Ed Ray’s last day as Oregon State University President is Tuesday.
Ray took the helm at OSU in July 2003 after teaching economics at Ohio State University for more than 30 years. His term included a fundraising campaign that brought in more than a billion dollars and led to dozens of campus construction projects. As he leaves, the university is grappling with the major disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
But Ray told OPB’s “Think Out Loud” Monday that he thinks the school is poised to make it through the challenges presented by COVID-19. “I’m feeling pretty confident about Oregon State University’s ability to make the best of whatever situation we find ourselves presented with,” he said.
Ray said he leaves with his head held high.
“Were there difficult times, were there times I felt sorry for myself? Absolutely," said Ray. "I’m as good at feeling sorry for myself as anybody else. But it has been an incredible experience. I’m very much looking forward to what comes next."
Ray will take a yearlong sabbatical then return to campus as a teacher. His replacement is F. King Alexander, who comes to OSU from Louisiana State University.