Roy Haggerty

Words from the Dean

November 2018

Dear colleagues,

Most of you have heard that OSU’s fall enrollment on the Corvallis campus is down by more than projected, generating a shortfall of more than $7 million. The decision has been made to propagate that shortfall to the colleges and other units in FY19, the current budget year. While we do not yet know the amount, I am committed to minimizing the impact. First, I am reducing the amount of the research set aside for startups, research support and SciRIS from $1M to $800K. SciRIS will continue as planned, however. Second, I am cancelling up to five searches. The total savings for these measures is approximately $500K. All communications to those impacted have been made.

The outlook for FY20 contains challenges. Projections are flat or slightly declining enrollment, slowing growth in ecampus, benefit costs rising by 7–8%, and salary increases and inflation in the 3 – 4% range. Tuition, which makes up about 70% of our budget, will increase by 3–5%, but that will not offset the cost increases. 

That said, we have had some success since last year in improving revenue. Our total enrollment is up a bit in the face of overall OSU enrollment declines, because we are retaining more students. Several of our programs grew this year. Our ecampus revenue is growing faster than the rest of the university and next year will likely continue that trend, led by new offerings in Zoology, Data Analytics, Chemistry and Physics, among others. OSU has also provided bridge funding that is allowing us to make investments to generate revenue.

I know that messages like these can be upsetting, but I want to reassure you. People who are here now – you – are our priority. It is for exactly this reason that we are continuing with raises that you deserve and that reward your hard work in spite of an unexpected revenue decline. We will be continuing with programs like SciRIS to support research. We will manage decline in revenue, to the maximum extent possible, by not making new commitments or by slowing the rate of new commitments. It is for this reason that I immediately froze several searches when I learned about the university’s budget cuts rather than take steps that are more harmful to current staff, faculty and students.

As we head into the new year, I want you to know that I am committed to supporting our faculty and staff as we also balance financial pressure. I greatly appreciate all of your work to increase student retention and success, and I know you will continue to do a great job. I hope you enjoy the holiday break with your family and friends.

 

Roy Haggerty
Dean, College of Science

All the news that's fit to print.

Please submit news, honors and awards, discoveries, events, research funding, student news, alumni updates and more. Just use this handy ONLINE FORM by the 10th of each month.

Research Highlights

Read more of the most recent research happening on our iMPACT blog site.

Entomologist George Poinar has discovered that the microorganisms that cause malaria, leishmaniasis and a variety of other illnesses today can be traced back at least to the time of dinosaurs, according to a study of amber-preserved blood-sucking insects and ticks.

Microbiologist Rebecca Vega Thurber has found that corals and the microbes they host evolved together, adding fresh insight to the fight to save the Earth's embattled coral reefs.

Proposal Support

The College of Science's new Research and Innovation Seed Program (SciRIS) awards seed funding for high impact collaborative proposals that build teams, pursue fundamental discoveries, and create societal impact. SciRIS accelerates the pace of research, discovery, and innovation by enabling scientists to work across an array of disciplines in a mentored environment. There are three different grant programs available, SciRIS, SciRIS-II, and the Betty Wang Discovery Fund. Deadlines for the latter two programs are coming up quickly on December 15, 2018.

Calling for innovations: Apply for an OSU Accelerator Innovation Fund to further develop and commercialize your innovation! $5000 to $25,000 in funding are available for OSU-owned innovations developed by OSU faculty, staff, and/or graduate students in any discipline. The deadline for proposals for a January award is December 4.

Please contact the OSU Advantage Accelerator office prior to submitting a proposal. Accelerator staff are available to provide early project concept feedback. If interested in applying, contact Katie Pettinger, Commercialization Catalyst, at kathryn.pettinger@oregonstate.edu.

More funding opportunities can be found on ECOS. To access a suite of tools and resources available to faculty, visit the College of Science Proposal Support webpage.

Innovation Days

The College of Science is launching Innovation Days, an transformative program to support and strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship that will enable us to better identify, validate and develop the commercial impact of basic research. Innovation Days will bring together faculty, faculty research assistants and research associates to discuss and learn about moving basic research ideas and discoveriesfrom the lab to commercial applications and practical solutions.

Co-hosted by the College of Science and the Office of Commercialization and Corporate Development (OCCD), Innovation Days will host its first session on January 7, 2019, 2:30-5 pm followed by a reception. The deadline to register is December 14, 2018. More sessions will follow on February 4, April 1 and April 29, 2019.

Global Honors

Mas Subramanian has been awarded the Perkin Medal from the Society of Dyers and Colourists. The Society is located in the Perkin House in London, England, the former home of William Henry Perkin, who accidentally discovered the first synthetic dye, Mauveine, a revolutionary discovery that launched today's synthetic color industry. 

National Honors

Congratulations to biologist David Maddison, biochemist Michael Freitag and chemist Mas Subramanian for being elected as lifelong members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in honor of their extraordinary achievements in advancing science. All three of the fellows at Oregon State this year are from the College of Science, bringing OSU's total AAAS fellows to 16. Bravo to all!

University Honors

Marian Waterman (B.S. '81), professor of microbiology and molecular genetics in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, was honored with the 2018 Oregon State Alumni Fellows Award at the Alumni Association's awards ceremony on October 18. The award recognizes eminent alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professions and communities. At the beginning of her stellar career, while still a postdoctoral scholar, Waterman discovered a new type of gene regulatory protein implicated in cancer growth and metastases, a breakthrough affecting cancer research around the world.

The College of Science celebrated extraordinary achievement and leadership at its 2018 Alumni Awards Ceremony and Dinner held on November 15. Congratulations to the three winners, of whom we are very proud:

Fred Horne, former College of Science Dean and Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, won the 2018 Lifetime Achievement in Science Award for his strong leadership and commitment to women in science, student learning and research.

Joan Countryman Suit (B.S. '53) received the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes alumni whose exceptional achievements have brought honor, distinction and visibility to the College of Science. Joan was a pioneer and one of the few women in the early field of bacterial genetics when she began her career in the 1950s. She made several key contributions to the field and spent most of her career at MIT.

Justin Hall (Ph.D., '10) won the 2018 Young Alumni Award for exceptional achievements in career, public service and/or volunteer activities accomplished within the first ten years after graduation. Justin works in Pfizer Pharmaceutical's structural biology and biophysics department, where he is currently spearheading several projects that may eventually be reviewed by the Federal Drug Administration for patients.

A class project with global impact: Jenna Sullivan and Vanessa Constant, biology graduate students, began a project in a graduate seminar taught by Jane Lubchenco and Kristin Golrud-Colbert that became a 10-month study of 200 ocean conservation promises, discovering that almost half of the promises have been fulfilled by participating countries around the world. They presented their research at fifth annual international Our Ocean Conference Oct. 30 in Bali, Indonesia. 

Accelerating adoption of adaptive courseware: Ongoing work by Team Math to redesign introductory math courses on an adaptive courseware platform that allows students to learn at their own pace is part of a national pilot program at OSU and six other public universities supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. To date, OSU has retooled eighteen math and psychology courses in which students have historically struggled, affecting more than 20,000 students a year.

A warm welcome to Lisa Ganio, our new Department of Statistics Head, effective December 1, 2018. Ganio is a tenured associate professor in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society within the College of Forestry at OSU. She has also served as director of her department's graduate program, associate director for the Forestry Computing Resources and director of the College of Forestry's Statistical Consulting program, which she has led for 20 years. She is also an adjunct professor of statistics.

We also welcome Wendy Aaron, the new Math and Statistics Learning Center (MSLC) coordinator effective December 15. Wendy received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of Michigan in 2011 and joins us from the OSU College of Education. She brings extensive expertise and experience in teacher-training, including contacts with local K-12 schools and the College of Education. As MSLC Coordinator, Wendy will support and build upon ongoing strengths of the MSLC including daily operations, professional development for graduate students and learning assistants, and support for campus-wide student success initiatives. She will also teach one course per quarter, including summer term.

Black Family Night (previously known as OSU Celebrates) will take place this year on December 5th at Jefferson High School in Portland, OR. This evening is dedicated to providing information and resources on OSU admissions, financial aid, scholarships and more to support Black students and families in the Portland area as they consider their higher educational opportunities. Families can also connect to support/programs available on campus at an adjoining resource fair.

A Year in Review: Wow! Collectively, we have all accomplished much in 2018. College of Science marketing intern Mary Hare (who also happens to be biochemist Elisar Barbar's daughter!) prepared this wonderful piece reflecting on everything we -- the College of Science faculty, students and administrators -- have achieved this year. Take a look, and enjoy!

Upcoming events

November 30
4:45 – 6:45 p.m., Memorial Union Lounge
Retirement Reception for Indira Rajagopal and Kevin Ahern: Please join us to honor and thank Indira Rajagopal and Kevin Ahern, both in Biochemistry and Biophysics, for their respective 29 and 30 years of service to the College of Science and OSU. #TwoOfAKind #Priceless

December 4 and 13
Multiple venues
Sexual Misconduct Training Sessions: if you didn't attend in this important training November, register for two of the Sexual Misconduct training sessions in December that still have space. Hosted by the College of Science, these training sessions are for all employees in the College, including graduate students, faculty, dean's office staff and the dean. Please register to attend one of the sessions!

Recent Events

November 3
Inquiry-Based Learning Workshop: Mathematics faculty member Mary Beisiegel organized the first Inquiry-Based Learning Traveling Workshop led by three expert facilitators: Mathematicians Gulden Karakok from University of Northern Colorado, Christine Black from Central Washington University and Stephanie Salomone from University of Portland. Designed for graduate students, instructors and tenure-track professors in mathematics, the event was the first of three seminars featuring leaders in active learning and equitable instruction. Participants will learn practical and useful skills in mathematics and science classrooms. 

November 5 and 19
URSA Engage Networking/Informational workshops : These workshops were designed specifically for first- and second-year students and transfer students in their initial year at OSU.

November 14
Oregon Brew Lab entrepreneur and chemist Dana Garves gave a lecture titled "Utilizing Science to Succeed," the first in the new Chemistry Innovators Lecture Series, about how she used her science background (B.S. in chemistry) to capitalize on an opportunity in beer analysis.

November 15 
College of Science 2018 Alumni Awards Ceremony and Dinner: The College honored outstanding alumni and friends at its annual alumni awards celebration. 

November 29
Invigorating Fall Study Break: A much-needed, drop-in respite for our hard-working students during finals week at the Science Success Center featured plant-your-own succulents, a cocoa bar, tea and biscuits, and a retro record player.