The full commission met to discuss a variety of topics over the two days, most closely related to Oregon Tech, including the timeline and process of university evaluations, as well as higher education funding.
The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) of Oregon took to the road last week to visit Klamath Falls for their public meetings, the first of which was held at Oregon Institute of Technology’s campus. The full commission met to discuss a variety of topics over the two days, most closely related to Oregon Tech, including the timeline and process of university evaluations, as well as higher education funding.
President Naganathan welcomed the commission to the campus, highlighting the difference that affordable higher education can make in a student’s life. “I have the honor of addressing you today because somebody created the means for me to be successful. We are very proud of what Oregon Tech is doing for our students - we currently have a 95 percent success rate of graduates employed or continuing their education within 6 months of graduation and an average starting salary of $56,000. We want to thank HECC for making these things possible for people with limited means.”
The HECC’s strategic plan guides much of their actions, and are broken up into six priorities:
- Goal-setting: sharpening state higher education goals in specific areas, including for working-age adults, and better reporting our progress towards meeting them.
- Public College and University Funding: supporting sustainable state funding linked to student success.
- Pathways: simplifying and aligning student pathways from cradle to career.
- Student Support: enhancing student success, safety, and completion.
- College Affordability: limiting student costs for attending college in Oregon.
- Economic and Community Impact: contributing to prosperous workforce, economy, and communities.
After the meeting, Oregon Tech representatives present at the meeting were joined by faculty for a HECC tour of the facilities, including the Oregon Renewable Energy Center, which received funding by the state for the first time this year, and Cornett Hall, which is currently under construction as the university begins the first stages of the capital construction project to create the Center for Excellence in Engineering and Technology, thanks to the Legislature approving $40 million in state bonding authority in July of this year.
Vice President of Finance and Administration Brian Fox added, “As an institution which stresses hands on, industry ready professionals, funding for high-cost, high-return programs is key to Oregon Tech continuing to provide pathways for Oregon students, regardless of their race, income level, age, or veteran status.”
The university continues to focus on student completions in response to the HECC’s outcomes based funding formula and because it is the right thing to do for its students. Oregon Tech has seen increasing term by term continuation over the past several years and expects to see that increasing as it continues to focus on improving student graduation outcomes.