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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 Board of Trustees approve 8% tuition increase for 2017-18, will lower if state funding exceeds Governor’s budget

by User Not Found | May 08, 2017
Oregon Tech will reduce its base tuition by 1 percent from its proposed level for every additional $20 million above the Governor’s budget, to a floor of 4 percent

At today’s meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech), members approved the recommendation of its Executive Committee and unanimously voted to increase resident base tuition rates for the 2017-18 academic year by 8 percent. Nonresident undergraduate tuition will also increase by 8 percent, and graduate tuition by 6 percent. This tuition increase was supported by the Associated Students of Oregon Institution of Technology (ASOIT) student government as well as faculty leaders.

Oregon Tech’s president, Dr. Nagi Naganathan said, “The consideration of any tuition increase affects our current and future students, so we don’t take this lightly. I am proud of the transparent and thoughtful process that our Tuition Recommendation Committee engaged in and the input and discussion of this group, which includes students, faculty and staff. Our student leaders recognize the need for an increase now, and hence, are supportive of the proposed increases. They have also expressed their appreciation of the university’s willingness to share in the increase in costs so the entire burden does not fall on the students.”

Vice president for Finance and Administration, Brian Fox, described the factors that the Tuition Recommendation Committee considered in setting the tuition rates. He noted that there are a number of costs borne by the university over which Oregon Tech has no control. These include increases in employee pension and healthcare costs through PERS and PEBB, which the public universities are currently obligated by the state to participate in for their employees; and the staff contract which defines pay levels across all public universities in Oregon. Decreases in state funding are also a major factor in tuition setting, with the long term trend showing a dramatic shift over the last few decades, with students having to bear more and more of the cost of higher education in Oregon, and specifically at Oregon Tech.

Fox noted that the tuition recommendation is based on the assumption of $667 million in funding for public higher education in Oregon, which is the level of the Governor’s Recommended Budget. Should the legislature provide funding above this amount, Oregon Tech will reduce its base tuition by 1 percent from its proposed level for every additional $20 million above the Governor’s budget, to a floor of 4 percent. Oregon Tech’s focus is on making investments in new faculty for in-demand, high growth majors, medical simulation equipment, as well as engineering and IT systems. Importantly, Oregon Tech will protect program quality and students, with a 10% increase to the pool of scholarship support to help low income students and those who are close to completion. Oregon Tech will balance tuition increases with spending out of its reserves as well as targeted reductions and efficiency improvements. Oregon Tech will continue its investment in enhanced student support services and retention specialists focused on at-risk students.

“Of course no one wants a tuition increase, but we believe in the value of an Oregon Tech degree and so do our students,” said Fox. “Our success rates of 95% and average starting salaries of $56,000 a year are because Oregon Tech’s in-demand graduates are prepared for professional practice and ready to contribute on Day One. When you do the math, students easily end up paying more if courses and class sections are limited and they spend more time and money in school, borrow more, and lose income from not being in the workforce. Every additional term is about $2,700 in tuition costs, and that’s more expensive than the $600 annual tuition increase the Board approved, while assuring the right kind of investments to benefit our students.”

For any tuition increases over 5 percent, the public universities must present their Board's recommendation and rationale for the increase to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission; Oregon Tech and other universities are presenting on May 10 to commissioners for this last step in the approval process.