Higher Education Governance Legislation Brings Change to OUS

The critical need to educate more Oregonians to meet student, state and workforce needs prompted the Governor, the Legislature, and the State Board of Higher Education to seek a number of higher education reforms over the last few years to improve student success and address the need for new ways of governing and funding our public universities. These reforms, passed in the last few legislative sessions, intensified the focus on student outcomes through statewide and campus achievement compacts, and created a more flexible, decentralized governance structure.

University Governance

Beginning on July 1, 2014, the Oregon University System's (OUS) three largest public universities -- Oregon State University, Portland State University, and University of Oregon -- will have their own institutional governing boards, and will no longer be under the authority of the State Board of Higher Education. The Technical and Regional Universities (TRUs) -- Eastern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Southern Oregon University, and Western Oregon University -- will continue to be governed by the State Board of Higher Education through June 30, 2015. After that, the TRUs will gain their own institutional boards.

This new model of governance for Oregon devolves strategy and decision making for Oregon's campuses to their leadership – institutional boards, the presidents, and their teams -- whose daily focus is on the needs of students and the campus. Campus institutional board information for OSU, PSU and UO is available here:

After July 1, 2014 all seven Oregon public universities will continue to collaborate with one another in many ways as they do now. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) will ensure effective partnering with our community college partners as well as between our universities so that student graduation and other outcomes are reached that will help the state meet the 40-40-20 higher education attainment goal.

Transition of the Chancellor’s Office

The assets and authorities within the Chancellor's Office that facilitate student success and system efficiency will transition to different entities on July 1, 2014. Some functions will transition to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), a new Shared Services Enterprise, the campuses, and perhaps other entities. Between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 the remaining Chancellor’s Office staff will support the State Board of Higher Education, handle a variety of financial and administrative functions, continue to transition the organization, and support the TRU universities in some areas. 

For more information, please see the Transition Q&A.