WOUTAC: Governance Changes

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Governance Changes

This page highlights changes in University governance at a state level as they pertain to tuition at Western Oregon University and shows the potential impacts of those changes on tuition.

For a more detailed explaination of the governance changes and an overall view of what is happening (beyond tuition changes), please visit the President's web site on University Governance.

Senate Bill 270C - July 2013

Senate Bill 270C established the new institutional governing boards that will soon be at the helm of the University of Oregon, Portland State University, and Oregon State University while leaving the option open for Western Oregon University to follow suite. In regards to tuition, the bill had this to say:

  • "SB 270C allows institutional governing boards to establish, eliminate, collect, and manage, tuition and mandatory enrollment fees. When setting tuition and fees, SB 270C requires that institutional governing boards include enrolled students and the recognized student government of the university in the decision making process. SB 270C prevents an institutional governing board from increasing resident tuition and mandatory enrollment fees by more than 5% annually, unless it receives prior approval from either the Higher Education Coordinating Commission or the Legislature."

A full overview of SB 270C can be viewed here along with the full text of the bill (117 pages).

Senate Bill 242 - June 2011

Senate Bill (SB) 242 serves as the starting point for University governance changes when it allowed for the separation of the Oregon University System (OUS) from the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). By separating from DAS, it allowed the seven public universities in Oregon greater flexibility and "independence to manage affairs, operations, and obligations." From a tuition standpoint, SB 242 revised the past process for setting tuition and other course fees and required student and student government participation which ultimately resulted in the need for the WOU Tuition Advisory Committee (WOUTAC). Highlights from the bill include the following:

  • Redefined OUS as a public university system rather than a state agency
  • Created a process for State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) to enter into performance compact with state in conjunction with biennial funding request
  • Returned all interest earned in OUS funds to the University system and therefore, the Universities
  • Allowed OUS to review/purchase insurance and review retirement options
  • Allowed SBHE to offer fee remissions

A full overview of SB 242 can be viewed here along with the full text of the bill (162 pages).


Budget Office 503-838-8459 | or e-mail: yahnkee@wou.edu

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