Over 10,000 students come to the Memorial Union in an average day during the school year to eat study, meet friends or attend an event or meeting. Over a half million guest attended meetings and events in the Memorial Union last year and 94% of these groups were students.  Here is an overview of the organizations impact on students:

  • More than 100,000 students attended events sponsored by SLI, SM and MU
  • More than 1,000,000 (million) patronized MU restaurants
  • More than 17,000 meals were served by the Cultural Meals Support program
  • More than 6,000 participated in MU, SM and SLI classes and workshops
  • More than 5,000 student events were hosted at the MU
  • More than 2,000 were in attendance at SM and SLI lectures and presentations
  • More than 500 volunteered for community service projects
  • More than 250 pre-college students participated in MU workshops

We have 508 people working in the Memorial Union as of November 2012.  Our November payroll run showed 458 students working for various aspects of the Memorial Union Organization

  • 23.4% of our workforce is in SLI (108 students or 91% of the SLI workforce are student employees)
  • 31.1% or our workforce is in MU Services and Facilities (132 students or 83.5% of Services/Facilities workforce are student employees)
  • 44.3% of our work force is in MU Retail Food Service (218 students or 97% of workforce)
  • 1.2% of the MU workforce is in Student Media.  Student Media students are funded in the Ed. Act. series, not by the MU budget.  There are 6 FT staff.
  • In addition to an hourly pay, more than 1,362 students working at/for the Memorial Union organization received academic credit amounting to more then 1843 credit hours for the experience they gained.

All units have in place an ongoing evaluation process of their programs.  This allows units to change and adjust to the current needs of students.  Here are examples of changes from last year:

  • This past year Student Leadership and Involvement (SLI) hired and moved forward the new Coordinator for Civic Engagement and Service.  OSU has lagged behind its competitors in creating a dynamic environment for civic engagement and service and SLI engaged with multiple partners across campus (including Academic Affairs and the Division of Outreach and Engagement) to develop a long-range plan for enhancing service learning on campus.  For our part in Student Affairs, and in SLI in particular, we have taken on general and global civic-engagement and service as well as provide better support for the Student Sustainability Initiative.  Over the past year we have seen great strides in foundational work that will help OSU students become more engaged in community service work.  Last year alone the new Center for Civic Engagement helped to:
  • The CCE/CSC was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a national honor from the U.S. President’s Office.
  • Facilitate new risk management and volunteer management procedures for students and community partners.
  • Enhanced our Alternative Spring Break program and celebrated three successful and maximum occupancy trips to Yakima, WA; Newport, OR; and San Francisco, CA.
  • Expanded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service from 9 participants in 2011 to 125 participants in 2012.
  • 34 community partnerships were fostered with community-based organizations in the greater Corvallis area in order to meet community-identified needs and develop a menu of service and civic educational opportunities for students.
  • The Non-Profit & Volunteering Expo brought 55 community-based organizations to campus to share volunteering, internship, and career opportunities and resources with OSU students on January 25, 2012.
  • 479 students participated in 10 service days/programs contributing 4,243 hours of community service in the areas of hunger/homelessness/poverty, health and wellness, environmental, and others.
  • 753 students participated in 8 educational programs or conference sessions totaling 570 hours coordinated through the Center for Civic Engagement.
  • Student Events and Activities Center (SEAC) developed a facilitator model to provide a standard of care, accountability, and student and community development opportunities creating measurable activity involvement as well as student organization leader, member and advisor learning outcomes.  The Oregon University System has identified the OSU Student Organization Relationship Model as best practice and has asked for support in educating others OUS universities about this model.
  • Opened Ava’s Café in the Linus Pauling Science Center bringing in additional $174,000 in revenue to the Memorial Union.
  • Student Media’s Fall Student Training: Annual training for as many as 20 student leaders on daily production skills.  20 students x 20 hours paid. Fall training will continue with more unified approach.  Training reviews showed the training be more successful with date changed back to preterm. Feedback showed individual training with pay was appreciated and preferred.  Trainings were most successful with professional guest speakers.  Training is evaluated at the end of each training session.
  • Student Media Presents is a speaker series connecting Student Media with the OSU community through the guidance of leading media professionals.  So far Student Media Presents has teamed with NAL, Chinese Language Department, Ethnic Studies Department, Veterans Services, NMC, Media Services, ISS, AAPC.  All have enjoyed broad campus support with little impact on Student fees.  On average, 40 guests, attend lectures.  This program is funded primarily with foundation accounts and donor dollars.  These lectures are evaluated at the conclusion of each lecture/gathering.
  • “Media in Community” is a mid-term lecture organized for all Student Media students and to test the knowledge of students around the responsibilities of media makers in a diverse society.  The seminar is a requirement of those students on media ethics and diversity.  A mid-term seminar essay is required to earn an A grade.  These lectures are reviewed at the conclusion of each lecture.
  • Multimedia Challenge with Fire, State Patrol, Hazmat, and Theatre is in its third year.  Students are teamed and compete in a two day, spot news, multimedia training.  The students are taught how to work in teams and teach one another media skills.  Teams cover a staged, spot news event and report it on a website they create on deadline utilizing at least 3 media. A team of three media professionals judges the teams. This year thanks to a donation the winning team will be treated to back-stage-passes to a digital broadcast production of a Trailblazer’s game.
  • Professional staff retreats:  Two-day strategic goal and planning sessions with cross training and staff development.  Reviewed at the end of sessions.  Will continue.
  • Biweekly student leader team meetings planning, training and communications sessions take place between director and student leaders.  Feedback at the end of the term.
  • Students evaluate all “SM Presents” programs at the conclusion and feedback is made available to instructor/speaker.
  • Memorial Union Marketing’s graphic design team replaced one of its designers with a videographer last year.  Student groups have expressed excitement with the new option of having a short You Tube clip to help promote their events.


Most units within the Memorial Union showed around a 10% increase in participation in their programs over the previous year.  This increase was accommodated without increasing staff levels only the increase in supplies to match the demand.   Staffing changes were:

  • Student Media’s new coordinator responded to a need for fulltime advising.  Position was filled by a one-time spend down of reserved resources through an agreement with Student Leadership and Involvement.  Student Media requires a long-term funding source as outlined in the attached decision packet. Student representatives served on the search committee and the candidate hired was the unanimous choice of the students and staff.   Student Media revised and downgraded an administrative assistant saving the department $16,239.  Natural attrition presented opportunity to revise positions and downgrade new position descriptions for classified staff.
  • Student Media underwent several administrative changes last year.  With impending retirement both classified assistant positions in Student Media have been down graded from Program Assistants to Office Assistant 2 for FY13-14.   We will address need identified in external review with a decision packet for 1 fte for editorial content advising.  New position will advise approximately 75 students including 30 receiving academic credit.  Lab fees for New Media Communications courses will be used offset some costs of the position.
  • Student Leadership and Involvement recognized the need to further enhance our care for the International Student Organizations and Cultural Programming.  As such, we sought and received funding (through increased enrollment at no additional per student increase) two full-time staff.  Our new Cultural Programs Coordinator and new Community and Cultural Foods Advisor provide much needed support for our international and cultural programs as well as the Cultural Meals kitchen.

We are still able to manage the impacts to the Memorial Union building of increased load of students visiting to eat, meet, shop and nap with a two shift custodial recovery cycle.  This represents an estimated savings of 30% to the Memorial Union organization by not having to operate the building overnight. This has not been easy and certain processes are longing for a return to the night shift where cleaning processes didn’t have to wait on users to be elsewhere.  Some examples of this include:

  • We started a floor care cycle of maintenance last year using a person that was hired to be a full time floor maintenance custodian at a half time rate and devoting the other half of their time to daily cleaning.
  • To hold down the cost of ongoing floor care, we have reduced or eliminated the application of finishes everywhere except where foot traffic and cart traffic offer the greatest chance to damage our floor finishes through frequency of use.
  • The number of events and meetings in the Memorial Union has increased the user population in both number and duration.  Meetings that run longer into the evening are also up in number, challenging the custodians to get all their building recovery from the day’s activities done before end of shift.  We are only able to accomplish this by augmenting our staff with additional student workforce and out-tasking longer-cycle maintenance, such as exterior window and building cleaning.

An increase across the board in student enrollment at Oregon State University is driving change in service expectations and provision.  Needs across the unit are similar.  Capacity to provide operational support to programs and activities is being challenged at all levels; maintenance of equipment, sustaining food service operations, meeting student-programming demands with services including providing space, cleaning, and information systems support, among others. Pinch points include:

  • Growth – program and facility
  • An increase in buildings supported to 8 (with addition of the Sustainability Center)
  • A new Native American Cultural Center, with an assembly space possibly rent-able to the general public with cleaning and support needs well beyond current service provisions and contracted service levels.
  • The possibility exists of adding cleaning and maintenance support for the Child Care Center.
  • An increase in organizational staffing with no space available for growth
  • An increase in building users and a subsequent increase in the rate of building shear
  • A continued use of obsolescent mechanical and electrical building systems with the expectation that they sustain an ever-increasing level of operations

All programs within the Memorial Union organization are designed from the start with an assessment component.  New programs introduced this year include:

  • Center for Leadership Development offered a “Leadership Fair” fall term.  Leadership programs at the fair included, Adelante Leadership Program, Adventures Leadership Institute, Career Services, Center for Civic Engagement, Center for Leadership Development, Diversity Development, MU Program Council and OSU Leadership Minor degree.  It is estimated that over 500 students participated during the four-hour event.  A follow up assessment is being conducted with the programs represented to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the event and whether it should be continued.
  • MUPC has plans for a country music concert and a weekly winter term acoustically music event in Java Stop over winter term.  With the increase in students, there is more demand for entertainment then the traditional programs can handle. The success will be measured by attendance.  Since neither has happened, there is no decision on their future.
  • Our newly hired Cultural Programs Coordinator is also charged with leading our MU Inclusive Community Initiative.  This piece of work is focused on developing a more inclusive and diverse environment throughout the organization student training, professional faculty development, and systemic influence/change.  As this initiative is just beginning we cannot assess effectiveness.  However, assessment of learning outcomes and of engagement in training and development will be early markers of success.  Long-term success will be determined by organizational culture and campus reputation.
  • The Student Events & Activities Center has embarked on a new OSU Spirit Campaign utilizing #beBEAEVERBOLD slogan to engage students in activities outside of the classroom enhancing OSU spirit.  Funding support provided by a grant from Pepsi.  The success of this campaign will be documented through video story telling by students that have embraced the #beBEAVERVOLD campaign and helped define what it means to have school spirit and be Beaver bold.
  • The Student Events & Activities Center has elevated its relationship with ten (10) Voluntary Student organizations status to Sponsored Student organization status increasing our dedication of resources in support of these student organizations’ success.  Each organization will be asked at year’s end to assesses the impact that this relationship has had on their organization. We will also assess how a higher level of relationship has impacted the relationship of these organizations with program service providers.
  • Student Media Student Leader Training & Retreat included training with HR, AABC, Marketing and Information, Event Planning, Student Media Professional and support staff.  Training was highly effective at assuring student mangers are all trained together.  We will continue with date changes and no overnight stay involved.  Feedback identified timing as challenging.  Local off campus location will be utilized without required overnight stay. All training sessions evaluated at the conclusion of training.  Identified for long-term evaluation through Student Affairs assessment data.
  • Student Media Brown-bag training series with local media innovators and expert. Will continue to utilize local media, alumni and professors to create training workshops.  No cost.  Workshops are evaluated at the conclusion of each session.
  • Student Media reduced number of students per instructor NMC 409.  External review of Student Media sited workload on professional faculty and student staff creating an unnecessary burden on Student Media.  A review of the workload required a reduction in the number of students per instructor to 30 per instructor.  Initial impact was felt by some television programs’ ability to recruit enough support staff.  No programs were lost.  Numbers are being increased to 120.  Laboratory fees intended to offset costs.  Feedback taken at mid-term session and end of term. Tracked by NMC.


Each of the three departments of the Memorial Union (Student Media, Student Leadership and Involvement and MU Services and Facilities) are required to produce an annual assessment report as well as an annual highlight report which are presented to Vice Provost Larry Roper.  Those reports are attached.  Here is an overview:


The Memorial Union annually takes part in a nationwide assessment of student unions.  The MU traditionally rates within the top 5% nationally compared to other unions.  This last year we were ranked number one nationwide in the areas of:

  • College Union is Student Oriented
  • Promoting Events on Campus
  • Dining Service
  • Union Staff
  • Overall Program Effectiveness

Students did indicate that we could do a better job on keeping the students Informed about events and services offered by the union.  We interpret this as needing more social media presence, which is beginning to happen through most MU program areas.


Last year the Memorial Union organization started to look at developing a matrix that would analyze programs in three areas: Scope, Efficiency and Impact.  With the verity of work produced by the 23 units of the organization the process of developing the matrix takes time and testing to make sure we are creating accurate, useful data.

Student Media completed a comprehensive external review last year and finding highlights included:


  • USMC SOP Updated and Approved November 2012
  • Handbooks to be updated digitally
  • Strategic plan finalized and approved September 2012

Professional Skills-some professional skill sets incomplete/inadequate/underdeveloped

  • Editorial Content Coordinator-Fall 2011
  • Development-focus on entire department
  • Broadcast Coordinator-Summer 2012
  • FM/TV Assistant Spring 2012
  • Director hired June 2010
  • Barometer Assistant January 2013-position changes-digital handbooks

Practicum-Professionals and students overload

  • Maximum of 30 students per term with no TA
  • Multimedia requirements
  • Community awareness trainings
  • Developing standardized training for publication

Assessment reports are available at this password protected site: Assessment and Highlight Reports


  1. How many additional students does this position serve?  (if applicable)
  2. How effective has this position been in carrying out the organization’s goals?
  3. Has this position fulfilled your expectations?
  4. Do you plan to keep this position for the future?

The two new positions in Student Leadership and Involvement both started at the beginning of Fall Term.  With only a month a half of having them available to support students, it is too soon to give an assessment of their impact.  They have both began providing support and advising to student groups immediately, as soon as they were in their office.  Initial informal quantitative analysis indicates positive results and they are providing support to student groups not available in the past.


After more than ten years of no increases except mandatory costs and a couple of decision packages, we have exhausted options for increased efficiency currently available to us.  We are currently working with a budget that has a net present value 28% smaller than 10 years ago and a student population that is 29% larger.  We will need to be focusing on cuts this year.

Our recommendation for internally funding mandatory costs (Budget #1) shows that we would make up the $120,000 mandatory expenses by increasing revenue by $30,000 and cut expenses by $90,000.  The two largest cuts in expenses are a savings of $8,000 in insurance with a change to OSU being self insured and more than $16,000 in Student Media payroll savings by downgrading staff positions.  The rest of the cuts are in small amounts created by deferring maintenance or purchases.  The increases revenue come mainly from new lab fees being charged by Student Media, increase use of the Basement Bowling & Billiards and increased fees to the Cultural Centers for custodial services.

  • BUILDING:  The MU Building does not generate its own velocity of traffic or use.  The facilities “respond” to velocity.  With a growing campus, we are busier throughout all parts of the day and evening hours.   Last year we saw an increase of 18% in toilet paper use and a 24% more paper towels used.  While some maintenance functions might be able to be stalled for a year, they would only return as larger problems the following year creating unevenness in our budgeting as line items inflate for a year, then deflate, followed by inflation the following year and so on.   Failure to maintain the structures and equipment for several years creates a larger problem of deferred maintenance.  You only need look at the hole that the State has dug with other facilities on campus to see that this is not an attractive strategy for a building that depends on people choosing to come here.  A dirty building in poor condition is never going to work as a magnet facility.  We have efficiency standards and cleanliness standards that are continually under scrutiny.  We have long ago moved to green cleaning supplies, energy efficient lighting, improved building controls for controlling heat/cooling, etc.  to reduce student fee impact.  We utilize the discounts of long-term and state contracts to make our purchasing of supplies as efficient as possible.
  • PROGRAMS:  Similar to the building conditions, we are not significantly overfunded in any aspect of our programs.  In order to internally fund non-discretionary spending increases, all programming boards will be asked to produce fewer events.
  • STUDENT STAFF: There will generally be no increases in student pay except for the required minimum wage increase.  So students currently at minimum wage will receive a 15 cent (about 1.2%) cost of living increase but other students will not.
  • REVENUE:  We do have about $30K of new revenue coming on line next year, but that new revenue stream is meant to reduce the impact on Student Fees through the departure of the Bookstore.  If instead, it is used to help reduce the Student Fee for FY 14, then it is not available when the Bookstore lease impact hits student in FY 15.

Every index of the 23 separate units within the MU organization has been reviewed per line items by the MU Leadership Team to better understand the FY 12 ending 6/30/12.

  • Several expense transaction codes often “roll up” into a single line on our budget.  To truly understand the expense history, in-depth reviews of individual transactions must occur.
  • The unique happenings within the budget are often one-year anomalies, so it is best that we confirm status of a line item in our budget for several budget years, before choosing to make an adjustment based on a single year.  Some expenses occur every other year or every third year to reduce the cost to students.  On the years that the expense is incurred, it looks like an increase but a review of past budgets shows that it is a cyclical expense.
  • We operate from indexes attached to units that differ greatly from one another.  The logic used to make decisions in program units with allocated budgets, likely doesn’t work in retail or service units, who have to spend money to make money.


The Memorial Union fee is most likely at an appropriate level.  In most years, our revenue/expense ratio is within 1-3%.  We do not routinely see large amounts of student fees left at the end of the year, nor are we making large purchases at the end of the year to reduce the likelihood of surplus dollars.  Most often, we are in a HOLD on large expenditures at the end of the year because we are dependent on high retail velocity in May to make the budget work.  Since the MU budget is 52% revenue funded, it puts us in a situation where we are never assured of how the fiscal year will turn out, until we see the last two months of the year through to the end.


  • For comparison, of the PAC 12 colleges, eight have higher student fees than Oregon State University, the highest being UCLA at $1,718 per term equivalent per student.  Over the last 5 years tuition has increased by about 30% while student fees have dropped by about 3% over the same time.
  • The OSU Memorial Union organization generates 52% of its operating budget and receives 48% from student fees.  In comparison, University of Oregon receives 51% of its operating budget from student fees (and their leadership center, civic engagement center on in separate budgets) and Portland State receives 61% of its budget from student fees.


We have numerous collaborations across the student fees system.  Here are a few of examples:

  • We provide facilities and/or facility support to the majority of the Ed. Act, ASOSU, SSI, Cultural Centers, Pride Center, and the AABC.  Having this arrangement avoids having multiple facilities organizations/resources within the Fee funded orgs.
  • We have a shared position in our MUNTEC (MU Technology) program with Guy Boulanger (DCA for both the MU and Recreational Sports decreases costs for both)
  • The SEAC hosts’ collaborative programming with Recreational Sports, UHDS, MLK Committee, and Cultural Resource Centers.
  • We are re-starting Facilities Management meetings to share processes, resources and talk about challenges and campus trends that makes a difference in unit performance through mutual understanding.
  • Recreational Sports continues to service MU First Aid kits at a reduced cost over having that service provided by a medical supplier.
  • The Memorial Union custodial team has been involved in working with Campus Recycling to develop composting collection and disposal techniques to lower the food waste impact to MU utility charges.
  • We have been working to develop a plan with Diversity Development that supplies custodial services to the 4 newly-constructed centers that will double in size and increase immeasurably in activity.  This plan would involve hiring a custodial coordinator and assigning the 6 centers to the visibility of that person, outside the velocity of keeping the two large buildings clean and functioning.