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Proposal would give students more voice in tuition decisions.

Byline: Diane Dietz

Last spring, some University of Oregon students said they felt blindsided by the UO Board of Trustee's decision to raise their tuition.

This fall, the trustees will consider a resolution to require earlier student input in the tuition-setting process.

"This change in process would ensure that students are included in the tuition-setting process from the very beginning," said proponent and student Helen Schlegel, who serves on the Board of Trustees and is student body president.

"I hope that this will lead to a more collaborative discussion on fair tuition amounts moving forward," she said.

Last spring, Schlegel opposed a roughly 3.7 percent tuition increase, citing the inadequate opportunity for students to participate. She made a motion to reduce the increase to about 3.3 percent, but it failed on a 6-7 vote.

UO Chief Financial Officer Jamie Moffit explained then that the tuition-raising process was unusual last year because of the transition from the state's tuition- setting process to a procedure set by the UO Board.

To allow the board to adopt the tuition increase by March, administrators had to rush through the usual tuition-setting procedures, she said.

The administration agreed with Schlegel; student input should have been far earlier in the process, before the establishment of any recommendation, board documents show.

This Thursday and Friday, the board is set to vote on a resolution to board policy that would require student input early on - before the tuition and fee advisory board nears its deliberation on tuition increases that becomes a recommendation to the university president. The president then makes a tuition recommendation to the trustees.

The proposed rule says:

"The President or his/her designee shall hold an open forum with students early in the tuition and fee development process each year such that students are given an opportunity to provide input into the process before recommendations are developed. The (Associated Students of the University of Oregon) shall have the opportunity to participate in the planning and convening of this public meeting."

- Diane Dietz

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Title Annotation:University Of Oregon
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Sep 10, 2015
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