March 15, 2002

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714

Development of Creative Tuition Pilot Approved for UO

PORTLAND - The University of Oregon has been given approval to continue developing an innovative tuition proposal to help students save costs and the university better utilize space.

The proposal, approved for continued refinement Friday by the State Board of Higher Education, aims to spread classes more evenly throughout the day. It also will provide some lower cost alternatives for students who opt to take classes in late afternoons, evenings and on weekends.

"This something we will be fine tuning over a three-year period," UO Provost John Moseley told the Board. UO officials believe it will spread enrollments more evenly throughout the day, allowing the university to accommodate increasing numbers of Oregon students. Plus, they say it will "spread tuition more equitably among students" and "enhance access to those for whom cost is a major barrier to getting at education at the University of Oregon."

Under the pilot plan, the UO will change the current enrollment "plateau" that allows students to take from 12 to 18 credit hours per term at a block price. The plateau will be narrowed to between 14 and 16 credit hours per term, and all other credits will be charged on a per credit hour basis. The change will improve enrollment management and allow the university to create some lower cost enrollment options for students during late afternoons and evenings.

Discounted cost rates will not be known until later this spring then the State Board sets final 2002-2003 tuition rates for UO and other public university campuses.

In other action Friday, the Board:

  • Approved, subject to final review of the Chancellor's Office, purchase of two office buildings for Portland State University at a cost of $625,000 plus closing costs. The properties, adjacent to the PSU campus, will be used for classroom, laboratory and office space.
  • Authorized Oregon State University to name its new indoor practice field in honor of donor Merritt Truax, a 1934 OSU alumnus from Albany. He has pledged $2 million to the university for the facility, and
  • Accepted the final audit report of Talbot, Korvola and Warwick on a projected budget shortfall at Oregon State University. TKW confirmed the shortfall at $6.78 million and said four factors - mathematical errors, commitments not mated with resources, delay in the budget preparation process and inadequate communication in the budget development process, contributed to the shortfall. They recommended four ways OSU can improve its financial oversight and campus officials have agreed to implement those recommendations.

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