Trustees hear about race, get update on tuition guarantee idea

The Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon turned its attention to several critical issues during its regular quarterly meeting today.

During a roundtable breakfast, trustees sat down for discussion with black and African-American students on race-related issues. The group of students was invited by President Michael Schill so trustees could hear first-hand about their experiences at the UO.  Trustees were grateful for this opportunity as racial issues are at the forefront of many discussions on campus and at universities across the country.

The board also turned its attention to college affordability, hearing an update from Roger Thompson, vice president for enrollment management, on a possible tuition guarantee program currently being discussed with student groups around campus.  

Thompson shared with trustees the results of the listening tour and a survey of students, as well as research on how other universities have shaped and rolled out tuition guarantee plans. Trustees engaged in a discussion around implementation, timing, institutional risk and other unanswered questions inherent in an early stage concept such as this.

The board also received updates on government affairs and the university’s legislative agenda for the February 2016 session.

Libby Batlan, senior director for state relations, provided the board with an overview of the current state level issues, including a preview of the UO’s priorities for the upcoming 2016 legislative session. Betsy Boyd, associate vice president for federal affairs, gave an update on upcoming federal government legislation and agency activities relating to higher education that could have an impact on the UO.  

The board approved several items that were recommended through committee work on Dec. 2, including:

  • The repeal of outdated policies relating to student conduct.
  • The repeal of an outdated policy relating to ending fund balances.
  • Naming of Campus Facilities: Jane Sanders Stadium (softball) and Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall (college and careers building).
  • Approval of the Bean Hall renovation project.

The Board of Trustees’ next quarterly meeting is March 3-4. Additional information about the board can be found here

—By Amanda Hatch, Office of the Secretary of the University