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CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF LEGISLATIVE CONCEPTS FOR THE 2001 LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

Summary

In order for OUS to advance any legislative proposals to the 2001 Legislature, the concept must receive an affirmative vote from the Oregon State Board of Higher Education (OSBHE). Concepts endorsed by the Board must be submitted to the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) by Friday, April 14, 2000. Legislative concepts that are cleared for pre-session filing by DAS will be submitted to the legislature by the Office of the Governor on behalf of OSBHE.

Twelve individual legislative concepts were submitted by campuses or OUS staff for consideration by the Board for introduction in the 2001 Legislative Assembly. Each of the concepts have been reviewed by the Academic, Administrative, Student Affairs, and Presidents' Councils, and analyzed at least once, and in most cases, twice by the System Strategic Planning and Budget and Finance Committees. In a joint Committee meeting of the System Strategic Planning and Budget and Finance Committees on January 21, 2000, Board members discussed and heard testimony from OUS staff and campus representatives regarding each of the proposals. During that meeting, a consensus developed regarding ten of the proposals, while two concepts, at the suggestion of Board members, were carried over for further consideration at the work session of the full Board on Friday, February 18.

The ten legislative concepts which received generally positive responses from members of the Board Committees are:

1. PUBLIC RECORDS EXEMPTION FOR DONOR INFORMATION. The concept would exclude from public disclosure, unless authorized by the donor, the name of a potential or actual donor and related information regarding their donation. The measure parallels an exemption granted by the 1999 Legislature to Oregon Health Sciences University.

2. LIABILITY INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR OUS INTERNS. The proposal would authorize liability insurance coverage for students engaged in internship and capstone programs while they are participating off-campus in internship-related activities. The lack of liability coverage has been a barrier to placement of students in internship and capstone settings with some employers and organizations.

3. GRANT AUTHORITY TO OSBHE TO USE THE TITLE OF "OREGON UNIVERSITY SYSTEM." The proposal would amend ORS Chapter 351 to give explicit authority to the OSBHE to use "Oregon University System" as one of the legal names designating the public university system and its governing board, in addition to the current statutory references to the State Board of Higher Education, and the Department of Higher Education. The proposal is being advanced to permit the OUS title on official state documents, in addition to the already-permitted public uses of the OUS designation the OSBHE may engage in as a result of its registration of the name with the Corporation Division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

4. PERMIT OUS TO SELF-INSURE FOR PURPOSES OF EMPLOYEE HEALTH BENEFITS. The proposal would expand on the authority granted by the Higher Education Administrative Efficiency Act (SB 271, 1995 Legislative Assembly), which gave OUS the option to insure System employees separately from state benefits plans. SB 271 granted OUS the same powers as the Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB). Self-insurance is not included in the PEBB statute, and thus is not available to OUS without statutory change. The self-insurance option would widen the potential benefit to OUS in considering the creation of a non-PEBB health insurance plan of comparable benefit at equal or lower cost for OUS employees.

In addition, self-insurance would give OUS greater control over plan costs, and would yield significant savings compared to fully-insured plans. Much of the initial savings in shifting from PEBB to OUS-funded health benefits would flow from retention of the premium dollars now associated with carrier net earnings. An OUS-directed plan would also permit a greater degree of long-term control over the management of plan designs and costs.

Separation from PEBB for health benefits coverage for OUS is connected to a number of compensation and budget management issues. Under the former State Employees Benefits Board (SEBB), OUS unclassified employees were eligible for a wide range of benefit options, including an "opt-out" choice, and "cash back." Under PEBB, the range of options has begun to narrow. For OUS, the opt-out and cash-back options represent a significant element in the total compensation of faculty, with the value of the two representing approximately two percent of annual faculty compensation. The loss of these options will result in a "take-back" of compensation, with serious negative impact on those who had earlier received them, if PEBB continues on its present course.

5. OSBHE RETENTION OF INTEREST INCOME. The proposal would permit OUS to retain interest income on all funds appropriated to or generated by OUS activities. Currently, interest earned on auxiliary and other-fund accounts is retained, representing approximately one-half of the potential total. This proposal would extend that authority to all funds. The proposal was included in the original SB 271, but it was deleted in the 1995 Legislative Session. This measure would enhance OUS earnings through modern cash management systems, consistent with the entrepreneurial objectives of SB 271 and the new budget model.

6. INCREASE THE STUDENT BUILDING FEE IN EACH OF THE NEXT TWO BIENNIA. The proposed legislative concept would increase the student fee for the Student Building Fee Debt Service Reserve from $25 to $35 for the 2001-2003 biennium, and to authorize an increase of up to $45 for the 2003-2005 biennium. The Reserve is used to pay for bond financing of capital construction of student facilities. Presently, only a small portion of the current Reserve is available to meet an estimated $70 million in campus-identified student facility projects. Approval of the two-step fee increase is presently considered sufficient to permit the construction of the entire list of projects.

7. HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS. The concept would permit campuses to provide health insurance for all graduate students. Current statutory authority for health benefit coverage extends only to graduate students employed by the campuses. The proposal would enhance campus efforts to recruit and retain top graduate students.

8. OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PLAN AMENDMENT. The proposal would de-couple the employer contribution rates for the OUS Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) from those set by statute for Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) participants. Currently, ORP contribution rates are linked to the PERS employer contribution rates. Separating ORP rates from PERS rates would avoid future disruptions to ORP, which could result from PERS contribution rate adjustments.

9. MINERAL RIGHTS LEASES AND ROYALTIES ON OUS LANDS. This proposal would amend statutes governing mineral exploration on state lands, permitting OSBHE to create higher standards governing mineral exploration on OUS lands than those generally applicable, and permitting the retention by OUS institutions of the proceeds from leases of mineral and geothermal rights. The proposal would require amendments to statutes governing the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries' regulation of mineral exploration on state lands, and statutes governing the Division of State Lands, which direct net proceeds or royalties from state land mineral exploration to the Common School Fund. 10. PARKING TAX EXEMPTION. The proposal would repeal the sunset clause on the current statutory exemption from municipal taxation of parking facilities, and expand the exemption from the current employee and student parking to also include visitor parking. The permanent exemption is sought as a means of avoiding one agency of government levying taxes on the facilities of another agency of government.

Chancellor's Staff Recommendation to the Committee of the Whole

Staff recommends the Committee of the Whole approve en bloc, and refer to the Board, the first ten legislative concepts for submission to the Department of Administrative Services.

COMMITTEE ACTION:

BOARD ACTION:

The two legislative concepts carried forward for further consideration are as follows:

11. PERMIT CAMPUSES TO EMPLOY ARMED POLICE OFFICERS. Under ORS 352.385, the Board is permitted to authorize the designation of special campus security officers, who are empowered to "stop and frisk" and make "probable cause arrest" of persons on campus, as outlined under the police powers in ORS 133.310. However, ORS 352.385 specifically prohibits campus security officers from carrying firearms, or the designation of campus security officers as police officers.

This proposal would amend ORS 352.385, granting the Board the authority to permit requesting campuses to employ police officers with firearms. The proposal is being advanced by Portland State University, which has seen a shift in the nature of the situations campus security officers respond to. PSU's Public Safety Office reports that, as an open, urban campus, the campus community is at risk from potentially dangerous unaffiliated individuals with access to the campus, and seeks enhanced police powers, including the designation of a limited number of police officers, to respond. The proposal is endorsed by the OUS Public Safety Directors.

The Board has visited the issue of armed OUS police officers on a number of occasions in the past. Beginning with the original legislative concept, which was approved in the 1987 Legislative Session, the Board sought authority to appoint "special security officers" and specifically excluded the power to carry firearms. In the 1995 Legislative Session, the number of special security officers permitted under the statute was increased, and the powers of the officers was extended to "stop and frisk." Again, the Board did not seek to include firearms as an option. (See Exhibit A, on file at the Board's Office)

In December 1998, representatives of the PSU Public Safety office approached the Board and asked for Board reconsideration of the prohibition against firearms in ORS 352.385. The PSU representatives advanced the proposal as a job safety and campus security issue arising from the changing nature of their work and asked that a limited number of campus public safety officers be upgraded to university police, with the authority to carry firearms.

At its February 19, 1999, Board meeting, members heard a staff report regarding the PSU proposal and revisited the history of the campus security officer statute. The Board then considered a staff recommendation to retain the status quo regarding campus security officers and, after some discussion, reaffirmed its position regarding the issue.

In the January 21, 2000, discussions of the System Strategic Planning and Budget and Finance Committees, significant concern was expressed regarding this proposal and no consensus was apparent. Debate centered on the issues of the changing nature of campus security work and the question of OUS shared liability with municipal or state police agencies contracted to perform campus police work versus direct liability from the employment of university police officers. Discussion also touched on the division of campus employees serving campus interests versus police agencies acting in response to criminal acts.

BOARD OPTIONS:

A. Amend Board policy by approving the proposed legislative concept, which would grant the Board the authority to permit campuses to employ a number of armed university police officers.

B. Maintain Board policy regarding armed university police officers and reject the proposed legislative concept.

12. STATUTORILY RECOGNIZE UNIQUE STATE RESPONSIBILITIES AT PSU

The legislative concept would cite in statute four "unique emerging areas of statewide responsibility at PSU," including the Hatfield School of Government, the Center for Lakes and Reservoir Management, the Child and Family Services Center of the Graduate School of Social Work, and the Institute for Portland Metropolitan Studies.

The proposal is advanced by PSU on a number of grounds. First, the proposal would give statutory recognition to PSU programs, parallel to that given by the 1999 Legislative Assembly to the University of Oregon for its Center for Brain, Biology and Machine (SB 870), and the longstanding statutory recognition of the land-grant missions of Oregon State University. Second, as with the UO proposal in 1999, the statutory designations would be used to gain Congressional support for PSU federal priorities. Third, the concept is advanced as a means to achieve statutory equality with the other doctoral universities, with specific recognition of Oregon's "Urban University."

The history of OUS statutes is fairly straightforward. Most of the statutory references are found in ORS Chapters 351 and 352, which generally contain the legislative grant of authority to the State Board of Higher Education over the Department of Higher Education, the Office of the Chancellor, and the institutions of OUS and their activities. Beginning with the mission for public higher education, these statutes create the Board, giving it authority over the campuses, programs, personnel, and land under the control of OUS, and the appropriations, bonding authority, and finances of OUS.

More than 50 other references to the Board and the Department of Higher Education exist in related statutes, most of which confirm the Board's authority over administrative matters parallel to other state agencies, including: public records; benefits for members of the armed forces; personnel policies governing sick leave; travel expenses; and collective bargaining with academic and classified employees. Other statutes specifically charge the Board with responsibility for, among other things include conduct of the Agricultural Experiment Stations; the Forest Research and Experiment Account; campus public radio licenses; intellectual property; and capital planning.

Specific references to individual OUS institutions, other than those cited above, are few. The Regional Services Institutes, coordination of academic programs at Oregon Health Sciences University, and a variety of other citations which compliment federal law relating to OSU land-grant programs and responsibilities can be found in the ORSs. Recognition of individual campus centers or programs has generally come in recent years through the appropriations process, with funds being earmarked for the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs Management (PSU), at-risk youth programs (UO), and Division of State Lands river dredging research (OSU), all of which occurred in the 1999 Legislative Session. Earlier legislatures have made line item or budget note recognition of a wide number and range of similar centers, institutes, or programs on particular OUS campuses. Unlike statutory designations, however, these line items and budget notes expire with the biennium unless action is taken by OUS to carry them forward in the Continuing Service Level (CSL) budget.

Statutory recognition of particular campus centers or programs is thus a relatively new occurrence, with the UO Center being the most recent example. Presentation of the PSU legislative concept to the Board has sparked a lively debate over the issue of statutory designations for individual campus initiatives and what the Board policy should be regarding them. As a result of the discussion, at least three other campuses have voiced interest in gaining statutory recognition for their institutions if the current legislative concept is advanced.

Members of the Budget and Finance and System Strategic Planning Committees, in their joint meeting on January 21, considered a number of aspects of the issue, including: 1) what should be the overarching Board policy governing additions to the ORS designating individual campus responsibilities; 2) should the Board make these designations, and avoid legislative involvement in such grants of authority; 3) if existing and new designations are continued, how long should they be maintained in statute; 4) if the PSU proposal is advanced, how should the Board react to additional requests from other campuses; and 5) is the legislative grant of authority over a center or institute incompatible with the entrepreneurial philosophy of the new budget model. No clear consensus was discerned from the remarks of the Committee members.

BOARD OPTIONS:

A. Assert OSBHE responsibility for the designation of unique responsibilities for particular centers, institutes, and programs among campuses, consistent with the missions of the institutions as approved by the Board, and seek the sunset or repeal of statutory language inconsistent with that policy. Avoid setting further precedents for legislative intrusion into an area of Board authority. The Board's policy for such designations could include at a minimum such criteria as: compatibility with the mission statement of the individual campus; recognition of a unique center, institute, or program not duplicated at other campuses; assurance that such designation does not grant curricular or service program hegemony, in conflict with the market-based, entrepreneurial spirit of the new budget model; and regular review of all such designations to insure their continued viability and usefulness to the campus and OUS.

B. Assert OSBHE authority over the designation of unique responsibilities for particular centers, institutes, and programs among campuses, consistent with the missions of the institutions as approved by the Board, as in Option A above, and periodically review the continued value of existing statutory language with an eye to its repeal when it is no longer operative.

C. Recognize that, to some extent, the legislature has been drawn more deeply into the mechanics of OUS in the past decade and determine what the criteria should be for Board policy governing the continuation or the addition of statutory recognition for unique individual campus responsibilities, consistent with criteria as outlined in Option A above.

Chancellor's staff recommendation is Option B.

COMMITTEE ACTION:

BOARD ACTION:

OREGON UNIVERSITY SYSTEM - FISCAL YEAR 2001 FEDERAL APPROPRIATIONS

Summary

In a continuing effort to respond to requests from the staff of the seven-member Oregon Congressional delegation, the Oregon University System has compiled a Federal Appropriations Priorities List for 2000. A single priority document, forwarded by the Chancellor, enables Congressional delegation members to address a clear set of stated campus appropriation objectives.

As House and Senate Committees begin deliberations on the Federal government's fiscal year 2001 budget, the document also prepares congressional staff to deal effectively with specific campus appropriation requests.

The 2000 federal priority list has been developed along the same lines as the list presented in 1999. In response to a request from several Board members, the inclusion of preproposals in the December 1999 Board docket allowed for an earlier public review of campus proposals.

As in the past, each OUS institution bears responsibility for the development of the rationale, background material, executive summary, and identification of a likely federal funding source for the institution's "top three" priorities. Participants who have been enlisted for the discussion, and the selection of the projects, have remained at the president's discretion.

The project summaries describe partnerships, the overall value of the project to the institutions' programmatic goals, and a rationale illustrating how the project serves long-standing or emerging statewide and regional needs. The funding priorities of each institution accurately reflect the mission of OUS in furthering aspects of instruction, research, and public service.

Chancellor Cox will present the compiled lists in a series of meetings scheduled with the Oregon Congressional delegation during the first week of March.

Recommendation to the Committee of the Whole

Staff recommends the Committee refer the federal appropriations list to the Board for final approval.

COMMITTEE ACTION:

BOARD ACTION:

INSTITUTION PROGRAM APPROPS.

BILL
AGENCY ACCOUNT $ AMOUNT

REQUESTED
Eastern Oregon University (A) Eastern Oregon Natural Resources
Data Center



B) Inlow Hall and Grand Staircase
Agricultural Appropriations Bill




Department of Interior Appropriations Bill
Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (ARS)


National Park Service - National Recreation and Preservation
Buildings and Facilities




Cultural Programs
$3.5 million





$1 million
Oregon Institute of Technology A) The Oregon Technology Center

B) Student Support Services
To Be Determined

Competitive Grant
Mixed Source



Department of Education
Mixed Source



TRIO Program
$1.95 million



$1 million
Oregon State University (A) National Family Policy Assessment Center



(B) Intelligent Infrastructure Technology

(C) Micro-Technology Based Energy and Chemical Systems (MECS)
Labor-HHS-Ed Appropriations Bill



Transportation Appropriations Bill and other sources

Department of Defense Appropriations Bill
Department of Health and Human Services


Mixed Source




To be Determined
Center for Substance Abuse Prevention


Mixed Source




To be Determined
$1.6 million




$3 million




$3 Million
Portland State University (A) The University District - Engineering and Science Center

(B) Tribal Government Institute and Native American Center

(C) Center for Lakes and Reservoir Management
VA-HUD Appropriations Bill



Department of Interior (and other sources)


Mixed Source
To be Determined




Bureau of Indian Affairs



To be Determined
To be Determined




To be Determined



To be Determined
$2.5 million





$2.5 million




$1 million
INSTITUTION
(Continued)
PROGRAM APPROPS.
BILL
AGENCY ACCOUNT $ AMOUNT
REQUESTED
Southern Oregon University (A) Strengthening Institutions

(B) Library Addition and Renovation



(C) Campus and Ashland Community Prevention of Alcohol and Drug-Related Problems
Competitive Grant



Labor-HHS-Ed Appropriations Bill



Labor-HHS-Ed Appropriations Bill
Department of Education



Institute of Museum and Library Services


To be Determined
Title III




Office of Library Services



To be Determined
$350,000/yr for five years



$3.5 million





$500,000
University of Oregon (A) PHASE II - Brain, Biology and Machine: Integrative Information Science Initiative Mixed Source To be Determined To be Determined Total Estimated project cost: $32 million from federal, state, foundation and private donor sources