Governor Kitzhaber's proposed 2015-17 budget, released December 1, would increase state investment into the Public University Support Fund to cover the cost of continuing the tuition buy down from 2013 and to help universities cover cost increases. While this increased funding is a step in the right direction it will do little to help control tuition, expand access, and assist in the hiring of additional faculty. The proposed budget still falls well short of the $755 million (2007 funding levels) proposed by Oregon’s higher education leaders. UO will work higher education partners during the upcoming legislative session to reach the $755 million funding level.
The Governor's budget also includes $275 million for university capital construction, including four projects at the University of Oregon. The proposed budget would fund renovations of Klamath and Chapman Halls, build a College and Careers Building, and would create a new home for the school of Architecture & Allied Arts. The funding for these projects totals more than $62 million.
Both the Klamath and Chapman Hall renovations will update the buildings, improve access, and provide seismic safety. The new College and Careers building will merge core academic activities with advising on career opportunities, right at the core of campus. Finally, the new Learning and Innovation Hub for the School of Architecture and Allied Arts will provide a space for design thinking, collaborative innovation, social responsibility and world-class applied research.