CORVALLIS - Former Oregon State University President John Byrne was named Tuesday to head a new national commission to look at the future of higher education in the United States.

Byrne, who retired in December after 11 years as OSU president, will serve as executive director of the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is funding the project.

The announcement was made Tuesday by William Richardson, president of the Kellogg Foundation, at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

The 25-member commission will be comprised primarily of presidents of Land Grant colleges and universities. Included on the commission are Paul G. Risser, who succeeded Byrne Jan. 1 as president of OSU; Judith Ramaley, president of Portland State University; and Graham Spanier, a former OSU provost who now is president of Pennsylvania State University.

Among the commission's charges are seeking ways for institutions to cope with a chronic shortage of resources and meeting the public's demand for greater accountability.

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John Byrne, 541-737-3542