The Beaver Caucus is committed to supporting Oregon State University, our world-class research institution. We do this by providing a platform to communicate directly to Oregon state policymakers who are making critical decisions impacting OSU’s future. During the 2019 legislative session we will make sure that legislators and the Governor are aware of the positive benefits that have resulted from the state’s investment in higher education, and we will work to ensure that this investment continues in 2019.
Here are some of the issues we will be advocating for during the legislative session:
1) Maintaining Operating Funds
The seven public universities have sought at least a $130 million increase in operating funds from $737 million for a total investment of $867 million. This request would ensure that tuition increases would stay below 5% per year each of the next two years. In August, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) recommended a $186 million increase in operating funds for a total of $923M. This request is obviously a significant improvement and would enable meaningful investments in student success and access while keeping tuition affordable.
2) Development of the OSU Arts and Education Complex
In April 2017, Oregon State University announced plans for a new arts and education complex. The proposal would renew, expand and enhance the existing LaSells Stewart Center in order to provide the university, the greater Corvallis community, and the entire state, a venue for music, theater, digital communications programs and the visual arts. The university is well into the process of securing $35 million in philanthropic funds and is seeking an additional $35 million in state bonds for a total investment of $70 million.
3) Continued Expansion of the OSU-Cascades Campus – Student Success Center
OSU Cascades continues to face enrollment growth and will need to continue expand its facilities to ensure that it meets the academic, counseling and extracurricular needs of students in the Central Oregon region. The university is seeking $12 million in bonds matched by $5 million in student fees – approved in a campus-wide vote – for the construction of the OSU-Cascades Student Success Center, which will improve learning outcomes while facilitating student engagement.