April 17, 2000 

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714

Student Health Proposal Tops Friday's State Board Agenda

EUGENE -- A proposal to provide mandatory, basic health insurance for all 60,000-plus students of the Oregon tops the agenda for Friday's, April 21 meeting of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education in Portland.

The proposal comes from a statewide task force that has studied student health insurance for nearly a year. It has recommended the mandatory basic insurance plan as a way of providing affordable coverage for all students, including those who are currently ineligible to continue coverage under a parent or employer plan. The task force has estimated the plan will cost students between $14 and $17 per term.

Other agenda items for the Board's Friday meeting include discussion on a legislative concept that would allow the Board to approve campus requests to arm public safety officers. The Board will also review preliminary recommendations from the Economic Development Joint Boards Working Group, a group appointed by the governor which aims to better coordinate Oregon's higher education and economic development.

Friday's Board meeting begins at 10 a.m. in Rooms 327-9, Smith Memorial Center, Portland State University. It will be preceded by two committee meetings. The System Strategic Planning Committee will meet from 8 to 9 a.m. in Smith 238, and the Budget and Finance Committee will meet from 8 to 9:45 a.m. in Smith 327-9. All meetings are open to the public.

Agenda items for the System Strategic Planning Committee will include a Portland State University recommendation to award an honorary degree to Portland Mayor Vera Katz. The committee also will review academic proposals, including a bachelor's degree in business administration at Eastern Oregon University, a certificate in medical informatics and master's of physician assistant studies at the Oregon Health Sciences University, a Ph.D. in computer science and a M.S. in financial analysis at PSU and a M.F.A. degree in dance at the University of Oregon.

On the agenda for discussion by the Budget and Finance Committee are items dealing with construction of a new residence hall at Oregon State University, a real property exchange to expand parking at the UO's Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston and a proposal to name Western Oregon University's new library in honor of major donors, Wayne and Lynn Hamersly of Portland. The committee also will review a report on OSU's intercollegiate athletics funding.

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