Day two highlights from Board of Trustees meeting: tuition raise and differential tuition approved

The Board of Trustees met on March 1 and 2. (Hannah Kanik/Emerald)

The Board of Trustees met for the second day and has voted to increase tuition and approve differential tuition.

While many University of Oregon students spoke up against the tuition raise at the meeting, it was approved unanimously.

Here are a few highlights from the day’s meeting.

Tuition Raise

The board voted to raise tuition, which was recommended by TFAB and that recommendation was supported by President Michael Schill.

Schill said that he didn’t “make this recommendation lightly.”

“Although these increases are quite modest by historical standards and in line with other universities, I know any increase can be difficult,” Schill said.

According to Schill, the increase will still not be sufficient, and there is a predicted $2.8 million budget shortfall. Among the university’s unmet needs are renovations to classrooms, technology and lab upgrades and books for the library.

More than students were upset by the idea of a tuition raise. According to Professor Bill Harbaugh, who spoke at the meeting, the university needs to bring in more lower income students.

“The university is not doing a good job in promoting economic diversity in its students,” Harbaugh said.

Differential Tuition

During the time for public comment,  students pleaded for the board to split the votes, which they would.

ASUO President Amy Schenk also used her time to speak to the board, voicing frustrations that the board wants students to cover costs.

“Why now?” Schenk asked. “Why are we charging students to solve this problem?”

Students shared personal testimonials against the tuition increase, saying that students already paid too much. Imani Dorsey said that the increase would hinder her ability to get a degree, and Caroline Crisp said, “I feel robbed by the University of Oregon.”

Differential tuition passed, which was another almost unanimous vote, save for Ann Curry.

After the vote concluded, a student stood up and yelled “shame on you” at Schill, followed by students walking out and chanting, “fuck Michael Schill.”

While Schenk was happy they split the two issues, she felt frustrated by the board’s response.

“It made sense to me that it would at least help student voices be heard or some sort of movement forward, but just the fact that there was still administration just blatantly sort of misrepresenting and ignoring students input during the tuition process was just kind of frustrating,” Schenk said.

Other universities in the Pac 12 have differential tuition like the one for the business and Clark Honors College, and it “allows us to remain competitive,” according to Schill.

Student Safety and Sexual Assault

Schill cited both the recent shooting in Parkland, Fla. and the sexual assault charges brought against Larry Nassar at Michigan State, saying, “Risk of violence, while it can be minimized, it can’t be reduced to zero.” Schill also said they have worked to create an environment where survivors feel safe to come forward.

Later in the meeting, a student speaker who didn’t introduce herself but said she does work with ASUO on sexual violence prevention said that students don’t feel safe to come forward, especially those who are not white women.

The speaker said she felt that she created a sexual violence prevention curriculum with students, without any help from faculty, and that the university is not doing a good job with sexual violence prevention.

She also said that marginalized groups on campus and those who have had bad experiences with police feel uncomfortable and unsafe with police presence on campus.

CORE education and transfer students

Professor Chris Sinclair presented on CORE education, which is in direct relation to HB 2998, which concerns transfer students and their ability to transfer from community colleges to a public university.

They want to have a solid foundation by the end of the year, according to Sinclair.

“The criteria and outcomes that were created, they are actually better articulated than what we used to have here at the UO and I feel like that’s a win,” Sinclair said.

Provost Jayanth Banavar also spoke on the subject, saying that CORE education is necessary and it’s “allowing them to succeed.”

Knight Campus Bond Addition

It was announced by Schill that legislature has provided $20 million in bonds, raising the investment by the state to $70 million.

Today was also the official groundbreaking of the Knight Campus.

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