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Keynote Speakers

Dr. Edward J. Ray

Dr. Edward J. Ray became president of Oregon State University in July 2003. He received the 2013 CASE District VIII Leadership Award.

Under his leadership, OSU has completed and updated a visionary campus-wide strategic plan. Annual research awards and contracts have increased substantially and totaled nearly $263 million in fiscal year 2013. Dr. Ray and the OSU Foundation launched the university's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. The campaign total now exceeds $990 million, with a goal of $1 billion, and will close at the end of 2014.

Dr. Ray served on the NCAA Executive Committee from 2007 to 2012 and as chair from October 2009 to August 2012. He currently serves on the boards of AAC&U, ACE and the SMTI Commission of APLU, and recently served as chair of the PAC-12 CEO group.

Dr. Ray was a member of the economics faculty at Ohio State University from 1970 to 2003, serving as economics department chair from 1976 to 1992, receiving the Chairpersons' Recognition Award in 1989. He later served as an associate provost; senior vice provost, receiving the Ohio State University Distinguished Service Award in 2006; and, from 1998 to 2003, as executive vice president and provost. Dr. Ray graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Queens College. He earned his master's and doctorate degrees in economics from Stanford University.

Dr. Emile “Mel” Netzhammer

Mel Netzhammer is Washington State University Vancouver's second chancellor. He joined the university in July 2012 to grow the campus and deliver on its mission to increase the baccalaureate degree attainment rate in Southwest Washington.

Netzhammer previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Keene State College in New Hampshire. There he helped develop and implement an academic plan for the campus, and provided leadership for the accreditation process by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

In his new community, Netzhammer serves on the Columbia River Economic Development Council's Board of Directors, the STEM Governance Committee for Southwest Washington and on the Vancouver Public Schools' Management Advisory Task Force.

He also serves on the National Implementation Committee for the American Democracy Project. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities honored Netzhammer with the 2012 William Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement for advancing the civic learning of undergraduates through programs and activities that encourage greater knowledge, skills, experiences and reflection about the role of citizens in a democracy.

A native of New Orleans, Netzhammer earned his bachelor's degree in communication from Loyola University in New Orleans. He earned his master's degree in mass communication and Ph.D. in communication from the University of Utah.