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Higher Ed Board discusses diversity policy, approves Summer '09 tuition

Contact: Office: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869

PORTLAND, January 9, 2009 – The State Board of Higher Education (the “Board”) met today at Portland State University to review diversity issues, Summer 2009 tuition rates, budget settle-up and cuts, and the annual 2008 audited financial report, among other items discussed by the Board.

Diversity Policy
Dr. Yvette Webber-Davis, OUS director of education policy and inclusion, presented draft policies to the Board related to guiding principles and actions around diversity. The diversity principles included commitment to: diversity overall; workforce enhancements; equity in student success; welcoming campus environments; vendor and contracting enhancements; continuous feedback; and key goals.

Actions related to the policies would include identifying opportunities and promoting expectations for diverse representation, inclusion, and engagement through OUS; identifying strategies and progress toward the enhancement of workforce diversity; having a designated board committee work with OUS institutions and student success staff to determine and assess initiatives toward the enhanced access, retention, and graduation of student populations; identify campus climate challenges and successes, discuss measures taken to promote welcoming campus environments, and describe the impacts of these measures on student success; provide updates on progress in vendor and contracting initiatives and practices, and opportunities for outreach to promote engagement and seek bids from minority, women-owned, and emerging small businesses; get continuous feedback and solicit ideas from diverse communities; and have the chancellor and campus presidents to provide reports and updates pertaining to diversity achievements and challenges not less than once every biennium, and have the Board evaluate annually the chancellor and campus presidents on elements relating to the identification of, and progress toward, key goals and actions in all areas of this policy.

After discussion in which the Board was uniformly supportive in its comments on the importance of a focus on developing and acting on diversity issues, they asked that further work be done to hone the policies and assign accountability on various initiatives between the Board, Chancellor’s Office and the universities, and bring these back to the Board for review and approval.

Budget Settle-Up and Reductions
The Board approved 2008-2009 system financial settle-up and retention incentives, and the 2007-2009 General Fund budget reductions mandated by state statutory requirements based on declining revenue forecasts. As a result of increased enrollment and improved retention, approximately $2 million in incentives were distributed to campuses. Campus budget reductions total more than $9 million or 1.095% of all OUS appropriations for operating budgets for the current fiscal year, and include the following: EOU = $380,379; OIT = $469,161; OSU Corvallis campus = $2,295,080; OSU-Cascades campus = $98,801; OSU Oregon Climate Change Institute = $1,971; Statewide Public Services (in OSU budget) = $1,254,543; PSU = $1,686,933; Oregon Solutions = $10,952; New Leadership = $1,643; SOU = $411,408; UO = $1,682,873; WOU = $442,105; and Chancellor’s Office = $304,535.

Summer Tuition
The Board approved 2009 Summer Session tuition and fees (see chart below) as presented by Brian Meara, OUS assistant vice chancellor for budget operations. Room and board rates for Summer 2009 range from $590 at OIT to $1,792 at UO, based on type of room and with some rates including meal inclusion (see OUS website for details) and other features.

In January of 2008 the Board approved a tuition policy to transition resource fees into tuition; so some campuses’ fees are now folded into tuition and are no longer included within the “fees” category, with the rest of the campuses meeting compliance with the resource fee policy by 2011. Thus, some of the tuition increases which seem higher than others include the folding in of some resource fees into the tuition amount. The policy of folding resource fees into tuition came from a joint effort between the Chancellor’s Office and Oregon students to make costs more transparent to students so they could more fully recognize their total costs and have these included in consideration for financial aid. 

Oregon University System Summer Session Tuition and Fee Rates for 2009 (Resident students)
Annual Rate for 12 credit hours

 

Summer ‘09 Undergraduate Tuition & Fees

% increase over 2008

Summer ‘09 Graduate Tuition & Fees

% increase over 2008

EOU

$1,535

1.6%

$2,903

2.1%

OIT

$1,474

2.5%

$3,106

3.2%

OSU

$1,769

4.2%

$3,065

4.9%

PSU

$1,609

6.9%**

$3,641

5.2%**

SOU

$1,673

12.7%**

$3,473

6.1%**

UO

$1,729

7.2%

$2,922

5.4%

WOU

$1,513*

3.9%

$3,397

3.6%

SYSTEM AVERAGE (unweighted)

$1,615

5.6%**

$3,215

4.4%**

*WOU Tuition Promise undergraduate rates

** Summer ’09 tuition for both PSU and SOU include programmatic resource fees that are not included in the Summer ’08 rate.  The percent increase over the prior year is inflated due to this change.  PSU’s Summer ’09 fees also include a $67 increase in the Health Fee due to expanded services.  After adjusting for the roll-in of resource fees at SOU, tuition and resource fees for resident undergraduate students increased 3.5% over 2008.

In other action and discussion at the meetings, the Board:

  • Accepted the 2008 Financial/Audit Report for the OUS. The Board president and the chancellor commended OUS Controller’s Division staff for their excellent work on the audit, and thanked audit firm Moss Adams.
  • Heard a summary from OUS vice chancellor Jay Kenton of the 2009-2011 Governor’s Recommended Budget for the OUS, which totals $916.5 million for the operating budget, and almost $1 billion for the capital budget. (See OUS website for GRB details).
  • Approved one new academic program: Portland State University, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, effective Winter 2009.
  • Approved the PSU acquisition of land at SW Jackson/SW College Block in Portland, and authorized the chancellor or designee to seek Legislative authorization to change the 2007-2009 $1 student housing and land acquisition Article XI-F(1) bond authorization to $8 million to finance the land parcels from TriMet to facilitate the development of a mixed-use development incorporating student housing and academic classroom and support space.
  • Approved the proposed February sale of Certificates of Participation totaling $8,137,600.
  • Approved a request to the State Treasurer to issue $62,209,000 of bonds under authority of Article XI-F(1) of the Oregon Constitution and $46,527,035 of bonds for construction projects under authority of Article XI-G of the Oregon Constitution; for a total request of $108,736,035. The sale is scheduled for February 2009. All projects included in this sale have received both Board and Legislative approval.
  • Authorized the chancellor or designee to transfer $418,000 of Chancellor’s Office fund balance to Oregon BEST (Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technology Center, Inc.) to be used for the Shared Photovoltaics Evaluation Center for Technology & Research (Oregon SPECTR) lab at the UO. This represents 50% of the near-term equipment needs for this lab; Oregon BEST will provide all or part of the balance of equipment expense and work with the faculty team to identify other sources as well.
  • Recognized the 5 years of excellent service which Board director Kirby Dyess has provided to the Board of Higher Education as she transitions off the Board.
  • Heard reports from Ms. Dyess on the Oregon 529 College Savings Plan; and from Margie Lowe, education advisor in the Governor’s Office, on the Oregon Opportunity Grant program award reductions for spring 2008.

Oregon University System comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

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