Presidents of Oregon’s public universities petition state for $100 million funding increase

University of Oregon president Michael Schill has teamed up with the presidents of Oregon’s six other public universities to ask the state for a $100 million increase in funding.

The presidents sent their petition to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission on Wednesday, the Oregonian reported. They collectively asked for $765 million for the 2017-2019 cycle, $100 million more than the current cycle.

The money will go toward protecting students from increasing costs related to maintaining university operations.

The increase in state funding will not, however, stop tuition increases, according to the letter. The funding would help tuition increases stay lower than five percent each year.

The added funding would also go toward the Public Employee Retirement System going into effect next year. PERS increases will cost the universities nearly $60 million in the next two years.

In an interview with the Oregonian, Hans Bernard, the University of Oregon’s associate vice president for state and community affairs, pointed to roughly two decades of decreased state funding for Oregon universities as the primary reason for the request.

“We cannot expect to make up two decades of cuts with two biennium of investment,” he said.

The HECC will discuss the proposed budget increase in a meeting on April 13.

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Noah McGraw

Noah McGraw

Noah is the 2016-17 Senior News Editor at the Emerald. His earliest journalistic influences were Tom Wolfe, Eric Schlosser and Batman. He loves '70s comics, '80s action movies and '90s music.