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Oregon Tech Trustees name U. of Toledo Engineering Dean Nagi Naganathan its 7th President

Nov. 16, 2016, WILSONVILLE, OR.- The Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) Board of Trustees named Dr. Nagi Naganathan as its seventh president, following a national search begun this spring. Dr. Naganathan is currently Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Toledo, a position he has held since 2003. Naganathan succeeds Dr. Jay Kenton who has been Interim President since July 1 after former president Dr. Chris Maples chose not to renew his contract earlier this year. Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Naganathan during a Board meeting held at its Wilsonville Campus.

Naganathan is expected to begin his tenure as president of Oregon Tech in the spring of 2017. He will lead a polytechnic university that has seen record enrollment and degrees in recent years, reaching 5,232 students at all of its campuses and sites in fall 2016, and consistently ranking high in graduates’ return on investment. With three campuses – Klamath Falls, Wilsonville and Online – and other delivery sites, Oregon Tech is growing its footprint in Oregon with degrees not offered elsewhere in the state and often the region, that are meeting industry demand in engineering, technology, healthcare and other applied fields.

Full press release available here.

The Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) Board of Trustees voted March 18, 2016 during a Board meeting to accept the wishes of President Chris Maples to not renew his contract, which ended on June 30, 2016. In addition the Board voted to begin seeking new leadership of the university.
After this transition, the Board appointed Dr. Jay Kenton as interim president to serve during several months of a search process for a permanent president. Dr. Jay Kenton became Interim President of Oregon Tech on July 1, 2016 from his previous role as Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration. Dr. Kenton has held various roles in higher education including Interim President at Eastern Oregon University, and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration at the Oregon University System.
 2016 Schedule of events:
July 14
Search Committee Teleconference
August 11
Search Committee Teleconference
September 14 Search Committee Teleconference
October 6
Search Committee Meeting - initial candidate review
Week of October 17 First round of interviews with Search Committee and candidates
October 31-Nov 1
November 7-8
On-campus (Klamath Falls and Wilsonville) interviews with finalists
November 10
Search Committee meeting to recommend top candidate(s) to the Board of Trustees
November 15-16
Board of Trustees Meeting (Wilsonville)

Board of Trustees News

Oregon Tech Trustees review numerous campus functions, programs and initiatives that build on university assets and innovation at 2-day meeting

by Ashley VanEssen | Jul 01, 2016
The Board of Trustees approve budgets, review new and innovative programs including the Rural Health Initiative, and learn more about internal projects planned and underway

The Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) Board of Trustees, as well as its Executive, Academic and Finance Committees, met June 29 and 30 to approve budgets, review new and innovative programs including the Rural Health Initiative, and learn more about internal projects planned and underway, among several other items.

Rural Health Programs and Approaches     Trustees heard and discussed an overview of Oregon Tech’s engagement in the Rural Health Initiative and health-related program innovation in the university’s allied health and related programs from Dean LeAnn Maupin and several members of the faculty in the College of Health, Arts and Sciences. Some areas covered included the rural health partnership and Oregon Tech’s role in that from Dean Maupin; history and status of Dental Hygiene from Program Director Evelyn Hobbs; overview and approach of the new and unique Population Health Management program, including information on the PHM Research Center in downtown Klamath Falls and field-based work which gives students work experience while at Oregon Tech, from Assistant Professor Dr. Sophie Nathenson, and Instructor Stephanie Machadoan overview of the new Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and its connections to the community from Associate Professor Dr. Kathleen Adams; and an overview, approaches and future opportunities in the Humanities and Social Sciences by Department Chair Dr. Mark Neupert.

At the end of the presentation the Board approved a motion to support and actively collaborate in the Rural Health Initiative underway in Klamath Falls, with partners Oregon Health & Science University and Sky Lakes Medical Center who are leading the effort, including the fundraising component, in order to meet industry demand and meet student training and education needs. Trustee Stewart, CEO of Sky Lakes described the exciting opportunities to train medical practitioners with an expertise and focus on rural health issues and practice, the planned fundraising effort with a goal of $50-60 million, and the plan to tie into state and government support to bolster the plans.

Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center     Dr. Jay Kenton, Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration and incoming Interim President of Oregon Tech, and Laura McKinney, Vice President of the Wilsonville Campus, gave an overview of the university’s involvement and progress with the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC) plans. Kenton gave a summary of the in-process Phase I due diligence review being completed on the building in Scappoose, on which Oregon Tech has made an offer. McKinney, in the Academic Committee meeting, summarized the benefits to students, connections with industry, and the potential of remote delivery of courses and programs to and from the OMIC site. She said that the goals for OMIC participation for Oregon Tech include expanding business engagement; adding new revenue sources; building a world-class Manufacturing Engineering Degree program; relieving space issues in Wilsonville for labs and other academic spaces; complementing Oregon Tech’s existing expertise in areas of interest to industry and expand our campus partners such as Oregon State University and Portland State University. McKinney said that OMIC is both a research and education center, and industry ties these two pieces together and feel that they can’t be done effectively or with quality when done separately.

At the conclusion of the discussion, the Board voted unanimously to empower the administration to complete the negotiations for closing the first phase of due diligence and committing additional earnest money and other funding to continue the purchase review process.

In other actions and discussions at the Board and Committee meetings, Trustees:

  • Approved the Cornett Hall renovation project, as revised.    
  • Heard an update on academic, community and industry partnerships and outreach from Associate Vice President Colligan.
  • Approved adoption of the Presidential Evaluation Process Policy.
  • Approved the sale of the President’s Residence. When the new permanent president arrives she/he will be provided with a housing stipend for use in covering housing costs in Klamath Falls and in the Valley, for use when the President is in Salem and Wilsonville areas.
  • Heard an update on the University/Foundation Agreement.
  • Heard a presentation on Enrollment Management, and an update on Fall 2016 enrollment projections from Carl Thomas, Director of Admissions and Institutional Research Analyst Farooq Sultan.
  • Discussed the Board evaluation and self-evaluation processes, as well as the Trustee orientation process.
  • Heard a report from Dean Maupin on the results of Oregon Tech’s recent accreditation process -- the findings, kudos, areas for improvement, and follow up -- from the NW Accreditation Commission.
  • Heard a report from Interim Dean Neupert on the Faculty Compensation Study being completed by MGT consulting firm, including current status, development of peer institution comparator list, and timelines for completion.
  • Approved the request to Select an Internal Auditor and Authorized Staff to enter into a contract.
  • Adopted an amended Tuition and Fee Policy.
  • Adopted Oregon Tech’s 2016-17 Education and General (E&G) Fund Budget.
  • Heard a report on the E&G budget projections for Oregon Tech.
  • Received an update on strategic enrollment management at Oregon Tech from Vice President McKinney.
  • Discussed Adjunct Pay rates.
  • Reviewed the Board’s Work Plan and calendar scheduling of forward regular and special agenda items.
  • Heard an update on the Soccer Field Project.
  • Heard an update on the Vice President of Finance and Administration selection.
  • Heard an update on the proposed Recreation Center for students.
  • Heard a report on campus beautification needs and process.
  • Heard updates from the Chairs of the Board Committees; from the Oregon Tech Faculty Senate; and from Associated Students of Oregon Institute of Technology.
  • Reviewed water testing results: at the Klamath Falls campus, water systems were tested thoroughly for lead and copper and in every case they tested well below limits. Wilsonville campus facilities were built after 2000 and do not contain lead piles, therefore not requiring testing. The City of Wilsonville also conducts periodic testing and has found no issues.
After the meeting, Board Chair Lisa Graham, other Trustees, incoming Interim President Kenton and faculty and staff welcomed leaders from Pacific Power & Light (PP&L) for a meeting on Oregon Tech’s Renewable Energy Program and to tour the university’s Geothermal Power Plant. Stefan Bird, President of PP&L, presented a check after the presentation for $9,000 from the Pacific Power Foundation to Oregon Tech to support first-generation undergraduate education in engineering. Other PP&L leadership at the meeting included Scott Bolton, Vice President External Affairs, and Todd Andres, Regional Manager.