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Oregon's Smaller Universities Push For Independence

OPB | April 9, 2014 12:06 p.m. | Updated: April 9, 2014 2:46 p.m.

TheGirlsNY / Creative Commons

Oregon’s three largest public universities will have their own governing boards as of July 1, 2014. The transition from a centralized board that governed all of Oregon’s public universities to one where universities could have independent boards was initiated by a bill in the 2013 legislature. At first, only Portland State University and the University of Oregon were interested in having their own boards, but once the bill passed, Oregon State University expressed interest as well.

Since then, the remaining four public universities — Western Oregon University, Eastern Oregon University, Southern Oregon University, and the Oregon Institute of Technology — have requested their own boards, and last week, the State Board of Higher Education endorsed boards for those universities. We’ll dig into what this means for the smaller, regional universities, and what it could mean for the university system as a whole.


  • Bob Davies: President of Eastern Oregon University
  • Chris Maples: President of the Oregon Institute of Technology


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