History of Oregon Institute of Technology

timelineUniversity History

Oregon Institute of Technology is the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. It has successfully evolved through several stages since its beginning in 1947 – first, as a vocational rehabilitation school for World War II veterans known as Oregon Vocational School; then as a regionally-accredited institution, known as Oregon Technical Institute, offering associate degree programs; then as a four-year technical school known as Oregon Institute of Technology.

For more than 70 years, Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) has focused on changing the lives of Oregonians by preparing them to meet the technical and management needs of business, industry and healthcare agencies, and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Individual programs also are accredited by the appropriate professional organizations. Today, Oregon Tech offers Bachelor of Science programs in engineering, health technologies, management, communication and the applied sciences. These include bachelor degree-completion programs offered online and over 20 bachelor and master programs that can be entirely completed at the Portland-Metro Campus (in Wilsonville). Oregon Tech also offers a number of associate degree programs, both online and in Salem, Oregon.

Historical Highlights

July 14, 1947 - Under the direction of Winston Purvine, the first classes at Oregon Vocational School (now Oregon Institute of Technology) were held in a deactivated World War II Marine Corps hospital three miles northeast of Klamath Falls.
1948 - Oregon Vocational School formally changed to Oregon Technical Institute.
1951 - KTEC radio went on the air.
1953 - Associate degree programs in the Surveying and Structural Engineering Technologies were first accredited by the Engineers' Council for Professional Development.
1956 - KOTI television opened on campus.
1957 - The institute was made a separate division of the State Board of Education and an engineering study was begun to determine whether to repair or rebuild the facilities.
1960 - The institute was transferred to the jurisdiction of the State Board of Higher Education.
1962 - The institute was accredited by the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools.
1964 - The campus moved to newly constructed buildings on a geothermal site overlooking Upper Klamath Lake.
1966 - The institute received authorization to grant bachelor's degrees.
1970 - Bachelor's degree programs first accredited by ABET.
1973 - Oregon Technical Institute formally changed to Oregon Institute of Technology.
1975 - Geo-Heat Center established.
1976 - Kenneth Light appointed President upon Purvine's retirement.
1979 - John F. Moehl Stadium was constructed.
1983 - Larry Blake appointed President and the Metro Center was established in Portland, OR.
1984 - Small Business Development Center established.
1988 - Portland Metro Center moved to its first permanent facilities on Southeast Harmony Road in Clackamas, OR.
1989 - State Board authorized Oregon Tech to grant master's degrees.
1991 - Lawrence J. Wolf appointed President.
1995 - First master's degree offered.
1998 - Martha Anne Dow appointed President.
2001 - Oregon Renewable Energy Center established in law by the Oregon legislature.
2008 - Christopher G. Maples appointed President.
2012 - Wilsonville Campus opens to consolidate metro locations.
2015 - Oregon Institute of Technology became an independent public body governed by its own Board of Trustees.
2017 - Nagi G. Naganathan appointed 7th President of Oregon Tech.