Town Hall a great success

January 28th, 2011

The recent Town Hall was a good beginning for more conversations about the New Partnership proposal with the larger campus community. I was very impressed with the turnout. Various counts have reported 200-300 people in attendance. I was also very impressed by the quality of the questions and the conversation around these issues.

I'm grateful for the University Senate’s careful review and extremely helpful study of these ideas. Their conclusions match with mine: we can't afford to continue doing what we've done in the past, which means we also can’t afford to continue not trying to change the way we do business.

People have asked me about the risk of our New Partnership proposal. Upon examination that risk is pretty small, and pales in comparison to the risk of doing nothing as we look back on the last three decades.

Looking ahead to this legislative session, we will continue to do the best we can to educate people about these issues, and educate them about the solutions we’ve put on the table. It's important for everyone to remember that the debate that we are engaging in is not about winning the argument about whether or not the New Partnership is the best idea. It's about trying to preserve the public mission – the affordability and access that public higher education represents for the state of Oregon.

I've been edified by the conversations I've had with legislators and political leaders of all stripes, and I look forward to further conversations with all who care about the future of this wonderful institution.

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