To: OSU Faculty and Staff

From; Edward Feser, Provost and Executive Vice President

March 5, 2021

Dear Oregon State University Colleagues,

I am writing to share that Dr. Javier Nieto has informed me of his plan to retire in December 2021, after serving as Dean of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences (CPHHS) since 2016.

Under Javier’s leadership, CPHHS deepened its national reputation for excellence; grew its funded research activity, twice breaking records and securing nearly $22 million in support in Fiscal Year 2020; convened interdisciplinary conversations across OSU focusing on health and wellness; expanded its online offerings; and led other colleges nationally in joining the global Planetary Health Alliance. OSU’s Center for Health Innovation, based in CPHHS, has become a nexus for academic, government, community, and corporate health partnerships in Oregon. Javier’s holistic health education mantra — “Everything is related to health and well-being” — informed interconnections among the “Three Healthies” described in the university’s current strategic plan.

Javier has championed community mental health as a priority focus for Oregon and OSU through engaging legislators in Salem, forging new partnerships with health care and community organizations, and building federally funded partnerships among the college, OSU’s Division of Extension and Engagement, and local community organizations. He developed new initiatives at the intersection of arts and health, bringing a national think tank to OSU for a symposium on arts and healthy communities. And he helped make the college’s role in community outreach a signature strength. Indeed, the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health recently honored the college’s accomplishments in Extension and outreach by naming it a finalist for the prestigious Harrison C. Spencer Award for Outstanding Community Service.

During his tenure as dean, Javier has placed special attention on enhancing the work climate in CPHHS and across the university. He stewarded the creation of a collegiality statement and led by example on issues of diversity, equity, and social justice. Students of color pointed to the college’s prompt and direct response to racism and racial injustice during the protests last summer as an example of care and compassion.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Javier’s expertise as a nationally renowned physician-epidemiologist has been an invaluable asset to the OSU community. A co-investigator on the TRACE projects, he has been a key liaison with the Oregon Health Authority and public health directors in numerous Oregon counties. He also serves as co-chair of a joint OSU and University of Oregon task force that will advise both universities on resuming onsite activities. More broadly, Javier has been an invaluable member of the Provost’s Council of Deans and a productive collaborator with OSU’s other colleges and OSU-Cascades.

This month, I will launch a national search to fill the dean position. Roy Haggerty, Dean of Science, has agreed to chair the search committee.

Please join me in thanking Javier for his leadership and accomplishments and wishing him a very happy and healthy retirement.


Edward Feser
Provost and Executive Vice President