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Board of Higher Ed Approves Increases in 2003-04 Tuition and Fees
Members agree to defer some increases until January 2004

PORTLAND, July 18 - The State Board of Higher Education (the "Board") today approved the 2003-04 Academic Fee Book, among other agenda items reviewed and approved, at its regular meeting held at Oregon State University - Cascades Campus in Bend.

Each year the Board reviews and approves the Academic Fee Book, which contains the proposed fees and policies relating to all mandatory student charges for regular, on-campus, academic year programs offered by the seven Oregon University System (OUS) campuses, and the university centers. Mandatory enrollment fees include tuition, resource, building, incidental and health service fees. The revenue generated by each element of the tuition and fee schedule is dedicated to a specific purpose. For example, technology fees provide revenue targeted to improve computer related services and equipment for students.

In addition to the tuition increases for 2003-04 approved by the Board in April of this year, the seven institutions of the Oregon University System proposed various changes to the tuition plateau, or per credit charges, that may increase or decrease costs for students. Traditionally, students taking between 12 and 18 credit hours have paid the same rate, yet part-time students pay for each of their credits and end up subsidizing full time students. "There are no credits that are 'free' to deliver," said Richard Jarvis, chancellor of Oregon University System. "A per-credit rate is more equitable for the part-time students, and will help public higher education in Oregon manage our scare resources." 

Jarvis recommended to the Board, and they approved, that tuition plateau changes be deferred until January 2004 in order to give students and families additional time to plan for the potential changes in their tuition for 2003-04; give institutions time to evaluate fall enrollment; and give OUS time to accommodate the budget. Other tuition and fee increases outlined in the 2003-04 Fee Book, including those approved by the Board in April, will be implemented in Fall 2003.

"The proposed tuition rate increases were determined based on several economic factors, including 2001-03 budget reductions of 11%, and the uncertain economics of the 2003-05 biennium, with the OUS final budget still unknown," said Jarvis. "With increasing numbers of students at our public universities but declining state support, campuses need revenue now to meet this."

Jim Lussier, president of the State Board of Higher Education, said, "It is unfortunate that we have to go back to students again with tuition increases when they faced surcharge increases last year. Yet, we are left with little choice as our state appropriations shrink and we need to provide students with core instructional services, a safe learning environment, and the support services they need to succeed academically and reach graduation," Lussier noted. Board members reiterated that campuses propose tuition and fee changes to the Board in accordance with shared governance policies that include students' voice in the process.

For undergraduate resident students taking 12 credit hours, 2003-04 tuition (including lower Fall rate and higher rates in Winter and Spring when plateau increases are instituted) will increase an average of 3.8% over end of year rates in 2002-03 (includes tuition surcharges that were assessed when the OUS budget was cut and Measure 28 failed), ranging from zero at Portland State University to 7.1% at Western Oregon University. For resident undergraduates taking 15 hours, increases average 7.6%, ranging from 3.4% at Southern Oregon University to 14.1% at Eastern Oregon University.

In other action and discussion at today's and yesterday's meetings, the Board:

  • Ratified and voted on actions taken in Committee meetings.

  • Voted in support of Governor Kulongoski's Access Scholarships for Education Trust (ASET) that will create a scholarship endowment in Oregon for need-based aid.

  • Reviewed the System Strategic Planning Committee's work over the last year, and the priority issues of the coming months, including developing statements on access and affordability that connect with the quality statement developed by the Joint Boards Working Group; deliberating issues regarding diversity in greater depth; initiating discussions on campus mission differentiation; and continuing discussions on preparation and other issues that build the K-16 connection.

  • Heard a report on OUS's K-16 connection, including aligning public university admission with K-12 student learning through use of benchmark assessments to supplement other student academic information on admissions applications. Oregon is the first state to have accomplished this K-16 alignment and have it supported in policy by the Joint Boards of Education.

  • Conducted the Chancellor's annual performance review; and discussed campus president evaluations and structure changes for the future.

  • Reviewed a preliminary examination of the Board self-evaluation model. 

  • Approved the reappointment of WOU President, Philip Conn, through July 30, 2005.
    Heard a six-month progress report from the Internal Audit Division on the results of audits that had been completed between December 2002 to June 2003; audit plans going forward; the risk assessment model and approach; and organizational changes and resource allocation.

  • Heard Third Quarter Investment Report results from investment managers; interviewed international equity managers; and reviewed the Asset Allocation Study.

  • Ratified ETIC proposals approved by the Executive Committee for $20 million in Lottery bonds initiated through the Governor's revised budget.

  • Accepted quarterly management reports of March 31, 2003 that monitor the financial activity of the OUS current unrestricted and auxiliary enterprise funds.

  • Approved the working capital improvement plan for OSU Intercollegiate Athletics Department, and accepted the fiscal status report of Athletics as of May 31, 2003.

  • Adopted the updates to the Internal Management Directions to provide greater accountability points and structures for auxiliary enterprises and service departments operating self-liquidating activity funded primarily through user fees, such as health services on campuses.

  • Approved proposed Amendments to the Optional Retirement Plan to address operational and definitional issues that have arisen since its original implementation and to recognize new Treasury Regulations.

  • Approved the Temporary Rule on Residence Classification of Armed Forces Personnel to conform to changes in state law resulting from the passage of Senate Bill 525.

  • Approved the appointment of Dr. Thomas M. Quigley and Marvin Brown to the Forest Research Laboratory Advisory Committee, OSU.

  • Approved OUS institutions' programs, including: (1) OIT, Certificate, Dispute Resolution; B.S., Echocardiography; (2) OSU, Certificate, Language in Culture; (3) UO, M.Ed., Teaching and Learning; (3) OHSU, Ph.D., Biomedical Informatics; M.S. Clinical Nutrition.

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