Eugene Chamber Endorses New Partnership Proposal
Citing the importance of a strong university to the current and future economy of the region, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the University of Oregon’s “The New Partnership.”
The plan allows for the creation of a local governing board to manage the UO’s affairs, offering increased public accountability, responsiveness, and flexibility.
The innovative plan is also designed to stabilize the University of Oregon’s financial situation by establishing an endowment funded by a partnership of private and public monies. It calls for the Legislature to use $800 million in state-backed bonds matched by an equal amount in donations raised by the UO to establish a $1.6 billion endowment that would likely be controlled by the UO Foundation. The state would pay principal and interest on the bonds, and the UO would use the earnings from the endowment to fund university operations, forgoing the biennial state allocation – a number equivalent to approximately 7% of the school’s operating budget – from the state’s general fund.
“The University is a vital driver of our region’s economy.” According to Eugene Chamber chairman Eric Forrest of Pepsi-Cola Bottling of Eugene. “More than ever before, we need them to remain a strong, growing and forward-thinking institution. In an environment of shrinking state resources, we applaud the University’s pioneering thinking and will strongly back them as they move forward with this plan.”