guided by our common statement of aspirations: Vision 2030. Furthermore, we have recently completed a comprehensive self-study as part of a seven-year accreditation process and we will welcome an external accreditation review team to OSU in the next few weeks. We also developed a 10-year business forecast and a 10-year capital planning model to help guide university fiscal decisions. Perhaps most importantly, I have never worked with a stronger leadership team in my 16 years of service as your president, including an excellent university board of trustees.
Personally, my health is very good. Yet, I will be almost 76 years old when I step down as president, and I view my job as including my best effort to assist this wonderful university in transitioning to new leadership. Effective July 1, 2020, I will begin a sabbatical and transition to the College of Liberal Arts as a professor of economics.
Please know that my affection for each of you, my passion and commitment to the mission, vision and values of this university have never been stronger. And, I remain certain that the best is yet to come for Oregon State University and those we serve. Our graduates are our greatest contribution to the future, and my colleagues will help all of us provide for a more inclusive future to meet the educational, economic and social needs and aspirations of all Oregonians and those beyond our state, through our teaching, research, creative work and service.
Within the next few weeks, Rani Borkar, chair of OSU’s Board of Trustees, will provide further details regarding the process and timeline for bringing the 15th president to this wonderful university, including the role that each of you can play in contributing to a successful search for OSU’s next president.
Edward J. Ray