The University of Oregon and Portland State University could soon declare independence from the Oregon University System.
In the final days of the legislative session, lawmakers reached a deal on bills that would allow the seven state universities to establish independent governing boards with the power to hire and fire a president and take on debt in the form of revenue bonds.
"I think in five, 10, 20 years you'll be able to look back at the passage of these bills, and they will have had a catalyzing effect," said Mark Hass, D-Beaverton, a central player in writing the legislation and negotiating the changes that were needed to get it out of a subcommittee.
The push for independence gained steam after a 2011 decision by the state Board of Higher Education to fire popular University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere.
Read more at The Democrat Herald.