BEFORE THE OREGON LEGISLATURE
Portland State University is on the cusp of its most sweeping changes since it was founded in 1946. If the Oregon Legislature approves a proposal this year to restructure the Oregon University System, PSU would gain an unprecedented level of financial and administrative flexibility that would result in more resources and opportunities for PSU students and faculty. Here's how the proposal would affect you.
Over the past two decades, tuition has steadily gone up as state support has gone down. The proposal does not change the way tuition is set in the state, but students will have more say on a new campus review committee. In addition, the state could no longer keep the interest earned on tuition or give away tuition money to other state agencies. In effect, tuition money paid to PSU would stay at PSU to support more classes, faculty, financial aid, and academic support.
Employee pension plans would remain with the state. The University might be able to buy health care benefits at a lower cost than if it remained with the state. Faculty and staff would have greater flexibility to create innovative partnerships, research enterprises, and academic pursuits. All tuition money would stay at the University without the risk of being swept into the state budget, making it easier to hire new faculty and staff.
State funding would be awarded in a lump sum, the same way public schools and community colleges are funded. In return, the University would report to the Legislature on new performance goals, such as enrollment, affordability, and research funding. The change will not fix the bigger funding issues facing PSU and the other six public universities, but it will remove unnecessary layers of oversight and bureaucracy that will save money.