February 15, 2002

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5700

Preliminary Report Shows OSU Shortfall Lower Than Expected

EUGENE - An independent auditor's preliminary report shows that Oregon State University's projected shortfall for 2003 is less than university officials had anticipated.

The report, presented to the State Board of Higher Education on Friday, February 15, by representatives of the Portland firm Talbot, Korvola & Warwick, estimates the shortfall will be $5.9 million less than the $19.1 million that campus officials had initially forecast.

Brad Rafish, a TKW partner who supervised the independent audit requested by the State Board, said the university had miscalculated some of its current service level and incremental expenses. The university faces $6.78 million in additional obligated expenses for 2003, and another $6.46 million in expenses that are categorized as "desirables" but not really required.

Rafish said the firm analyzed all of OSU's projections and 22 items of budget reconciliation. Further analytical work is still being completed. TKW hopes to deliver a final report and recommendations to the Board by the end of the month.

"The challenge is not as great as we thought," said OUS President Paul Risser, reacting to the preliminary figures.

"This is wonderful news to us," Risser said, cautioning that all public agencies may face even greater fiscal pressures as the state continues its work to solve Oregon's current financial problem.

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