This article first appeared in Around the O on February 7, 2017
As campus leaders at Oregon’s seven public universities urge state lawmakers to boost state funding for higher education, the co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Ways and Means Committee are making their way across Oregon to solicit input on what should be funded during the next two years.
Joint Ways and Means Committee co-chairs Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, and Sen. Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin, will pass through Eugene on Saturday, Feb. 25 to collect feedback on the proposed budget framework for the next biennium. The meeting takes place at Lane Community College from 1 p.m-3 p.m. in Rooms 308-309, Building 17. All members of the public are welcome to testify and share views about funding priorities.
While the co-chairs propose overall funding for higher education at a slightly higher level than in Gov. Kate Brown’s proposed budget released last December, the allocation falls well short of the roughly $100 million needed to prevent significant tuition increases and budget cuts at the UO and most other public universities next year.
In a recent letter to the legislative leadership urging increased funding, higher education leaders said, “Put simply, the funding levels proposed do not account for cost increases we are facing on campuses and will ensure tuition increases that will make a college degree out of reach for many Oregonians.”