Oregon's public unversities need help from the state government to compete with other schools around the country, according to University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer.
From the Statesman-Journal:
University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer says the state needs to increase funding for higher education or tuition increases and more financial independence will be needed to help maintain quality and remain competitive.
Frohnmayer warned the state Board of Higher Education on Friday that the university will drop from the ranks of the nation's premier public universities unless funding is improved.
He said the university ranked last in state support when compared to five other public universities designated as their state's "flagship" campuses.
Frohnmayer said the university has done all it can with other options over the years: squeezing operations, neglecting repair needs, boosting student fees and tuition, and trying to rely on the "quality of life" pitch to recruit and retain top-notch faculty instead of offering competitive salaries.
"I'm not sure we have a lot more rabbits we can pull out of our hats," Frohmayer said.
Frohnmayer notes that other states provide more funding for their universities, and that Oregon students are paying the price:
He pointed out that only 13 percent of the university's 2006-07 revenue came from the state general fund - about $69 million.
The average was $319 million at five other public universities considered flagship schools, he said.
Likewise, state funding per full-time-equivalent student lagged for the UO, where the figure came to $3,232. It averaged $10,036 at the other five universities: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Iowa, the University of Washington, the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia.
The largest chunk of revenue at Oregon, $181 million, was from tuition and fees, accounting for 35 percent. Gifts, grants and contracts made up 27 percent.
The problem with relying so much on students, their families and donors is that it leaves the university "uniquely vulnerable to the perception that quality is compromised," Frohnmayer said.
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