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Higher Ed Board discusses class size policy, honors service of retiring UO and EOU Presidents, Dave Frohnmayer and Dixie Lund

Di Saunders, OUS – Cell: 971-219-6869

PORTLAND, June 5, 2009 – The State Board of Higher Education (the “Board”) met today at Portland State University to review class size policies, acknowledge the service of two retiring presidents, and approve real estate transactions, among other items discussed by the Board.

Class Size Policies     Susan Weeks, Oregon University System vice chancellor for strategic programs and planning, described the proposed board policy on undergraduate class size and undergraduate program demand. She noted that the policy is meant to balance the educational needs of students and the state and the existing resource limitations in the current environment of budget cuts. In summary, the policy includes not scheduling, or cancelling, undergraduate lecture courses which enroll fewer than ten students, with exceptions for certain electives and specialized curricula and approval by the campus’ presidents, through their provosts/chief academic officers. Weeks said that the Chancellor’s Office will annually provide the OUS Provosts’ Council data on enrollment in lecture classes, by course level. After discussion by the Board and presidents, Paul Kelly, the Board president, decided to defer a vote on the policy. He noted that the goal is worth pursuing, but needs some additional vetting and discussion by the OUS presidents to determine the best way to reach the goal of addressing budget issues by reducing low-enrollment courses and programs.

Presidents’ Resolutions     The Board adopted a resolution honoring retiring University of Oregon president, Dave Frohnmayer, for his leadership over 15 years of exemplary service to the university, the Oregon University System, and the State of Oregon; and adopted a resolution honoring retiring Eastern Oregon University interim president, Dixie Lund, for her decades of exemplary service to the university, as a faculty member and as interim president on two different occasions, the Oregon University System, and the State of Oregon.

Emeritus Status     The Board approved President Emeritus status for University of Oregon retiring president, Dave Frohnmayer, in accordance with the Board’s policy and considerations of his accomplishments, and as a expression of the Board’s appreciation and in conformity with the guidelines as recommended in the emeritus policy.

In other action and discussion at the meetings, the Board and/or its committees:

  • Approved the University of Oregon ground lease between the State of Oregon acting by and through the State Board of Higher Education on behalf of the University of Oregon and TC Eugene LLC.
  • Approved the purchase of four properties, two each at Oregon State University (Sonpark property and warehouse space) and Portland State University (1900 Fourth Avenue Building City of Portland Tower, and Market Center Building), using Certificates of Participation, and authorized the Chancellor, or designee, to seek Legislative authorization for such in the 2009-2011 capital budget; and authorize the Chancellor, or designee, to seek the additional $5.9 million in COP authority in the 2009-2011 operating budget needed for technology projects as detailed in the Board docket.
  • Discussed changes to the charter of the Finance and Administration Committee.
  • Approved a resolution expressing OUS’ support and endorsement of the City of Portland’s economic strategy document, pledging its good-faith efforts in assisting the City and other partners in accomplishing the objectives and action items focused on higher education included in the strategy. PSU president Wim Wiewel and OUS vice chancellor Jay Kenton praised the City of Portland for their proactive outreach to the OUS as a key partner in economic development in the City, and noted that Portland is a leader in this regard across the country.
  • Approved a request to seek a technical adjustment to the proposed 2009-2011 capital budget to use $9 million of deferred maintenance funds already designated for OSU Strand Hall to match the federal grant for the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.
  • Heard reports from the Board committees and subcommittees, including the Finance and Administration Committee; Academic Strategies Committee; Student Participation & Completion Subcommittee; and Governance Committee.
  • Heard reports from the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate; and Oregon Student Association.

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


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