When the Oregon State Legislature passed the bill that gave Oregon’s public universities the ability to govern themselves through independent boards of directors, it included a provision that enabled universities to invest their funds in stocks. The intention was to provide universities with more investment options that could result in both higher yields and greater stability. Subsequent legal opinions indicate that Oregon’s State Constitution has to be amended to extend this opportunity to the universities. So, the universities are seeking a legislative ballot referral to put the measure on the November 2016 ballot. This referral will have to be passed out of the Legislature so that Oregon voters can approve it this fall.
While this may seem like an arcane issue, it is vital that OSU have the full spectrum of investment options to manage its portfolio with best practices in mind.