Provost seeks tuition increase feedback

The gist: 2.84% in-state, 2.49% out-of state, nothing new on increasing the discount rate for low-SES and high-achieving students, and only the sketchiest data on where the money is going:

To University of Oregon Community Members,

Pursuant to university policy, I have received tuition and fee recommendations for the 2018–19 academic year from the Tuition and Fee Advisory Board (TFAB), a campus body made up of students, administrators, and members of the faculty and staff. TFAB members conducted eight public meetings and participated in two student forums over a four-month period to arrive at this set of recommendations, which are based on detailed review and analysis of relevant university budget and financial data.

I want to express my deepest thanks to TFAB members for their hard work, transparent process, and commitment to both maintaining affordability and enhancing academic quality at the University of Oregon.

The committee’s recommendations include an increase in tuition of $6 per credit, or $270 per year, for in-state undergraduate students. Nonresident undergraduate students would see tuition rise by $18 per credit, or $810 annually. For the 2018–19 academic year, this equates to a 2.84 percent increase in undergraduate tuition for in-state students and a 2.49 percent increase for out-of-state students. The TFAB recommendations also include a $7 increase in the student health center service fee, which will help expand health and counseling services for students. 

I invite you to review TFAB’s full tuition proposal and to provide input using this online comment form by 8:00 p.m., Thursday, February 15. In addition, we will host a student forum at 5:30 p.m. this Thursday in the Alumni Lounge, Gerlinger Hall. I hope you can join me for the event.

After receiving input from the forum and online comments, I will provide that feedback to President Michael Schill, who will make a draft recommendation for additional public review. The president will then make a final tuition recommendation to the UO Board of Trustees for consideration at its next regular meeting on March 2.

Thank you.

Jayanth Banavar

Provost and Senior Vice President

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19 Responses to Provost seeks tuition increase feedback

  1. Dog says:

    Surely the money will go the the UO foundation as your investigative reporting has already highlighted the integrity of that organization …

  2. Appreciated Faculty says:


    Did you get the notice about the “free” basketball tickets for faculty and staff? How much is the athletic department being paid in order to show “appreciation” for academics?

  3. Environmental necessity says:

    When I was an in-state undergraduate here it cost me ~$580 per term for 12-18 credits- and I worked through school to pay for everything. I love this university and believe in the educational value my colleagues provide to our students.

    But I kind of doubt that value is now nearly 700% greater than it was back then.

    I get that most of this is because the state just gave up funding higher education, but still.

    • uomatters says:

      Here’s a reasonable summary of the cost issue:

      On the benefits side, this paper is excellent:

      Abstract: Recent stories of soaring student debt levels and under-placed college graduates have caused some to question whether a college education is still a sound investment. In this paper, we review the literature on the returns to higher education in an attempt to determine who benefits from college. Despite the tremendous heterogeneity across potential college students, we conclude that the investment appears to payoff for both the average and marginal student. During the past three decades in particular, the earnings premium associated with a college education has risen substantially. Beyond the pecuniary benefits of higher education, we suggest that there also may exist non-pecuniary benefits. Given these findings, it is perhaps surprising that among recent cohorts college completion rates have stagnated. We discuss potential explanations for this trend and conclude by succinctly interpreting the evidence on how to make the most out of college.

      • Environmental necessity says:

        No doubt it is still worth it and I would never suggest otherwise. But I don’t think it fair or socially desirable that it costs so much and leaves so many in such enormous debt. I don’t know how folks who have to pay their own way make it. I say we tax wealth much more and make public higher ed much cheaper.

        • thedude says:

          Average student loan levels of are at 25,000 and half leave with no debt at all. The student loan crisis is more of a media creation than a reality. The problem more is one of whether they are finding a job post graduation. This partially a function of bad advising at the high school or college level. Anybody who is encourage to go a dream school where they have to pay 200,000 for an undergrad tuition, much less in most majors but some more so than others, and they were lied to at some point.

          Best advice I ever got was to study something I like that I was really good at. Many of the things I loved (music, sports, etc), I was good but not great at. To many people give students bad advice about pursuing passions. To be sure I took classes in my passion, and I still enjoy them today. But they didn’t have to become my career.

          A universal education should help people to find balance.

          I’m stoked though that tuition increases are becoming more marginal and sustainable. 5 percent a year will unravel at some point.

      • Dog (now Cow) says:



        Academics and their big words

        pecun I believe is the latin root word for Cow

        so pecuniary must mean Cows with Money

        cool …

        that explains a lot of higher ed behavior

  4. shameful says:

    The State just said it wouldn’t defund education further, in exchange for the Trustees getting ultimate control of the University and picking up the financial slack. They openly touted a $2b endowment that would keep the Univeristy afloat in perpetuity if you would just make them your bosses. They’ve chosen to fund athletics and build some nice riverfront offices, therefore it must be the greedy unions fault for higher tuition costs.

  5. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    It looks like a fairly “reasonable” tuition hike this time, but remember, in the next biennium, PERS costs are slated to take a big jump, and this will be reflected in a need for a much larger tuition hike to keep things going at their present level. Plus, enrollment is dropping, including the lucrative foreigners. So, UO is in a tight spot financially, and probably going to get tighter. I don’t envy the people in the Admin who have to make sure the checks cash.

    I don’t pretend that I have the answer.

    • shameful says:

      The football team has a blank check for anything they could ever want. Donations are encouraged to go directly to athletics or at best be unrestricted (meaning it goes to athletics anyways). Scholarships for athletes makes up a fraction of a fraction of a percent of what they wind up taking from the academic side.

      Thankfully admin makes sure to designate it all as an untouchable and completely separate pot of money as soon as athletics gets their hands on it, before we spend it on something silly like tuition breaks.

      • honest Uncle Bernie says:

        shameful — I would like to see you document with numbers how you come up with some of those statements. Unrestricted donations go to athletics? Possible, but I would like some confirmation. Ditto on athletic scholarships (especially for out of state students). They encourage athletic donations? I’m sure, but it seems to me they encourage just about anything a donor is interested in. Want to give to the music school? I bet the fundraisers would love to talk about it.

        It would be nice if Phil wanted to pour a lot of money into the “academic side” (on this side of Franklin), but it doesn’t look like he has a taste for that any longer. (Lingering bitterness over the WRC business? I have no way of knowing.) There is another couple with the means to do something really big at UO. Maybe someday someone will come through.

        I think UO is fairly lucky that it has a big donor interested in athletics, so the subsidy is not very large, and smaller than at most schools with big-time athletics. Less than at OSU.

        • shameful says:

          If you need fact confirmations, please ask your administrators and not some random internet person.

          Phil and other donors have spent plenty on the academic side, it just has been smart investments that do nothing to offset tuition. Emails have already started begging the State for more money to cover tuition costs, which is what donors had promised to do in exchange for complete control of the University, repeated by the University’s own lobbyists to pass the Trustee bill. Promise quickly forgotten.

          As far as athletics, that is easy. The football coach alone makes many times more the cost of all his team’s athletic scholarships combined. There is truly no limit what we would have paid to retain him, it was a blank check. If he lost games there was also no limit to how much we would spend to fire him and to hire someone else. This was pretty obvious with Helfritch, they raised tuiton while spending millions on contract buyouts.

          This is turning into a boring essay, but should get you starfed.

          • Dog says:

            Let’s see

            Dear UO Administrator

            I am aware that Phil Knights Academic contributions to the UO have been primarily in the form of the Knight Library and the Knight Law School, and to a smaller extent the Knight Chairs, which ceased a few years ago.

            However, I have heard that in fact Phil Knight has given “plenty”.
            I have also been told that you can provide the actual data on
            these gifts and more importantly, the ratio of academic gifts to athletics gifts.

            Of course, I trust that you will have full integrity and give me the correct data.

            —Dog in Waiting

            • uomatters says:

              Why are you ignoring the $500M for the Knight Campus?

            • Dog says:

              Not built yet
              50 million a year for 10 years
              let’s see how much is built in the end
              and how what kind of new academic programs it offers

  6. Give me a bling free webpage anytime, please says:

    Knight Campus… Is Knight ponying up the support for this campus? Ongoing building maintenance, custodial work, etc etc? No?

    Knight didn’t pony up maintenance for the physical Jock in the Box. Knight didn’t pony up the $ for the amazing requirements he made for up to date computing resources, for the staff, etc (he made requirements the university had to pony up the $ to maintain computing and staff, without giving the $ — requirements that far surpass the now deleted resources for the student body at large).

  7. New Year Cat says:

    Knight also did not pony up ongoing support for the Knight Library, which at one point had many public and private areas carpeted with duct tape accents. Maybe UO should not accept gifts without money for ongoing support needs, or without identifying where that money would come from, other than tuition increases or salary freezes.

    • Dog says:


      operational support of built facilities seems to not be in the Knight giving domain

  8. I’m an alum who graduated in 1987 (Econ). I wrote to the esteemed board of trustees last year during the 10 % tuition raise drive and again last week during this push by the UO admins. This raise push again is absolutely dismal. Tuitions have quintuples since I was a graveyard shift cleanup crew member in the EMU in 1986 and my letters are clearly falling on overpaid and deaf ears at the trustee level.

    The University needs to move to get funding from the State. Shut down low attendance programs and move more of the 100 and 200 level courses to online formats – which shoujld bt 30- 50 % cheaper…

    State funding is at – what – 7% of the UO budget? someone should be lambasting the Governor and the State Senate & House of Reps.

    Tuitions need to ‘roll back’. This thirty year fund on the backs of working famlies and students needs to come to halt.

    Has anyone explained the earnings of a family of four in Oregon ? median or bottom three quartiles…Jesus. I cannot believe the balls and gall this UO President has..