College of Liberal Arts Leadership Transition

Sept. 19, 2023

Dear Oregon State Colleagues,

I write to share that Dr. Larry Rodgers, dean of OSU’s College of Liberal Arts (CLA) since 2008, has announced his plans to return to the faculty following the completion of a national search for a new dean. I offer my warm congratulations to Larry on his many accomplishments and contributions as dean. We will have opportunities to celebrate his work in the coming months.

In his time as dean, Dr. Rodgers has overseen a significant transformation of CLA that includes a reorganization from eighteen departments and programs into six schools and the addition of three new PhD programs and several on-campus and online masters degrees. He oversaw the creation of the Stone Award for Literary Achievement; the successful submission of OSU’s bid to house a Phi Beta Kappa chapter; and two CLA strategic plans that advanced student success, DEI goals, and faculty research and creative work. He created a “graduate in four years” degree guarantee for CLA students and oversaw the largest and most wide ranging Ecampus program among OSU colleges, which led to CLA being named the nation’s number one online college in 2018.

Dr. Rodgers oversaw significant improvements in space and facilities across eight university buildings. His vision for the design of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts – PRAx – as a world-class center helped drive the project from the start. He advocated for a space that was architecturally distinctive, acoustically extraordinary and formed around the central concept that an art space should feel accessible to all while combining arts and education functions. His efforts have resulted in a distinctive facility that is fit for purpose in a truly inspiring way. In addition, Dr. Rodgers has worked tirelessly with the OSU Foundation to bring resources to CLA, far exceeding philanthropy goals set for the university’s two capital campaigns.

In addition to serving in the role of dean, Dr. Rodgers served as executive dean of the Division of Arts and Sciences from 2009-2016. He has been a highly collaborative and invested colleague and a valued member of the Provost’s Council of Deans and a long list of other committees and task forces. When the university has called upon Larry to lead an initiative or chair a committee, he has always stepped up. We are grateful that he will continue as part of the Oregon State community as a faculty member in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film.

This fall, I will launch a national search for a new dean, with the objective of having them in place by the start of next academic year or shortly thereafter. The process will include conversations with College of Liberal Arts faculty and staff regarding the opportunities and challenges facing CLA and the expectations for the new dean. Nominations for the dean position are welcome at any time. Email pertinent information to Gigi Bruce, chief assistant to the provost.

Please join me in thanking Dean Rodgers for his leadership and service as dean. We are grateful that he will remain in the role until a new dean begins their appointment.

Edward Feser

Provost and Executive Vice President