Contacts:   Di Saunders, OUS: 503-725-5714; Cell: 503-807-5539

                  

Board of Higher Ed Approves '03-'04 Tuition Rates, 

Increases Campus Aid for Lowest Income Oregonians

 

 

PORTLAND, April 18 - The State Board of Higher Education (the "Board") approved tuition rates for all Oregon University System (OUS) campuses, increased institutional aid for low-income Oregonians, and discussed how 

the System will address access and quality in light of diminishing state support, among other items approved or reviewed at its two-day meeting at Western Oregon University on April 17 and 18.

 

Tuition Rates    The Board today approved tuition rates for the Fall 2003-04 and 2004-05 academic years, 

which vary by institution. In developing tuition proposals, campuses had to evaluate their financial conditions considering many factors: impacts on students, current biennium General Fund reductions already taken by institutions, expected enrollment growth, the ability to support low-income students with tuition discounts, and 

the likelihood of significant cuts to campuses in the 2003-05 biennium. "OUS is assuming a General Fund 

reduction for 2003-05 of up to 10%, which will mean state funding lost for more than 12,000 students," said 

Tom Anderes, senior vice chancellor for finance and administration at OUS.

 

Board president, Jim Lussier, said, "In this type of economy, tuition increases at any level will certainly impact 

the plans and choices of students and families over the next few years. Given the anticipated decreases in state appropriations for 2003-05, campuses will have to rely more heavily on tuition to cover instructional and other costs, while unfortunately, facing the likelihood of cutting staff, courses and class sections, and making tough choices about top priorities," added Lussier.    

 

Tuition increases approved for 2003-04 average 3.3% or $107 across the System over the prior year; and increases approved for 2004-05 average 8.8% or $291 over the prior year (2003-04) rates. For resident undergraduates increases for 2003-04 will be 3.2% at Eastern Oregon University (to $3,102); 3.3% at Oregon Institute of Technology (to $3,333); 4% at Oregon State University (to $3,492); 0% at Portland State University ($3,240); 3.4% at Southern Oregon University (to $3,138); 2% at University of Oregon (to $3,540); and 8% at Western Oregon University (to $3,240). Resident graduate students will see 2003-04 tuition increases ranging from 3.3% at OIT to 15.6% at EOU. Non-resident undergraduates tuition increases for 2003-04 range from 

0.6% at OIT and UO to 14.1% at OSU. Non-resident graduate student increases for 2003-04 range from 0.2% 

at UO to 30.4% at EOU (also see third-page attachment for more details).

"Campuses are also considering alternative ranges to the tuition plateau," said Richard Jarvis, chancellor of the Oregon University System. "While historically, students have paid the same rate regardless of when they attend classes, the University of Oregon, for example, has adopted lower tuition rates for students who attend during periods of lower use. These types of innovative approaches to keeping tuition levels down will also reduce class size at peak times, and fully utilize facilities during evening hours," noted Jarvis.

 

Tuition Remissions    Also approved today was a change in OUS's 2003-05 budget reduction plan for fee remissions, which provide a tuition discount to low-income students. The Board proposes that fee remissions remain at $830,000 for the 2003-05 biennium, versus being cut by 50%. "The reduction in this type of financial support for low-income students during a period of increasing tuition and decreasing state grant aid is counterproductive to the System's goals of inclusion and access for all Oregonians," stated Jarvis. Each campus is also setting aside additional funds for fee remissions, ranging from approximately 7% to 17% of total tuition revenues.

 

Quality, Access and Affordability    The Board discussed the relationship between quality, access and affordability at System campuses, with the goal of committing to a policy position that links enrollment with per-student state support. "In times of shrinking state resources, maintaining full access without the requisite state funding puts instructional and other quality indicators at risk," said Roger Bassett, chair of the Board's System Strategic Planning Committee. He noted that the State Board of Education, which oversees the K-14 System, expressed its convergence with this policy at the Joint Boards Working Group earlier this week. "Supporting unfunded students means that available resources are stretched thinner, leading to class, course, program and faculty cuts," Bassett added. "For students already enrolled, this can mean a longer time to graduation, and thus higher college costs, higher student loan debt, and income lost with delay in entering the workplace. There are no good choices in this economic vice grip that Oregon is struggling with right now," said Bassett. Members agreed that funding per-student at OUS institutions cannot be further eroded or students and educational delivery will be significantly harmed.  


In other action at today's and yesterday's meetings, the Board:  

  • Ratified actions taken in Committee meetings.

  • Heard a report on OUS Diversity 2003, a review of the System's move toward an enhanced understanding and incorporation of diversity into multiple aspects of the universities. Total enrollment of students of color increased from 6,813 in 1992 to 10,068 in 2002, to 12.9% of the 
    total student population. Faculty/staff of color increased from 850 in 1997-98 to 1,032 in 2002-03, representing 8.3% of all faculty/staff in the System. The System Strategic Planning Committee of 
    the Board will have further discussions on the policy implications of the report.

  •  Adopted the Policy and Guidelines for Shared Governance of Students, with an objective to recognize the value and importance of assuring students a voice in the educational and campus decision-making process. Each campus will develop written procedures to incorporate the 
    principles of the policy throughout the university, with presidents charged with the responsibility 
    of ensuring implementation.

  •  Confirmed the appointment of Dr. Dixie Lund as interim president of Eastern Oregon University, 
    effective June 1 and continuing until a new president is appointed.

  •  Approved the offering of new programs at three OUS campuses: (1) PSU, M.S., Statistics; PSU, Graduate Certificate, Geographic Information Systems; (2) UO, B.A./B.S., Multimedia Design; 
    (3) SOU, Undergraduate Certificate, Interactive Marketing & e-Commerce.

  •  Approved the nomination of Linda Goodman and Roy Woo to the Forestry Research Laboratory 
    Advisory Committee.

  •  Accepted the Quarterly Management Reports dated December 31, 2002 that monitor the financial activity of the OUS current unrestricted and auxiliary enterprise funds.

  •  Accepted the recommendations of the Internal Audit Division and Legal Services on the audit        reporting structure.

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 eleven members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu 

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