Choices for Higher Ed Coordinating Commission and Institutional Boards
sent to Senate for September confirmation
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber today announced appointments to four new higher education boards. The Governor’s appointments to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and the Boards of Trustees at Oregon State, Portland State, and University of Oregon mark the latest step in a comprehensive overhaul of Oregon’s public education system and in improving coordination among Oregon public universities, community colleges, private colleges and universities, career schools, and state financial aid and student access programs.
"We have recruited an outstanding, experienced set of leaders to serve on Oregon’s higher education boards," said Governor Kitzhaber. "Together, they offer deep and broad expertise in all aspects and levels of education, which will inform their work to ensure that Oregon's higher education system is efficient, equitable, and well-coordinated. I am confident these appointees will be laser-focused on supporting Oregon students while helping to deepen relationships among higher education, K-12, early learning providers, and other education partners."
The Higher Education Coordinating Commission was re-chartered by the Oregon Legislature in 2013 through House Bill 3120, which granted it authorities previously vested in the State Board of Education, State Board of Higher Education, and OSAC. It oversees a complex system that enrolls more than 380,000 students in eight public universities, 17 public community colleges, 67 private for-profit and independent colleges and universities, and that receives state general fund appropriations of $835 million per biennium. The HECC is made up of nine voting members, including at least one from each Congressional District, and five non-voting students, faculty, and staff. Voting members are subject to Senate confirmation.
On July 1, 2014, the HECC will become the foremost state board providing leadership on higher education issues. Its responsibilities include allocating state funding to public universities, community colleges, and financial aid; approving new programs at universities and colleges; overseeing the Office of Degree Authorization and the regulation of private career schools; and developing policy, funding, and coordination strategies to help Oregon's post-secondary system achieve the state's 40-40-20 goal.
Boards of Trustees at OSU, PSU, and UO were established by Senate Bill 270 in 2013. They will provide fiscal stewardship for each university while promoting student equity and access and excellence in teaching, research, and community service. The Governor is required to appoint 11 to 15 members to each board, with appointees subject to Senate confirmation. Students, faculty, and non-faculty staff members serve for two-year terms, with four-year terms for the others. SB 270 permits the Governor to decide whether the faculty and staff serve as voting or non-voting members. The President of the university serves as an ex officio non-voting member.
Beginning July 1, 2014, these institutional boards will be responsible for overseeing their respective institutions, including the authority to hire the President, issue bonds, set tuition (subject to HECC and legislative oversight), and operate as separate legal entities. The boards will also be focused on implementing Oregon’s education goals by supporting initiatives that help more Oregon students earn post-secondary degrees at an affordable price.
Interim Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden welcomed the new appointees’ record of leadership. "I look forward to partnering with the HECC to refine and implement the Oregon Education Investment Board's strategic plan as it relates to community colleges, universities, and financial aid," said Dr. Golden. "The Governor’s appointees to the university boards have a deep appreciation for the value of public higher education, and they bring their wisdom and experience to help OSU, PSU, and UO seize opportunities and avoid pitfalls associated with changes in the business and delivery of higher education."
Tim Raphael, 503-689-6117
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324