Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oregon University System in the news

Summer is almost over, and you know what that means for people: back to school time! As it happens, the Oregon University System (OUS) appeared in the news a couple times this week with stories on student enrollment and solar power projects.

High retention rates and a rise in the number of community college transfers could lift OUS enrollment to an all-time high of 100,000 students this year, according to an article in The Oregonian. OUS enrollment reached growth rates of 5 to 6 percent in the past three years, although enrollment growth is expected to slow for the 2011-12 school year. According to assistant provost for enrollment management Kate Peterson, the influx of students may reflect a lack of available job opportunities.

Turning our eyes to the skies: Sustainable Business Oregon reports that the first phase of construction to install a solar grid on OUS campuses will be completed by the end of the year. The project, which OUS has titled "Solar by Degrees," will provide 4.9 megawatts of capacity, enough energy to power 900 homes. The project has been called the nation's largest multi-campus solar installation project. Initial installation sites include the Oregon Institute of Technology, Eastern Oregon University, and Oregon State University. The second phase will add solar to the remaining OUS campuses. SolarWorld of Hillsboro and Bend-based PV Powered will supply the solar panel materials, while installation is being contracted out to Oregon Electric of Portland.

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