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Higher Ed Board approves tuition for 2009-10 academic year


Di Saunders – Cell: 971-219-6869 (today and over weekend); Office: 503-725-5714

Governor's intent to veto higher ed budget enables Board to approve lower rates than otherwise possible

PORTLAND, July 10, 2009 – The State Board of Higher Education (the “Board”) met today at Portland State University to review and approve tuition levels for the academic year 2009-10, re-appoint Dr. Mary Cullinan, president of Southern Oregon University, elect Board positions, discuss the OUS 2009-2011 operating and capital budgets, and discuss Board committee charters, among other items considered by the Board.

Governor’s Veto    
Tim Nesbitt, deputy chief of staff for Governor Kulongoski, announced at the board meeting the Governor’s intent to veto House Bill 5054 regarding the budget of the Department of Higher Education (OUS). Nesbitt said that the Governor is taking this action based on his concern about college costs, and the under-funding of the state’s need-based aid program, the Oregon Opportunity Grant. On the last day of the Legislative Session, an additional $11.4 million in State General Fund in the higher education operating budget was taken out in the reconciliation bill, which would be restored through the veto; and the veto would also restore another $1.9 million for Oregon State University’s agriculture, forest research and extension services which provide programs and services in every Oregon county. Nesbitt said that the Governor expressed his appreciation for the board’s decision to have campuses with tuition increases above 3.6% to set aside 30% of all tuition revenues to provide additional need-based aid to undergraduate resident students. For more information on the Governor’s veto, go to: http://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/P2009/press_071009.shtml

Board president, Paul Kelly, thanked the Governor for the veto, which allows OUS to set tuition rates lower than would have otherwise been possible. Without the veto, the average increase for the “small” OUS campuses would have been 6.2% (rather than 5%), for the “big” OUS campuses would have been 10.3% (rather than 8%).

Tuition & Fees Rates and Changes
Jay Kenton, OUS vice chancellor for finance and administration, and Brian Meara, OUS interim assistant vice chancellor of budget operations, reviewed the tuition and resource fee proposals for the Board. Meara said that the recommendations are in compliance with the 2009 Legislative Budget Note which limits resident undergraduate tuition increases for the “small” universities to an average of 5% with no campus to exceed 6.5%, and an average for the “large” universities of 8% with no campus to exceed 9%. Meara noted that the Board had previously approved a policy that any campus which increased its tuition above 3.6% for 2009-10 will set aside 30% of all tuition revenues for need-based financial aid for undergraduate resident students to keep college costs affordable.

The Board approved the adoption of the OUS tuition and fee rates. Due to the legislative schedule, the adoption was tendered as a temporary rule; a permanent rule along with required public hearings on the tuition increases will be completed later this Fall.

Below is a summary of the resident undergraduate tuition and fee increases and comparisons with the current year based on a credit load of 15 hours. Including all credit hours, the campus averages for tuition increases are: Eastern Oregon University = 3.3%; Oregon Institute of Technology = 5.3%; Oregon State University = 8.0%; OSU-Cascades Campus (Bend) = 5.4%; Portland State University = 8.5%; Southern Oregon University = 5.4%; University of Oregon = 7.5%; and Western Oregon University = 5.1%. More detail of nonresident and graduate program tuition and fees and room and board rates are available at: www.ous.edu.

Oregon University System Tuition and Fee Rates for
2009-10 Academic Year

Chart shows only annual rate for 15 credit hours for Resident Undergraduate students.

Overall average tuition increases including all credit hours are 5.0% for the "Small" campuses and 8.0% for the "Large" campuses



2008-09 Tuition†

2009-10 Tuition

% increase over 2008-09

2008-09 Tuition & Fees

2009-10 Tuition & Fees

% increase over 2008-09















OSU-Cascades *







SOU **







WOU Tuition Promise Rates (new students) ***







('08 cohort)

('09 cohort)


('08 cohort)

('09 cohort)


"Small" Campuses' AVERAGE (non-weighted)





























"Large" Campuses' AVERAGE (non-weighted)








SYSTEM AVERAGE (non-weighted)







*     In order to show comparable tuition rates between 2008-09 and 2009-10 for OSU and OSU-Cascades, 2008-09 rates include the applicable universal and programmatic resource fees that were folded into tuition in 2009-10.

**   SOU's average increase of tuition and resource fees from 2008-09 to 2009-10 for all students is 5.4%.  The 10.7% increase for students enrolled at 15 hours is attributed to a modification of the tuition plateau.

***  WOU's Tuition Promise program guarantees the tuition rate will not increase for 4 years.

† The 2008-09 tuition rates are taken from Spring term 2009 which are the same as Fall term 2008 and Winter term 2009 in all cases except for the University of Oregon, which includes a tuition surcharge applied for Spring term 2009.

Budget for 2009-2011
Kenton summarized the 2009-2011 operating and capital budgets approved by the Oregon Legislature on June 29, 2009. He said that the May 2009 revenue forecast for Oregon showed a revenue shortfall of $1.3 billion, down 9.2% from the May 2007 forecast. Indications also show that there may be additional shortfalls once the September forecast is released, which could mean additional cuts from the 2009-2011 budget.

In summary — prior to the Governor’s veto — the 2009-2011 General Fund allocation to OUS is $738.1 million, which will increase to $807.5 million when adding the $69.3 million in Federal ARRA funds allocated to OUS; this is down from $893.2 million approved for the 2007-2009 biennium, before the February 2009 budget reductions. The 2009-2011 State General Fund Essential Budget Level (EBL) was $925.3 million, and thus this budget is 20.2% below the level needed to sustain current operations without applying the federal funds; and 12.7% below the EBL including the federal funds. State General Funds for OUS operating budget decreased from $825.5 million in 2007-2009 to $669.4 million in 2009-2011, a decrease of 18.9% without the federal funds, and to $738.8 million and a 10.5% decrease with the federal funds. State General Funds for debt service increased from $39.4 million in 2007-2009 to $68.7 million in 2009-2011, an increase of 74.5%. There are no State General Funds for capital repair purposes in the 2009-2011 budget, compared to the $28 million provided in 2007-2009. Kenton said that the OUS Other Funds (tuition, fees, and indirect cost recoveries) budget for 2009-2011 is $1.49 billion, up 18.5% from the $1.26 billion in 2007-2009. He noted that the increase is due to enrollment growth, tuition and fee increases, and growth in research activities. The lottery funds debt service budget increased by 1% from $13.3 million in 2007-2009 to $13.4 million in 2009-2011.

Kenton said that the OUS received a very good capital budget, which was adopted in two phases: the economic stimulus package segment at $84.3 million to spur job retention and creation; and $629 million in Senate Bill 5506 passed late in the Session. OUS research centers and initiatives will benefit from the approved budget of the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, including $5.7 million for the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute; $2.5 million for the Oregon Translational Research and Drug Development Institute; $2.75 million for the Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies; $3 million for WAVE Energy Center; $1.6 million for the Northwest Food Processors; and $450,000 for the Community Seafood Initiative. Kenton also noted that the Oregon Student Assistance Commission budget was funded at $97.1 million, which is $22.9 million less than the prior biennium.

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

  • Applauded the OUS presidents’ election to take a 4.6% salary reduction retroactive to July 1 and for the entire fiscal year, in recognition of the current fiscal environment and budget constraints, continuing the voluntary 4.6% salary reduction which the presidents took earlier this year from March 1, 2009 to June 30, 2009.
  • Reappointed Dr. Mary Cullinan as president of Southern Oregon University for a period running through June 30, 2012, based on her successful record of accomplishments and leadership of SOU, including increases in enrollment, improving fiscal health, increasing fundraising, and the opening of the SOU/RCC Center in Medford. Due to the current budget environment, no compensation changes were made to Dr. Cullinan’s current contract; but she elected to have her salary reduced by 4.6% for the current fiscal year.
  • Reappointed Chancellor George Pernsteiner for another 3-year term, through June 30, 2012. Because of the current financial situation, Pernsteiner’s compensation will remain at current rates. And as the OUS presidents have done, Pernsteiner will take a 4.6% salary reduction, which continues the voluntary salary reduction of 4.6% that he has taken since March 1, 2009.
  • Voted to maintain the current elected Committee chairs to continue in these roles for 2009-10. Board president and chair of the Governance Committee is Paul Kelly; Board vice president and chair of the Academic Strategies Committee is Jim Francesconi; Kirk Schueler is chair of the Finance and Administration Committee; Executive Committee is Paul Kelly, Jim Francesconi, Kirk Schueler, Hannah Fischer, and Dalton Miller-Jones. Tony van Vliet stepped down as the second vice president of the Board to simplify the structure.
  • Adopted the revised Finance and Administration Committee charter as outlined in the Board docket, and with subsequent revisions made in 3 sections during the meeting. Discussed and adopted changes to the Governance and Policy Committee charter of the Board.
  • Paul Kelly, Board president, read two resolutions expressing the Board’s appreciation of the many years of service provided by Kirby Dyess and John von Schlegell on the Board of Higher Education. Kelly also recognized Dr. Lesley Hallick, who recently was appointed as president of Pacific University, and who served for many years as provost of Oregon Health and Science University. Chancellor Pernsteiner also welcomed the new OUS presidents, Dr. Bob Davies, president of Eastern Oregon University, and Dr. Richard Lariviere, president of University of Oregon, to the OUS. Paul Kelly also welcomed new OUS Board member, Matthew Donegan to the Board of Higher Education.
  • In the Chancellor’s Report, Pernsteiner noted that there will be visible changes due to the 25% cut to the Chancellor’s Office in terms of activities and support provided to the campuses and to the state, as human and financial resources will be reduced from current levels.
  • Heard reports from the Board committees and subcommittees, including the Finance and Administration Committee; Governance Committee; Oversight Committee on Sexual Assault; and Academic Strategies Committee. Jim Francesconi noted the priority topics for the Academic Strategies Committee which include: next phase of the OUS portfolio development; increasing participation and success of Latino students, and students from rural Oregon, Bend, and Portland; improving student retention and completion within OUS; and next steps for the priority to invest in research that is globally competitive, building on existing excellence and Oregon’s market advantages, including priorities for Portland and for the Sustainability area.
  • Heard reports from the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate; and 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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