Government & Community Relations Blog

House committee passes College Cost Reduction Act

February 22, 2024

The US House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing on January 31 on Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC5)’s College Cost Reduction Act (H.R. 6951).


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2024 Oregon Legislature convenes for short session

February 6, 2024

The 82nd Oregon Legislative Assembly convened on February 5 to kick off the 2024 Legislative Session. In this condensed session, which concludes on March 10, legislators will consider legislation and budget adjustments. 


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Federal budget deadlines pushed to March

January 29, 2024

On January 19, President Joe Biden signed into law a continuing resolution (H.R. 2872) that will fund the government into March avoiding a shutdown and giving lawmakers additional time to determine how to allocate funds for FY 24.


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Tina Guldberg joins GCR team

January 19, 2024

Tina Guldberg, UO Assistant Vice President, Economic Development and Strategic Relations, has joined the UO Government and Community Relations team.


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Bill with amendment authorizing quantum research funds passes out of committee

December 15, 2023

On November 29, on a unanimous bipartisan vote, the House Science Committee passed out of committee H.R. 6213 – the National Quantum Initiative Reauthorization Act. Included in the bill is an amendment led by U.S. Representatives Andrea Salinas (OR-06) and Jim Baird (IN-04), that amends the National Quantum Initiative Reauthorization Act and drastically accelerates quantum research and development in the United States. The legislation now awaits a vote by the full House of Representatives.


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Congress passes continuing resolution, expires January 19

November 29, 2023

On November 17, President Biden signed the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act (H.R. 6363). This prevents a government shutdown and gives Congress more time to finalize FY24 appropriations bills. The legislation sets a January 19 deadline for Congress to pass the FY24 Agriculture-FDA, Energy and Water, Military Construction-VA, and Transportation-HUD bills. The remaining eight appropriations bills now have a February 2 deadline. The bill does not include any supplemental funding or cuts to existing levels of funding.


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SCYP and City of Salem kick off year long partnership

October 25, 2023

This article first published by UO College of Design on Oct. 23.


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Congresswoman Salinas introduces bipartisan bill to accelerate quantum instrumentation, resources

October 16, 2023

On October 13, Congresswoman Andrea Salinas (OR-06) and Congressman Jim Baird (IN-04) introduced the Quantum Instrumentation for Science and Engineering Act (HB 5950), bipartisan legislation that will accelerate quantum research and development in the United States.


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Congress passes CR to fund federal government through Nov. 17

October 4, 2023

On September 30, the House and the Senate voted to pass a continuing resolution (H.R. 5860) to fund the federal government through November 17. Oregon’s two senators and six members of the House of Representatives all voted in favor of the stopgap funding bill.


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Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum won't seek reelection

September 22, 2023

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, a UO “double duck” alum who earned a BS in Sociology in 1971 and a law degree in 1975, announced that she will not be seeking reelection in 2025.

Rosenblum has been an active supporter of the UO and a pillar of the Oregon legal community. Her career path included practicing law as an assistant U.S. attorney in Eugene and Portland and serving as an Oregon district, circuit, and court of appeals judge. In 2012, she made history when she was elected the first woman to serve as Oregon Attorney General.


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DACA struck down again, but protections remain in place for current recipients

September 26, 2023

On September 13, the U.S. District for the Southern District of Texas ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is unlawful, rejecting an effort to codify the policy from the Biden Administration. With the newest ruling, current recipients will be allowed to renew their status pending eligibility, but new applicants will not be accepted.


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New president spends first months connecting with community

September 13, 2023

Article first appeared in Around the O on September 13.

President Karl Scholz is counting down the days until the University of Oregon campuses are filled with students again. The university’s 19th president officially took office July 1.


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New earthquake center coming to the UO

September 11, 2023

The first National Science Foundation-funded subduction zone earthquake science center is a large-scale collaborative effort led by the University of Oregon.

The Cascadia Region Earthquake Science Center (CRESCENT) will conduct shoreline-crossing earthquake hazards research focused on the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ), diversify the geoscience workforce, provide skills training, and improve connections across the subduction zone geohazards community of practice.


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Inman named VP of Government and Community Relations

September 5, 2023

Tim Inman, university secretary, is taking on an additional role he’s played on an interim basis since January 2023; Vice President of Government and Community Relations.


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Will Congress take budget action in September?

September 1, 2023

With the new fiscal year fast approaching on October 1, Congress is considering budget changes impacting students and higher education institutions. The US House and Senate Appropriations committees have proposed significantly different FY24 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations funding levels. While important programs such as the Pell Grant have received increased funding in both House and Senate bills, other programs such as Federal Work Study and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants have received no funding in the House bill.


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SCYP partners with City of Salem for 2023-24 school year

July 31, 2023

The City of Salem has been selected by the University of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) for the 2023-2024 academic year.  This year-long partnership helps communities solve the problems of today and lay the groundwork for a sustainable, livable future—all while helping students prepare for the workforce through applied learning. 


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U.S. House appropriations includes funding for ShakeAlert

July 27, 2023

The FY2024 House Appropriations Full Committee has recommended funding ShakeAlert at the requested level of $32.6 million and it will be marked up by the Senate Appropriations Full Committee on July 27. The recommendation includes $32 million for continued development and expansion of the ShakeAlert West Coast earthquake early warning system as well as capital costs associated with the system’s buildout.


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Vessel promises new era for Institute of Marine Biology

June 28, 2023

Article first appeared in Around the O, on June 22.

After more than four years of fundraising, design and fabrication, the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology christened a new boat that promises to reveal lesser-known regions of the sea to future generations of students and scientists at the University of Oregon.


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Legislative Session ends with wins for UO

June 26, 2023

2023 Session Overview

On Sunday, June 25, Oregon lawmakers adjourned the 2023 Legislative Session. The unprecedented turnover of leadership positions at the state level made for some growing pains. This was the first legislative session with a new governor, Tina Kotek, and with new presiding officers in both Chambers—Senate President Rob Wagner and Speaker of the House Dan Rayfield. Changes were felt beyond leadership with around 40 percent of the state legislators new to their seats this term and over half of the legislators experiencing their first in-person session.


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Another Year, Another Successful Partnership: SCYP Wraps Up Engagement with Sisters

June 23, 2023

Article first appeared on UO School of Public Planning, Policy and Management news site, June 14, 2023


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Federal debt ceiling deal impacts higher ed

June 5, 2023

On June 3, President Biden signed the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 into law, suspending the debt ceiling until 2025. The bill caps non-defense spending at its current level and allows it to increase by 1% during FY2025.


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UO students and faculty testify at Joint Ways and Means Committee hearings

May 19, 2023

Over three sessions in late April, dozens of representatives from Oregon’s seven public universities, including the University of Oregon, testified before the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Education for the purpose of advocating for support and funding for Oregon’s public universities.


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UO moves toward becoming an Hispanic-serving institution

April 27, 2023

Article first appeared in Around the O on April 26, 2023

The University of Oregon is making significant strides towards becoming a designated Hispanic-serving institution with the release of a comprehensive report and the recent appointment of a special adviser to lead the initiative.


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Coquille gift will complete processing of DeFazio archive

April 27, 2023

Article first appeared in Around the O on April 25, 2023

Thanks to a $250,000 gift from the Coquille Indian Tribe, the UO will be able to catalogue the recently donated archives of alumnus Congressman Peter DeFazio from his 36-year tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives.


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UO advocates head to Salem to meet with legislators

April 18, 2023

On April 13, 83 student, alumni, faculty and staff advocates from the University of Oregon traveled to the State Capitol to advocate the university’s priorities and funding requests for this year’s legislative session.


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EPA funding supports new center for wildfire smoke research

April 14, 2023

Articles first appeared in Around the O on April 11.

Oregon’s U.S Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have secured $800,000 in funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to launch the Center for Wildfire Smoke Research and Practice at the University of Oregon.


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President Biden releases FY24 proposed budget

March 24, 2023

On March 9, President Joe Biden released the administration's FY24 budget proposal.


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Oregon delegation receives U.S. House committee assignments

March 21, 2023

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have received their committee assignments for the 118th Congress. The House delegation from Oregon grew from five to six members with the addition of a sixth congressional seat. In addition, due to the expansion and departures of US Congressmen Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader, there are three freshman members in the Oregon House delegation.

New members of the Oregon Congressional delegation


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2023 Oregon Legislative Session is in full swing

February 9, 2023

The Oregon Legislature kicked of the 2023 session on January 17, beginning a 160-day long session that will include consideration of policy legislation as well as creating and approving the state budget for 2023-2025. The Legislature is constitutionally required to wrap up by June 25.


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Congresswoman applauds the UO's career training efforts

January 20, 2023

Article first appeared in Around the O, January 20

U.S. Rep. Val Hoyle met with University of Oregon College of Education leaders and faculty members Thursday to discuss programs that train students for licensed professions and to find ways to get more students into the workforce, with or without a college degree.


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2023 Oregon Impact Map includes new congressional and legislative districts

January 20, 2023

The Oregon Impact Map is an interactive map that tells the story of the University of Oregon’s fiscal and community impact in every Oregon county, legislative district, and congressional district. The tool displays data regarding UO students, alumni, financial aid received, and other informative topics in a customized and organized format.


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FY23 Omnibus includes priorities for UO and higher ed

January 3, 2023

On December 29, President Joe Biden signed into law the FY23 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which provides $1.67 trillion in discretionary appropriations and funds the federal government for the remainder of FY23 through September 30, 2023.

Topping off a consequential 117th Congress where significant investments were made in student aid, pandemic relief, research, and infrastructure, the FY2023 budget includes some record increases for student aid and progress on implementation of CHIPS & Science Act.


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Appropriations package includes funding for UO’s Sustainable City Year Program

December 22, 2022

Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced in a news release that the 2023 omnibus appropriations package that just passed in the Senate includes 145 community-initiated projects in Oregon.


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Omnibus text includes waiver for Build America Bonds subsidy expiration

December 20, 2022

The text of the omnibus bill just released includes a waiver from statutory PAYGO enforcement for FY2023 and FY2024, which means, pending passage of the bill by both chambers, that subsidy payments of Build America Bonds (BABs) will be waived until 2025.


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Higher education organizations call on Congress to address Build America Bonds subsidy expiration

November 21, 2022

The American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and other higher education organizations are urging Congress to take action during the lame-duck session to address the looming expiration of federal subsidy payments of Build America Bonds (BABs) due to sequestrating. The eliminations of these payments would impact higher education institutions in more than 25 states, including the University of Oregon.


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Recap: 2022 General Election

November 10, 2022

This election cycle brought some of the closest races for Governor and Congressional seats that the state has seen in recent history with the three-way race for Governor, three open seats in Congress, and the status of the majorities of the State House and Senate up for grabs.


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UO research’s impact on community continues to grow

November 8, 2022

Article first published by Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, November 7.

The University of Oregon continued its multiyear streak of increasing grant funding in fiscal year 2021-22 (FY22). Numerous faculty members received recognition for their contributions to research, as well as the number of research awards with direct positive effects on local and regional communities.


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Continuing resolution to avert partial government shutdown passed by Congress

September 30, 2022

On September 30, the US House of Representatives, on a vote of 230 to 201, passed a continuing resolution to extend government funding through December 16, while also approving $12.4 billion in military and diplomatic sending to help Ukraine its war against Russia. The CR also contains $4.5 billion for domestic disaster recovery efforts, including Western wildfires, floods in Kentucky and hurricanes in the Southeast.

The Senate previously passed the bill on Thursday, 72 to 25. It now goes to President Biden’s desk for his signature.


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UO wildfire experts share research at roundtable with Merkley

September 21, 2022

Article first appeared in Around the O on September 19.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley came to the University of Oregon Friday, Sept. 16, for a roundtable discussion on the growing problem of wildfire smoke in Oregon communities and how academic research and practice can help address the issue.

Merkley, an Oregon Democrat and chair of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, earmarked $800,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency in March to establish a new Center for Wildfire Smoke Research and Practice at the University of Oregon.


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UO programs bolstered by $16M in Build Back Better funds

September 2, 2022

Article first appeared in Around the O on September 2.

Researchers at the University of Oregon will receive more than $16 million in federal funds as part of a major government grant to the Oregon Mass Timber Coalition from the Build Back Better Regional Challenge.


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University names new associate vice president for state affairs

September 2, 2022

Article first appeared in Around the O on Sept. 2.

Veteran public affairs director Trent Lutz is joining the University of Oregon as its new associate vice president for state affairs. 


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DHS issues DACA final rule but program remains in legal jeopardy

August 29, 2022

On August 24, the Biden administration finalized a rule that preserves and fortifies the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy for more than 600,000 so-called “Dreamers” to defer removal of certain noncitizens who years earlier came to the U.S. as children.  The ruling goes into effect on October 31, 2022. The rule will make it easier for current enrollees to renew their immigration status.


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CHIPS and Science Act passes Congress

August 9, 2022

The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 passed both chambers of Congress and was signed by President Joe Biden on August 9. The bill includes five years of funding authorizations for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy Office of Science, $52 billion in grants, subsidies, and tax incentives to strengthen domestic semiconductor production, advancement of diversity in STEM education, and reauthorization of key NASA space programs. A fact sheet produced by the U.S.


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FY2023 appropriations process update

July 21, 2022

On July 20, the US House of Representatives passed a consolidated appropriations bill advancing FY23 budgets related to Interior, Energy & Water and other agencies. They did not act on some of the U.S. House Appropriations committee mark ups completed during the last week of June, including funding for student aid and certain research agencies. A number of bills include funding important to the University of Oregon, including for financial aid support and federal scientific research.


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Policy makers celebrate 50th anniversary of the Federal Pell Grant

July 8, 2022

On June 23 the University of Oregon joined Members of Congress, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read, higher education associations, and other advocates in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Federal Pell Grant.


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UO faculty member Simnitt appointed to HECC

June 6, 2022

UO faculty member Emily Simnitt is one of three people nominated by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and confirmed by the Oregon Senate to serve on the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

Simnitt will serve a two-year term beginning in July. She will represent the public university faculty position on the commission.


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DeFazio, Blumenauer and Bonamici join colleagues in urging Congress to double the Pell Grant

May 9, 2022

On April 27, U.S. Reps Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, and Suzanne Bonamici from Oregon joined 111 of their U.S. House colleagues in signing a letter asking for a significant increase in investment of the Federal Pell Grant in Fiscal Year 2023.


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Coalition urges Congress to appropriate at least $815 million for IES in FY23; National Academies provide vision for NCER

April 18, 2022

On April 7, the University of Oregon signed onto a letter urging congressional leaders to include additional Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funding for FY 2023 appropriations. The letter urges Congress to appropriate at least $815 million for IES in FY 2023 as an important step toward a goal of funding $1 billion for IES in the next few years. The request is based on the allocation recommended by the US Senate in its FY2022 mark-up.


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FY22 appropriations bill includes funding for UO Center For Wildfire Smoke Research and Practice

March 22, 2022

The omnibus FY22 Appropriations spending bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11 includes $800,000 for a project at the Center for Wildfire Smoke Research and Practice housed at the University of Oregon.

The funding comes from the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations portion of the bill. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Senate Interior Appropriations subcommittee.


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FY22 omnibus bill includes increases for Pell Grant, research agencies

March 21, 2022

On March 11, President Joe Biden signed the FY22 omnibus appropriations bill – H.R. 2471, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 – to fund the federal government until the end of the current fiscal year, ending September 30, 2022.

The following is a summary of appropriations that impact the University of Oregon and other higher education institutions and research universities:


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UO Impact Map update includes new congressional and legislative districts

March 11, 2022

The Oregon Impact map is interactive map that tells the story of the University of Oregon’s impact in every Oregon county, legislative district, and congressional district. The tool displays data about UO students, alumni, and other interesting details in a customized and informative way.


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2022 Oregon Legislative Session wrap up

March 7, 2022

The Oregon Legislature wrapped up its 2022 short session on Friday, March 4. The University of Oregon and its students and faculty will benefit from a number of investments and policy updates.

Here’s a summary of some significant investments and legislation that impact the UO.

University of Oregon Investments:


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Continuing resolution passed by US House, Senate action pending

February 11, 2022

On February 8, the US House of Representatives voted 272-162 to pass a continuing resolution H.R. 6617 to extend government funding through March 11. The Senate has not yet acted on the measure although there is an agreement in principle among leaders about a framework for finalizing the FY22 budget.


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America COMPETES Act, including College Transparency Act, passes U.S. House

February 8, 2022

On February 4, the U.S. House passed H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act of 2022. The goal of the legislative package is to make transformational new investments in research, innovation, and American manufacturing that will accelerate U.S.


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Larco testifies before U.S. House Committee about impacts of autonomous vehicles

February 4, 2022

On February 2, UO Professor of Architecture and Urban Design Nico Larco, Director of the Urbanism Next Center, testified before the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which is chaired by Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR).


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2022 state legislative session begins; UO priorities include support for transition to college, renovation projects

February 2, 2022

The Oregon Legislature kicked off the 2022 legislative session on Tuesday, February 1, beginning a 35-day short session to move legislation and distribute funds.

The short session has quick deadlines for bills to stay alive, with committee approval needed by February 7, and passage out of the chamber of origin by February 14. The Legislature is constitutionally required to wrap up by March 7, 2022.


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DeFazio announces he will retire at the end of his current term

December 16, 2021

On Dec. 1, Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) announced he will not seek re-election in 2022. DeFazio, who represents Oregon’s 4th Congressional District, will have served 36 years in the House of Representatives when his term ends, making him the longest serving House Member from Oregon and the 65th-longest serving member of the House in U.S. history. Articles about his retirement announcement and career can be found on his website.


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Two UO students win recognition in Science Coalition Video Challenge

December 16, 2021

On Dec. 14 The Science Coalition (TSC) announced the winners of its third-annual Fund It Forward Student Video Challenge. Graduate and undergraduate students currently enrolled at TSC member institutions, including the University of Oregon, were asked to create a video explaining their personal connection to fundamental research and why Congress should continue to invest in the partnership between federal research agencies and their university counterparts.


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Continuing resolution funds federal government through Feb. 18

December 7, 2021

On Dec. 2, Congress approved and President Joe Biden signed a continuing resolution (H.R. 6119) that will keep the federal government running and avert a shutdown through Feb. 18, 2022.


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New Oregon congressional and legislative district boundaries survive court challenges

December 6, 2021

Lawsuits challenging proposed boundaries for Oregon congressional and legislative districts have been dismissed.

On Nov. 22 the Oregon Supreme Court dismissed two separate lawsuits claiming that state legislative districts passed in September were improperly drawn, ruling that challengers had not proven that the new boundaries were crafted with illegal partisan intent.


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Build Back Better Act passes the House

November 29, 2021

On Friday, Nov. 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act, H.R. 5376, which includes the following substantial investments in higher education.

The Build Back Better Act provides a $550 increase to the maximum Pell grant, available to students attending public and private non-profit institutions. The bill also makes Dreamers eligible for Pell Grants, as well as other Title IV federal aid. The bill includes a modest $500 million investment in a new College Completion Fund.


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Biden signs into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

November 16, 2021

On Nov.15 President Joe Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, H.R. 3684. The US House of Representatives approved the legislation on Nov. 5, following months of tense negotiations and delays and earlier action by the US Senate. The bipartisan infrastructure bill provides $1.2 trillion over eight years for infrastructure improvements, including more than $500 billion for core infrastructure projects such as roads, broadband, and electric utilities improvements.


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UO's Sustainable City Year program heads east to Hermiston

November 12, 2021

For the first time in its 13-year history, the UO’s Sustainable City Year Program is partnering with a community in northeastern Oregon.


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Merkley secures funding for UO wildfire smoke research

November 1, 2021

The US Senate appropriations bill for FY2022 to fund Interior, Environment and related agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, the US Department of Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency, includes $800,000 in funding to establish a Center for Wildfire Smoke Research and Practice at the University of Oregon. US Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) chairs the subcommittee with jurisdiction over these programs.


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Major grants helped spur record research growth in 2020-21

October 26, 2021

Article first appeared in Around the O on October 25.

UO researchers scored $172.5 million in grant funding in the past fiscal year, a new record for the university that continues a multiyear trend of research growth at the UO, according to new figures.


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Governor visits campus to thank the UO for pandemic efforts

October 15, 2021

Article first appeared in Around the O on October 15.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown visited the UO on Friday to recognize the university’s commitment and progress in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.   


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New redistricting maps adopted, including new 6th Congressional District

October 4, 2021

On September 27, the Oregon Legislative Assembly completed the adoption of new congressional and legislative redistricting maps for Oregon with the passage of Senate Bills 881 and 882. Gov.


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University leaders urge Wyden and Merkley to increase the Pell Grant

September 28, 2021

On September 22, the Oregon Council of Presidents sent a letter signed by all seven Oregon university presidents to U.S. Senators Wyden and Merkley urging them to work with their colleagues to increase the Pell Grant by $1,475 as part of the Senate’s version of the Build Back Better reconciliation package.

While President Biden’s proposed budget included an increase in the Pell Grant of $1,475, the U.S. House proposed a $500 increase per year to the grant, falling far below the President’s request.


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US House takes up $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package

September 14, 2021

Last week the US House committee chairs released and began mark-up on a series of reconciliation bills that are intended to provide $3.5 trillion in new investments. The reconciliation bills are based on elements of President Joe Biden’s American Families and Jobs Plans.According to the budget resolution passed by Congress, House committees are instructed to finish their work by September 15.


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COVID-19 has hit farmworkers especially hard, UO studies show

August 30, 2021

Article first appeared in Around the O on August 30.

A new UO study, which was recently shared with the U.S. secretary of labor, shows that COVID-19 has caused long-term economic, social, physical and mental health challenges for farmworkers in Oregon.


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UO joins White House COVID Campus Vaccine Challenge

August 3, 2021

Article first appeared in Around the O on August 3.

In a continued effort to combat the pandemic and maintain safety protocols for the campus community, the University of Oregon has joined the White House COVID-19 Campus Vaccine Challenge.


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UO prof testifies before Merkley-led subcommittee on environmental justice

August 2, 2021

First published in Around the O on July 26.

UO Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies Professor Laura Pulido, who holds the Collins Chair, testified before a congressional subcommittee July 22, offering members an overview of issues exacerbating environmental justice issues in the United States.

Pulido, who has studied environmental justice for more than 30 years, provided members of the Subcommittee of Chemical Safety, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, and Regulatory Oversite, chaired by Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, with an update of some of the key issues.


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#DoublePell campaign launched by APLU

July 16, 2021

On June 13 higher education organizations launched #DoublePell, a new national campaign to double the maximum Pell Grant award. The campaign is aimed at encouraging current and future Pell Grant recipients and others to speak out and contact members of Congress to encourage their support of doubling the maximum Pell Grant to $13,000.


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Fisher and RAPID-EC colleagues brief congressional staff on impacts of the pandemic on families and children

July 14, 2021

On Thursday, July 8, Professor Phil Fisher, Director of the UO Center for Translational Neuroscience, and colleagues with the Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development - Early Childhood (RAPID-EC) project provided U.S. Senate staff with a briefing on a nation-wide longitudinal survey about childhood and family well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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UO faculty meet with Bonamici, Bentz to advocate for NSF funding

July 1, 2021

In late June, a number of UO faculty, led by Interim VP for Research Cass Moseley, met virtually with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Congressman Cliff Bentz (R-OR) and encouraged them to support at least $10 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF) during the FY22 appropriations cycle.


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Lawmakers fund renovations of University and Villard halls

July 1, 2021

This article first appeared in Around the O on June 30.

The Oregon Legislature approved funding for the University of Oregon’s capital construction request before closing out the 2021 legislative session.


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Merkley, Bonamici lead efforts in support of IES appropriations

June 30, 2021

As Congress considers appropriations for FY22, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) have led efforts to secure funding for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).


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Legislature ends session with gains for higher education

June 28, 2021

Article first appeared in Around the O on June 28.

The Oregon Legislature has wrapped up its 2021 session after making some important investments in higher education.

Lawmakers approved a requested $900 million for the Public University Support Fund, $703 million for the Community College Support Fund, and an increase for the Oregon Opportunity Grant.


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More than 100 participate virtually in UO Day at the Capitol

May 27, 2021

2021 UO Day at the Capitol, held virtually on May 25, was unlike any of the previous in-person advocacy days of years past and turned out to be a great success. Over 100 faculty, staff, students, trustees and alumni participated to advocate for funding and policy priorities of UO.

The event started off the evening before with a virtual orientation session with remarks by UO leaders and Governor Kate Brown before advocates broke into groups to plan for their legislative visits.


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May state revenue forecast predicts significant growth

May 26, 2021

On May 19, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released the May 2021 Revenue Forecast. This is the fifth forecast capturing the impact of COVID-19 on Oregon’s economy, the second of 2021, and the final forecast before the biennial budget is finalized and adopted by lawmakers in late June.

As the state economist put it – Oregon has not seen revenue growth this fast since the "morning in America moment" of 1984. Highlights include:


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American Families Plan proposes paths for college affordability

May 20, 2021

At the end of April, the White House announced the American Families Plan, which includes a proposal for an additional four years of free, public education for the nation’s young people before and after K-12. Specifically, the plan includes $200 billion for free universal pre-school for all three- and four-year-olds and $109 billion for two years of free community college. 


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Guidance for $36 billion to Higher ed institutions announced

May 18, 2021

On May 11, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced more than $36 billion in emergency grants provided under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act for postsecondary education and released guidance about use of the funds.


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Geri Richmond nominated for a top post in US Energy Department

May 3, 2021

First appeared in Around the O on April 29, 2021

Geraldine Richmond, the UO’s Presidential Chair in Science and a much-honored professor of chemistry, has been nominated to serve in the Biden administration as undersecretary for science in the Department of Energy.

Richmond is one of 16 people recently nominated by President Joe Biden for positions in his administration. Her nomination requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.


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Oregon gains additional seat in U.S. House of Representatives

April 28, 2021

On Monday, April 26, the U.S. Census Bureau released figures indicating that the state of Oregon’s population has expanded over the last decade enough to give it an additional congressional district for the first time in 40 years, increasing Oregon’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives from five to six. Ron Jarmin, acting director of the U.S. Census Bureau, led the news conference.


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Next election is May 18, deadline to register is April 27

April 23, 2021

The deadline to register to vote in the May 18, 2021 Special Election in Oregon is Tuesday, April 27 at 11:59 pm.

The ballot will include candidates for local school board races, community college board races, park, fire, and water district boards, and county-wide ballot initiatives. UO Government & Community Relations asks you to check your registration and make a plan to vote.

There are multiple ways to register as an Oregon voter or update your voter registration. Options include:


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Biden FY22 skinny budget proposal includes increases for the Pell Grant, education and health spending

April 14, 2021

On April 9, President Joe Biden sent a letter to congressional leadership outlining his request for FY22 discretionary spending. The “skinny budget” includes investments in public health, the economy, the climate crisis, advancing equity, restoring America’s global standing and confronting 21st century security challenges. A formal budget request is expected in May. The 58 page request can be found here.


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White House releases $2.25 trillion American jobs plan

April 14, 2021

On March 31, the White House released a framework for a $2.25 trillion, eight-year infrastructure package that aims to improve the nation’s transportation, renewable energy, and manufacturing infrastructure, including significant funding for scientific research.


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Higher ed associations release key immigration priorities

April 6, 2021

In March the Association of American Universities (AAU), the American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). and nine other higher education associations compiled a list of key immigration priorities. The intent is to provide the higher education community’s consideration of proposed immigration legislation, as well as regulatory or executive action on immigration issues, especially related to COVID-19.

The priorities include:


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NSF reauthorization bill introduced in the US House

April 5, 2021

On March 26, the National Science Foundation for the Future Act was introduced in the US House of Representatives by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.  The bill would authorize funding for the entire agency from FY22-26, increasing funding about 6 percent each year to a total of $13.3 billion in FY26, up from its current funding of approximately $7 billion/year.


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US House passes bill that would provide permanent protections for Dreamers and DACA recipients

April 5, 2021

On March 18, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 on a vote of 228 to 197. Nine Republicans joined all Democrat members in support of the bill. If enacted, the bill will provide permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.


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UO asks Congress for $700 million for IES in FY22

April 1, 2021

The University of Oregon signed on to a March 23 letter to the leadership of the US House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies encouraging the committee to appropriate at least $700 million for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in FY22. .


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UO joins 1,200 organizations in urging Congress to double the Pell

April 1, 2021

The University of Oregon signed on to a letter, dated March 25, to all members of Congress asking them to double the amount of the maximum Pell Grant to approximately $13,000. The letter was signed by nearly 1,200 organizations, including the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Oregon State Students Association.


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Bonamici joins colleagues in reintroducing College Transparency Act

April 1, 2021

Last month Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) joined US House of Representatives and US Senate colleagues in reintroducing the College Transparency Act.


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Legislature releases budget framework; PUSF funding $13 million less than requested by public universities

March 25, 2021

On March 24, the co-chairs of the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Committee on Ways and Means released their 2021-23 Budget Framework. This is the first official indication of how lawmakers intend to allocate state resources for the 2021-23 biennium and essentially “replaces” the Governor’s recommended budget. It establishes expectations of what state funding for the UO might look like for the next two years.


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Latest COVID-19 relief package includes $39.6 billion for higher ed

March 16, 2021

On Thursday, March 11, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a nearly $1.9 trillion package to provide another round of COVID-19 relief funding.  


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Oregon congressional delegation requests FY22 budget for ShakeAlert

March 9, 2021

Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) circulated a Dear Colleagues letter to fellow U.S. House members urging the Office of Management and Budget to include ShakeAlert in the U.S. Geological Survey budget request to Congress. The letter, dated Feb. 25, was signed by 32 members of Congress, including all five House members from the Oregon delegation.


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Guldberg testifies before legislative committee on importance of University Innovation and Research Fund

March 8, 2021

On March 3, Robert Guldberg, Vice President and Executive Director of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, testified before the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Ways & Means Subcommittee on Transportation & Economic Development to highlight the importance of the University Innovation Research Fund (UIRF) and urge the Oregon Legislature to restore funding this legislative session.


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March 2021 State revenue forecast released

February 25, 2021

On Feb. 24, the State of Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released the March 2021 Revenue Forecast, the fourth forecast capturing the impact of COVID-19 on Oregon’s economy and the first of 2021.


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Merkley named chair of US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee

February 12, 2021

The Office of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley announced that the senator will serve as the Chair of the US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, the Environment, and Other Related Agencies. This committee has wide-ranging jurisdiction over funding recommendations for  the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Forest Service.


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Updated Oregon Impact map breaks down UO's effect by county and district

February 8, 2021

 Oregon Impact 2021 is an interactive map tells the story of the University of Oregon’s impact in every Oregon county, legislative district, and congressional district. The tool displays data about UO students, alumni, and other interesting details in a customized and informative way.

This Oregon Impact map was recently updated with the latest data about the number of students, alumni, employees and local vendors doing business with the UO in each geographic area.


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Higher ed community requests additional HEERF and COVID relief; Biden executive orders impact universities

February 1, 2021

National associations representing the UO and the full spectrum of higher education institutions are requesting at least $97 billion for a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) in the next COVID-19 supplemental appropriations package.


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Blumenauer introduces bill to study the impact of autonomous vehicles

January 31, 2021

On January 21, 2021 Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) reintroduced a bill to study community-wide influences of autonomous vehicles. The Preparing Localities for an Autonomous and Connected Environment (PLACE) Act would create a federally funded clearinghouse to examine the secondary influences of autonomous vehicles and new mobility.  New mobility includes innovations such as rideshare, car-share, microtransit, bike-share, and scooter-share. 


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New COVID-19 relief bill includes an estimated $24 million in emergency funding for UO

January 6, 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R. 133), approved by Congress and signed into law in late December, 2020, is a massive legislative package containing several substantial bills, including an omnibus package of FY2021 funding bills and an emergency spending bill to address the impacts of COVID-19. The relief bill includes $22.7 billion in emergency assistance for higher education and students.

The $22.7 billion funding is divided into four pots:


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UO AD Mullens named to congressional commission

January 6, 2021

First published in GoDucks.com on January 5, 2021.


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Omnibus includes funding for ShakeAlert and IES/NCSER

January 4, 2021

On December 21, 2020, an omnibus spending bill containing all twelve appropriations bills for the 2021 fiscal year passed both chambers of Congress. It was signed into law the following week. Two programs receiving funding of special interest to the University of Oregon are ShakeAlert and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), including the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER).


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Congress passes 4th COVID relief and Omnibus spending bills

December 22, 2020

On Monday, Dec. 21, Congress passed a $900 billion 4th COVID-19 pandemic relief package. The relief package is paired with an Omnibus spending bill to finalize the FY21 budget. The relief package includes another round of direct payments to individuals; enhanced unemployment benefits, support for struggling industries and small businesses, and funding for vaccine distribution.


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Governor Brown to convene Oregon Legislature for the third special session of 2020

December 18, 2020

For the third time this year, Governor Kate Brown will convene a Special Session of the Oregon Legislature. Governor Brown has asked the legislature to consider $800 million in relief to address the needs of Oregon communities stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s wildfires.


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C.R. extends funding of the federal government through Dec. 18; UO joins letter urging passage of FY21 appropriations bills

December 14, 2020

On Dec. 11 the U.S. Senate advanced a U.S. House-passed continuing resolution that would fund the government at current levels through Dec. 18. The President signed the bill. Congress is now in the final hours of negotiating a budget bill to meet the December 18 deadline.


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Bonamici requests funding for Institute for Education Sciences to address COVID-related delays in research

December 14, 2020

On Dec. 4 Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), took the lead in authoring a letter from ten additional members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), to the leadership of the House and U.S. Senate Appropriations Committees. The signers asked for $200 million in emergency relief for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to extend funding of current IES research that has been delayed by school closures and lack of access to data collection caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Gov. Brown makes joint COVID relief request with Wyden and Merkley, requests support for college and K-12 students

December 9, 2020

On Dec. 1 Oregon Governor Kate Brown sent a letter to U.S. House and Senate leaders urging funding for childcare for working families, elementary and secondary education, and higher education in any COVID-19 relief package. The letter emphasized the costs that have already affected childcare for working families, the additional broadband and technology needs for remote learning for elementary and secondary education, and lost revenues and higher costs affecting higher education. 


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Governor Brown releases 2021-23 proposed budget

December 2, 2020

On Dec.1 Oregon Gov. Kate Brown released her recommended budget for the 2021-23 biennium.

The Governor’s budget is based on the November 2020 revenue forecast, which continued to predict modest revenue growth and shows that state collections had largely recovered from the Covid-19 associated shutdowns that occurred during the spring of 2020. The November forecast however did not capture lost revenue associated with current Covid-19 restrictions.


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UO students win voter challenge; Ducks elected from across the beaver state

November 23, 2020

While UO students proved their commitment to engaging the 2020 general election by winning a friendly competition among Pac-12 institutions, a number of new UO alumni joined the group of Ducks elected to serve as federal, state, and local officials.


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Recap: 2020 General Election

November 5, 2020

The final day of a historic election with record turnout took place on November 3, 2020. While votes are still being counted in the election for US President, Oregon’s outlook began taking shape shortly after the polls closed. There were significant increases in early voting as compared to 2016, with both Republicans and Democrats showing up early and pushing Oregon’s voter turnout to 80.28%.

State Legislative Races


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Members of Oregon delegation oppose rule putting status of international student visas at risk

October 15, 2020

On October 6, 2020, members of the Oregon delegation joined with more than one hundred U.S. House of Representative colleagues in asking the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to rescind a proposed rule change altering the “duration of status” of international student visas. The request was led by U.S. Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Mark Pocan (D-WI).


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UO joins Pac-12 Voter Challenge to help spur election turnout

October 9, 2020

Article first appeared in Around the O on Oct. 9.

UO students, faculty members and staff can up their voter engagement game through Pac-12 Voter Challenge.

The deadline for registering to vote in Oregon is Oct. 13, and ballots will begin hitting mail boxes a few days afterwards. To encourage more people to register and turn out to vote, the University of Oregon has joined the All IN Campus Democracy challenge to encourage greater student participation in voting and civic life.


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The deadline to register to vote, update address is Oct. 13

October 8, 2020

Article first appeared in Around the O on October 1.

Oregon’s deadline to register to vote in the next general election is Oct. 13.


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House passes updated Phase IV COVID relief bill

October 7, 2020

On Thursday, October 1 the U.S. House approved HEROES Act 2.0, an updated version of the Phase IV COVID-19 emergency relief bill (the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act) passed in the House this past May, on a 214-207 vote.


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Latest continuing resolution averts federal government shutdown

October 7, 2020

On Thursday, October 1 the President signed a continuing resolution to fund the government at current levels by extending about $1.4 trillion in government funding until December 11, thus averting a shutdown at the start of the federal fiscal year. The measure includes $30 billion in farm aid and $8 billion in nutrition assistance for children who normally receive free or reduced school lunches.


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UO researcher notes community benefits of U.S. Senate wildfire bill

September 30, 2020

In a press release on September 17, 2020, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced the introduction of legislation to help prevent catastrophic wildfires.


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Legislature delivers funding for new boat at OIMB

August 19, 2020

 

In October 2019, local leaders gathered on the dock at the University of Oregon’s Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) in Charleston to get a look at an old boat. It had become clear that OIMB’s students and faculty had outgrown the current vessel.

The Pluteus was built in 1973.  Before it was acquired by OIMB, it was used in the relatively calm nearshore waters of the tropical Atlantic. The old engines and electrical systems have reached the end of their life, and it is too small to carry most classes of students to waters outside the bay in Charleston. 


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Recap: 2020 Oregon Legislature Second Special Session

August 13, 2020

On Monday, Governor Kate Brown convened the Second Special Session of the year for the Oregon Legislature. The primary focus of the one-day special session was addressing the economic effects of COVID-19 on the state’s budget, including a $1.2 billion budget gap.

Lawmakers passed eleven bills during the day, closing the budget gap, lending additional assistance to out-of-work Oregonians, and expanding policies on police reform.


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U.S. Senate introduces universal telehealth legislation

August 7, 2020

On August 4, 2020, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the bipartisan Temporary Reciprocity to Ensure Access to Treatment (TREAT) Act.


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FY2021 House appropriations bills include funding for ShakeAlert, IES

August 3, 2020

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed ten of its twelve appropriations bills for fiscal year 2021.  These bills were passed in two packages, known as a “mini-bus” instead of an omnibus. The federal fiscal year begins October 1.


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U.S. Senate introduces Phase IV COVID relief package

July 31, 2020

On July 27, US Senate Republicans released the much-anticipated phase IV for COVID relief. The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protections, and Schools (HEALS) Act is made up eight separate bills, the package addresses a range of policy and funding issues.

Some of the most relevant provisions that impact the University of Oregon and other universities include:


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Friends of IES urge Congress to fund the research workforce in next pandemic relief bill

July 28, 2020

On July 21, the University of Oregon signed onto a letter urging congressional leaders to include funding for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the next COVID relief and stimulus funding package.


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UO experts submit recommendations on preparing for next pandemic to Senate HELP Committee

July 14, 2020

On June 9, U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released a white paper, entitled “Preparing for the Next Pandemic.”  The chairman called for feedback from the public on the five recommendations outlined in the paper.


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Bonamici and Select Committee announce comprehensive climate action plan

July 6, 2020

After over a year of hearings, meetings, and briefings, the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis produced a comprehensive report on June 30, 2020: “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.


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Recap: 2020 Oregon Legislature First Special Session

July 6, 2020

In an effort to address the COVID-19 pandemic and statewide calls for police reform, Governor Kate Brown convened the Oregon Legislature for the 2020 First Special Session on Wednesday, June 24.


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RISE Act to provide cost extensions introduced, DeFazio co-sponsors

June 30, 2020

On June 24 a bi-partisan group of members of the House sponsored HR 7308, the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act. The bill authorizes approximately $26 billion in emergency appropriations and would provide critical research relief to university researchers who have been impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


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Supreme Court blocks Administration’s attempt to rescind DACA

June 19, 2020

Our DREAMERS are here to stay.

On Thursday, June 18 the United States Supreme Court held, in a 5-4 vote, that the executive order by the Administration to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was unlawful. This ruling allows, at least temporarily, the continuation of DACA. While it is possible the Trump Administration could more closely follow the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, this effort would take time and most DACA recipients will likely remain protected into the next administration.


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State Update: Revenue Forecast & Governor Brown Calls for a Special Session

June 19, 2020

Governor Kate Brown announced she will call the Oregon Legislature into a special session on Wednesday, June 24. Expected topics for the session will likely be limited to addressing impacts of COVID-19 on workers, employers, the economy, and families, as well as police accountability measures in response to the killing of George Floyd and numerous other Black Americans by police officers.


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Merkley and colleagues urge US Senate leadership to include higher ed in next COVID relief bill

June 15, 2020

In a June 11 letter, US Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) led 30 US Senate colleagues in urging Senate leadership to include $47 billion in financial support for students and institutions of higher learning in the next COVID-19 emergency relief bill. The letter emphasized the substantial costs and losses already faced by institutions of higher education as enrollment declines and state cuts jeopardize the financial vitality of schools.


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DeFazio introduces transportation and infrastructure bill

June 5, 2020

On June 3, Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, released text of the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act. The bill would allocate funds to infrastructure improvement and rebuilding that has been long overdue. 


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Merkley urges Senate to increase funding for TRIO programs

May 21, 2020

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) was joined by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Jon Tester (D-MT) in leading a bipartisan group of 40 senators seeking to ensure increased financial relief for Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO).


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UO appeals to Oregon delegation for research relief

May 20, 2020

On Monday, May 18, UO leadership sent a letter to the Oregon congressional delegation requesting university research workforce relief in the next coronavirus stimulus package.


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House passes $3 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan which includes $27 billion for public colleges and universities

May 19, 2020

On Friday, May 15, the US House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act), a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package, by a vote of 208-199 along mostly party lines, marking the start of an effort to pass a fourth emergency supplemental spending package in response to COVID-19.


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IRS clarifies that emergency financial aid grants are not taxable income

May 8, 2020

On May 7 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued FAQs on the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CARES Act. The FAQ clarifies that aid, incluing emergency aid to college students, should be treated as a "qualified disaster relief payment" and is not treated as taxable income. 


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Oregon congressional delegation signs on to letters requesting additional funding for research workforce

May 7, 2020

In a May 4, 2020 letter addressed to United States Senate leadership, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) were joined by 31 other senators in urging Congress to provide additional support for the U.S. research workforce, which includes graduate students, postdocs, principal investigators, and technical support staff. The bipartisan letter requested a total of $26 billion dollars to be included in the fourth coronavirus stimulus package.


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Coalition calls to fund tech and science research in future coronavirus financial relief

May 7, 2020

On Monday, May 4, the Task Force on American Innovation (TFAI) organized a letter and press release urging Congress to recommit funding to national tech and science research in any future coronavirus legislation.


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Wyden pushes for access by college students to food security assistance

April 30, 2020

On April 23, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) pushed to help college students in Oregon and nationwide have access to critical nutrition assistance by opening the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), which can be triggered during a pandemic.


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“Don’t tax student aid”: Higher ed organizations ask for clarification on taxability of student emergency aid

April 24, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, includes funding for universities and for direct emergency financial aid grants to students. The emergency grants are intended to cover student expenses including food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care.


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Higher ed associations submit recommendations for Phase 4 of the CARES Act

April 14, 2020

As Congress continues to address the need for financial relief related to the financial impacts of COVID-19, higher education associations have addressed congressional leadership with their recommendations for Phase 4 of the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The recommendations come on the heels of Phase 3 of the CARES Act, which allocated approximately $14 billion to higher education as part of the Education Stabilization Fund.


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U.S. Department of Education releases CARES funds to Higher Education Institutions for student emergency grants

April 14, 2020

On Thursday, April 9, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that more than $6 billion would be distributed immediately to colleges and universities to provide direct emergency cash grants to college students who have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.


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COVID-19 emergency spending bill provides some funds for higher education

March 31, 2020

On Friday, March 27, the House of Representatives passed and President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, an approximately $2 trillion emergency spending bill in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate first passed the legislation on Thursday, March 26. The third COVID-19 package includes $13.9 billion that will be available in a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for students and institutions of higher education.


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Merkley leads request for COVID-19-related emergency relief funding for students and universities

March 24, 2020

On Friday, March 20, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) quickly took a lead role in authoring a letter to Senate leaders urging support for college students and the universities and colleges they attend be included the third version of the coronavirus emergency relief bill. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) joined Senator Merkley in making the request.


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New law ensures that GI Bill benefits continue during remote instruction period

March 24, 2020

Within a week of introduction, the Emergency GI Fix for Coronavirus School Closures was passed by Congress and then signed into law by President Trump on Saturday, March 21. The law gives states temporary authority to continue GI Bill education benefit payments, including housing stipends, at normal levels, uninterrupted, in the event of national emergencies.


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Recap: 2020 Oregon Legislative Session

March 10, 2020

On Sunday, March 8, Oregon’s 2020 legislative session officially came to a close. What began on February 3 as a 35-day session effectively ended abruptly on March 5 when a sufficient number of House and Senate Republicans walked out to prevent a quorum, which requires two-thirds of lawmakers to be present in order to hold a vote in both chambers of the Legislature.


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Students will be an important part of the decennial census

March 3, 2020

Article first appeared in Around the O on March 2.

Census Day is fast approaching and accurate student counts are critical to the future and prosperity of the UO and the greater community.


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Deadline is February 14 for Washington, D.C. advocacy workshop opportunity for students in STEM

February 3, 2020

The University of Oregon is currently accepting applications from students to attend the Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) 2020 workshop in Washington, D.C. from March 29 to April 1. Deadline for submitting an applicatino is February 14.


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Governor announces legislative push to fund Oregon ShakeAlert

January 28, 2020

First published in Around the O, January 28, 2020

With a vision for preparing the state for a large Cascadia earthquake, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced on Monday a resiliency agenda for the upcoming legislative session that would include $7.5 million in funding to the University of Oregon to build out the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system.


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From the classroom to Congress: Oregon Law students in DC

January 17, 2020

First published in Around the O on January 15, 2020.


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FUTURE Act Passes Congress

December 12, 2019

On December 10 the U.S. Senate passed the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act (H.R.5363) after the House passed the bill by a vote of 319-96 earlier in the day. The entire Oregon delegation voted for passage of the bill. The bill now moves to the President for signature, who recently expressed support for the measure.


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Higher Education Act reauthorization advances

November 22, 2019

On October 31, 2019, the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor passed the College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674), the first comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act since 2008.


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Innovative cell therapy research boosted by state funds

November 14, 2019

Article first appeared in Around the O, November 13, 2019.

An innovative new research project from UO’s Robert Guldberg has captured the attention of Oregon’s economic development agency Business Oregon and the UO’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.


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UO Geography professor testifies to Congress about 2016 armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

November 6, 2019

On Tuesday, October 22, University of Oregon professor of Geography and Environmental Studies Peter Walker testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.  


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Legislators get firsthand look at UO's aging research boat

October 31, 2019

Article first appeared in the Coos Bay World and Around the O

The University of Oregon’s Institute of Marine Biology hopes  the Oregon Legislature’s 2020 session will lead to smoother sailing for its many students.


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Rep. DeFazio hosts passenger rail roundtable at School of Art and Design downtown studios

August 29, 2019

On August 26, U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio convened a roundtable of Lane County-area decision makers along with state and federal officials to discuss the status and needs of the Amtrak Cascades passenger rail service along the I-5 corridor between Eugene and Portland. The event was held at UO’s new College of Design School of Art and Design’s research studios downtown near the Eugene Amtrak station. The tracks are owned by Union Pacific and their representatives joined the meeting.


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Reflecting on a Rural Revolution

August 22, 2019

By Alex Notman. Original article with photos is found on the UO College of Design website.

 As the sun set in the hills of Creswell, it cast long shadows silhouetting buzzing beehive boxes, apple and hazelnut trees, a herd of bison, and a small but mighty community dedicated to helping rural Oregon communities thrive.


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2019 Legislative Session Overview

July 3, 2019

In the November 2018 General Election, Democratic candidates in Oregon won supermajorities in the Senate and House of Representatives. The electoral victories paved the way for an ambitious progressive agenda for the 2019 legislative session. Despite all of this, legislation to make Oregon just the second state in the nation to cap greenhouse gas emissions failed in the final week of session. This was seen as a major defeat for Democratic majorities and Governor Kate Brown and will likely be top of the agenda when lawmakers return to Salem in 2020.


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UO architecture professor testifies to Congress

June 18, 2019

On Tuesday, June 11, Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, professor of architecture at the University of Oregon, testified at a hearing before the U.S.


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Dream Act passes House vote

June 6, 2019

On June 4, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (Dream Act), H.R. 6, which would provide a roadmap to citizenship for approximately 2.6 million Dreamers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.


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Bill introduced by Wyden would allow graduates with student debt to save for retirement

May 23, 2019

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and five Senate colleagues introduced legislation on May 13th that could help many college graduates save for retirement while paying off their student loans.


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Update from Salem: Student Success Act passes; vaccine and gun measures lose steam

May 15, 2019

On May 13, the Oregon State Senate passed HB 3427, known as the Student Success Act, which will raise approximately $2 billion for early childhood and K-12 schools on an ongoing basis. This bill was the culmination of the work of the Joint Committee on Student Success (JCSS), which was established in January 2018. The JCSS was tasked with creating a plan to improve outcomes for students throughout Oregon.


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Revenue forecast released; higher education leaders call for increased investments in students

May 15, 2019

On May 15, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released its quarterly economic and revenue forecast. This is the forecast that lawmakers will use to make final budget decisions this session.

The level of funding in the Public University Support Fund will receive is heavily reliant on this forecast.


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More than 100 advocates lobby state legislators for increased funding

May 13, 2019

On Wednesday, May 8, more than 110 students, alumni, faculty members and staff from the University of Oregon traveled to the state Capitol in Salem to lobby legislators for increased funding for the UO and higher education.

Advocates told lawmakers and their staffs that public universities need the Public University Support Fund to grow by at least $120 million to keep tuition increases at or below 5 percent next year. The UO receives approximately 22 percent of the state fund based on a formula established by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.


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Oregon Legislature Update: Week 15

April 30, 2019

The Oregon Legislature is in week 15 of the legislative session. With just more than two months to complete their work, lawmakers are making progress on passing education budgets.


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Congressman DeFazio talks transportation with UO students and researchers

April 30, 2019

First appeared in Around the O, April 29

The students in professor Marc Schlossberg’s Bicycle Transportation course had a special treat recently as their classroom was transformed for the day into the setting for a high-level policy discussion that included one of the most influential lawmakers in the land when it comes to transportation issues.


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Oregon Legislature reaches first bill deadline

April 15, 2019

The 2019 Oregon Legislature reached its first bill deadline on Tuesday, April 9. All measures had to be voted out of their first committees in order to stay “alive.” For example, a bill introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the Education Committee must have moved to the floor for a vote of the full chamber, to the Rules Committee, or to the Joint Ways & Means Committee in order to remain active in the legislative process.

Lawmakers are tackling big policy and budget challenges, including:


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University presents budget options to Ways & Means

April 15, 2019

The University of Oregon, along with the six other public universities, made their case on March 28 to the Legislature’s key budget-writers about why investment in operating funding for college students is critical to a bright future for Oregon.


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Joint Committee on Student Success releases first draft of revenue and expenditure plan

April 15, 2019

On April 4, the Joint Committee on Student Success (JCSS) released the first conceptual amendments to House Bill 2019. The JCSS toured the state over the last year examining needs and solutions to fix Oregon’s lagging K-12 graduation rate and improve student outcomes.


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Congress is working on the FY20 budget but many obstacles remain

April 15, 2019

The process for developing the federal budget for FY20 is in full swing. The Trump Administration submitted its request to Congress last month which included deep cuts to key programs. Members of Congress are circulating “Dear Colleague” letters in support of their funding priorities. A plethora of interests from across all sectors are engaged in fly-ins and advocacy days, typical for this time of year.


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Dear Colleague round-up: Oregon delegation supports research budgets

April 15, 2019

Members of the Oregon delegation routinely support funding for student aid and federal research agencies. Evidence of that support comes in the form of “Dear Colleague” letters, one of many tools used by members of Congress to advance budget and policy priorities.


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Prison education program would get a boost from pending legislation

April 9, 2019

This article first appeared in Around the O on April 9.

A University of Oregon program that brings classrooms into the state’s prisons would be expanded under a bill now before the Oregon Legislature.


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Bill would expand the UO's Oregon Research Schools Network

April 1, 2019

First appeared in Around the O on March 29.

A bill that would expand a UO College of Education pilot program focused on improving high school graduation rates is currently moving through the Oregon Legislature.


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Legislature considers funding for new OIMB research vessel

April 1, 2019

 

First appeared in Around the O on March 29.

A bill now before the Oregon Legislature would allocate $500,000 in state funds to build and outfit a new ocean-going research vessel for the UO’s Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.


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Administration’s FY20 proposed budget would hurt students, research

March 21, 2019

On March 18 the Trump Administration released its proposed FY20 budget, calling for sweeping cuts to non-defense discretionary spending. The proposal sets overall spending at $4.7 trillion, including $1.3 trillion in total discretionary funding, a 1.8 percent cut below FY19 levels.

The budget request proposes cuts to funding for research agencies and student aid programs, including the Pell Grant and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant programs.

Research:


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Bill would help cities take part in UO sustainability program

March 12, 2019

Article first appeared in Around the O on March 8.

A bill making its way through the Oregon Legislature would help more cities take part in the UO’s Sustainable City Year Program by creating a new state matching fund.


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Legislative Session Week 7 update: Co-chair’s budget released

March 7, 2019

Week seven of the Oregon legislative session ended with some important budget news. The co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means released their recommended budget for the 2019-2021 biennium. This budget, based on all current revenues projected to come into state coffers and the economic forecast, had some good news and bad news for public higher education.

The good news:


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Report: UO boosts the state economy by more than $1 billion

March 6, 2019

Article first appeared in Around the O on March 6

From money brought in by students, visitors and research grants to spending on employment, supplies and construction, the UO remains an economic engine not just in Lane County but statewide, a new report shows.


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Higher education association leaders praise long-awaited federal spending package

March 1, 2019

On February 15, President Trump signed into law a $328 billion spending package to avoid a second partial government shutdown and complete the FY19 appropriations process. The package will finance the federal government for the seven months remaining of the 2019 federal fiscal year.


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Latest from week five of the Oregon legislative session

February 22, 2019

The Oregon Legislature is only five weeks into its session, but bills are moving and lawmakers are taking up an array of issues from affordable housing to climate change.

In the last couple weeks, we’ve had lots of University of Oregon students, faculty, and staff at the Capitol engaging on policy bills and advocating for increased operating funding to keep college affordable.

Below are some highlights from the session in week five:


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Oregon Impact 2019 map has new look, links that tell the story of the UO’s impact across the state

February 11, 2019

The Oregon Impact 2019 interactive map tells the story of the University of Oregon’s impact in every Oregon county and legislative and congressional district.  This tool is now updated with a new look as well as links to the impact in communities across the state by the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) program.

The Oregon Impact map is a collaboration between the UO Campus GIS & Mapping team, the Office of Institutional Research, the Institute for Policy, Research and Engagement, and Government and Community Relations.


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Oregon legislative session week three: New partnerships with UO academic programs

February 8, 2019

The University of Oregon is focused on finding new ways for the state to partner with academic programs that contribute to community impact, research, and economic activity.

The UO is synonymous with Eugene, but did you know that Ducks have a presence in all 36 counties in Oregon? We make in an impact in schools, local governments, businesses, transportation infrastructure, and more in communities statewide. This session, we’re shedding more light on innovative initiatives and community service programs and asking lawmakers to make modest investments in their work.


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Rep. Bonamici to head the new Civil Rights and Human Services House Subcommittee

February 1, 2019

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) has been appointed chairwoman of the newly established House Civil Rights and Human Services subcommittee of the US House Education and Workforce Committee.

The subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes policies on civil rights, equal employment opportunities and human services programs such as foster care, nutrition programs, the Older Americans Act.


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Title IX comment period closes

January 31, 2019

Oregon university Title IX coordinators and university presidents joined  more than 100,000 others in submitting comments on the US Department of Education’s proposed regulation on Title IX


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Two weeks in, the Oregon legislative session is underway

January 31, 2019

As week two of the Oregon legislative session comes to a close, Oregon’s state capitol building is busy with legislators, citizens, and lobbyists working on public policy and budgets.

As organizations, legislative staff members and others worked to review the more than 1,400 bills that were initially introduced, the seven public universities have identified approximately 530 bills that could impact the UO.


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Oregon’s 80th legislative assembly convenes

January 25, 2019

On January 22nd, the Oregon Legislature convened for its 80th session. It has until June 30th to complete all its policy work and set the state’s budget for the next two years. New members were sworn in on January 14th, with the bulk of policy development and deliberation happening during February, March, April, and May.


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New committee assignments shake things up in Salem

January 25, 2019

In December, Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek announced membership of legislative committees for the 2019 session. Committees are important because they are the core deliberative bodies on legislative concepts and make recommendations to the full House or Senate.


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DeFazio elected chair of House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

January 25, 2019

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) was elected chair of the US House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. The committee has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation: aviation, maritime and waterborne transportation, highways, bridges, mass transit, and railroads.


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116th Congress begins, shut down continues

January 25, 2019

The 116th Congress began on January 3, 2019 with the swearing-in of new members. But the partial government shut-down has continued and the negative impacts are growing. Early in the new term, the House passed four remaining FY19 funding bills – which included funding increases for NSF, NASA, NEH, and AFRI consistent with those included in appropriations bills from the last Congress. The entire Oregon delegation, including Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), voted for passage. Since then, the House has continued to send bills to the Senate.


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Construction cranes dot the sky from Dad's Gate to Hayward

December 11, 2018

By Athony St. Clair; first appeared in UO Giving
Brown leaves crunch underfoot, and low clouds hide the sky—but there may be hints of blue to come. Students talk and smile, or review a book or device as they make their way to the next class, meeting, or lab. Throughout the UO campus, construction equipment beeps and rumbles.This might be the home of the Ducks, but right now campus is the home of the cranes—construction cranes, that is. They dot the sky from Dad's Gate to Hayward. 


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National Quantum Initiative Act heads to President for signature

December 20, 2018

The National Quantum Initiative Act, legislation based on a proposal co-authored by UO Physics Professor Michael Raymer, has passed the House and Senate and is expected to be signed by the President. 

The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is a broad-based collaborative alliance among industry, academia, and government to raise awareness of optics, photonics and quantum science and technology. Michael Raymer and University of Maryland physicist Christopher Monroe authored the proposal that is the basis for federal legislation first introduced July 2018.


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UO supports improved passenger rail service between Southern Willamette Valley and Portland

December 18, 2018

On December 17, President Michael Schill submitted a letter to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) expressing the university’s strong support of improved passenger rail service between the metropolitan areas of Eugene-Springfield and Portland.


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Governor releases two versions of 2019-21 recommended budget

November 30, 2018

On Nov. 28 Governor Brown released her recommended budget for the 2019-21 biennium. State law requires the Governor to craft a balanced budget based the state’s current means. The December 2018 revenue forecast from the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis shows that the state is expected to have $20.5 billion in General Fund revenues, which is $1.9 billion more than at the close of the 2015-17 biennium.


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Oregon senators call on Administration to rescind rule cracking down on international students

November 28, 2018

Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined 16 of their colleagues in signing a letter urging U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director (USCIS) Francis Cissna to rescind a policy change that would unnecessarily target international students who inadvertently violate the terms of their visas. Many students don’t know they are in violation of the terms, but under this new rule students could still be barred from re-entering the United States for up to 10 years.


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UO chemist serves another term on the National Science Board

November 20, 2018

First appeared in Around the O, November 19, 2018

University of Oregon chemist Geri Richmond will spend another six years as a member of the National Science Board.


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How 2018 election results impact UO

November 8, 2018

Now that the 2018 midterm elections are over, all social media newsfeeds and TV commercials will go back to their regularly scheduled programming. But how did the election play out in Oregon?

Voter turnout and engagement by Oregonians was huge, with at least 1.87 million voters casting ballots. Turnout was likely driven by national momentum from both political parties, the race for Governor, and several hotly contested ballot measures. Five statewide measures asked voters to weigh in on everything from taxes to immigration.


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UO research may soon make Oregon safer in quakes and fires

October 17, 2018

Article first appeared in Around the O on October 16, 2018

Research by UO seismologist and earth sciences professor Douglas Toomey is shaping a new set of policy agendas designed to help Oregon prepare for a Cascadia earthquake and other natural disasters.


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UO scientists help pave the way in quantum science efforts

October 12, 2018

Article first appeared in Around the O on October 11, 2018

UO researchers on the forefront of quantum information science continue to make major strides toward passing legislation, and last week three of them were awarded a major grant to pursue studies in quantum science.


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Campus street scene gets lively with new welcome-back party

October 12, 2018

Article first appeared in Around the O on October 3, 2018

Friday, Oct. 12, will be a busy day on the UO campus.

The ASUO Street Faire, Black Alumni Reunion, Duck Preview and Board Summit will bring hundreds of future and forever Ducks to campus. UO athletics will be preparing for Matt Knight Madness that evening and the next day’s football matchup against rival University of Washington Huskies.

It’s the perfect time for a party.


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UO to seek $54M from the state to renovate Huestis Hall

August 28, 2018

This article first appeared in Around the O on August 24.

The University of Oregon will ask state lawmakers for $54 million in bonds next year to renovate Huestis Hall after making the project its top capital construction priority for the coming legislative session.


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New online advocacy tool helps Ducks support their university

August 28, 2018

University of Oregon supporters have a new way to engage with federal, state and local elected officials about legislation that affects the university and students. It’s called UO Advocates.

UO Advocates is a new, one-stop-shop digital tool alumni across the state and nation can use to take action and ask elected officials to support the work the UO does to serve people and create tomorrow’s leaders.


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Oregon congressional delegation supports funding for NEH and NEA by rejecting amendment

July 20, 2018

On July 19, a bipartisan group of the U.S. House of Representatives, including all five members of the Oregon delegation, voted 297 to 114 to reject an amendment to the Interior appropriations bill that would have cut the budgets of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) by 15% or nearly $23 million. The bill will go forward with $155 million in funding for NEH, reflecting a $2 million increase over FY18 levels and $155 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.


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UO researcher influences federal quantum physics legislation

July 10, 2018

This article first appeared in Around the O on July 4.

A call to action by a UO professor has helped catalyze bipartisan legislation recently introduced in Washington, D.C.


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UO's Urbanism Next research is featured in Capitol Hill briefing

June 27, 2018

This article first appeared in Around the O on June 27.

Few American cities are prepared for the changes already taking place because of rapid shifts in transit and technology, a UO professor said at a recent briefing for lawmakers in Washington, D.C.


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University of Oregon launches Around the O Community Edition

May 11, 2018

UO Government and Community Relations launches newsletter to keep neighbors informed of events and resources that matter to them: major events that impact campus neighbors, construction updates, news on important collaborations, and UO resources for community members.


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UO SOJC professor shares NSF-funded research findings with federal policy makers

May 21, 2018

Donna Davis, assistant professor in the UO School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), traveled in May to Washington, D.C. to share with policy makers her research studying the effects of embodiment, creativity and community in virtual worlds for people with disabilities.  The research project was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).


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UO recognized for hosting International Town & Gown Association conference

May 15, 2018

On May 3, the University of Oregon and City of Eugene were awarded the 2018 Convention Leadership Award by Travel Lane County for bringing the International Town & Gown Association (ITGA) Conference to Eugene and the Erb Memorial Union. The annual award recognizes the local residents directly responsible for implementing a meeting or event that brings significant number of overnight visitors to Lane County. The award presentation included a video highlighting the impacts of the conference.


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UO science museum is awarded highest national honor

May 1, 2018

This article first appeared in Around the O on May 1.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced May 1 that the Museum of Natural and Cultural History has won a 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries.


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UO undergraduate advocates for science funding in D.C.

April 26, 2018

This article first appeared in Around the O on April 26.

It’s a good thing Rachael Cleveland had early exams last term.

That’s because the environmental science major spent her finals week in Washington, D.C. learning about science policy and speaking with the staff of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Peter DeFazio about the importance of funding scientific research.


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Summary of FY18 Omnibus Bill Funding

April 16, 2018

In mid-March, Congress passed the FY18 omnibus appropriations bill – H.R. 1625, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 – to fund the federal government until the end of the current fiscal year, ending September 30, 2018. On March 23, President Donald Trump signed the package into law.


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Federal funding increase moves ShakeAlert closer to reality

April 10, 2018

Article first appeared in Around the O, April 10, 2018

A recent boost in federal funding will move the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system closer to completion.


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UO science museum is tapped as a national medal finalist

March 14, 2018

This article first appeared in Around the O on March 5, 2018

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has selected the Museum of Natural and Cultural History as a finalist for the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.


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State grant helps expand UO Student Veterans Center services

March 14, 2018

This article first appeared in Around the O on March 7, 2018.

A grant awarded to the University of Oregon’s Student Veterans Center by the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs will help the center expand its programs and resources. 


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Action supporting Dreamers, Knight Campus moves forward

February 27, 2018

This article first appeared in Around the O on February 27, 2018

University of Oregon leaders and students have seen the inside of the Oregon Capitol building often now that lawmakers have reached the halfway point of the 35-day legislative session.

The university has set clear priorities: defend against cuts to the university’s operating budget, protect Oregon ’Dreamers,’ and secure the second phase of investment in the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.


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Rep. DeFazio gets a taste of quantum science in UO visit

February 5, 2018

This article first appeared in Around the O on February 2, 2018.

The importance of photonics and quantum physics was on full display Friday during a visit to campus by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio.


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UO joins higher education advocacy effort in Salem

January 24, 2018

First published in Around the O, January 16, 2018

Students, alumni, faculty and staff from all seven Oregon public universities will gather to advocate for higher education funding at the Oregon Capitol in Salem on Thursday, Feb. 15.

Advocates, including UO President Michael Schill and ASUO President Amy Schenk, will thank legislators for increased funding in 2017. They also will urge lawmakers to protect universities from cuts in 2018 that may endanger programs and services that students rely on to graduate and be prepared for the 21st century workplace.


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House and Senate appropriation bills mixed for research, student aid priorities

August 2, 2017

With two months to go before the start of the new federal fiscal year on October 1, Congress has taken some level of action on all twelve of the appropriations bills that make up the federal budget. But no budget resolution setting overall spending authority for each appropriations bill has been set nor has Congress addressed issues related to budget caps and the debt ceiling. As Congress heads toward its August recess, it remains unclear whether a government shutdown can be avoided when the fiscal year begins October 1.


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Summary of 2017 Legislative Session

July 7, 2017

The 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly has adjourned. By many measures, this was a difficult session for lawmakers, who were faced with a more than $1 billion budget shortfall and major packages of policy to negotiate, including a multi-billion dollar transportation package and a Medicaid package to ensure thousands of Oregonians are able to stay on the Oregon Health Plan.


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Big issues remain as Legislature closes in on session's end

June 23, 2017

This article first appeared in Around the O on June 20, 2017. University of Oregon leaders and supporters are staying visible in Salem as legislators continue to work through important bills and policy issues.


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UO leaders oppose proposed National Institutes of Health budget cuts and research indirect cost caps

June 16, 2017

UO leaders have joined other AAU and APLU member leaders in expressing opposition to the Trump Administration’s request to Congress to cut the National Institutes of Health (NIH) FY18 budget and impose caps for research cost reimbursements on NIH grants.


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Session winding down: Tuition support, capital construction and revenue measures are on the table in the Legislature

June 6, 2017

This article first appeared in Around the O on June 6, 2017. With the Oregon Legislature in the last five weeks of the 2017 session, both the House and Senate chambers recently announced they would move to 24-hour notice for public hearings, an indication that the end of the session is near.


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Administration’s FY18 Budget calls for cuts to student aid, research

May 23, 2017

On May 23, President Donald Trump released his proposed budget, which includes cuts that could prove devastating to students and higher education research if enacted.


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FY17 budget finalized with seven months left in the federal fiscal year

May 8, 2017

On Friday, May 5, President Donald Trump signed H.R. 244, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 omnibus appropriations bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year (through September 30, 2017).


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UO’s Knight Campus gets first hearing in state Legislature

March 28, 2017

This article first appeared in Around the O on March 28, 2017.

The UO’s Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact made its debut before the Oregon Legislature last week when a group of university faculty and students spoke about the potential of the $1 billion initiative before a House committee.


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More than 500 universities sign letter to White House calling for support of Dreamers

March 23, 2017

On March 17, the American Council on Education (ACE) delivered a letter to President Donald Trump regarding Dreamers, young people brought to the United States by undocumented parents before the age of 16. More than 750,000 individuals are registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and many are currently enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.


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Ducks swoop into Salem to make a case for a budget boost

March 9, 2017

This article first appeared in Around the O on March 9, 2017

Almost 100 university leaders, students and alumni rallied in Salem on Thursday to urge lawmakers to boost state support for public universities and protect the affordability of a college degree.


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Oregon legislators solicit feedback on proposed budget

February 7, 2017

This article first appeared in Around the O on February 7, 2017

As campus leaders at Oregon’s seven public universities urge state lawmakers to boost state funding for higher education, the co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Ways and Means Committee are making their way across Oregon to solicit input on what should be funded during the next two years.


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Higher education leaders express concern about visa limits

February 6, 2017

The University of Oregon joined higher education associations, scientific societies, and individual colleges and universities in expressing strong concerns about President Donald Trump's January 27 executive order that halted for 90 days the entry into the U.S. of individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Statements included, in date order:


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University leaders ask Legislature for improved funding

January 24, 2017

This article first appeared in Around the O on January 24, 2017.

The presidents and campus leaders at Oregon’s seven public universities are urging lawmakers to boost state funding for higher education, saying recent budget proposals from the governor and Legislature could force record increases in tuition.


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UO outlines priorities for 2017 Oregon legislative session

January 23, 2017

During the 2017 legislative session, UO leaders are proposing and/or monitoring a variety of topics and bills introduced that have budgetary or policy implications for the institution. State Affairs staff study all bills introduced during the session, confer with faculty and staff with content knowledge about the effects of proposed legislation, and work in coalition with university and other partners to share implications with decision makers and ensure the mission and strategic of the institution is advanced..


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The end of the 114th Congress: Sweeping innovation and medical research legislation signed into law, government shutdown avoided

January 23, 2017

The 114th Congress finished in December with the passage of important legislation, including a FY17 Continuing Resolution (CR), which will fund the government through April 28, 2017, avoiding a government shutdown.


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Proposed BRIDGE Act shields DREAMers from deportation

January 23, 2017

On January 12, bipartisan groups in the U.S. House and Senate introduced the BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act, to shield DREAMers – (Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors) undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children – from deportation until their status can be addressed through comprehensive immigration reform.


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Oregon Impact Map updated for 2017

January 23, 2017

The Oregon Impact site now includes the most current data about the University of Oregon’s impact around the state. UO Campus GIS & Mapping team of Safety and Risk Services created the interactive site in collaboration with the government and community relations group.


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Governor's recommended budget includes funding for two UO projects

December 7, 2016

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.


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US House approves Cures Act

December 6, 2016

The US House of Representatives on November 30 passed the 21st Century Cures Act (now HR 34) in a vote of 392 to 26. The Cures Act, which authorizes increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), enjoys broad support from the research community and has been endorsed by the White House, but other groups oppose using the Public Health and Prevention Fund as the offset to pay for increased funding.


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U.S. Senator Ron Wyden discusses Presidental Tax Transparency Act bill with law students

September 30, 2016

On Thursday, September 29, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden spoke with Oregon Law students today about his bill, the Presidential Tax Transparency Act, to require presidential candidates to release their recent tax returns.


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US Senator Merkley and Congressman DeFazio visit campus to speak with students and faculty

June 6, 2016

On May 31, both US Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04) separately visited the UO campus to talk with students and faculty. The Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics hosted Senator Merkley for a talk on the current vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. After offering opening remarks, Senator Merkley was joined on a panel by Stuart Chinn, UO associate professor of law, and James Mohr, Distinguished professor of History and Philip H. Knight Professor of Social Sciences.  Senator Merkley is pictured below with Professors Chinn and Mohr. 


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Congressional committees move budget bills

June 6, 2016

Before heading to the Memorial Day recess, several congressional committees took action on funding bills. As Congress returns to Washington, D.C. this week, the week of June 6, appropriators are scheduled to meet again.

On May 24, the US House Appropriations Committee approved its FY17 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill with funding for research programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA.


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Senator Wyden hosts cyber security roundtable; Congresswoman Bonamici hosts innovation discussion at White Stag Block

May 23, 2016

On May 6, US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) UO’s visited campus to hold a roundtable with UO computer and information science faculty members, students, and local tech sector companies on cyber security and privacy.


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Oregon driver's license will no longer be accepted for entry into certain federal facilities starting in Oct. 2016

May 23, 2016

Beginning October 10, 2016, Oregon driver licenses will no longer be accepted identification to access certain federal facilities and nuclear power plants. Congress, in enacting the REAL ID Act in 2005, began a phase-in process requiring states to either update the security of driver’s licenses or require their citizens to provide an additional form of acceptable alternative identification for some activities.


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IRS grants delay in tax reporting (1098-T) requirement change

May 23, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service announced in late April that it will grant a delay in implementation of a change in tax reporting requirements for qualified tuition and related expenses on IRS form 1098-T. The UO joined with the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and other universities in asking for the delay.


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Senate Appropriations Committee funds advanced wood research initiative, increases funding for AFRI

May 23, 2016

The Senate Appropriations Committee on May 19 approved its FY17 Agriculture appropriations bill with $375 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), an increase of $25 million above the FY16 enacted level. That funding is the same amount approved for AFRI by the House Appropriations Committee on April 19.


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Administration’s FY18 Budget calls for cuts to student aid, research

May 23, 2017

On May 23, President Donald Trump released his proposed budget, which includes cuts that could prove devastating to students and higher education research if enacted.


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