April 19, 2002

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714

New Student Housing Construction Approved for OIT

PORTLAND - The growing number of students attending Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls will soon have a new option for on campus housing.

The State Board of Higher Education Friday approved the construction of a new housing facility and renovation of OIT's only existing residence hall by Fall 2003.

The $10.4 million package, to be funded with self-liquidating state bonds, will add a new facility with some 124 two- and three-bedroom apartment units. The project also will update OIT's only residence hall, built in 1968, to add more residence suites as an on-campus housing option.

OIT needs the additional on-campus housing to accommodate growing student demand. The campus reached an all-time enrollment high of 2,499 in Fall 2001.

In other action Friday, the Board:

· Adopted a plan proposed by Chancellor Joe Cox to address executive compensation. Under the plan, the Board aims to "meet the marketplace" in its current searches for a new chancellor and a new president at Western Oregon University. Officials expect the new chancellor's salary will need to be in the $180,000 to $190,000 per year range while the presidential range will be between $140,000 to $150,000 per year. Salary for the current chancellor is $149,004; the current WOU president is $118, 464.
In the broader vision of the plan, OUS campuses will move from the present fixed salary schedule for presidential salaries toward an executive compensation structure based on individual performance and annual performance review. The Board will work with the new chancellor to establish minimum compensation floors for the salaries at the three largest universities and the four regional campuses. The result will be more divergent compensation packages. With Board approval, private foundation funds may be used to augment with performance awards or endowed chairs to achieve targeted floors.
The plan includes a continuing commitment to be competitive with market levels in attracting executive leaders. The pledge is identical to similar commitments the Board has earlier made to faculty and classified staff.

· Authorized Oregon State University's to revise a $1 million project that will update its SCT Banner administrative data system. The university's new plan is to spend about $900,000 in hardware and $100,000 in software improvements. Initially, OSU had planned to spend all of the funds, provided through certificates of participation, to transition to a new SCT product that the company later decided to cancel.

· Authorized Portland State University to request permission from the Legislative Emergency Board to modify an expenditure request for renovation of PSU's Smith Memorial Center. The modification, which relocates the PSU Student Health Center to the University Center building instead of adding a fifth floor at Smith Center, saves $500,000 by trimming the expenditure request from $9.5 to $9 million. The project still provides seismic reinforcement in Smith Center.

· Approved a new B.A./B.S. degree in biochemistry at Eastern Oregon University and three new graduate certificate programs at Portland State University. The new certificate programs will focus on marriage and family counseling, addictions counseling and real estate development.

· Appointed Russ McKinley to serve on the Forest Research Laboratory Advisory committee at Oregon State University. The appointment is for three years. McKinley is the Western Oregon Timberlands manager for Boise Cascade Corporation, Medford.

· Accepted a plan from Oregon State University to eradicate its intercollegiate athletics debt. The plan runs eight years. The debt, calculated to be $5.3 million by June 30, will require a minimum deficit reduction of $500,000 per year. It projects a $1 million reduction in the current year and in years 2005 and 2006, plus $1.5 million in 2003. Progress toward reducing the debt will be reviewed annually by the Board.

· Accepted a new report on changing diversity within the Oregon University System. The report shows increased enrollment and more degrees awarded to minority students, plus greater employment of minorities among faculty and staff at all seven of Oregon's public universities.

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