Spring 2009 Issue

A Message from Dave King, Associate Provost

OSU's Memorial Union on the Corvallis Campus

Time for transformational change

We live in interesting times.

In Extended Campus we are in the midst of a set of changes that will allow us to be a foundation for the transformational change that faces the university as a whole in this time of unstable finances.  Ecampus is the anchor tenant in an aggressive process to expand Oregon State’s role as a source of information and learning for people across the state.  Greater access to learning will be the edge we need to help feed the economic engine of recovery. 

Most people assume the university could “manage” through cuts in the neighborhood of 10 percent, but as we face reduction that may approach 30 percent, transformational change is required.  Extended Campus is currently one of the first campus units to begin considering what that means.  We are continuing what began with the establishment of the new Outreach and Engagement division—combining the OSU Extension Service, with its 100 year tradition, and OSU Extended Campus with its rapid climb to excellence over the last nine years.

Access to information and knowledge is the primary goal of our new effort. We are creating a spectrum of access to lifelong learning that spans from Extension programs and learning modules to the online credit courses that are the staple of Extended Campus.  What we know from a hundred years of working directly with the needs of people across this state will be combined with what we know about reaching people with learning opportunities directly in their homes and businesses. 

What does that mean to you—the people who continue to make Ecampus the success it is? It will offer new and expanding opportunities to develop courses, certificates and degree programs that will drive a successful recovery in our state.  Does that sound like an overstatement?  Not hardly, this is what the university does best.  And the best way to get us back on track is to unleash the entrepreneurial power of the university we have developed in Extended Campus on the issues that will make a difference. 

Transformational change will not be comfortable to everyone involved. The university as a whole will be different in five years. And it will be those of us who can manage that change that will make it better. What you all have done in the past nine years at Extended Campus will provide the foundation for the university of the future.  It was Nietzsche who said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  We will survive. We will be stronger. The learning, discovery and engagement that make up this university of the future will begin here and now with the changes we are about.  Hang on, the ride is just beginning. 

Dave King

Associate Provost
University Outreach and Engagement
Oregon State University
541-737-3379 EESC
541-737-3810 Ecampus
541-602-2386 cell

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