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Operating budget for Oregon University System passes both Chambers

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

Operating budget for Oregon University System passes both Chambers

Click here for the OUS 2011-2013 Operating Budget Summary


PORTLAND, June 23, 2011 – Yesterday afternoon marked the final legislative step in approving the Oregon University System’s operating budget for 2011-2013 with the House’s passage of Senate Bill 5532; it was passed by the Senate on June 14. The State General Fund and Lottery fund appropriations totaled $692.1 million; this includes funding in both SB 5532 and funding in House Bill 5055 yesterday. The OUS capital construction budget, Senate Bill 5533, is separate and has not yet passed the Senate or House. 

Paul Kelly, president of the State Board of Higher Education, said, “We’re thankful to the Legislature and to the Governor for their support for higher education. This continues to be a tough fiscal environment for Oregon and we know that there are many competing demands for state funding. OUS will work to continue the momentum of record gains made over the last few years in enrollment, student retention, and degree production, which will be aided by the passage of Senate Bill 242, which will help us better control costs and revenues. We’re also optimistic that state appropriations will improve in 2013-2015 so that we can ensure we’re meeting the growing demand for higher education for all of Oregon’s students.” 

The $692.1 million 2011-2013 OUS operating budget is a reduction of 16% from the 2009-2011 final budget of $823.6 million, and is lower than Governor Kitzhaber’s recommended budget for OUS of $743.2 million. The 2011-2013 Education and General portion of the operating budget, primarily dedicated to student instruction, totals $486.5 million, down from $633.3 million for 2009-2011. 

The Legislature has assessed a 3.5% “holdback” of appropriations for state agencies in order to have a reserve against any unanticipated revenue changes. OUS may be able to get some of all or this back in the 2012 Legislative Session depending on the revenue environment. OUS’ holdback totals $25.4 million. 

Funding for Statewide Public Services – through Oregon State University – for 2011-2013 totals $94,969,094; this compares to the 2009-2011 ending budget (after cuts during the biennium) of $98.4 million, or $106.6 million for the 2009-2011 Legislatively Adopted Budget, prior to cuts. The Agricultural Experiment Station was funded at $51.8 million; Forest Research Laboratory was funded at $5.7 million; and Extension Services was funded at $37.5 million. 

OUS will issue a full budget release and leadership comments once the capital construction budget has completed its passage through the Legislature.

The Oregon University System comprises seven distinguished public universities and one branch campus, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of twelve members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu