Thursday, April 24, 2014
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
Students gather outside the Werner University Center listening to music and dancing on Friday afternoon. Western Oregon will soon have its own governance board.
January 28, 2014
MONMOUTH — With the disbanding of the Oregon University System, Western Oregon University will pursue an institutional board of trustees for governance.
The university will formally file its request with the Oregon State Board of Higher Education.
Last week, WOU President Mark Weiss and presidents of the other technical and regional universities — Eastern Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology and Southern Oregon — told a governor's committee that each school desired separate governance, providing they each had plans for fiscal stability.
A president's council would serve as a forum for collaboration, Weiss said.
In a story published earlier this month, Weiss said he wanted an independent board of trustees for WOU, but would wait to see if the Legislature passed anything during its short session in February.
The other option Weiss considered was a sort of mini-Oregon University System, where the four smaller universities would have one board.
The announcement that WOU would pursue its own board came Jan. 22.
"Because of the uncertainty we have faced for some time now regarding governance and who we will be in the future, I wanted to make it absolutely clear to our students, potential students and donors to the university that they can count on Western Oregon University to continue educating Oregonians as it has since 1856," Weiss said.
WOU's decision comes on the heels of recent 10-year projections showing continued financial health for the institution. An institutional board of trustees for governance is the path also recently taken by the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and Portland State University.
Western Oregon University ... By The Numbers
81.7 Percentage of overall student body population at WOU from Oregon, the highest of all Oregon state universities.
36 Oregon counties — all of them — represented by students attending Western Oregon University.
91.6 Percentage of Oregon residents in WOU graduate programs, the highest of any Oregon state university.