The Oregon State University Board of Trustees has approved plans for returning to on-site learning this fall, the renovation of Reser stadium, and announced their intentions in the search for the university's next president.
At the May 21 meeting the board discussed the university’s “pathway to fall plan.” It outlines how the university will deliver classroom instruction and other university services through the coming year. The plan provides for some flexibility in setting levels of on-site activities in response to the status of COVID-19 in local communities where the university operates.
The approved $153 million plan to fully renovate the west side of Reser stadium includes construction of a welcome center for new and prospective students and a wellness clinic, which will be operated in a proposed partnership with Samaritan Health Services.
The board also approved a $1.44 billion revenue budget. While increased revenue is expected from enrollment, housing, dining, and attendance at athletic events, interim OSU president Becky Johnson said the university should anticipate continued financial shortfalls in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The budget conservatively supports OSU’s plans to sustainably provide high-quality and high-impact on-site learning, research and service programs on our campuses and operations throughout the state,” said Johnson. “These remain to be challenging times due to the pandemic. We still face uncertainty in predicting enrollments for the next academic year among resident Oregon students and non-resident students, including international students affected by visa and travel uncertainties.”
The Board of Trustees also discussed the search for their next president and committed to making the search a more public process. The board reviewed initial feedback received from a retrospective review of the 2019 presidential search process and agreed that its intention is for the next presidential search to include public forums for community members to meet and hear from finalists being considered.
Former OSU President F. King Alexander resigned in March following reports of mishandled sexual misconduct at his previous university, Louisiana State.
The board expects to make final decisions on the next search process this fall. The search process is anticipated to officially begin in fall to enable students and faculty to participate.
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