Reinvestment in education is vital

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Kudos to Abraham Hyatt for the thought-provoking article [COLLEGE INC., SEPTEMBER] on some of the many challenges facing Oregon’s institutions of higher education.

Of course, the piece raised more questions than it provided answers, yet it reaffirmed what I observed firsthand in my role as chair of the Ways & Means Education Subcommittee in the 2007 legislative session: Oregon’s universities are very fortunate to possess thoughtful leaders such as Dave Frohnmayer, Ed Ray and Marvin Kaiser.

Additionally, it’s worth repeating that Oregon university faculty ranked seventh in the nation in the amount of federal research dollars garnered in 2006. Unfortunately, because we have failed to adequately invest in Oregon’s colleges and universities, these same exceptionally productive faculty members are compensated poorly when compared to similar institutions nationwide.

Balancing what Hyatt refers to as the “businessification” of universities with the broader mission of higher learning will remain a significant challenge in the decades to come. Yet, regardless of one’s position on the myriad issues raised in the article, it’s imperative that we continue the reinvestment in our institutions of higher education that began with the 2007 legislative session.

Larry Galizio
Democratic state representative, Tigard

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