OSU Lending Expertise to P-20 Efforts in Central Oregon
Apr 24,2006 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

Oregon State University is partnering with multiple institutions in the Central Oregon region to help create a more seamless system linking all parts of the public education experience, from pre-school through graduate school.

Closer alignment of the “P-20” system has been a very public goal of Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski for some time. Last year, the governor visited Bend, home to the OSU-Cascades Campus, and expressed his support to facilitate a better system, including identifying an education liaison who would work with local leaders through OSU.

Serving in that liaison role in an interim capacity will be Sam Stern, dean of OSU's College of Education, who along with OSU President Ed Ray has been working closely with P-20 leaders in the Corvallis area through the Mid-Valley Partnership since 2004.

Stern has worked in education for more than three decades and has taught at the university, community college and secondary school levels. A recognized expert in creativity and its impact on businesses and schools, Stern is the author of the acclaimed 1998 book, “Corporate Creativity.”

He has served as OSU education dean for four years and has been a leader in education innovation, helping to develop the pioneering education double degree at OSU – a new approach to teacher education that is attracting talented students from throughout the university.

Stern will assist a Central Oregon coalition of educational and civic organizations already working on P-20 issues known as CORRECT (Central Oregon Regional Education Consortium Team). The group includes representatives from Central Oregon Community College, the City of Bend, OSU-Cascades Campus and local school districts.

“We share the governor’s commitment to the creation of a seamless P-20 system that focuses on student success and serves students and families better, and appreciate his commitment to Central Oregon,” said OSU President Ray. “In Sam Stern, we are putting forward our most knowledgeable and experienced leader to assist CORRECT and the leaders there who are already engaged in this work.”

“I'm very pleased with President Ray's leadership,” said Gov. Kulongoski. “By selecting Sam Stern as the interim coordinator, President Ray has chosen a person highly respected in the education community and with a solid record of helping communities work through new and innovative ideas.”

A search to identify a new staff member to serve as Ray’s special assistant for P-20 issues and the Cascades Campus identified several very capable individuals, but it was decided that there needs to be more discussion with Central Oregon partners to develop an agenda and timeline for progress for the Bend initiative. That dialogue will help develop a consensus regarding the role, responsibilities and reporting relationships for the P-20 liaison. Stern’s interim service will allow the university and its partners to keep the P-20 reform process moving forward.

About Oregon State University: OSU is one of only two U.S. universities designated a land grant, sea grant, space grant and sun grant institution. OSU is also Oregon’s largest public research university, garnering more than 60 percent of the total federal and private research funding in the Oregon University System. Its more than 19,000 students come from all 50 states and more than 80 countries. OSU programs touch every county within Oregon, and its faculty teach and conduct research on issues of national and global importance.