On August 15, the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Special Legislative Committee on University Governance released a draft report and legislation for public comment. The draft bill and report outlined the committee’s proposal for institutional boards, offering provisions on board composition and appointment, enumerated powers, and bonding authority.
The draft bill gives the University of Oregon and Portland State University the authority to form boards and requires an annual report from the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB) that evaluates the effectiveness of institutional boards. The bill outlines a process for membership on institutional boards that includes appointment by the Governor and approval by the Oregon Senate from a slate of candidates provided by the university. It stipulates that the board have between 11 and 15 members including a member of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education. Some of the powers and duties granted to the board in the draft are:
- Entrance into annual achievement compacts with OEIB;
- Appointment, reappointment and removal of university president in consultation with the Governor and State Board of Higher Education;
- Approval of mission statement and academic programs;
- Establishment of tuition rates and fees for non-resident and graduate students and for resident students subject to specified limits;
- Authority over all employment issues (with SBHE collaboration on collective bargaining with employees represented by statewide bargaining units);
- Ability to issue revenue bonds within stated limits and subject to review by the State Treasurer; and
- Authorization to take, hold and dispose of mortgages on property held in trust for the people of Oregon.
The release of the August 15 draft followed an August 9 hearing during which members of the committee discussed the finalized draft provisions. The committee will meet again during the Oregon Legislature’s fall legislative days on September 13. The public comment period on the draft opened on August 15, and the committee will accept public comments via email or standard mail through September 15 to the addresses listed below:
Administrator, Joint Special Committee on University Governance
Oregon State Capitol, Room 453
900 Court St. NE
Salem, OR 97301