Trustees approve budget and building projects, elect leaders

At its recent quarterly meeting, the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon received updates on several initiatives, approved the UO’s operating budget and elected new board leaders.

The board heard reports on the Hispanic Serving Institution Initiative, university housing in the east campus area, cybersecurity efforts, and enterprise risk management and organizational resilience. Members also heard the latest on the College of Design, Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, and The Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health, and voted to approve certain capital and real estate projects. They also met in executive session to discuss collective bargaining.

Specific agenda items the board took action on at the meeting, held June 5-6 at the Ford Alumni Center, included the following:

  • Trustees voted to approve current Vice Chair Steve Holwerda as chair of the board, succeeding Ginevra Ralph, and Marcia Aaron to become vice chair, succeeding Holwerda. Holwerda and Aaron assume their new roles effective July 1. Ralph, whose term ends this summer, is stepping down. She and trustee Ross Kari, who also is stepping down, are the only remaining trustees from the original board appointed by then-Governor Kitzhaber in 2014.
  • The board unanimously approved an operating expenditure budget of $1.3 billion and a capital expenditure budget of $229 million for fiscal year 2024.
  • Board members authorized an expenditure of $87.8 million to complete the Heritage Deferred Maintenance Project, which will replace all the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems, mitigate building code deficiencies and seismically stabilize University and Villard halls.
  • The board approved the proposal to enter into a long-term lease agreement for the former Romania lot south of Franklin Boulevard between Orchard and Walnut streets for a mixed-use commercial development. The plan would retain the former Romania showroom building, and includes residential apartments, retail stores and parking facilities. The development would generate rent revenue for the university and revitalize the area on Franklin Boulevard.
  • Trustees approved an expenditure of $20 million for the purchase of the building and leasehold improvements at 1700 Millrace Drive as an acquisition for future university space needs. The university already owns the land and leases it to the current building owner.
  • The board voted unanimously to enter into a lease agreement with the UO Foundation for the construction of an indoor practice facility and a pair of new outdoor fields proposed to be built on existing practice fields adjacent to Autzen Stadium. Construction of the new facility and practice fields are to be 100 percent donor funded. 

Full materials and recordings of the meeting can be found on the UO Board of Trustees website.