About the Search

The OSU Board of Trustees is conducting a national search for the 15th president of the university. While the goal of the Board is to appoint the next president by spring 2020, the Board has committed to take whatever time is required to find and appoint the best-qualified candidate for the position. 

The Board will respect and protect candidate confidentiality to the fullest extent allowed by law, while making every effort to ensure the search process is transparent and as inclusive as possible. The search will be conducted in alignment with the core values of the university and in accordance with OSU’s commitment to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do.

The presidential leadership profile serves as the basis for the presidential search committee to assist the Board in recruiting and identifying a strong pool of candidates. The presidential profile also is used for advertisements, requests for nominations and other forms of recruitment. As such, it serves as an opportunity to showcase Oregon State University as an internationally recognized public research university that is deeply committed to its land grant mission and inclusive excellence. Ultimately and most importantly, the presidential profile provides the criteria for the Board’s selection of the president. Click here to view the presidential profile

Search Committee

The Chair of the OSU Board of Trustees has appointed the Presidential Search Committee to assist the Board in its comprehensive search for the next president. The committee is made up of OSU trustees, faculty, students, administrators, staff, and alumni, as well as representatives from higher education and the broader community. The committee is chaired by OSU trustee Darry Callahan, an alumnus and past vice chair of the university’s Board. 

For more information about committee members, please visit: Presidential Search Committee.

Stakeholder Group

To assist with the presidential search, the Chair of the OSU Board of Trustees has appointed a Stakeholder Group, composed of OSU faculty, students, staff, and administrators as well as members of the broader community. Members of the Stakeholder Group will engage confidentially in the second round interview process with presidential candidates and provide feedback to the Board on the strengths and attributes of candidates with respect to the qualifications identified in the Board’s Presidential Leadership Profile.

For more information about Stakeholder Group members, please visit: Stakeholder Group.

Anticipated Search Timeline

Board of Trustees Meeting:

April 5, 2019

Witt/Kieffer meets with Board of Trustees to discuss the search process, timeline, key logistical matters and to answer questions.

Search Committee Announced and Convened:

Late April 2019

Board Chair appoints and convenes the Presidential Search Committee.

Community Engagement
and Input:

Late April/Early May 2019

Search Chair, members of the Presidential Search Committee and Witt/Kieffer consultants host listening sessions with university and community stakeholders to understand characteristics and experience desired in Oregon State's next president. On-line survey available to gather input. 

Leadership Profile Development:

Mid May 2019

Based on community input, Witt/Kieffer submits draft leadership profile and suggested recruitment strategies/advertisement for review and input from Presidential Search Committee.

Board of Trustees Meeting to Approve Leadership Profile:

May 31, 2019

Board of Trustees finalizes presidential leadership profile.

Recruitment and Candidate Evaluation:

Summer/Early Fall

Aggressive, active national recruiting; screening, and interviewing of candidates by Witt/Kieffer.

Search Committee Meetings and First Round Interviews:

Fall 2019

Presidential Search Committee reviews candidates and selects semi-finalists for interviews. Witt/Kieffer assists Presidential Search Committee with first round interviews. Educational verifications and references conducted by Witt/Kieffer and Search Chair. Committee prepares report for Board Chair. Board Chair determines candidates to forward to the Board.

Second Round Interviews:

Early Winter

Second round candidates interview with expanded group of university and community constituents and Board of Trustees; survey feedback provided for Board of Trustees review. Board meets in executive session to rank candidates and delegates to Board Chair in public session the responsibility to negotiate with candidates in ranked order and to consult with the Governor or her designee.

Candidate Selection
and Negotiations:


Following negotiation phase, in public session, Board of Trustees votes to appoint new president and approve the contract and compensation. Appointment announced.

Search Conclusion:


Transition Committee convened; Witt/Kieffer supports smooth transition.