PENDLETON - Bruce Weber, an Oregon State University economist who is coordinating OSU's Sustainable Rural Communities Initiative, will share that vision during an "OSU Presents" luncheon on Thursday, April 28, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Red Lion Inn in Pendleton.

The luncheon event is part of a series sponsored by the OSU Alumni Association and the Office of the Provost. The deadline for RSVPs is April 22; tickets are priced at $15 for association members, and $20 for non-members.

For more information or to register, call 877-305-3759, or go online at

The Sustainable Rural Communities Initiative is a coordinated group of faculty from five colleges seeking to redefine the relationship between Oregon State University and Oregon's rural communities. It is one of six initiatives singled out by the university as priorities for investment.

Weber said the faculty members involved in the initiative envision OSU working with several communities over the next five years in a collaborative partnership. Many communities face some of the same issues, he said, that can threaten their economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being. They include:

  • Economic development and natural resource management; 
  • The well-being of individuals and families;
  • Cultural identity and change;
  • Local governance and local, state and national policies.

    Communities also have unique assets that can be used to develop new opportunities, Weber said. OSU has, for decades, been closely involved with rural communities but usually on a project-by-project basis, he pointed out. The new initiative will help steer the university toward a more collaborative, holistic partnership with these communities.

    "We'd like to see a full spectrum of our faculty working in targeted communities looking at all manners of issues," Weber said, "from the economy, to the roles of school and church, to problems of methamphetamines and crime."


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    Scott Elmshaeuser, 541-737-8883