Oregon Institutions Gain Flexibility Alongside State Funding Cuts.
Last week, Oregon Legislators signed a state budget that, among other things, cut funding for public higher education by 17 percent. It is unknown whether this cut will necessitate tuition increases above those already approved earlier this month by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, including an 8.8 percent increase at Oregon State University and a 7.3 percent increase at the University of Oregon for resident students.
In the meantime, the Oregon Legislature is expected to pass a bill intended to help Oregon public higher education achieve greater long-term stability by ending state agency status for the institutions, enabling new flexibilities in managing and spending resources. In addition to freeing institutions from state processes guiding building projects and repairs, contracting, and employment, the bill ensures that institutions keep all interest earned on tuition revenue, and adds three members to the State Board of Education. In exchange, the institutions must meet agreed upon performance targets regarding enrollment, graduation, and other measures.