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Draft of SOU realignment plan reviewed by Board of Trustees, Finance & Administration Committee

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ASHLAND, Ore. – A draft of SOU’s $14 million realignment plan was presented to the Board of Trustees during Thursday’s finance and administration committee meeting. 

“What gives me a lot of confidence is that we are solving this fiscal, structural problem that has plagued us for a long time,” said Rick Bailey, president of Southern Oregon University. The realignment plan has been in the works for months and aims to rid SOU of its fiscal plague, like Bailey said.

While the realignment plan is still a draft, Bailey, the board and the Finance and Administration Committee all agreed that student enrollment and retention need to be prioritized in the university’s budget moving forward. 

NewsWatch 12 will be covering the meeting tonight.

SOU employees will lose their jobs and students will see programs cut as a direct result of the plan. Even so, Bailey said this route will be better for the university in the long-term. He says if SOU did not go through with the plan, it would be forced to raise tuition up to 15% for several years.

“We’ve set the goal at SOU for us to have the smallest tuition increase of any of the seven public universities in the state this year,” he said. “I feel pretty confident that we’re going to do it and it’s because of all of this challenging work that we’re doing to make sure that our costs are in line.”

The campus community will have a final chance to communicate its thoughts and concerns directly to Bailey and the board after Friday’s 11:30 a.m. Board of Trustees meeting. The meeting will be in-person, but also available to watch at this Zoom link. Bailey says a listening session will start after the meeting ends and there’s still time to make changes to the realignment plan. 

“It gives the chance for the board to hear directly from people who have ideas and recommendations and thoughts and ways we can improve this plan,” he said.

The Board of Trustees will make its final decision on the $14 million realignment plan on April 21.

"What's exciting is the opportunity to kind of rebuild the institution that we all want moving forward without this looming fiscal cloud over our head that has plagued us for so long,” Bailey said. “I'm excited about us getting out of that cycle and then building the institution that everyone loves and deserves here."

Makenna Marks is a producer/reporter at NewsWatch 12. You can reach Makenna at

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