CORVALLIS, Ore. – Members of a search committee have been named to help Oregon State University’s Board of Trustees select the university’s next president.

The committee was appointed by the chair of OSU’s Board of Trustees and is made up of OSU trustees, faculty, students, administrators, staff and alumni, as well as representatives from higher education and the broader community. The committee is chaired by OSU trustee Julie Manning, who is a former city of Corvallis mayor, an engaged community member and an executive with Samaritan Health Services.

“Each of the search committee members provides deep knowledge of the university and its mission as Oregon’s statewide university,” said Rani Borkar, chair of OSU’s Board of Trustees. “Their diverse backgrounds and perspectives represent the broad scope of the university, the state of Oregon and higher education.”

Borkar said the selection of OSU’s new president will help build upon the excellence occurring throughout the university.

“Our next president will be well positioned to lead a distinctive and globally-recognized university that enjoys tremendous momentum and provides ever-increasing impact throughout Oregon and beyond,” Borkar said. “As well, the university’s next president will continue to foster a university community that prioritizes diversity, inclusive excellence, a culture of care and success for all.”

The search committee, with support from an executive search firm, will seek feedback from the public and university community on presidential qualifications and nominations. Later in the process, open community forums with finalists will be held. These listening sessions and public forums will be announced as they are scheduled.

“Search committee members are committed to this significant undertaking,” Borkar said. “The committee will lead efforts to recruit a visionary and accomplished leader who will advance OSU’s contributions and role as a nationally leading land grant public research institution and guide the university to even greater levels of accomplishment.”

OSU’s Board of Trustees has launched a website that will be frequently updated and will share next steps throughout the search.

Members of the search committee are:

  • Julie Manning, member of the Board of Trustees, committee chair.
  • Patty Bedient, member of the Board of Trustees.
  • Julia Brim-Edwards, member of the Board of Trustees.
  • Maria Chávez-Haroldson, member of the Board of Trustees.
  • Bob Cowen, director of the Hatfield Marine Science Center; professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.
  • Marissa Cuno, accountant in the Health Sciences Business Center, classified staff representative.
  • Taha Elwefati, student of social sciences; president of the Associated Students of the Cascades Campus.
  • Lauren Gwin, associate professor in the Department of Crop & Soil Science; associate director of OSU’s Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems; community food systems specialist for OSU Extension.
  • Kim Kirkland, executive director for the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.
  • Kate MacTavish, associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
  • Erika McCalpine, Faculty Senate president-elect; OSU-Cascades executive director of strategic diversity initiatives; director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Laboratory; instructor, business administration.
  • Maija Pham, student of radiation health physics.
  • Alan Sams, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences; director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station.
  • Michael Schill, president of the University of Oregon.
  • Eric Schoenstein, board chair of the Oregon State University Foundation.
  • Scott Vignos, interim vice president and chief diversity officer.
  • Virginia Weis, university distinguished professor of integrative biology.
  • Member from the broader community, to be announced.

Jackie Bangs, interim board secretary of the OSU Board of Trustees, and Gigi Bruce, chief assistant to the provost, will provide staff support for the search committee.

A separate presidential search firm selection committee was convened to recommend an executive search firm to assist the board’s recruitment and review of candidates for president. The committee was chaired by Trustee Preston Pulliams. Pulliams is the president of Gold Hill Associates, a community college president search firm. After considering written materials submitted in response to a public request for proposals, the committee interviewed search firms and conducted reference checks on the finalists. In mid-November, the committee unanimously recommended use of the firm Isaacson, Miller, and the board chair approved this recommendation.

Staff will now begin working with the presidential search committee and Isaacson, Miller to refine further the presidential search process and timeline, which will be a topic of discussion at a virtual meeting of the Board of Trustees on Friday, Dec. 10.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 34,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected]


Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, [email protected]

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