|Board of Trustees Confirmation|
This week, the Legislature convened for what is known as Legislative Days. Legislative Days occur quarterly so interim committees can meet and the Legislature can conduct non-session business.
During this time, the Oregon State Senate confirmed the Governor’s appointment of five new members to the Oregon State University Board of Trustees. They are:
– Maria Teresa Chavez-Haroldson, regional equity, diversity and inclusion director at Willamette Education Service District
– Susan Clark, an accountant in Oregon State’s Division of Finance and Administration
– Román Hernández, office managing partner in the Portland office of national law firm Troutman Pepper
– Jax Richards, an OSU undergraduate student in economics and social public policy
– Inara Scott, the Gomo Family Professor and assistant dean for teaching and learning excellence in Oregon State’s College of Business
The House and Senate Revenue Committees also received the December Revenue Forecast. The forecast projected General Fund gross revenue to be up $808.6M (3.5%) from the 2021 close of session estimate. Net general fund and lottery resources are up $1.5B (5.6%) from the close of session estimate and up $725.4M just from the September 2021 forecast. The economists contributed much of the growth to strong corporate taxes and high-income earners, who are top rate payers and have been doing particularly well through COVID.
While this is good news for the state Legislature, it does mean there will be a flurry of spending requests coming their way in the 2022 legislative session. Furthermore, the additional tax revenue created a prediction that the kicker would again kick state tax rebates out in 2024.
Underrepresented Student Taskforce
This week also saw the first meeting of the Joint Task Force on Student Success for Underrepresented Students in Higher Education. This task force was created by the passage of House Bill 2590 at the end of the 2021 legislative session. HB 2590 directs the task force to develop funding and policy proposals to address underrepresented higher education student success in the following areas: access, retention, graduation, and entry into the work force.
Representative Teresa Alonso Leon (D-Woodburn) was elected chair of the task force, after which she remarked that “right now we have an opportunity before us to lay the groundwork to reimagine and construct an education system that values all of our students’ academic journeys equally”. The task force then laid out the foundation for future meetings which will include inviting testimony from underrepresented students and conducting listening tours across Oregon’s higher education campuses.
|We are looking forward to collaborating with the task force and highlighting OSU’s commitment to accessibility and academic success along with opportunities of growth. If you would like to follow along with the work of the task force, information and updates will be posted on OLIS. The taskforce is scheduled to meet next on December 16 from 8am to 10am. The Joint Task Force on Student Success for Underrepresented Students in Higher Education hopes to publish its report and recommendations by October 2022.|
Beaver Caucus Advocacy Day
The final highlight of Legislative Days was an energized advocacy day organized by the Beaver Caucus. On Tuesday, November 16, impassioned OSU students, alumni, and stakeholders met with Legislators to discuss OSU priorities for 2022. The day was a rounding success with four groups of five-seven advocates meeting with twenty members of the Oregon House and Senate. The net was cast wide with our advocates meeting with a majority of members on the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.
Our advocates talked about a set of issues we hope the Legislature tackles in the 2022 session, including:
– Requesting $2.2 million from the Legislature to fully fund OSU Statewides for the remainder of the 2021-2023 biennium
– Requesting $255,000 from the Legislature to fully cover the cost of the state climatologist who is housed at OSU
We would like to extend our gratitude to the students, alumni, and stakeholders who took time out of their day to advocate for causes that will directly benefit the communities OSU serves. Another thanks to the Legislators who made room in their busy Leg Days schedules to engage with our advocates and learn about OSU’s priorities going forward into 2022.
New Assistant Director of Government Relations
Finally, November saw the appointment of Joe Erickson as Assistant Director of Government Relations for OSU. Joe is a fourth generation Oregon public university graduate and Portland native. Before joining OSU, Joe worked with Representative Rachel Prusak and Representative Lisa Reynolds to further higher education policy in the state of Oregon.
For all inquiries, you can reach Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 799-9780.