BEND, OR -- Oregon State University President Ed Ray continues to push state lawmakers for funding of the OSU-Cascades expansion. Ray was in Bend Wednesday as part of a series of rebranding events.
He told the crowd at the Riverhouse, "We remain undaunted in seeking $69.5 million in state bonding for the expansion of the OSU Cascades campus. Our Governor has proposed $20 million in bonding for OSU Cascades, this session." The House Higher Education Committee has approved legislation for expansion of the Bend campus, and the bill is now in the Ways and Means Committee. "Without approval of the $69.5 million we will be in the position of turning students away within the next three years," says Ray. "Not meeting the demand for higher education in the fastest growing region in the state is not good public policy, and it certainly makes no business sense."
He says Oregon's disinvestment in higher education has resulted in state support for colleges and universities declining by 21%, which he says means students and families shoulder the higher cost. President Ray says the state needs to increase access for students and reduce that burden.
Ray highlights the results of a recent economic impact study conducted by Eco Northwest as proof that the Bend campus is also good for the overall community, "By 2034, with the predicted full build-out of the 5,000 student campus, OSU Cascades continuing operations will contribute $121.9 million in total annual economic output in Deschutes County, and provide 1,925 jobs."
Photo courtesy Jamie Christman, Bend Chamber of Commerce.