CORVALLIS, Ore. – A 15-member search committee has been named to help Oregon State University’s Board of Trustees select the university’s next president.

OSU is conducting a national search for a president to succeed Ed Ray, who has announced that he intends to step down in June 2020, after leading the university for 17 years.

The committee 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 Darry Callahan, an alumnus and past vice chair of the university’s board.

“Search committee members bring deep knowledge of the university and its mission as Oregon’s statewide university, as well as knowledge of Oregon’s needs in the future,” said Rani Borkar, chair of OSU’s Board of Trustees. “The diverse background of committee members will provide perspectives representing all sectors 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 and momentum occurring throughout the university.

“Oregon State is an incredibly strong and successful university with a genuine commitment to its land grant mission, inclusive excellence, and the creation of new knowledge through research and scholarship,” Borkar said. “This is an exciting time within OSU and throughout higher education for a new leader to join our university. We are confident we will find an inspiring and authentic leader to build upon the trajectory of the past 16 years and to help lead the statewide and global impact of OSU’s teaching, research, innovation, and outreach and engagement.”

Borkar said OSU expects to conclude the search for a new president by winter 2020. The process will include seeking feedback on both presidential qualifications and possible candidates from the public and university community.

“Search committee members are committed to this significant undertaking,” Borkar said. “While we all understand the strict confidentiality that such a search requires, we need and welcome broad input at this stage to advise the committee of the qualities and experience that OSU’s next president should possess.”

OSU’s Board of Trustees has launched a website to gather input (

Members of the search committee are:

  • Darry Callahan, trustee, committee chair, former Chevron Corp. executive vice president and OSU alumnus;
  • Safi Ahmad, student in the College of Engineering and chair-elect of the ASOSU student fee committee;
  • Charlene Alexander, OSU vice president and chief diversity officer;
  • Patty Bedient, trustee, former Weyerhaeuser Co. chief financial officer and executive vice president and OSU alumna;
  • Beatriz Botello, SNAP-Ed education program assistant in the Lincoln County office of OSU Extension Service;
  • Elsie Charles, OSU-Cascades student in the College of Liberal Arts;
  • Roy Haggerty, dean of the College of Science and professor of environmental geology in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences;
  • Danny Jacobs, president of Oregon Health & Science University;
  • Julie Manning, trustee; Samaritan Health Services, vice president of marketing, public relations, and community health promotion, and former Corvallis mayor;
  • Jim Moorefield, former executive director of Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services and former Corvallis city councilor;
  • Tuba Özkan-Haller, associate vice president for OSU Research Administration and Development; professor of geology and geophysics in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences; and committee search advocate;
  • Dwaine Plaza, professor of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and president-elect of the OSU Faculty Senate;
  • Preston Pulliams, trustee, president of Gold Hill Associates, and former president of Portland Community College;
  • John Stirek, chair-elect of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees; president of Western Operations for Trammell Crow Company; and OSU alumnus; and
  • Amy Watson, assistant professor of marketing, College of Business at OSU-Cascades.

Debbie Colbert, secretary of the OSU Board of Trustees, will staff the committee. Zach Smith and Suzanne Teer, consultants with Witt/Kieffer Executive Search, will assist the committee.

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 35,000 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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