OSU Board of Trustees seeks student input for presidential search

OSU President Ed Ray

Jaycee Kalama, News Reporter

Following Oregon State University President Ed Ray’s announcement that he will step down in June of 2020, when his five-year contract is completed, the Board of Trustees is seeking student input and involvement in the presidential search. 

All student input is confidential and will be used to create a presidential leadership profile, a key component in the recruitment and identification of potential candidates. This leadership profile will highlight and emphasize Oregon State University’s values, such as the culture of OSU and the needs of the community. 

According to Safi Ahmad, a member of the Presidential Search Committee, fourth-year industrial engineering major and Associated Students of OSU representative and voting member, student voice is important in this process because the students are the people that the president will be representing. 

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“By having student perspective present, the committee is able to take into consideration their opinions and then, eventually, utilizing that feedback to recommend the most suitable candidates to the Board of Trustees,” Ahmad said. “It is important to ensure we get voices from students of various backgrounds to ensure the next president aligns with the values the OSU community holds.”

President Ray, OSU’s 14th president, has served the university for 15 years, and the search committee expects the new president to show a similar dedication. OSU’s next president will be positioned to provide a large impact on the university, as well as continue to foster a university community that prioritizes diversity and inclusive excellence, as stated in the presidential search website. 

“President Ed Ray has done a phenomenal job to ensure that student representation is present in multiple parts of OSU. As the student member, I would really like for that to be continued and even expanded in the future,” Ahmad said. “Ed Ray has been president for more than 15 years, and see the transition of leadership being a hurdle that the whole campus is going to experience; the culture of OSU has been something that I value, and want to ensure future presidents to follow suit.”

Online feedback may be provided until May 20. 

After student feedback is closed in May, the leadership profile will be finalized by the Board.  Once it is approved, the search firm and committee will actively recruit candidates throughout  the summer and early fall and will interview semifinalists later in the fall.

Learn more about the process, including a timeline and answers to frequently asked questions, on the presidential search webpage.