Oregon Institute of Technology began operations in 1947 as Oregon Vocational School (OVS), a WWII Marine Corps barracks on the Old Fort Road, three miles northeast of Klamath Falls, OR. The barracks were used to treat Marines who contracted tropical diseases like malaria and filariasis. When first opened there were 33 students.
In 1949 discussions to fund Oregon Technical Institute (OTI) began at the state level. The campus site at 3201 Campus Dr in Klamath Falls was selected in August of 1959, but the campus did not relocate until 1964.