Latest news from the UO

  • New COVID-19 relief bill: emergency funding for UO

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R. 133), approved by Congress and signed into law in late December, 2020,  is a massive legislative package containing several substantial bills, including an omnibus package of FY2021 funding bills and an emergency spending bill to address the impact of COVID-19. The relief bill includes $22.7 billion in emergency assistance higher education and students. The $22.7 million funding is divided into four pots: 89% of the total for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF);  7.5% of the total dedicated to historically Black colleges (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions, and other minority serving institutions; 3% of the total for student emergency aid for students at for-profit institutions; and .5% of the total for grants to institutions particularly impacted by the pandemic or disadvantaged by the formula for intuitional aid. The American Council on Education (ACE), with assistance from The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), conducted a simulation on how the Department of Education might allocate the $20.2 billion pot of funding dedicated to about 3,500 public and private nonprofit institutions and their students. The formula for allocating funds relies on several measures of an institution’s enrollment, including the number of Pell and non-Pell students; full-time enrollment (FTE) and headcount; and students who were or were not exclusively online at the start of the pandemic. ACE estimates that the University of Oregon may receive approximately $24 million, with a minimum of $8.1 million of that allocated to direct grants to students. Student emergency funding can be used for a broad range of purposes, including anything that is covered under cost of attendance.  Similarly, institutional funds can be used for a wide range of purposes, including replacing lost revenue or paying for new expenses. The bill does not define which students are eligible to receive emergency aid, and current guidance restricts eligibility only to those students who are currently eligible to receive Title IV aid. It is expected that the Biden administration will expand eligibility more broadly when it takes office. A summary provide by ACE of the higher education provisions of H.R. 133 can be found here, and a breakdown of the simulated estimate for each institution can be found here.

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  • Oregon's colleges to get $228 million in COVID-19 relief money

    First published in The Register-Guard on January 9, 2021. Oregon's colleges and universities will get a needed boost from the newest federal COVID-19 relief and omnibus bill signed Dec. 27 by President Donald Trump.  The funds from the Consolidated Appropriations Act's $22.7 billion dedicated to higher education across the U.S. comes at a time when low enrollment and other budget problems are cause for concern for Oregon's higher education institutions.  Oregon's Higher Education Coordinating Commission estimates $228.1 million will come to the state from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, anticipating $102.4 million to public universities, $97.6 million for community colleges and $28.1 million for private institutions. It's not enough to fix the looming budget concerns of many colleges and universities, HECC Executive Director Ben Cannon said. Nearly all of the state's colleges and universities have seen declines in enrollment, which poses problems as many still rely on tuition for the bulk of revenue. The institutions also have lost revenue from areas such as housing and dining, athletic and parking revenues, he said. Public universities alone are projecting $327 million in lost revenues since March and through June 2021, Cannon said. This is on top of the approximately $82 million in direct costs public universities estimate to have incurred related to the pandemic.  "So it certainly helps to fill those gaps. It doesn't fully come close to fulfilling them, but it is a very important investment by Congress in colleges and universities at a really critical time," Cannon said.  Community colleges getting more The distribution of the relief will be a bit different than that of the $2.2 trillion CARES act signed by Trump in March. The formula for these latest relief funds has been "modified to equally weight full-time equivalent student counts and student headcounts," according to Kyle Thomas, HECC director of Legislative and Policy Affairs. The change will mean more resources for community colleges than before, because more of their students are enrolled part-time, he stated. Fall enrollment fell at every community college in the state over the previous year, a HECC report showed. For Lane Community College, which saw a 22% decline in fall enrollment this year, the reconfigured relief funds will make more operational sense.  It takes more resources for community colleges than universities to provide for one full-time equivalent student, LCC Spokesperson Brett Rowlett said, because one full-time equivalent student usually really means two or three students who need one advisor. "Oregon’s community colleges are experiencing enrollment declines greater than 20% while the costs of delivering quality education continue to increase," said LCC Provost Paul Jarrell in a statement. "We are very grateful for this federal assistance, which will help us better serve students during the pandemic while also making necessary investments for a safe return to campus later this year." No budget increase will feel like a cut  Institutions will be required to use at least as many dollars for direct emergency student aid as they were before under the CARES Act, Thomas stated, "however, because institutional allocations are larger in this funding round, less than 50% of total funds are required to be spent in such a manner." The new relief funds also include $4 billion for a Governor's Emergency Fund, which will distribute money to governors to use as they see fit for their state's needs. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown did not include a funding increase for higher education in her proposed budget for 2021-2023, though she did provide increases for K-12 schools. It's important to still think of the emergency fund and Gov. Brown's proposed budget separately, Cannon said, because the relief funds are to be used for emergency grants to students and shoring up budgets primarily this year, whereas Brown's budget impacts the following year, too. However, both play into colleges' financial outlooks for the 2021-2022 school year.  If Brown's proposed budget is approved, it will keep the funding levels for higher education the same as they were this biennium. However, colleges will feel this more as a decrease in funding the first year of the new biennium, according to Jamie Moffitt, University of Oregon's vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer. At the last UO Board of Trustees meeting Dec. 3, Moffitt explained that just 49% of state funding is given the first year of the biennium, and 51% is given the following year.  "What that means that if the biennial budget stays steady, we actually see a cut, because you end up going from the year — which is this year — where we got 51% of the funding, to the first year of the biennium when you're back to 49% of the funding," Moffitt said. "The bottom line is, if the governor's (proposed budget) goes through, then the legislatively approved budget for the UO represents about a $3 million cut for next year." This is on top of ongoing costs the UO expects to see because of COVID-19 impacts on operations.  “The University of Oregon greatly appreciates the Oregon delegation that worked to secure funds, which will provide support for immediate basic and critical needs as our students, faculty and staff — and the university — face ongoing hardships,” UO spokesperson Kay Jarvis said in a statement. Groups representing higher education across the country requested $120 billion, she said, so this is far less than the $22.7 billion granted.  "The relief funds are a fraction of what is needed to help the university and students manage the current crisis and begin to recover,” she said. "We have experienced increased expenses associated with providing the technology and infrastructure necessary for remote and online instruction, and made significant investments in COVID-19 testing, health care, risk reduction strategies, and on-campus programs," Jarvis said "At the same time that costs are increasing, we have experienced significant reductions in tuition, housing and dining, and other auxiliary revenue due to the pandemic.” The UO does not yet know how much of the relief funds it will receive.  Cannon believes public higher education institutions will see budget struggles if the state funding levels stay the same. "State support will be vital for helping secure those budgets for the upcoming two years without major cuts to programs, faculty staffing, etc." he said.  Those in the HECC are going to work with the governor's office to come up with a plan for spending Oregon's portion of the Governor's Emergency Fund, just like they did with the CARES Act last year, and if any will go to higher education.  "That's an additional part that could help to support higher ed. It could also help to support the needs within K-12, and it will be ultimately at the discretion of the governor," Cannon said.    -By Jordyn Brown

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  • Carmen Rubio, Portland’s 1st Latinx City Commissioner and proven bridge-builder, takes office

    First published in The Oregonian on January 5, 2021. By Shane Dixon Kavanaugh | The Oregonian/OregonLive Some residents in East Portland must take multiple buses to get to a doctor’s appointment. In some families, three school-aged children share a single computer for virtual public-school classes while their parent works a frontline job. These are the people on Carmen Rubio’s mind as she prepares for her first week in elected office. “How do we make sure that the city of Portland represents them too?” she asked in an interview with The Oregonian/OregonLive. It’s a challenge — and opportunity — that the 47-year-old might be uniquely suited for. After two decades in government and nonprofit work focused on those historically overlooked by city leaders, Rubio will begin a four-year term on the Portland City Council, becoming the first Latinx commissioner in its history. Rubio, who was born and raised in Hillsboro in a family that immigrated from Mexico, “will ensure communities of color and others who are marginalized have a voice at the table when decisions critical to their lives are made,” said Serena Cruz, a former Multnomah County Commissioner. “Representation matters. It makes a difference.” Rubio became the first in her family to attend college — studying political science at the University of Oregon — and entered public service after graduating. She spent the late 1990s and early 2000s working as a policy adviser for Cruz and then-Portland Commissioner Nick Fish, as well as director of community affairs for former Portland Mayor Tom Potter. Rubio then went on to work more than a decade as the executive director of the Latino Network, which serves Latinx youth and families in Multnomah County. The experience provided a firsthand view into the lives of Portlanders struggling to get by even as the city flourished economically. It also compelled her to run for the seat being vacated by longtime Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “Many of the people I’ve worked with, you know, are working so hard just to provide for their families,” Rubio said. “Those are the stories that we need to lift up.” She won the election to replace Fritz outright in the May primary, capturing more than two-thirds of the vote in a crowded field of seven candidates. Rubio received the backing of nearly every swath of the city’s political establishment, including elected leaders, unions and business groups. By the standards of Portland city politics, she’s relatively moderate, more bridge-builder than firebrand or radical reformer. A studied, deliberate approach to policy has earned her the praise of progressives and business leaders alike throughout her career. On the council, Rubio wants to play the role of a problem solver and consensus builder, even on the most contentious issues, she said. “I will be the person committed to listening to all stakeholders to achieve a solution or goal, to know all sides of an issue” she said. “That’s the only way you can truly tackle things at their root cause.” How such an approach might play out during such a divisive time in politics, both locally and nationally, is yet to be seen. But Rubio said she feels undeterred. “It’s incumbent upon us to do the work to make sure we have carefully considered and weighed everything,” she said. “That’s often going to involve hard decisions. But I’m under no illusion that’s part of this job.”

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  • Mullens Named to Congressional Commission

    First published in GoDucks.com on January 5, 2021. Oregon director of athletics Rob Mullens has been appointed to a Congressional commission tasked with assessing the state of U.S. participation in the Olympic and Paralympic games.Congress has charged a commission with submitting a report with findings, conclusions, recommendations and suggested policy changes for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, under the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, who represented central and eastern Oregon for 22 years before retiring at the end of the most recent Congress, appointed Mullens and three others to the newly formed Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics.Walden (R-OR) was ranking member of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee in the 116th Congress. Leadership from the House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over amateur athletics were charged with making appointments to the new commission.Under the leadership of Mullens, Oregon's pursuit of broad-based excellence has resulted in two top-10 finishes in the Directors' Cup ranking of collegiate athletic departments. Along with successes including the football team's appearance in the College Football Playoff and men's basketball's trip to the 2017 Final Four, the women's track and field program won the "Triple Crown" of national championships in 2016-17, and the women's basketball program has become a national powerhouse.While leading UO athletics to unprecedented heights during the past decade, Mullens has been consulted for leadership across the landscape of amateur athletics in recent years. He serves on an advisory council to the USOPC and spent four years on the College Football Playoff selection committee, including two years as chair.The new Congressional commission is a 16-member body that will take a holistic look at the structure and achievements of the USOPC, including as it relates to the diversity of its board of directors, and participation levels in amateur athletics by women, disabled individuals and minorities. It also will provide an assessment of the USOPC's finances, and review recent reforms including recommendations made in 2018 in the wake of findings of sexual abuse within the USOPC.Along with Mullens, Walden nominated Mitch Daniels, the former governor of Indiana and current president of Purdue University; Melissa Stockwell, a U.S. Army veteran who lost her left leg while deployed in Iraq and now competes as a Paralympian; and former Defense Department official Joe Schmitz, who wrestled for the U.S. Naval Academy."As we continue our work to ensure athletes have a safe, welcoming environment – and undertake serious reforms at the highest level of sport – I am pleased to announce my appointments to the Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics," Walden said. "After reviewing and considering numerous recommendations for many qualified candidates, I am confident these four individuals will provide valuable insight and expertise to ensure the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee lives up to the high standards expected of it."The United States should always lead the world by example, and athletics is no exception. I thank Governor Daniels, Ms. Stockwell, Mr. Mullens, and Mr. Schmitz for agreeing to serve."   By Rob Moseley

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  • UO research team solves an ancient Colorado River mystery

    First published in Around the O on December 21, 2020. Two new studies by Rebecca Dorsey’s University of Oregon research group have validated the idea that the ebb and flow of seawater tides, amid a wet climate more than 5 million years ago, covered basins that are now part of the arid lower reaches of the Colorado River valley. The evidence emerged from separate projects northeast of the Chocolate Mountains in a region that now encompasses the small desert communities of Cibola, Arizona, and Palo Verde, California. The region is in the southern Bouse Formation near Blythe, California. The studies, funded by the National Science Foundation, were published online ahead of print in the international journal Sedimentology. “Taken together, our new papers provide conclusive evidence that the southern Bouse Formation formed in and around the margins of a marine tidal strait that filled the lower Colorado River valley prior to arrival of the modern river system,” said Dorsey, a professor in the UO’s Department of Earth Sciences. The first paper, led by former master’s student Brennan O’Connell, published Oct. 29. The research focused on sediments of the late Miocene to early Pliocene east of the Colorado River and south of Blythe. The Miocene, a geological epoch, lasted from 23 million years ago to 5.3 million years ago; the Pliocene occurred between 5.3 million and 2.6 million years ago. O’Connell and co-authors describe a rich mixture of carbonate mudstones, plant debris and traces of ancient organisms that record brackish water conditions where seawater was diluted by a large influx of fresh water due to high annual rainfall, before waters of the Colorado River flowed into the area. Previously, O’Connell, who is now pursuing a doctorate at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and UO colleagues had found evidence that the Gulf of California once reached as far north as Blythe, as detailed in the journal Geology in 2017. The sediments, O’Connell’s new study concludes, formed in wide tidal flats along an ancient, humid-climate marine shoreline. An abrupt transition to low-energy subtidal lime mudstone, she found, records widespread marine flooding associated with a long-lived regional rise in sea level. Relative sea level rise happened when the land sank due to long-term tectonic activity. The combined evidence from paleontology, ichnology and process sedimentology “provides a clear record of freshwater input and brackish water conditions due to mixing of freshwater and seawater in a humid climate with high annual precipitation,” O’Connell’s team wrote.

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  • Gilman scholars navigate study abroad in a COVID-19 world

    First published in Around the O on December 17, 2020. As a first-generation college student, Oscar Sigala is determined to serve as a role model for his siblings. He is among the nine UO students who received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International scholarship to study abroad for the 2020 October deadline.   “I can show my siblings that anything is possible as long as you put in the work,” Sigala said. Anything can happen.”  The Gilman scholarship program awards up to $5,000 to undergraduate students for studying abroad. The scholarship is available to all students currently receiving the Pell Grant, which is available to undergraduate students and based on financial need. Another similar scholarship, the Gilman-McCain award, is offered to dependents of active-duty military members.  Sigala and the other applicants faced a different world when applying for the scholarship in October.  “It was really difficult,” Sigala said. “It was right around the time classes were starting, so adapting to everything was tough.” But while grinding through the application, Sigala said he learned he “could do a lot under pressure, which was good in the long run.”  Sigala is a junior studying journalism and plans to use his Gilman scholarship toward the Charles University exchange program in Prague. He was originally set to leave in February 2020 for the spring semester, but the program was cancelled due to COVID-19.   Because of that, all recipients have the option to change or defer their program to a later date in 2021 when it’s safe to travel.  “Thankfully, I was able to defer to the fall semester for 2021,” Sigala said.   Originally from the Mexican state of Jalisco, Sigala and his family came to the U.S. when he was a sophomore in high school.  “In high school, I met a lot of people from Latin America, from Brazil, and learning about their cultures sparked my curiosity of other cultures,” Sigala said. The opportunity to study abroad has been something he’s looked forward to throughout high school and into college. Once at the UO, Sigala joined various international clubs and continued to seek out other cultures, appreciating the opportunity to learn from the people around him. The Gilman scholarship offered him a path to further this learning. The nine Gilman scholarship recipients for this cycle are: Stephanie Farnes, Spanish language and society in Rosario. Richard Kim, architecture in Vicenza. Giovanni Ricci, SIT: Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action in Amman. Kathleen Rodriguez Perez, SIT: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization in Cuzco. Oscar Sigala, Charles University Exchange. James Taylor, Mexican studies and Spanish immersion in Querétaro. Melissa Torres-Duran, Spanish language and culture in Segovia. Kira Veselka, global business in London with an internship. Ashley Younger, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “We are so incredibly proud of these awards, especially during such a difficult time,” said Dennis Galvan, dean and vice provost of the Division of Global Engagement. “Scholarships open the door for students who might not otherwise be able to study abroad. This is such a valuable experience, and that’s why the division provides support for students to access funding like the Gilman scholarship. We are so proud that the UO is consistently ranked as a top national institution receiving Gilman scholarships.” Sigala plans to focus on sports broadcast journalism, and through studying abroad, he hopes to gain the skills and expertise he needs to take the next steps in his career. “I want to encourage people to still apply for study-abroad programs, even though they might be cancelled,” Sigala said. “Next year will be my senior year, and it’s not usual for seniors to study abroad. But it’s something I wanted to do, so I’m doing it. So, don’t be discouraged. If you want to do it, then go out there and do it.” —By Victoria Sanchez, University Communications

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  • Omnibus includes funding for ShakeAlert and IES/NCSER

    January 4, 2021 08:36 am On December 21, 2020, an omnibus spending bill containing all twelve appropriations bills for the 2021 fiscal year passed both chambers of Congress. It was signed into law the following week. Two programs receiving funding  of special interest to the University of Oregon are ShakeAlert and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), including the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER). The ShakeAlert West Coast earthquake early warning (EEW) system uses sensors to detect significant earthquakes when destructive shaking travels across the region. Depending on how far away someone is from the epicenter, seconds to minutes of warning would allow people to take cover and protect critical infrastructure. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will receive $25.7 million to continue developing and expanding the ShakeAlert system to provide the program’s operational capability for the West Coast. This funding will provide support for the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, a cooperative effort between the UO and the University of Washington, which monitors earthquake and volcanic activity in the Pacific Northwest. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) are important partners in supporting research by UO’s College of Education faculty, who are some of the most productive in the nation and have a long tradition of translating research into effective models, methods, and measures that improve lives. The College of Education’s special education graduate program is third in the nation and the College of Education’s graduate school of education is fourth among public institutions. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), a research agency associated with the US Department of Education, will receive $642.5 million. Notably, the omnibus bill will increase funding for NCSER by $2 million for a total of $58.5 million. The FY21 funding constitutes a $19 million overall increase for IES from the previous year and a $87 million increase from the President’s Budget Request. Even so, the funding still falls short of the higher education community’s $670 million request, which would return IES to funding levels consistent with the agency’s impact prior to the 2011 passage of the Budget Control Act. The funding increases represent progress, especially for NCSER For additional resources, see the APLU analysis of the FY2021 omnibus and the University of Oregon’s funding priorities chart (link coming soon). Oregon’s delegation has been consistent in their congressional advocacy for IES and earthquake early warning funding over the years. US Senator Jeff Merkley and Congresswoman Bonamici led efforts to secure funding for the Institute of Education Sciences and NCSER. The entire Oregon delegation works with the Washington and California members to advance ShakeAlert as a priority.

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  • 2020: A Year Like No Other

    First published in Around the O on December 28, 2020 A Year Like No Other STORY BY TIM CHRISTIE Amid a pandemic, racial reckoning, and catastrophic wildfires, UO students persevered, and faculty and staff helped take on the challenge of COVID-19 On the first day of 2020, the Oregon Ducks were playing football in the glorious afternoon sunshine in Pasadena, Calif., beating the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl to cap off a 12-2 season in what seemed an auspicious start to the new year. Half a world away, a novel coronavirus had quietly begun its deadly spread and would soon become a pandemic that has killed some 1.5 million around the globe and upended nearly every facet of daily life. As the year ends, the virus continues its lethal march, even as the first Americans began getting vaccinated. For a university, a place where tens of thousands of students are accustomed to sleeping, eating, studying and playing in close quarters, the virus known as COVID-19 would bring about unprecedented upheaval. The racial reckoning that gripped the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd spurred activism on the UO campus in a demand that Black Lives Matter. A contentious election and cataclysmic wildfires intensified the anxiety and capped a year that defied comparison. Along the way, the UO community came together, proving with grit and determination to persevere and contribute. We sent another newly minted class of graduates out into the world. Our scientists developed COVID-19 testing facilities capable of quickly processing thousands of tests per week and continued to help us understand how the pandemic was affecting the world. We celebrated the opening of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, a ground-breaking facility dedicated to the mission of quickly turning scientific discoveries into innovations that improve the quality of life for people in Oregon, the nation, and the world. But the pandemic set the agenda for 2020. It brought an abrupt end to winter term, halting winter sports and causing a sudden, unsatisfying end to seasons. It was a particularly bitter pill for Oregon women’s basketball and their fans: The Ducks were a dominant squad on the cusp of a national title run, led by guard Sabrina Ionescu, a record-smashing force of nature who became the most celebrated college player in the country. Spring term took place on a mostly empty campus, as students and faculty adjusted to remote learning. For the first time, commencement, the culminating celebration of the academic year, was a virtual affair, taking place on our screens instead of inside a raucous Matthew Knight Arena. In June, in the wake of nationwide demonstrations protesting police brutality and demanding racial justice, the UO Board of Trustees decided to strip Matthew Deady’s name from the first building on campus because of his racist views, a long-simmering issue. Deady, a federal judge, was president of the state of Oregon’s constitutional convention, which excluded blacks from the state, and the first president of the UO’s Board of Regents.   Also in June, after a teach-in at Deady Hall, protestors marching through campus toppled two iconic pioneer statues in the middle of campus that had been criticized for representing historic white oppression and genocide of native peoples in Oregon. As fall term was set to begin in late September, ferocious wildfires tore through Oregon and much of the West, destroying scores of buildings, displacing hundreds of thousands and killing dozens. While Eugene was never in peril, a pall of choking smoke spread like a blanket over our communities for days on end. As this disaster was unfolding, students moved into residence halls and classes began, albeit mostly remote. Students and faculty adjusted to the new abnormal, connecting via social media and video conferencing. Pac-12 football was delayed, canceled, then revived, and as of this writing, a truncated, COVID-marred season was staggering through its final weeks. Our scientists and researchers came to the fore, ramping up testing and making it available for free to the community at large. Faculty members and health leaders established the Corona Corps, a cadre of students who conducted contact tracing to help slow the spread of the virus in our community. Our students persisted, learning new ways to learn and connect. This was our pandemic year. As we look ahead to 2021, there are positive signs: Vaccines developed in record time have begun to be administered as the year comes to a close. While the virus isn’t going away, 2020 will soon be in the rear-view mirror, and there is hope we’ll see a return to some semblance of normalcy in the new year.   CELEBRATIONS Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact opens A commencement like no other Rebuilt Hayward Field unveiled for Oregon athletes   90 EMPLOYEES AT THE KNIGHT CAMPUS AS OF 2020, INCLUDING FACULTY, THEIR RESEARCH TEAMS AND ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF 5,063 BACHELOR, MASTER’S, DOCTORATE AND LAW DEGREES CONFERRED AT OREGON’S FIRST EVER VIRTUAL COMMENCEMENT 5 OREGON TRACK AND FIELD ICONS ON THE HAYWARD FIELD TOWER: STEVE PREFONTAINE, RAEVYN ROGERS, ASHTON EATON, OTIS DAVIS, AND BILL BOWERMAN     OUR PANDEMIC YEAR Learning goes remote UO embarks on a fall term with few parallels Corona Corps supports sick students with new care team   16,577 COVID-19 TESTS ADMINISTERED TO STUDENTS LIVING IN THE RESIDENCE HALLS DURING FALL TERM ≈50 STUDENTS INVOLVED WITH THE CORONA CORPS ≈85% CLASSES TAUGHT REMOTELY FALL TERM     LIFE OF STUDENTS A Duck reflects on Pride month and her journey to graduation Jasper Zhou documents life on campus during the pandemic Caddying for Tiger Woods   4,560 INCOMING STUDENTS IN FALL TERM 60.7% FOUR-YEAR GRADUATION RATE — AN ALL-TIME HIGH 32 EVANS SCHOLARS AT THE UO     DISCOVERIES By age three, children already have an adult-like preference for visual fractal patterns Researchers brew a formula for consistent espresso and industry savings Study shows what’s below ‘recent’ Cascade eruptions   $126M MONEY BROUGHT IN BY UO RESEARCHERS IN GRANTS, CONTRACTS, AND COMPETITIVE AWARDS IN FY20 573 GRANTS AWARDED TO UO RESEARCHERS 8 KNIGHT CAMPUS FACULTY AND RESEARCH TEAMS; A NINTH ARRIVES IN FEBRUARY     BATTLING THE VIRUS High-tech lab delivers critical services during pandemic State funds project to take testing statewide UO, OHSU to study new coronavirus in a hospital setting   25K COVID-19 TESTS ADMINISTERED BY THE UO’S MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM SINCE SEPTEMBER 8,623 STUDENT WELLNESS KITS DISTRIBUTED DURING FALL TERM 5,490 FACE COVERINGS DISTRIBUTED TO FACULTY AND STAFF BY STUDENT REC CENTER STAFF    

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  • Congress passes 4th COVID relief and Omnibus spending bills

    December 22, 2020 09:00 am On Monday, Dec. 21, Congress passed a $900 billion 4th COVID-19 pandemic relief package. The relief package is paired with an Omnibus spending bill to finalize the FY21 budget. The relief package includes another round of direct payments to individuals; enhanced unemployment benefits, support for struggling industries and small businesses, and funding for vaccine distribution. A summary of the proposal can be found here. Funding in the relief package that affects college students and higher education institutions includes: $20 billion for higher education, with a split between institutions of higher education and students as established by the CARES Act passed in March; $4.05 billion to the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund (GEER), which is a billion more than was distributed via the CARES Act; An extension that allows states and local governments another year to spend their CARES funds but no separate allocation; $22 billion to states for more testing and tracing; Various employment/unemployment provisions; Additional funds to the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and  $28 million in supplemental funding to the Institute of Education Sciences for activity related to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Of note in the Omnibus spending bill is an increase to the Pell grant by $150/year and a restoration of eligibility to those enrolled in prison education programs. As of Dec.22 at 9 a.m. PST, the bills are awaiting signature by President Trump.

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