Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The higher-ed Mississippi of the West Coast (OPINION)

May 20th, 2015

It's not often that Oregon appears in the higher ranks of any list concerning higher education. We keep our universities on such starvation rations that the University of Oregon concluded, a few years ago, that its only chance was to get out of the state system. The UO was swiftly followed by the other six state universities, even by those with what one might call no visible means of support.
Restructuring Oregon higher education has seen a breakthrough. Now, instead of Oregon underfunding its higher education system, we underfund our universities individually.
But last week, there was Oregon, ranking sixth nationally in a chart produced by the Washington, D.C, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities — a chart chronicling higher education cuts during the Great Recession. From 2007 to 2015, the CBPP found, Oregon cut its inflation-adjusted per-student spending by 33.5 percent, among the deepest cuts in the country.
And Oregon's universities hadn't been all that generously funded in 2007.

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