Higher Education committees to meet during interim legislative days

Higher education is on the agenda of several committees as the Oregon Legislature convenes for interim legislative days, which started yesterday, September 16 and runs through Wednesday, September 18. The Special Committee on University Governance and Operations created by SB 270, the legislation that also created the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon, will meet for the first time this morning, September 17 at 8:00 am. The committee, appointed in August, includes four senators, four representatives, and two members of the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB): Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem), Ways and Means Co-Chair State Senator Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin), State Senator Fred Girod (R-Stayton), State Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena), Ways and Means Co-Chair State Representative Peter Buckley (D-Ashland), Higher Education Committee Chair Representative Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), State Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner), State Representative Gail Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls), OEIB Member Samuel Henry, and OEIB Member Matthew Donegan. The committee will review legislative work on governance prior to 2013, look at governance legislation passed in 2013, and receive a briefing on the progress of the Work Group on University Shared Services. The legislature will provide a live stream of the hearing.

The Oregon Senate committee with jurisdiction over higher education, the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee, chaired by State Senator Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) will also meet on September 17. The committee’s hearing will begin at 2:00 pm and will include a presentation by Governor John Kitzhaber and other panelists on “The Community College Concept” and a presentation on strategic investments in education by Interim Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden and other OEIB staff. The legislature will provide a live stream of the hearing.

The Governor’s Education Policy Advisor, Ben Cannon, will offer a presentation to the newly formed Joint Special Committee on Public Education Appropriation on outcomes-based budgeting and post-secondary quality goals. A live stream of the committee proceeding will begin at 11 am.

The Higher Education and Workforce Development met on Monday, September 16. The Committee received an update on the work of the Oregon Education Investment Board in the area of higher education by Interim Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden. Governor Kitzhaber’s Education Policy Advisor Ben Cannon offered an update and a timeline for higher education governance reform. Finally, Representative Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) spoke about progress on the “Pay it Forward, Pay it Back” initiative. Materials from the hearing are available on the committee’s webpage.