Board of Trustees to vote on 10.6 percent tuition increase Thursday afternoon

The Board of Trustees, University of Oregon’s governing body, will decide whether tuition costs for in-state students will increase by 10.6 percent during a meeting this Thursday.

This week’s meeting is split up over two days.

Following reports, the board will discuss the president’s recommendation to increase tuition and fees.

Last month, the Tuition and Fees Advisory Board sent its recommendation to President Schill that tuition be increased $21 per credit hour, or $945 a year for undergraduate students. This increase will also include an additional $50 per term technology fee.

UO will spend approximately $25 million on campus operations next year. The increased tuition rate will raise $15.6 million and the technology fee will raise another $3 million.

Even after these raises, the university has an $8.8 million shortfall in its budget.

“Roughly 80 percent of our educational budget pays salaries of our faculty, staff and administrators,” Schill said in a Feb. 21 memo to the board. “Therefore, any efforts to cut the budget will inevitably lead to a loss of jobs and pain to our community.

The first news of that pain and loss of jobs came Tuesday when the Register-Guard reported that approximately 75 non-tenure faculty will be cut. Schill told the UO Faculty Senate in a meeting on Wednesday that that number was “extraordinarily speculative.”

In response to the proposed increases, students have staged a rally at noon on Thursday.

The board is tackling several other issues on Thursday, with some spilling over into Friday.

On Thursday, ASUO, the faculty Senate, Provost Scott Coltrane and President Schill will all give a report of their actions and initiatives over the last year and what they plan to address moving forward.

ASUO is taking on a wide range of issues this year. In addition to tuition increases, ASUO leaders are calling for another look at the decision not to dename Deady Hall, arguing against the mandatory live-on requirement beginning next year and improving lighting around campus.

The provost and president’s reports were not available in the pre-meeting materials, but Schill outlined a budget plan to the UO Faculty Senate on Wednesday.

Thursday’s meeting will conclude with a request for the approval of projects to begin work on the Knight Campus. Any project that is expected to exceed $5 million has to be approved by the board before it can begin. The Finance and Facilities committee is requesting pre-approval of some work on the Knight Campus that will cost an estimated $6 million.

A full project outline will not be made available to the board until Sept. 2017 according to the committee’s proposal. However, in order to remain on track to break ground by Spring 2018, some projects will have to begin before the board can approve the project as a whole.

The board will reconvene on Friday to discuss the federal budget, sustainability efforts on campus and a report on the Knight Center.

The Thursday meeting, which is open to the public, will start at 1:30 p.m., in the Ford Alumni Center Giustina Ballroom. The Emerald will provide live coverage of the board meetings through Twitter and the Daily Emerald website.

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Max Thornberry

Max Thornberry

Senior News Editor. Baseball Fan. Martial Artist. Lover of books and words. Follow him on Twitter @Max_Thornberry

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