Trustees to discuss fall term, capital projects and diversity

The UO seal on Dads Gate

A few days before the campus returns to full swing with the bulk of UO undergraduate and graduate students, the University of Oregon Board of Trustees will hold its first in-person meeting since March 2020 in Eugene.

As the trustees meet for their regular quarterly meeting  Sept. 20 and 21, the 15-member board also will be welcoming a total of seven new members, who were nominated by Gov. Kate Brown and confirmed by the Oregon Senate earlier this year.

The meeting agenda and materials, as well as a live webcast link, are available on the board of trustees meetings website.

The board will hear about the UO’s multilayered COVID-19 safety strategy for the return of students and employees to campus, as well as an overview of academic and student life plans for fall term. Trustees also will receive an update on the university’s short-term and long-term financial outlook and be asked to approve a proposed operating expenditure authorization for fiscal year 2022.

In other actions, the board will consider approving $15 million in funding for preliminary expenses tied to phase 2 of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact. That work would include schematic design, property surveys and assessments, site preparation, and other preconstruction costs.

Additionally, trustees will consider moving ahead with a significant renovation of Huestis Hall in the Lokey Science Complex. Planned improvements include increased programmatic square footage, more flexible lab space, modernized public areas, and new mechanical and plumbing systems and network infrastructure. The $63.6 million project would be largely funded by state-backed bonds, which the Oregon Legislature already has approved.

The board will also hear an update on the UO’s institutional diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Trustees have urged the university to build strong accountability structures into its equity and inclusion work and to develop comprehensive datasets to track concrete progress towards the institutional goals. A cross-disciplinary team will present its data collection work so far and discuss how it plans to use that data in projects.

In other work, the board will receive updates on UO’s student success initiatives, the Knight Campus and internal audit activity.

The board will meet in the Giustina Ballroom in the Ford Alumni Center starting at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 20 and at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21. Information about how to submit public comments and observe the proceedings is available on the board’s meetings page.