The Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” has launched the Foundational Campaign for the Future to raise $4 million, allowing the university to create strategic investments in projects, programs and people.
The Foundational Campaign for the Future will raise funds to further Oregon Tech’s goal to be a globally renowned polytechnic with a reputation as industry’s university. Oregon Tech provides a project-based education approach to increase the number of career-ready professionals to address workforce shortages throughout the state and nation—all while advancing academic excellence. With the start of the public phase, the University has launched a new campaign website that includes information on how industry and private donors, alumni, parents and friends can contribute to the campaign, and how those donations will help create an innovation ecosystem at Oregon Tech benefiting the entire state and beyond.
Oregon Tech is making purposeful investments in new programs, facilities, equipment, technology, and people aimed at increasing enrollment by nearly 20 percent over a five-year period, which will assist with the STEM and health care workforce shortage in Oregon and the region.
Dr. Nagi Naganathan, president of Oregon Tech said, “Exceptional polytechnic universities must be steadfast in our mission to help develop students’ transition into high-caliber professionals. This requires that we invest in state-of-the art laboratory equipment, in modernizing classrooms, and in thoughtfully created collaborative spaces which help our faculty nurture an innovation ecosystem.”
Key investments in projects will include equipment and technology critical to the highly technical programs offered at Oregon Tech; and an Engineering Complex which will be home to a comprehensively renovated Cornett Hall and the new Center for Excellence in Engineering & Technology (CEET). Last year, Oregon Tech received the Oregon State Legislature’s approval of $40 million in state bonding authority for the CEET, which required matching funds of $2 million from the university. A multiyear renovation of Cornett Hall is underway to modernize facilities to address needed improvements related to quality improvements in labs, classrooms, and spaces, including student accessibility and safety, while creating a building that combines collaborative work space, engineering labs, classrooms and offices as a multidisciplinary center.
Oregon Tech is creating programs to foster collaborative innovation, and help prepare students for lifelong professional success, as well as addressing workforce needs in both urban and rural communities. Programs targeted in the Campaign for the Future include: Fiscal Literacy Program - helping students prepare for both a successful career and a successful life; Student & Faculty Innovation Fund - to inspire innovative thinking that can deliver impactful outcomes; and Rural Communities Development Fund - to implement and expand ideas, programs and partnerships which equip students to address the unique needs faced by rural communities.
Investments in people will help Oregon Tech recruit the best and brightest students, inspirational leaders, industry experts, and professional mentors to strengthen the university across the board. Key areas include Oregon Tech Merit Scholarship - to attract diverse, high achieving students and build a strong pipeline from high school to the university; Society of Scholars - recognizing and developing a society of talented, high achieving faculty; and Staff Innovation Award – acknowledging those ideas which improve efficiency and better serve students, while building upon our culture of innovation.
Investment in these initiatives will not only strengthen the ability of the University to provide exceptional education experiences, but recruit and retain top students and faculty.
For Oregon, the Campaign for the Future represents an important component of strengthening local and statewide economy: more industries and companies moving to the region, more college-educated professionals coming and staying, and a growing tax base that will bolster the city and the county for real, permanent growth and stability.
“The $4 million Campaign for the Future will move us toward our goal to be a global leader among polytechnic institutions with a clear recognition as industry’s university that is relied upon to develop highly-sought after graduates,” said President Naganathan. “This will help us excel with an impressive graduate success rate—currently 97 percent of graduates employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation—and supply the industry with professionals who are career ready at graduation. Oregon Tech’s high return on investment helps our graduates earn average starting salaries of $58,000 per year, a leadership position among higher education institutions.”
Early Success Indicator of Community Support
The Campaign for the Future has been met with impressive early support from donors and friends of Oregon Tech, with more than $3.37 million committed toward the $4 million goal. Early investment from alumni, friends and community partners include a significant commitment from longtime Oregon Tech supporters, the Wendt Family, which helped fulfill the match required as part of the bonding approval from the Oregon State Legislature for the new Engineering Complex.
The University continues to work on efforts to grow the pipeline of graduates addressing the workforce shortages of the State of Oregon and the nation. Together, these investments provide students with a truly distinctive experience that centers around an innovation ecosystem of entrepreneurial resources, modernized and integrated labs and facilities, exceptional faculty and professional mentors.
To learn more about how you can help support the Campaign for the Future, contact Tracy Ricketts, associate vice president for Development and Alumni Relations at 541-885-1118 or Tracy.Ricketts@oit.edu. The University will update supporters on campaign goals and progress through the campaign website at www.oit.edu/future.
About the Oregon Tech Foundation
The Oregon Tech Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes and funds the educational, cultural, charitable, and service functions of the Oregon Institute of Technology.