CORVALLIS - William T. "Bill" McCaughan, the vice provost for Outreach and Extended Studies at Texas Tech University, has been named dean of Distance and Continuing Education at Oregon State University. His appointment is effective Jan. 24.

Sandra Woods, a faculty member in the College of Engineering, has served as interim dean for the last 18 months.

As dean, McCaughan will oversee Oregon State's rapidly expanding initiatives involving OSU Statewide and other distance learning and continuing education programs. Among those efforts are the university's growing presence in central Oregon and the Portland area.

"Bill brings a wealth of experience that will well serve OSU, and Oregon, in a critical area," said Roy Arnold, OSU provost and executive vice president. "Texas Tech has one of the more ambitious programs of distance learning and extended studies in the country, and his knowledge of delivery technologies, programming content, and emerging policies and legislation will be invaluable."

As vice provost at Texas Tech, McCaughan supervised a distance learning program that served in excess of 70,000 enrollments annually, with students in all 50 states and 16 countries. The research university, which has an overall enrollment of about 26,000 students, utilized a number of technologies to serve its distance learning clientele, including satellite, interactive video, and the Internet.

McCaughan has been at Texas Tech since 1992, when he was hired as executive director of the HealthNet program - the rural outreach arm of the university's Health Sciences Center. He was named vice provost for Outreach and Information Services in 1995, then vice provost for Outreach and Extended Studies a year later.

Before he joined the Texas Tech faculty and administration, McCaughan spent nearly a quarter of a century in Alaska. He began as a teacher in the Anchorage Borough School District in 1965, then later joined the faculty of the University Alaska-Anchorage. From 1988-92, he was associate vice chancellor for the university.

McCaughan is a 1962 graduate of Abilene Christian College, where he received a bachelor's degree in elementary education. He also received a master's in education administration there. He has a master's degree and a Ph.D. in adult and higher education from Teachers College at Columbia University.

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Roy Arnold, 541-737-2111