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Sunday, April 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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University of Oregon seeks tuition increase of 10.6 percent

In this June 16, 2014, file photo, Christina Hardesty, left, joins Cristina Tellizzon, lower right, and her fellow graduates in celebration after receiving their degrees during the University of Oregon commencement ceremony at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. (Chris Pietsch / Associated Press)
In this June 16, 2014, file photo, Christina Hardesty, left, joins Cristina Tellizzon, lower right, and her fellow graduates in celebration after receiving their degrees during the University of Oregon commencement ceremony at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. (Chris Pietsch / Associated Press)
Associated Press

EUGENE – The University of Oregon will again ask a state commission to approve a double-digit tuition increase.

Two weeks ago, the state Higher Education Coordination Commission rejected the university’s request to increase tuition by 10.6 percent for in-state residents. The commission meets Thursday in Salem, and the UO proposal is back on the agenda, the Register-Guard reported.

“This action has thrown UO’s budget into tremendous uncertainty that must be resolved in as swift a manner as possible,” university officials wrote Monday in a letter to the commission, requesting reconsideration of the same proposal.

The letter was signed by UO President Michael Schill and Charles Lillis, chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees.

Since 2013, Oregon law has required commission approval for any increase of more than 5 percent to in-state tuition at the state’s seven public universities.

After the initial rejection, commission spokeswoman Endi Hartigan said concerns about the lack of student involvement in tuition-setting played a role in the decision.

Schill and Lillis addressed the issue in the letter, pointing out that a group of students, faculty and staff held seven meetings and the university put information about the proposal online.

“Forums were advertised on social media, through campus messaging, on the tuition website, and via student groups to reach the broadest possible audience,” the letter states.

If the proposal is approved, the cost of attending the University of Oregon in 2017-18 would be $11,931 for residents, including fees.

The commission will also reconsider a steep tuition increase sought by Portland State University.

The board approved increases for Oregon Tech, Western Oregon University and Southern Oregon University. The state’s other two public universities – Oregon State and Eastern Oregon – plan to raise in-state tuition by less than 5 percent, so they do not need state approval.

The universities have been seeking steep tuition hikes at a time when health care and pension costs are rising and state support is lagging.

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