Open forums to present and discuss the latest news about state funding and its effects on SOU will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, and all members of the university community are encouraged to attend.
The forums will focus on factors that will affect SOU’s tuition rates and overall budget for the 2019-20 academic year.
The first forum will be from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Stevenson Union Gallery. The second will be from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Room 202 of the Stevenson Union.
The SOU Board of Trustees voted unanimously on May 16 to approve a tuition rate increase for the 2019-20 academic year that will be tied to the level of higher education funding adopted in the Oregon Legislature’s current session. The range was based on recommendations of the university’s Tuition Advisory Council and was brought to the board by President Linda Schott.
The increase will most likely be in the range of $15 to $23 per credit hour, based on funding scenarios legislators have discussed publicly.
But the Legislature’s funding discussions have covered a broad range of possibilities, which has made it difficult for Oregon’s seven public universities to make concrete budget plans. Representatives of SOU and the other universities continue to work with legislators, emphasizing the importance of adequate funding for higher education and easing the burden on students and their families.
The state covered two-thirds of the universities’ operating costs 30 years ago while tuition paid for the other third. The burden has steadily shifted, and tuition now pays for two-thirds of the universities’ operations and the state pays for one-third.
SOU’s government relations and budget staff will discuss the changing budget and tuition possibilities during this week’s open forums. They will describe potential implications for the university and its students, including the most likely scenarios for next year’s tuition rates.
Forum participants will be reminded that the Legislature typically finalizes its budget in early July, and any input – particularly the compelling stories of SOU students – may make a difference in lawmakers’ decisions.