Oregon State looks to mend ties with community

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 25, 2014 at 3:31 p.m.



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CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State University is spending a third of a million dollars a year on new positions aimed at mending relations with campus neighbors.

The final hire is Jonathan Stoll, 32, who worked most recently in the diversity office at California State University, East Bay, The Corvallis Gazette-Times reported (http://bit.ly/1pO5k6M ).

His job is so new, the paper reports, that school documents have varying descriptions: community relations director, community outreach town and gown, Corvallis community outreach director.

An effort called Collaboration Corvallis is trying to improve relations among the school, students and the surrounding community over issues such as parking and partying. Town-gown relations have grown strained in recent years as the university has grown.

Stoll is the third staff member hired, university Vice President Steve Clark said. Others are in student conduct and Greek life. Clark says that including two graduate research assistants, the school is spending $340,000 a year on the positions.

"I want to encourage and educate our students about what it means to be a good neighbor," Stoll told an apartment managers group Tuesday at the local Elks Lodge.

It took three searches to fill Stoll's position, Clark said. The first failed to yield a suitable candidate, and a second faltered because the compensation package and job description weren't strong enough to attract the right people, he said.

Stoll's work will advance the university's goal of "creating an environment where students engage in productive and civil behaviors both on and off campus," he said.

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Information from: Gazette-Times, http://www.gtconnect.com

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