Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Several figures from Portland's creative ecosystem have approached the OCAC board about possible options. Architect Stuart Emmons has drafted a proposal for keeping the college open, and has spent the last few weeks talking to funders about the major gifts that would be needed to preserve degree programs.

KELLY EGAN/COURTESY OF KELLY EGAN - A February 20 protest aimed at getting the OCAC board's attention for the concerns of students and alumni.A group of alumni and other supporters of Oregon College of Art and Craft have formed a nonprofit group with a goal of saving the college's accredited degree program. The college, part of a 112-year-old institution that also offers community classes, announced it's ending academic operations this spring.

Kelly Egan, a member of the Save OCAC, is on schedule to finish her degree in May, part of what could be the college's last graduating class. She says there might be several paths forward. The group's primary hope is a fundraising campaign to make the college whole. If that can't be accomplished, she says the group feels a second-best option would involve selling the campus to a friendly developer who might lease the land back to the college for a nominal fee.

"What we don't want to see happen," Egan says, "is to have some outside entity come in, take over the land in some other name, and get rid of the buildings and the programs and just destroy what has been part of the Portland community for 112 years."

Egan says a Feb. 20 protest designed to reach out directly to the OCAC board might be the first of several such actions. She says the group would not rule out legal action to stop the closure, if the necessary funds can be raised. She adds that several parties concerned with how the board's process has been conducted have complained to the Oregon Attorney General's office.

OCAC's board indicated earlier this month the school's forested campus will be sold to finance the last few months of classes. Operational costs have been challenging. The school's enrollment is fewer than 150 students, and several rounds of merger talks with PNCA and PSU did not deliver a solution.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can read the rest of their story here.

Save OCAC sent a letter to the school's board protesting the potential sale of the campus to catlin Gabel School on Feb. 24. You can learn more at

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