higher education

University of Oregon

Let's talk about the biggest investment you'll make in your lifetime.

And no, it's not your home, though that is a big one. Your choice of college--for yourself or your kids--is a huge investment in the future, but just a bit more difficult to measure.

Peter Cappelli at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania provides some perspective on making the decision, and what it'll cost you.

We're told often that college is necessary for today's workers, but it costs A LOT.  That's one topic on this week's VENTSday segment.

The other: Social Security just celebrated its 80th birthday... what needs to happen to make sure it lasts another 80 years?  Your thoughts are welcome.

Why should the politicians and pundits have all the fun?  You've got opinions on events in the news, too. 

And our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them. 

We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them. 


Oregon’s state legislature outpaced most of the country this past session when lawmakers passed a tuition waiver program for two years of community college. But that’s no guarantee of “free” school.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Daniel Breaux (yep, pronounced "bro") deserves a big smile on his face when he walks in the graduation ceremony at Southern Oregon University on Saturday (June 13th). 

He actually graduated two terms early, despite using a lot of his time helping SOU win a national championship on the football field. 

And he's entering a field of work that is very much the focus of attention these days: he'll be a police officer in Berkeley, California. 

Deviant Art/Wikimedia

You've heard plenty about the rising levels of debt college students face as they enter the workforce. 

Getting ready for the situation BEFORE graduation can make a big difference. 

Janay Haas taught financial literacy at Coalition For Kids in the Rogue Valley. 

Southern Oregon University

The Oregon Legislature is getting closer to completing the state budget for the next two years (it takes effect July 1st). 

But before budget adoption, the budget writers will travel the state, getting an earful from people who want more money for their programs. 

The Ways & Means Committee's road show comes to Springfield Thursday, Klamath Falls Friday, and Grants Pass Saturday, and students from Southern Oregon University plan to be on hand in Grants Pass. 

Funding State Universities By Outcomes

Apr 23, 2015

While supporters of higher education in Oregon ask for more money for the system, the system itself is changing. 

By this summer, all seven of the state universities will have their own governing boards. 

And, by decision of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (pronounced "heck"), their future funding will be based in part on the numbers of degrees they confer--not on simple enrollment. 

Outcome of students will affect input of dollars.

SOU's Pleasant Enrollment Surprise

Nov 17, 2014
Southern Oregon University

The initial projections for the current academic year showed a decline in enrollment at Southern Oregon University

The projections turned out to be wrong, happily. 

SOU is actually bigger this year, with a freshman class several dozen students bigger than expected. 

Rogue Community College

It's no surprise that a few people will arrive at community college needing a little brush-up on academic subjects.  But half of them? 

That figure might actually be a little low; more than half of the students who enroll in Rogue Community College need at least some remedial education to prepare for college-level courses. 

To educators, that indicates a gap between what high schools teach and colleges need. 

Nurturing The Entrepreneurs

Nov 10, 2014
Almonroth/Wikimedia Commons

It can actually be hard to keep up with all of the economic development efforts going on around us. 

There are simultaneous efforts to bring in larger employers, assist existing employers, and give new small businesses a boost in their infancy. 

Put the Entrepreneurship Center at Rogue Community College in that last category. 

SOU Puts Time Pressure On Scholarship Campaign

Oct 16, 2014
Southern Oregon University

People seem to respond well to deadline pressure, so why not provide some for a fundraising campaign? 

That's the thinking at the Southern Oregon University Foundation.

SOUF is mounting a 100-hour campaign for the SOU scholarship... in this case, SOU stands for "Supporting Opportunities for Undergraduates." 

Oregon Universities On The Road To HECC

Jun 12, 2014
University of Oregon

Big changes are coming to public higher education in Oregon. 

Some of those changes have already taken place, with the formation of separate governing boards for several of the state university campuses, and the creation of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. 

But the big questions remain: will the changes do anything to improve program offerings or hold the line on tuition increases? 

Higher Education: "Degrees Of Inequality"

Apr 8, 2014
Basic Books

You can start an argument, or at least a spirited discussion, by raising the topic of higher education in America. 

The tuition is high, the level of student debt high, and the utility of certain degrees low or at least in doubt.

Southern Oregon University professors overwhelmingly lack confidence in the school's administration, according to the results of a confidential vote released yesterday..

The results of the week-long tally, released by the Faculty Senate, show that most of the 217 faculty members who voted have no confidence in the ability of Vice President of Finance and Administration Craig Morris, Provost Jim Klein and President Mary Cullinan.

The Mail Tribune reports that all but one member of the Faculty Senate voted in favor of holding the confidential vote.

Southern Oregon University

Faculty members at Southern Oregon University say they have agreed to forgo salary increases this year and next in an effort to soften cuts proposed across the university.

The Mail Tribune reports the faculty union has settled a new two-year contract with university administration.  

Union President Jim Rible said the union hopes that giving up raises will help save positions and money for the university.

University administration announced in November its plan to embark upon retrenchment, a process in which it can cut staff and academic programs as it sees fit.


Southern Oregon University will move ahead with plans to cut programs to save money.

On Thursday, SOU administration released plans for "retrenchment"--cutbacks in academic programs that allow the elimination of faculty jobs.

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Oregon Health & Science University is planning to create a satellite campus in Klamath Falls, Oregon to focus on rural medicine.

OHSU's provost and vice president announced Wednesday that the campus would become a hub. A dean is expected to be hired by July so that campus planning can begin.

U of California

The University of California's Board of Regents has approved a proposed budget for next school year that hinges on the state giving the system an additional $120 million for pension cuts, enrollment growth, and improvements to academic programs.

The Board of Regents passed the spending plan unanimously at a meeting Thursday.

University of Oregon

Classes start Monday at public universities in Oregon, and Eugene police are resuming party patrols to control noise and crowds in student neighborhoods near the U of O.

The Register-Guard reports police have already been called this week to quiet noisy parties near campus.

U of California

You've heard plenty about the challenges in public higher education: nearly universal reductions in state support, resulting in fewer programs and higher tuition. 

The University of California and its supporters just fired up a campaign called "Promise For Education," designed to raise money through social media and the concept of crowdsourcing.