Excellent report from Saul Hubbard in the RG on the prospects for Lariviere’s toned down New Partnership proposal in the Legislature:
Some key state lawmakers remain lukewarm about a proposal that would create independent governing boards at the University of Oregon, Portland State University and Oregon State University, partially freeing those institutions from state control.
But whispered pledges that passing the policy this year would trigger a windfall in private donations to those institutions — and especially to the UO — could ramp up pressure on a state Legislature that, in recent years, has cut its spending on Oregon’s public universities.
Several legislators say they have been told recently that creating an independent board at the UO this session would result in “game-changing” private donations to the UO’s $477 million academic endowment.
Sen. Mark Hass, a Beaverton Democrat and chairman of the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee, says an alumni group led by Nike co-founder Phil Knight has told him that, if an independent board with real authority is created at the UO, donors would pour in new money that would push the university’s endowment into the top 25 among universities nationally. …
A $2 billion endowment would pay out about $70 million a year. Counting current state construction bonds, that would be about as much as current state funding – which presumably would then shrink but not totally disappear. So this is not exactly a game-changer, but it’s certainly significant. We’ll trade the bureaucratic putzes at OUS for a bunch of athletic booster control freaks. I’m for it, but it’s going to bring a host of new problems along with the money.
Join the union so you get a vote, and support Rob Kyr and Margie Paris in the Senate. These institutions are going to be increasingly important to making sure us faculty retain a modicum of control over UO’s fate.