Tuesday, June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022

Dear OSU Faculty, Staff and Students,

In the coming days or weeks, we expect the U.S. Supreme Court to issue an opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

This case concerns the constitutionality of a state of Mississippi law that significantly restricts access to abortion. A draft Supreme Court opinion in this case was leaked earlier this spring, resulting in widespread speculation about the eventual outcome of the case and its potential effects on access to abortion and other reproductive care services across America.

Oregon State University is an educational institution committed to teaching, research, and community outreach and engagement. The university promotes economic, social, cultural and environmental progress for the people of Oregon, the nation and the world. This mission is accomplished in significant part by the contributions of OSU faculty who pursue research and produce evidence-based insights into the many contemporary issues that impact university community members, Oregonians and those we serve beyond this state.

OSU will approach the outcome in the Dobbs case consistent with its mission – by contributing to learning through rigorous scholarship, research-based evidence and facts, enabling discussion and providing community service. Faculty members in colleges throughout the university contribute to our knowledge of the many issues surrounding this case, including in areas of public health, history, political science, women and gender studies, religious studies, psychology, queer studies, ethnic studies, public policy and other social sciences.

As we near fall term, we will invite the OSU community to join OSU faculty experts for educational and engagement opportunities to learn more about the Dobbs case, the issues involved, and how the outcome will impact OSU community members in Oregon and beyond the state. 

If the Supreme Court’s eventual opinion in this case is similar to the earlier leaked draft or otherwise changes the federal landscape regarding access to abortion, we understand that this will impact some OSU community members. While the court’s decision does not impact access to health care services in Oregon, we recognize that approximately one half of OSU’s students are from other states and countries. If you are a student who has questions about access to health care services, you may contact Student Health Services at 541-737-2724. Employees may direct their questions regarding access to services to Beyond Benefits at 1-855-327-4722 or to their own personal health care providers.

In historic moments such as this, higher education institutions like OSU play important roles by providing research-based information and enabling community conversation. We encourage you to engage in learning, ask questions and think critically about this important matter.


Becky Johnson
Interim President