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Brian Collins's comments:
Bdavies - I want to be perfectly clear that I'm not suggesting that the LaGrande campus (or any of the other regional campuses) be closed. My idea is that mergers would involve efficiencies and growth opportunities for all of the campuses. I certainly am not in a position to come up with numerical projections, but there ought to be some administrative efficiencies from a merger or alliance. There are other ways to get these efficiencies - there's been a lot of talk about all of the regional universities outsourcing basic business services to a single shared business center. But I think the merger model could be superior because it would give the regionals the very valuable brand names of the big three and could pave the way for more significant collaboration.
What is there to gain? I think the goal is to increase enrollment at all of the regionals. What if it were painless - as easy as normally registering for classes - for a student at OSU-Corvallis to spend a year, or even just a term, at OSU-LaGrande? For an engineering student at PSU to spend a couple quarters in Klamath Falls with their renewable energy program? The reality is that the big three are starting to approach capacity limitations in various respects. UO is extremely short on housing, so they have already started a partnership with SOU where students get admitted to UO, do their first two years in Ashland, then finish in Eugene. Why not go all the way and make SOU into the University of Oregon - Ashland campus and make it just as easy for any students to go back and forth? Maybe it could get to the point where even professors on occaision go back and forth. I think the opportunities from working together could be really amazing and could give the regionals what they need (enrollment and a more valuable brand) and the big three what they increasingly need (capacity, efficiencies in the system). For example, why should both WOU and OSU have separate education colleges with separate programs, administrations, etc. (Now our education college is moving to Bend, but if it weren't, it seems like there would be opportunities for efficiencies and synergies there.)
posted 3 years, 8 months ago
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