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Board of Higher Ed Welcomes Governor Kulongoski, Discusses Universities' Goals, Engineering Investments and Faculty Diversity

 Also hears report on UO's strategic direction from President Dave Frohnmayer

PORTLAND, November 21 - The State Board of Higher Education (the "Board") today held its third regular meeting of the 2003-04 academic year at Portland State University. The Board heard from Governor Kulongoski at the meeting on the need for the Legislature and the public to invest in higher education in the state, and the need to develop a more stable process for ensuring appropriate investment in our students and our future. He thanked the outgoing Board members for their commitment to advancing higher education in the state, and for their support of his effort to elevate higher education on the public's agenda.


Other issues discussed by the Board included campus performance targets, allocation of Engineering and Technology Industry Council funds, faculty diversity, affordability issues, approval of new programs at Portland State University and the University of Oregon, changes in Oregon Administrative Rules, and a report from Dave Frohnmayer on UO's strategic directions.


ETIC Funds Allocation     After hearing a report from the executive director of the Engineering and Technology Industry Council, Bruce Schafer, the Board approved the recommended allocation of $21.4 million to the seven OUS campuses, the Oregon Graduate Institute and Oregon Health & Science University. ETIC expects that these funds will be matched by private support of approximately $37 million. Campuses will receive the following allocations: Eastern Oregon University = $250,000; OGI and OHSU = $2.6 million; Oregon Institute of Technology = $1.08 million; Oregon State University = $9.92 million; PSU = $4.96 million; Southern Oregon University = $540,000; UO = $1.8 million; and Western Oregon University = $250,000. Funds will be used by campuses to support recently hired and new faculty, expand laboratories, increase the quality and diversity of engineering and computer science students, enhance pre-college programs, invest in existing and new research centers and degree programs, and achieve higher rankings for key colleges, departments and programs. Schafer said the original and continuing goals of ETIC are to stimulate economic development, create jobs, and increase tax revenues by continuing successful investments in the capacity and excellence of engineering programs.


Performance Targets    Each university president reported on his/her campuses performance targets and other goals for 2003-04. Susan Weeks, director of planning for OUS, noted that OUS began developing a performance measurement system in response to the legislative mandate in 1997 to adopt measures for the four broad goals -- access, quality, employability and effectiveness -- developed by the Board in January 1997. Specific indicators include campus retention rates, total degrees earned and total degrees in shortage areas earned, quality ratings by graduates, and research and development expenditures. Each institution also has campus-specific indicators, such as the number of top high school graduates enrolled, women in engineering fields, student diversity, community service learning, employer satisfaction, and faculty compensation.


Faculty Diversity Report     Provosts from each of the campuses discussed faculty equity issues, challenges, and exemplary initiatives on their campuses that have helped to increase faculty diversity over the last several years. Aggregate System-wide data indicate that during 2002-03, women represented 32%, and faculty of color represented 11%, of the full-time, ranked, tenured or tenure-track instructional faculty, an increase of 22.6% and 5.4%, respectively, since 1992-93. Yvette Webber-Davis, director of diversity for OUS, said that the data show both challenges and achievements in faculty hiring, promotion and tenure trends; and that market factors in certain disciplines must be addressed to remain competitive in attracting and retaining diverse faculty members.


UO Report       UO president Dave Frohnmayer was the second campus leader to report to the Board on the issues facing his institution over the next few years. Earlier this year the Board asked that each campus president report on their institutions' key challenges over the course of the next several months, one president reporting per Board meeting. President Frohnmayer noted that UO's strategic directions include four key areas: quality, access, research and economic development, and the student experience. Critical issues for UO include how to continue to provide a quality education to Oregonians that is comparable to its peer institutions when they have, on average, 50% more revenue per student than UO has. With the faculty pay freeze, continuing to attract and retain quality faculty is a UO challenge, as is maintaining the size and quality of their research programs, and providing the type of graduate programs that meet state needs. Maintaining the economic diversity of their student body, given increasing tuition, is also an issue they are trying to address. Protecting the state's investment in campus facilities, and constructing new ones, is a major challenge given the lack of state support, Frohnmayer noted to the Board. UO also has the ongoing issues of convincing private donors to invest in the University while the state is withdrawing its investment.

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

  • Ratified and voted on actions taken in Committee meetings.

  • Heard a final report from the chair of the Eastern Oregon University presidential search and approved the appointment of Khosrow Fatemi as president of EOU beginning in the spring of 2004.

  • Discussed the establishment and maintenance of policies related to affordability, tuition and financial aid as a step in drafting a final Board policy on affordability at OUS institutions. 

  • Approved two new programs: (1) PSU, B.A./B.S. in Black Studies, enabling the campus to offer an undergraduate major in Black Studies (previously only a Certificate was available) in one of three focus areas: African, African-American or Caribbean studies; (2) UO, Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies, which will be the only one of its kind in the Northwest.

  • Approved the temporary rule on use of employee Social Security numbers (OAR 580-021-0044); and approved the temporary rule to identify "unclassified positions" within the OUS (OAR 580-020-0006).

  • Approved the OUS residency rule changes (OAR 580-010-0029 through 0047) addressing the residence classification of OUS students, including adding the Yurok Tribe of California to OAR 580-010-0037, and updating the allowable visa categories for residence eligibility of non-citizens in OAR 580-010-0040, and making other rule clarifications.

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




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