The OC Blog Back Issues Our Mission Contact Us Masthead
Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

Oregon Higher Ed Future Not As Bleak As Previously Expected

The Oregon State Legislature’s Emergency Board Committee voted on Tuesday to allow the seven OUS universities to use $65 million in tuition reserves to offset the state budget cuts to higher education in the wake of a $577 million hole in the state budget as well as a projected 15% reduction in OUS funding in the 2011-2013 budget cycle. From The Oregonian:

The move helps put the university system on more solid financial footing than most state agencies — so solid that higher education should be able to make it through the next five years with healthy reserves, quality services and single-digit annual tuition increases, said Jay Kenton, the Oregon University System’s vice chancellor for finance and administration.

The university system will sink about $30 million of the $65 million increase to hire staff and gear up for more students. It will spend another $11.7 million to improve research laboratories and equipment. The rest, along with $3.6 million in internal spending shifts, will replace a loss of about $26.7 million in state funding this biennium.

This will also serve to soften the blow of the massive budget deficit, taking the OUS cuts out of the equation. What it doesn’t solve is the problem of ever-increasing tuition costs, larger classroom sizes and the long term fiscal sustainability of the seven OUS schools. I’m also curious to see how these projected cuts and greater dependence on tuition reserves factor into the conversation about Lariviere’s white paper and his proposed new partnership with the state. In the short term, however, the Oregon University System seems to be staying at least partly afloat.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.