UO State Affairs News

  • HEDCO anniversary marks a decade of innovation and service

    First published in Around the O on August 12th. The celebration is scheduled for fall, but this summer officially marks the 10th anniversary of the HEDCO Education Building. Part of a $50.5 million construction project, the state-of-the-art facility has transformed the College of Education, created an iconic entrance to the west side of campus and accelerated the college’s far-reaching efforts to advance education and social services. “The architecture is stunning,” said Randy Kamphaus, the college’s dean. “However, the most important benefit of this building is how well it serves our people and their critical work on behalf of children and families. Since it opened, this impressive facility has elevated the college’s teaching, learning, research and community outreach tremendously. It has been, and continues to be, a catalyst for success.” COLLEGE OF EDUCATION No. 3 special education graduate program in the nation. No. 14 graduate school of education in the nation. Highest-ranked academic unit at the UO, due largely to a decades-long record of national and international research and development in special education, counseling psychology, educational leadership and school psychology. Long tradition of translating research into effective models, methods and measures that improve lives. Forty-three commercial education products currently on the market, innovations with an enduring impact in Oregon and across the nation. The building is named for California's HEDCO Foundation. The foundation's gift of $10 million, along with a $12.5 million gift from Lorry I. Lokey, helped secure the Legislature's authorization of $19.4 million in general obligation bonds. Private gifts covered 60 percent of the project costs.  “Together, the HEDCO Foundation, individual donors, and the Oregon Legislature made this historic construction project possible,” Kamphaus said. “On behalf of our faculty and the university, I would like to express our gratitude and acknowledge the visionary leaders who made it happen, including my predecessors Michael Bullis and Martin Kaufman.” What began as a plan to expand and modernize facilities overwhelmed by a tripling of enrollment led to a historic renovation of the entire 9.8-acre site. The first construction for the college since 1980, the project updated all the buildings within the education complex, including the Clinical Services Building and the Education Annex, known informally as “the little red schoolhouse.” It also renovated the college's historic brick buildings, naming the three connected wings the Lorry I. Lokey Education Building in appreciation of his investment in the project.  At four stories counting the basement parking structure, the HEDCO building increased the college's space within the complex by two-thirds and united its five clinical training programs under one roof. Since the building opened in 2009, the college has served an average of 943 undergraduate students each year, a 33 percent increase over the prior decade. The building continues to provide an ideal learning environment for students who go on to successful careers in teaching, couples and family therapy, speech pathology, school administration and counseling, research, and more. The college is also a resource for current teachers, who must maintain continuing education requirements. The HEDCO building has also helped the college continue its stellar track record for garnering grant dollars. Agencies are more likely to award proposals from organizations with suitable facilities, and the HEDCO Clinic is a big plus when applying for state and federal research funding. In fiscal year 2017, the college was responsible for 53 percent of the university’s grant-related funding. One of the most important benefits, Kamphaus said, has been to help the college recruit, retain and develop a world-class faculty. Visitors are impressed with the building, he said. And facilities — functional offices, convenient meeting rooms and practical work spaces — are big morale builders for the entire faculty. Since Kamphaus started as dean five years ago, the number of tenured faculty members in the college has increased by 35 percent. The building’s flexible design has accommodated the growth well, he said, making it possible to reconfigure the interior layout without affecting the overall aesthetics or functionality. Kamphaus is confident the facilities will continue to help the college realize its ambitious goals for the next decade, and longer. HEDCO Clinic This state-of-the-art university training clinic offers children and families behavioral health services, hosting more than 8,000 client appointments a year. Students seeking careers as couples and family therapists, speech language pathologists, and counseling and school psychologists gain practical experience. For families, the clinic offers one space to access many different services. Some of the simplest amenities added during construction, such as parking, space for children to play while waiting and a washroom, have made big differences. The setting is customized for the clinics as well as the college’s groundbreaking research on concussion management and recovery, speech pathology, stroke patients, autism and more. High tech home Designed to make teaching, long-distance learning and collaboration easy, the building’s leading-edge technology was also planned with upgrades and expansion in mind. This adaptable infrastructure has enabled the college to keep important tools up to date and relevant over the years. Learning community The HEDCO building was designed to promote collaboration and foster community, and informal learning spaces throughout the building reflect this approach. The Swindells Lobby features a fireplace, cafe and a learning commons with a computer lab. Wide hallways encourage students to interact with their peers as well as faculty members. Comfortable, flexible spaces were designed to create a home away from home. By all accounts, these ideas are working well in practice. Throughout the building, learning spills out of labs and classrooms and into the hallways. Multifunctional learning spaces serve an array of configurations for meetings, classes and group projects. Chance encounters blossom into impromptu meetings and discussions, which are significant educational experiences. One of the earliest projects on campus to fully adopt this design approach — now a national trend for universities — the HEDCO building has served as an example for other new construction on campus.   All under one roof When it first opened, the HEDCO building united five clinical training programs in one building, encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration — an approach that has been highly successful. The new facility also has enabled the college to offer better services for students, faculty members and staff. Students and faculty members can easily find the information and resources they need. Community members and prospective students can ask questions, get directions or start a tour at the front desk. Welcoming families As home for the College of Education, the building serves as a bridge between the university and the families, communities and professions it serves. Walk through the HEDCO building on any given day, and you’ll see preschoolers playing in the grassy courtyard, parents bringing children to an appointment or students and faculty members collaborating on research that will improve lives. By creating a functional, welcoming environment, the building helps the college serve the community and fulfill its teaching and research missions. —By Ed Dorsch, University Communications

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  • Universities leave Salem with some wins, some plans to try again

    First published in Around the O. The state’s recently concluded legislative session may be remembered most for the partisan politics that dominated its final days, but the UO and students in higher education will see some positive outcomes. The Public University Support Fund, which funds Oregon’s seven public universities, was increased by $100 million, or 13.6 percent, to a total of $836.9 million. That is the second-largest increase in a single session since 1999. The funding will help universities partially cover rising costs and keep tuition increases for Oregonians lower than they would have been otherwise. The increase brought the UO’s resident tuition increase down to 6.91 percent from 9.6 percent, or a $675 total annual increase for students taking 45 credits a year. And the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the state’s primary need-based financial aid program for resident college and university students, increased by $12.5 million, or 8.6 percent, which will allow the grant to serve approximately 2,500 more students across the state. Another success was a new $10 million University Research Innovation Fund administered through the Oregon Business Development Department. The fund will match competitive federal research awards, leveraging federal grants that require matching funds and supporting innovation and research capacity. Grants will be targeted in priority industries, such as advanced manufacturing, high technology, outdoor gear and apparel, health care innovation, food and beverage, and forestry and wood products. Research and innovation faculty members and staff played a key role in lobbying for the fund, as did staff at the business development office. “The University Research Innovation Fund is a good example of how sometimes it takes more than one session to get an idea cross the finish line, especially if it has a price tag attached,” said Libby Batlan, associate vice president for state and community affairs. “We introduced this concept in 2017, and while it was well received, it was not funded. We worked throughout the interim and came home with a win this time around.” Lawmakers also funded deferred maintenance projects at $65 million, which will help make sure buildings and classrooms on campus are safe and up to date. Capital projects, including the UO’s renovation of Huestis Hall, will be on the agenda for funding in the 2020 session. The Legislature has approximately $315 million of bonding capacity to distribute in February. State programs experienced a small increase in funds, including clinical legal education and the Dispute Resolution Program, Labor Education Research Center and TallWood Design Institute. A law, House Bill 2030, was passed making the UO eligible to apply for seismic rehabilitation grants. The campus veteran’s grant program, which provides funding for UO’s veteran’s service officer within the Division of Student Life, was renewed. The $54,000 grant the university currently receives from this program funds a half-time program coordinator, additional computers and technology, expanded student veteran engagement events and increased veteran welcome sessions. Despite efforts by UO faculty members, students and staff who testified before various legislative committees, a number of bills did not pass that would have funded programs and initiatives to help Oregonians statewide. All the measures were unanimously approved by the House and Senate education committees but did not make it out of the ways and means process. Those measures include funding for a new ocean-going research vessel for UO’s Oregon Institute of Marine Biology; a matching fund that could enable communities in rural areas to participate in the Sustainable City Year Program; funding for the UO’s prison education program through the Clark Honors College; and $12 million for the build-out of Oregon’s portion of the multihazard sensor network for the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning and wildfire prevention system. “These are incredible projects and programs from UO faculty members and students, and we believe that they are of value to the state,” said Hans Bernard, assistant vice president for state affairs. “While it’s disappointing they weren’t funded this session, we won’t give up on making sure lawmakers understand their value and will be back in future sessions.” The Legislature will convene again in February 2020. For more detailed information about all the measures that passed that will have an impact on the UO, read the end of session report on the Government and Community Relations Web site

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  • 2019 Legislative Session Overview

    2019 Legislative Session Overview In the November 2018 General Election, Democratic candidates in Oregon won supermajorities in the Senate and House of Representatives. The electoral victories paved the way for an ambitious progressive agenda for the 2019 legislative session. Despite all of this, legislation to make Oregon just the second state in the nation to cap greenhouse gas emissions failed in the final week of session. This was seen as a major defeat for Democratic majorities and Governor Kate Brown and will likely be top of the agenda when lawmakers return to Salem in 2020. Outcomes for Higher Education: $100 million increase in the Public University Support Fund: This is the second largest increase since in the PUSF since 1999. The increase helped universities partially cover rising costs and kept tuition increases for Oregonians lower than they would have been otherwise. An increase to the Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) to serve 2,500 more students: The OOG is the state’s only need-based financial aid program for university students. $10 million for a new University Research Innovation Fund: This two-year effort to secure matching funds for federal grants will help our faculty members more aggressively compete for federal grants and advance research at the UO. $65 million in deferred maintenance capital funding: This funding will help make sure our buildings and classrooms on campus are safe and modern. The funds are distributed to all public universities based on a formula, largely driven by square footage of buildings. Small increases in funding for all State Programs, which include the Clinical Legal Education, the Dispute Resolution program, the Labor Education Research Center, and the TallWood Design Institute. Passage of a law that makes the UO eligible to apply for seismic rehabilitation grants. Expansion of the campus veteran’s grant program, which provides funding for UO’s veteran’s service officer within the Division of Student Life. What Else Happened? Heading into session, lawmakers’ attention was split between the normal legislative processes and grappling with how to respond to issues related to the culture of harassment and discrimination in the Capitol, especially as it relates to gender. The Senate President and Speaker of the House appointed a joint Capitol Culture Committee to examine how to address problems and make the capitol a safer place to work for legislators, staff, and lobbyists. Ultimately, several bills passed that establish new protections for those in the Capitol and regulations for employers that include a requirement they adopt comprehensive policies on workplace harassment and sexual assault (SB 726, SB 478, and SB 479). Early in session, the Legislature passed a statewide rent control measure (SB 608)—the first of its kind in the nation. The bill puts a cap on rent increases on most properties at seven percent a year and requires landlords to give three months' notice and pay a tenant a month's rent to evict them without cause. This was a major win for affordable housing advocates who had introduced the concept for several sessions while realtors were able to hold it back. Revenue reform was front and center all session long, as the Joint Committee on Student Success brought its work and recommendations from the last twelve months to bear. In April, the measure—dubbed the Student Success Act (HB 3427)—passed the House. As it made its way to the Senate for a vote, Oregon’s Senate Republicans walked out for the first time during the session. The strategy of denying a quorum effectively means the Senate cannot legally come into session and vote on bills. As a result, they slowed down the process enough to make a deal that killed two legislative priorities for Democrats: A bill that would require safe storage of firearms among other new regulations on guns (SB 978), and one that would abolish the non-medical exemption for child vaccinations (HB 3063). Both measures garnered huge engagement from members of the public both in support of and opposed to legislation. The Senate passed the Student Success Act and sent it to the Governor for her final signature. The measure established a new corporate activities tax, which will raise $2 billion each biennium that is dedicated to early childhood and K12 schools. It should be noted that students at community colleges and public universities were wholly excluded from receiving any of the funds. In the final days of the session the Legislature approved SB 116, which stipulates that any referral of the Student Success Act will be before voters in January 2020, not the November 2020 General Election. In May, the Legislature took up juvenile justice reform (SB 1008). The bill made changes to Measure 11, which caused people as young as 15 to be charged and sentenced as adults. A broad coalition worked to shift the youth justice system to focus on prevention and rehabilitation for youth, including eliminating life sentences without parole for youth. The bill also establishes a process where all youth who are convicted in adult court access to a “second look” hearing, and more. The last month of session was consumed with negotiations and debate on several other key issues. A Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (HB 2005) passed after negotiations and input from the business community, which creates a new statewide insurance program for all employees. The program will be funded through an employer and employee payroll tax. Lawmakers also referred a tax increase on tobacco products and created a new tax on e-cigarettes and vaping products (HB 2270). It will be referred to voters for their approval in the November 2020 election and is expected to raise $340 million for the 2021-23 biennium. This funding will be dedicated to the Oregon Health Plan (90%) and tobacco cessation efforts (10%). The last week and a half of session created national headlines. The eleven Senate Republicans once again denied the Senate a quorum by not appearing on the floor and leaving the state to avoid voting on the cap-and-trade bill, known as ‘Clean Energy Jobs’ (HB 2020) because of its impact on rural industry and citizens. After several protests and a walk out that lasted nine days, the Senate President announced that the bill did not have the votes to pass. Ultimately, the Republicans returned to the Capitol two days before the legislature had to adjourn and passed a series of state agency budgets and policy bills. The 80th Oregon Legislative Assembly adjourned sine die on June 30, 2019.

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  • Oregon governor will speak at UO commencement

    First published on May 20th in Around the O. Oregon’s 38th governor, Kate Brown, will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 commencement at the University of Oregon. UO’s commencement for the Class of 2019 will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday, June 17, in Matthew Knight Arena. Brown, who assumed the governorship in 2015, has more than 25 years of experience in government and public service. “Gov. Brown has a lengthy history of helping people, creating efficiencies in government, and making sure that all Oregon residents have a voice in how our state moves forward,” said UO President Michael H. Schill. “She is a friend to the University of Oregon, and she will deliver a message to graduates that will be inspirational, empowering and challenging.” Commencement is one of the UO’s most important academic traditions, conferring degrees to about 4,000 undergraduates and about 1,000 graduate students. The event starts with a Grad Parade – with faculty, staff and graduates in full regalia – walking down 13th Avenue to Matthew Knight Arena for the main event. It marks the culmination of years of hard work and scholarly study for each student. It is the moment that a Duck transitions from a life as an undergraduate or graduate student to one of the university’s more than 200,000 living alumni out in the world. More than 100,000 live in Oregon. Many have gone on to serve as leaders in business, industry, education, the arts, government, non-governmental organizations and their communities. UO’s alumni include winners of Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards, Pulitzer Prizes, Guggenheim fellowships, MacArthur genius grants, the Nobel Prize, Olympic medals, Rhodes scholarships, the National Humanities Medal and countless other honors for achievement and public service. The UO graduates more ROTC officers than any other civilian school and ranks 16th for Peace Corps volunteers produced by the nation’s largest universities. In addition, the UO has produced seven Oregon governors, eight U.S. senators and 20 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Brown was born in Spain, where her father served in the U.S. Air Force. Her family moved to Minnesota and she later attended the University of Colorado Boulder, receiving a bachelor’s degree in environmental conservation with a certificate in women’s studies. She went to the Northwest School of Law at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, earning her law degree in 1985. Brown worked as a family law attorney, focusing on cases involving children in Oregon’s foster care system. She also worked with the Juvenile Rights Project, co-founded the Oregon Women’s Health & Wellness Alliance and taught at Portland State University. In 1991, Brown was appointed to the Oregon House of Representatives, where she served the 13th District. In 1997, she became a state senator, serving the 21st District. She was elected to statewide office as Oregon Secretary of State and began that job in January 2009. Six years later, she became Oregon’s 38th governor when her predecessor, John Kitzhaber, resigned. She won a special election in 2016 and was re-elected to the state’s top post in 2018. During her tenure, Brown has signed legislation to improve the state’s education system, added jobs by passing Oregon’s largest transportation package, contained costs by improving government efficiency and accountability, and worked to assure that most adults and children have adequate access to health care. For more information, visit the UO commencement website.   https://around.uoregon.edu/content/oregon-governor-will-speak-uo-commencement

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  • Revenue forecast released; leaders call for more funding for higher ed

    On May 15, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released its quarterly economic and revenue forecast. This is the forecast that lawmakers will use to make final budget decisions this session. The level of funding in the Public University Support Fund will receive is heavily reliant on this forecast. It’s clear that Oregon’s economy is currently on solid ground. According to the report, “Economic gains over the upcoming 2019-21 biennium will be more in-line with underlying growth in the labor force and productivity. Encouragingly, the latter has shown signs of life recently due to the tighter labor market. The recent escalation in the trade war is a wildcard. It is too soon to know how disruptive it may be to global supply chains as developments are ongoing.” Here’s the bottom line: Projected net General Fund resources are up $883 million, which provides undeniable certainty that the Legislature has the necessary funds to invest in tuition stability, reduce student debt and strengthen the entire education continuum in Oregon. Including Lottery revenues, net resources are up $908 million. Oregon’s unique kicker law has been triggered for both personal and corporate taxes. A record (in dollar terms) $1.4 billion personal kicker is projected for 2019-21, while corporate tax revenue of $616 million is projected to be dedicated to K-12 education spending. This means that Oregonians will receive a kicker credit on their taxes next year. Students and families across the state are counting on the Legislature to keep the cost of a college degree affordable and expand scholarships for Pell-eligible and historically underserved Oregonians so their dreams into degrees.  Moreover, Oregon businesses need the trained workforce that our community colleges and universities provide. You can read more about the quarterly revenue forecast and economic outlook here.

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  • Update from Salem: Student Success Act passes; vaccine and gun measures lose steam

    On May 13, the Oregon State Senate passed HB 3427, known as the Student Success Act, which will raise approximately $2 billion for early childhood and K-12 schools on an ongoing basis. This bill was the culmination of the work of the Joint Committee on Student Success (JCSS), which was established in January 2018. The JCSS was tasked with creating a plan to improve outcomes for students throughout Oregon. HB 3427 establishes the Fund for Student Success (FSS), the Student Investment Account (SIA), the Early Learning Account (ELA), and the Statewide Education Initiatives Account (SEIA). It requires funds to be spent on increasing learning time, decreasing class size, offering a well-rounded education, and student health or safety. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, “At least half would go to grants to state school districts for programs aimed at improving things such as graduation rates, reading levels and attendance. Around 20 percent would fund early childhood learning programs. The remaining roughly 30 percent would fund career-technical education programs and free meals at school for low-income students, among other things.” More information about the bill can be found here. The measure pays for the new investments in early childhood and K12 education through a reduction in personal income tax rates for the lowest three tax brackets in Oregon by 0.25 percent, as well as establishes a modified commercial activities tax of 0.57 percent on Oregon commercial activity over $1 million. The House passed the Student Success Act previously, so the bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for her signature and final approval. All this came on the heels of the Senate Republican Caucus denying quorum to hold up any further activity in order to negotiate a deal on other policy and budget priorities. The standoff lasted four days and resulted in the death of two controversial of pieces of legislation. The first is HB 3063, which would end non-medical vaccine exemptions. The second is SB 978, a bill that strengths several gun control laws, including safe storage, fees, carrying in public buildings and real estate (including public universities), museum transfers, and more.

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  • UO students, faculty lobby for higher education funding at state Capitol

    First published in the Register Guard, more than 100 University of Oregon students, faculty and alumni traveled to Salem last week for UO Lobby Day to push state lawmakers for more higher education funding this legislative session. It was the biggest turnout for the UO’s annual event in the past few years with 115 UO stakeholders who got involved, about half of which were students. “We try and be strategic based on committee. So of course we meet with the Eugene legislative delegation,” said Libby Batlan, associate vice president of state and community affairs for the UO. “We also target members on the joint committee on Ways and Means, budget writing committee, and House and Senate Education Policy committee.” The purpose of the trip was two-fold: to make the case to lawmakers to invest in UO to keep tuition affordable and to explain the impact of the UO on the legislators’ districts — whether it be the number of students from their district who attend UO, the businesses who contribute or benefit from partnerships and student spending, etc. “So helping legislators understand the broader impact of the university and the footprint the university has on the state and rely reinforcing the direct connection between state funding and college affordability,” said Hans Bernard, assistant vice president for state affairs at UO. Batlan said they begin planning this event six months in advance, but this year the state Capitol was more crowded than expected with people lobbying for education funding. K-12 teachers across the state flooded Salem after holding local rallies in Portland, Eugene and Bend as they walked out of class to protest the need for more funding. The two groups and interests didn’t clash though, said Batlan, because UO’s lobbying efforts ended about the time K-12 teachers started rallying on the Capitol steps. However, the day did take a turn when Senate Republican legislators staged a walkout of their own from the Senate floor May 6 to avoid voting on the Student Success Act, which would earmark $2 million per biennium for Oregon’s public schools through a proposed half a percent tax on businesses. Senate Republicans ended a weeklong walkout Monday and returned to the Oregon Capitol after the governor and Democratic leadership agreed to major concessions. Republicans returned to the Senate, and the chamber was able to approve a $1 billion per year school funding tax by an 18-11 vote. It previously passed the House and now heads to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature. Bernard said he believes the timing of UO’s Lobby Day was crucial to getting in front of legislators before they make final budget decisions at the end of the session. “The Red for Ed and UO at the Capitol were coordinated and I think our hope is that the investment for K-12 and investment higher ed will be coordinated (as well),” Bernard said. Follow Jordyn Brown on Twitter @thejordynbrown or email at jbrown@registerguard.com   https://www.registerguard.com/news/20190514/uo-students-faculty-lobby-for-higher-education-funding-at-state-capitol

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  • More than 100 advocates lobby state legislators for increased funding

    On Wednesday, May 8, more than 110 students, alumni, faculty members and staff from the University of Oregon traveled to the state Capitol in Salem to lobby legislators for increased funding for the UO and higher education. Advocates told lawmakers and their staffs that public universities need the Public University Support Fund to grow by at least $120 million to keep tuition increases at or below 5 percent next year. The UO receives approximately 22 percent of the state fund based on a formula established by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. The fund is currently budgeted at $737 million for the 2017-19 biennium. That level of funding reflects increases since 2015, but it is still below prerecession funding levels. Oregon is now ranked 37th in the nation for state funding per student, according to data from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. “It was so exciting to see so many students turn out to engage in political advocacy,” said Maria A. Gallegos-Chacón, the UO student body president. “I hope that legislators also took note of the sacrifices students took to be talking to them today by missing class, work and using their time to let legislators how critical it is we be taken into account. “Overall, I am disappointed with the lack of public support for higher education investment on behalf of legislators. I hope legislators will take funding seriously when it comes to cradle-to-career education and not just say it, but show with their stances and votes that they are here for Oregonian students.” Advocates arrived at the Capitol in the morning, received an orientation and welcome from President Michael Schill and Gov. Kate Brown, and met with legislators throughout the day. The UO a capella group Mind the Gap performed at the opening ceremonies of the House of Representatives floor session, and UO academic and service programs hosted booths set up in the Capitol galleria. The booths included the university’s prison education program; Oregon Research Schools Network; Sustainable City Year Program; Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, whose staff brought live dungeness crabs and jellyfish; and the UO’s earthquake early warning system, called ShakeAlert. The UO Alumni Association also hosted a galleria table and encouraged policy staff and visitors in the building to answer UO-related trivia questions. “Our goal at the UO is to reduce student debt, improve graduation rates, provide critical wraparound services and ultimately create a better-equipped workforce for the future of Oregon’s economy,” said Libby Batlan, associate vice president of state and community affairs. “Cutting through the noise in Salem can be tough, but when lawmakers hear directly from students, alumni, faculty and staff about why investment in higher education is important, that’s when real change is made.” The Legislature is less than two months away from the conclusion of the 2019 session and setting the state’s budget for the next two years. Lawmakers will wait until after the Oregon economic forecast May 15 before making any final decisions in order to better understand how much revenue will flow into state coffers from taxpayers and businesses.

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  • Oregon Legislature Update: Week 15

    The Oregon Legislature is in week 15 of the legislative session. With just more than two months to complete their work, lawmakers are making progress on passing education budgets. The Joint Committee on Student Success passed HB 3427 on Monday, April 29 out of committee. This is the revenue package that will raise approximately $2 billion each biennia moving forward for early childhood and K-12 school districts and students. The proposed package is funded by a corporate activities tax. The measure now moves to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote. Despite our best efforts, lawmakers were unwilling to include funding for students at public universities or community colleges in this package. As a result, we’re working hard to continue to advocate to increase the funding in the Public University Support Fund (PUSF) and for the Oregon Opportunity Grant—the state’s only need-based financial aid program. Legislators will wait until after the revenue forecast on May 15 to make final budget decisions so they can see whether they will have more, less, or about the same amount of taxpayer revenue they anticipated to spend this biennium. Our goal is simple: Increase funding in the PUSF by at least $120 million this session so students take on less debt, graduate on time, and enter the workforce prepared with the skills for which Oregon employers are hiring. University of Oregon trustees, staff, faculty, students, and alumni have been advocating in Salem all session long. Our next big advocacy day point is Wednesday, May 8. That’s UO Day at the Capitol, and we need as many advocates to come to Salem to tell lawmakers to increase funding for higher education and for students. You can sign up for UO Day at the Capitol here: Deadline to sign up is Wednesday, May 1. More on budget: Lawmakers intend to pass a bill that would reduce the overall “kicker” by $108 million. This would make additional General Funds available to craft the 2019-21 state budget. Governor Brown presented a proposed tobacco tax that would raise taxes on cigarettes by $2 per package and introduce the first tax in the nation on vaping and e-cigarettes. The package would raise $346 million in total that, along with a tax on companies whose employees qualify for Medicaid, would be used to pay the state’s share of Medicaid.

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  • Knight Campus launches affiliation program to support faculty

    First published in Around the O on April 16th. Faculty members from different academic disciplines now have the opportunity to become involved with the Knight Campus through the new Faculty Affiliation Program. The Knight Campus already has established a host of programming open to the UO community, and the general UO community will be able to take advantage of a world-class facility once opened in late Spring 2020. The goal of the Faculty Affiliation Program is to create deeper faculty engagement and build on the impact of Knight Campus programs and opportunities for collaboration. The program will provide resources and organized events to support faculty members across campus and facilitate multidisciplinary teams from faculty members with overlapping or complimentary skills and interests.  The Knight Campus Affiliation Program offers two distinct memberships for UO faculty members whose primary appointment is outside the Knight Campus. Knight Campus associates are tenure-related faculty members and faculty members in the research professor classification with primary appointments outside the Knight Campus who are integrally involved with Knight Campus activities and programs. Associate members will have access to many of the research and innovation opportunities afforded to those with tenure in the Knight Campus. Knight Campus affiliates are UO faculty members of all ranks with a primary appointment outside of the Knight Campus who would like to be kept abreast of activities and programs offered by the Knight Campus through direct communication and who wish to be included as affiliated members on the Knight Campus website. Membership proposals will be reviewed quarterly for affiliates and semi-annually for associates. Appointments are for three years and are renewable. Faculty members and scholars across academic disciplines are encouraged to apply. Interested faculty members should apply online by Friday, May 31. Applicants will receive notification by the beginning of July on the status of application review.    https://around.uoregon.edu/content/knight-campus-launches-affiliation-program-support-faculty

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