December 20, 2002

Contact: Diane Saunders, 503-725-5714; Cell: 503-807-5539

State Budget Cuts Force Oregon's Public Universities to Reduce General Fund by $9.1 million

PORTLAND - Oregon's public universities have been directed by the Governor's Office to reduce General Fund expenditures by an additional $9.1 million by June 30, 2003. The continuing decline in state revenues necessitated that all state agencies cut General Fund budgets to meet the $112 million shortfall as a result of the December revenue forecast.

This latest hit to the Oregon University System is on top of the $51.9 million already cut this biennium, and the potential additional cut of $26.9 million subject to voter action on Measure 28 in January. If Measure 28 should fail, reductions for Oregon's public universities have the potential to reach $88 million, or 10.5% in a single year.

"This new financial news has been extremely difficult for our campuses to absorb," said Richard Jarvis, Chancellor for the Oregon University System. "It is late in the year and their options for further reductions are severely limited. Yet, all the campus Presidents have stepped up and are committed to making the reductions in ways that are the least harmful to students and the communities served by the universities."

Today the State Board of Higher Education charged Chancellor Jarvis to develop a plan for each university and the Chancellor's office that recognizes the $9.1 million budget cut. A report of each institution's plan will be presented at the February meeting of the Board.

To deal with the immediate $9.1 million cut, each of the seven public universities, the Chancellor's Office and OSU Statewide Public Services have been given a reduction target based on a proportional share. Institutional reductions range from $2.3 million for Oregon State University to $363,000 for Eastern Oregon University. Each campus is beginning to identify strategies for making cuts based on their current circumstances, including expenditure reductions, possible tuition surcharges (for spring 2003 quarter only) and new application of fund balances.

The implications of the immediate reductions will vary by university, but may include administrative consolidations, such as eliminating a vice presidential position, reduction of class offerings, implementing student-staff layoffs, or reducing Cost of Living Adjustments.

Also today, the State Board of Higher Education discussed a potential tuition surcharge for Winter and Spring terms that would be implemented should Measure 28 fail. Due to the continuing deterioration of State of Oregon revenues, institutions have been forced to plan for possible surcharges over the last several months.

Also approved by the Board was the schedule for Summer Session tuition and fees for all public universities.

Board President James Lussier today also appointed a compensation committee of the Board that includes Director Tom Imeson, Chancellor Richard Jarvis, and Lussier.

In other action today, the Board approved:

  • A Presidential Search Committee to begin seeking candidates for President of Oregon State University. Chancellor Jarvis solicited nominations from constituent groups on the campus to serve on the Search Committee and selected 12 members, and 12 alternates in the event that one of the members is unable to serve. Oregon State Board of Higher Education President James Lussier named three Board members to the Committee, one of whom will serve as Chair.
  • Confirmation of the appointment of Dr. Timothy White as Interim President of OSU, effective December 21, 2002, at a salary of $205,000 per year. Dr. White said that it was an honor to serve as Interim President and he thanked the Board, and the faculty, staff and students at Oregon State University for all of their support.
  • Acceptance of the Report of the Strategic Planning Work Group, as amended, from the original presentation on October 18, 2002.
  • Adoption of the draft Board Work Plan which will provide a base for development of a more comprehensive plan, and give the Board a blueprint for work between January and July of 2003.
  • Referral to the System Strategic Planning Committee to consider the proposed changes to Oregon Revised Statues to direct the missions and functions of the State Board of Higher Education, the Oregon University System, the Oregon Health and Science University, and the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department to promote the creation, dissemination, and commercialization of ideas to benefit the economy.


Consent items approved by the Board included: the fiscal status report on Oregon State University's intercollegiate athletics department; the merger of AHA International (AHA) into the University of Oregon; University of Oregon (UO) approval to seek an additional $5.3 million from the Legislative Emergency Board to meet cash needs for the Gilbert Hall additions and alterations; a proposal for Portland State University (PSU) to offer an academic program leading to the Ph.D. degree in Mathematical Sciences, effective fall 2003.
Consent items approved by the Board included: the fiscal status report on Oregon State University's intercollegiate athletics department; the merger of AHA International (AHA) into the University of Oregon; University of Oregon (UO) approval to seek an additional $5.3 million from the Legislative Emergency Board to meet cash needs for the Gilbert Hall additions and alterations; a proposal for Portland State University (PSU) to offer an academic program leading to the Ph.D. degree in Mathematical Sciences, effective fall 2003.

The Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of the seven-campus Oregon University System, is composed of eleven members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate.

For additional information on OUS and the State Board of Higher Education, go to
www.ous.edu.


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