The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

OSU Board of Trustees discusses graduation rate, diversity action, future of Elliot Research Forest

Hayden Lohr
The various members of the board of trustees can be seen here during a meeting discussing the OSU strategic plan, plans for the Elliott State Research Forest and hearing concerns and comments from the ASOSU presidents among other things.

Oregon State University is nearing its goal of 80% six-year graduation rates, currently holding a 70% rate.

This is one of the topics of OSU’s Board of Trustees first board meeting of the 2023 academic year on Oct. 20, which began with discussing the Oregon State Strategic Plan.

The plan includes three main goals, which are divided into five target action items. The five action items include targets for increasing enrollment at the Ecampus and OSU-Cascades, increasing research expenditure and equalizing and increasing graduation rates. 

Set to be implemented on Jan. 1, 2024, and ending in 2030, the plan was presented by OSU Provost Edward Feser and OSU Vice Provost Alix Gitelman, accepted unanimously by the board.

“We’re really pleased, I mean, it’s been a long year of really engaging across the university and it’s nice to get to this point, now we can actually begin implementing it,” Feser said. 

The goal of increasing the graduation rates was heavily stressed, with the target of reaching an 80% six-year graduation rate which is currently at a 70% rate, according to most recent university data.

“We have an obligation as faculty and staff and administrators to do what we can to support our students once we’ve admitted them,” Gitelman said. 

Another key topic was the annual report on Advancing Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice, presented by OSU Vice President and OSU Chief Diversity Officer Scott Vignos.

Vignos explained that development for the Diversity Action Plan is currently underway. The Diversity Action Plan is the university’s strategy for promoting inclusivity and it is set to launch in 2024. Vignos said the plan will be directly aligned with the goals and actions of the university’s strategic plan. 

One of the plans for Vignos and his team in the coming year is to work with federal funders on completing more research that aims to support underserved communities. 

The meeting concluded with a discussion on the future of the Elliott State Research Forest. Oregon State is currently drafting a forest management plan, which is a written plan that outlines the projected use of a forest area and how it will be managed. They are currently taking public comment on the plan before submitting it to the State Land Board for a decision. 

“We’re here to do what’s in the best interest of Oregon State. I just want to be sure that we’ve got the business plan covered. Because there’s just a lot of things we need to discuss,” said Board Trustee Karla Chambers. 

The Board of Trustees will reconvene in December to make a decision on the future of the forest management plan.

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