Contact: Di Saunders, OUS Communications Director @ 971-219-6869 or

The State Board of Higher Education (the “Board”) today approved the fiscal year 2013-14 allocation of the Oregon University System biennial budget across the campuses. Interim Chancellor Melody Rose expressed appreciation to Governor Kitzhaber and the Legislature for their leadership on the recent agreement, which resulted in an additional $25 million for current OUS institutions for the purpose of tuition buy-down in the current biennium. She noted that the OUS is currently working on the details of implementing this allocation and we are grateful for this commitment to affordability, and hopeful for sustained state support.

Budget Allocations     Jan Lewis, assistant vice chancellor for budget operations for OUS, described the legislatively adopted 2013-2015 budget, and the proposed 2013-14 annual budget allocations. With significant governance changes going into effect on July 1, 2014, the focus of the discussion was on Year 1 of the biennium and maintaining a consistent approach to the budget principles during a time of transition. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) will have a major role in budget allocations for the second year of the biennium, and shifts in funding for their new role and authorities are reflected in the OUS budget. Budgets are determined based on legislative directives, Board policies and priorities, and guiding principles, which include the Resource Allocation Model.  Enrollment projections are also used in budget development, with the current assumption of a 1.1 percent increase in student FTE (full time equivalent) in 2013-14 over the prior year, or 88,182 FTE.

Lewis described that in HB 5031, OUS’ main budget bill, the budget is based on a structural change in how the Legislature appropriates funds, grouping them into 1) a “State Programs” category focused on support for institutes, centers, and programs that address economic development, natural resources, and other issues, and 2) a “Public University Support Fund” that includes all other funding for the Chancellor’s Office and Systemwide expenses such as general fund contributions to OUS campus operations. Lewis summarized the allocations specified in the docket, and noted that the budget allocations were inclusive of the FY14 share of the $15 million tuition buy-down, but did not yet include the FY14 share of the $25 million buy-down just approved. Lewis described the Sports Lottery allocation that funds intercollegiate athletics and graduate student scholarships. The Legislature approved biennial funding of $8 million, with $1 million each to Oregon State University and the University of Oregon, and $6 million divided among the 5 other campuses. For FY14 the campus allocations were: Eastern Oregon University = $443K; Oregon Institute of Technology = $443K; Portland State University = $1.1 million; Southern Oregon University = $443K; and Western Oregon University = $564K. She also noted the budget items that are related to OUS but are in other agency budgets, and targeted programs.

After discussing the budget and the current budget process and categories, the Board approved the 2013-14 General Fund (Year 1 of the biennium) allocations of $354.3 million, including incentive allocations; and lottery funds of $15.6 million.   

In other action and discussion at today’s and recent meetings, the Board or its Committees:

  • Adopted the Eighth and Ninth Amendments of the Optional Retirement Plan.
  • Adopted the restated Oregon University System 401(a) and 403(b) Defined Contribution Plans.
  • Approved the following academic program: OIT – M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy.
  • Approved the report on OUS contracting and purchasing with Historically Underrepresented Businesses.
  • Approved the final allocation of state funding for Fiscal Year 2012-13 (settle up).
  • Approved a Board Policy on Credit for Prior Learning.
  • Approved OSU-Cascades’ request for authorization to purchase land (two sites) for the new four-year campus.
  • Approved the re-appointment of Matt Donegan and Jill Eiland as Board President and Vice President, respectively.
  • Heard a report from Interim Chancellor Melody Rose, including the report that OUS and SEIU 503 came to an agreement.
  • Heard reports on recent work of the Finance & Administration Committee, Governance & Policy Committee, Academic Strategy Committee (ASC), and the Oregon Student Association.
  • Director David Yaden reported and the Board discussed the development of a 40-40-20 strategic framework for our universities, spearheaded by the ASC.   
  • Director Orcilia Forbes reported on transition to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC).
  • Board President Matt Donegan reported on the schedule and plan for an ad hoc committee on university governance, with goals to support the Legislative Special Committee on University Governance and Operations, and to optimize technical and regional university governance.
  • President Ed Ray reported on the progress of University Shared Services Working Group, including the development of a proposal for the Oregon University Shared Services Center that would not require legislative action, and that will be submitted on November 15. Under this model, shared services would be hosted by individual universities, under specified biennial agreements.

The Oregon University System (OUS) makes college a reality for Oregonians statewide by keeping higher education accessible, affordable and high quality. We integrate Oregon’s public universities with the entire PreK-20 education system to ensure student success. OUS’ higher education offerings meet the needs of Oregon’s economy today and in the future, contributing to the vitality of the state and the success of more than 20,000 graduates a year. For additional information, go to