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Oregon Tech Board of Trustees applaud improved Student Success Rates, limit tuition increases in support of access and affordability

Mar 28, 2018
Tuition levels for academic year 2018-19 and recommendation of new members for the Board of Trustees.

The Oregon Institute of Technology (“Oregon Tech”) Board of Trustees met March 22 at its Portland-Metro campus in Wilsonville, discussing among other items tuition levels for academic year 2018-19 and recommendation of new members for the Board of Trustees.

Improved Student Success Rates: Dr. Nagi Naganathan, president of Oregon Tech, noted that the university’s graduate success rates increased yet again, up to 97% of graduates either employed or pursuing advanced degrees within six months after graduating; this is up from 95% the prior year. A second marker of success, post-graduation income, shows that average annual starting salaries for Oregon Tech graduates have increased to $58,000, up from $56,000 the prior year. Oregon Tech uses a three year rolling average of student success results based on annual graduate surveys.

Tuition Approval: Vice president for Finance and Administration for Oregon Tech, Brian Fox, summarized the student driven process of reviewing and recommending tuition rates at the university at its two main campuses. The Tuition Recommendation Committee, with membership including students, faculty, and staff, develops the proposed rate based on university needs focusing on programs, quality, affordability and budget dynamics; and forwards a recommendation to the student government for their review and recommendation to the university president. The president then brings the recommendation to the Board of Trustees for final approval. Fox noted there are a number of guiding principles used in the development of the tuition recommendations including: open and transparent communications with all stakeholders; considering long-term factors when recommending single year decisions; recognizing the importance of affordability for students; using data and information to make decisions, including internal budget, comparator institutions, and external cost indices; and ensuring that Oregon Tech maintains the current service level, quality and support for students.

Board members heard from the presidents of the student government who recommended the tuition increases to maintain high quality programs and investments in scholarships and remissions. After significant discussion, the Board of Trustees approved an undergraduate resident and non-resident tuition rate increase of 4.5% for the 2018-19 academic year, and a graduate resident and non-resident tuition increase of 3%. For a full-time Oregon resident undergraduate student, this translates to about $120 per term.

Recommendation of New Board Appointees   After thorough review of applications for the staff, faculty and student board positions, the President recommended that the Board Chair and Executive Committee recommend faculty member, Rosalind “Rose” McClure, and staff member, Grace Rusth, to Governor Brown for appointment to the Board of Trustees. The President also recommended the reappointment of student William “Liam” Perry, and all at-large trustees currently serving. The recommendations were unanimously approved by the Board. The Board also thanked Dr. Dan Peterson for his service and contributions as the faculty representative on the Board. Dr. Peterson’s two-term tenure comes to an end this June.

Investiture     Board Chair, Dr. Lisa Graham, commented on the upcoming Presidential Investiture that the Board of Trustees is hosting on May 18, 2018. “We are positioning the investiture to focus on Oregon Tech’s assets and the momentum we are seeing that is advancing our institutional presence in all ways,” she said. “It’s a community celebration, as well as an important recognition of President Naganathan’s commitment to excellence in all we do at Oregon Tech. Recognizing our new president’s formal inauguration is something the Board brought forward as an important tradition that is marking a change of leadership and an opportunity to celebrate a new era at the institution.”
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