Oregon Public Broadcasting

Portland State and the University of Oregon are pushing to have independent boards of their own, even as the state is moving toward a more unified approach to education.

PSU and U of O officials say they want new university-level boards to wield some of the powers historically held by the State's Board of Higher Education.

Portland State president Wim Wievel argues that the university could better respond to local needs, if it didn't have to deal as much with the Higher Ed board.

"Right now, we have to go through very lengthy and fairly convoluted processes, and I don't think that's necessary. We should be able to make more decisions, we'd be more nimble, and frankly, it would probably save us administrative costs."

Wievel says details will be worked out next year.

He envisions the Higher Ed board controlling state money, but a PSU board governing academic programs and other policies.

Governor John Kitzhaber wrote to the Higher Ed board saying he wanted to "move carefully."

Kitzhaber noted the university board discussion came as the State Senate was approving nominees to a new investment board, meant to supervise pre-school through grad school.

Gov. Kitzhaber's letter to the State Board of Higher Education

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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