Executive Summary

Oregon State University is well positioned to contribute to the civic, economic, environmental, and social foundations of society and particularly to help energize Oregon's economy and improve the lives of all Oregonians.

Our vision is to serve the people of Oregon as one of America's top 10 land grant universities. To achieve this goal, we will be true to our core values of accountability, diversity, integrity, respect, and social responsibility while creating an environment that facilitates further success.

We face substantial challenges in our future, such as a decreasing share of support coming from state sources and ongoing maintenance and infrastructure needs. Our success will be shaped by rising public expectations, increasing emphasis on accountability, and the global competitiveness, complex technologies, changing demographics, and societal needs that characterize the 21st century.

Oregon State differs from other universities in part through our focus, current strengths, and great potential in five multidisciplinary academic thematic areas that integrate the mission of teaching, research and outreach that is our charge from the people of Oregon. Accordingly, OSU will focus its academic resources and investments on:

  • Understanding the origin, dynamics, and sustainability of the Earth and its resources
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  • Optimizing enterprise, technological change, and innovation.
  • Realizing the potential of the life sciences and the optimal delivery of public health services in healthy environments.
  • Managing natural resources that contribute to Oregon's quality of life, and growing and sustaining natural resources-based industries in the Knowledge Economy.
  • Building and maintaining a strong curriculum and basic inquiry in the arts and sciences that contributes to all parts of the University.

By focusing resources and developing strategies in support of the five themes, we expect to achieve our vision in the long run and make substantial progress on each of the following three goals over the next three to five years:

  1. Provide outstanding academic programs that further strengthen our performance and pre-eminence in the five thematic areas.
  2. Improve the teaching and learning environment and achieve student persistence and success through graduation and beyond that matches the best land grant universities in the country.
  3. Substantially increase revenues from private fundraising, partnerships, research grants, and technology transfers while strengthening our ability to more effectively invest and allocate resources.

This is a plan for the long term. While the vision, values, themes and goals will endure, the strategies will change along with circumstances, and the time required to implement the strategies will vary based on available resources. The achievement of these goals will require an institutional environment that empowers all our faculty, students, and staff to develop and implement new ideas. We must enhance our leadership, staff development, synergy and collaboration, and in some instances reorganize and consolidate. We will measure our progress by benchmarking with peer institutions and utilizing the metrics identified in this plan.

Next steps will include creation of an implementation plan by July 2004 under the direction of the Provost and Executive Vice President, alignment of all colleges and academic support plans with the overall University plan, decisions regarding strategic investments for FY04, and development of both an annual strategic indicators report and an annual strategic plan report card. Budget discussions each spring will focus on the allocation of resources to implement the University, college, and support unit plans. Priorities will be determined in an open, transparent, and competitive manner.

Achievement of our vision will mean that:

  • OSU students are among the best in the nation in their ability to think broadly, address and solve complex problems, adapt to environments enriched by diversity and characterized by continuous change, work effectively in an international culture, compete successfully in their professional areas, and assume leadership roles in their communities.
  • OSU faculty will be increasingly recognized throughout the world for their teaching, scholarship, research and outreach activities and their pursuit of academic and intellectual leadership and integrity.
  • OSU staff will excel in providing the professional and support services without which our University cannot reach its vision
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  • The people of Oregon and beyond will enjoy a higher quality of life built upon a balanced and growing economy, opportunities for its workforce, preservation of the environment, and the social well-being of its population.

Oregon State University will be seen as the national leader in developing sustainable resource use and management systems and among the nation's top ten educational and research enterprises in natural resources and earth and ocean sciences. We will further strengthen our position as Oregon's flagship institution for engineering and technology. We will also house a nationally recognized program in nutrition and preventive health care. These signature areas of excellence will be built upon a foundation of outstanding programs in the fundamental liberal arts and sciences disciplines that lie at the core of every great university, and will be strengthened by interdisciplinary efforts with professional programs.

Supporting 20,000 resident students and providing additional programs through our extended campus and outreach, the Corvallis campus will remain the backbone of our University. Key regional operations will include the Cascades Campus in Bend providing programs in outdoor recreation and tourism management; performing arts and other specialized programs; the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport providing programs in estuarine and marine sciences; the Agricultural Experiment Station and Extensions Service networks; and an OSU Center in Portland providing programs in pharmacy and other programs that serve the metro area. Finally, OSU will create an international presence through collaborative programs, particularly in Pacific Rim countries and Southeast Asia.