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Higher Ed Board approves EOU repositioning plan, changes in resource fees, and Summer Session tuition rates

Contact:
Di Saunders – Cell: 971-219-6869; Office: 503-725-5714

PORTLAND, January 4, 2008 – The State Board of Higher Education (the “Board”) met today at Portland State University to hear about proposed changes in resource fees and differential tuition, and updates on progress on the Eastern Oregon University repositioning plan, and Summer Session 2008 tuition and fee rates, among other items considered by the Board.

EOU Repositioning Plan    EOU interim president Dixie Lund presented the implementation plan for repositioning EOU for the future. Dr. Lund noted that the keys to the plan are flexibility, accountability, and transparency throughout the repositioning planning process. She noted the importance of EOU to the eastern Oregon region in meeting education, economic, social, cultural and other needs through collaborative approaches, and partnerships with other education institutions. Enrollment has stabilized over the last two terms, and Lund said that she is optimistic that new initiatives and personnel changes have improved recruitment and outreach to students. The plan includes a financial goal of increasing EOU’s fund balance from the current level of 3.2% to 5.5% at the end of 2010. Lund said that the plan is a new way of doing business at EOU, and moves far beyond just cutting budgets. The plan encompasses three main areas: enrollment management; increased partnerships with other postsecondary institutions; and flexibility of the modalities in delivery of courses to students both on- and off-campus through distance learning as well as other means, providing greater flexibility for students that will help them complete and even accelerate their degree. There will also be investments made in information technologies to further advance EOU’s multi-modal approach to reaching students. Other changes include a university-wide student success center serving both on-site and distance students, including extended hours and a call-in service. Rather than having separate distance education instructors, current tenured and tenure-track professors will teach these courses, as some of them are already doing now; and some services will be consolidated to create savings, including reduction of permanent staff when temporary staff can cover peak periods in the bookstore and student accounts, for example, and not refilling some upcoming retirements. Lund noted that EOU is increasing its efforts to reduce reliance on state funds through seeking grants for various programs and efforts; and to use ETIC and health initiatives’ funding to cover instructional costs associated with increased course sections in high demand areas such as nursing, dental hygiene, and computer science/multi-media. Rural access funds will be used in part to enhance EOU’s first-year experience program, mainly populated by first-generation rural students, which will increase retention rates for these students.

Lund said that EOU believes in this plan, in the approaches taken to return EOU to financial stability and to prepare for enrollment growth, and in EOU’s ability to move forward with an increased focus in the area of program review, effectiveness, and fiscal accountability. “EOU will no longer operate on a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality, but rather on data-driven decision making,” Lund said. Dr. Lund thanked the EOU team who worked diligently over many weeks to complete the plan and prepare for implementation. Board members, including finance committee chair Don Blair and Board president Kirby Dyess, expressed their great appreciation and thanks to Dr. Lund and her team for their work on a high quality, innovative campus renewal plan, and its focus on pushing resources to students and to instruction. The Board approved EOU’s request to implement their plan for repositioning EOU for the future.

 

Resource Fees and Differential Tuition    Jay Kenton, OUS vice chancellor for finance and administration, presented an updated proposal to eliminate resource fees and, instead, include these within the base tuition amount or as differential tuition by program, with many campuses implementing this policy in academic year 2008-09. Kenton noted that the Chancellor’s Office has worked closely with the Oregon Student Association and with the OUS institutions to address concerns related to transparency of total costs for students, and the ability for financial aid packages to cover costs not now included in the tuition base, but which are part of resource fees. Some of the guiding principles of the change include: program costs should be transparent to students; differential program costs should not become an impediment to student choice of major; all costs should be included in student financial aid budgets and packages to the extent that this is feasible; any change must be revenue neutral for the transition.

 

Kenton summarized the proposed policy changes, including: no new undergraduate resource fees of any type (one-time, universal, or programmatic) will be initiated after this policy change is adopted; all universal resource fees (technology and energy surcharges) assessed to undergraduate students will be rolled into tuition no later than Fall term 2011; undergraduate students enrolled in the WOU tuition Promise program who entered with the Fall 2007 cohort will be exempted; programmatic resource fees assessed to undergraduate students will be eliminated no later than Fall 2011 by: a) increasing tuition for all students in an amount equivalent to that generated by undergraduate resource fees; or b) by creating differential tuition for certain programs in accordance with the guidelines outlined above; or some combination of a) and b) above; one-time matriculation resource fees would be replaced by an approved matriculation fee to be defined in the Academic Year Fee Book and assessed as a one-time charge for new students when they matriculate to an institution; the disposition of universal and programmatic resource fees assessed to graduate students will be determined after further study by a subgroup appointed by the Provosts’ Council and resolution of the impacts this change will have on the recruitment and retention of graduate assistants and related collective bargaining agreements; staff tuition rates and policies will need to be modified to recover lost resource fee income associated with these proposed policy changes as staff members currently pay a reduced tuition amount but 100 percent of all applicable resource fees.

 

After some discussion, the Board adopted these guiding principles and proposed policy changes, which will be incorporated into instructions to campuses for tendering the 2008-09 academic year tuition and fees and will be codified in the 2008-09 Academic Year Fee Book when it is considered by the Board in June 2008.

 

Summer Tuition     The Board approved 2008 Summer Session tuition and fees (see chart below). Room and board rates for Summer 2008 range from $560 at OIT to $1,680 at UO, based on type of room and with some rates including meal inclusion, with an average increase from 2007 of 4% (see OUS website for details). 

Oregon University System Summer Session Tuition and Fee Rates for 2008 (Resident students)
Annual Rate for 12 credit hours 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer ‘08 Undergraduate Tuition & Fees

 

 

% increase over 2007

 

 

Summer ‘08 Graduate Tuition & Fees

 

 

% increase over 2007

 

 

EOU

 

 

$1,511

 

 

2.6%

 

 

$2,843

 

 

2.7%

 

 

OIT

 

 

$1,438

 

 

2.6%

 

 

$3,010

 

 

0.0%

 

 

OSU

 

 

$1,697

 

 

5.8%

 

 

$2,921

 

 

5.6%

 

 

PSU

 

 

$1,505

 

 

3.4%

 

 

$3,461

 

 

9.5%

 

 

SOU

 

 

$1,484

 

 

2.8%

 

 

$3,272

 

 

3.2%

 

 

UO

 

 

$1,613

 

 

3.6%

 

 

$2,772

 

 

4.0%

 

 

WOU

 

 

$1,424

 

 

3.1%

 

 

$3,280

 

 

6.8%

 

 

WOU Tuition Promise

 

 

$1,456

 

 

0.0%

 

 

N/A

 

 

N/A

 

 

SYSTEM AVERAGE (weighted)

 

 

$1,567

 

 

3.8%

 

 

$3,138

 

 

6.7%

 

 

 

In other action and discussion at the meetings, the Board:

 

  • Heard an update on the six priority areas for the Board’s strategic planning work from Board president Kirby Dyess including work in the areas of: Constitutional and/or statutory changes for improved efficiency; Addressing barriers to student participation and success (will be a Board committee); Smaller universities’ vitality; State funding for graduate education and research; Portland higher education initiatives (will be a Board committee); and Board, chancellor, and institution roles and relationships. The Board will also work with other standing OUS groups such as the Provosts’ Council and the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate to address other critical issues, including development of processes for reviewing academic programs and assessing student learning outcomes, among other areas.
  • Acknowledged the receipt of the University of Oregon’s plan to build an Academic Learning Center for Student Athletes and approves granting of a license to Phit, LLC, with the understanding that the license will expire once the Center is turned over to the University or no later than July 2010.
  • Reviewed proposed modifications to OUS administrative rules that govern procurements of professional services, goods and services, construction services, and purchases of real property. The guiding principles behind the rule revision center around increased transparency, accountability and flexibility. Staff proposed that the rules be temporarily adopted at the February 2008 Board meeting so that institutions can modify business practices that have become administratively inefficient and out of compliance with statutory requirements. To develop the proposed rules, the Chancellor’s Office formed committees that included institutional vice presidents, campus General Counsels, business directors, procurement directors, facility directors, OUS Internal Audit, the Department of Justice, the Governor’s Advocate for Minority, Women, and Emerging Small Businesses (MWESB), and other key procurement personnel. The collaboration has resulted in rules that address campus needs while ensuring that OUS is on the forefront of conducting modern business practices, including greater consideration and tracking of contracts with MWESB.
  • Approved the following academic programs: Portland State University, Undergraduate Certificate in Contemporary Turkish Studies, effective Spring 2008; University of Oregon, Master’s Degree in Strategic Communication, effective Fall 2008.
  • Discussed the new institutional mission for Southern Oregon University.
  • Ratified the two EBS Long-Term De Facto Lease Agreements with Sprint/Nextel as signed by the Chancellor.
  • Accepted the 2007 Annual Financial Report, and heard from representatives from Moss-Adams, LLP on how “clean” the audit was, and the high level of cooperation and assistance from the OUS staff.
  • Approved, as permanent rules, modifications to Oregon Administrative Rules 580-043-0060 through 0095 and the adoption of 580-043-0100, which establish the modifications as permanent; and will implement the procedures necessary for each OUS institution to establish a venture development fund, allocate authority to raise funds and issue tax credits, authorize the Board to reallocate this authority after two years, set forth eligibility to receive grants, detail guidelines as to how and under what conditions a tax credit certificate may be issued, establish how gross royalty income received will be handled, and set forth recordkeeping requirements.
  • Heard a legislative progress update to retain investment earnings on all OUS funds from OUS controller Mike Green.
  • Heard an update from UO president Dave Frohnmayer on the UO arena construction including results of the feasibility assessment conducted by outside consultants, project update, and steps in gaining legislative approval for the increase of $200 million in additional expenditure authority and bond limitation for the arena construction.
  • Heard reports from the Research Council; Interinstitutional Faculty Senate; and the Oregon Student Association.

Oregon University System comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

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