Board of Trustees discusses guaranteed tuition concept and race at meeting
The University of Oregon Board of Trustees met today at 8 a.m. during its once-a-term meeting to discuss topics such as a potential tuition guarantee concept and racial issues.
At a breakfast meeting in Bean East Conference Room this morning, trustee members spoke with black and African-American students about racial issues at the university and nationwide. The students told the trustees about their experiences as students of color at the UO. When the breakfast ended, the trustees’ public meeting continued in the Giustina Ballroom in the Ford Alumni Center.
After approving minutes from the trustees’ meeting back in September, the focus shifted toward a public comment section. Nearly all that spoke were UO students; they voiced their concerns with the tuition guarantee concept that the trustees would later discuss, and provided ideas to the board about what they should do if the concept is approved.
After the public comment section, President Michael Schill addressed the board with a president’s report. He emphasized his goals to build faculty numbers and the importance of research at UO, hiring new academic leadership at the university, providing affordable tuition and access for all students and building a supportive and diverse UO community.
“We learn from each other here,” Schill said. “One of the important things is to make sure this campus has diversity of all kinds.”
A topic that was brought up was the possibility of renaming certain buildings on campus, such as Deady Hall and Dunn Hall, because of their namesakes’ reportedly racist histories.
After a short break, the trustees met again to discuss board committee reports based from the day before. Some of the seconded motions brought up were voting on renaming Howe Field to Jane Sanders Stadium, naming the upcoming College of Arts and Sciences as Willie and Don Tykeson Hall, renovating Bean Hall, and the repeals of outdated student conduct policies and an outdated police concerning the ending of fund balances.
Next up was a state and a federal affairs presentation to the board. A lunch break commenced, and when the trustees returned, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Roger Thompson, gave a presentation on a potential tuition guarantee concept update. Thompson presented examples of other universities in the country that had implemented a guaranteed tuition program, and described the institutions’ respective outcomes with the program. He also presented information from a student listening tour that the UO Enrollment Management staff conducted, where according to their survey, 88 percent of those that participated in the tour “agree that guaranteed tuition benefits students.”
Thompson then listed possible guidelines if the program were to be implemented at UO. Those include:
- All entering undergraduate students would enroll at a guaranteed rate for their cohort year
- All entering undergraduate students would have four academic years under their respective guaranteed rate without any increases
- For students that don’t graduate in four years and enter their fifth academic year, they would be charged the guaranteed rate for the cohort that enters the university immediately after them
- Mandatory fees would be included in the guaranteed rate
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