UO trustees approve 2024-25 guaranteed tuition rate

The University of Oregon Board of Trustees approved the guaranteed tuition rate for next year's incoming class of students, approved naming a green space near the Knight Campus and heard a report about updating the university's heating system to reduce carbon emissions, among other topics, in their March 11-12 meeting on the Eugene campus. 

The board approved a three percent undergraduate tuition rate for the 2024-25 student cohort, locked for five years, as outlined in President Karl Scholz’s tuition proposal. The president’s proposal endorsed the recommendations of the Tuition and Fee Advisory Board, which also made recommendations for student fees and graduation tuition rates, following a public tuition setting process consisting of ten public meetings, two public input sessions and an online survey. Under the UO's guaranteed tuition program, each cohort of incoming students' tuition and mandatory fees are locked for five years. 

In other action, the board approved naming a green space grove in front of the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact along Franklin Boulevard for Laura and Greg Mlynarczyk, who donated to the science campus. 

During the committee reports, the board heard about the work of the Thermal Transition Task Force, a group convened in 2022 and charged with studying options for updating the university's heating system and reducing carbon emissions. Following months of study, input and public comment, the task force issued a report in February that unanimously recommended transitioning from a predominately fossil fuel-based heating system to an electrical source over time. The task force recommended installing an eight-megawatt electrode boiler which would reduce "heating related greenhouse gas emission up to 45 percent per year once operational."

The board is expected to hear additional updates about the heating system upgrade and carbon emission improvements as the university adopts a plan to implement any approved changes.

Trustees also received quarterly financial and treasury reports, which showed relatively few changes from the previous quarter. They heard an annual update on the Oregon Public University Retirement Plan, received updates on an internal audit, on the search for a chief auditor, and federal and state affairs. They also heard reports on international student engagement, the Cascadia Region Earthquake Center and the Clark Honors College. 

At non-board meeting gatherings, the trustees met with honor scholars and international students to learn about their experiences at the university.

During the reports section of the main meeting, the board extended the usual 30-minute public comment session to one hour to accommodate a large number of individuals who signed up to speak on a range of topics.

Scholz, in his board update, reflected on his first eight months since taking office — the surprises, challenges, relationships built and early wins — stating "the potential opportunities for an already-outstanding university are breathtaking." He shared information about the strategic planning process that began in fall and the four emerging priorities for the institution.

Scholz also thanked Interim Provost Karen Ford for her wisdom and leadership, as she prepares to retire in summer, following the selection of a permanent provost this spring.

The meeting's agenda, materials and recordings of the meeting are available in on the board website