BOT meeting preview: Kate Brown presents, vote on Mariota Complex

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It’s that time of the term again. The University of Oregon’s governing board, the Board of Trustees, will hold its quarterly meeting on Thursday (1 p.m.) and Friday (9 a.m.) in the Giustina Ballroom at the Ford Alumni Center.

This will be UO President Michael Schill’s first meeting as a member of the board — and it’s an eventful one. As with every BOT meeting, this meeting is open to the public.

According to the agenda posted online for the meeting, the board will hear various presentations, including one from Oregon Governor Kate Brown, and vote on various renovation and construction proposals, like the Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Complex.

Board members will also be approving the university’s budget for fiscal year 2016.

Emerald news reporter Noah McGraw will be live blogging both sessions and posting updates online.

Here are some of the highlights to expect from the two-day meeting.

Day 1: presentations, presidential report and public comment

  • Public comments: the board has designated some time for input from the greater community. People wishing to speak in front of the board are asked to sign up beforehand.
  • President’s report.
  • Legislative update: the board will be given an “overview” of relevant legislation to higher education passed or proposed by the Oregon legislature since its adjournment in July.
    • An 18-percent increase in state funding for UO, bringing total state contribution to $63 million.
    • Purchase of 15 seismometers toward an “Earthquake Early Warning System” used to detect the Cascadia Earthquake minutes before the ground starts shaking. UO Geology Professor Doug Toomey will monitor the instruments.
    • UO will receive a reimbursement for the administration of meningitis vaccines from the Oregon Health Authority.

Day 2: Kate Brown, and board voting

  • Governor Kate Brown will present to the board about state priorities in higher education.
  • Vote on additions to the BOT bylaws, which includes an amendment to curb the number of absences and “participation by phone” of board members.
  • Vote to finalize the fiscal year 2016 budget: the ongoing bargaining sessions between the university and the Service Employees International Union prevented the board from finalizing the budget because labor costs are still unknown. This should be cleared up before the meeting.
  • Vote on construction/renovation projects and proposals:
    • The Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Center, while the project is fully funded by private donors, UO policy requires approval for all projects estimated to cost over $5 million.
    • Hayward Field Renovations: The board will vote on the proposal to increase the seating of the stadium to 30,000 in 2016. The Bowerman Building would be destroyed and replaced with an expansion.
    • Capital construction projects:
      • Renovation and seismic retrofitting to Chapman Hall: $10.67 million
      • Construction of a new College and Careers Building: $34.55 million
      • Renovation to Klamath Hall: $18.65 million
  • Vote on earlier student input in the tuition-setting process, something ASUO President Helena Schlegel voiced concerned about at the last BOT meeting in June.

Follow Noah McGraw on Twitter: @mcnoahmcgraw

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