BEND - Oregon State University today announced the appointment of a prestigious group of 12 academic, business, agency and political leaders from Central Oregon who have agreed to serve as the first members of the Board of Advisors for the new branch campus that is under development.

The Board of Advisors will play a critical role in guiding the strategic direction of the branch campus in its formative stages, said OSU President Paul Risser.

"The input of the Board of Advisors will be especially important in the early years while we're creating this new institution and have so many important decisions to make," Risser said. "We're grateful to these local residents for helping us to create a 21st century learning community in Central Oregon, and we think the institution will be well served by board members of such intellect, integrity and vision."

The new board members will include:

  • Bob Barber, a Bend resident and president of Central Oregon Community College
  • Knute Buehler, a Bend resident, OSU's first Rhodes Scholar and a local orthopedic surgeon
  • Jody Calica, a Warm Springs resident and chief operating officer of the Warm Springs Tribe
  • Jerry Colona, a Redmond resident and superintendent of the Redmond School District
  • Mike Hollern, a Bend resident and chief executive officer of Brooks Resources
  • Mario Huerta, a Bend resident and director of Programa de Ayuda, an outreach program to the local Hispanic community
  • Patti Moss, a Bend resident, president and chief executive officer of the Bank of the Cascades
  • Stacie Pirtle, a Bend resident, 1999 OSU graduate and manager at Jeld-Wen
  • Mike Wax, a Bend resident, president and chief executive officer of Deschutes Medical Products
  • Ben Westlund, a Tumalo resident, agribusinessman and Oregon state representative
  • Carolyn Platt, a Bend resident and member of the School Board
  • Karen Kramer, alcohol and drug program manager for Crook County Mental Health Department

"Many of these board members have already been working with us for years to help bring improved higher education programs to Central Oregon," said Linda Johnson, who is directing community relations and administration at the new campus. "We have no doubt that these are the right people to help us take the branch campus from a vision to a working reality, and ensure that it delivers the programs and services that Central Oregonians really want and need."

The board members were appointed by Risser in consultation with Joe Cox, chancellor of the Oregon University System, with an effort to reflect the range of interests, values and viewpoints in Central Oregon. Board members ordinarily will serve three year terms, which can be renewed once.

However, the first group of board members has initial terms of staggered length to ensure continuity as membership changes over the years. In operation, the board will meet bi-monthly during the first year and select its own officers, which will include a chair, vice chair and secretary.

The board is designed to provide general advice on the education, research and public service programs of the new branch campus, as well as the administrative, fiscal, student service and promotional functions.

The mandate of responsibility given to the board will include:

  • Ensure that the university leadership continues to understand the current and future higher education needs of Central Oregon. 
  • Assist in obtaining the necessary public and private support necessary for the branch campus to succeed. 
  • Recommend to the OSU president the person to be named as campus executive officer and provide ongoing consultations about any changes in leadership. 
  • Provide advice and guidance to the campus executive officer on all major strategic decisions, and do an annual performance evaluation of the CEO. 
  • Review the annual budget of the branch campus with an emphasis on general programmatic directions and policies. 
  • Conduct an annual review of the education, research and public service programs of the branch campus, working to ensure that their content and modes of delivery are consistent with the needs of Central Oregonians.

The work of the board will begin immediately, university officials say. One of the next major hurdles for development of the branch campus is approval of funding by the Oregon legislature. Many efforts are already underway, however, to develop educational programs, courses, and student services so the campus can begin operation in fall term, 2001.

Central Oregon residents who wish to stay informed on the latest developments in creation of the new branch campus, or students who wish to enroll, should turn to the branch campus web page which can be accessed at Other enrollment and student information can also be obtained by calling (800) 291-4192.

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Paul Risser, 541-737-4133