Lawmakers consider freer hand for 2 Ore. schools

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Associated Press

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 22 at 5:02 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The first public hearing on a bill granting the University of Oregon and Portland State University more autonomy from the statewide university system provided few details on the powers that would be granted to independent boards.

Administrators say such boards would help them better manage their schools at a time of reduced state funding. They believe the boards should be allowed to set tuition, sell revenue bonds and hire and fire university presidents.

Though acknowledging the details must be worked out, Portland State President Wim Wiewel (VIM' vee-VEL') told a House committee Friday that independent boards would provide greater operating flexibility, and the state Board of Higher Education — which oversees seven public universities — simply does not have the time to focus on Portland State.

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