November 13, 2001

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714

Special State Board Meeting to Act on Budget Reduction Plan

PORTLAND - The Oregon State Board of Higher Education will hold a special meeting Friday, Nov. 16 in Portland to finalize a budget reduction plan for Governor John Kitzhaber.

The Governor has asked all state agencies to develop plans that he and the legislature can use to help remedy Oregon's growing budget problem. The state currently faces a budget shortfall of more than $300 million. And with a downturn in the state and national economy that figure is expected to grow. State agencies have been asked to propose reduction plans in 2 percent increments up to 10 percent, to help state officials balance the budget in 2002.

Board members discussed the outlines of a draft plan for the Oregon University System last week. The draft focuses on reductions in administrative and targeted program areas to minimize potential cuts in instruction.

The Board is expected to take final action on the plan during Friday's special meeting. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in Rooms 327-328 of Smith Memorial Center, Portland State University. Also on the agenda is a discussion of current fiscal problems at Oregon State University. OSU officials have been dealing with an estimated $19 million budget shortfall.

Prior to Friday's special session, members of the Board's Executive Committee will meet to discuss the search process for the new Chancellor, temporary administrative rules changes in vacation and sick leave for academic employees, and a report on the new OSU engineering building. The Executive Committee meeting begins at 7:30 a.m. in Room 238, Smith Center.

Both the committee and full Board meetings are open to the public.

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