CORVALLIS, Ore. - Sherman Bloomer, dean of the prestigious College of Science at Oregon State University since 2001, will become director of the Office of Budgets and Fiscal Planning at OSU, effective Feb. 1.

The college is home to some of the university's most recognized disciplines, including nationally noted programs in physics, ecosystem informatics, water resources, environmental health science and more. It is a major reason that OSU gained the top ranking in the United States in conservation biology from the Conservation Biology Journal in 2007, and three other departments have been ranked in the top 10 nationally by the Chronicle of Higher Education - zoology, science education and plant pathology (since moved to the College of Agricultural Sciences).

Important scientific advances in the college have taken place during Bloomer's tenure, such as creation of the Center for Green Materials Chemistry, development of biosensors to detect pathogens and identification of ways marine reserves can help protect Oregon's coastal resources. Science faculty are frequently in the limelight for pursuit of new therapies for Lou Gehrig's disease, advances in the field of healthy aging and new research insights on fish disease and salmon declines.

The college offers many baccalaureate core classes and also has numerous internationally known researchers. Under Bloomer's leadership, faculty have increased the college's research backing from $13 million to nearly $19 million last year, the majority of that funding from federal sources - the most competitive arena for research funding.

Bloomer's experience in university-wide fiscal analysis, as well as management of large budgets within the College of Science, will be valuable assets in his new role, said OSU Provost and Executive Vice President Sabah Randhawa.

"The university's growth in every facet - from enrollment to research - has created the need for additional leadership in fiscal planning, and Sherm Bloomer brings strong analytical skills and a broad-based knowledge of OSU to the position," Randhawa said. "He also has earned a great deal of respect from his colleagues across campus."

A marine geologist by training, Bloomer joined the OSU faculty in 1995 and was named dean of the College of Science five years later. He launched initiatives aimed at increasing student retention and graduation rates and established transparency in budgeting and fiscal planning for the college, and helped it thrive during a period of unprecedented university growth.

Randhawa said he would launch an immediate internal search for an interim leader of the college, and a national search for permanent leadership.

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Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111