State rejecting tuition hike is a 'tremendous setback' to Univ. of Oregon, official says

University of Oregon sign

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) The state Higher Education Coordinating Commission rejected the University of Oregon's plan to increase in-state undergraduate tuition by more than 10 percent.

Under state law, public universities can raise tuition by no more than 5 percent without state approval.

"This is a tremendous setback for the University of Oregon," UO spokesman Tobin Klinger told The Register-Guard ( ) after Thursday's vote. "We must now go back and quickly evaluate the impact of this vote on the university's overall financial picture, assess our options and determine our next steps."

The commission also rejected a 9-percent tuition increase sought by Portland State University while approving increases for Oregon Tech, Western Oregon University and Southern Oregon University.

The state's other two public universities Oregon State and Eastern Oregon plan to raise in-state tuition by less than 5 percent, so they do not need state approval.

The universities have been seeking steep tuition hikes at a time when health care and pension costs are rising and state support is lagging.

Oregon and Portland State both fell one vote short of the five votes needed for approval, said Endi Hartigan, a commission spokeswoman in Salem.

She said the lack of student involvement in tuition setting was a concern among those who voted no.

Despite pleas from students against higher prices, the UO Board of Trustees in March overwhelmingly supported the double-digit tuition increase.

Under the plan, the cost of attending the UO in 2017-18 would be $11,931 for residents, including fees.

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