The state agency charged with monitoring Oregon’s public universities have determined Eastern Oregon University and Southern Oregon University have met conditions for fiscal stability.
The review of the two universities came after the state Legislature created a new governing structure for Oregon’s universities between 2013 and 2014. The new structure granted the universities more autonomy.
But Southern Oregon University and Eastern Oregon University have historically struggled with money and enrollment.
Ben Cannon, executive director of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), said the two universities were targeted for review under the new autonomous structure.
“[The Legislature and the former state Board of Higher Education] were worried about Southern Oregon University and Eastern Oregon University in particular, and how those two historically fragile institutions, fragile financially, would fare under their new independent structure,” Cannon said.
Both universities have had historically low enrollment and have often had to resort to employee layoffs.
HECC was assigned responsibility to monitor the two universities for the next four years.
Cannon said the HECC’s conclusion means the two institutions have now successfully aligned their programs with their missions and have stabilized their finances.
“That means that Oregonians and prospective students, taxpayers, legislators, can be confident we think that over at least the next several years, those institutions will remain healthy from a financial standpoint and should feel confident about those universities and their continuing success in their communities,” Cannon said.