Rebecca Johnson Is the First Woman to Lead Oregon State University

The board of trustees of Oregon State University has named Rebecca Johnson as interim president. She will assume her new duties on May 1. Dr. Johnson will be the leader of the state’s largest university for approximately a year or until a permanent president is in office. She first woman to lead the university.

Dr. Johnson has served as vice president of OSU-Cascades since 2009. She joined OSU in 1984 as an assistant professor in the College of Forestry.

“I am very excited and grateful to be selected as Oregon State University’s interim president, and look forward to working to help advance the priorities of the university and address the needs of the OSU community,” Dr. Johnson said. “We must find ways to expand access to higher education for all qualified students, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We must diversify our faculty and staff, not only as role models for our students, but because diversity builds strength. We must grow and diversify our research that addresses the most pressing issues, including climate change, public health, systemic racism, and economic inequality.”

Dr. Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she played on the basketball and golf teams. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Michigan State University.

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