Legislative higher ed "reform" efforts, and Eugene public meeting this Tuesday at 7PM

1/15/2011: The session starts Feb 1. The Oregon House Higher Education Committee is working on a resolution to establish yet another task force, with LC 288:

Establishes Task Force on Higher Education Governance and Coordi-
nation. Directs task force to analyze issues of higher education coordination
and governance and report findings and recommendations to Governor and
Legislative Assembly.

They plan a hearing 1/19, with speakers to include
            – Bob Davies, President, Eastern Oregon University   
           –  Ben Eckstein, President, Associated Students of Portland State University (sic)   
            – Paul Weinhold, President, University of Oregon Foundation

The committee also plans to discuss LC 261, which modifies existing law on monitoring of teaching time by professors – don’t see anything about research efforts. Strange.

Then there’s LC 287, which studies allowing students to get Oregon financial aid to take online classes at the Western Governor’s University in Utah. Controversial.

Meanwhile the Lane County delegation plans a public meeting in Eugene on their efforts to make some progress on a UO Board this session:

January 17th: Lane County Legislators Host Town Hall Meeting!

Senator Beyer and Representatives Barnhart, Beyer and Hoyle will meet with community members, students and faculty to discuss the upcoming February Special Session and other issues raised by the audience. (Due to a scheduling conflict Senator Prozanski and Representatives Holvey may be able to participate, but likely only for a portion of the meeting)

Open to the General Public
7:00 PM on January 17th 
Lawrence Hall, Room 115, University of Oregon, Eugene 

I find it very troubling that there are no Lane County delegates on the House higher ed committee. Combine that with the fact that there are no UO members of the OUS board, and you start to see how utterly isolated we are in state politics.

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2 Responses to Legislative higher ed "reform" efforts, and Eugene public meeting this Tuesday at 7PM

  1. It’s critical that people go to the legislators’ Town Hall on Jan. 17 to learn about what’s happening in Salem. These LCs are just that — legislative concepts — and some of them are arguably even well-intentioned. But together they represent precisely the kind of micromanagement that an independent board would help to insulate us against. A very different LC, spearheaded by Rep. Barnhart, is also being considered for February, and it would indeed give UO real and meaningful independence in exchange for a robust form of accountability that doesn’t micromanage. UO may indeed be isolated, and the chances of passage are slim, but now’s at least a time when the UO community is united and should make its voice heard.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Face it, they want higher ed cheap, they want to pay nothing for it themselves, they don’t give a rip about research (except they will be upset when the research $$$ fall).

    The time of sky-high tuition increases is coming to an end. That’s what the Western Governors’ online idea is about, that’s what the monitoring of teaching time is about. It doesn’t matter if there are good resasons why tuition increases so fast — Baumol’s law, declining state support. If it means turning every campus into a 5/5/5 load like high school, a lot of them would love that.

    The campuses simply must figure out how to rein in tuition costs, at least the public ones do. Otherwise, the legislatures will do it for them.

    First two steps:

    1) stop administrative/student service bloat.

    2) redirect private giving to operating costs, especially Instruction.