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Board of Higher Education approves Summer 2012 tuition, discusses research collaborations

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

PORTLAND, January 6, 2012 – The State Board of Higher Education (the “Board”) met today at Portland State University to review and approve Summer 2012 tuition rates; discuss strategic opportunities for research initiatives and collaborations; and review universities mission alignment and achievement compact with the state, among other agenda items covered by the Board.

Summer tuition    

Jan Lewis, OUS assistant vice chancellor for budget operations, said that Summer tuition rates are developed by campuses through an inclusive process that involves students and staff advisory committees. Summer rates can either align with other term rates, or can be assessed on a per-credit-hour basis. Lewis noted that Summer tuition approval is transitioning to a once yearly process that will incorporate both academic year rates and subsequent Summer rates into a single approval process; thus this will be the last time the Board will approve Summer rates separately. Institutions have been moving towards aligning Summer rates with other terms rates. Lewis said that at the 12 credit hour level, the average Summer term tuition and fees increase for OUS is 8.9%, with a rate of $1,989.

In response to Board questions, campus leaders noted that the Summer session used to be a specialty session and now it is more like a regular session. There are similar costs to campuses to operate programs in Summer term to the regular terms. Additionally, some programs now assume students will be taking courses in the Summer to complete their degree in timely way. Student fees (not tuition) in the Summer have traditionally been lower, and may continue to be so, reflective of more limited services on campus in some areas, such as fewer weekend hours in the health center, for example.

After some discussion, the Board unanimously approved the Summer Session tuition and fee rates for 2012.

Oregon University System Summer Session Tuition and Fee Rates for 2011
(Resident students)

Annual Rate for 12 credit hours


Summer 2012 Undergraduate Tuition & Fees

% increase from Summer 2011

% increase or decrease from Acad. Year ‘11-12

Summer 2012 Graduate Tuition & Fees

% increase over Summer 2011

% increase or decrease from Acad. Year ‘11-12






















OSU-Cascades Campus (Bend)



































SYSTEM AVERAGE (unweighted)








Mission Alignment and Achievement Compact    

Dr. Sona Karentz Andrews, OUS vice chancellor for academic strategies, led a discussion with the Board on mission alignment metrics and the OUS’ achievement compact with the state. She said that the universities have been working on mission alignment across the OUS, which is a tool to examine that, collectively, the system is meeting the Board goals for the entire state. Mission alignment will be used by all institutions for many purposes, including the development of academic programs, benchmarking, development of initiatives, accreditation, performance compacts, and the overall achievement compact with the State. Andrews noted that the achievement compact follows the required format of the Oregon Education Investment Board and has measures and targets in three areas: completion (e.g., degrees), quality (e.g., employed graduates), and connections (e.g., degrees in targeted workforce areas needed in Oregon; research). There are both campus specific and systemwide metrics in the compact. Examples of system metrics include areas such as: number of bachelor’s degrees awarded, and those to underrepresented Oregonians; percentage of employed graduates and employer satisfaction; research and the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to transfer students from community colleges. After some discussion, the Board approved the changes in the mission alignment document so the campus compacts can be finalized.

Research Collaborations    

Board director Jim Francesconi introduced the university research vice presidents to talk about how OUS can use its collective research capabilities and capacity to continue to improve the link between higher education, the economy and needs of the state. He noted that OUS and OHSU faculty rank very high in the nation for bringing in federal research grants. With even more collaboration between the universities, OUS and OHSU can elevate research to help Oregon meet its economic and other goals. A lot is already going on in our institutions, but Francesconi said that we need to understand where the next competitive advantage is that builds on current strengths, and will enable us to set priorities for resource investment. Director Eiland said that OUS needs to better articulate and advocate for the value of collective research for the economy of Oregon, and where we can get the most economic value, if we want to gain the resources needed to further contribute to the State.

Representatives from OSU, PSU, UO and OHSU talked about the technology transfer, licensing and commercialization changes over time, and the need to think and act strategically about the beneficial impacts of research on Oregon. The OUS already has some Signature Research Centers (SRCs), such as ONAMI and ORTRADI, and needs to work together to further define what should be the next collaboration of this scale that supports economic development, and graduate and undergraduate education and training. The campuses discussed the importance of collaborating more closely with industry, and with the Oregon Business Plan and OregonInc. Challenges include: how to build on the success that we have already seen with the current SRCs; how to develop and maintain the appropriate research structure in order to be successful (e.g., shared facilities, technology needs); and how to best define where energies and resources should be directed such as where OUS has a competitive advantage. Director Ciuffetti noted the need to also articulate the value of graduate education and how strong research programs bring in excellent faculty and provide a rich training ground for undergraduates to be prepared for the workforce. The Board asked the research vice presidents to work in collaboration to determine the best collective focus for OUS so that we are ready to take this to the 2013 legislature to review. The Chancellor asked that the research vice presidents present a report to the Board within the next 30-60 days.

In other action and discussion at this and recent meetings, the Board and/or its Committees:

  • On December 16, 2011, approved the land lease with Collegiate Housing Foundation and authorized SOU to enter into an agreement with American Campus Communities and Collegiate Housing Foundation to construct a student housing and dining facility on Board owned property, as outlined in the docket item.
  • Approved the internal control policy providing clarity regarding the responsibilities of the executive officers within the OUS.
  • Heard a report on the OUS internal control environment self-assessment.
  • Approved a resolution regarding access to classified information related to the Department of Defense material, as presented in the Board Docket.
  • Approved new academic programs for OUS: Oregon State University – B.A./B.S./B.F.A. in Digital Communication Arts, effective Spring 2012; OSU – M.S. in Women Studies, effective Winter 2012; Southern Oregon University – P.S.M. in Applied Mathematics, effective Fall 2012.
  • Heard an update by Director Allyn Ford on the search process for the next president of the University of Oregon.
  • Amended OAR 580-020-0005 as proposed in the Board Docket, and as related to Academic Rank.  

The Oregon University System comprises seven distinguished public universities and one branch campus, 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 OUS, is composed of twelve members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu.