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I was shocked to hear about the unprofessionalism of the Oregon State University’s chemical engineering department. Two instructors at the doctorate level were dismissed at the end of April with no particular reason given. Professional courtesy alone would mandate some earlier warning because it requires time and energy to look for a new job, particularly during a pandemic. It would appear that these two were dismissed as casually as fast food employees. Does the university want the reputation of being callous and capricious? This doesn’t sound like “best practices."

When you add to this that these two had widespread student support, private industry experience, and had received positive reviews, I am even further confused.

My son and I both graduated from OSU. I want to continue to regard OSU as a great school that has a lot to offer and treats people well and fairly. When I read about the engineering school and find awards for acceptance and advancement of women in engineering professions (Rodney D. Chipp Award for Dean Scott Ashford), and excellence in diversity (HEED award), I am proud of OSU for being so progressive. The dismissal action seems counter to that progress, and what happened seems like an error that needs to be rectified. I hope to hear that it has been in the near future.


Marion Thenell

Retired teacher, Corvallis community member

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