Students, faculty, staff and business leaders testify in support of higher education funding

Students, faculty, and staff from all seven of Oregon’s public universities joined state and business leaders in a packed a hearing room in the Oregon Capitol on Tuesday, April 14 to ask legislators to fully funding Oregon’s public universities at $755 million.

Those testifying included Grant Schoonover, interim director of the University of Oregon’s PathwayOregon program, which bundles institutional, state, and federal aid and combines it with mentoring programs to provide deserving Pell-Grant-eligible students with an fully-funded higher education. Schoonover was joined by two current students in the PathwayOregon program. The UO has identified PathwayOregon as one area of increased investment should the state increase funding.

The co-chairs of the Joint Ways and Means Committee released a budget proposal in February that would increase investment in higher education to $670 million. However, this falls short of the joint request of Oregon’s public universities of $693 million in base support—the actual dollar amount received in state support in 2007—plus an additional $62 million to continue tuition relief enacted during the 2013-15 biennium (totally $755 million).

The legislature will hold another day for public testimony on the budget for public universities next Wednesday, April 22. For more information, please contact Nate Stice at Additionally, UO Advocates have started a campaign to ask the legislature to reinvest in public universities. To learn more, click here: