Neuroscience degree, enrollment report on trustees' agenda

The UO emblem on Dads Gate

The Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon will discuss the tuition-setting process, receive a five-year report from President Michael H. Schill, and vote on adding a new undergraduate program in neuroscience, among other issues.

The board’s regular fall meetings take place Dec. 9 and 10 at the Ford Alumni Center. Board meeting agendas and materials, as well as a live webcast link, are available at https://trustees.uoregon.edu/meetings.

An undergraduate program in neuroscience would be a first for a public university in Oregon, if approved by the board and the state Higher Education Coordinating Commission. The University Senate has already approved the degree.

The Academic and Student Affairs Committee will hear how the interdisciplinary degree, which combines human physiology, biology and psychology, is an area of interest to incoming students. The addition of a neuroscience degree could benefit pre-med students, as well as others interested in various STEM-related fields.

The committee will also hear about plans for undergraduate degrees in data science and bioengineering, both of which are likely to be voted on by the board later this year.

Also during the committee meeting, Roger Thompson, vice president for student services and enrollment management, will give an enrollment report, and Jim Brooks, associate vice president and director of student financial aid and scholarships, will present an update on student financial aid.

During the Finance and Facilities Committee meeting, the UO’s external auditor, Moss Adams LLP, will present its annual findings, which are expected to include a clean audit of the UO’s financial reporting for the past year. In addition, Vice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt will present the audited financial statements and provide a quarterly finance report.

In September the board approved moving ahead with the first part of a campus housing transformation project, and Moffitt will ask the board to approve a bond issue to fund the first phase, which includes the construction of a new residence hall at the corner of East 15th Avenue and Agate Street.

Also during the finance committee meeting, Mike Harwood, associate vice president for campus planning and facilities management, will provide a progress report on existing construction projects and discuss physical infrastructure projects on the horizon. As part of Harwood’s report, Steve Mital, director of sustainability, will provide an overview of the UO’s efforts to incorporate sustainable practices in its operations and facilities management. 

During the full board meeting Dec. 10, Schill will present a report, requested by the board, detailing the university’s successes and challenges over the UO’s first five years of independent institutional governance.

Looking forward to next year, Vice President for Student Life Kevin Marbury and Moffitt, co-chairs of the Tuition and Fee Advisory Board, will discuss the tuition-setting process and, along with Thompson, share information about the concept of guaranteed tuition, which would be designed to stabilize costs for students. No decision on tuition will be made during the December meeting.

In other matters, the board will vote on board officers and consider a presidential performance bonus and contract amendment.

Committee meetings begin at 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9. The full board meets at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. All meetings take place in the Giustina Ballroom in the Ford Alumni Center.