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A new leader and advocate for the arts and humanities on campus

Philip J. Williams, an experienced political scientist in Latin American studies, will succeed Larry Rodgers as dean of OSU’s College of Liberal Arts

Oregon State University’s College of Liberal Arts (CLA) is pleased to announce that Philip J. Williams will become the college’s new dean beginning fall term 2024. He will also hold an appointment as professor of political science in CLA’s School of Public Policy. Dr. Williams arrives from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts for the past five years.

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CLA Leadership

The College of Liberal Arts 2023-2028 Strategic Plan

The College of Liberal Arts builds a richer, more creative tomorrow through the rigorous study of human history, human expression, and the human mind. In the next five years, we will pivot towards the knowledge economies of the future.

Today's students will chart their professional paths in a wider variety of fields than ever before, including many that don't yet exist. They seek an education that universities of the past could not have envisioned. We must meet their aspirations. CLA will be a bridge-builder, elevating collaborative opportunities and amplifying the visibility of innovative research and creative work.

We will integrate the arts in research disciplines across the University. We will create globally-relevant opportunities for all students, including those who cannot physically travel abroad. We will prioritize new technologies and pathways for student learning. The College of Liberal Arts will lead Oregon State University as a model of higher education for the public good.

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The right size for your education
The College of Liberal Arts is the proud academic home of 5,026 students. With 1 faculty member for every 15 undergraduate students, you'll receive a personalized education paired with a robust liberal arts college experience.



World Class Instruction
Our dynamic, intellectual community of 336 expert faculty tackle the world’s biggest issues from social justice to food insecurity. They conduct symphonies and design in virtual reality. They study the past to forge solutions for the future.

4-Year Graduation Guarantee
CLA is the only college at Oregon State that guarantees you'll graduate in 4 years. Our graduates go on to successful careers in medicine, technology, the arts, media, law, policy, education, business and more. Your path is wide open.


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Faculty Focus

Ethnic studies professor Patricia Fifita fosters community of knowledge and connection for OSU students

After years of academic research across the Pacific Islands in ethnobotany, medical and environmental anthropology, Patricia Fifita now teaches ethnic studies at OSU, using her unique academic experience to connect with students.

Patricia Fifita, assistant professor in ethnic studies, has been a part of the liberal arts faculty at OSU since 2018, and joined the ethnic studies faculty as a tenure-track professor in 2021 as a part of the Indigenous Studies cluster hire. Fifita uses her extensive experience in Indigenous and Pacific Islander studies, medical and environmental anthropology, and ethnobotany to build a safe space for Indigenous histories and stories to be shared. read more >


With 290 faculty members, the College of Liberal Arts has the collective experience to guide our students to greatness.

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donation innovation

Visionary Donations Funding our Future: PRAx

“The Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts will serve as a unique and dynamic education and performance center and will be a showcase destination for the visual, musical, theater and cultural arts for students, faculty, campus visitors and Oregonians,” said Larry Rodgers, dean of OSU’s College of Liberal Arts.

A lead gift of $25 million for the complex has been provided by Patricia Reser. Additional gifts include a $2 million commitment from the family of the late Lynne Detrick of West Linn to build a new 500-seat concert hall to offer a high-caliber venue for both listeners and performers, Rodgers said. The OSU Foundation continues to seek philanthropic support for the center, and OSU will also seek state bonding from the 2020 Oregon Legislature to help support the project. read more >

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Arts Entertainment Complex