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Other Views: State should pay for Bend campus

Oregon can't build a new university campus in Bend by thinking it's going to fund its universities the same way it always has. That would mean the money to build Oregon State University-Cascades Campus would come from the money the Legislature allocates to its seven public universities. That was about $700 million in education and general appropriation money for 2015-17.

Do Oregonians really want to cut funding to its other universities to build a new one? Do legislators?

We sure hope not.

There's a lot of building activity at the OSU-Cascades campus right now. But it won't stop there. The campus is going to need to grow to serve the rapidly growing population in Central Oregon and to serve students across the country.

OSU President Ed Ray has requested for OSU-Cascades for 2017 $9.5 million for reclamation work, $11 million in infrastructure improvements, $39 million for a new academic building and $10 million for a student center. That's more than $69 million to get the university where he thinks it needs to be.

Ray may not get everything he wants. Other universities have wants. The state has other wants and needs.

But whatever is decided, Oregon can't build a new university campus by cutting funding to all the existing campuses.

The Legislature should get that message, and Central Oregon's legislators should push for the full $69 million for OSU-Cascades.