President Emeritus - Edward J. Ray

Dr. Edward J. Ray served as president of Oregon State University’s President from July 31, 2003, to June 30, 2020. On May 29, 2020, the Oregon State University Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution to confer the rights, privileges, and title of President Emeritus to Dr. Ray.

Under his leadership, OSU completed its first major capital campaign in 2014, which raised $1.14 billion and included contributions from more than 106,000 donors. The Campaign for OSU helped to build or renovate 28 OSU buildings, endow 79 new faculty positions; and create more than 600 new scholarship and fellowship funds for 3,200 students. The campaign provided funding for key facilities including 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, the College of Business’s Austin Hall, Furman Hall for the College of Education, the Graduate Studies Center at the OSU-Cascades Campus and four new cultural centers. 

Dr. Ray expanded the dual-enrollment program to all 17 of the state’s community colleges, making it easier for students to complete four-year degrees. He has led efforts to foster a more seamless P-20 system, working with area school superintendents and higher education leaders in Oregon to enhance the student experience. Dr. Ray helped to usher in a new era of partnership and cooperation among Oregon’s public universities. On campuses in Corvallis and Bend, through online degree programs that are top-ranked nationally, and through educational programs in Portland and communities across Oregon, Dr. Ray led OSU in making remarkable impacts in teaching, research, and outreach and engagement.

Dr. Ray served on boards of the NCAA, American Council on Education, the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. His leadership in higher education has been recognized with the CASE District VIII Leadership Award (2013), an honorary doctorate from the University of Portland (2014), and the Oregon History Makers Medal (2018) presented by the Oregon Historical Society.

An active member of the Oregon community, President Ray continues to serve as board chair of Special Olympics Oregon.

While a member of the economics faculty at Ohio State from 1970-2003, Dr. Ray served as economics department chair from 1976 to 1992. He served as associate provost then senior vice provost and chief information officer from 1992-1998, 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 and the Federal Income Tax. 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. 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 and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University in 1969 and June 1971.

Dr. Ray’s wife Beth passed away in March 2014. He has three children and three grandchildren.