University of Oregon sign

The University of Oregon Board of Trustees announced that several of its members will be holding office hours. They invite members of the UO community to come share their opinions with board representatives in the weeks leading up to the Dec. 3 board meeting.

The Board is the university’s governing body and has made many important decisions, such as increasing President Schill’s salary, raising tuition and renaming a controversial building.

Students have the opportunity to meet Will Paustian, the Board’s student member, at his office hours on Nov. 29 from 10 a.m. to noon in the EMU’s ASUO office. Paustian, a senior business administration major, encourages students to share any concerns about the university or ideas they have for the board.

“It’s always good to hear particularly about what students want on campus,” said Paustian. “If students are genuinely passionate about something, the Board wants to hear about that whether they think the university cares or even knows about the issue.”

While the December meeting’s agenda will not be finalized until the week before, the trustees will likely discuss the beginning of the next year’s tuition-setting process.

The Board of Trustees has overseen the tuition-setting process since it was created in 2013 and has approved a tuition increase each academic year since then, according to its minutes.

The tuition-setting process begins each year with meetings of the Tuition and Fees Advisory Board, which advises UO’s president on the challenges in the university budget and seeks student input, according to the TFAB website. The president then presents a final proposal to the Board, which makes the formal decision.

Tuition is by no means the only topic of discussion for the Board, Paustian said, adding that other topics include campus planning, degree approval and university finances.

“There are equally important decisions the board makes, but [tuition] definitely gets the most attention from students,” said Paustian.

Paustian encourages students to share their “success stories” with him at his office hours as well. He said the Board enjoys hearing the “day-to-day wins” of students, like scholarships or internships they’ve received.He added that any messages brought to his office hours would be shared with his colleagues on the Board.

Paustian is one of three trustees on the 14-member board hosting office hours prior to the next meeting. Laura Lee McIntyre held office hours for faculty members on Nov. 9.

Jimmy Murray will hold office hours for classified staff on Nov. 28 and for officers of administration on Nov. 29. Both sessions will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the EMU Metolius room, according to the Board’s announcement.

Paustian started holding office hours a few years ago and said he hopes they will allow student voices to be heard. This year will be his fourth and final year on the Board.

Paustian reflected on what he hopes for the future of the board. “It’s been fun to watch the growth,” he said. “I would like to see the Board and campus and administration and students kind of hit their stride together.”

The Board of Trustees’ student trustee hours will take place in the EMU in the first-floor ASUO office on Nov. 29 from 10 a.m. to noon.

The non-faculty staff member trustees’ hours will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the EMU Metolius room on Nov. 28 for classified staff and Nov. 29 for officers of administration.

The faculty trustee’s hours took place on Nov. 9.

Other times to meet trustees can be arranged by emailing the board at [email protected].

Zack Demars is an administration reporter for the Daily Emerald. He's into politics, people, candy corn and the Oxford comma. You should send him tips, pictures of your dog and your favorite vegetarian recipes at [email protected]

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