OUS Press Release on latest Board of Higher Ed Meeting

I ran across this while at work last week.  I had a few thoughts about various parts.  First, this:

Cost Saving Measures
Chancellor George Pernsteiner summarized a number of actions that will begin to be implemented in the next few months through the next few years in order to find additional cost savings and efficiencies to meet the current economic challenges and reduced funding from the state. These actions include: (1) a common acceptance system which is System-wide rather than campus specific, that will help students who are not able to gain entry to one campus due to capacity issues, to be able to gain acceptance to another OUS campus which does have the ability to enroll additional students;

I actually really like this idea.  OUS is already a system, so there’s no real reason not to have a standardized acceptance process.

(2) shared services and other types of systems across campuses;

Without further explanation of what this means, I can only assume it means standardization, which makes me skittish.

(3) changes in rules involving low enrollment courses to ensure that courses have enough enrollment to be economically viable;

Translation:  Increasing the minimum enrollment for courses.  I understand, but do not like, this idea.

(4) a more differentiated tuition system in which there will be a broader range of tuition charges across the seven OUS campuses, based more on the university’s mission and market;

No bueno.  Period.  Differential tuition is no good.

(5) beginning to plan for a change from a system of quarters to semesters, which must be coordinated with Oregon community colleges, and thus may be done by region versus statewide depending on the ability to align between OUS and community colleges; this will eventually provide cost savings and improve pedagogy;

Whoa.  I actually think this might be a really good idea, but I can only imagine it’ll cause, if not an uproar, then a lot of whiplash.

(6) look at different class and course structures, such as the offering of accelerated courses, weekend courses, and other types of models that will facilitate student time-to-degree and have broader options that fit students’ needs.

Translation:  Things that bring in money but cost less are coming down the pike. The problem is that everything they list reduces student learning.  This smells like a course of action that will make OUS worse, not better, at least if the metric is academic (and not financial).

Overall, I’d call it a mixed bag.

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One Comment on “OUS Press Release on latest Board of Higher Ed Meeting”

  1. Travis Says:

    Very mixed bag. I will say, a change to semesters would be fantastic for everyone. I knew it had been considered by OSU, but not the OUS. At least that’s a bit of good news.


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