OSU budget increase fueled by growing enrollment


CORVALLIS - Oregon State University has unveiled its budget for 2000-01, announcing plans to invest additional revenues in more class sections and student support for its rapidly growing student enrollment, and initiatives to enhance academic programs, upgrade technology, boost faculty salaries, and improve the university's infrastructure.

Fueled by an enrollment gain of more than a thousand new students last year, OSU will have an education and operating budget of $181.9 million, a 10.3 percent increase over the cost of continuing services at the level provided last year --- the "continuing services level" --- of $164.9 million. Those figures do not include auxiliary funds, such as revenue from student housing or athletics.

"This is a budget to be celebrated, one that reflects the great success we have had in recruiting students to Oregon State University, and keeping them in school and on target toward graduation," said OSU President Paul Risser. "It is appropriate that we use these additional revenues to accommodate that growth and to ensure that we maintain and even improve the quality educational experience that OSU students have come to expect."

The budget blueprint went through a thorough, open campus review process. Campus leaders solicited input from OSU administrators, faculty, staff and students.

Tim White, OSU provost and executive vice president, said the university will invest $6.4 million of new money in academic programs, including $1.5 million for new course sections to provide more flexibility for students and to control class size. A similar amount will be targeted for student services, recruitment and retention, including an increase in the Provost's Scholarship program.

Other academic program investments include $1.48 million for the "Oregon College of Engineering and Computer Science" --- a program funded by the legislature and the Oregon University System to boost the number of engineering graduates --- and more than $600,000 for The Valley Library.

Other program investments include $200,000 for a communication program focusing on "new media," and $200,000 each --- plus additional funding for enrollment increases --- for the College of Science and the College of Liberal Arts to support academic priorities, including "baccalaureate core" courses.

Two professional programs --- the College of Pharmacy and the College of Veterinary Medicine --- will receive a combined $260,000 to augment the cost of educating those students.

White said OSU also is allocating $741,000 to upgrade the university's technological capabilities by increasing its network bandwidth.

"That will help our students have the bandwidth necessary to carry out their academic studies and have high-speed, quality Internet service," White said. "Increasing bandwidth also is critically important to our faculty who are conducting cutting-edge research."

OSU's Research Office also will get a boost, with an additional $232,000 to fund increased capacity for securing sponsored programs and technology transfer, and to "take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities," White said.

The projected budget includes $3.9 million for a faculty salary increase, which would fund the equivalent of a 5.25 percent raise, said Rob Specter, vice president for finance and administration. More than half that amount likely will be aimed at merit increases for top faculty --- a performance-based strategy aimed at investing in the quality of OSU programs. Faculty salary increases are a high priority for the university. Also funded is a classified salary increase of approximately 2.5 percent.

Specter said the university also will allocate $1 million to improve its infrastructure; about half is pegged at addressing deferred maintenance issues on campus, the other half will go toward utilities.

"Overall, this is a budget that is balanced in every sense of the word," Specter said. "It addresses academic programs, the quality of the student experience, faculty excellence, the university's capacity for accommodating enrollment growth, and importance technology and infrastructure needs.

"And it was done without raising undergraduate tuition," Specter added.

A thumbnail sketch of the budget follows:

OSU 2000-01 Education and General Operating Budget

Proposed Operating Budget: $181.9 million

  • Up 10.3 percent from last year's "continuing service level" of $164.9 million

Sources of Revenue:

  • General Fund: $91.6 million
  • Tuition: $64.0 million
  • Other Sources: $26.3 million

Breakdown of the $16.9 Million of Additional Revenue


  • $6.4 million in academic investments, including additional class sections, program improvements, library investments, and new initiatives.
  • $6.7 million in across-the-university expenditures and general allocation, including faculty and classified salaries, and rising insurance costs.
  • $1.5 million in student services, recruitment and retention, including diversity efforts, student scholarships, and career services.
  • $2.3 million in institutional support, including technology improvements, deferred maintenance, and utilities.