April 19, 2019

OSU community members,

I am pleased to share that the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
(NWCCU) evaluation committee completed its site visit to the university this week
as part of OSU’s seven-year reaccreditation process.

I appreciate the dozens of faculty, staff, students, administrators and stakeholders
who took time to meet with and provide input to the evaluation committee.

Upon completing its visit, the NWCCU committee provided the university a number
of commendations and recommendations. This information – along with the full
accreditation evaluation report that we will receive this summer – will serve as a
foundation for OSU to begin its next seven-year accreditation cycle. Importantly,
this peer evaluation will aid our continued efforts to improve the delivery of excellent
teaching, innovative research, and impactful outreach and engagement services.

The evaluation committee commended the university’s commitment to its land grant
mission to provide access to education and statewide service; our culture of utilizing
planning to guide operations and strategic initiatives; OSU’s progress in improving
student success; the university’s commitment to renovate aging facilities; and OSU’s
websites for their design and accessible information for prospective students and

Meanwhile, the evaluation committee recommended that the university grow its
use of metrics to guide how it accomplishes objectives and utilize student learning
outcomes to guide the expansion of academic programs, as well as the choice of
delivery methods, such as online education. The committee also recommended that
OSU’s accreditation core themes of undergraduate education, research and graduate
education, and outreach and engagement guide our planning, priorities and

I thank the NWCCU committee for these valuable initial assessments, its visit to OSU,
its commitment to higher education excellence, and its interest in our university’s
continued improvement.

We will share the evaluation committee’s full report this summer with the university
community, and use it as a guide as we advance OSU’s land grant mission and our
service to others. Additionally, the report will serve as a starting point for the university’s
next seven-year phase of accreditation and assessment.

I thank each of you for your participation in this comprehensive and invaluable
opportunity for continued improvement, and especially the faculty, students, and
administrators who served on the accreditation steering committee; the many staff
across the campus who contributed to the preparation of the self-study report;
JoAnne Bunnage, director of university accreditation; and Susan Capalbo, senior vice
provost and OSU’s accreditation liaison officer.


Edward J. Ray