President to hold student forum on resident undergrad tuition

University of Oregon sign near campus entrance

UO President Michael H. Schill will host a student forum Monday, May 13, to gather feedback on proposed 2019-20 tuition rates for resident undergraduates.

The forum will begin at 6 p.m. in the Erb Memorial Union ballroom. Schill will consider all student comments before making a final recommendation to the UO Board of Trustees on tuition rates.

Members of the Tuition and Fee Advisory Board — a campus body made up of students, administrators and members of the faculty and staff — has been looking at the university’s overall budget, enrollment trends and various expense drivers so that they can make a recommendation on the most appropriate resident undergraduate tuition level for the 2019-20 academic year.

The group will forward its recommendation to Schill this week, and it will be made public and posted on the UO’s tuition website in advance of the public forum. 

This is a different tuition-setting process than in years past, largely due to uncertainty related to state funding for higher education in Oregon. The UO’s in-state tuition rate closely correlates to state funding from the Oregon Legislature, which is currently in session, and the university has joined all public universities in the state to make the case that higher education needs at least $120 million in new state support to keep resident tuition increases at or below 5 percent.

Tuition rates are set by the University of Oregon Board of Trustees, and in February the board approve a 2.97 percent tuition increase for nonresident students. At the time, the UO delayed taking a resident tuition recommendation to the board in hopes of waiting a few months for better sense of enrollment projections and how public higher education will be funded in the state budget. The board will consider resident tuition rates during its regular board meeting May 22-23.

This has been a difficult budget year for the UO. While the university continues to push hard for additional state support in Salem, the institution is currently addressing financial challenges by reducing $11.6 million in annual general fund operating costs.

After Monday’s student forum, the president will post his draft recommendations online for review and further public comment that can be submited via an online submission form through May 17. The president will make a final tuition recommendation to the board of trustees for consideration at its meeting May 23.