Monday, December 1, 2014

Oregon's 7 public university presidents say Kitzhaber budget 'will not do enough'

December 1st, 2014

The presidents of Oregon's seven public universities released a statement Monday that offered muted praise for increased education funding in Gov. John Kitzhaber's proposed 2015-17 state budget. The joint statement calls the budget "a step in the right direction" but warns that "it will not do enough ... to position Oregonians for a lifetime of opportunity":
"Today we learned that Governor Kitzhaber has recommended a two-year higher education budget of $626 million. We commend the Governor for his efforts to end a decade of cuts to Oregon's universities. All Oregonians deserve a fair shot and while this budget is a step in the right direction it will not do enough to control tuition, expand access, and position Oregonians for a lifetime of opportunity.
"Oregon's universities are key to the economic health of our state. Jobs are driven by growth in Oregon's industries, and they demand a diverse pool of college graduates. Oregon needs to rebuild a strong middle class with a workforce that is trained for today's economy. This isn't free. Restoring funding to pre-2007 levels allows us to reach the student outcome mandates from the Legislature and Governor in the 40-40-20 goal.
"We are committed to working with the Governor and the Legislature to increase this budget for our students, and for more degrees, jobs and companies in Oregon." 
-- Jay Kenton, Eastern Oregon University; Chris Maples, Oregon Institute of Technology; Ed Ray, Oregon State University; Wim Wiewel, Portland State University; Roy Saigo, Southern Oregon University; Scott Coltrane, University of Oregon; Mark Weiss, Western Oregon University
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