|The Residential District is housing for faculty|
Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Or in this case, the dam before the beaver.
It's no wonder the state legislature rejected the OSU leadership's request for $69 million earlier this year. Instead it offered $9 million in bonds for the branch campus on Bend's westside. At this rate of funding, it will be decades before it is even partially built out.
Now, the OSU brain trust wants just $38 million to partially fill a pumice pit and turn a demolition dump into a full-fledged university.
The state doesn't have the money OSU-Cascades wants.
Like other states, Oregon is getting out of the business of funding higher education. It's been a long-time goal of conservatives to de-fund higher education because they few most schools as swamps of liberalism.
Oregon, though, does offer free tuition to some community college students.
But, the state's flagship universities, Oregon and OSU, who already have their own boards of trustees, will likely become completely privately funded by 2025, if not sooner.
The University of Oregon and OSU are planning on becoming private institutions by seeking multi-billion dollar endowments. Of course, they're also raising tuition and accepting more out-of-state students who pay significantly more than in-state students.
Meanwhile, high rollers in Central Oregon have raised $10 million for OSU-Cascades. While impressive, that sum won't buy many buildings, let alone much-needed parking spaces.
As enumerated before, OSU-Cascades allowed no public vote on the location of the campus. It chose the most-congested and most expensive area of town in which to build the school. Students can't afford to live anywhere near the campus. In fact, the new master plan shows housing for faculty.
If professors can't afford to live near the school, how can students?
As we embrace the era of privatization, fewer in-state students will be able to attend in-state "public" colleges or universities.
In the 1980s, the state contributed more than 70 percent toward the cost of running the state's colleges and universities. Today, it is less than 7 percent, thanks in large part to tax-cutting measures voted by Oregonians.
That's the spirit of our times: Cut taxes and expect money to still flow to public institutions. Having your cake and eating it, too.
It's like saying, "Okay, let's all take a pay cut and we'll all have more money at the end of the month!"
Isn't that insane?
Kansans destroyed their state with tax cuts and now Republicans are hell-bent on destroying the country with their current tax proposal.
Once it passes, and corporations get their big fat tax cuts, maybe they'll turn around and fund higher education. Uh, not really.
And yet, it won't be long before UO is re-named Nike University.
Maybe OSU in Corvallis can be called Reser Salsa University.
OSU-Cascades needs a local sugar daddy like Les Schwab Tires or Brooks Resources.
If it's Les Schwab, we can call OSU-Cascades, LSU.
The school's slogan could be: We Tread on You.