Oregon Tech welcomes President Nagi G. Naganathan
Dr. Nagi G. Naganathan replaces interim president, Jay Kenton, as Oregon Tech's seventh president. Naganathan was selected by the Board of Trustees on November 16, 2016, after a nation-wide search.
President Naganathan's first day on the job was April 3, 2017. Naganathan says higher education is important to him and his personal mission. Being the youngest of nine children from a small town in India, Naganathan credits higher education as a life changing, and "would like to give back and touch thousands of students with it [higher education]."
Naganathan chose Klamath Falls and Oregon Tech for many reasons.
"I admired the student focus here," and sees the opportunity to work closely with students to ensure continued student success. Naganathan says Oregon Tech is "committed to experiential learning, and we are looking at avenues to improve opportunities for our students."
Naganathan is hoping that with the student, staff, and faculty planning initiatives being taken now, any proposed changes will benefit student life and success within the next 15 months. Naganathan plans for Oregon Tech to begin building a brand for better marketing of the Klamath Falls' campus.
"There is a lot of people that don't know what Oregon tech does," says Naganathan. With plans to work on creating stronger partnerships between Oregon Tech and the surrounding areas,
Naganathan wants to ensure the growth of the Klamath Falls campus to give students more options.
"This could be improving our student services area or creating other social life opportunities for our students." Says Naganathan. "We have already begun to engage members of the community."
Another long term goal Naganathan proposes is to "work on a larger percentage of our students becoming graduates. We have to do a better job in terms of our graduation rates and our retention rates." Oregon Tech's student success rate is 98%, but this does not account for the students that do not make it to graduation.
Naganathan wants to see more of the students who enroll at Oregon Tech stay at Oregon Tech and do well. Naganathan attributes student advancement to "creating a mindset of success. It is one thing know your stuff, it is another to know that you know your stuff."
There are opportunities to interact directly with the President. Naganathan recently attended the Super Club Sign up as well as met with student officers. Naganathan wants input from the students at Oregon tech and is trying to schedule as many opportunities to meet with a diverse range of students around his other commitments. Naganathan wants to remain accessible to students, claiming:
"The real purpose is to hear from our students."