Bill Would Give Universities In Ore. Autonomy, With Limits

Ann McClure's picture

The first draft of a bill to give some universities more independence from the statewide university system would prohibit them from raising in-state undergraduate tuition more than 5 percent a year.

The legislation, which is in a very early stage, has been drafted in response to demands by some universities for more autonomy over their own operations. The debate was intensified when former University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere was fired in part for charting his own course in conflict with the statewide board.

A special legislative committee appointed to study the matter is scheduled to hear public testimony on the proposal on Thursday.

"The goal here is to allow these universities to reach their highest potential, to be the best they can be, while also preserving the integrity of a state system that's open and accessible to everyone who wants to avail themselves of higher education," said Sen. Mark Hass, a Beaverton Democrat who is co-chairman of the legislative panel.

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