UO board authorizes expenditures for Knight Campus

The Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon empowered UO leaders to quickly move forward with design and construction of the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact with a unanimous decision at the board’s regular meeting March 3.

The trustees approved a resolution allowing the vice president for finance and administration and her team to make up to $20 million in expenditures or contractual commitments. The money would come out of gift funds received from the $500 million gift from Penny and Phil Knight.

The gift, announced in October, launched the $1 billion Knight Campus initiative. The one-of-a-kind center will be dedicated to the translation of laboratory discoveries into tangible innovations that improve lives and advance society.

In an update to the board, Patrick Phillips, acting executive director of the Knight Campus, noted the speed and smoothness with which the Knight Campus is moving forward.

“We are making progress on all fronts,” Phillips said. “The level of enthusiasm across the university community and beyond is very high.”

Phillips provided an overview of Knight Campus “year one” activities in capital planning and design, external relations, initial programming and internal organization.

Phillips noted that outreach with government entities has been positive and collaborative. “Everyone has been extremely supportive. Partnership is the theme. They want to know how they can help us,” Phillips said.

According to Phillips, the design process begins in earnest next week, working at an accelerated pace. Groundbreaking is currently scheduled for fall, with construction getting underway the following spring.

“Our efforts are receiving recognition on a national scale,” Phillips told the trustees. “Everyone is well aware of this gift and what we are trying to do. It has put us on the national landscape.”

By Tobin Klinger, University Communications