On the final day of the 2013 Legislative Session, the Oregon Senate gave final approval to SB 270, adopting technical concurrence amendments by a vote of 25 to 4 with one member excused. The bill grants institutional boards for Oregon’s public universities. The Senate had previously voted to approve SB 270 on a vote of 23-7.
The House approved the measure 44-15-1 during a floor session on Saturday, June 6. The bill was carried on the floor by Ways and Means Co-Chair Representative Peter Buckley (D-Ashland). Oregon House Higher Education Committee Chair Representative Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), Representative Mark Johnson (R-Hood River), and Representative Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene) spoke in support of the bill.
The Board of Trustees established under the final version of the bill will have the authority to hire or fire a university president, set tuition with up to a 5 percent increase without legislative approval, and issue revenue bonds. The bill specifies that the board will include a student, who will be a voting member. The bill also requires the 11 to 15 member board to include a non-faculty employee and faculty member. The governor will determine if those members are voting or non-voting at the time of appointment. The university president is an ex-officio member of the board. For more about the bill, see the article in AroundtheO.
The legislature also approved HB 3120, which creates a Higher Education Coordinating Commission for Oregon’s community colleges, student aid enterprises, and universities.