by Meerah Powell
February 11, 2021
This is the first time the funding allocation model for public universities has been updated since it was first implemented in 2015.
The Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission voted on Thursday to make key changes to the way state funding is allocated to Oregon’s seven public universities.
This is the first time the commission has made any changes to the funding model — called the Student Success and Completion Model, or SSCM — since it was first implemented in 2015.
Many of the changes are aiming to simplify or clarify the model. Others are meant to incentivize collaboration and equity, including adding a “bonus” for institutions that graduate Oregon community college transfer students. The HECC also approved increasing an existing bonus for institutions that graduate Oregonians from underrepresented groups.
HECC officials estimate that the changes will lead to modest shifts in funding. According to HECC estimates, the newly formulated SSCM would give Oregon State University about 4% less in the state’s biennium funding, and smaller regional institutions, such as Southern Oregon University and Western Oregon University would receive about 5% more.
These changes come at a time when Oregon colleges and universities have undoubtedly suffered financially during the pandemic — with falling enrollment forcing staff and faculty layoffs at some institutions.