University of Oregon to decide on tuition hike, additional faculty cuts

The governing board meets this week to discuss a 4.8 % tuition hike and a non-tenured faculty layoffs

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Tuition: UO is considering what would be the largest tuition increase for public universities in Oregon this year, a 4.8 percent increase for undergraduates (roughly $405 per year). Expect student groups to testify, or demonstrate, against the proposal. In an interview with The Oregonian/OregonLive last month, Schill said the tuition proposal would not affect the poorest students from Oregon, 2,000 of whom qualify for the Oregon Pathway program which covers full tuition.

Cuts: Schill has said for months that the university will need to make tough choices, including cuts, as it looks to hire more tenured-track faculty in specific departments, as many as 100 over the next five years. For Schill, it’s all about building centers of “excellence,” and directing money and faculty to programs students are interested in. The first of those tough decisions will come from the College of Arts and Sciences. W. Andrew Marcus, the college’s interim dean, sent a memo Monday saying that 79 non-textured track faculty would not be renewed. Here are some of the dean’s remarks:

“There is no way to minimize the force of a contract non-renewal notice for those who have received them. Though some did not anticipate working at UO next year and already have other plans, others have devoted their time and talents to the college for many years. I acknowledge that there is a significant impact on each of them and I recognize, too, the impact on their immediate colleagues and programs. This is not an easy process for anyone.”

(READ MORE: Oregon Live)

Seventy-nine non-tenured UO faculty members already lost their contracts for fall 2016.

The “contract nonrenewals” issued Monday are part of President Michael Schill’s plan to redeploy cash to the university’s newly sharpened priorities — such as hiring 100 tenure track faculty over the next five years and making it easier for students to graduate on time.

As part of the effort, the UO also decided not to renew the contracts of six central office nonfaculty employees, including an associate dean for finance and administration and an adviser for undergraduate initiatives.

(READ MORE: Register Guard)