UO joins higher education advocacy effort in Salem

First published in Around the O, January 16, 2018

Students, alumni, faculty and staff from all seven Oregon public universities will gather to advocate for higher education funding at the Oregon Capitol in Salem on Thursday, Feb. 15.

Advocates, including UO President Michael Schill and ASUO President Amy Schenk, will thank legislators for increased funding in 2017. They also will urge lawmakers to protect universities from cuts in 2018 that may endanger programs and services that students rely on to graduate and be prepared for the 21st century workplace.

UO students, faculty and staff are welcome to participate. Interested individuals can register online. Registration is required to attend.

In addition to advocate visits with legislators, the day will include orientation and training for advocate participants, photo opportunities with mascots, viewing of House and Senate chamber performances and “microtalks” from faculty and staff about the best of what’s happening at universities. Transportation from Eugene can be requested when signing up.

“Over the last two decades, the Legislature has disinvested in public universities,” said Libby Batlan, associate vice president for state and community affairs. “This has resulted in transferring the burden of paying for college from the state to students and their families.” 

However, in 2015 and 2017, lawmakers increased operating funding for universities.

“It’s because of tireless advocacy efforts such as University Day that Oregon’s universities have been able to keep tuition increases lower than they would have been without the additional state funding,” Batlan said.

University Day is coordinated by UO Government and Community Relations in conjunction with government relations staff from Oregon’s six other public universities.