Representing Students

Brett Morgan is the student voice on the Board of Trustees

morganBrett Morgan took a deep breath and headed into his first meeting last fall as the student member on the Oregon State University Board of Trustees.

Morgan, a junior, had read the profiles of his fellow board members, 14 people who have had successful careers in business, law, higher education and other fields longer than he’s been alive. The representative of 30,592 students in Corvallis, Bend, Newport and online, he wanted to do his best as a member of the university’s governing board.

Any nervousness Morgan had was quickly dispelled as the board got down to business. The student member has the same speaking and voting rights as every other trustee, and Morgan’s fellow trustees made him feel welcomed and valued.

“They ask a lot of questions to try to gain my insight and perspective,” Morgan says. “They really want to hear what I think and what it’s like to be a student.
I think the board really respects the student seat.”

Appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to serve through June 2017, Morgan believes he’s a good fit for the board because he’s a typical Oregon State student. He works hard in class, participates in extracurricular activities on campus, and in his spare time, he enjoys hiking or binge-watching his favorite TV shows.

Morgan is double-majoring in economics in the College of Liberal Arts and in environmental sciences with a policy option in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. The two majors mean Morgan can study hard science in one class and then discuss the same topics in a much more theoretical or policy sense in the next. After college, he wants to influence environmental policy working for a government agency, nonprofit or think tank.

Morgan says his service on the board of trustees is teaching him how to make decisions in the real world.

“Sometimes there’s not one right or wrong answer,” he says. “It’s about picking the best option for the people you’re representing and for the university.”

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