OSU Board of Trustees begins new presidential search, encourages community engagement


Teresa Aguilera, Illustrator

This illustration depicts a town hall meeting at Oregon State University. The Board of Trustees are gathered as multiple hands are raised in the room.

Luke Brockman, News Contributor

Oregon State University’s Board of Trustees will begin the process of searching for the university’s next president with increased transparency and opportunities for student and community engagement.

In a meeting held on Oct. 8, the Board of Trustees approved a plan outlining the presidential search—beginning in October with the formation of a search committee—and the selection of a firm to assist with the national search process. 

The search committee will be composed of a diverse group of stakeholders and community members including the presidents of Faculty Senate, the Associated Students of Oregon State University, Associated Students of Cascades Campus and university leaders.

The candidate recruitment process will begin only after the creation of a candidate profile that meets the extensive goals and mission of the university. Beginning late November and concluding in late December, the Board of Trustees, search committee and search firm will hold statewide town hall listening sessions regarding presidential leadership profile and selection criteria in order to form the candidate profile.

“The search for OSU’s next president includes the extensive community engagement opportunities that were included in the last presidential search and that community members said they appreciated when asked last spring during a board review of the last search,” said Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president of University Relations and Marketing. 

According to Clark, the names of the finalists in the upcoming presidential search will be announced publicly.

“That was not the case in the last search,” Clark said. “Additionally, this search will differ by the Board of Trustees holding on-campus community engagement sessions where students, faculty, staff and stakeholders can meet finalists before the board makes its selection of OSU’s next president.”

The selection of a new president is anticipated to occur in late May 2022.

Currently, Dr. Rebecca Johnson—the former vice president of OSU-Cascades—has served as interim president of OSU since April 2021, following F. King Alexander’s resignation as president in March.

Ongoing updates about the search process and opportunities for engagement can be found on the OSU leadership team’s newly launched Presidential Search website

“The board encourages students, community members and stakeholders to be engaged in this important process to select the university’s next president,” Clark said.

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