OSU Board of Trustees, Committees discuss public safety, crisis response, tuition raises

By Angela Tam
Acting Oregon State University President Edward Feser presents Enterprise Risk Management via Zoom to the OSU Board of Trustees and Committees on April 1. 

Angela Tam, News Contributor

The Oregon State University Board of Trustees met Thursday to discuss updates on the university’s public safety and crisis response.

Shanon Anderson, OSU’s associate vice president for public safety and Corvallis campus chief of police discussed training of lateral officers, as well as partnerships of Corvallis campus’ police force. Anderson also described the status of the online complaint process as part of a goal to increase transparency and trust.  

“We made the complaint process on the web simple,” Anderson said. “It outlines we will accept all complaints, we take all complaints seriously. We will make contact with the complainant, we will investigate the complaint fully as it comes in and we will communicate the outcome of the complaint.”

Complaints are also documented for yearly evaluations. 

Vice Provost for Student Affairs Dan Larson discussed the new OSU Community Wellness, Education and Safety Network. Goals of the network include de-escalating and stabilizing crises as well as bringing the correct resources to a situation at the right time. 

“Crisis response requires more than law enforcement,” Larson said. “It needs personnel with specialized training, primarily in behavioral, mental health and other areas as well such as interpersonal violence, prevention and response.”

Other topics discussed in Thursday’s meeting included raises in incidental fees along with tuition for the OSU Corvallis and OSU-Cascades campuses. 

The University Budget Committee reccommended a raise of tuition for the 2021-22 academic year at the meeting on April 1, which was voted on and passed in their April 2 meeting.

The board voted for a raise of 2.5% for both undergraduate residents and non-resident students and a raise of 4.0% for new incoming students.

The board also heard briefings on the budget outlook for the fiscal year of 2022 and new initiatives and threats to baccalaureate programs offered at OSU. 

The Academic Strategies Committee, Finance and Administration Committee and Executive and Audit Committee all were present at the virtual meeting along with members of the Board of Trustees. 

The University Budget Committee did not recommend tuition to be frozen again for the upcoming fiscal year as it had been for returning students in the fiscal year of 2021. 

Sherman Bloomer, associate vice president of Budget and Resource Planning said it is because tuition freezes are “need-blind.”

“They benefit everybody, regardless of need,” Bloomer said. “The committee did not feel that was the right place to go to both sustain the quality of programs and the faculty and the staff delivering those programs and the quality of the education. [It would also not] recognize the differential need our students have.”

Bloomer also said that OSU cannot go back to pre-pandemic spending as the university for the fiscal year of 2022.

“We’re right in the middle of drawing up preliminary budget plans in terms of detailed unit-level decisions,” Bloomer said. “We’re going to review that with campus leadership through April and bring back a proposal at the May meeting.”

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