Monday, May 3, 2021

Dear OSU Community Members,

As I start my appointment as Oregon State University’s interim president, I am honored to be given the responsibility to lead this great university to which I have dedicated my career. I also eagerly look forward to working and engaging with each of you to advance our goals and values as a university community and serve OSU’s mission throughout Oregon and beyond.

The past year has been difficult as we’ve faced the challenges of the pandemic and many important social and university issues. I know many of you have dealt with significant disruption, stress and anxiety, financial impacts, health consequences and the loss of loved ones due to COVID-19. There have been impacts on teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and service programs throughout OSU. I recognize the toll the pandemic has taken on so many people and pledge to work to expand OSU’s culture of care for all members of our community. Meanwhile, I thank all of you for your many contributions to the university during this time and especially for helping OSU’s more than 32,000 undergraduate and graduate students successfully progress to their degrees.

We also have faced national and global challenges that affect us all, including systemic racism, interpersonal violence, climate change, political divisiveness and increasing income inequality. These are all things that Oregon State University’s teaching, research and service help to address. I’m proud of the work being done at OSU to make an impact on the most pressing issues facing our world and recognize that we have more to do.

As we plan to return to in-person instruction and on-site research, outreach programming and employment this fall, our focus will be on advancing the university’s priorities in Strategic Plan 4.0, including providing access to a high-quality affordable education; advancing inclusive excellence in scholarship, research and innovation; and offering impactful community service. Yet, we can’t be successful in these endeavors without committing to advancing safety; being a welcoming, inclusive and antiracist community; addressing interpersonal violence; and contributing to the health and wellness of all members of our community.

Let’s make this a year where we regain our optimism, find greater hope and extend listening, help, kindness and success to everyone in our community. Together, we all can make a difference and help advance Oregon State University’s place as one of the nation’s very best land grant universities.

Sincerely,

Becky Johnson
Interim President