The University of Oregon held a swanky, invitation-only party Friday night to launch a $2-billion fundraising campaign. So far donors have pledged more than $700-million. This is the largest fundraising effort in the school's history. Interim UO President Scott Coltrane:
Coltrane: "We have to have ambitious goals because we have ambitious aspirations. We really want to make this a great university, keep us good, but even make us better, and for that we need deep resources. So we have an audacious goal. We really need to raise private money. We're in a situation where we're dependent on private money. We need to keep tuition down. This is the way to move the institution forward."
Coltrane explains the money will go toward scholarships, recruiting top-performing faculty and students. The university wants to increase enrollment in the Clark Honors College and renovate that building. They also will bring in additional science faculty and hire 150 tenure-track professors.
Other improvements include upgrading the information technology infrastructure, improving athletic facilities and building a pavilion for the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.
The UO has been criticized in recent years for using donor money to build and upgrade athletic facilities, while students struggle with rising tuition and faculty pay is stagnant.