SOU student programs face budget cuts

Southern Oregon University’s student programs are facing budget cuts and some programs could be completely defunded.

Posted: Feb 18, 2020 6:15 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 9:44 AM

ASHLAND, Ore. – Southern Oregon University’s student programs are facing budget cuts and some programs could be completely defunded.

“Athletics, in this proposal, got cut by $25,000, The Siskiyou was defunded, the bike exchange program was defunded as was the national student exchange program was defunded,” said Britney Sharp, ASSOU Student Body President.

According to Sharp, SOU has to cut programs by $300,000. In order to decide what stays and what goes, the Student Fee Allocation Committee looked at three key areas.

“The cost benefit, the fundraising, and the community impact,” said Sharp.

Tonight, students had a chance to speak at an appeal meeting. Student journalists with The Siskiyou are there now. In a statement released to NewsWatch 12, they expressed their concern, saying in part, “Having a budget cut that impacts how much content we produce would impact students all over campus.”

“If a lot of this conversation going on right now is proving that impact that The Siskiyou has, I think that’s going to cause a re-evaluation in the committee,” said Sharp.

Erik Palmer, SOU’s communication department chair says the communications program will look into other funding options if the newspaper is defunded.

“As we have students that are interested in doing the work then the communication program at SOU will figure out a way to support them to do student journalism,” said Palmer.

“We still have the Inner Club Counsel (ICC) that funds a lot of our clubs on campus,” said Sharp, “The Siskiyou or some of the other smaller budgets that we completely defunded could go to ICC to ask for funds.”

Once a budget is approved by the committee it will go to the student senate and then to the student body president before going to the Board of Trustee's for final approval. That has to happen by April.

Even though there is a process to handle budget cuts, that doesn’t answer the question of why they are happening in the first place.
According to a state report, “Public defunding of higher education is a national trend that is shifting a majority of the burden of paying for a college education to students and their families. Only 6 states have met pre-recession funding levels for higher education.” Oregon is not one of them.

“Higher education is changing,” said Sharp, “A lot of people are transitioning to online. We have students from Coos Bay and others taking online classes but that doesn’t benefit our programs so we have to adjust to that now.”

Undergraduate in-state tuition at SOU increased by 83% in the last 10 years. Part of the cause for tuition increases is a lack of funding from the state. This year, Oregon public universities requested $120 million from state legislature. They were given $100 million.
“A lot of this is above Southern Oregon’s control and it’s now looking to the state and the HECC to recognize the position we’re in,” said Sharp.

At SOU, program funding is decided on by student government. Since athletics is not covered by tuition, it goes into the program budget and takes a large chunk.

“Athletics is about $1 million, our student fee programs as a whole are about $1 million; so, when we are balancing million-dollar budgets, a $3,000 one isn’t going to make it too well in our process so we’re asking them to go over to ICC,” said Sharp.

If athletics wasn’t a part of program funding, there would be more space for on-campus programs, which brings the issue full circle, back to state funding or the lack thereof and/or tuition increases.

“The funding allocation model from the HACC; we are poorly represented,” said Sharp, “we get the bottom 5% every year.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4636268

Reported Deaths: 67966
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144412725849
Riverside3575584802
San Diego3492274006
San Bernardino3468955501
Orange3135295354
Sacramento1498662070
Santa Clara1403871841
Fresno1356471889
Kern1343971515
Alameda1160681320
Ventura976231120
San Joaquin971621615
Contra Costa95595924
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72812896
San Mateo52172607
San Francisco51808605
Monterey49445565
Solano44061312
Santa Barbara43065500
Sonoma39376376
Merced39279535
Placer36390364
Imperial34235755
Kings30038285
San Luis Obispo28273313
Madera21672258
Butte21205230
Shasta20647276
Santa Cruz20134211
Yolo19118239
Marin17080242
El Dorado15964127
Sutter13055153
Napa1224695
Yuba923461
Nevada845685
Humboldt826284
Tehama821184
San Benito708567
Mendocino681971
Lassen636827
Tuolumne612593
Lake601087
Amador489759
Glenn396430
Siskiyou388841
Calaveras339366
Del Norte334234
Colusa290718
Inyo166239
Mono14935
Plumas12336
Mariposa96712
Trinity71910
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1180
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 76°
Brookings
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 82°
Crater Lake
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 76°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 76°
Klamath Falls
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 68°
Warmer tomorrow, smoke potentially returns on Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Monday, September 20th Afternoon Weather

Image

FLU VACCINE

Image

Monday, September 20 morning weather

Image

Sunday, September 19th Weather

Image

Tropical Storm Peter forms as the 16th Atlantic storm of 2021

Image

2021 Man Cave Makeover winner

Image

Sunday, September 19th Weather

Image

Oregon wraps up non-conference play with a steamrolling of Stony Brook

Image

Vidlak makes Beavers debut in Oregon State's 42-0 win

Image

Raiders struggle in road loss to College of Idaho, 29-3