Press Release

Source: Larry Galizio, Director, Strategic Planning, OUS; Office: 503-725-2922
Contact: Di Saunders, Director of Communications, OUS; Office: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869


Curry County area residents invited to 2 Town Hall Meetings on Rural Higher Education

Oregon education leaders host public forums in Gold Beach and Brookings


Wednesday, May 5, 2010.


1-3 p.m., Curry County Fairgrounds, 29392 Ellensburg Avenue, Gold Beach
6:30-8:30 p.m., Chetko Public Library, 405 Alder St., Brookings

Leaders from Oregon’s university, community college, and K-12 education system are hosting two Town Hall meetings in Curry County to better understand challenges and opportunities in rural communities that influence whether or not students pursue postsecondary education, including high school students and adult or returning students seeking training or degrees.

The 2009 Oregon Legislature discussed closing two rural college campuses because of low enrollment. To address rural access issues, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 442 which directs the Joint Boards of Education to find ways to increase enrollment and success for rural students. The information received from these public forms will be reported back to the Legislature.


The meetings will start with a presentation by Dr. Bruce Weber, Oregon State University Rural Economist and Director of the Rural Studies program, who will present on rural student participation and completion in postsecondary education. This will be followed by a panel of educational leaders, then by audience discussion and participation. Panelists will discuss barriers to Curry County residents in accessing postsecondary education, the role of community colleges and the university system in Oregon, supports needed to help Oregonians transition to or reenter college, and the relationship between an educated workforce in rural Oregon, economic development, and quality of life.

Panelists include:

These meetings are organized by leaders of the Oregon University System, Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, and the Oregon Department of Education, in cooperation with local educators.

Oregon University System 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, go to

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