Thursday, February 26, 2015

Is free community college coming to Oregon?

February 24th, 2015

 Free college? It’s what’s being talked about in the Oregon Legislature.
The state senate is considering a bill that would make community college free for Oregonians.
“A lifetime of food stamps is a lot more expensive than a year of tuition at a community college,” Beaverton State Senator Mark Hass told KOIN 6 News.
Senator Hass is pushing for free community college — and he thinks this could be the year his dream becomes a law. He said free higher education is exactly what thousands of graduating Oregon high schoolers need.
“They need an eight month course in welding, or to become a medical assistant or a police officer, and that’s what we’re looking at,” Senator Hass said. “There are opportunities for kids to get the first two years of their four degree, those core classes, out of the way.”

Our View: Higher education still getting too little

Mail Tribune
February 26th, 2015

Higher education has long been the part of Oregon's public education system that gets plenty of lip service but little love in the form of state financial support. If Oregon ever hopes to realize its lofty goal of "40-40-20," it had better put its money where its mouth is.
The numerical reference is to the officially adopted policy of seeing to it that 40 percent of Oregon adults will hold a four-year college degree, 40 percent will have a two-year associate degree or professional certification and 20 percent will have a high school diploma or its equivalent — by 2025. The 2011 Legislature enacted that goal into law, and set out a plan to pursue it by emphasizing student proficiency over age and grade level.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

OSU teach-in Wednesday on plight of adjunct faculty

Corvallis Gazette
February 19th, 2015

A teach-in is planned at Oregon State University to focus attention on the plight of adjunct faculty members, who make up a large segment of OSU employees but lack the job security and higher wages that come with tenure-track positions.
Titled “What Does a Socially Just University Look Like?,” the event will take place at noon Wednesday in room 213 of the Memorial Union. It is free and open to the public.
OSU’s teach-in is part of National Adjunct Walkout Day, although local organizers say no faculty members plan to walk off the job here.

38 comments Oregon has No. 4 best grad rate for residents in private colleges; community college completion lags

February 25th, 2015

Oregon boasts the nation's fourth-best college graduation rate among high school graduates who go to private colleges, with 82 percent earning a degree within six years, a new report says.
But Oregonians' main route into higher education - community colleges - leads to a college degree only 30 percent of the time, almost 10 percentage points below the national average, the study found.
That reinforces the need for Oregon to ensure that community college students get more coaching, advising, counseling and financial support so that they don't just start college - they finish with a degree or industry-recognized certification so they can get good jobs, says Ben Cannon, executive director over higher education in Oregon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

David Sarasohn: Higher education needs more state support (OPINION)

February 24th, 2015

It's a sign of the problems higher education has getting the Legislature's attention that earlier this month, a pro-college demonstration by hundreds of students on the steps of the Capitol came at a time when lawmakers were somewhat distracted.
The same day, the governor was quitting.
Timing is everything -- and in Salem, it rarely seems to be the time for higher education.
The subject is more likely to come up when the Legislature is looking for places to cut spending. Last year, the Center on Budget and Public Policy in Washington, D.C., calculated higher ed cuts by each state over the course of the recession (2008-2014) and found that Oregon slashed its spending by 37.9 percent -- the fourth-fastest pace in the country. Considering Oregon's low position to start with, the move dropped the state from 46th in higher ed support to 47th.

Connie Ballmer, heading UO presidential search, seeks a unifier with charisma

February 24th, 2015

Connie Ballmer describes the University of Oregon's next president as a unifier, a fundraiser, someone with charisma and political savvy, and above all, a communicator.
Ballmer, a philathropist and 1984 UO grad heading the search for the public university's new leader, suspects that whoever becomes Head Duck won't have applied. Rather, Ballmer said during a recent interview, search committee members must recruit aggressively, wooing candidates who are content in their jobs.
Persuading such a person to take the post could be daunting, given state government's disinvestment in public education and the university's tumultuous succession of presidents and interim presidents during the past four years. Ballmer said she sees tremendous potential in the leadership job, while viewing the role as "enormous ... complicated."

The Academy’s Dirty Secret

Slate Education
February 24th, 2015

The United States prides itself on offering broad access to higher education, and thanks to merit-based admissions, ample financial aid, and emphasis on diverse student bodies, our country can claim some success in realizing this ideal.
The situation for aspiring professors is far grimmer. Aaron Clauset, a co-author of this article, is the lead author of a new study published in Science Advances that scrutinized more than 16,000 faculty members in the fields of business, computer science, and history at 242 schools. He and his colleagues found, as the paper puts it, a “steeply hierarchical structure that reflects profound social inequality.” The data revealed that just a quarter of all universities account for 71 to 86 percent of all tenure-track faculty in the U.S. and Canada in these three fields. Just 18 elite universities produce half of all computer science professors, 16 schools produce half of all business professors, and eight schools account for half of all history professors.

UO leaks investigation grows to 30,000 documents, could be released soon

February 24th, 2015

The University of Oregon may release results of an investigation as soon as this week into the release of confidential information from the school's archives.
From all indications, two archivists currently suspended from their jobs could face further discipline.
In December, the University Archives gave a professor who requested presidential records a zip drive containing 22,000 pages -- since determined to have been 30,000 documents -- that according to university officials included confidential faculty, student and staff records.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A troubling time for UO’s clout

Register Guard
February 15th, 2015

The University of Oregon finds itself mired in an identity crisis. What are we? What do we want to be? How do we get there?
The UO is a member of the prestigious American Association of Universities, the top 62 research universities in the United States and Canada. AAU members include such stars as Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA and Michigan. What is a research university? It is a higher education institution focusing not only on high quality undergraduate education, but also on excellent graduate training programs and pioneering, original research by its faculty.
The UO rightfully prides itself in its AAU membership. It has had important research successes from its world-renowned Institute of Molecular Biology to its nationally ranked School of Education and psychology department. Significant advances have also been made in numerous other fields from neuroscience to art history and architecture. In addition to research excellence, the UO, in its role as a state university, has trained and educated hundreds of thousands of young Oregonians to be productive citizens in a complex world.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pep rally cheers for education funding

Register Guard
February 13th, 2015

A rowdy crowd of 600 college students, along with the Duck and mascots from a half-dozen other state schools, filled the Oregon Capitol steps Thursday to demand more money for colleges and universities.
“I feel like ‘College Game Day’ came to the Capitol,” said Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Hood River, to hoots and cheers that seeped through windows into hearing rooms where legislative business was progressing. 
“It’s ironic,” Johnson said, “that in this state of Oregon we can compete at the highest levels on the football field, but when it comes to funding post-secondary education, we are cellar-­dwellers.”
About a dozen Lane Community College students in blue school T-shirts also brought some rowdiness to the crowd, initiating chants such as: “No taxes, no fees; education should be free.”
About 40 University of Oregon students danced, their picket signs bobbing to “Louie, Louie” as played by a small UO pep band on a nearby landing. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

OSU professor emeritus fought -- and lost -- battle for lower textbook prices

February 16th, 2015

I would like to add another perspective to Richard Read's piece in the Sunday Oregonian on textbook cost.
I am an Emeritus Professor from Oregon State University. In 1992, a major publisher began selling the first edition of my text, "The Mechanical Design Process," a book for Junior/Senior Mechanical Engineering students. Last month the 5th edition was released.This is a book, among many, that sells a couple of thousand a year as contrasted to the Econ book in your article. Yet, with this relatively low volume, it is a success as attested by the number of editions.

Oregon chief education officer 'confident' public education will advance under Gov. Kate Brown

February 17th, 2015

Oregon's chief education officer, Nancy Golden, said Monday she is confident that public education will advance under governor-to-be Kate Brown, given Brown's track record.
"Kate Brown has led as Secretary of State on key education priorities, including closing the opportunity gap and support for quality teaching," Golden said in a statement, referring to two recent audits done at Brown's behest in the past year and a half.
"She has a tremendous heart and passion for student success and has been more engaged in education issues than any other Secretary of State in recent memory," Golden said.

Friday, February 13, 2015

‘Oregon 46th in how it funds higher education’

February 12th, 2015

College student Michael Jones was one of hundreds at a rally at the state capital pushing for more state funding for public universities and colleges.
Jones said it’s absolutely essential if the state is interested in helping young people get degrees.
“As a first-generation college student from a low income family that makes enough for the state to not help out or to help me out, I actually work three part time jobs to make ends meet and I still go to school full time,” he told KOIN 6 News.

500 students call for Oregon to restore support for higher education

February 13th, 2015

An estimated 500 college students and supporters rallied Thursday in Salem, calling for legislators to restore state support for higher education.
The rally was organized by the Oregon Student Association, a student-led nonprofit advocacy group established in 1975.
"Oregon has a steady pattern of disinvestment from higher education and it is hurting students." read a statement from the association. "Between 2002 and 2012, funding per student at Oregon decreased by 32%, from $5,663 to $3,650 in inflation adjusted dollars."

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Rally to Restore Higher Ed

Oregon Student Association
February 12th, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Oregon State Capitol
900 Court St NE, Salem, Oregon 97301

Are you sick of excessive tuition hikes and increasing student debt?
Join us for the Rally to Restore Higher Ed and urge the Oregon Legislature to restore funding to higher education by investing $755 million for our universities and $560 million for our community colleges while ensuring a tuition freeze at universities and community colleges for the next two years!
Make your voice heard. Make sure Oregon State legislators know that Oregon students care about affordable and accessible higher education.

Candidate pool for UO president reaches 250 and counting

February 12th, 2015

The search for a new University of Oregon president has collected 250 nominations so far with more possible before the March 9 deadline to enter the hiring pool.
The Board of Trustees member heading the search committee, Connie Ballmer, talked about the process Wednesday on campus.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Colleges 'Unleash the Deans' With Decentralized Budgets

The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 9th, 2015

For many years at the University of Oregon, Brad Foley got a lump of money dropped in his lap to run the School of Music and Dance. It didn’t matter how many courses he offered, how big or how small they were, says Mr. Foley, who has been the school’s dean since 2002. "You seemed to get the same budget year in and year out."
Then, about six years ago, the university’s budgeting system changed radically. Mr. Foley started getting a sum commensurate with the number of students in his school and how many made it to graduation. If he thought carefully about the demand for courses, adjusted offerings so enrollments grew, and trimmed costs, the school got to keep some of the money at the end of the year.

Friday, February 6, 2015

OSA to hold rally for investment in higher education from state legislature

The Daily Emerald
February 5th, 2015

Hey legislature, can you spare $1.315 billion? That’s the question that the Oregon Student Association will ask in Salem at its Feb. 12 rally to restore higher education.
OSA asks the state of Oregon to invest $755 million in universities and $560 million in community colleges, essentially freezing tuition so that it doesn’t rise significantly in the next two years. The universities and community colleges that make up OSA decided on the figure through a coalition.
“The students decided to have the rally on Feb. 12 to bring a lot of students to the capital and show our state officials that students care about the affordability of education,” Daniel McCall, OSA Communications director, said. The rally was picked for February to coincide with the beginning of the legislative session and ensure student participation.
Oregon has had a tuition freeze for in-state students the past two years that is coming to an end at the end of this academic year. Students like Tran Dinh will take their case for state investment in higher education to the capital steps.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Obama’s budget

The Register Guard 
February 3rd, 2015

President Obama presented a budget of nearly $4 trillion Monday — a spending plan that draws sharp battle lines with Republicans and will prompt a fierce debate that will frame the economic issues in the 2016 elections.
In his fiscal year 2016 budget blueprint, a document that cannot take effect without approval by Congress, the president proposed an array of programs to help middle-income Americans that would be paid for with higher taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals.
To call the president’s budget conceptual is an understatement, given Republican control of Congress. The document was promptly and predictably denounced by GOP leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “Today President Obama laid out a plan for more taxes, more spending, and more of the Washington gridlock that has failed middle-class families,” he said.

Monday, February 2, 2015

OSU President Ed Ray, coping with personal tragedy, promotes higher education at helm of Beaver Nation

January 31st, 2015

Oregon State University President Edward J. Ray gasped Friday after completing an upbeat speech at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.
It wasn't the repeat standing ovation that blindsided OSU's popular 70-year-old president, a veteran public speaker who had played to a friendly crowd of 700 lunch guests. After all, Ray had launched his state-of-the-university address with a crack about an orator who advised speakers to say you were "prepared to talk a very long time, if necessary, but as soon as you get a standing ovation, you'll stop."
No, Ray's uncharacteristic shock stemmed from the clamorous arrival of the Oregon State University Marching Band, 190 students bused from Corvallis to Portland under cover of a self-imposed ban on advance social-media posts. The entire orange-clad squad, deposited at a Lloyd Center Light Rail station, played the OSU fight song on a train, becoming the first marching band ever to do so on MAX, according to TriMet.

Text of OSU President Ed Ray's state of the university address

January 30th, 2015

OSU President Ed Ray gave a state-of-the-university address Friday to 700 alumni and supporters at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Here is the text:
Today's update on the state of the university will highlight the incredible changes occurring at Oregon State - achievements that are providing world-class teaching, research and service to advance  environmental progress, health and economic prosperity for all Oregonians - as well as our nation and the world.
Oregon State University is Oregon's statewide university.
OSU was created in 1868 to serve the needs of Oregon by bringing higher education and economic opportunity to the great people of this state.
"Service to others" is our mission.
And economic development for Oregon is part of our DNA.
147 years later ... we are intently focused on improving how we fulfill our mission as Oregon's land grant university.