Oregon State University President Ed Ray used his final State of the University address Tuesday to call for more attention to the basic needs of students.
Ray told a crowd gathered at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland that OSU is making an impact locally and nationally. But he said the success will need continued public investment to help keep tuition affordable.
And Ray said the school needs to build upon efforts to support the mental health of students. “As well, OSU is supporting students struggling with many basic needs, including food and housing insecurity,” he said.
Without attention to the basic needs of students, Ray said, the school will fall short of its goals. "Our chief responsibilities are to advance inclusive excellence, more fully advance success for all learners, and eliminate achievement gaps among groups of students."
Ray, 75, is retiring in June after 17 years on the job. He'll give at least one more major speech before he steps down, delivering the commencement address at the school's 151st graduation ceremony on June 13 in Corvallis.
"I've had the good fortune of being in the catbird seat to see all that occurs within the university, and I can assure you, it's been quite a view," said Ray. "A lot of remarkable things have happened, are happening, will happen."
Ray will be replaced by F. King Alexander, who comes to Corvallis after serving in the top job at Louisiana State University.