Dear Members of the Oregon State University community,
OSU is undertaking a process to help select the university’s next president following President Ed Ray’s recent announcement that he will step down on June 30, 2020, when his current five-year contract is completed. President Ray has served since as OSU’s 14th president since July 31, 2003 and has provided the university exemplary service and leadership.
Oregon State’s next president will be positioned to lead a distinctive university that enjoys tremendous momentum and provides ever-increasing impact in Oregon, nationally and globally. As well, the university’s next president will continue to foster a university community that prioritizes diversity and inclusive excellence.
Few moments of transition have more significance to our university than the selection of a new president. While the ultimate decision to choose a new president lies with the OSU Board of Trustees, the process will engage the university community and OSU’s many stakeholders. We are fortunate to have engaged and thoughtful trustees, and from among this group, I am appointing Darry Callahan as chair of the Presidential Search Committee. As an Oregon native, OSU alumnus and former vice chair of the Board, Darry brings tremendous knowledge of the university and the position of university president. I also have asked Trustees Patty Bedient, Preston Pulliams and Julie Manning to join the search committee. These trustees will provide wide-ranging experiences and diverse perspectives.
In addition to these trustees, the search committee will include representatives from OSU’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, the OSU Foundation, administration and stakeholders, as well as representatives from the broader community with which the university engages. This committee will lead efforts to recruit a visionary and accomplished leader, who will harness further the university’s momentum as a leading land grant public research institution, and guide OSU to even greater levels of accomplishment. The full membership of the committee will be announced later in April. The Board and search committee will be assisted by consultants from Witt/Kieffer, a preeminent executive search firm with 50 years specializing in higher education, healthcare and non-profit leadership recruitment.
There is important work to be done as we begin our search.
In late April and early May, the Board of Trustees will host listening sessions and launch a survey to gather input regarding the university’s anticipated needs over the next 10 years and the background, skills and experience needed by OSU’s next president. We will use this important feedback to establish a leadership profile for the position of president in our recruitment of candidates and decision-making process.
Once the leadership profile is approved by the Board in May, the search firm and committee will actively recruit candidates over the summer and early fall and will interview semifinalists in the fall. As Board Chair, I will make a determination of candidates to participate in additional interviews. I expect the Board’s selection and announcement of the next president by the end of winter.
This is an important time for Oregon State University, and my fellow trustees and I look forward to taking this journey together with you.
Chair, OSU Board of Trustees