The budget proposal recently released by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown for 2017-19 includes funding for several UO priorities, including bonds for two projects that are key to the university’s future.
The budget supports funding the UO’s request of $100 million in bonds for the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact over three bienniums, with an initial investment of $34 million in 2017-19. It also includes $44 million in bonds for the UO’s classroom and faculty office building.
“These capital projects will allow us to ease current capacity constraints that affect undergraduate students and faculty, as well as bring to life the vision of the new Knight Campus by focusing on endowing faculty positions, building out entrepreneurial programs and ensuring that researchers have the resources needed to bring forward basic scientific discoveries that can change the world,” said Hans Bernard, the UO’s assistant vice president for state affairs and special assistant to the president.
In addition to capital construction funding, the governor’s budget recommends $667.3 million in operating funds for all seven public university campuses in Oregon. This level of funding would mean a modest cut to UO’s annual state allocation.
Finally, the governor increased funding to $151 million for the Oregon Opportunity Grant next biennium. If the Legislature funds the program at this level, it will provide grants to an estimated 5,000 additional students statewide.
This budget represents the beginning of a process to advocate for more investment in public universities and UO projects that will protect students and enhance the university’s ability to pursue excellence.
The governor’s budget also addresses Oregon’s $1.7 billion operating shortfall with a proposal for new revenue and a focus on investing in education, economic development, environmental stewardship and human services like foster care.