My name is Peter Gilkey. I am a Professor of Mathematics and the Vice President of the Senate at the University of Oregon. However, I am speaking to you today as a private citizen. Let me begin extending to you by my sincere gratitude for the heroic efforts you all are making to deal with an impossible budget shortfall that is beyond comprehension. There are no good choices. I and all of the citizens of the state owe you all our collective thanks.
Public Higher Education is a public not a private good. It is one of the few "positive sum games" where the long term benefits to our state far exceed the initial input cost. Higher Education will deal with serious challenges in providing access to a high quality education for Oregonians over the next years as, like all agencies, we will have some very serious budgetary cuts. My theme is that centralized detailed micro management directives from Salem can often be less efficient in accomplishing the desired outcomes than decentralized responses at the local level that are, of course, informed by input from Salem. Please target neither specific areas (administration, student services, academic support etc) nor specific programs (statewide services, outreach programs, public services etc) for budget cuts. Instead, give the State Board of Higher Education and Chancellor George Pernsteiner broad policy directives. They can transmit more detailed instructions to the Presidents of each of our Universities. And our Presidents as officers of OUS and in appropriate consultation with faculty governance organs on our individual campuses can then decide the best way to deal with the financial crisis.
Thank you for your attention. And again most importantly. Thank you for your
heroic efforts. I remain respectfully yours
Peter B Gilkey
3337 Onyx Place
Eugene Or 97403
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