Commerce instruction, as Business courses were called at the time, was offered at Oregon State University from the time of its founding in 1868, and the first Commerce professorship was established in 1880. In 1898 a two-year curriculum was established, which expanded to a four- year curriculum when the Department of Commerce was established at OSU in 1900, the 11th in the United States and the first in the Pacific Northwest. In 1908, the School of Commerce was established as a professional school with John Andrew Bexell, A.M., as Dean. Bexell Hall, constructed in 1922 as the new Commerce Hall, was named after him. Bexell served as Dean until 1932, when the School of Commerce was transferred to the University of Oregon. All that remained at Oregon State was the Secretarial Science curriculum which was reduced to a lower division, non-degree granting status.
By 1943, a degree curriculum of Business Administration was restored at Oregon State, and the Division of Business and Industry was established in 1945. The division was changed in 1947- 1948 to the School of Business and Technology with Clifford E. Maser as Dean. In 1960, the School of Business and Technology became a fully accredited member of the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business, and a Masters of Business Administration degree was authorized by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education in 1965. In 1983, the name was changed to the College of Business.
Clifford E. Maser served as Dean from 1947 to 1966. During that time period he became renown as an expert on the refugee situation in Europe, and the threat of communism in the world. He gave speeches extensively across the western part of the U.S. at high school programs, commencements, conferences, workshops and annual meetings on these subjects. Most of the records in the first reel relate to those speeches.
After Maser's retirement, Earl Goddard became Dean, a position he held until 1983. He was replaced by Lynn Spruill, who served as Dean from 1984 to 1990. The present dean, Donald F. Parker, has held that position since 1991.
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