With the adjournment of the 2017 legislative session last Friday afternoon, this issue provides a summary of the session, including:

  • The big picture and a prognosis for the next year;
  • How OSU’s legislative priorities fared;
  • Other bills that captured our attention and time; and
  • Acknowledgements for all the help we received over the last seven months.

 

The Big Picture

As described in previous updates, the legislature entered the session with a list of “mega issues” that demanded attention in order to balance the budget and address real problems facing Oregonians across the state. Over the course of the session the items on this list ebbed and flowed, but they generally included:

  • Revenue reform (tax increases);
  • Investments in transportation infrastructure;
  • Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) reform;
  • Health care reform, including a health provider tax and bolstering the state-financed health care system that was susceptible to changes at the federal level;
  • Housing affordability; and
  • Overall cost management/cost cutting for state agencies.

Legislative leaders formed task forces and joint committees, some of which operated in open forums with hearings that involved citizens who waited in long lines to deliver their allotted three minutes of testimony. Other efforts were conducted behind closed doors, with an occasional issuance of working documents that appeared like wisps of white smoke as they circulated among the interest groups and factions.

Throughout the session, legislators monitored state tax receipts which in May brought the “bad news” that Oregon’s economy was working better than had been predicted back in May 2015. Revenues were forecasted to be slightly over the 2% “kicker” threshold, resulting in state income tax refunds totaling more than $400 million. Had the $18.8 billion May forecast been just $70 million lower (.4% of the total forecast), some $400 million would have been available to address any of a number of problems during the 2017-19 biennium.

Success required that all of the mega issues fit together like a patchwork quilt with each piece needing to attract the necessary votes to gain passage. Differences of opinion between chambers were sometimes as fractious and disruptive as the differences between parties. Concessions made in one package implicated adjustments in another. And, for votes involving tax increases, a three-fifths bipartisan supermajority was needed. Late in the session the House sought to eliminate a tax credit by a simple majority vote, because although eliminating a tax break may increase the taxes a person may pay, it is technically not a tax increase. Ultimately that ploy died in the Senate.

Despite rigorous efforts, legislators were unable to produce the bipartisan super majority needed to reform Oregon’s tax system. With two weeks left in the session, the Governor, Speaker, and Senate President threw in the towel and issued a statement that revenue reform in 2017 was simply not going to happen. With that news, legislators made a slow slog for the exits as they worked through hundreds of bills waiting for floor consideration. The good news is that, generally, “The Oregon Way” worked. There were threats, but no nuclear options. Breakdowns happened, but they got repaired.

The bad news is that not all of the work got done. There was no revenue reform and there were not significant changes in the cost drivers that are causing the revenue imbalance. Consequently, the pieces in the patchwork quilt took on new shapes and sizes. Some pieces disappeared, some shrank, and others became fodder for voter repeal. The graphic below describes how the ideal process was portrayed in an earlier update and how it morphed into a less than ideal, but slightly workable approach:

The Ways & Means co-chairs were able to issue a balanced budget, but it was smaller than what the K-12 system wanted. Legislative leaders settled on a health care provider tax, which passed the House when a retiring Republican joined the 35 Democrats to form a 3/5’s majority. But that approach developed cracks when another House Republican announced plans to mount a citizen campaign to overturn the measure at the next general election in November 2018. The Democrats countered with a bill that accelerated the process to require the measure be considered on the ballot in January 2018. If voters were going to repeal the provider tax, they wanted to be able to re-balance the budget during the February short session.

Legislators also approved a smaller, less Portland-centric transportation package. Cost containment elements were identified, but it’s not clear how they will be implemented. Rental restrictions were enacted, but they weren’t as expansive as some desired.

Some of the unresolved issues will likely spill over to the February short session. But short sessions are like Olympic short track speed skating races: there is no time for a change in course and one slip takes you out of the race. Between now and February legislators and lobbyists will be working on manageable initiatives. Concepts will likely emerge during interim committee days – the first round is scheduled for mid-September. The short session simply will not provide the time needed for meaningful tax reform and cost restructuring, but those issues will continue to brew.

What is certain is that legislators will be spending much of the next 16 months preparing for the 2018 off-year elections. At the national level, off-year elections typically result in increases in seats held by the party not in the White House. In Oregon during the Obama years, for example, while Democrats picked up seats in the legislature when Obama was on the ballot, they lost a number of them to Republicans in the off years. As is typical, the House will see a significant turnover. Already, Reps. Huffman (R-The Dalles), Esquivel (R-Medford), and Lininger (D-Lake Oswego) have announced they are either retiring or moving on.

With the Democrats solidly in control of both chambers, it remains to be seen if, or how many, seats they may wrest from Republican control and whether the current situation in Washington, DC will play a role. An increase of just one seat in each of the chambers would provide the 3/5’s super-majority needed for a party-line vote on revenue reform. Even so, a party-line vote is not guaranteed.

 

How did OSU’s Legislative Priorities Fare?

Here are OSU’s legislative priorities as written when we headed into the session, with an assessment of how we did:

Unity of Purpose among all Seven Public Universities

Oregon’s seven public universities were successful during the 2015 legislative session in achieving an unprecedented increase in funding largely as a result of unified advocacy. During the 2017 session, universities will continue to work together to address the challenges presented by structural costs that outpace Oregon’s projected revenue growth and disruptive program changes or mandates.

Assessment: All seven universities stuck together throughout the session. Newly hired staff from the Council of Presidents provided a great deal of help and support to ensure that universities addressed over 800 hundred bills that had a significant effect on universities in one way or another.

 

$100 Million Increase in University Support

As outlined by the seven university presidents in April 2016, Oregon’s Public Universities are seeking at least a $100 million increase (for a total of $765 million) in operating funds for the 2017-19 biennium. Despite increasing revenues, the Governor’s Recommended Budget (GRB) “flat-funds” university support at 2015-17 levels. This level of funding creates significant upward pressure on tuition and harmful programmatic reductions that will threaten student access and success.

Assessment: The universities established a drumbeat for the $100 million figure early and maintained it throughout the session. As a result, the Ways & Means committee members were well aware of the figure, if not all 90 legislators. In the end, SB 5524, the bill that funds the universities through the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, included a $70 million increase to be distributed among all seven universities. This funding level has enabled significant reductions in planned tuition increases for the five universities that had proposed increases of over 5% for next year. For OSU, this figure will alleviate a significant budget hole for the next academic year.

 

Increased Capital Funding

OSU supports all of the projects recommended to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission by the seven university presidents. The GRB reduces and eliminates key projects. OSU will continue to explore and advocate for pathways that would fully fund its projects in a manner that would not result in reductions to other university projects. OSU projects include:

  • $69.5M for the continued expansion of OSU-Cascades [$20M in the GRB];
  • $9M for a Quality Food & Beverage building [fully funded in the GRB];
  • $29M for capital renewal for Cordley ($15M), Fairbanks ($11M), and Gilkey ($3M) [GRB eliminates Fairbanks]; and
  • A share of $65M for capital renewal and repair for all seven public universities [GRB provides $45M].

Assessment: The universities sought a total of $284 million in a consolidated request to the HECC. In the final week of the session, they received a total capital investment of $264 million, the highest amount ever–not accounting for inflation. For OSU the final numbers were a disappointment because they included only $9.5 million for site preparation for the OSU-Cascades Expansion and a modification in the Graduate & Research Center. All of the remaining OSU projects were fully funded by the legislature, though the final allocation for capital and renewal for all seven campuses was at $50 million – an increase over the Governor’s recommended budget, but less than the universities had sought.

Next Steps: Over the last year a broad coalition of supporters stepped forward to lend their voices and resources to advance the future of our state and the Central Oregon region. We are all disappointed by the session. OSU is working with the region to develop an explicit game plan focused at both the 2018 short session and beyond to the 2019 session. We are assessing the political landscape, determining what we can accomplish in that landscape, and assessing the opportunities we face to change that landscape as we deliberately move forward toward the goal of the continued expansion of the educational opportunities and resources available to the Central Oregon region.

 

OSU Statewides – Agricultural Research Station, Extension & Forest Research Laboratory

Despite increasing revenues, the GRB flat-funds the OSU statewides. OSU supports a $9.4M increase in order to maintain a continued service level for these vital programs which serve the needs of Oregon family farmers, low income families, and Oregon’s natural resources enterprises in all 36 counties of the state.

Assessment: Following the issuance of the Governor’s recommended budget in December, OSU worked with a diverse array of supporters in seeking the $9.4 million increase. The good news is that the legislatively approved budget made a significant step in the right direction with a $5.6 million increase. The bad news is that the Statewides are now left to deal with a $3.8 million shortfall which will likely result in the loss of 17 FTE positions across the three programs. At the urging of individual legislators, the final budget also directed some targeted funding for the North Willamette ($120K) and Hermiston ($260K) Experiment Stations. OSU also received funding for the Molluscan Broodstock Program ($570K) and for addressing ocean acidification ($280K). We are seeking more information to determine if these are one-time or continuous funding streams. (Funding for Outdoor School is discussed in the next section.)

Affiliated with the funding of the College of Forestry is the passage of a forest harvest tax which must be renewed each biennium by a super-majority vote. This session provided multiple challenges as a number of legislators proposed changes in both the process and the amount by which this tax is levied. HB 2270 ultimately passed both chambers without any significant changes and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Next Steps: OSU program managers will meet later this summer with program advocates and supporters to determine how best to manage the loss in funding and positions. The discussions will also reflect how we will approach the legislature both in the February short session and over the long term to recover the loss of state support. A key issue in this effort will be aimed at the manner in which the “Continuing Service Level” used by the Department of Administrative Services and the Legislative Fiscal Office does not appropriately consider the mandated costs that are applied to the Statewides. Until this issue is addressed, OSU will continue to face continuous erosion of state funding for these vital programs.

 

Establishment of a “Fighting Fund” for Oregon’s Research Universities

Oregon’s public universities support the investment of $20 million in carry-over funds from previous biennia to establish matching funds that will enable universities to better compete for federal grants. The Fighting Fund would match federal research grants awarded to Oregon universities when they compete for grants that enable research and economic development in Oregon.

Assessment: One casualty of the 2017 legislative session was HB 2582, sponsored by Rep. Dan Rayfield, which would have provided $20 million in matching funds for Oregon’s public universities. The House Higher Education Committee approved and amended the bill to reduce the financial impact and implement the funding over multiple biennia. Unfortunately the bill lost traction when it reached the Joint Ways & Means Committee.

Next Steps: We anticipate universities will revisit this issue during the 2018 short session. In the meantime, we will be re-assessing the financial mechanism for the fighting fund and will further develop information from other states to show how they invest in university research capacity.

 

Priority Funding for State Need-Based Financial Aid

The GRB includes a $30M increase in the Oregon Promise (“free community college”) in favor of fully funding the Oregon Opportunity Grant program which provides need-based financial aid for low income university and community college students. Oregon’s public universities and the Oregon Student Association support fully funding the Opportunity Grant before expanding the Oregon Promise – which is not a need-based program.

Assessment: From the 2015 appropriation of $10 million, the legislature provided a total of $40 million for the Oregon Promise for the 2017-19 biennium, while providing $160.1 million (a 15.7% increase over the 15-17 biennium) for Opportunity Grants. Legislators sought to manage the significant cost increases presented by the Oregon Promise through the use of an income test that will limit availability to the grants for families with an “expected family contribution” (EFC) of greater than $18,000 per year. (This EFC generally equates to a gross family income of approximately $100,000.) While this is a significant step, it does not necessarily create parity for students attending four-year universities. An additional concern is that it creates and maintains a financial wall for community college students as they transition from “free” community college to the higher tuition levels charged by four-year universities.

Next Steps: Universities will continue to assess how the OOG and Oregon Promise programs can co-exist to the benefit of all students seeking a post-secondary education. With only one year of the Oregon Promise to evaluate, we plan to work closely with the HECC, the community colleges, and students over the months and years ahead to devise a comprehensive approach to financial aid that leverages the resources available in each sector for the greatest benefit for students across the state.

 

Sports Lottery Scholarships

The GRB eliminates all of $8 million in lottery funding which, under Oregon statutes, has provided scholarships for athletes and graduate students at all seven universities.

Assessment: As it has in previous legislative sessions, the legislature recovered the full funding – $8.2 million – for the Sports Lottery program. OSU’s share is slightly over $1 million, roughly $500K in scholarships each academic year.

 

Additional Legislative Initiatives

Marine Energy Grant ($2-4 Million): Funding would match a $40M federal grant recently awarded to OSU.

Assessment: Funding was not included for this effort and OSU will be working with legislators and the federal delegation to determine whether and how a combination of state, industry, and philanthropic funding can serve as a match for these federal funds.

 

Measure 100 technical fix: Provide flexibility for university researchers dealing with at-risk species.

Assessment: OSU worked with the Oregon Humane Society and Rep. Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis), who introduced HB 2576, which resolves questions about how research universities (and, as amended, zoos) may exchange species and artifacts involving species covered by the ballot measure. The bill passed both chambers and the Governor has signed it into law.

 

Priority Registration for Veterans: Increased access for veteran students.

Assessment: OSU worked with veterans advocates, the other universities, community colleges, and Rep. Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie) to revise a program adopted during the 2015 session to ensure that priority registration would apply to veterans throughout their academic programs. HB 2565 passed both chambers and was signed into law by the Governor.

 

Extension of Open Education Resources: Continued funding for free textbooks.

Assessment: The HECC did not seek continuing funding for Open Education Resources – OERs or “free textbooks.”  OSU worked with the HECC, the Oregon Student Association, and Rep. Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver) on the development and passage of HB 2729. That bill provides $1 million to support the continued development and use of OERS for community college and university students. The bill passed both chambers and is expected to be signed by the Governor.

 

Post Doc employment status: Enable an alternative retirement program for post-doctoral students.

Assessment: With much of the work carried by the University of Oregon, legislators approved SB 214, which enables public universities to offer alternative retirement programs to ensure that contributions can follow post-docs as they progress in their academic and research careers. The bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

 

Additional elements that were not originally in OSU’s Legislative Priorities

OSU and the other universities followed a number of other issues of interest that emerged throughout the session, including:

Outdoor School: The HECC funding bill, SB 5524, appropriated $24 million of lottery funds to the OSU Extension Service to administer the Outdoor School program as approved by voters with the passage of Ballot Measure 99 during the 2016 November election. While the measure called for approximately $40 million in lottery funding to flow through Extension to enable Oregon’s 197 school districts to provide Outdoor School programs to elementary students, the legislature establish a pathway to grow into that amount during the 2019-21 biennium. The funding provided for 2017-19 is estimated to serve roughly 45% of the target population in the first school year and roughly 65% in the second school year of the biennium. Administrative costs may be up to 15% for this biennium of the program, although estimates provided by the Extension Service do not anticipate it will need that amount of funding. Extension is already in the process of interviewing and hiring a director to manage the program.

Credit Transfer: HB 2998 requires the establishment of unified statewide transfer agreements between public universities and community colleges. Agreements must include various metrics, including ensuring that transfer students are able to obtain a degree with a similar number of academic credits as required for students who begin post-secondary education at a public university, minimizing debt, and increasing the rate at which transfer students receive a degree while maintaining standards of academic rigor at all institutions. The bill requires the first transfer agreement by December 1, 2018.

Elliott Forest: With the passage of the SB 5505, the legislature approved $100 million in bonding “to finance the release of a portion of the Elliott State Forest from restrictions from ownership of the Common School Fund to preserve non‐economic benefits of the forest.” As covered in a previous update, the Elliott State Forest is 82,000-acres of publicly owned forest in Oregon’s Coast Range north of Coos Bay. Over the last year, due to legal efforts to ensure that the assets of the forest contribute to the State Common School Fund, as required by the Oregon Constitution, the State Land Board conducted a process to sell the forest for a minimum of about $220 million based on its appraised value. SB 5505 provides a stream of revenues for the Common School fund; it does not address the long-term status of the forest or potential activities needed to retain the forest in public ownership.  Those issues will be addressed in the coming months and years and may involve the OSU College of Forestry.  None of the language adopted by the legislature addressed OSU’s potential role in research or any facets associated with the continuing status of the Elliott Forest.

Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC): OMIC is a collaborative effort bringing together industry, higher education, and government to develop new tools, techniques, and technologies to address near-term manufacturing challenges through applied research and advanced technical training. OMIC is modeled after The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at University of Sheffield in England with Boeing. A broad industry and university coalition led by Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) worked throughout the last year in developing a more comprehensive proposal which eventually landed nearly $14 million through four different pieces of legislation.  HB 5025 contains $3.6 million in OMIC operations capital in the Oregon Business Development Department budget. HB 3470 includes $3.0 million in OMIC operations capital from leftover Connect Oregon funds that were transferred from ODOT to OBDD. SB 5530 contains $3.39 million in lottery bonds dedicated to OMIC access road construction. And SB 5506 provides $3.875 million in XI-Q general obligation bonds dedicated to OMIC personal property acquisition or real property improvements. The Oregon Institute of Technology will allocate and manage the funds.

HECC “Clean Up” Bill: SB 54 removes the deadline for public universities to submit biennial funding requests to HECC; requires HECC to evaluate public universities every two years instead of every year; eliminates references to public universities without governing boards; requires public universities to establish a system of shared administrative services for maintenance of federal tax benefits relating to state bonds and administrative services relating to certain employee benefits; and allows public universities to opt out of shared administrative services system only if DAS adopts rules pertaining to federal tax benefit maintenance and public universities.

Universities to Report Graduation Rate for Oregon High School Graduates: HB 2147 requires institutions to provide the following information to the HECC annually: the number of Oregon high school graduates from each school district enrolled at the institution and the graduation rate at that institution for Oregon high school graduates from each school district.

Reporting on Cost Drivers: HB 3288 requires public universities to submit reports to the HECC each biennium listing imposed legislative mandates, impact of mandates on costs, causes of any increase in administrative positions, and actions taken to monitor and control cost drivers.

Oregon Talent Council: HB 3437 winds down the Talent Council and shifts its duties to develop a statewide talent plan to the Workforce Investment Board.

Dyslexia Teacher Prep Requirements: SB 221 removes the requirement that educator preparation programs unable to demonstrate that teachers receive training on meeting third grade reading requirements submit a plan to the Teachers Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC). The bill allows educator preparation programs to phase in compliance with standards or rules.

Credit for AP Courses: SB 207 requires public universities and community colleges to give credit, beginning with the 2018-19 school year, for students who participated in an advanced placement program and received a grade of three or higher on a nationwide examination.

Collective Bargaining for Faculty: HB 3170 extends collective bargaining rights to certain public university faculty members whose duties have academic rather than administrative focus. The bill requires separate bargaining units for faculty who supervise other faculty members.

Reporting on Competency-Based Education: HB 3289 requires HECC to submit an annual report describing progress made in providing competency-based education in public post-secondary institutions. The report must describe effectiveness of expanding competency-based education; identify issues and barriers to implementing or expanding competency-based education; analyze competency-based education models; and recommend policy changes that may be implemented to expand competency-based education.

Health Insurance Coverage for Students during Campus Disease Outbreaks: HB 3276 requires insurers to cover vaccinations (even if out-of-network) when deemed necessary to prevent the spread of disease; requires insurers to cover or reimburse for vaccinations in urgent health situations; and creates a workgroup to make recommendations to improve student healthcare coverage.

Vaccine Education on College Campuses: SB 274 requires the Oregon Health Authority to create a flier to be distributed to new students on the importance of vaccination.

Cultural Competency Standards: HB 2864 directs public universities to establish a process for recommendation and oversight of cultural competency standards for employees and requires implementation by December 31, 2019.

Student Mental Health Support: SB 231 establishes Task Force on Student Mental Health Support to investigate the impact of mental health issues and substance abuse disorders on college education, recruitment, retention and completion.

Protecting Students Who Are Survivors of Sexual Assault: HB 2972 prohibits universities from imposing or threatening discipline or sanction for the purpose of influencing a student-victim’s decision to participate in investigation of sexual assault, violence or stalking.

Student Loan Debt Education and Reporting: SB 253 requires universities to provide the following information to students annually in any form: An estimate of the total amount of federal education loans the student has received to date; the total cumulative amount of tuition and fees a student has paid to date; an estimate of total potential payoff amount, including principal and interest; an estimate of the amount, including interest, of potential monthly payment; the percentage of borrowing limit student has reached to date; and a statement that the information provided does not include private loans or credit card debt.

Increased Protections for Student Athletes from Predatory Athlete Agents: SB 5 requires additional disclosures from athlete agents, including contact information, financial records, and past student athlete involvement. Allows reciprocal athlete agent registration and renewal between states, and enhances athletic director notification requirements.

Grant Program for Veteran Services on College Campuses: SB 143 establishes a competitive statewide grant program to establish campus veteran resource centers and coordinators, or expand and enhance existing centers and coordinators, on campuses of community colleges and public universities. The grant program, within the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, is initially funded with $1,100,000. Universities were unsuccessful in making the funding made available by the bill apply for multiple biennia.

 

Acknowledgements

Leading into and throughout the legislative session many individuals and organizations contributed to our efforts in Salem. Singling out particular individuals and entities comes at the risk of omission. Nevertheless, here goes….

Within OSU, Jan Lewis tracked the budget numbers, not only for OSU but also in coordination with the six other universities. Trina McGaughy did a patient and masterful job of gathering data from all seven universities to produce “fiscal impact statements” for bills that created requirements and expectations for institutions. Despite a grueling workload, Becca Gose was always available to engage, and on a number of occasions kept bad things from happening. The Extension Service and the College of Agricultural Sciences organized a terrific presence for “Statewides Day” in March with honorable mentions for Dana Martin, Jackie Russell, and Betsy Hartley, who helped organize meetings and advocates from across the state, and the members of ECAN, who made their presence known in the Capitol from almost every county in the state. ASOSU’s elected student leaders and staff, including Rachel Grisham, Brett Morgan, Candalynn Johnson, and Jacqueline Logsdon, travelled to Salem on multiple occasions and devoted time to regular Friday afternoon briefings. The same goes for the student leaders at OSU-Cascades – Molly Svendsen and Gabby Bangert, who travelled across the mountains on multiple occasions to advocate not just for the OSU-Cascades expansion but also for increased state investments in university operating budgets. Becky Johnson and her leadership team – Kelly Sparks and Christine Coffin – also logged in miles and hours working both in Salem and in Bend on behalf of OSU-Cascades. Jennifer Almquist provided excellent quality control as we produced our periodic updates. Chris DeHart, an OSU student working in the Government Relations Office, managed much of our routine correspondence with legislators and provided a great analysis of the state’s capital capacity.

Throughout the session esteemed colleagues at UO (Hans Bernard and Libby Batlan), PSU (Alyson Kraus), OIT (Lita Colligan and Brittany Miles), SOU (Craig Morris), WOU (Ryan Hagemann), OHSU (Joyce Brake), and EOU (Tim Seydel and Alex McHaddad) all collaborated and provided support as we worked on higher education and other bills that posed challenges to the universities. Through thick and thin, the team stuck together and did a great job of navigating the Ways & Means process. Throughout the legislative process, the glue that held the operation together and the oil that kept the wheels turning came from the competent and unflappable staff at the Oregon Council of Presidents – Dana Richardson and Ellie Boggs.

We had a lot of help from external supporters. “Now 4 OSU-Cascades,” a 501(c)(4) organization led by Amy Tykeson and Janie Teater, and represented in Salem by Erik Kancler worked steadfastly in promoting the interests of the Central Oregon region. Their efforts began well before the session and persevered to the last, disappointing gavel of the Capital Construction Subcommittee. While funding for the campus expansion was not what we expected, it was not due to a lack of effort and commitment. The team produced one of the most effective committee presentations I have seen during my 30-plus years working in Salem.

The conservation and natural resources communities also worked throughout the session in support of the OSU Statewides – most notably Katie Fast with Oregonians for Food & Shelter, Jenny Dresler with the Farm Bureau, Ivan Maluski with Friends of Family Farmers, Tammy Dennee with the Oregon Dairy Farmers, and Kristina McNitt with the Oregon Forest Industry Council.

The Beaver Caucus, chaired by Bill Perry, staffed by Rebecca McAuliffe and Doug Badger with Quinn Thomas, and supported by the OSU Foundation continued to up our game in Salem with multiple advocacy visits and correspondence campaigns. The team is already gearing up for the February 2018 session.

Finally, throughout all of this OSU Government Relations Coordinator Karli Olsen ensured that none of the spinning plates hit the floor, while organizing OSU Day, issuing our periodic updates, holding down the fort in Corvallis, and supporting our efforts at the federal level. It is with mixed emotions that we announce Karli’s departure from OSU this fall as she has been accepted into the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) administered through the French Ministry of Education and Cultural Services. She will take on the responsibilities of an English teaching assistant in the public schools of the Aix-Marseille region.

Over the last three years, Karli has been the front door and primary point of contact for the Government Relations office. I deeply appreciate her “keeping it 100” enthusiasm, charm, and the expertise that she has demonstrated and developed throughout her tenure in the office. I am also envious of her decision to take on a significant new adventure. We will soon begin a recruitment effort for her replacement.

If you have read this document all the way to the end, thanks to you for your attention. If you have any questions or concerns about this update, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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