OSU begins search for interim president, rules out Feser, Ray

Millicent Durand, News Contributor

Oregon State University’s Board of Trustees say the university will have an interim president before the end of the month, but it won’t be either Acting President Ed Feser or President Emeritus Ed Ray. 

In an email sent by Board of Trustees member Patty Bedient on Thursday, the board laid out their plans to appoint a new president following the resignation of former OSU President F. King Alexander last month. 

According to Bedient, there are three stages to appoint a new president. 

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“The first was the March 23 appointment of Provost and Executive Vice President Ed Feser to serve briefly as acting president until an interim president is named,” Bedient said, “The second, which is underway now, is the process to appoint an interim president to serve until a permanent president is named. The third stage is the full presidential search process. The Board will share the approach and timeline for the permanent presidential search after the appointment of the interim president and further consultations with the OSU community.”

Bedient said she is currently serving as a delegate for OSU Board Chair Rani Borkar, to conduct the election process. 

According to Bedient, she has already received several nominations for the position.

“While many have nominated Acting President Ed Feser and President Emeritus Ed Ray, neither are candidates for the interim post. Acting President Feser has made it clear that he would prefer to return to his role as OSU provost and executive vice president while President Emeritus Ed Ray has argued that the university should tap other talented leaders, rather than stepping back into the role himself,” Bedient said.

Bedient also said that has had “more than 50” conversations with “OSU Faculty Senate leaders, staff, student leaders, administrators, university partners and other stakeholders” related to the appointment of an interim president. Bedient said the next step is to schedule a university forum meeting. 

“Based upon the feedback received thus far, we will be scheduling a university forum with the recommended final nominee. The university forum will provide community members with an opportunity to hear from the finalist, and to provide additional input to the Board of Trustees on the finalist’s qualifications,” Bedient said. “While a great many I have consulted have shared that they do not want the Board to deliberate any longer than necessary, the Board remains committed to an inclusive and transparent process. Under our current timeline, the Board expects to conclude the consideration and selection of an interim president in a public meeting of the Board within the next two weeks.”

The board has also launched a webpage which aims to summarize the process. The board is also accepting nominations for interim president, which you can also do on the board’s website