The HECC, a 14-member board in charge of funding of higher education in OR, followed OR governor Kate Brown's recommendation to vote down any tuition hike over 5 percent.
The committee considered proposed rate hikes at 5 state schools - Portland State, University of Oregon, Southern Oregon, Western Oregon and Oregon Tech.
The HECC votes against raising tuition were welcomed by student groups that rallied this spring against the hikes.
A few years ago, legislators required HECC to sign off on tuition increases of more than 5 percent. The University of OR asked for 11.5 percent. State legislators still have the opportunity this session to approve a higher-education budget that prioritizes OR students and their families and makes the proposed tuition increase at the UO and other institutions unnecessary. Oregon State University trustees voted on a proposal to boost in-state tuition by 4%.
Modify their plan so the tuition increase is less than 5 percent and will not need commission approval.
"This is a tremendous setback for the University of Oregon", UO spokesman Tobin Klinger told The Register-Guard (https://is.gd/wIWGSW ) after Thursday's vote.
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The UO and Portland State both fell one vote short of the five needed for tuition plan approval Thursday, Hartigan said, partly because of concerns about lack of student involvement in tuition setting.
"If [HECC's decision] stands, we will be forced to make even deeper cuts at the UO than are already anticipated, including cuts that will likely affect student support services, academic programs, and jobs", Schill wrote, a day after the HECC rejected a proposed 11.5 percent tuition increase.
Following HECC's approval, the increase will take effect for the 2017-18 school year, bringing base tuition for a 15-credit load from $7,543 to $8,146 for resident and non-resident undergraduates.
The universities have been seeking steep tuition hikes at a time when health care and pension costs are rising and state support is lagging. The UO said market constraints made it hard to raise out-of-state tuition by more than a small amount.
One commissioner suggested that turning down the tuition hikes would send a message to state lawmakers to spend more on public universities. These included summaries of how universities consulted with students, faculty and staff; plans to manage costs; and evidence that universities gave serious consideration to tuition increases less than 5 percent.
Quinn Haaga is president of the Associated Students of the U of O. Even with the tuition increase, the University has a $9 million shortfall and is making cuts to faculty, Haaga said.
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