Now Playing:


Think Out Loud

Future of Public Higher Ed

Pete Springer/OPB

Portland businessman John E. von Schlegell has retired from the Oregon Board of Education after five years of service — and left quite a conversation about the future of higher education in his wake. It came in the form of a letter to Governor Kulongoski about what Oregon’s public higher education system should look like in the future.

At least one of von Schlegell’s colleagues on the Board disagrees with him.

Board Vice President Tony Van Vliet is a professor emeritus at Oregon State University and spent two decades in the Oregon Legislature. He says the way the state gets its money in the first place is the 800-pound gorilla. And he cautions against a complete break with the current system.

Are you a college student? Do you have a child in college? How would you like to see the state’s higher eduation system change? Would you support changes to the tax system to provide more a more stable funding base for Oregon’s public colleges and universities? What could we be doing better right now with the funds we have?


  • Tony Van Vliet: Vice president of the Oregon Board of Higher Education
  • Ed Ray: President of Oregon State University
  • Dalton Miller-Jones: Member of the Oregon Board of Higher Education and professor at Portland State University
  • Brian Fox: Student at Southern Oregon University and student member of the Oregon Board of Higher Education
business college eastern oregon history gold mining baker city

More Think Out Loud

More OPB

Join the Conversation

Send Think Out Loud A Message