Oregon State University (OSU) seeks an experienced, dynamic and authentic leader with an unwavering drive and passion to serve the university’s land grant mission as its 15th president.


Founded in 1868 and one of only two land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the U.S., Oregon State is an internationally recognized public research university that draws people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.


Oregon State has a steadfast commitment to engage in exceptional 21st-century teaching, research, discovery, innovation and engagement and to integrate that research and engagement mission with the delivery of a high-quality, globally relevant and affordable education for the people of the state and beyond. OSU is committed to the ideal that higher education is a public good and that education of the kind it provides, as a research-intensive land grant institution, is uniquely important and should be accessible to all learners. OSU is Oregon’s statewide university. With its main campus in Corvallis, a branch campus in Bend (OSU-Cascades), and a presence in Newport (Hatfield Marine Science Center), Portland (OSU Portland Center) and online (Ecampus), the university offers more than 200 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. It is the largest university in the state with a total enrollment exceeding 32,000 and has more majors, minors and special programs than any other university or college in Oregon.


OSU’s research expenditures have steadily risen in the recent past, with annual expenditures ranging from $380 to $440 million.


More than 250,000 degrees have been awarded from OSU since its founding. Oregon State has earned the national distinction for Carnegie Classifications for “community engagement” and for “very high research activity.” OSU is distinguished by several very highly ranked programs and colleges, such as its programs in forestry, oceanography and robotics. As a member of the Pac-12 Conference, OSU offers seven men’s and 10 women’s NCAA Division I sports.


Leaders across the state — within healthcare organizations, community-based not-for-profits, industry, community colleges and local governments, among others — know OSU as an institution that is highly collaborative and inclusive, one that values its partnerships, seeks input and works constructively to advance solutions that address issues of vital importance to Oregon and beyond. These issues include promoting economic prosperity and social progress through access to education, improving the sustainability of earth ecosystems and advancing health and wellness.


The president reports to OSU’s Board of Trustees, a 15-member board appointed by the state’s governor and confirmed by the Oregon Legislature. The president serves as an ex officio and nonvoting member of the board. The Board of Trustees governs the university and helps guide OSU’s mission to serve the state and the needs of its citizens in a growing global economy. OSU’s next president should be a statewide representative and leader, responsible for building productive and collaborative internal relationships with faculty, staff, administrators and students, and external relationships with the community, donors, alumni, government officials and business leaders. OSU’s president should be seen as a respected national thought leader in higher education. The incoming president should be prepared to carry forward and achieve the university’s Strategic Plan 4.0, Transformation, Excellence and Impact, leveraging OSU’s considerable positive momentum for future institutional growth, innovation, greater educational, research and outreach success and long-term sustainability.


The incoming president must demonstrate inspiring and authentic leadership qualities; significant administrative and leadership experience at a research-intensive institution of comparable size and scope; and a considerable track record of success. The president should be a confident, accountable and transparent, yet humble leader, with strong interpersonal, collaboration and communication skills. It will be critical for the president to be laser focused and committed to research preeminence, student access and success, teaching excellence, and entrepreneurial activity that has a lasting impact on the state, nation and globe. The president must have a steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion and a record of successfully advancing inclusive excellence. The president should be skilled at managing a highly complex, multi-site institution; possess a deep knowledge and understanding of a mission-focused, distinctive land grant university; and demonstrate capability in overseeing an operating budget in excess of $1.3 billion. These skills must include the ability to oversee the opportunities and complexities involved in managing a successful NCAA Division I athletics program. The president must be a committed and motivational leader with a clear vision toward accomplishing strategic goals, objectives and actions. Additionally, the president should be an experienced fundraiser, and prepared to engage donors, the OSU Foundation board, alumni, business partners, community leaders and the Board of Trustees in a significant upcoming fundraising campaign — the largest in the institution’s history.


Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, applicant materials should be received by Thursday, September 12, 2019. Candidates should provide, as three separate documents, a curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the leadership profile and the names and contact information of five references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. These materials should be sent electronically via email to the Oregon State University search consultants, Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Suzanne Teer and Kim Brettschneider at Documents that must be mailed may be sent to Witt/Kieffer, c/o Francine Heymanson, 4 Park Plaza Suite 730, Irvine, CA 92614. Questions may also be directed to the consultants through the office of Francine Heymanson at 949-797-3503.


OSU commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.