October 8, 1999
Contact: Philip Bransford, 503-725-5717
Source: Bob Dryden, 503-725-5718
Emergency Board Approves $5 Million for Technology Education
SALEM - The Oregon Legislature's Emergency Board approved a $5 million allocation to the Oregon University System
today in keeping with a public-private partnership to expand Oregon's high technology work force.
The legislative panel made the award after reviewing a detailed spending plan submitted by the Oregon Engineering
and Technology Industry Council, a group created by the Legislature in 1997 representing leading businesses in
the state's high technology sector.
"This partnership between higher education and industry gets results," said OUS Chancellor Joe Cox. "We
are working together to better prepare students for their careers and to strengthen a vital and growing part of
At a preliminary hearing on Thursday, legislators also heard an update on the technology industry's effort to expand
on the state's contribution to technology education. Industry Council Chair Jim Johnson, Oregon site manager at
Intel Corporation, expressed optimism that Oregon's technology industry will contribute at least as much as it
contributed by the conclusion of the 1997-1999 biennium. At that point, the private sector contribution reached
over $6 million.
"The day is soon coming when the success of every business in Oregon will depend on how information is managed,"
said Johnson. "As more Oregon businesses recognize this fundamental shift, they are also recognizing how essential
technology education is to our state's continued economic success."
Roughly 60 percent of the state allocation will support undergraduate education in engineering, computer science
and multimedia technology. Oregon State University, Corvallis, will receive $2.4 million to hire additional faculty
and staff and to expand laboratory facilities dedicated to undergraduate engineering. The University of Oregon,
Eugene, will receive $400,000 to establish an undergraduate multimedia major and $100,000 to expand its computer
and information science program. Four OUS institutions -- Eastern Oregon University, La Grande; Oregon Institute
of Technology, Klamath Falls; Southern Oregon University, Ashland; and Western Oregon University, Monmouth -- will
share a $200,000 fund supporting a collaborative engineering program.
The remaining state dollars will support graduate-level education and research efforts, including $1.6 million
to bolster the graduate engineering programs at the Oregon Graduate Institute, a private institution in Beaverton,
and Portland State University. The funding boost will help a master's program in software engineering that began
last year. The master's program resulted from a partnership among four campuses -- OGI, OSU, UO and PSU. In addition,
$250,000 of state funding will support graduate-level internships.
A $61,000 allocation was also made to expand research at OGI done in concert with the Oregon Metals Initiative,
a higher education-industry partnership working to strengthen Oregon's metals industry.
In other actions taken today, the Emergency Board approved a $5.1 million expenditure plan for PSU to purchase
the 30,000-square-foot University Center Building on SW 5th Avenue in Portland. The building is within campus boundaries
but is currently privately owned. Purchasing the structure will expand classroom and parking capacity for the campus
and will be financed using Article XI-F(1) bonds over 30 years.