US universities looking for greater autonomy from states

October 31, 2013

Several public universities in the US have decided to go private to free themselves from direct state oversight, reports the Pacific Standard. For example, Oregon’s 3 largest public universities -- Oregon, Portland State, and Oregon State – are in the process of becoming private. Many other institutions across the country are “looking to cut deals with state lawmakers who scale back direct oversight, often in return for less funding or for meeting certain performance targets.” Supporters argue that more autonomy allows public universities to operate with fewer restrictions and with greater freedom to raise revenue at a time when government funding is decreasing. However, critics fear the changes could end up “sidelining broader state goals such as access and affordability in pursuit of their own agendas, such as moving up in college rankings.” Pacific Standard