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Chancellor, Board of Higher Ed thank Governor for Budget focused on Oregon's students and economic recovery

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

For a fact sheet providing additional information on the OUS budget, go here.

PORTLAND, December 1, 2008 – Chancellor of the Oregon University System, George Pernsteiner, released this statement after the announcement of the Governor’s Recommended Budget for 2009-2011 for higher education.

"The Governor’s budget for higher education recognizes the connection between our students and universities and the Oregon economy. It takes consistent investment in higher education to ensure a diverse, nimble workforce that can retain and attract business and industry in Oregon, and serve important roles in education and community-focused sectors. The returns on these investments include not only the highly skilled graduates who enter the workforce ready to contribute, but also the innovations and jobs created through university-generated research, and local economic development created by capital construction related work on the OUS campuses.

"Affordability has been the focus of the Board of Higher Education and their work with the Governor and Legislature for the last two biennia. The Governor’s and Board’s commitment to keeping tuition increases low – continuing on a four-year path of making college more affordable in Oregon – coupled with increases in funding of the Oregon Opportunity Grant will help thousands of Oregon students and families make going to college a reality. The Board applauds Governor Kulongoski’s continued strong commitment to an accessible, affordable college education.

"Given the current state of Oregon’s and the national economy, it was not expected that the OUS would receive a budget the size and scope of that received for 2007-2009. But the more modest increase in the General Fund budget will enable the System to hold steady and in some cases gain ground on its advances in enrollment, student retention, and increased numbers of degrees made possible by investments by the Governor and Legislature.

"Oregon’s graduates are a critical component in Oregon’s ability to weather bad economic times and accelerate our economic success during more stable periods. Investing in education is the key to ensuring that all of our communities across the state have the skilled people to help them sustain healthy, stable, and robust towns and cities that generate jobs and help families thrive."

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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