To: Faculty and Staff
From: Edward Feser, Provost and Executive Vice President
5 November 2021
Dear Faculty and Staff,
I am writing to bring to your attention an exciting new opportunity the university is pursuing to elevate OSU’s research, teaching and innovation. While the funding is not yet confirmed, we are advancing the planning for this opportunity while we pursue financing, including philanthropy.
You may be aware that OSU’s 10-year capital forecast calls for the development of a “Collaborative Innovation Complex” (CIC) on the Corvallis campus as part of our efforts to build research strength and renovate essential facilities. While the CIC remains a work in progress, conversations regarding financing have progressed far enough that detailed program planning for the facility is now an appropriate next step.
In broad outline, the CIC is envisioned as 140,000 to 150,000 square feet of space that will host OSU’s most advanced research infrastructure, with a goal of supporting team-based interdisciplinary research and education in climate and marine science, engineering, artificial intelligence and computation, materials science and health science. Situated in the heart of the campus, with the aim of enhancing synergies among STEM disciplines, the CIC project would demolish and use the site of the 211,000-square-foot Weniger Hall. Demolishing Weniger, which is not economical to renew to current code and university needs, would remove $70 million from OSU’s list of deferred building maintenance. Addressing deferred maintenance is a priority for OSU and the state of Oregon. A series of related renovations and improvements—potentially including Plageman Hall and a repurposed campus Heat Plant Building—would accompany the project to ensure the needs of units and activities presently in Weniger are accommodated.
Today, OSU will issue a Request for Proposal advertisement to secure an external consultant to help with planning for the CIC and related renovations. The project will be led from my office. Advising me on the selection of the consultant will be the deans of Engineering (Scott Ashford); Science (Roy Haggerty); and Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (Tuba Özkan-Haller); as well as Irem Tumer, vice president for research; Libby Ramirez, university architect; and John Gremmels, university capital project planner. The planning process will include opportunities for colleges and units currently occupying Weniger and the broader OSU community to provide advice on the project.
The vision of the CIC as a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary facility shared by units across the university furthers OSU’s goal to let no silos or barriers prevent the pursuit of truly groundbreaking research and study for the betterment of humankind and the environment. I look forward to keeping you updated as the effort proceeds. In the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions.
Provost and Executive Vice President