Dear OSU faculty and staff,

I write with an update of OSU’s second week of fall term activities involving COVID-19 and other university activities and matters.

Winter Term 2021. Per President Alexander’s message earlier today, the Corvallis campus will continue providing instruction primarily through remote modalities through winter term.

Expanded Residence Hall Testing. As we shared last Wednesday, wastewater surveillance detected the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19 in Sackett Hall on the Corvallis campus and the OSU-affiliated GEM apartments located off campus. In response to those results, TRACE OSU conducted rapid diagnostic testing of students residing in those buildings. There were no positive test results among the students living in those buildings who participated in testing. We continue to investigate the link between the wastewater results and the presence of the virus in these buildings so as to inform our continued wastewater surveillance, diagnostic testing protocols and operational plans.

Please Support Contact Tracing. I ask that all university faculty, staff and students cooperate with local contract tracing efforts by county public health departments.

You may know that Gov. Kate Brown has placed Benton County on the state’s “Watch List,” along with two other Oregon counties. She took this step citing the number of recent COVID-19 cases in which county public health officials were not able to trace the virus to a specific source. Being on the state’s Watch List will prioritize the county for additional state support and resources, including technical assistance and contact tracing.

Contact tracing is critical to containing the spread of the virus. If you test positive, please answer the call from contact tracers and provide the names and contact information of those you have been in close contact with over the last several days. Also, follow all public health guidance if you have been in close contact with someone who is infected. Along with helping to stop the spread of the virus, contact tracers provide valuable personal health support and information. So please remember: answer the call.

Election Season Planning. Colleges and universities nationwide are working hard to provide for education, support for diverse voices and views, and safety during this election season. OSU is no different. A team of university administrators, faculty, staff and students on the Corvallis and OSU-Cascades campuses will help carry out customary voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities, educational programming, and spaces for healthy dialogue. To learn more or become involved in these activities, please contact Dan Larson, vice provost for student affairs, by writing [email protected].

Childcare and Family Support Programming. The Little Beavs Child Care on the OSU-Cascades campus will launch Monday, Oct. 12. This temporary, short-term child care service will allow student parents to leave a child in care while they attend a class and manage their daily lives. Applications are available here, with more information available here.

Beaver Beginnings Child Care Center and Azalea Child Care Center on the Corvallis campus have re-opened. Both centers typically carry a waitlist. However, due to some families foregoing group care at this time, slots open up from time to time. Please contact Corvallis campus child care providers, Bright Horizons and KinderCare, regarding any possible openings. Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about our campus full time child care programs, Visit

On the Corvallis campus, the Our Little Village (OLV) short-term reservable campus childcare program is opening on Monday, Oct. 12. OLV|Milne is scheduled to open soon  contingent on Milne Hall building renovation. For information about short-term high quality child and youth care, go to For questions on Our Little Village, please contact Kristi King at [email protected].

Beaver Family Connections and ElderCare Connections – child and dependent care support and outreach programs provided by the Family Resource Center -- will begin soon for all OSU employees. For more information about these two programs and the 2020-21 schedule, please contact Robynn Pease at [email protected] or visit this website:

This Week: Celebrating Scholarship – Oct. 5-9

A series of celebrations of scholarly accomplishments of our faculty will be held this week, including lectures by two Distinguished Professors and presentation of the Authors and Editors series. Registration information for each of the events is included below. All events will be held via zoom.

2020 Distinguished Professor Lectures – Tuesday and Wednesday

  1. Oct. 6, 5 p.m.: David Williams, Distinguished Professor and Helen P. Rumbel Professor for Cancer Prevention, will present Eat-Live Eat-Die: Carcinogens and Anti-Carcinogens in Food. Registration
  2. Oct 7. 5 p.m.: Yuji Hiratsuka, Distinguished Professor of Art, will present The Art of Print Making: Process and Content. Registration

Authors and Editors Series – Monday, Thursday and Friday

  1. Oct. 5, 4:30 p.m.: A program centered on the theme of inequality, featuring authors George Estreich for Fables and Futures: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves; Allison Hurst for Amplified Advantage: Going to a “Good” College in an Era of Inequality; Kelsey Kretschmer for Fighting for NOW: Diversity and Discord in the National Organization for Women; and Rena Lauer for Colonial Justice and the Jews of Venetian Crete. Registration
  2. Oct. 8, 4:30 p.m.: A focus on the environment featuring authors Randy Bell for contributions to the series National Geographic: Exploring Science; Will White for Population Dynamics for Conservation; Tim Jensen for Ecologies of Guilt in Environmental Rhetorics; and Judy Li for Ricky in the City: Where the Wildlife Live. Registration
  3. Oct. 9, 4:30 p.m.: A program centered on family, law and politics featuring authors Scott Akins for In the Weeds: Demonization, Legalization, and the Evolution of U.S. Marijuana Policy; Courtney Campbell for Bearing Witness: Religious Meanings in Bioethics; Kirsi Peltomaki for Public Knowledge: Selected Writings by Michael Asher; and Keith Scribner for Old Newgate Road. Registration

Please join me at these events and in congratulating these well-deserved colleagues.

Have a great week.



Edward Feser
Provost and Executive Vice President

October 5, 2020