Thank you so much for all of the support, energy and time you devoted to joining us for Beaver Caucus Advocacy Day. We walked the halls of the Capitol, met with legislators and staff and shared the message of prioritizing higher education and OSU projects. We helped legislators see the importance of music and the arts with the Arts and Education Complex; the continued expansion of the OSU-Cascades campus with the Student Success Center; the economic and community impact with the OSU Statewide Public Service Programs and the true benefit of an Oregon State education. Thank you for lending your time and sharing your stories to ensure that the future of Oregon State University remains healthy and strong. We look forward to working with you in the new year! Go Beavs!
Please click the link to see the Legislator Letter to Governor Brown.
Join us for the Beaver Caucus Beer Mixer
Thursday, August 18
6:00pm – 8:00pm
OSU Food Innovation Center
1207 NW Naito Parkway
Free on-site parking available
Please click here to RSVP. If you have questions, please email email@example.com.
Beer Mixer with faculty from the OSU Fermentation Program and members of the Legislative Beer Caucus, including co-chairs State Senator Floyd Prozanski and State Representative Mark Johnson. This event is a great opportunity to reconnect with OSU alumni and friends, meet members of the OSU Fermentation Program, interact with our legislative leaders, and see OSU’s state of the art Food Innovation Center.
We will also talk briefly about what we are doing to prepare for the 2017 session of the Oregon State Legislature, which is going to be monumental for higher education. We will need a coordinated alumni network to advocate for continued funding in Oregon higher education to ensure OSU continues its growth as a world-class university available to students from every background.
Thank you for your great support of OSU. I hope you can join us on August 18.
There are still tickets available for the Aurora Crop Up (TM) Dinner and Market Showcase!
15210 NE Miley Rd – 15210 Northeast Miley Road, Aurora, OR 97002
There will be a total of five dinners happening this year and most are sold out. But don’t worry, you can join us in Aurora if you get your tickets fast. There will also be five dinners being hosted in 2017.
The dinners are going to be hosted by various Oregon State University Branch Experiment Stations to increase awareness around Oregon Specialty Crops. These crops are grown in local regions around each of the unique dinner sites.
There will be Specialty Market Showcases before dinner at each site providing an opportunity to learn more about the Specialty Crops.
Brought to you by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University.
Crop-UpTM Dinner Tickets cost only $20 per person and include access to the market showcase and dinner.
Thank you so much for all of your support, energy and time devoted to the future of higher education in our state. Together we helped the legislature see the importance of innovation with the University Venture Development Fund; the economic impact of the upcoming track and field championship and the true benefit of an Oregon State education. Thank you for lending your thoughts and sharing your stories to ensure that the future of Oregon State University remains healthy and strong. We look forward to an exciting year of new events and growing membership! Stay tuned..
By James Day — Corvallis Gazette Times
An educational alliance involving Oregon State University has received an $8.9 million federal grant to continue its work.
The University Innovation Alliance, a consortium of OSU and 10 other colleges, received the “First in the World” grant as part of a competition to encourage innovation in higher education.
The alliance will use the money to study the effectiveness of advising in increasing retention, progression and graduation rates for low income and first-generation students. Assisting such students is a key goal of the alliance.
“This grant will significantly aid Oregon State University’s effort to foster far greater student success,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “Along with other University Innovation Alliance partners, Oregon State will learn how to effectively use predictive analytics to improve student retention and graduation rates through individual advising and academic counseling.
“My intent is to share all that we learn throughout the higher education community.”
The grant will be administered by Georgia State University on behalf of the alliance. George State will conduct a four-year research study on all 11 alliance campuses. Students at each campus, who will be selected at random, will receive:
- Intensive, proactive advising to help them establish individualized academic maps
- Real-time alerts prompted by a system of analytics-based tracking when they may be struggling
- “The … grant will enable us to study the work already taking place at our 11 institutions,” said Bridget Burns, executive director of the alliance, “and test best practices using data analytics that we can share with an beyond the alliance.”
- Other universities in the alliance, which was launched last September, are Arizona State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, UC Riverside, Central Florida, Kansas and Texas.
By Ilene Aleshire, The Register Guard
CORVALLIS — The state Legislature has approved $29.7 million in state bonding to help fund the Oregon Forest Science Complex at Oregon State University.
The project aims to boost economic growth and create jobs while also supporting development of environmentally friendly wood construction, OSU officials said Wednesday.
The bond money, which will be matched by private funds, will help pay for construction of a new classroom and laboratory building and a state-of-the-art advanced wood products laboratory designed to support Oregon’s manufactured wood products industry and wood-building design companies, OSU officials said.
“With this project investment, the state of Oregon is doubling down to lead a new national effort to advance the science and technology of environmentally friendly wood construction,” College of Forestry Dean Thomas Maness said in a statement.
“We are partnering with companies in our forest products industry to bring new jobs to rural communities,” Maness said.
The new 85,000-square-foot classroom and research center will replace Peavy Hall on the Corvallis campus and will be used for professional forestry, wood science, renewable materials and interdisciplinary natural-resource education programs.
The new 20,000-square-foot research facility will be used to develop and test new wood-building products that could be manufactured in Oregon. The Advanced Wood Building Products Laboratory will include a high-bay lab, computer-controlled and robotic manufacturing systems and what OSU says is a unique strong floor for full-scale product testing.
The new facilities are scheduled to open in fall 2017, according to OSU.
Maness said the expanded research and degree programs that will be offered as a result of the expansion will give students “a real-life glimpse into the future of forestry and the wood products industry” while creating a trained workforce for the industry.
The new complex will be used by forestry and engineering students and faculty at OSU and also by students and faculty in the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts.
Among the innovations already being developed at OSU are cross-laminated timber panels, environmentally friendly adhesives, innovative connection systems that shorten construction time, and new applications of wood-based composites, OSU officials said.
By Richard Read, The Oregonian
Portland State University plans to reduce a controversial tuition increase and help more students complete degrees using strong higher-education funding authorized by the Legislature statewide this week.
Lawmakers boosted funding Monday for all seven Oregon public universities to $700 million for the 2015-15 biennium. Under the package signed by Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon’s 17 community colleges will get the full $550 million they had requested. The universities came close, having asked for $755 million.
The new post-secondary budget is the largest single biennial reinvestment in Oregon’s public colleges and universities in at least two decades, according to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. The increase is about 22 percent, almost double the growth in Oregon’s overall state budget.
“I want to thank the Legislature for recognizing the need to invest in the success of our students,” PSU President Wim Wiewel said in a prepared statement. “Many thought the dissolution of the chancellor’s office would lead to the universities fighting with each other. In fact, we’re collaborating better than ever, resulting in increased funding.”
Higher-education administrators are celebrating across Oregon, because the increased allocations partially restore funding to pre-recession amounts. They say they will be able to boost retention and graduation rates as financial aid also increases.
Technically, the increases don’t fully restore schools’ pre-recession budgets. Costs have climbed and four-year universities have enrolled 20,000 more students. State funding for the seven public universities had plunged by 38 percent since 2007, adjusted for inflation. During the same period, enrollment at the universities rose 23 percent, increasing tuition revenue but also costs for the schools.
The budget cuts dropped Oregon to No. 47 nationally for state support of post-secondary education. During the next legislative session, Wiewel and the other university presidents plan to push for the additional $55 million needed to reach 2007-09 funding levels.
Andrea Henderson, Oregon Community College Association executive director, is pleased with the $550 million.
But Henderson said that it would have taken $660 million to stay on track for Oregon’s so-called 40-40-20 goal. By 2025, this goal aims for 40 percent of Oregonians to have a baccalaureate degree or higher; for 40 percent to have an associate’s degree or certificate in a skilled occupation; and for the remaining 20 percent to have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Yet Hans Bernard, University of Oregon associate vice president for state and community affairs, said officials in Eugene and around the state welcome the appropriations.
“It’s clear that the Legislature and the governor made students a priority,” Bernard said. “This was a remarkable first step in reinvesting in higher education. All of the campuses are ready to deploy these dollars in ways that have a direct benefit for students.”
Di Saunders, an Oregon Institute of Technology spokeswoman, said universities can start rebuilding an administrative support network to increase retention and boost graduation rates.
“To hold the faculty harmless,” Saunders said, “what got cut was the administrative side. Those are the support services that are really the things that keep students on those campuses.”
For example, Saunders said, paid peer-to-peer networks can now be reestablished, so students can intervene when classmates consider dropping out. More counselors and faculty members can be mobilized to keep university students on track to graduate in four years.
“Sometimes it’s having another person in the financial-aid office to help,” said Saunders, regarding retention. “It’s having the counselors in what they call the student-life area.”
Other examples on OIT’s Wilsonville and Klamath Falls campuses, Saunders said, are clubs — guided by paid advisers – that bring together students with common interests or backgrounds. Clubs range from a 3-D printing club to groups for Latinos and for students from Hawaii.
“It helps students feel, ‘I can stay here, and I do belong here,'” she said..
Saunders used to work for the Oregon University System, speaking for the chancellor of higher education, who administered the state’s seven public universities. Last year legislators and former Gov. John Kitzhaber scrapped that system and disbanded the powerful State Board of Higher Education.
Under the new system, each university has its own board of trustees. A state commission coordinates higher education policy and distributes funds allocated by the Legislature. Therefore the Higher Education Coordinating Committee — known as HECC, as in “heck” – will soon get busy divvying up the increased dollars.
Ben Cannon, a former Kitzhaber education advisor, serves as HECC’s executive director. He called the Legislature’s increased post-secondary funding significant.
“Higher ed is seeing a much more robust increase in its funding than many other areas of the state budget,” Cannon said. “These are 20- to 30-percent increases in financial aid, universities and colleges at a time when the state budget is increasing overall — but not nearly at that rate.”
The Legislature appropriates lump sums for universities, community colleges and financial aid. In the past, Cannon said, two or three boards decided how to spread the dollars among institutions. Now the HECC does it all.
Although final figures aren’t in for the most recent semester, the HECC is starting to apply its formulas to divide up the post-secondary pie.
“We’ve significantly modified those formulas for the universities,” Cannon said, “and have work underway to modify it for the college side.”
Each university gets a base amount for fixed costs. Commissioners divide the remainder according to universities’ current enrollments and “outcomes,” such as retention and graduation rates. During the next four or five years, the HECC plans to move from primarily enrollment-based allocations to mainly outcome-based appropriations.
Community colleges remain on the old enrollment-based model, But they’ll begin shifting to outcome-based funding in fiscal 2017.
The Legislature passed at least 21 bills requiring the HECC to take certain actions. These range from launching a pilot program to offer some students free community-college tuition, as proposed by President Barack Obama on the federal level, to boosting on-line course material.
PSU will wait to see what it gets from the HECC before deciding how much to lower its planned increase in tuition and fees for Oregon undergraduates.
Students angrily protested the increase as PSU trustees met to vote on it March 12. Noisy demonstrators disrupted and halted the meeting, which was held in the school’s library during finals week. But board members voted to raise undergraduate tuition for a full-time student from $7,794 to $8,124 for the upcoming academic year, a 4.23 percent bump.
In addition to lowering the tuition increase, PSU President Wiewel plans to spend his university’s portion of an extra $30 million earmarked for “student success” to hire more advisors and faculty, and to invest in other student support services. Wiewel is away traveling in Vietnam to recruit students and to strengthen ties with Vietnamese universities.
PSU will use $60 million in state bonds approved by the Legislature to renovate heavily used Neuberger Hall, a 1960s-era building stuffed with classrooms, labs, faculty offices and student services such as admissions, financial aid and registration.
The Neuberger refurbishment is one of 11 new construction and renovation projects at public universities to be financed by $299 million in bonds. The higher-ed budget more than doubles spending on capital repair and renewal, from $30 million during the 2013-15 biennium to more than $65 million in the 2015-17 biennium.
Legislators also increased funding by 24 percent for the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the state’s need-based grant program that makes college more affordable for the state’s poorest students. The $141 million program will serve about 16,000 additional students