August 21, 1998


An Executive Committee meeting of the Board of Higher Education was called to order by Vice President Christopher at 10 a.m. President Imeson arrived on the call immediately thereafter.


The following Board members were present:

Dr. Herb Aschkenasy
Ms. Diane Christopher
Ms. Gail McAllister
Ms. Phyllis Wustenberg
Mr. Tom Imeson

Other Board members: David Koch, Katie Van Patten, Jim Whittaker

Institution presidents: Phillip Creighton, Martha Anne Dow, David Frohnmayer, Paul Risser, Betty Youngblood

Chancellor's Office staff: Bill Anslow, Philip Bransford, Shirley Clark, Joe Cox, Bob Dryden, Melinda Grier, Grattan Kerans, Lynda Rose, Diane Sawyer, Marv Wigle, Lisa Zavala

Others: Rod Diman (PSU), Romel Hernandez (Oregonian), Craig Harris (Statesman Journal), Jay Kenton (PSU), Dan Williams (UO)


Mr. Imeson greeted those present and clarified that all matters ratified by the Executive Committee will go before the full Board for a vote at the October and December meetings.



Three Oregon University System (OUS) institutions -- OSU, PSU, and UO -- and the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology (OGI) propose to jointly offer the Oregon Master of Software Engineering (OMSE) degree program. Offered by the computer science departments of the four partner institutions and administered by the Oregon College of Engineering and Computer Science (OCECS), the program will begin fall 1998 in Portland, and will be extended via distance delivery to the OSU and UO campuses and, potentially, to other Oregon locations.

Staff Analysis

1. Background

The impetus for the program began with the Report of Findings produced by a consortium consisting of Intel, Tektronix, Sequent, and Mentor Graphics, in which the need for advanced education leading to enhanced technical skills and competencies in software engineering was detailed. While each of the participating schools employs two or three faculty who specialize in teaching and research in software engineering, none of the institutions has the critical mass of faculty to design or implement such a program on its own. As the institutions worked together to develop the OMSE, dialogue with industry continued -- through the Industry Council (established by the Board of Higher Education in December 1996), the consortium's software Advisory Group, the Software Association of Oregon, the American Electronics Association, and through technology-company focus groups interviewed by the Oregon Survey Research Laboratory. In addition to strong industry participation, the program received initial approval by the Board of Higher Education (program preproposal in May 1996), and support from the 1997 Oregon Legislature, which allocated $2.25 million under SB 504 toward this effort.

2. Description

The OMSE is a professional degree program designed to provide the breadth of technical and organizational skills and knowledge required for success in a career as a software engineer. Students will likely be practicing software engineers, and typical graduates will be prepared to work as project leaders or senior technical contributors in a software development effort. Although designed as a full degree program, it also supports professional development needs of those not seeking a degree.

The following principles guided program design:

Development of the OMSE curriculum was informed by Oregon software engineering faculty, other MSE programs, and Oregon industry. Consequently, the curriculum focuses on the following areas: disciplined development, product-centered development, use of market-leading technology, professional competency (which includes communication and teamwork skills), and understanding of the business context.

To earn the OMSE degree, students must complete 48 credits. In lieu of a thesis, six credit hours of the curriculum are devoted to a practicum in which student teams apply their learning to a real software engineering project that may be industry sponsored or at a "virtual company." Each course will have a list of measurable outcomes expected of all students completing the work. Over the past year, intensive faculty effort was committed to development of new core courses by faculty from the four participating institutions.

Students will be admitted to one of the four institutions as well as to the program itself. Because most OMSE students will be working full time, delivery of the courses will be scheduled at times and places that best meet the needs of working professionals. It is anticipated that, in the third year of program implementation, enrollment will have built to the equivalent of 100 full-time students.

3. Evidence of Need

The Oregon Department of Labor has reported that Oregon will need about 7,000 new graduates in science and engineering in the next ten years. A large portion of these graduates will need to be prepared to work as software engineers in Oregon's burgeoning software engineering industry. Demand is high on the West Coast for software workers; employment projections rank computer/data processing industry growth as second only to the health care professions (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Oregon business spokespersons indicate that the growth of new software businesses is constrained by the availability of software engineers.

4. Adequacy of Resources

The legislative allocation ($2.25 million) will be used for start-up and operational expenses through June 1999. Total recurring costs are estimated at $2 million per year, to be met through continued state funding. The OMSE program will pay the four participating computer science departments course design and course delivery fees, which may be used to hire additional faculty for the program. A search is currently underway for a program director and assistant director, who will oversee implementation, ensure quality, and help maintain communication among the participating departments.

Program Review

At present, both OGI and PSU have completed their campus review and approval processes and are ready to admit students to the program. Reviews have been initiated at OSU and UO, with actions expected during the 1998-99 academic year. An external review of the program was conducted in June 1998. The reviewers concur that there is a critical need for such a program in Oregon, and believe that the institutions involved are able and committed to deliver such a program. A number of suggestions were made relating to the importance of the applied nature of this degree, both in terms of the type of students to be served and the balance of academic training and industrial/consulting experience of the faculty. Those involved in the design of the program have already begun to make program modifications in response to the external review recommendations.

The OUS Academic Council positively reviewed this program at its July 1998 meeting.

Staff Recommendation to the Executive Committee

Staff recommended that the Executive Committee authorize establishment of the Oregon Master of Software Engineering (OMSE), to be implemented by OGI and PSU, effective fall 1998, with implementation by OSU and UO to follow upon completion of campus processes. A follow-up review of the program will be conducted by the OUS Office of Academic Affairs in the 2003-04 academic year.

Executive Committee Discussion and Action

Vice Chancellor Clark provided a background of the program, which was initiated by funding allocated through Senate Bill 504 in the 1997 Legislature. She described the target audience for the program as professionals who have bachelor's degrees in related fields; the OMSE will provide people with advanced skills to better meet the demonstrable needs of technology related industries in the state.

Vice Chancellor Dryden reported that the program should be self supportive by the next biennium, adding that, "With the registrations so far, this is indeed a possibility."

Both Chancellor Cox and President Imeson commended the efforts of those involved in the rapid development of this program, which will better meet market demands. "The collaboration has been great," said Mr. Imeson.

Ms. McAllister motioned and Ms. Wustenberg seconded the motion to approve the program as submitted. Those voting in favor: Directors Aschkenasy, Christopher, McAllister, Wustenberg, and Imeson. Those voting no: none.


Staff Report to the Executive Committee

On July 16, 1998, the Board adopted OAR 580-040-0040, the 1998-99 Academic Year Fee Book. Due to a clerical error, fee schedules for the University of Oregon Law School did not reflect all of the intended and publicly discussed increases that are comparable to those charged to other students enrolled in the institution. To correct that error, the Board must amend the rule, revising the Technology, Matriculation, Incidental, and Health Service fees for Law School students. The Instruction, Study Resource, Building and Recreation Center fees were correct as adopted on July 16, 1998.

Fall semester for the Law School began August 17, 1998. So that correct fees can be assessed for fall semester, the Executive Committee, authorized by the Board's Bylaws to act for the Board on minor and emergency matters, may adopt the amendment as a temporary rule. The Board must approve the Executive Committee's action at its next meeting. Although staff will immediately begin the process to make the correction by permanent rule, to allow time for notice requirements, a formal adoption of the permanent rule will not occur until the Board's December meeting.

The Law School operates on a semester basis, while the remainder of UO's programs operate on a quarter basis. It has been a long-standing practice to set Law School fees at 150 percent of the per term rates for other UO programs, so that all UO students pay comparable fees on an annual basis.

Schedule 1 displays the four Law School fees requiring amendment. The schedule compares the 1997-98 fees with those originally adopted on July 16, and as they would be amended by this Board action. The total revenue to be generated through the increase of these four fees is estimated at approximately $54,000 per year.

Schedule 1
UO Law School Amended Fees

1997-98 Annual

1998-99 Annual

1998-99 Annual
Rate as

% Change
Amended Fees
Over 97-98
Technology $150.00 $150.00 $195.00 30.00%
Matriculation $0.00 $30.00 $45.00 --
Incidental $443.00 $443.00 $474.00 6.94%
Health $240.00 $240.00 $243.00 1.25%

Schedule 2 compares the UO per quarter rates as approved on July 16 and published in the 1998-99 Fee Book, to the Law School rates as they would be by this action.

Schedule 2
Comparison of UO Fees on a Per Quarter Basis to
Amended Law School Fees on a Per Semester Basis
for 1998-99

UO General Institution

UO Law School


Annual Rate

Semester Rate
1998-99 Annual
Rate as
Technology $65.00 $195.00 $97.50 $195.00
Matriculation $15.00 $45.00 $22.50 $45.00
Incidental $157.75 $473.25 $237.00 $474.00
Health $81.00 $243.00 $121.50 $243.00

Schedule 3 compares the total Law School tuition for 1997-98 with the amended 1998-99 total.

Schedule 3
UO Law School Amended Total Tuition
1997-98 and 1998-99

1997-98 Annual

1998-99 Annual
Rate as

% Change
Amended Fees
Over 97-98

Resident $10,050 $10,330 2.79%
Nonresident $13,688 $14,078 2.85%

This is an emergency action to be taken by the Executive Committee.

Staff Recommendation to the Executive Committee

Staff recommended that the Executive Committee adopt a temporary rule amending page 66 of OAR 580-040-0040, 1998-99 Academic Year Fee Book as follows (on file in the Board's office):

Executive Committee Discussion and Action

Mr. Anslow explained that, if approved, a temporary rule would be filed immediately with the Secretary of State's Office and the permanent rule would be submitted following approval at the December Board meeting.

Ms. Wustenberg moved and Ms. Christopher seconded the motion to approve the amendment. On roll call vote, the following voted in favor: Directors Aschkenasy, Christopher, McAllister, Wustenberg, and Imeson. Those voting no: none.


Staff Report to the Executive Committee

In recent months, several Board members have raised questions about the implication of an increased student incidental fee to be used to either reduce existing deficits or to lessen the level of support from campus budgets. The imposition of a student incidental fee increase by the State Board of Higher Education would be highly unusual as the initiation and application of these fees normally originate via student government structures with oversight by the campus president. However, authority to set and approve student incidental fees rests with the Board.

Schedules 1A, 1B, and 1C (all Schedules are on file in the Board's office) summarize the financial condition of the athletic programs at OSU, PSU, and UO, showing revenues, expenditures, and fund and cash balances for fiscal years 1996-97 (audited), 1997-98 (estimated), and 1998-99 (projected) for the three campuses.

Schedule 2 displays the amount of the student incidental fees and campus institutional budgets currently supporting athletic department programs, and depicts the dollar impact of increasing the amount of incidental fee income supporting athletics by $500,000 and $1 million.

Board Discussion

Vice Chancellor Anslow described the information included on Schedules 1A (OSU). Mr. Imeson asked Dr. Risser if he felt confident about the calculations. Noting that Mr. Anslow did a good job articulating information in the report, President Risser referred to institutional support of the athletics program.

"This year, we did have to put additional funds into athletics, but the $3.7 million is a one time expectation, with the average being $2.7 million. Also, I'd like to emphasize that we have reviewed the athletics budget; we've become much more businesslike and focused. We have new leadership and we know what we are doing and where the money is going," Dr. Risser explained.

Following a brief overview of the PSU athletics budget, Associate Vice President Jay Kenton detailed activities to curb expenditures. "We've cut $200,000 from the budget and raised more private donations," he summarized. "We are on the right track."

Ms. Christopher questioned why the total outside support between 1996-97 and 1998-99 appears to be 28 percent less. Mr. Kenton explained that because of a large matching gift last year, the figure was greater than the norm; the institution wanted to estimate conservatively for the coming year.

Mr. Anslow reviewed UO's budget. Dan Williams, vice president for administration, confirmed that expenditures were being made, but that they are either bonded or gifted.

Detailing the information in Schedule 2, Vice Chancellor Anslow reiterated that the chart was being provided as information, and not as a recommendation.

Presidents Frohnmayer and Risser expressed their feelings against imposing a fee against the students. "We don't need to add this to the picture of revenue," said Dr. Risser. Continuing, he said, "In Oregon we are putting the obligation on the students. This idea is wrong to me. Compared to Washington and Arizona, our students already pay more. I don't want to put a greater burden on them." Mr. Frohnmayer added that he felt it was not a productive strategy. "While the Board can raise the fee, we would be bypassing our internal processes."

Mr. Kenton added that he had extensive conversations with PSU President Bernstine on the issue. "Our students already contribute a great amount to athletics. Therefore, we would be remiss to ask our students to pay for more," he said.

In concluding the discussion, Mr. Imeson said that he felt there is good support to continue in the current direction, but that the Board will want to stay close to this issue in terms of the numbers.


Board Secretary Vines referred to the updated Board objectives, distributed shortly before the meeting. "These were prioritized based on input from Board members and presidents," she explained. They are as follows:

1) Educate the general public, Oregon business and industry, and the legislature regarding the critical value and role of higher education in the society and economy of Oregon.

2) Secure funding from the 1999 Legislature for the 1999-2001 student centered budget.

3) Complete first round of performance indicators Report Card for OUS, campuses, presidents, and the Chancellor, which ensures maximum productivity and preparation of students in critical needs areas.

4) Request that the Chancellor investigate the financial barriers to student access.

5) Explore how the Board can be more effectively involved in issues of statewide concern.

6) Implement a plan for Board self-assessment and development.

7) Work with K-12, community colleges, and the independent colleges to develop a collaborative, seamless postsecondary education system.


Advisory Councils

Ms. Wustenberg asked to discuss the concept of University Advisory Councils, then deferred to Ms. Christopher for further explanation. While expressing his concern over the issue, Mr. Imeson said that discussions should be tabled until the October Board meeting, where, at that time, the issue should be resolved. Chancellor Cox suggested that a work session prior to the Board meeting to go over possible options would be beneficial.

Collaboration with COCC Board

The Chancellor said that he, Mr. Lussier, and Ms. Wustenberg have been meeting with the Central Oregon Community College Board. "Discussions have been moving along aggressively," he shared.

Joint Boards

Dr. Vines briefly detailed a modification to the Joint Boards meeting schedule. There will be a Joint Boards Working Group meeting on Friday, September 18. Members will report back to their respective boards in October, with recommendations for future meetings. The next Joint Boards meeting will be in December; the date has not yet been determined.


The Executive Committee meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.

Diane Vines
Secretary of the Board

Tom Imeson
President of the Board