2019 State Legislative Agenda

University of Oregon
2019 Legislative Agenda

During the 2019 legislative session, the University, in partnership with students, faculty and staff, will pursue a legislative agenda that aims to ensure affordability, access, and success for students; deliver an excellent educational experience in an inclusive and diverse environment; and invest in faculty members to improve quality and promote academic research and innovation.

Access, affordability, and completion for Oregon students

  • Increase operating funding for Oregon public universities by at least $120 million for the 2019-21 biennium to keep tuition increases for resident, undergraduate students at UO at or below 5% for the next two years.
  • Increase funding for state programs, which include UO’s Engineering & Technology Sustaining Funds, Labor Education Research Center, TallWood Design Institute, dispute resolution programs, Clinical Legal Education, and other signature research centers.
  • Increase investment in the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the state’s only need-based aid program.
  • Protect and expand funding for Sports Equity Scholarships through the Oregon Lottery, which helps UO meet Title IX requirements to equitably fund women’s athletics and provide graduate scholarships.

Invest in facilities that produce high-demand degrees and discovery

  • All seven public universities request the allocation of $65 million for capital improvement and renewal for maintenance of existing buildings and ensuring that students have safe and appropriate environments in which to learn and live.
  • $54 million in state-backed bonds for the renovation of Huestis Hall, a 45-year old structure that is the teaching and research hub for biological sciences at the UO. It serves 3,000 students each year. It has urgent seismic vulnerabilities and accessibility and safety deficiencies. The project will eliminate nearly $19 million of deferred maintenance and protect many of the UO’s K-12 pipeline and summer STEM programs for girls and low-income students.

Academic excellence and ingenuity

  • Create a state matching fund for the Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP), which embeds UO students and faculty members within an Oregon city, county, special district, or tribe for an entire academic year. Students work on partner-identified projects to provide ideas for real solutions to community challenges. Many communities—especially those in more rural areas—want to particpate but cannot afford it.  A matching fund would allow more Oregonians to be served.
  • Through a one-time investment purchase a new ship for the UO’s Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, which will add teaching and research capacity on Oregon’s Coast. The UO will match the state’s investment through philanthropic gifts.
  • Investment in the UO’s prison education programming, Inside Out, which operates in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Corrections to bring credit-bearing courses to approximately 300 inmates each year. Programs like these help reduce recidivism rates in Oregon and broaden the student experience.
  • Support Governor Brown’s ‘Resilience 2025’ proposal that will fund the full build out of ShakeAlert by 2023. ShakeAlert is the earthquake early warning and wildfire monitoring seismic sensor network operated through the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, of which UO is an active member with other West Coast universities.

Partnerships for Economic Transformation

  • Support investments in research and discovery, including grant funding and other innovative policies or funding initiatives that leverage Oregon’s industry strengths and workforce needs with the UO’s academic portfolio.