CORVALLIS, Ore. - Kay Schaffer, dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University, announced today her plans to retire at the end of the academic year, June of 2007.

Schaffer has been dean of liberal arts since 1994 and has seen the college's student enrollment grow tremendously. Last year, a record 875 liberal arts students graduated from OSU, the largest class in the college's history.

"Kay's leadership has enabled the College of Liberal Arts to serve students and deliver core education programs for (more than) a decade - even when the university has been faced with difficult fiscal challenges," said Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president.

Schaffer came to OSU from the University of Toledo, where she was an associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and had previously directed that university's graduate program in clinical psychology. She has an appointment in OSU's Department of Psychology, and most recently has focused her scholarship on gender and health issues in higher education.

Since becoming dean of OSU's College of Liberal Arts, Schaffer has worked to build targeted graduate programs, scholarships, faculty recognition and endowed chairs. She instituted a "CLA Master Teacher" program, in which some of the top faculty in the college were matched with a cohort of incoming freshmen students to help engage them in the university.

She also developed learning communities within the college, and a Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Related Research.

The College of Liberal Arts has more than a dozen departments and several programs. Approximately 70 percent of the university's "baccalaureate core" classes are taught through the college.

Randhawa said a national search for a new dean would begin soon. Tammy Bray, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at OSU, will chair the search.

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Sabah Randhawa,