Higher Education Funding

For a class, I researched a national issue and focused it closer to my own university. I work at the Annual Giving Program Telefund and value the work that goes into higher education funding. Many public universities lack adequate funding for programs and I wanted to work on making that known with these two projects.

General Overview:

Funding for higher education (colleges and universities) from the state has declined rapidly in the past 15 years. According to an Urban Institute report from 2015, Oregon specifically has cut its per-student spending by 51 percent since 2000.

When colleges and universities are able to offer more to potential students financially, the more students are attracted to that college or university. More potential students are becoming aware of the large rise in student debt that comes with attending a 4-year university. In comparison, from a research brief from authors Jennifer Ma and Sandy Baum, there appears to be a rise in students choosing to attend a community college for two years and then moving on to a 4-year university to save on tuition costs.

In today’s economy, state universities are losing support from the state and having to find alternative solutions to fill the gaps. Many universities have increased tuition, but many also look to philanthropy to continue growth in programs.

Audio Project:

Katy George was the Associate Director of Integrated Marketing for the University’s Annual Giving Program at the time of this project. She began her career with the Annual Giving Program when she was a sophomore as a student caller for the telefund. In this audio piece, George talks about her time as a caller and how she feels about the importance of academic fundraising.

Video Project:

The American Sign Language (ASL) department at the University of Oregon was small to begin with, but with recent budget cuts, the department has become even smaller. Only two professors make up the ASL department now: Jo Larson and Valentino Vasquez. Professor Larson, a senior instructor for Communication Disorders and Sciences, has been teaching the first-year ASL sequence since the program began and is very passionate about connecting students to deaf culture through sign language.

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