CORVALLIS - Gretchen Schuette, who has spent the past year directing Oregon State University's Portland-area programs, has been named dean of distance and continuing education at OSU.

In her new position, Schuette will provide leadership to support the off-campus credit courses and degree programs offered through OSU Statewide, the university's rapidly expanding initiative of outreach programs and services that includes continuing higher education and distance learning.

Courses and degrees offered through OSU Statewide will continue to be developed through the university's academic colleges and programs, according to Roy Arnold, OSU provost and executive vice president. Schuette will lead a distance and continuing education team that will assist faculty in program development, delivery, marketing and education.

"Gretchen Schuette brings considerable executive and leadership experience from her academic and administrative roles at Linn-Benton, Chemeketa and Mt. Hood Community Colleges," Arnold said. "She has established strong contacts with leaders of Oregon community colleges, with other institutions in the Oregon State System of Higher Education, and with Portland-area organizations in the public and private sectors.

"Partnerships with community colleges, OSSHE institutions and other organizations are critical to the OSU Statewide initiative," Arnold added.

Schuette chairs a 10-member citizen "Threshold Task Force on Consolidation" selected to assist the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the cities of Maywood Park, Fairview, Wood Village, Troutdale and Gresham by making recommendations about possible consolidation of governments.

Before joining OSU, Schuette was executive vice president of Mt. Hood Community College from 1992-96. She was dean of humanities and sciences at Chemeketa Community College in Salem from 1988-92. Schuette has a Ph.D. from OSU in oceanography.

She will continue working with OSU's Portland-area programs in addition to her new duties.

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Gretchen Schuette, 503-725-5754