2021 State Legislative Agenda

University of Oregon
2021 Legislative Agenda

The UO is advocating for the following funding requests that support affordability, basic needs of students, capital improvement, and research.

$900 MILLION INVESTMENT IN THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY SUPPORT FUND (PUSF): The PUSF is the primary source of state funding for operations and services to students. An increase of $63 million in the PUSF, totaling $900 million, for the 2021-23 biennium will help the UO ensure that the University can keep tuition for incoming students as low as possible.

INCREASE FUNDING FOR THE OREGON OPPORTUNITY GRANT (OOG): The OOG is Oregon's largest state-funded, need-based grant program for college students. It is the state's only need-based aid program. Approximately 40,000 students receive Opportunity Grants each year, including 2,600 UO students.

PROTECT AND EXPAND FUNDING FOR SPORTS LOTTERY SCHOLARSHIPS: These scholarships help the UO and all universities meet Title IX requirements to equitably fund women’s athletics and provide academic scholarships to graduate students.

SUPPORT LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS TO ADDRESS BASIC NEEDS OF STUDENTS: Legislators and stakeholders are working hard to address the basic needs of students, including proposals to address textbook affordability, food security, and housing costs. Tuition is only one barrier that students face, and it is imperative that the state partner with universities to help address the full slate of expenses students face as they pursue a degree. The ability of students to meet basic needs is an equity issue. In a 2017 survey assessing student basic needs security, 44 percent of Black survey respondents report experiencing food insecurity. Among White students, that number is 35 percent. Latinx students report at 50 percent. Native students report at 65 percent.

SUPPORT INCREASED FUNDING FOR UNIVERSITY STATE PROGRAMS: These programs contribute to local communities in all 36 Oregon counties. The programs at the UO include the Labor Education Research Center, the TallWood Design Institute, dispute resolution programs, the Clinical Legal Education program, and signature research centers like the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) and the Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI). A7.4 percent funding increase will cover the necessary increasing costs for these State Programs.

RENEW THE UNIVERSITY VENTURE DEVELOPMENT FUND (UVDF) TAX CREDIT: The University Venture Development Fund (UVDF) helps make new research discoveries commercially viable. By providing tax credits to individuals and corporations who make cash gifts or donate publicly traded stocks, it raises money to support entrepreneurship programs, delivers opportunities to apply research to commercial activities, and funds efforts to transform novel concepts into products and services. The fund has provided incalculable benefits to the Oregon economy and to its residents and its impact can be felt far and wide.

SUPPORT $80 MILLION FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT AND RENEWAL: This fund is divided among the seven public universities and is used for code compliance, safety issues, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility improvements for campus facilities. The Governor’s Recommended Budget includes $80 million for maintenance of existing buildings, ensuring that students have safe and appropriate environments in which to learn and live.

$58.5 MILLION TO FUND THE HERITAGE RENOVATION PROJECT: The Heritage Project is a National Historic Landmark and consists of two of the oldest surviving public academic buildings in Oregon, University and Villard Halls. These are the founding buildings of the University of Oregon campus and the birthplace of public higher education in Oregon. The Heritage Project houses UO’s core STEAM programs—math, literary arts, and performing arts. Each year 7,000 students attend classes and perform in Heritage buildings and they house offices of 115 faculty members.

The Heritage Project will:

  • Provide critical seismic, fire, and life safety up grades
  • Make the facilities accessible to all students and compatible with modern technology and classroom learning
  • Preserve the architectural and historic significance of the site