White Papers

Strategic Positioning Concept Papers

The 13 topics for Strategic Positioning have been developed into concept papers for review in preparation for the Roundtable set for 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Please review these papers and provide feedback to the committee chairs before the Roundtable. Below, the full documents appear as PDFs. However, the recommendations from each paper also appear for a cursory glance at each committee's work.

Be prepared to discuss and provide feedback on the recommendations during the Roundtable. The topic committees have done excellent work to provide these first drafts for comment.

Martha Anne Dow

  • Topic I: Student Population; Terri Armstrong, chair

    Please direct your feedback to Terri Armstrong at terri.armstrong@oit.edu.


    Proceed with student recruitment as outlined in the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan.

    Provide a new on campus housing complex and/or renovate the current facility

    Support student retention efforts, such as learning communities and ACAD courses, while also conducting research to determine the most effective retention methods for OIT

    Recruit international students

    Provide a Director for International Students

    Support recruitment for Distance Ed: Degree Completion Programs, New Programs, Masters Degrees and Continuing education

    Support recruitment of military personnel in the healthcare fields

  • Topic II: Student Success; John Hancock, chair

    Please direct feedback to John Hancock atjohn.hancock@oit.edu.


    The Student Success Action Team recommends adoption of each of the above strategies and options.  To maximize student success in the next decade, OIT must:

    1.       Expand our benchmarks and improve our methodology for measuring student success.   We should commit to an understanding of student success as a comprehensive construct that encompasses the lifespan of a student from matriculation to graduation and then on to post-graduate alumni involvement and success. 

    2.       Improve the effectiveness, coordination, stability and consistency of student success initiatives.   

    3.       Improve students connections to the institution, its faculty and staff, and to other students. 

    4.       Improve the quality of technology available to students. 

    5.       Improve the academic readiness of our entering students.

    6.       Improve support systems related to students educational and career choices. 

    7.       Evaluate the use of alternative pricing strategies to promote student enrollment in courses that promote student development, retention and success. 

  • Topic II: Addendum

    White paper addendum, following Feb. 27 campuswide roundtable.

  • Topic III: Affordability; Anji Duchi & Tracey Lehman, co-chairs

    Please provide feedback to Anji Duchi and Tracey Lehman at anjela.duchi@oit.edu andtracey.lehman@oit.edu, respectively.


    While all strategic options are meritorious, this work group recommends options that align with student input on affordability as well as options discussed during open student, faculty, and staff meetings.  Students most frequently cited that OIT could help make their educations more affordable by lowering textbook prices, improving financial aid, and by better managing student fees.  This work group also feels that it is the institutions responsibility to help students navigate through their educational careers in the most efficient and affordable means possible.  To this end, this committee recommends the following options: 

    1.1               Reduce credit hour requirements for graduation to align with 180 credit OUS goal that includes re-examination of general education requirements as well as topics in the major curriculum requirements.

    1.2        Increase internship, co-op, and on/off campus student employment opportunities so they can earn while they learn. Expand undergraduate paid research opportunities as well as graduate paid research opportunities (as suggested in Applied Research paper).

    1.1               Educate prospective and current students and parents about how to finance an OIT education through the most cost effective means. Help parents understand the PLUS loan and how it works vs. a private lender loan. Discourage students from using private loans for non-academic purposes.  Encourage students and parents to utilize the Financial Aid Office for any alternative loan needs.

    3.1               Faculty and their departments can be mindful of the high cost of books by trying to select textbooks that can be used for more than one course, allowing older editions to be used concurrently in the course or by writing notes for the course in lieu of a textbook.   A book rental program (via the bookstore) or book sharing program for students could also be organized.

    4.1               Increase Foundation scholarships to strategically impact enrollment and student affordability

    4.2               Increase Need Based Fee Remissions to assist the neediest students

    Furthermore, this committee also recommends that the feasibility of Option 1.4 (revising current fee structure to be service based) be studied more thoroughly.  While it is a high priority for students to pay reduced fees, it is also a high priority for OIT to help its students be successful.  Revising the current fee structure to be sensitive to student need is recommended.  This includes both students who need health services but cannot afford them (on an actual cost basis) as well as students who pay fees but dont utilize services. 

  • Topic III: Addendum

    White paper addendum, following Feb. 27 campuswide roundtable.

  • Topic IV: Academic Programs and Outreach; Mark Clark, chair

    Please provide your feedback to Mark Clark atmark.clark@oit.edu.


    1) Change OITs mission statement to read Provide degree programs that enable graduates to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for professional success.

    2) Encourage the development of new academic programs, including Masters degrees, to meet marketplace needs. Ensure that all new academic programs, including new Masters degrees, fit within OITs mission (as expressed in our mission and vision statements).  New programs should, if possible, support the missions of the Center for Health Professions and theOregon Renewable Energy Center.

    3) Review all existing programs with respect to their support of OITs mission (as expressed in our mission and vision statements) and recommend alteration or elimination of programs that do not support OITs mission.

    4) Consider the unique needs of OIT programs, such as hands-on education, during planning for distance delivery.

    5) Include online teaching in faculty teaching loads when and where it is appropriate for program delivery, and develop a mechanism to compensate faculty for in-load online class content development.

  • Topic IV: Addendum

    White paper addendum, following Feb. 27 campuswide roundtable.

  • Topic V: Integration of Academic Programs; Jim Long, chair

    Please direct your feedback to Jim Long atjames.long@oit.edu.


    Integration of a new college into the existing college is a difficult task at best. In interest of the path of least resistance, the recommendation is to approach Option 3 as a viable direction in the integration of a project based education model into OIT. The third option provides a separate structure for implementation of a project based college allowing the least impact on existing programs while providing the entire university benefits of integrated applied research project support.  The IPC will require five elements:

    1.       College Administration This element will provide continuity for the IPC. The administration will:

    a.       Oversee college operations

    b.       Attend to project acquisition, sustenance, and maintenance

    c.       Act as an industry liaison

    d.       Oversee faculty and student involvement

    2.       Project College Board This element will provide oversight from a faculty perspective. It will be made up of faculty members involved in the IPC projects, acting as representatives of their sponsoring departments. The college board will:

    a.       Oversee faculty participation

    b.       Oversee student participation

    c.       Define and oversee execution of articulation agreements between the IPC and the traditional programs at OIT

    The Project College Board will act as the interface point between the classic college structure at OIT and the IPC college activity. Board membership will change as projects and faculty involvement changes.

    3.       Faculty Members These are the faculty members actively involved in a large scale project. Faculty members will be from multiple disciplines. Each faculty member will also be actively involved in a primary department. The faculty members will represent their primary department in the IPC and represent their project of involvement in their primary department. The faculty members will also act as advocates for students involved in IPC based projects. Faculty members will define and oversee student work. They will work with their primary departments to define course credit on behalf to students they are mentoring.

    4.       Students These are the students working on the large scale projects. Students can become involved at any point in their college career. Students will work directly with faculty members involved in the projects to define credit tracks, project outcome, and timelines for producing project deliverables. Students will also mentor younger students in working on the project.

    5.       Project The central aspect of the project based college is a driving project around which the educational subjects will revolve. The project will be large scale, multi-year, multi-disciplinary, requiring involvement from industry and external funding.

  • Topic V: Addendum

    White paper addendum, following Feb. 27 campuswide roundtable.

  • Topic VI: Applied Research; Joe Sarsenski, chair

    Please direct your feedback to Joe Sarsenski at joseph.sarsenski@oit.edu.


    As stated previously, the Action Team strongly believes applied research at OIT is a necessity not an option, but the growth of research efforts is hampered by a lack of available funds and flexible policies that encourage research.  Section 4.2. Alternatives contains descriptions of four approaches to the successful development of a university-supported applied research program.  We do not believe it prudent to select one or two of these approaches. Rather, we recommend a mix of all four, implemented to maximize return on investment.  Additionally, we recommend that current policies and organizational structures be expanded to better encourage applied research.

    It is our belief the following specific recommendations should be implemented to resolve the stated issues.

    1.       A standing Research Council comprised of senior faculty and staff should be appointed to advise the administration in the areas of organizational structure, policy development, intellectual property, and fiscal incentives, all designed to encourage the growth of applied research at OIT.

    2.       An Office of Sponsored Research, with a paid, full-time director reporting to the Provost should be created.  The Research Council should provide oversight for the Director of Sponsored Research.

    3.       The Research Council should also encourage the creation of centers of excellence and should develop procedures and criteria for naming and assigning responsibilities to such centers

    4.       At least $100,000 per year should be dedicated within the Office of the Provost to activities that directly encourage faculty research.

    5.       The Research Council and Office of Sponsored Research should work closely with University Advancement to ensure all grantsmanship has the single goal of improving the fiscal viability and academic credibility of OIT.

    6.       More flexible policies on tenure, promotion, and annual performance reviews should be developed to recognize both applied research and currently acceptable efforts in professional development.

    7.       No new organizational structures, policies, and financial incentives should diminish support for, or encouragement of, existing faculty performance criteria in teaching excellence, professional development as currently defined, and service.

    8.       Growth in applied research activities at OIT should take full advantage of existing industry and agency partnerships and should lead to the expansion of existing partnerships and the development of new ones (see Topic 10 Partnerships).

  • Topic VI: Addendum

    White paper addendum, following Feb. 27 campuswide roundtable.

  • Topic VII: Globalization; Mark Clark, chair

    Please provide your feedback to Mark Clark atmark.clark@oit.edu.


    The primary recommendation of the committee is that exposure to global issues and cultures is essential for the future success of OIT students, and that OIT should make exposure to global issues and culture a high priority in future program development. 

    To accomplish this, the committee recommends that the following items be implemented:

    1) Appointment of a Director of International Affairs with responsibilities for coordinating all international programs at OIT.  The Director would initially be a faculty member or administrator with release time, with the goal of a full-time director in the future when duties and responsibilities warrant.

    2) Creation of a support structure (formal and informal) for international students, including visa assistance and ESL instruction.  This would include the recruitment of a staff person with specialized expertise in obtaining visas, advising, and other issue related to international students, and the ability to create and maintain informal contacts with international students.

    3) Review of all OIT curricula resulting in the inclusion of appropriate formal coursework in global issues (both in general education and in major classes), with a focus on using technology such as web conferencing to create more student and faculty exposure to other cultures.  This review should include consideration of expanding opportunities for instruction in foreign languages for OIT students.

    4) Creation of scholarships to assist students in studying abroad and to assist international students coming to OIT.

    5) Expansion of opportunities for faculty to work and study abroad

    6) Explore opportunities for cooperation in the recruitment of international students with other OUS schools, particularly Southern Oregon University.

  • Topic VII: Addendum

    White paper addendum, following Feb. 27 campuswide roundtable.

  • Topic VIII: Sustainability; Joe Stuart, chair

    Please direct feedback to Joe Stuart atjoe.stuart@oit.edu.


    Three general recommendations summarize the above. All three recommendations have associated financial costs, but they alsindustry technologyo represent opportunities for reducing the institutions operating costs, attracting public recognition and students, and acting with environmental responsibility.

    1.       Develop campus operations that utilize and model the greatest degree of sustainability possible. Continue with current upgrades, and make sustainability a priority in further construction and grounds-keeping. Develop geothermal electric generation capacity on campus, making OIT very likely the first off-the-grid campus in the country. Reduce consumption and waste, and maximize recycling.

    2.       Make sustainability an educational priority that will evolve sustainability to a common mindset. Incorporate it into the OIT mission statement and create an Institutional Student Learning Outcome that addresses sustainability. Continue to strengthen the Renewable Energy Systems and Environmental Science programs, and go forth with the development of an honors college with a strong emphasis in sustainability.

    3.       Establish a sustainability entity on campus. The roles of this person or entity would be to (a) coordinate sustainability efforts between various groups on campus and (b) raise both internal and external awareness of what the institution is doing in the area of sustainability. 

    The first two recommendations above would strengthen OITs long-term fiscal and academic positions. It is imperative that OIT leverage those items to raise the visibility of the institution for the purposes of attracting funding and students. This would be accomplished through marketing done by the coordinator or office that the third item above addresses. 

  • Topic IX: State-of-the-Industry Technology; Andy Abbott, chair

    Please provide your feedback to Andy Abbott at andrew.abbott@oit.edu.


    All of the strategies and options listed above are viable and important at OIT, but the committee would like to particularly highlight the following long-term strategic goals.

    Learning/Information Technologies:Create an innovative, technologically advanced, comprehensive learning environment campus-wide on all campuses.

    Flexible, technology-enabled classrooms and other spaces

    Virtual learning spaces integrated into mainstream

    Student use of portable, wireless devices

    Funding:  Establish and keep a dedicated budget for technology replacement on a regular cycle, via leasing, base budget capital funding and opportunistic grants and gifts.

    Institutional management:  Keep faculty and other voices on campus engaged with these strategies as they become a reality.

  • Topic IX: Addendum

    White paper addendum, following Feb. 27 campuswide roundtable.

  • Topic X: Partnerships; Shelby Wilsdon, chair

    Please direct feedback to Shelby Wilsdon atshelby.wilsdon@oit.edu.


    The following are recommendations for consideration when partnerships are being deliberated:

    1)  Before a partnership is approved, or sought, it should be determined the project meets OITs current mission and goals to assure campus resources are spent in a value added manner.  The committee is unsure how this vetting of partnerships is done at this current time. How do we recognize, in the bigger picture, which partnerships we should be pursuing?  Could departments share their needs with one another to leverage resources? 

    2)  OIT should consider creating a central clearinghouse for partnership projects to pass through.  This clearinghouse would have an in-house expert who could help any participant in the legal issues, paperwork processing, or accessing support for the partnership.  This clearinghouse site would have campus-wide knowledge of all projects in progress with the ability to point the partnership creator towards others on campus who may be working on similar projects; or where their in-process projects could intertwine and support one other through shared staff and knowledge.  The intent is to build symbiotic relationships on campus and to share resources.

    3)      House OIT grant-writers or grant processors together under one organization.  Currently, Institutional Advancement has a grant-writer, with the Provost Office leaning towards another grant focused individual.  Having a grant or partnership office would help to clear up confusion about where one should go for assistance.   The committee is concerned that having several grant related individuals on campus and its confusion about where an individual goes for assistance.  The confusion wont be for lack of great ideas, but because the individual does not know where to check for aid.  And, while OIT is looking to have two grant related positions on campus, neither arena is poised to help grant or partnership ideas for those who are neither academic nor related to institutional advancement funding.  That means not all staff on campus are represented with someone to aide them.  (Cross Reference with Applied Research)

    4)      OIT has a large assembly of staff with high levels of skills and experience.  An accessible data bank could be created for categorizing and housing this information to allow others the ability to find certain experiences or skills in support of their partnerships.   

    5)      The existing summer productivity grant program should be built upon as a means of establishing or enhancing OIT partnerships. Publicizing the activities planned or resulting from this program to a wider campus community could create a synergy with other projects.  Applied research is one area where this approach could be particularly profitable. (Reference Applied Research Strategies)

  • Topic X: Addendum

    White paper addendum, following Feb. 27 campuswide roundtable.

  • Topic XI: Alumni Engagement; Cheri Daily, chair

    Please direct your feedback to Cheri Daily atcheri.daily@oit.edu.


    1) Create a consistent interface for the solicitation and stewardship of corporate opportunities and partnerships through our alumni relationship. 

    2) Foster an awareness of the opportunities and responsibilities of being an alumnus early and consistently throughout the student experience at OIT.

    3)  Make alumni engagement and stewardship an integral part of each academic departments responsibilitiesin partnership with Alumni Relations and Advancement.  Create and support a clear process for moving people from students through stages of alumni engagement.  Note:  this recommendation is not to shift any responsibility from Alumni Relations, but to acknowledge the primacy of the alumnus relationship with his/her department. 

  • Topic XII: Recognition, University Image, Brand, Reputation; Marla Miller, chair

    Please provide feedback to Marla Miller atmarla.miller@oit.edu.


    To truly move into an era where OIT enjoys enhanced name recognition, image, branding and reputation, the university must create an executive-level marketing position to serve as the responsibility center for all marketing efforts. This individual must be empowered with authority to match the responsibility and a stable budget to accomplish goals outlined in a marketing plan.

    Once the position is filled, the marketing professional will need to assess the environment and create a comprehensive marketing plan. This plan must include efforts for all departments, campus locations, centers of excellence and provide a means for connection between constituent groups.

    This concept paper is a macro view of the institutions current situation and what must be done to move forward. It will become the marketing professionals responsibility to take a micro view of the institutional elements that will lend themselves to improved recognition, image, brand awareness and reputation.

  • Topic XII: Addendum

    White paper addendum, following Feb. 27 campuswide roundtable.

  • Topic XIII: Fiscal Viability; Tim Thompson, chair

    Please direct your feedback to Tim Thompson at timothy.thompson@oit.edu.


    OIT should move quickly to a formal mixed academic model that allows for increased revenue streams.

    OIT should redefine and expand the charges and responsibilities of the current Fiscal Operations Advisory Committee.

    OIT should decentralize and restructure fiscal authority and accountability.

    OIT should define a strategic approach to allocating and managing reserves, which includes designated funds for strategic growth and development.

    Procedures for generating new sources of revenue should also consider the fiscal liabilities of such endeavors.

    Efficient methods for educational delivery should be adopted while preserving academic quality.