UO State Affairs News

  • Prison program would get a boost from pending legislation

    First published in Around the O, a University of Oregon program that brings classrooms into the state’s prisons would be expanded under a bill now before the Oregon Legislature. The Prison Education Program got its start in 2007 when UO professor Steve Shankman taught a course at the Oregon State Penitentiary. Since then, hundreds of UO students and more than 1,000 incarcerated people have taken classes and participated in other UO activities inside five of Oregon’s prisons.   Senate Bill 949 would provide $350,000 of new funding to support the program in such efforts and allow further expansion. In testimony before the Senate Education Committee last week, philosophy and sociology student Julie Williams-Reyes shared how going inside a prison to take a class with 13 campus-based students and 13 incarcerated students inspired her to engage more actively in issues of social justice and was the determining influence in choosing her career path. Many students have gone on to work in organizations such as the Peace Corps, Teach for America and Sustainable City Year. Graduates have spoken of their experiences in a prison class as stepping stones in their careers as lawyers, teachers, doctors and professionals in various nonprofit sectors. Geography professor Shaul Cohen, director of the program, told legislators that it has broad support on campus, with the UO Board of Trustees, the UO Foundation, campus leaders and many deans offering support. He also said the program has support from the Associated Students of the UO, one of only a few student governments in the country that have invested in such educational opportunities.  Cohen also expressed appreciation for the Oregon Department of Correction’s help in making classes, lectures, workshops and common readings inside the prisons possible. At the Senate hearing, program coordinator Katie Dwyer spoke of working with incarcerated students and noted that education allows people to build self-esteem, become involved in positive programming while incarcerated and be more equipped to re-enter the community. “Incarcerated students sometimes come to us with a strong sense that they will be unable to do the work and uncertain as to how the instructors and the University of Oregon students will see them,” Dwyer said. “They speak to this experience as a transformative one, both for their sense of their academic competence, but more broadly for their self-esteem, their sense of potential impact they can have on the community. Many people have spoken of this as a turning point in their lives, in their full lives, and also of their experience as inmates in Oregon.” Last June, state Sen. Lew Frederick attended a UO graduation at the Oregon State Penitentiary and last week told the Education Committee he was deeply moved by what he witnessed. “One graduate was participating in the ceremony two or three days after he was released from prison,” Frederick saod. “It had taken him quite a bit, but he had done the work. It was a palpable joy that you could see on his face and with his family and the people who came to see him.” Sen. Michael Dembrow attended a UO class at the Oregon State Correctional Institution and testified to the power of the teaching model and bringing people together in discussion. “I think we all know that it does us no good to have individuals coming out of incarceration and not be prepared to be fully functioning and contributing members of society, but that doesn’t happen just by itself,” he said. “We need to be working hard to remove barriers that formerly incarcerated people meet as they re-enter and take steps to make sure that they are ready to re-enter, and one of the best ways to do that is through successful prison education programs such as the UO’s program.”\ https://around.uoregon.edu/content/prison-program-would-get-boost-pending-legislation?utm_source=ato04-09-19&utm_campaign=workplace  

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  • Legislature considers funding for new OIMB research vessel

    First published in Around the O, a bill now before the Oregon Legislature would allocate $500,000 in state funds to build and outfit a new ocean-going research vessel for the UO’s Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. The vessel would help the institute continue its research on marine organisms and ecosystems and provide transformative educational experiences to university and K-12 students as well as community members. It would replace an aging boat that is near the end of its useful life and is too small for current needs. Students and faculty members from the Charleston-based institute traveled to Salem earlier this week to testify in support of the bill. The hearing was held before the Senate Education Committee Institute Director Craig Young joined undergraduate marine biology major Fiona Curliss and doctoral student Caitlin Plowman to explain why a new boat is critical to coastal research and teaching capacity at the facility. “I grew up in Oregon, and when I got to go on a boat from which we could see offshore marine biology communities, I saw things I had never seen in my life closer to shore,” Curliss said. “Those of us who want to pursue marine biology need hands-on knowledge as much as we need book knowledge. We need the equipment like this boat to see these communities.” The 90-year-old institute in Charleston is a destination for students, scholars and visitors, who can take advantage of the distinctive marine environment. The UO’s undergraduate marine biology major is the only one in Oregon. “The Charleston Center is a gem in Oregon that most people don’t realize,” said state Sen. Lew Frederick, a Portland Democrat who testified at the hearing. “It sparks a curiosity in a range of issues, not just in marine biology. It has the potential to become a premier center for biological research.” Coos County Commissioner Bob Main agreed and said the boat, which would be built locally, would also boost the coastal economy. “This project is so important to the economic impact of the community that Coos County commissioners have pledged $50,000 in lottery funds to this project, which is much more than we usually pledge to one project,” he said. The marine biology institute offers experiential learning in several forms, including through boat trips on the RV Pluteus, the existing research vessel built in 1973. On the boat, students learn about oceanographic sampling methods using dredges and trawls and experience close-up encounters with deeper-dwelling sea life that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to see. The electrical and engine systems on the Pluteus are reaching the end of their lives as safe and reliable components for sailing on open waters and in challenging sea conditions. The vessel also is too small to carry most of the UO’s classes for trips outside the bay.  A new vessel would be designed and fabricated in Oregon, and if SB 255 passes, the state investment will be matched by philanthropic support. The bill is sponsored by coastal legislators, including Sen. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay; Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Roseburg; Rep. Caddy McKeown, D-Coos Bay; Rep. David Brock Smith, R-Port Orford; and Rep. David Gomberg, D-Central Coast. The measure moves next to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means for consideration.

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  • Bill would expand the UO's Oregon Research Schools Network

    First published in Around the O, a bill that would expand a UO College of Education pilot program focused on improving high school graduation rates is currently moving through the Oregon Legislature. Senate Bill 739 would provide funding to extend to additional high schools the Oregon Research Schools Network, a College of Education program that strives to improve high school graduation rates through collaborative partnerships between UO faculty members and teachers in the high schools. The bill is sponsored by Coos Bay Democratic Sen. Arnie Roblan, a UO graduate and former high school principal . On March 27 the bill moved out of the Senate Education Committee and on to the Joint Committee on Student Success. Roblan first learned about the network when College of Education Dean Randy Kamphaus spoke at the Oregon Coastal Caucus last August. Since then the senator and his colleagues on the legislature’s Joint Committee on Student Success visited Coquille High School to learn more about the benefits of the program for students at one of the pilot sites. The schools network is based on the agricultural extension model, which extends service, instruction and research statewide by placing experts in the field to help improve the academic and career outcomes for Oregon’s youth. Its current five-year pilot project includes placing faculty members in North Eugene High School, Roosevelt High School in Portland, Pendleton High School and Coquille High School.  Senate Bill 739 seeks $2.5 million to grow the model and extend it to six additional districts across Oregon, serving additional high schools identified as high-need, highly impacted and geographically diverse. The college hopes the model can be sued to increase K-12 performance statewide. The pilot program will be expanded and evaluated to assess its effects on diverse high school graduation rates and better participation in and completion of post-secondary education. In addition, the funding will allow it to develop affordable scale-up strategies, including training materials on how to successfully launch an improvement model — which can be delivered online or in person — the development of a “train the trainers” approach, and a framework for how to increase university partnership opportunities. For more information, see “New COE program will help state boost high school grad rates.”

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  • UO's Tykeson Hall offers new twist on tradition

    Office 52's building will offer students easy access to advisory, career services to help develop 'soft' skills First published on the portlandtribune.com, COURTESY: OFFICE 52 ARCHITECTURE - The 64,000-square-foot Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall, currently under construction in the historic district of the University of Oregons Eugene campus, will create a center where students can connect with advisory and career services. For years, the University of Oregon's College of Arts and Sciences' programs and services have been spread across the school's Eugene campus. But then administrators decided it was time to create a central location to provide a focused roster of support services. Slated to be completed this summer, the 64,000-square-foot Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall represents what may be a first-of-its kind approach in the world of higher education. In addition to flexible classroom and lecture areas, the building will contain space for administrative and advisory services, counseling and tutoring, offices, and shared meeting rooms. The goal is to provide students enrolled in the university's liberal arts programs with more than just the specific skills necessary to excel in their chosen degree areas. The services in the new building also will ensure students have a solid foundation of the "soft" skills such as communication, creative thinking and problem solving that employers say they're having trouble finding in job candidates. "From the very beginning we'll he helping ... students understand there's a suite of career skills they need to be thinking about," said Andrew Marcus, who developed the new approach while serving as the Tykeson Dean of the arts and sciences college. "Having this integrated career and academic advisory (approach) from day one ... will help students understand they are building a portfolio beyond college." COURTESY: KELLY JAMES - Andrew Marcus, right, shows the family of the late Donald Tykeson a rendering of the 64,000-square-foot build that will be named in honor of the telecommunications pioneer and his wife, Willie, center. The $31 million building where those services will be located, which is slated to open in the fall, will be named after Donald Tykeson and his wife, Willie. Donald was a Eugene broadcasting pioneer and a founding board member of C-SPAN. The couple donated $10 million to the project before he died in July 2017. "The University of Oregon is going way further than any other school as far as bringing all of the academic aspects together," said Isaac Campbell, principal of OFFICE 52 Architecture, the Portland firm that designed Tykeson Hall. Winning ways Even though OFFICE 52 is a small firm with just 10 employees — including Campbell and his partner, principal Michelle LaFoe — the firm had earned a big reputation in the world of higher education design even before its selection for the UO project. Campbell and LaFoe started OFFICE 52 in 2010. The two architects had always wanted to work together, and they found they both were ready for a change that would allow them greater choice in the types of projects they worked on. "We wanted to focus on what we were really good at," Campbell said. The partners also decided to keep the firm small so that, along with running the business they would have a chance to be hands-on when it came to actually working on projects. The firm already had several modest-sized projects to its name when it received an invitation to participate in a competition to design Scott Hall, a 109,000-square-foot building that serves as the home of the nano-bio-energy technology program in Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Campbell, LaFoe and their team looked at what Carnegie Mellon administrators were considering when it came to siting the building. The Office 52 team felt there was a better solution, and used that as the basis of their presentation. "Our entire proposal was a complete rethinking and that won it for us," Campbell said. The finished building, which features a unique exterior of dichroic glass, has since gone on to win several awards, including a recent honor from Gray magazine. The success of its work on the Carnegie Mellon project has opened doors for OFFICE 52. However, because the entire staff tends to collaborate on projects, the firm is careful about the work it pursues. The Tykeson Hall project caught the team's interest because it represented a new direction for the University of Oregon, a willingness to think outside the box that Campbell felt meshed well with the OFFICE 52 approach to designing projects. Material matters Tykeson Hall sits on an L-shaped site that formerly served as a surface parking lot in the heart of the campus' historic district, which is composed of buildings built in the early 20th century, up to the 1930s. University administrators originally planned to have the building follow the shape of the property. The OFFICE 52 team, working with Rowell Brokaw Architects as the architect of record proposed a smaller footprint for the building, which would then allow the area in front of the building to be turned into greenspace. The area also would provide a connection to nearby Chapman Hall, which houses UO's Honors programs. An 80-year-old brick structure, Chapman boasts details made of terra cotta, the last time that material was used on a building on the campus. COURTESY: OFFICE 52 ARCHITECTURE - The upper central floors of Tykeson Hall will contain counseling and advisory services while the lower floor will feature The Commons, an event area that will open onto an exterior green space. University administrators were set on having the new building also be made of brick. Campbell and his team, however suggested minimizing the amount of brick on the exterior of Tykeson Hall in favor of using terra cotta as the main exterior material. "Terra cotta has been used (in the past) on campus buildings as a decorative element, (but we) used it as a primary material and as a rain screen," Campbell said. "It's a new interpretation that parallels the university creating a new way of approaching education." The main four-story portion of the building will house administrative and support services. The terra cotta exterior features a muted palette of five glazes in hues simultaneously drawn from the tones of terra cotta details on surrounding buildings as well as from a careful study of colors from the Oregon landscape, according to Campbell. "The terra cotta portion houses all of these disparate pieces that are being brought together and are being restructured and rethought in a new way," he added. "It's a new material for a new program." Stretches of glass on the main part of the building also offer views into public gathering areas and an event space that will be called The Commons. "The Commons ... is a space that flows out onto the terrace on the west side of the lawn," Campbell said. "It's meant to be transparent and open, and invites people into the building." Honoring tradition The design team didn't completely bypass the use of brick, though. In order to create a smooth transition between the four-story main part of Tykeson Hall and the shorter Chapman Hall, a two-story brick portion that will house offices and classrooms runs along the outside of the new building. With an eye toward continuing the balance between old and new, OFFICE 52 developed a unique pattern for the brick that Campbell calls Norman Cross Bond. COURTESY: OFFICE 52 ARCHITECTURE - The exterior of Tykeson Hall features a five-color glaze palette of terra cotta, left, along with a unique brick pattern that was developed by OFFICE 52 Architecture. "As far as I know, it's never been done this way," he said. "It's a repeating pattern acknowledging everything else on campus, but we're doing it in a modern way. The 78,000 bricks, made from clay and shale from Oregon and Washington, were fabricated locally. The building also will feature a slat ceiling and wall panels in main public spaces made from Pin Oak trees harvested from the project site. Some custom furniture also is being made from Port Orford Cedar trees from the site. Additional custom-made furniture will feature materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The project, which is targeting gold-level certification in the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, is expected to use 34 percent less energy than outlined by Oregon's energy code. The building is being billed as the first in the Pacific Northwest to combine post-tensioned concrete slab construction with a hydronic system. The highly efficient system features hydronic radiant floor and wall heating and cooling systems with active chilled beams. Fortis Construction is on target to finish the project by this summer, roughly two years after work on the building began. COURTESY: KELLY JAMES - Willie Tykeson examines a model of Tykeson Hall during the 2017 groundbreaking of the project. Tykeson and her late husband, Donald, contributed $10 million toward construction of the $34 million building. Meanwhile, the university is already beginning to ramp up the staff it will need to start introducing students to concentrated services that will be in the new building in the fall. The majority of the university's 21,000 undergraduates will be required to participate in the new program, Marcus said. Although specifics about how soft skills such as independent thinking and strong communication will be incorporated into basic classes such as math and composition are still being developed, the university has already begun beefing up its current staff of seven advisors with 23 additional positions, who will begin working with students in the new program this fall. Marcus, who retired from his position as a dean and now is a professor of geography at UO, already has talked with leaders at other universities from around the country who are eager to see how the new approach at Tykeson Hall will pan out. "I think there are going to be a lot of positive ripples from it," Marcus said. "I think it's going to be transformational for the students. I think it will be a place that will provide inspiration for other (universities)." email: sbasalyga@pamplinmedia.com Twitter: @PortlandBizTrib Facebook.com/BizTrib Instagram: @PortlandBizTrib

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  • Legislative Session Reports: Week 7 update; co-chair’s budget released

    Legislative Session Reports: Week 7 update; co-chair’s budget released Week seven of the Oregon legislative session ended with some important budget news. The co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means released their recommended budget for the 2019-2021 biennium. This budget, based on all current revenues projected to come into state coffers and the economic forecast, had some good news and bad news for public higher education. The good news: Overall operating funding for public universities increased by $40.5 million from the base version of the Governor’s Recommended Budget, which had kept funding completely flat for universities. Additionally, the co-chairs directed the Subcommittee on Education to review appropriate funding levels for the Sports Lottery program and all Public University State Programs. Sports Lottery was zero-ed out in the Governor’s budget. The UO receives about $1 million each biennium from that program to fund scholarships for student athletes and graduate students. The UO’s State Programs include the Labor Education Research Center, the law school’s Clinical Legal Education program, the Dispute Resolution program, and the TallWood Design Institute. Additionally, there are State Programs that all universities benefit from, including the Engineering & Technology Sustaining Fund, which funds research, innovation, and workforce development. The UO received $1,134,500 in FY19 from this program, which was eliminated in the Governor’s base budget. As the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact gets up and running and the UO continues to advance its research portfolio, we expect to continue to receive more funding from the ETSF, which is distributed through a formula. The bad news: Despite a $40.5 million increase, this funding is not nearly enough to protect students from too-high tuition increases and cuts to the University’s workforce, programs, and services. Oregon’s seven public universities need a collective $120 million increase in operating funds (which would bring the total to $857 million—still below pre-recession funding levels) in order to keep tuition increases for resident undergraduate students to less than 5%. Because of the way the state’s funding formula is set up, the UO would receive an increase of just about $200,000 in operating funds at the co-chair’s budget. Don’t forget that the Joint Committee on Ways & Means is taking their show on the road (literally) and traveling to Coos Bay, Pendleton, Redmond, and Portland over the next three weekends to hear directly from the public about the budget. If you can attend one of these hearings to testify in support of higher education funding or hold signs supporting universities and colleges, click here for more information. In other news: Aside from budget news, the Capitol was busy this week. Wednesday was a solemn day with the state funeral for Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, who passed away of brain cancer last week. We are grateful to Secretary Richardson for his decades of service to the people of Oregon. The Legislature continues to debate important public policy that would impact the UO, including: Accelerated credit (SB 800) Campus safety Regulation of athlete agents (SB 686) Regional Accelerator Innovation Networks and a state matching fund for federal research grants universities’ apply for (SB 418 & HB 5524) Common Applications (SB 624) Hazing policies at universities (HB 2519) Funding for veteran’s services on college campuses (SB 35) And more!

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  • Bill would help cities take part in UO sustainability program

    First published in Around the O on March 8th 2019. A bill making its way through the Oregon Legislature would help more cities take part in the UO’s Sustainable City Year Program by creating a new state matching fund. House Bill 2594 would put $300,000 in the fund to help cities, particularly smaller communities in rural areas of the state, that otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in the sustainability program. Sustainable City Year pairs cities with students and faculty members in the College of Design, College of Business, School of Journalism and Communication, School of Law, and the College of Arts and Sciences for a large-scale, intensive, year-long partnership to tangibly move forward on paths toward a more sustainable future. “Many Oregon communities, especially those in rural areas, could benefit from a partnership with SCYP but cannot fully afford to participate,” said Marc Schlossberg, professor of city and regional planning and co-director of the Sustainable Cities Institute. “SCYP partners must meet several standards, including buy-in from local political leadership and staff, interest in a range of community improvement issues, and having financial skin in the game.” The House Education Committee held its first public hearing on the bill Feb. 25. Committee members will now decide whether to hold a work session on the bill before sending it to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, which reviews all budget requests. The bill is sponsored by state Reps. Julie Fahey, a Eugene Democrat, and Marty Wilde, a Democrat representing portions of Lane and Douglas counties.   The Sustainable City Year Program “directly connects students and cities, allowing students to learn and cities to improve,” Wilde said during the public hearing. “Students study the city and find ways it can improve in terms of sustainability. Cities benefit from the added capacity and new perspective. Students benefit from the real-world experience they can apply beyond college.” Each year, the program works in a different community and matches community-identified project ideas with up to 35 university courses, more than 20 faculty members and 500 students across more than 12 disciplines giving 40,000 hours of effort. Developed in 2009, the model has been adopted by more than 25 other universities across the United States and is being disseminated globally with the help of the United Nations. To date, the Sustainable City Year Program has worked with the cities of Gresham, Salem, Springfield, Medford, Redmond and Albany. Last year it piloted two new expansions of its model, including partnering with Portland transit agency TriMet on its proposed 12-mile Southwest Corridor light rail project and with a smaller Oregon city, La Pine. “We were very impressed by the both the quantity and quality of the work produced,” said Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa. “Student recommendations have subsequently been incorporated into plans for our parks system and the Albany waterfront, the parks and recreation department’s business practices, community engagement objectives and other city activities. By increasing our capacity and bringing in fresh ideas, student efforts helped save the city money and make more informed decisions about some of Albany’s significant challenges.”   https://around.uoregon.edu/content/bill-would-help-cities-take-part-uo-sustainability-program

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  • Report: UO boosts the state economy by more than $1 billion

    First published in Around the O. From money brought in by students, visitors and research grants to spending on employment, supplies and construction, the UO remains an economic engine not just in Lane County but statewide, a new report shows. The university’s estimated economic footprint in Oregon was $2.2 billion in fiscal year 2017-18, according to UO economist Tim Duy, who has been producing the study for the university since 2010. That figure captures the total amount of economic activity associated with the university, which ripples outward to shape the state’s economy. However, what’s also notable is the share of economic activity generated from money that flows into Oregon from outside the state through university activities, such as federal research grants and spending by students and visitors from outside Oregon, spending that wouldn’t happen without the UO. Seen through that lens, spending by the university, students and visitors, combined with construction spending, had an economic impact of $1.2 billion. Of that, an estimated $781 million came from outside the state, injecting 15,387 jobs with $577 million in payroll into the state’s economy. Absent the influx of resources from out of state, the UO would essentially be recirculating Oregonians’ money within Oregon. While there is a benefit to that, the influx of money from beyond Oregon’s borders has a greater effect. “The University of Oregon acts as a trade-sector firm in our economy, drawing in revenue from outside the state in the form of tuition and research grants. This funding substantially contributes to the Oregon economy,” said Duy, who also is senior director of the Oregon Economic Forum. Looking at the university using a narrower definition of economic impact, the UO spent $561 million related to students and grants that came from outside its borders, generating an economic impact of $1.1 billion, including $438 million in pay associated with 11,794 jobs. Student spending After the economic boost generated by the university itself, new economic activity generated by student spending represents the second-largest contribution to the university’s effect on Oregon’s economy. Students spent $261 million on rent, food, books and supplies, and other goods; roughly half of that came from out-of-state students. That out-of-state spending generated an economic impact of $226 million statewide in the past fiscal year and supported 2,243 jobs that paid $55 million to workers. Boosted by an academic reputation that extends beyond Oregon, enrollment of nonresident students rose from 47.7 percent to 49.1 percent as the percentage of total tuition and fees from nonresidents students hit 67 percent. “A larger percentage of nonresident students boosts the economic impact of the University of Oregon because it represents a larger draw of resources from out of state,” Duy wrote in his study. Construction spending Perhaps the most visible element of the university’s economic benefit can be found high in the sky with the construction cranes that have popped up around campus in recent years. It’s been said the number of construction cranes that dot a city’s skyline represent a barometer of an area’s economic health. Using that measure, the UO is in fine shape. At times over the past year, cranes could be found on construction sites for Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall, the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, Hayward Field and, more recently, University Health Center renovations. In all, construction spending generated an economic impact of $196 million in 2017-18, with $72 million in payroll that supported 1,537 jobs. Welcome to Oregon Thanks to campus tours, commencement ceremonies, athletic events, concerts and conferences, the UO also gives a healthy boost to Oregon’s tourism industry. One only has to look on the edges of campus to see the number of lodging establishments and eateries that seek to house and nourish the many people who have the UO campus as their destination. Spending by visitors equaled $27 million, generating an economic impact of $51 million with 475 jobs and earnings of $15 million. But the university’s benefits to the economic health of Lane County and Oregon extends beyond dollars and cents, Duy added. “I think it is important to remember that the amount of spending associated with the university is really just one of the ways that we contribute to the local economy,” he said. “For example, the traditional consistency of that spending across the business cycle also helps stabilize the local economy, and that stability in turn should increase the willingness of firms to expand in the region.” Duy is author of the University of Oregon Statewide Economic Indicators, Regional Economic Indicators and the Central Oregon Business Index. He has published in the Journal of Economics and Business and is also a member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors and the State Debt Policy Advisory Commission. He also produces the monthly UO Index of Economic Indicators, which tracks state and regional prosperity. Duy’s economic impact study is one of several tools the university uses to measure the UO’s contributions to state and regional economies. The Oregon Impact interactive map demonstrates the fiscal and community impacts of the university on the state by geographic and legislative districts. The map is a collaborative effort between Campus GIS and Mapping, Institutional Research, and Government and Community Relations. —By Jim Murez, University Communications

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  • Reports from week five of the legislative session

    Reports from week five of the legislative session The Oregon Legislature is only five weeks into its session, but bills are moving and lawmakers are taking up an array of issues from affordable housing to climate change. In the last couple weeks, we’ve had lots of University of Oregon students, faculty, and staff at the Capitol engaging on policy bills and advocating for increased operating funding to keep college affordable. Below are some highlights from the session in week five: The Joint Committee on Ways & Means, which consists of the Legislature’s key budget writers, announced their road show dates. The “road show” is when legislators tour the state with the goal of listening to Oregonians about what to include in the state’s budget for the 2019-21 biennium.   If one of these hearings is near where you live, we need YOU to attend. Even if you don’t sign up to testify, it’s important to have people hold signs and offer a strong show of support for higher education.   The four dates and locations are listed below: Coos Bay: Saturday, March 9 – Marshfield High School, Auditorium, 972 Ingersoll Ave. (1:00-3:00 pm) Pendleton: Friday, March 15 – Blue Mountain Community College, Pioneer Hall, Bob Clapp Theatre, 2411 NW Carden Ave. (5:30-7:30 pm) Redmond: Saturday, March 16 – Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center, Three Sisters Conference and Convention Center (South Sister), 3800 SW Airport Way (2:00-4:00 pm) Portland: Thursday, March 21 – Portland Community College, Cascade Campus, MAHB 104 Auditorium, 5514 N. Albina Ave. (5:30-7:30 pm)   Jason Younker, Assistant Vice President and Advisor to the President on Sovereignty and Government to Government Relations, came to the Capitol to testify in support of Senate Bill 312, which would allow Native American students who graduated from an Oregon high school to qualify for in-state tuition rates, regardless of if they are from a tribe outside of the state.   HB 2641 had its first public hearing in the House Education Committee, which would provide funding for RAIN Eugene. RAIN is a business incubator started in 2015 and is housed in downtown Eugene at the 942 Olive building—the UO’s facility that provides space for entrepreneurship, start-ups, research and more.   On President’s Day, thousands of students, faculty, staff, and other advocates rallied in Salem to tell legislators they needed to fully fund Oregon’s public education system—from early childhood through college.  

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  • Interactive map shows UO’s impact across the state

    Oregon Impact 2019 map has new look, links that tell the story of the UO’s impact across the state The Oregon Impact 2019 interactive map tells the story of the University of Oregon’s impact in every Oregon county and legislative and congressional district.  This tool is now updated with a new look as well as links to the impact in communities across the state by the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) program. The Oregon Impact map is a collaboration between the UO Campus GIS & Mapping team, the Office of Institutional Research, the Institute for Policy, Research and Engagement, and Government and Community Relations. The site allows users to see fiscal and community impacts of the UO by clicking on an interactive map. By clicking on a specific county, state legislative districts or federal congressional district, users can view the area’s current UO student enrollment, student aid distribution, number of alumni, vendor and employee expenditures, PathwayOregon recipients, and RARE placements in the last five years.

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  • Oregon legislative session week three: New partnerships with UO academic programs

    Oregon legislative session week three: New partnerships with UO academic programs The University of Oregon is focused on finding new ways for the state to partner with academic programs that contribute to community impact, research, and economic activity. The UO is synonymous with Eugene, but did you know that Ducks have a presence in all 36 counties in Oregon? We make in an impact in schools, local governments, businesses, transportation infrastructure, and more in communities statewide. This session, we’re shedding more light on innovative initiatives and community service programs and asking lawmakers to make modest investments in their work. Bringing the Sustainable City Year Program to More Oregon Communities (HB 2594) The University of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) is an innovative model for bridging the gap between universities and communities. It advances local redevelopment efforts, provides applied education for students, and develops the next generation Oregon’s workforce. Each year, SCYP works in a different community and matches community-identified project ideas with up to 35 university courses, 20+ faculty, and 500 students across more than 12 disciplines giving more than 40,000 hours of effort. Students add capacity, fresh thinking, and the political space for communities to think and act anew. To date, SCYP has worked in partnership with the cities of Gresham, Salem, Springfield, Medford, Redmond, and Albany. This past year, SCYP piloted two new expansions of its model, including partnering with a transit agency, TriMet and its proposed 12-mile Southwest Corridor light rail project, and with a smaller Oregon city, La Pine. We are asking the State of Oregon to appropriate $300,000 as a state matching fund for SCYP so that it can expand help more Oregon cities—both urban and rural. A more stable, predictable state appropriation will allow diverse Oregon communities. Read more about the Sustainable City Year Program here. A New Boat at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (SB 255) The University of Oregon’s 90-year-old Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) in Charleston, Oregon conducts research on marine organisms and ecosystems from the spectacular Oregon coast to the very deepest parts of the ocean, while offering educational experiences to students. Our undergraduate marine biology major, the only one in Oregon, is ranked among the best degree programs in North America. OIMB’s 42-foot research vessel, Pluteus, was built for teaching in 1973 and used for most of its life in the relatively calm nearshore waters of the tropical Atlantic. The old engines and electrical systems have reached the end of their useful life. Moreover, the vessel is too small to carry most of our classes for trips outside the bay. Vessels suitable for research and teaching are designed and fabricated in Oregon for use in the local fishing industry. An example is the fishing vessel. We are asking the State of Oregon to invest $500,000 to purchase a new boat. Read more about OIMB here. Making Prison Education a Reality for More Oregon Inmates (awaiting bill number to be assigned) The University of Oregon’s Prison Education Program (PEP) provides unparalleled learning opportunities and credit-bearing courses for campus-based and incarcerated students at the post-secondary level. The PEP draws upon UO faculty, staff, students and volunteers to design and implement a range of courses and other activities at the Oregon State Penitentiary, the Oregon State Correctional Institution, the Columbia River Correctional Institution and at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution.  Many studies show that educational opportunities improve the likelihood of successful re-entry and reduce recidivism, and our program fully reflects that pattern. We are asking the State of Oregon to invest $350,000 each biennium in PEP to stabilize instructional and administrative needs and allow for expanded services to more students and inmates. Read more about the UO’s Prison Education Program here. Expanding the Oregon Research Schools Network (SB 739) Based on the Agricultural Extension model, the Oregon Research Schools Network (ORSN), from the College of Education at the University of Oregon, extends service, instruction and research statewide by placing experts in the field to help improve the academic and career outcomes for Oregon’s youth. UO is currently in a unique five-year pilot project, in partnerships across Oregon, with North Eugene High School (4J), Roosevelt High School (PPS), Pendleton High School (PSD #16R) and Coquille High School (CSD #8). SB 739 will allow ORSN to geographically expand across Oregon within its five-year pilot by serving an additional six high schools identified as high need, highly impacted, and geographically diverse. ORSN holds strong promise for creating an improvement model to increase K-12 performance statewide. This pilot will be expanded and evaluated, over a five-year period, to assess its impact on diverse high school graduation rates, better participation in and completion of post-secondary education. Build Out of ShakeAlert and AlertWildfire Multi-hazard Sensor Network The Governor’s Recommended Budget allocates $12 million to fully build out a multi-hazard sensor network for earthquake early warning and wildfire prevention, monitoring, and mitigation by 2023. The UO works with other West Coast states and universities to bring this technology to the public through the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, and UO faculty and technicians operate the network in coordination with the U.S. Geological Survey and other federal agencies.

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