CORVALLIS - In a move to strengthen the continuing development of better ties between its academic and athletic programs, Oregon State University today announced a new assignment for interim athletic director Lee Schroeder.

President Paul Risser said Schroeder will assume responsibilities as senior associate in athletics when OSU's search for a new athletic director is completed. Schroeder heads the search committee for the new athletic director and had been expected to return to responsibilities as vice president for finance and administration when the search ended.

"Dr. Schroeder has been very active in managing the search and reorganizing the affairs of the athletic department, " Risser said. "His leadership has brought about a closer relationship between intercollegiate athletics and the academic mainstream at Oregon State.

"Lee has expressed interest in wanting to build upon that success, and we have agreed that the best way for him to do that is to remain professionally involved in intercollegiate athletics."

In his new assignment, Schroeder will serve as senior adviser for administration to the athletic director, and assist with sports management, event promotion and fund raising activities. He will lead the project to install a grass playing surface for football in Parker Stadium.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to remain with OSU's athletic program," Schroeder said. "I've enjoyed the challenge of being the interim athletic director and look forward to continuing work in support of student-athletes and all sports programs at Oregon State. Athletics has been an integral part of my life, and I am fortunate to be able to continue with a role involving this important part of our university."

Risser said the search for OSU's new athletic director has narrowed candidates to the semifinalist stage. He said the university hopes to interview finalists and complete an appointment later this month.

The OSU president said Mark McCambridge will continue to serve as interim vice president for finance and administration. A national search for a permanent appointee will be initiated later this month, he added.

Schroeder has filled the interim A.D. post since August when Dutch Baughman resigned to pursue other interests.

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Paul Risser, 541-737-4133