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Board of Higher Education committee considers recommendations for campus-based boards’ structure, authorities

PORTLAND, March 16, 2012 – The State Board of Higher Education’s (the “Board”) Committee on Governance and Policy met today at Portland State University to consider recommendations on development of institutional boards within the Oregon University System; and the Finance and Administration Committee met to approve changes in campus allocations after recent legislative actions in the 2012 Session, among other issues.

Institutional Boards     The Board’s Committee on Governance and Policy discussed establishment and powers of institutional governing boards. Ed Ray, Oregon State University president, summarized his perspective on creation of institutional boards, as did Portland State University president Wim Wiewel and University of Oregon interim president Robert Berdahl. Although Ray did not think an institutional board was necessary for OSU, he outlined what he thought were appropriate rules for the state board and an institutional board. Wiewel and Berdahl expressed their interests in an institutional board, and which authorities they felt were critical to achieving their institutions’ missions. The board compared and discussed the various proposed authorities, and heard from OUS chancellor George Pernsteiner on his recommendations for the division of authorities of institutional boards, which fall into four categories: accountability, public good, stewardship, and efficiency. The primary issues discussed by the board and presidents which were deemed to be some of the most important were: hiring, evaluation and termination of presidents; tuition setting; property ownership; shared services; standardized data collection and analysis; and board composition and appointment.After some discussion, committee chair Paul Kelly gained agreement from the Committee that they were supportive of institutional boards in concept, and that they would have another meeting in April to come to conclusions on the types of authorities for these boards. Their recommendations, as well as the materials and analysis produced over the last year by external consultants and through extensive testimony by stakeholders, will be forwarded to the Special Committee on University Governance established by House Bill 4061B which will make a recommendation on establishment and authorities of these boards to the Legislature later this year. Chair Kelly also asked Pernsteiner to make his final recommendations on authorities of institutional boards and get those out to the board committee and the campuses prior to the next meeting of the committee, which may be a special meeting in April in order to meet the time table of the legislative committee.

In other action and discussion at today’s Finance and Administration Committee:

  • Approved the revised fiscal year 2011-12 allocation of General Fund for Educational and General Services and Statewide Public Services, as represented in the docket materials, reflecting legislative actions taken during 2012 Legislative Session, which reduced the 2011-2013 OUS budget by approximately $29 million. The OUS General Fund budget allocation is now $668,264,553.
  • Heard a report on the status of the new 2013-2015 state budget process, including recent developments.
  • Heard a report on UO capital projects, the Allen Hall expansion and remodel and the Central power station, both requiring further investment when revisions were needed based on an expanded scope during the completion of the project.
  • Heard reports from Eastern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology, and UO regarding their internal control environment self-assessment.

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.