Update: Kitz gives UO the shaft on capital budget

2/6/2013 Update: Kirah Ingram has more in the ODE.

2/5/2013: His press release and link to full list here. Betsy Hammond delivers the $53 million in good news for OSU in the Oregonian. UO gets just $11 million in state money. Western gets $17 million.

Among the seven university campuses, only OSU, Portland State University and Western University would get more than $11 million of the pie if Kitzhaber gets his way.

UO didn’t do well last biennium either:

  • EOU: Quinn Hall Deferred Maint. ($13.18M)
  • OIT: Wilsonville Campus Consolidation ($30M); Geothermal Demonstration Project ($3.5M)
  • OSU: New Business Education Building ($56M); Cross Country Track ($4M); Education Hall Deferred Maintenance ($6M); Animal Sciences Teaching Pavilion Equipment ($2M); Bookstore Relocation ($12M); Housing Infrastructure Upgrades ($8M)
  • OSU-Cascades Campus: Mill Point Building ($5M)
  • PSU: Blumel Residence Hall Water Replacement ($7M); City Tower Purchase Placeholder
  • SOU: Science Building/Deferred Maint/Seismic Upgrades ($21M)
  • UO: Additional Limitation for Allen Hall ($5.3M) and ISC/Lewis Science Building ($10M); Steam Line Replacement ($2.5M); Residence Hall Improvements ($3.95M)
  • WOU: Natural Science Building/Lab Annex renovation ($9.7M); Todd Hall Seismic ($1.2M)
  •  OUS System-wide: Capital Renewal/Code compliance/Safety ($35M); Misc. Student Building Fee Projects ($20M); Project Reserves ($4.5M)

But WOU? 1/4 as many students as UO, and this kind of state capital funding, year after year? Wow, it’s almost as if some powerful state legislator with influence over state funding also collects a paycheck from them. Oh. I see.

Meanwhile, Phil Knight’s Oregonians For Higher Education Excellence PAC is still sitting on its $450K. But why should legislators sell their votes for that kind of money, when they can take the state for millions?

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19 Responses to Update: Kitz gives UO the shaft on capital budget

  1. Anonymous says:

    $11 million in state funds for Straub and $219 million in university bonds for nonacademic uses?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog says

      this is clearly some kind of backlash against UO and the perception that we only care about athletic facilities. Doesn’t matter if that perception is bullshit or not – the UO submitted a number of important and necessary projects, not the least of which is the renovation of the Science Library, and they all appear to have been effectively shot down. This is not a good omen. I wonder if OSU takes dogs …?

    • Anonymous says:

      A backlash against UO for sure. Not sure if it’s about the athletic facilities: that’s a bugaboo with our faculty but not necessarily beyond.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Our new president is not bringing home the bacon.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Or this is what you get when you have been really successfully privately funding buildings in the past and you want to be “independent”

  4. Anonymous says:

    Or as the first post says prioritize $219M in nonacademic uses and slam the students with the bill?

    And as UOM seems to point out, all those opulent sporting palaces have very high operational costs also subsidized by the students. Who is watching the ship and why does all the privatization talk start and end with bonding and real estate, except the Mitch Greenlick Bill to create the Portland University System which also will have local taxing options.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why are we so eager to build more buildings? Student enrollments are projected to drop across the board and online options will reduce the value of a 300 person “Survey of…class”. As soon as someone figures out how to disaggregate the degree and credential online offerings enough to satisfy employers, we will all be trying to figure out what to do with all the excess space.

    There is a short-term, sky is falling cry for classroom space that we are reacting to without imagining the future.
    We had better figure out what location-based value we offer to entice students to come here in the next 5-10 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog craps on this one

      This is crap. Indeed “location-based value” requires updating our physical infrastructure and buildings.

      Moreover, this is the year 2013 – is the UO that different than it was in 1953?

      Its not an issue of building more buildings, its an issue of
      improving our facilities so they last for the next 50 years.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous weds 06:

    Have you stepped on campus lately? Have you looked at the people we are putting into supply closets? Will out enrollment drop 25% in the next year, two years?

    Have you taught in the shoulder to shoulder filled classes of PLC 180 and Columbia 150?

    Get real.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, yes, maybe and yes – everyday. Doesn’t change what will be the case in the future and a 1-2 year horizon outlook is way too short-sighted. Even if it’s 15-20 years instead of 5-10 or 1-2, we will still be paying on huge capital projects that may no longer be needed. I expect everyone to say this is nonsense – that’s what people always say before a disruptive innovation destroys their “business”. Ignoring the bubble effect doesn’t make it go away. And, in the current environment, your statement argues for us doing more online…not building more large lecture halls. Why don’t we build a massive telegraph system while we are at it. Get real indeed.

      To dog above: Location-based value has nothing to do with physical infrastructure – that is a 1953 viewpoint so at least one thing hasn’t changed since then. Location-based value means what will we offer here that can’t be obtained anywhere else cheaper. I’ll venture that at least 25% of the teaching we do right now is a commodity – it can or will be had cheaper and better online than we can offer it in person.

      What’s the difference between a 300 seat lecture on Intro psychology (or biology or statistics, etc…) in which all students do is watch lectures and take multiple choice exams and the same thing online? Does face-to-face offer anything extra in that scenario? How many classes do we offer like that? We ought to at least ask the questions and collect the data instead of pretending the world will go on as it always as in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

      Like it or not, a large percentage of our students come here for the sports, the drinking and the degree. The degree is a ticket for the job. If the job says “I don’t care where you get that credential as long as someone I trust certifies it” then we have real problems because now a market is created and someone will figure out how to do it. Higher Ed is losing its hallowed place as the keeper and giver of knowledge.

      We all overvalue what we do at our own peril.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where are we on the “hype curve” of online teaching?


      Where will the “plateau of productivity” be? Are you undervaluing what we do at our peril?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog says

      Well I agree that the 300 student lecture is worthless and can be replaced ON line. But this has been the case since the mid ninety’s.

      But what if the UO had a building dedicated to Undergraduate research full of labs and mentors and state of the art equipment? That’s the value added for location-based services. And I didn’t say build more Lecture Halls! I did say construct new facilities that have value added and represent a reason to physically be on a college campus.

      Teaching and learning environments need to change, but that’s never gonna happen unless we construct new kinds of facilities to support that.

      If you look at the literature from the early 1950’s about TV and its potential for education (and to replace faculty) its almost identical to that in the Early 90’s about the Internet, education and faculty.

      Nothing has really changed, and neither have our buildings.

    • Awesome0 says:

      Except of the fact that students now outsource their homework to India instead of to the nerd down the hall.


    • Anonymous says:

      Also, and quite obviously, Anonymous, you devalue education and the educational experience of college if you assume that sitting in front of your computer at home by yourself will do the whole job. We all know there’s nothing so alienating to students as sitting in a 300-person lecture hall. But the labs Dog describes, many of the other 40-person classes we teach offer students an opportunity to learn with and from their fellow students. Not all of them are drinking beer and watching football, at least not all the time; they’re also having a range of conversations about life and their world, academic and otherwise. To do that they needs labs, coffee shops, libraries, dorms, even offices where they can find the occasional instructor with whom to actually converse. On-line is all wonderful, but really it isn’t and never will be all there is.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t devalue education or the college experience – I believe all those things you said. But I’m not paying tuition. And while I don’t doubt there are many students like you describe, I believe there are many more like I describe. I also believe there isn’t really a compelling reason why we should expect students to keep forking over tens of thousands of dollars so they can have these deep conversations here. That could happen in other places and ways.

      I also never said online is or would be all there is. If you read my post carefully you would see that my argument is that we have to figure out how to deal with losing that portion of our revenue that can easily be replaced by online.

      But that’s ok – let’s all pretend we are great and the tuition dollars will just keep rolling in if we keep offering a portion of our curriculum in an 18th century model.

    • Anonymous says:

      In the 18th-century model, there were no tutoring centers, writing labs, accessibility services, open-all-night libraries, rec centers, intramural or intercollegiate athletics (much less o nthe modern scale), and certainly no Jock Box. Let’s dump all of those things first. Oh, but wait, the same paying customers shelling out thousands expect to have advisers, accomodations for deslexia, and yoga classes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Students and their parents want everything but don’t want to pay for it. Give me a fancy dorm with fancy food, lots of tutors, a center for everything, free wi-fi, a clinic, activities, etc. just don’t make me pay for it. All of those things come with people to run them and the last time I looked the majority of expenses in most Universities’ budgets are for people.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Agreed – I think we are saying the same thing. But what I hear over and over with regards to space is that we need more classroom space.

    I also agree with you that we need to rethink our gen Ed approach and that should inform capital construction/design.

    I see no evidence we are doing that in any serious way – in fact I see the opposite.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog Says

      well we do need more classroom space right now at our current enrollment but we should incorporate that into new kinds of buildings. In more quantitative terms, we went from about 18000 students to 25000 students with essentially the same classroom space (as defined by the post LCB era). Yes Hedco may have increased classroom seat capacity by 2-3% but in no way have
      we scaled to what our actual inflated student population is.

      But, as you point out, nothing is happening on any of these fronts so for now, we will just continue to cram 300 students into dysfunctional spaces and call that learning.