SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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: 345344

Reported Deaths: 4084
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54651678
Washington37724310
Marion35705439
Clackamas28835298
Lane26661291
Jackson22465297
Deschutes19252122
Umatilla14081139
Linn12200114
Douglas11664238
Josephine9174191
Yamhill8438108
Klamath7549106
Polk707380
Malheur542374
Benton521531
Coos481591
Columbia368143
Jefferson355650
Union309944
Lincoln306033
Wasco275839
Crook263643
Clatsop238027
Baker195628
Tillamook191926
Hood River186036
Morrow180223
Curry177019
Harney106424
Grant96512
Lake86910
Wallowa65712
Gilliam1484
Sherman1453
Wheeler941
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4802761

Reported Deaths: 70456
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147341026379
Riverside3689534978
San Diego3631694151
San Bernardino3558485562
Orange3224975513
Sacramento1574982273
Santa Clara1443001886
Fresno1437452048
Kern1437161600
Alameda1197741365
San Joaquin1016431696
Ventura1004421162
Contra Costa99102969
Stanislaus849231310
Tulare78753945
San Francisco53974644
San Mateo53781618
Monterey50676582
Solano45734334
Santa Barbara44770518
Merced41680577
Sonoma40638400
Placer38813412
Imperial35591762
Kings32197312
San Luis Obispo29590330
Madera23420281
Butte23298257
Shasta23230334
Santa Cruz20830217
Yolo20092247
Marin17570243
El Dorado16947149
Sutter13762169
Napa12797100
Yuba992780
Tehama9240103
Humboldt9085108
Nevada902590
Mendocino751686
Lassen743743
San Benito735972
Tuolumne671793
Lake6499103
Amador536763
Siskiyou442742
Glenn429930
Calaveras380279
Del Norte355739
Colusa301618
Inyo194239
Mono16285
Plumas15476
Mariposa126215
Trinity85811
Modoc6678
Sierra1710
Unassigned1480
Alpine1020
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 52°
Brookings
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 49°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 52°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 52°
Klamath Falls
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 34°
Big changes later this weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events