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Higher Ed Board reviews campus and system diversity status and initiatives, and allocates 2008-09 university budgets

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

PORTLAND, September 5, 2008 - The State Board of Higher Education (the "Board") met today at Portland State University to consider proposed 2008-09 budget allocations, review system diversity status and initiatives, and reviewed proposed changes to the academic program review, among other items discussed by the Board.

Diversity Report
Yvette Webber-Davis, OUS director of education policy and inclusion, led a panel discussion on diversity issues within the university system. Panel representatives included professionals from each of the OUS campuses and the Chancellor's Office. Areas discussed included efforts related to student outreach and participation in college, faculty and staff diversity, workforce development, vendor issues, and efforts to enhance campus climate for all participants. Dr. Webber-Davis also summarized diversity data in areas of enrollment and employment in such categories as race/ethnicity, gender, disability and age, and changes over time in the areas of faculty/staff, students and OUS vendors.

Highlights of some of the panelists' reports and Board comments included the need to "grow our own" workforce by promoting within and developing welcoming climates for faculty and staff, and providing formal and informal mentoring opportunities; recognizing the needs of the younger members of the workforce who have different priorities and need different incentives to be retained than the Baby Boom generation; finding ways to work outside of entrenched hiring practices and use incentives and other resources to both bring in diverse faculty and have a campus climate that retains them; to make sure that we have the faculty in the classrooms who understand how to work with diverse students and to have inclusive pedagogy through which students can see themselves in the curriculum; that excellence in faculty and students is achieved through diversity and is not an either/or equation; the issues facing Native American students in Oregon and the need for campuses to understand how to help students maintain their cultural connectedness and being inclusive of their needs. The Board said that they wanted to define goals of where the OUS should be in terms of increasing the numbers of diverse students and faculty, and to develop an action agenda that can make the campus populations more representative of the overall population we see in our communities. It was noted that some action is already being taken through the Board Committee on Student Participation and Completion and its proposal to the legislature to increase the number of and success of under-served students in postsecondary education in Oregon. The Board agreed that they would take components of the diversity agenda and discuss it at upcoming Board meetings and the retreat as there are too many facets and issues to adequately cover it in a few hours at a single meeting.

Operating Budget 2008-09
Jay Kenton, OUS vice chancellor for finance and administration, presented the proposed OUS 2008-09 General Fund budget allocations and the 2007-08 adjusted General Fund budget allocations and settle up, as well as retention incentives for campuses. The 2008-09 General Fund budget for OUS totals $446 million, allocated among the seven campuses, one satellite campus, the Statewide Public Services, and the Chancello's Office. Kenton noted that the guiding principles behind the budget allocations and settle up include compliance with Board expectations and priorities; compliance with Legislative expectations and budget notes; equitable distribution among campuses; incentives for fundable enrollment and retention for both freshmen and transfer students; and renormalization of the budget allocation model. The $22.4 million in salary funding received by the June 2008 Legislative Emergency Board was allocated to campuses based on actual salaries in 2006-07. Kenton said that there was some settle up for the 2007-08 fundable enrollments with some campuses above projections and some below. He noted that to provide incentives for improved retention, $1.5 million in one-time allocations were distributed to campuses based on the retention percent improvement; increased number of student retained; and a bonus was allocated to campuses that exceeded high targets or served additional resident students. The Board approved the budget as presented, the salary allocations, and the settle up.

Academic Program Review     Susan Weeks, OUS vice chancellor, and Sabah Randhawa, Oregon State University provost, reviewed proposed changes to the review and approval process for academic programs. The primary changes within the new policy are: connects new program proposals to Board, OUS and institution goals; more closely connects existing campus-level activities not previously aligned with Board policy; emphasizes potential partnerships and collaborations; program need will be defined as more than employment market, and will include ways the program will meet educational attainment goals and civic/cultural demands of citizenship; indicators of success outcomes will extend to faculty research expectations as well as student learning; and will require more information about program financial sustainability. These changes will also include restarting the policy of 5-year follow up reviews and will include program review information in annual Board discussions of institution goals. The Board discussed the scope of the program review process and the points at which the Board would want to be more and less engaged in the process.

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

  1. Accepted the Quarterly Management Report for June 30, 2008.
  2. Accepted the 2008 Annual Report on Investments.
  3. Approved the Internal Audit progress report.
  4. Reaffirmed its approval of the Housing Services and Facilities Agreement between Portland State University and Broadway Housing, LLC. With minor, non-substantive alterations related to new financing.
  5. Approved PSU’s request to sell two properties to Broadway Housing LLC for $625,000; enter into a Housing and Academic Services Agreement with Broadway Housing for a term of forty years; and a request to acknowledge that the PSU Foundation has established a limited liability affiliate to provide student housing services to PSU.
  6. Approved the University of Oregon’s request to seek authorization from the State Legislative Emergency Board for an increase in project expenditure limitation for the Central Power Station, from $13.2 million to $34.4 million, including an increase in Article XI-F(1) bonds of $21,169,000.
  7. Approved authorizing the Chancellor or designee to seek approval from the Legislative Emergency Board to increase the Article XI-F(1) bond expenditure limitation for the UO Parking Complex by $5.68 million, from the $10.92 previously authorized, to $16.6 million; and approved an Other Funds expenditure limitation for this project of $1.4 million, increasing the total expenditure authority to $18 million.
  8. Approved Western Oregon University’s request to construct a larger housing facility and seek authorization from the State Legislative Emergency Board for an increase in project expenditure limitation of $8.75 million for issuance of Article XI-F(1) bonds to finance the project.
  9. Approved the following new academic programs, all effective fall 2008: Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University – Statewide Graduate Medical Physics Program including a Master of Medical Physics (MMP), Master of Science (MS) or Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Medical Physics. PSU – Graduate Certificate in Energy Systems; Graduate Certificate in Management of New Product Development; Graduate Certificate in Sustainability. Southern Oregon University – M.S. in Spanish Language Teaching. WOU – B.A./B.S. in Community Health Education; B.A./B.S. in Exercise Science.
  10. Approved the following appointments submitted by OSU to the Forest Research Laboratory Advisory Committee: Mr. Ray Jones, vice president, Roseburg Forest Products; Mr. Dave Ivanoff, president and COO of Hampton Tree Farms; and Ms. Brent Davies, director of Forestry for Ecotrust.
  11. Approved the license agreement between the UO and the U.S. Forest Service to operate and maintain the Pine Mountain observatory until December 31, 2028.
  12. Offered condolences to the families and friends of the firefighters who perished in the helicopter crash in August in California, most of whom were from southern Oregon and many who had ties to SOU; the Board held a moment of silence to recognize this great loss.
  13. Approved salary and compensation increases for George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the OUS. And approved deferred compensation amounts from the OSU and UO Foundations for president Ed Ray and president Dave Frohnmayer, respectively.
  14. Adopted the search process and consideration described at the meeting for the search for the next UO president.
  15. Heard reports from Board Committees and members who sit on related boards; OUS Interinstitutional Faculty Senate; and the Oregon Student Association.

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, 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 about GEAR UP and OUS,, go to http://gearup.ous.edu/ or www.ous.edu 

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