February 11, 2000

Contact: Philip Bransford, 503-725-5717
Source: Chancellor Joe Cox, 541-346-5700

Three Higher Ed Consultants Assist Central Oregon Analysis

PORTLAND -- Three top higher education consultants have joined the Oregon University System's effort to develop more four-year degree programs and educational opportunities in Central Oregon.

Chancellor Joe Cox announced today that the three are now working with OUS staff and the Central Oregon Regional Advisory Board (CORAB) to acquire additional information and identify next steps in building higher educational capacity for the region.

The consultants are Dr. Frank Besnette, former chairman of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and executive director of the Arizona Board of Regents; Dr. Jim Mingle, executive director of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO); and Craig Purkey, former vice provost for planning and budgeting at the University of Washington.

"CORAB has done a wonderful job of conceptualizing," Cox said. "But we've needed help to test ideas and to shape a transitional identity to move beyond the existing University Center model."

"Each of our consultants has had broad experience in developing campuses and analyzing educational delivery systems in other states. We'll be looking to learn from their experience, and share their insights."

Besnette has guided the development of higher education throughout Arizona and other western states. During the past seven years he has helped to create new, branch and satellite campuses, and an extensive distance learning network in Arizona.

Mingle has served as a consultant and advisor to many states and institutional boards. He recently spent a year as a visiting fellow with Educom, a national organization that applies new information technology to higher education. His most recent work has focused on how states and institutions should respond to emerging technology developments in computing and distance learning.

Purkey has played a key role in the statewide expansion and growth of the University of Washington. As vice provost, he directed UW's space planning and institutional studies as well as its capital and operating budgets. He also has had extensive experience in analysis and budget policy development and work with state and legislative leaders.

Cox said the consultants' and OUS staff are now developing more information on the plan recently presented by CORAB to both the State Board of Higher Education and the board of Central Oregon Community College. The goal is to have the work completed in time for the April meeting of the State Board.

In December, CORAB presented a plan urging the systematic development of a public university in the region within 10 years. The plan envisions building upon the facilities and programs of both Central Oregon Community College and the Central Oregon University Center.

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