Gov. Brown 'deeply concerned' about tuition hikes, urges state board to scrutinize
Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday that in-state students are shouldering too much of their college costs and urged the state's higher education commission to "rigorously apply" oversight before approving tuition increases greater than 5 percent.
"In the midst of challenging times for the state budget, Oregon's public universities know they must use every available resource efficiently and wisely, and not shift costs to students," Brown said in a statement released early Tuesday, just hours before the state's second-largest campus signed off on a 9 percent increase.
It also comes nearly four months after 33 public university representatives -including the presidents of each of the seven universities, faculty union leaders and student representatives at several schools - sent a letter to the legislature and Brown asking for more state support to keep tuition in check. The commission, which meets next month, is the final stop before those increases can take effect.
In a separate letter sent Monday to Neil Bryant, chair of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, the governor said she is "really concerned" about rising tuition and urged the volunteer commission to reject any increases if the universities fail to show they gave "serious consideration to alternatives." School leaders also must demonstrate how they are managing overall costs and ensure they consult students, faculty and staff in the process, she said.