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 first president, Winston Purvine, the first classes at Oregon Vocational School were held in a deactivated World War II Marine Corps hospital three miles northeast of Klamath Falls.
1948 - In a vote by the State Board of Education, the University's name was changed to Oregon Technical Institute – also known as OTI or Oregon Tech.
1950 - 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 - Oregon Tech 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 - Oregon Tech was transferred to the jurisdiction of the State Board of Higher Education.
1962 - Oregon Tech was accredited by the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools.
1964 - Oregon Tech moved to its newly constructed campus on a geothermal site overlooking Upper Klamath Lake.
1966 - Oregon Tech received authorization to grant bachelor's degrees.
1970 - Bachelor's degree programs first accredited by ABET.
1973 - OTI name changed to Oregon Institute of Technology or OIT; Oregon Tech continues in use as well.
1975 - Geo-Heat Center established.
1976 - Kenneth Light appointed 2nd President of Oregon Tech upon Purvine's retirement.
1979 - John F. Moehl Stadium was constructed.
1983 - Larry Blake appointed 3rd President of Oregon Tech. Metro Center established in Portland, OR to offer in-demand degrees.
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 4th President of Oregon Tech.
1995 - First master's degree offered.
1998 - Martha Anne Dow appointed 5th President of Oregon Tech.
2001 - Oregon Renewable Energy Center established in law by the Oregon legislature.
2005 - Oregon Center for Health Professions established.
2008 - Christopher G. Maples appointed 6th President of Oregon Tech. Martha Anne Dow Center for Health Professions opens.
2012 - Oregon Tech's Portland-Metro presence expands with the opening of the Portland-Metro Campus and broadening of degree options.
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.

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