Russ Karow, former head of Oregon State University’s Crop and Soil Science Department, has accepted a position as the next executive director of the OSU Agricultural Research Foundation.
Karow is in line to replace Kelvin Koong, who is stepping down June 30 from the position he has held since September of 2011.
Phil Walker, president of the foundation, said the organization’s personnel committee identified Karow as its top candidate early in the hiring process.
“We had a couple of interviews with Russ and the more we talked to him, the better it looked,” Walker said.
“Russ is a veteran administrator with proven people skills and strong ties to the Oregon State University community,” Walker said. “We just thought he was the best choice for the job.”
Karow retired as head of the Crop and Soil Science Department last fall.
His hiring is pending formal approval by the foundation’s board of directors, which will meet in March. Walker said the board has been consulted throughout the hiring process and to date has been supportive of the personnel committee’s selection. Because of that, he expects the board to endorse the committee’s selection.
“We’ve had no objections from anyone at this point,” Walker said.
The part-time executive director post is one of three staff positions at the foundation. The other two, office manager and manager of finance and research, are full-time positions.
The foundation, which was established in 1934, provides custodial services for research funds by accepting targeted grants from nonprofit organizations, including commodity commissions, and distributing the funds to researchers. In addition, the foundation accepts gifts toward research. It also distributes about $400,000 annually to researchers in competitive grants — funds it accrues through investments.