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Ed Ray steps down as Oregon State University president, but plans to stay at the school

Ed Ray retired, but he plans to stay on staff in the OSU economics department

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon State University has a new president for the first time in nearly 20 years after Ed Ray recently retired.

While Ray won’t be in the top job anymore, he says he won’t be leaving campus just yet. 

Ray said he’s going to go on sabbatical for a little bit, but he plans to stay on staff in the economics department. Since becoming president in 2003 he has seen a lot of changes, especially how students are able to learn.

“We had an online program. We had about 1,300 students on it. Now we have 13,000 students," Ray said "It's called e-campus; it's ranked four or five in the nation by U.S. News and World Report."

One of the biggest changes he said he's seen through his career was this past spring, as colleges across the globe recreated how they could teach during the pandemic.  

“This all happened during a time when our students were under great stress already," Ray said. "They were doing courses remotely, they were getting ready for exams."

Ray’s very humble when it comes to what he’s accomplished. He’s increased enrollment of international students, increased donations and brought in more research dollars. OSU’s extension campus in Central Oregon has greatly expanded during Ray’s leadership.

One thing he doesn’t hesitate to brag about: the three College World Series rings the Beavers won while he was president.

He’s hoping the new President, F. King Alexander will have the same kind of success.

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